Dear Carrie: Cellulite

Hi again, everyone. Thanks for the comments and emails in response to my last post on menopause and hot flashes. I’m working on getting through your questions and hope to do several posts throughout the summer that speak specifically to issues that matter to women. Now that summer is here for most of the country, it seems like a good time to share a frequent reader issue this time of year.

Dear Carrie,

I’m 35 and have been Primal for almost two years now. I’ve always been fairly thin, but going Primal in my eating and exercise has helped me get in better shape and build muscle. Unfortunately, I’m still plagued with some cellulite on the backs of thighs and hips. (Can I mention that I hate swimsuit season?) Why is cellulite so stubborn? Every “miracle cure” I’ve ever tried did next to nothing. Tell it to me straight – will this ever go away? Is there anything I can do? Thanks to you and Mark for everything you do with the Primal community.


Janet, you’re in good company – including in the Primal community. Cellulite is as stubborn as it is common. As you say, all kinds of products and procedures promise the moon but rarely deliver. The actual physiology of cellulite makes it hard to actually eliminate. Nonetheless, there are some Primal style approaches for both minimizing the look and addressing the causes of it.

As Mark likes to say, let’s first break it down. Cellulite describes the sometimes pitted appearance of fat deposits in the body. It’s most often seen on the thighs and derrière, but it can show up the hips, stomach, and upper arms as well. In milder cases, the tell-tale texture only shows up if you pinch the area or if the area is compressed (like when you bend down or cross your legs). In other cases, it’s visible regardless of your posture.

It’s probably of little surprise to say that women are more prone to it. (Aren’t we lucky, ladies?). Estimates vary but suggest that at least 80% of women have cellulite to some degree. (As I said, you’re in good company at least.) Women – even lean, healthy women – naturally have more body fat than men. Furthermore, our fat cells arrange themselves in more bulge-prone vertical columns as opposed to the more restrictive, reinforced net-like design men have.

The infamous pattern of cellulite forms from a simultaneous push and pull on fat cells in these columns. As our individual fat cells grow, they push outward through these columns. The “pull” comes from the fibrous connective bands that run between these columns to link the skin and muscle. The result of this “at odds” process is a bubbling effect – the bumpiness many of us see.

While the connective cords are flexible when we’re young, they tend to stiffen with age. The more fat you have to contain in these areas, the more strain there is on the connective tissue. Nonetheless, the thinnest, most athletic woman can have cellulite. On the flip side, there are women who carry a fair amount of extra weight and still have the smoothest thighs imaginable. Many experts believe there’s a genetic component to cellulite propensity, and some research has targeted genetically based factors.

Beyond the basic physiology of cellulite, different experts point to varying “contributing” factors. Hormonal changes, like the midlife decrease in estrogen, can contribute to a loss of elasticity in the fat restraining connective bands. During each pregnancy and for some months postpartum, our ligaments and other connective tissue are loosened by a natural release of Relaxin, which helps allow for the expanding uterus and aids in labor. Skin also expands and can remain slack post-pregnancy, which can contribute to the appearance of cellulite. If you’ve done a lot of crash or yo-yo dieting in your life, the back and forth changes can further slacken the connective cords. The hormonal effects of stress can influence fat production. Finally, a lack of activity and perhaps toxin buildup can impair the circulation and lymphatic drainage in cellulite-prone areas.

So, we have the million dollar question: can cellulite actually be “cured”? I know too many women who have tried too many methods and treatments to promise a miracle remedy. But I believe most women can see a decrease in the appearance of cellulite – and simultaneously improve the underlying physiological processes like circulation and lymphatic drainage that help prevent cellulite – through various lifestyle behaviors.

Although fat itself isn’t the cause of cellulite, reducing your overall body fat can take pressure off of the connective bands. Exercise is your best bet, and I’d recommend mixing it up. Use interval training to lose body fat and vigorous resistance training to build up and tone your muscles in areas where you have cellulite. The added muscle mass will help fill in where skin is loose from fat loss.

Yoga and Tai Chi both use whole body movement to enhance lymphatic drainage and detoxification. Dr. Howard Murad, author of The Cellulite Solution, says circulation and drainage – of both water and toxins – are key to fixing the actual physiological conditions behind cellulite. The more frequent movement, the better. Although there’s not much on record about our hunter-gatherer foremothers and the appearance of their thighs, some observations suggest the regular activity and clean diets of hunter gatherer groups meant cellulite was unheard ofat least in one Peruvian group.

You can enhance the health of your connective tissue and skin’s collagen through regular exercise, whole body movement like yoga and Tai Chi, avoiding sugar, and by incorporating relevant nutrients into your diet like EFAs (especially omega-3s), clean saturated fats, and glucosamine. (Sounds suspiciously Primal, doesn’t it?) Consider it a good excuse to make some healthy homemade broth on a regular basis. I’d recommend checking out the Cellulite Investigation website for more Primally-compatible tips.

Some women I know with cellulite look to Traditional Chinese Medicine, which treats cellulite as a deficiency in Qi/Chi. I know a few women who have had luck with acupuncture, which does genuinely improve circulation to the targeted channels and locations, can improve lymphatic flow, and purportedly nurtures the connective tissue. The effects on cellulite weren’t dramatic, but there was a discernible difference over the course of a few weeks. Moreover, the improvement appeared to be long-term, but these women were also doing yoga and other exercise as a regular routine.

Cellulite focused massage can temporarily improve the appearance of cellulite. A good massage can enhance drainage in the area, but the majority of its effect is probably mild swelling (like some of those cellulite creams induce). It might be a good option if you’re getting ready for a beach vacation, but don’t expect long-lasting results. Some friends have had luck with collagen-boosting creams like Retin-A and Renova.

As for myself, I know I’m lucky when I say it hasn’t been an issue I’ve had to deal with much. After having the kids, I did notice some changes in my thighs. When I bumped up my exercise routine and delved more into yoga practice, I noticed those changes gradually disappear. Some years later I adopted a more Primal Blueprint eating strategy and added extra weight training to my routine. Having rounded the corner into menopause, I believe these choices and my regular yoga practice have probably helped in this regard.

Finally, there’s the issue of perspective. Cellulite in and of itself isn’t unhealthy. If you’re lean, strong, and fit, these are far more important factors – for both the impact of your health and your physical appearance. Who’s with me on that one?

Thanks for reading, and share your own comments or suggestions on the cellulite issue. Enjoy summer, everyone!

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88 thoughts on “Dear Carrie: Cellulite”

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  1. I was told in my college anatomy class that another reason that cellulite appears more in women than men is because women naturally have thinner skin, so any bulges in the underlying tissue can be visible on the surface.

    Definitely with you on your last statement: better to be lean, strong, fit and healthy than to worry about every last dimple on one’s thighs. 🙂 Our mass-media perception of the female form is so skewed anyway, what with photoshop, airbrushing, and so forth.

    1. I think for the most part that men do have thicker skin than women 😉

      Puns aside, I couldn’t agree with you more. I found personally that looking better is a pretty awesome side effect of feeling better!

      1. From what I’ve read, since cellulite is a feature of the subcutaneous fat which rests on top of the muscle, working out regularly is one of the best ways to reduce cellulite. This is because weak muscles contribute to the bumpy appearance whereas strong muscles provide support. Just another reason to lift heavy things!

    2. I’ve worked with many females throughout the years and i’ve had lots of success, the first thing on the list of priorities is to eliminate all grains and by products of grain entirely out of your diet, they cause a great deal of inflammation, adrenaline response to the glucose and estrogen dominance this in itself cause hormone fluctuations and definitely show up on your skin. Food intolerance will be another important issue to discover, mainly from poor digestion, but directly related to the consumption of grains and dairy products
      Hope this helps.

      1. thanks for the useful comment!
        just starting to make sense… think i’m oestrogen dominant a little… this is finally making sense.

    3. I think it is not our perception of the female, I think it is diet or lifestyle.

      I was in Italy for 4 weeks this summer and I (we) noticed that the Dutch girls already started to have cellulite at age of 20. In contrast: slim Italian woman are still cellulite free at the age of 45!

      It has to do something with our diet or lifestyle. (and before you comment: Italians do not consume excessive pasta, it is a myth).

      1. Dutch women (and men) eat bread every day for breakfast and lunch. I don’t know what Italians eat for breakfast and lunch? The Dutch also drink a lot of cow’s milk. I don’t eat bread (grains) a lot and have never had much cow’s milk maybe thats why I’ve always been slim (european size 34). Just now at age 50 I am gaining weight and have cellulite?! Must be hormonal since I also have hot flashes and because of that loosing sleep.

        A funny thing when you see adopted Children from (for instance) China, they become ‘giants’ in our country!

  2. Thanks for the tips! It is helpful to remember the role of exercise – sometimes I forget to focus on it as much as I try to pursue healthy eating. Here’s to the balance!

  3. Thanks for that article Carrie! I was only just lamenting the return of cellulite this weekend! I have to maintain a very low body fat percentage to be free of that plague. Last week I ate a bunch of fruit and gained a couple of pounds and, with it, little dimples. I always thought it started because I was so unhealthy when I was younger. It started to appear when I was a very thin 22 year old.

    1. Hey Peggy!
      I am another unfortunate female creature. I’ve been battling it for quite some time….I’m interested, did adopting Primal diet help reduce it by any chance? If yes, how long did it take for results to show? I recently switched to Paleo from raw vegan diet. Now I’m trying to keep my carbs up to 50g day to reach nutritional ketosis…I love what it’s doing to my body, but would really appreciate your advice & experience when it comes to cellulite reduction and loss on this diet…:)

      PS. Love your blog girl! I too am an avid food experimenter, so its always nice to read about people doing what some consider extreme dietary changes to improve their health 🙂
      Much love 🙂

  4. Also, cellulite wasn’t really identified as a “problem” until marketers in the 50’s and 60’s declared it as such in order sell us stuff to “fix” it.

    1. Looking at my family pictures it wasn’t an issue until then- at least for us. From the looks of the timeline it seems to follow when more of my family started consuming industrialized food and not getting as much physical activity.

  5. Oh cellulite, the bane of my existence…. I have always been thin, and have had cellulite since my early 20’s. Of course my diet and exercise routine back then was not exactly consistent or healthy. At least now I am healthy and fit… I still have cellulite but my legs are a lot stronger and … yes … my butt looks stronger too, so I don’t notice it quite as much.

    I never thought of yoga or acupuncture as something that could help with cellulite… seems like yet another positive reason to try it out.

  6. I am really appreciating the female input on the website…..not that I don’t appreciate Mark’s comments and observations…..but thank you Carrie for your time, also.

  7. I recently gave up coffee and I noticed that my cellulite has decreased quite a bit. Nothing else about my diet or exercise routine changed, so I’m attributing this the elimination of coffee. I’m also someone who is thin and fit, but has always had a little dimpling on the backs of my legs/butt.

    1. I also have given up coffee and noticed a tremendous reduction in my cellulite.
      I don’t really understant the correlation but it is real.

  8. The only time from thirty onwards I’ve been cellulite free is when I had an extremely low body fat percentage that was really too hard to maintain and live a life I wanted. I’ll accept a few dimples and creases in return for a more relaxed lifestyle.

    1. I’ve never really had cellulite, but I remember living in fear of it when I had an eating disorder. Now that I’ve gained weight (to a healthy weight), I don’t really see any sign of it – though I definitely have more flesh on me. 🙂 I do exfoliate about twice a week, and I moisturise pretty vigorously everyday after I shower – mainly to encourage lymphatic drainage. It’s kind of luxurious and relaxing too. Not sure if it has helped deter cellulite or not, but it’s worth a try. I think the massage is more important than buying those expensive cellulite creams, which probably only help by making you massage your skin.

  9. I have a dry-brushing routine ~4 times a week with a sisal louffa. It is supposed to improve circulation and diminish cellulite, along with exfoliation. I have noticed an improvement. Plus, it makes my skin very soft. Is there anyone else out there doing this with good results? I would be interested in any feedback. Thanks Carrie for a very informative article.

    1. I had a lot of luck with dry brushing also. I started it several months ago, and between that, using coconut oil for moisturizer and upping my good fat intake, cellulite is virtually gone (and I’m not at my lowest body fat either, since I’m 8 months pregnant!)
      I also love the soft skin too! Between that and my new ability to tan thanks to eating healthy, I finally like my skin for the first time ever!

    2. I have started dry-brushing about 3 months ago after reading quite a bit about it first. I don’t see significant decrease in dimples as of yet, but I was getting red bumps all over my legs after about a month of use. As I understand, when you stimulate your skin like that, you’re getting a lot of toxins out which also helps with cellulite appearance.

  10. I am totally with you on this one Carrie! Cudos to you for vocalizing it! I am totally cursed with cellulite…or as I say “junk in my trunk” …but, I’m lean from the bum down and the hips up! I’m strong, feel great, and can do any fitness activity I set my mind to. The impact my cellulite has on me is mostly in my own head. Once I start to train or race, I completely forget about the obstacle “behind” me 🙂 lol! I have been beginning to increase muscle growth in my hams & glutes and fixing posture issues and muscle engagement..All have been developing healthy tissue in my cellulite laden areas…Over time, I’m sure I can lessen the visuals. Thanks for all the tips!

  11. I guess I’ve never really worried too much about cellulite. I have it, especially after my kids were born, but I have a glow in the dark white complexion generously dusted with freckles(redheads in the family). Because I sunburn so badly, most of my skin never sees the light of day. If I’m the only one who ever sees it than I don’t worry about it and Hubby doesn’t care. Here in the Pacific Northwest coast it seldom gets warm enough to wear summer clothes. I’m more worried about being healthy and fit, three babies and stretch marks have pretty much guaranteed that I don’t have perfect skin.

  12. I’ve never really had a cellulite problem. But I do see the ‘cottage cheese’ effect a little bit when I sit down and cross my legs.
    That said, the thinner I am, the less cellulite I see.
    Now that I’m primal and use my legs and my butt muscles a lot more (walking, hiking) and lift weights (also with my legs) the cellulite seems to diminish.

    I think sitting in a chair for hours on a daily basis actually creates cellulite.
    Like I said I never had cellulite really, but sitting behind a desk 8 hours a day for 10 years with little walking seems to have created this ‘cottage cheese’.

    I don’t think Grokette (and Grok) were meant to sit down like we do. Grok probably just kneeled down, sat only on his butt muscles on the dirt or squatted. You can only sit on a log or rock for so long before your butt hurts.
    We’re meant to be either active and on our feet or sleep and lay down. Eating lunch while sitting in a comfy chair probably wasn’t available.
    Exercise is everything.

  13. I do work out with weights but I once read in an article that walking was best for cellulite, and I have noticed a dramatic decrease with mine since losing weight and walking 4 miles about 3 times a week for a while (like, a couple of years.) Takes me about an hour and 15 minutes for each walking session. I also do the sprints as suggested by Mark.

  14. “Furthermore, our fat cells arrange themselves in more bulge-prone vertical columns as opposed to the more restrictive, reinforced net-like design men have.”

    I didn’t know this. I’d be interested in learning more. Can anyone direct me to a reputable source that discusses this claim? Very interesting.

  15. Great post!

    I’ve heard that bone broth can help with cellulite before, as well. Just another reason to enjoy it!

    As for your last paragraph, I couldn’t agree more. As for swimsuit season, one word … boardshorts! 😉

  16. Lately I have been using a rebounder by ReboundAir. Rebounding is supposed to help the lymphatic system The lady who does my Thermography testing even recommended i use a rebounder. I am hoping that it will help improve the cellulite. I read that it can do that.

  17. I would caution against Retin-A and such as that form of vitamin A blocks vitamin D utilization, a very dangerous proposition.

    Otherwise, the last statement is the right one. Shoot for health and enjoy yourself. I would add that I think men are more appreciative of some padding than the media would have you believe. Get healthy, and if you are still on the voluptuous side, enjoy it!

    1. Retin-A and glycolic acid products have given me clear skin for the first time in my life. I don’t think Grok and Grokette had to deal with the social stigma from acne and signs of aging, although perhaps they didn’t suffer from it. I think you get enough vitamin A from eating primally such that topical application wouldn’t be detrimental to your health. Retin-A is lifechanging! 😀

  18. My experience (as an acupuncturist) with treating cellulite is that it takes about 10 treatments to have a significant reduction (80-90% gone with decreased “lumpyness”) and 1 treatment a month to maintain. Pretty expensive solution in my mind, but some are willing to pay it.

  19. I’ve been thin to fat, mostly in between, but I’ve consistently walked 2-6miles a day for thirty years, and no cellulite, though my mother had it in spades. Also maintained great bone density.

    1. In college I walked several miles nearly every day to and from my house to school. Same in high school. I never had a car. And I DID have cellulite. It’s not quite that simple.

      1. So true, Peggy. This was my experience with cellulite, too. I’ve always been thin and active, but I’ve had cellulite since high school.

        After much investigation (I write The Cellulite Investigation blog mentioned above –thanks, Carrie!), I am realizing that cellulite is caused by lymphatic congestion. Anything that impairs lymphatic flow can contribute to cellulite. For some people, it could be sugar, grains, or lack of movement. In my case, I learned that fluoride clogs my lymphatic system, probably because of the fluoride pills I took as a child (fluoride accumulates in bones, skin, and fat).

        So now I am focusing on detoxifying fluoride from my body. So far it has eliminated my chronic cystic acne, but I am still working on the cellulite!

        It is fascinating to read through all these comments. A big thanks to Marc’s Daily Apple for bringing up this issue!

        1. Oh dear, so embarrassing. I meant Mark’s Daily Apple! (force of habit, my significant other is named Marc!)

  20. Nothing about cellulite that a cute pair of board shorts can’t cure… it’s a temporary fix while we wait for society to stop expecting women to look airbrushed.

  21. Consistent with the whole primal re-evolution, we are either signaling that we are workers/breeders or we are out to pasture (weakening of connective tissue), and make way for the breeders.
    Ugly cellulite is yet another evolutionary breeding cue–as in, ‘this specimen is not a breeder’.
    This sounds so mean. Sorry..just evolution letting us know how to live.

    1. Bill, if “ugly” cellulite was actually a breeding cue, then I rather imagine it might have been bred out of the population, as several people above have mentioned that they had cellulite even when young and slim.

      1. I noticed that too. Personally, I don’t think cellulite is natural in young women. I think, like the floppy dorsal fin of a SeaWorld orca, it’s another symptom of captivity. I grew up here in the South and I have noticed that many people of African descent have prodigious stretch marks from things as innocuous as bench pressing. Because their skin is so dark and they tend to grow pigment free, heavily cheloided scars, the stretch marks are very evident: visible at a glance from a short distance away. But I cannot recall ever seeing a stretch mark on a National Geographic documentary of their H-G counterparts in Africa. Unless pure Africans grow a different kind of scar tissue, it would appear that they are not developing stretch marks. I have always wondered about this. Perhaps MDA could take on stretch marks as well?

    2. This guy is obviously a jerk, to come onto a comment page full of women and essentially tell us were all ugly and not fit for mating.

      That said, he brings an up interesting point. I have never felt like cellulite is right – maybe I’ve just been conditioned to think so – but, honestly, how many of us were grazers before we discovered paleo? And when did the cellulite develop? Not since we started eating paleo that’s for sure, if nothing else, it’s improved since then.

      I think it makes sense that people should disdain cellulite. It is a sign of something being amiss and, quite possibly, just what jerk head suggested – that we’re not strong breeders. Infertility is another plague of the grazers you know… Society isn’t going to accept cellulite. Women will just have to just ignore what people think or lose a little more fat.

      1. Many men love their women slightly plump. Plumpness is the sign for fertility. Women that are extremely thin or thick have a hard time getting pregnant. It’s the very nice fit and slightly healthy plump ones that are very fertile.

        I know of many cultures that look upon a thin woman as being sick. If I was Grok I’d prefer the woman of my children to have padding, a calorie and nutrient storage for hard times to come so the baby could be kept alive.

        Nobody wants a pile of bones in the bedroom. 🙂

        1. the ideal body fat percentage for fertility is 20-25%, and even at the top of that range, a woman does not look “plump”. i don’t think women should be shamed for being plump, and it’s wonderful that when so many of them are, there are folks out there who find their bodies genuinely appealing. it’s a good match of the times. but that doesn’t mean plump women are fertile. it doesn’t take very much insulin resistance at all to wreak havoc on women’s reproductive systems, and someone who’s plump is likely a fair bit insulin resistant, unless she is very active or already in the process of losing weight.

          also, look at all the slender african women giving birth to 8, 9, 10 babies apiece. it’s only in wealthy countries where you can actually find a significant number of plump women that you find significant rates of infertility, right? i think that idea that plump = fertile is as off base as the rest of the common wisdom that advises low fat diets & such.

    3. Don’t be a hater cause you hate yourself.
      Btw, your shoulders are sagging.

    4. I couldn’t disagree more. Not one man I knew in Africa would agree with you either. Cellulite would actually signal to grok that the woman had sufficient fat stores to carry a baby to term and breastfeed thereafter. The woman with cellulite would, in fact, be the best choice for breeding.

    5. Wow, absolute nonsense here.

      If cellulite gave any hints about fertility, they would be in the opposite direction, actually. Did you know that the fat stored in butt, hips and thighs is the first to be used in the production of milk (breastfeeding)?

      Also, allow me to say that it’s not elegant to hear old, not exactly handsome guys talking that way about females. To be more precise, it’s just… pathetic.

  22. hahahahahahah
    Good luck to those men considering cellulite to be a cue to not breed. Your tight little piece of a$$ will get flawed in due time unless of course your paying for some un-primal and evolutionary plastic surgery.

    1. Yeah like, I know, seriously. Like, homo sapiens sapiens isn’t supposed to be monogamous anywayzz, so like, when I need it in 15 years, I’m totally getting some plastic surgery @ my posh Bev Hills cosmetic surgeon. To like, you know, look like a totally 100% primal piece of @$$ when I’m like totally 100% past my prime.

      1. There is no need to settle for a broad that has had plastic surgery. That is not primal. A smart man with a decent income will trade up. After all, why buy when you can lease? You know that is what Grok did.

  23. I didn’t even know men could have cellulite. In the least, I have never seen it.

    Anyways, why does fat deposit itself in different patterns as you described in the article? I’m curious to know.

    1. I’ve seen plenty of men with cellulite during my life time…all of them in the United States.

  24. I don’t get massages, but anytime I think about it I reach down and rub my thighs and butt area (when no one’s looking!). Doing this for a few seconds a few times a day does make a difference.

  25. Hey carrie, thanks for addressing the issue of cellulite. It is something I want to keep in mind for pre-emptive measures, as I want to have a couple more babies in the future. I am lucky to not deal with it, but I am also primal and have been for years, I sprint twice a week, and I’ve been lifting heavy for the past four years. I had a baby recently and noticed some more subcutaneous fat on my butt post-partum, but after getting back to my regular routine, I don’t have it any more. In addition to what you suggested which I think is SPOT on, I would recommend IT every now and then, and one week/two week ketosis cycles (though more infrequent with ketosis than IT). I breastfed for 1 year and don’t know if that is another reason why post-baby I didn’t have cellulite issues, but I have heard that breastfeeding also aids in pulling from those grey fat sources that can lead to cellulite. Don’t know the science behind it or if it is even legit, however.

    Just my two cents! Thanks again!

    1. I meant IF as in intermittent fasting, by the way, not IT. I was reading about the IT band this morning. Got mixed up!

  26. I have always been slim, but I use to be a fat-skinny person (slim, but no muscle). Since the age of 16 I noticed I had a cellulite, but it is not surprising because I use to live off grains, sugar & dairy, I have always been arty rather than sporty and (I guess as a result) had bad blood circualtion. Since taking up yoga 10 years ago, and eating mostly primal since 2 years ago I have seen a big improvement, but I seriously doubt I will ever totally get rid of my cellulite. I do notice that as soon as I cheat with sugar/grains again, my cellulite seems a lot more visible.

  27. I also wonder how much a sedentary lifestyle is part of the problem. If it’s an issue of both circulation and push/pulling against connective tissue, wouldn’t sitting on your behind with your thighs squished against the seat make it worse? I know my butt & thighs have the worst cellulite and it would make sense. A standing desk and plenty of low intensity walking sure wouldn’t hurt. Though it may be a better preventive than a cure after years of office work.

  28. This is probably my favorite post I’ve ever come across on this blog which I read at least 3-4 times a week. I can remember having cellulite on the back of my legs as a kid and still have to this day. I’ve never been either overweight or extremely thin. I have been primal and a CrossFitter for about a year and have seen some improvement in the level of cellulite but I’m amazed that it’s still there. I never knew that it could be related to circulation, genetics, caffeine, massages, or anything like that. So thank you to Ms. Janet who decided to ask the question that it looks like 80% of us women have had on our minds!

  29. I know from experience that cellulite can be completely eliminated. I have had cellulite all my life but after a 4 week trek to Everest, I came back 15 pounds lighter, super energetic and without ANY cellulite. But it will return if one goes back to old ways and a sedentary lifestyle.

    It came down to a lot of exhausting mountain hiking, drinking a lot of water to keep hydrated (especially important at altitude) and eating a non-Western diet.

    Cellulite will disappear completely but it takes a lot of physical effort, daily activity level, proper diet and lots of water.

    My advice to women is put on your hiking boots and head for the hills on a regular basis and drink lots of water. Forget all the gimmicks out there in the marketplace.

    1. This is such a cool story, Kirsch! Do you mind if I add it to our collection of cellulite success stories?

      1. Hi Melissa,

        Please go ahead. I am happy to share. I hope this helps someone. I look back with such fond memories of that trip.

        The hiking was very strenuous at times. We were sweating bricks and drinking gallons of water! At the end of each day we literally fell into our sleeping bags. Now that’s a real vacation!

        1. It sounds like the adventure of a lifetime!

          Thanks again, I just added your cellulite story to our list of real women who have overcome the blight. There’s a link in the left sidebar of the site if you want to see it. Yours is #17. Wahoo!

  30. Ladies, don’t worry about cellulite.

    Many men, myself included, love to feel and massage that softness.

  31. Thanks for your article, my cellulite has got worse over the last couple of months because I have stopped my daily walk, I don’t have as much time so I’m going to start exercising thanks for your advice 🙂

  32. Haha.. I just have to add that I don’t give a… uhh, I don’t care if some man, many men, any man likes to massage cellulite!!!!!

  33. I’m glad you mention TCM, specifically acupuncture. Exactly as Doctor Murad explains the cause–water and toxins–TCM blames this as well, calling this blend a pathogenic evil known as “dampness” (which we in the west, we call fat). One of the best ways to remove “dampness” is through acupuncture. But I’d also add moxibustion, the burning of mugwort leaves, for the elimination of cellulite. You can buy the sticks on amazon, light them and hold them close to your cellulite area for about 10-20min. This secret was taught to me by a TCM doctor in Shanghai. (There’s a post on my blog if anyone is looking for more explanation– .)

    And I agree with the yoga suggestion, too!

  34. Do you ever wonder why Brazilians rarely have cellulite (even the overweight ones)? Well, it’s because they do weekly massages. I am currently going to a Brazilian lady to get my nails done and started noticing these women coming in and out of the massage portion of the salon. I asked my nail lady and she said that most Brazilians get intense weekly massages that help with circulation and to disperse the fat so that it does not clump together. She said that initially you have to go about twice a week for almost a month, but then it is just maintenance after that. She also said that it may cause bruising initially and can be uncomfortable, but as with anything, you get used to it. Anyways, I just wanted to throw that out there. I plan on looking into this myself soon.

  35. I was going to say the same thing, Kristen. My trainer put me on foam rolling for other reasons, and it sure has improved my cellulite. (Hurt like heck at first…be prepared!)

  36. I am not convinced on this lymphatic business, but then again, I haven’t made any great strides to eliminate anything but grains, gluten and dairy (you will pry my coffee from my cold, dead hands)

  37. I’ve been reading a lot about gelatin and it’s benefits for stretch marks during pregnancy, etc. I love the idea of being able to make a quick grass-fed gelatin snack instead of toiling and making a ton of broth. I read that it is classified as a Category C by the FDA. Any thoughts as to why this would be potentially harmful during pregnancy?

  38. I have lost all of my baby weight from having my 3rd daughter and of course being a 32 year old mother of 3, there can be areas that needa little extra help. I read a review that if you use the Lady Soma Berry Masque on cellulite – it would work. This is a glyolic mask.

    This mask will not replace proper diet and working out. However, in conjunction with, it is excellent. Decided to try the Lady Soma Mask on my stretch marks – I apply it to the area I want to treat and I wrap myself in saran plastic wrap. I see beautiful smooth results. I’ve even noticed a HUGE decrease in the creases on the skin on my neck. Which has been a proble since I was young. Anyway, my BUT is, you have to still work out, eat right and drink lots of h20. Enjoy the results!

  39. Cellulite is both hormonal and genetic. Statistically over 90% of women in the world have it – in different countries and across different age groups. I have seen very overweight middle aged women with no cellulite, while thin or athletic women in their 20s and 30s had it. Therefore while being overweight can increase your chances of developing cellulite, different things play a part too. It is not uncommon for even a skinny teenager to start noticing some cellulite. In fact due to hormonal changes, stretch marks and cellulite can appear during the teenage years in some people. Men can get cellulite too, but women are more probe to it. Cellulite is not deadly. If you look after yourself than your health is fine. Some women eat healthy, exercise and are fit, but they still can’t get rid of cellulite. Therefore there is no single cause or simple solution. In reality if you are generally fit and healthy, then you have nothing to worry about. Even models and celebrities have cellulite. If a man criticizes you just for having cellulite, then clearly he doesn’t know anything about it and you should just remind him that he is not as handsome as Henry Cavill or Taylor Lautner either 😉

  40. Hi There,

    I’ve been following a low carb high fat eating lifestyle for 2months now and been following your forum and blog. I am active and not over weight and extremely happy with this lifestyle, however I have seen an increase in cellulite. I read up on this and came across some sources saying that animal fats cause cellulite – is this true ?

    Thank you Tanya

  41. I’ve had cellulite since puberty- and a bigger butt since eating primal 2 years. The rest of me is lean and strong, so why stress over some extra jiggle? I say rock that bikini and show off that fertile goddess figure!

  42. I’m way late to this conversation but just recently became more interested in collagen health as I’m about to turn 40. I also had a close acquaintance pass from cerebral aneurysm. What started as a vain pursuit has become much more profound. It seems that collagen health is not only potentially related to aneurysms but also a multitude of other issues that I don’t want to suffer, for example, herniated disks, easily sprained joints, osteoarthritis, varicose veins, even possibly mitral valve prolapse. I’m sure there are many more. I’ve been stirring hydrolyzed collagen into beverages for about 2 months as well as taking a liquid collagen product called AminoSculpt. I’m shocked to see that the cellulite on the backs of my legs is nearly completely gone. As a bonus, all of the glycine in these 2 products makes for beautiful sleep.

  43. Ok, I’m quite familiar and experienced with cellulite creams and have had some excellent results in the past but I am certainly experiencing very positive results with the Somaluxe Organic Firming Lotion and its a fraction of the cost of what I’ve paid for many other ones.

    The Somaluxe Firming Lotion contains retinol, caffeine, vitamins C and B5, Shea butter and cocoa butter. Most importantly (for me, anyway) the product is made in the U.S.A; a country with strict legislation around health and beauty products.

    I used the product twice a day (morning and night) as directed – just like every other cellulite cream I’ve tried – so it easily fits in with your routine. Maybe its psychological, but I feel I’m already noticing differences and I’ve been using it less than a week.

  44. Combining glycolic acid and Retin-A or Vitamin A works great. I agree. When used together, glycolic acid and Vitamin A has very dramatically improves the appearance of my stretch marks. I use the Lady Soma Berry Glycolic Mask, because it has VERY strong glycolic acid and the Vitamin A. If you are using it for the first time, only leave it on for 5 minutes! It will burn you if you leave longer but it does work!

  45. I’ve tried numerous cellulite creams (too many to name) and dermalmd cellulite serum is by far the best. I started to see results fairly quickly and definitely notice a reduction in visible cellulite. Great customer service. Highly recommended!

  46. After 3 pregnancies in 4 years, it definitely left a mark on my body…Stretch marks. I have them on my breast, stomach and back from my body growing to accommodate little humans. Since using the Somaluxe Glycolic Mask on them, it seems to have drastically lightened my stretch marks! I know they may never be gone but I am very happy with what the oils has done to them after almost 2 weeks.

    You just apply the mask on your cellulite, leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse it off.