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The Truth About Cellulite & How to Treat It

By Johnny Lavot

Have you been cursed with those lumpy, cottage cheese like areas of fat on your thighs, hips, buttocks, and other parts of your body? There's a good chance; 85% of women are already afflicted with these same cellulite woes. The term "cellulite" is not a common term around the medical community - it was actually first created in European spas. Then, in the early 1970's a man by the name of Nicole Ronsard published the book Cellulite: Those Lumps, Bumps, and Bulges You Couldn't Lose Before. The term "cellulite" then spread throughout America.

If you're like most women, you are probably wondering what causes cellulite and how you can get rid of it. Well, there are several factors that contribute to the cause of cellulite. Some of these factors are age, genetics, your body fat percentage, your level of hydration, and possibly whether or not you smoke or ingest caffeine.

One of the most prominent and widely accepted causes of cellulite has to due with how the skin is constructed and how the fat around it is situated. In the skin, there are tough strands of fibrous tissue that connect the skin to the rest of the body called the "septa". The septa anchors at certain points - similar to a net. This net of fibrous - the septa - tissue exists above the layer of fat in your body. However, sometimes fat makes its way through the holes in this net of fibrous tissue and therefore plumps the fat outward. This plumping of fat causes the "cottage cheese" resemblance of cellulite. Many times, even if a woman has a very low body fat percentage, if the skin around that area is pinched, then some cellulite can still remain visible; however, most women probably only care about cellulite when it is only visible without pinching.

Other reasons/theories exist as to the cause of cellulite, but the actual cause is probably a combination of more than one thing. Carole Walderman, aesthetician and president of Von Lee International School of Aesthetics, in Baltimore, states, "Cellulite is a combination of fat globules, waste matter, and water imprisoned in connective tissue." Another theory is that the makeup of the strands of fibrous tissue in men and women are different - for instance, a man's net of fibrous tissue forms a net that is perpendicular, where as a woman's net of fibrous tissue is formed by X's. Also, the fibrous tissue may be tighter in women, which would cause a much more pronounced plumping effect in women in comparison to men.

Treatments for Cellulite

Just Lose the Fat

Since an excessive body fat percentage is probably the most prominent reason for the cause of cellulite, the best, most permanent, and most effective course of action is to simply lose fat. Obviously, there are many options in this area due to the fact that there are hundreds of diet programs, pills, supplements, etc. A very effective and recommended (by the author of this article) program to accomplish this is entitled "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle," by Tom Venuto. More information on "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" can be found at

Mechanical Massage

Another popular, and somewhat pricey, treatment for cellulite is called endermology, or mechanical massage. In this treatment, layers of cellulite are rolled between rollers and sucked on with a vacuum with low pressures to "stretch" the septa. The appearance of cellulite is supposed to become smoother - similar to if you were to roll cottage cheese between two rollers. Obviously, the cottage cheese would no longer be as lumpy. There are many studies going on to determine the effectiveness of these treatments, but their effectiveness remains questioned.


This is a simple treatment. Drink more water. Carole Walderman, mentioned above in this article, states, "I have found that a lot of people who have cellulite don't drink enough water." Even if water doesn't reduce your appearance of cellulite, it does too many other important things to be passed up anyway.

Topical Treatments

In the world of health and fitness, there are many marketers trying to take advantage of consumers who are ready to spend anything to treat their problems. Many times, products like these will make vague claims like "improve circulation", "reduce the appear of cellulite", or "stimulate the release of fat". These claims sound scientific to the unknowledgeable consumer; I mean, what is bad about improving circulation? 90% of the time these marketers will exaggerate claims from poorly designed studies, claim that a certain ingredient does something special, but rarely to what degree they accomplish it. Another common generalization of these products is to "stimulate the release of fat". There may be one or two studies that verify this, but even if these products accomplish this, the effect of them is extremely minimal compared to what intelligent dieting and exercise can do.

Then again, there is a possibility that some of the ingredients in topical creams may benefit in reducing cellulite. However, many times there are several ingredients mixed into one cream. This makes it extremely hard to find out which ingredient is actually producing results. If you decide to go this route (please incorporate diet and exercise too), then ask your dermatologist before purchasing anything.

Nicotine and Caffeine

Another theory that holds investigation is the use of caffeine and nicotine. You can help aid in your fight against cellulite by halting the use of these, since they constrict blood vessels. This theory may need more investigation.

All in all, cellulite is a tough foe. There are several treatments for it; many of them are a waste of money or have a very minimal effect. The most effective way to reduce cellulite is to treat it at the root of its cause - where fat makes it way through the net of fibrous tissue that makes up your skin to cause several small pits or domes. The best way to accomplish this is through intelligent dieting and exercise. You can find more information on how to diet and exercise intelligently at

About The Author
Johnny Lavot is an avid weight-loss and fitness researcher. You can find tons more information on these topics at

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