Diet & Exercise: Cellulite: Can you get rid of it?

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, July 6, 2017

One question I’m often asked is “How can I make my cellulite go away?”

This can be a touchy subject, because not only do 90 percent of all women get some degree of cellulite, they sometimes don’t know how to get rid of it. (And by the way, some men get it, too.)

First let’s go over just what cellulite is. Actually cellulite is plain old subcutaneous body fat.

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Why does cellulite sometimes have a  “dimpled” appearance? The reason is because body fat can sometimes be compartmentalized by connective tissue deep within layers of the skin. While everyone has supportive tissue under their skin, men’s connective tissue tends to have horizontal patterns, which makes it more difficult for body fat to accumulate. Women’s connective tissues under the skin tend to have more of a “honeycomb” pattern. This allows more fat to collect and bulge outwards, and gives a dimpled affect.

There are also many other variables that influence the amount of cellulite a person might have. These can include gender, genetics, age, and even skin thickness.

The question is … can you get rid of your cellulite? The short answer is absolutely, but make no mistake, there are no quick fixes. I’ve had clients lose significant amounts of cellulite, but it takes planning and effort.

First, let’s go over what doesn’t work. Stay away from creams aimed at reducing cellulite. If you read the label on most of these creams carefully, you’ll find that most only reduce the appearance of cellulite by a temporary (and I do mean temporary) tightening of the skin.

Also, treatments like liposuction are expensive, ineffective, and can actually be contraindicated, because they are designed to remove only “deep” body fat, not cellulite, which sits just below the skin’s surface.

Beware of herbal extracts designed to reduce cellulite. There’s not much evidence that they actually work at all, and some can even be dangerous, because they can interact with certain prescription and non-prescription medications.

So, what does work? I use a combination of treatments with clients. We start with a proper weight-training program specifically designed for the individual. This is important for both women and men for two reasons. First, for every ounce of muscle you train, you burn extra calories 24 hours a day. Second, muscle that is not toned will tend to sag, which makes cellulite look worse.

Proper aerobic exercise comes next. This helps burn more calories, and also helps tone muscle. I also help clients design an individualized eating program to help them lose even more excess body fat. In fact, one of my Charlotte clients has lost just over 100 pounds of body fat with just simple changes to her exercise regimen and diet.

I also make sure all my people get proper rest. In fact, if I’m training a client who is on a specific time line like a model for an upcoming photo shoot, or an athlete for a specific, or seasonal sport, I require they get an extra hour of sleep each night, whether they have to go to bed an hour earlier or get up an hour later. A nap won’t do it, because that extra hour of sleep needs to be contained within a certain cycle of sleep. Clients are amazed at the difference it makes. Remember, rest is the “glue” that holds all the components of your fitness and diet program together.

Finally, make sure your supplement program supports you. While there are no supplements that in and of themselves get rid of cellulite, there are nutrients, that without which, cellulite would build. For example, vitamins C and E are necessary for red blood cell formation and collagen production, both of which affect connective tissue below the skin’s surface. Without firm connective tissue, cellulite is much more apparent.

By properly using all these techniques together in your program, you can significantly reduce the amount of cellulite you have at any age.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at or call or text at 864-494-6215. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 29 years.