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The Truth About Cellulite

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Updated June 04, 2014

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  • Cellulite. If you have it and, frankly, most of us do, you probably have a number of interesting names for it: Cottage cheese thighs, orange peel butt, the mattress phenomenon etc. I bring this up because a client asked me the age-old question: "Why do my thighs look like cottage cheese and how can I get rid of it?" She also expressed surprise when I mentioned most people, particularly women, have cellulite, myself included. In fact, in his article, "Cellulite: A Review of Its Anatomy, Physiology and Treatment," Dr. Len Kravitz states that about 85% of women (post puberty) have some degree of cellulite.

    Though it seems that way, cellulite isn't some kind of punishment for all of our dietary wrongdoings. It's simply fat that lives beneath the skin and protrudes through it in what we consider an unattractive way. The reason it's more prevalent in women is because their connective tissue is structurally different from men. In women, this connective tissue allows the fat to expand into the skin. In men, there can still be fat under the skin, but it moves internally instead. If you look at it philosophically (which I highly recommend you do), it's just one of those differences that makes us who we are.

    The question is, is there any way to get rid of it? You've no doubt heard of treatments such as shock wave therapy, massage, topical ointments, etc. Unfortunately, most of these things don't work, at least for the long-term and most don't have any objective scientific evidence backing up their claims. The best treatment will come as no surprise to you: Losing fat with a complete exercise program and a healthy diet. Even that won't get rid of all cellulite, but it can definitely help.

    What about you? Do you have cellulite and, if so, do you give it mean names? Have you tried to get rid of it and, if so, what has your experience been? Leave a comment and tell us what you think about cellulite.

    Sources:

    Kravitz, L; Achenbach, N. "Cellulite: A Review of Its Anatomy, Physiology and Treatment." IDEA Fitness Journal, 2010;7(4): 37-43.

    Rawlings, A.V. "Cellulite and its treatment." International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2006;28(3): 175 - 190.

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