Home / / 7 Myths and Facts about Cellulite

7 Myths and Facts about Cellulite

By Rachael Attard, Updated Oct 2, 2018
cellulite exercise

Recently, I was chatting with two of my girlfriends. One of them loves to exercise and is very fit. However, she was complaining about the cellulite on her legs. My other friend was shocked. She couldn’t understand how such a fit person could still have cellulite despite exercise. 

This reminded me of all the myths I’ve heard about cellulite over the years. Women ask about the cellulite on their legs all the time. You often ask me how to get rid of cellulite and if working out helps smooth out your legs.

Women have been trying to get rid of cellulite for decades, so there’s bound to be some misinformation out there on the topic. Today, let’s set the record straight on cellulite. Let’s look at some myths and facts about cellulite:

1. FACT: If you want to get rid of cellulite, you need to eat well.

This one is first because it is so, so important. When girls ask me what the best treatment for cellulite is, this is what I tell them. If you are eating and drinking healthy food, your body is going to show it.

Try to cut out simple carbohydrates and excess salt. Instead, eat food full of fibre (like vegetables) and make sure to drink plenty of water. If you’re unsure how to change your diet, you can find inspiration from my daily diet here.

Also, people who drink a lot of alcohol and who smoke are more likely to have cellulite. These habits can hurt you in so many ways. They are worth eliminating from your day to day life! 

cellulite exercise

2. MYTH: Healthy, fit people don’t have cellulite.

Anybody can have cellulite. In fact, roughly 80 to 90% of women have cellulite on their legs, and this certainly includes people who exercise.

Many people find this confusing because they believe that cellulite is just excess fat. However, this isn’t the case. Cellulite is actually caused when the fibrous tethers that run through your fat pull the fascia that rests under your skin.

If you’re not an anatomy expert, this might be confusing. Don’t worry! Essentially, this just means that cellulite is caused by the way your fat is structured. I’ve written more about cellulite causes here.

As women, we should all have some fat (and different body types carry fat differently!). This is part of what makes our bodies so unique and amazing. Because of this, it is natural that even a lean, healthy person has some cellulite.

3. FACT: Exercise can help the appearance of cellulite.

The fittest women in the world might have cellulite. Even celebrities with professional trainers and super specific diets have cellulite on their legs.

However, without exercise, these women would probably have more cellulite than they do. Exercise can help stimulate blood flow throughout your bodies. Additionally, exercise helps to strengthen the muscles, which will strengthen the tissues under your skin.

Girls often ask me if they can work out to lose cellulite, and they wonder what the best exercises for this are.

If you have extra weight that you need to lose, cardio can help the appearance of cellulite because it is the fastest way to lose weight. If you’re already lean, you might need to consider adding some light strength training and stretching into your exercise routine.

My 3 Steps to Lean Legs program includes strength training exercises that are perfect for this. These exercises help you build just enough muscles to firm up your jiggly bits, but they won’t make your legs look any bigger.

4. MYTH: Yoga pants and other compression garments help cellulite.

You might love showing off a perky butt in your yoga pants, but don’t expect any compression garments to help your cellulite in the long run. If you read about compression pants online for cellulite, don’t fall for it. These pants are really just a marketing trick, and your money is best spent elsewhere.

Also, make sure that you’re wearing the right sized yoga pants and other pants. Some doctors believe that tight pants can actually make cellulite temporarily worse because these outfits can cut off your blood flow. Ouch!

Related post: What To Do If You’re Skinny Fat

5. FACT: Your genetics and age matter.

Estrogen tells your body how to structure its fat. This is why little kids (even if they are overweight) never have cellulite. Their bodies aren’t producing enough estrogen to make cellulite yet.

This is also why women tend to get more cellulite as they age. The increase of estrogen in their bodies makes cellulite more apparent.

Some of you might have a predisposition for more estrogen in your body, while others of you may not. Either way is okay. However, if you think you might have a hormonal imbalance, make sure to visit a doctor.

Hormonal imbalances can impact cellulite, weight gain, and other important functions in the body. I’ve had my own struggles with hormonal imbalances, and they changed the way my body looked and felt. You can read more about my journey with it here.

6. MYTH: The easiest way to combat cellulite is with creams and scrubs.

Sometimes, certain types of creams can help cellulite a bit. However, researchers and doctors can’t agree on if they make any difference. Some studies say that creams help cellulite a little bit, but others suggest that creams don’t do anything at all.

Besides, these creams often take a long time to work, they’re expensive, and they don’t do much to help. The cellulite home remedies you see all over Pinterest and Instagram won’t do you much good. If you really want to try something on your cellulite, try to stick with:

  • Retinol Creams: These help increase cell turnover in the body. Over time, this can thicken the skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite. If you go this route, make sure to talk to a doctor and patch test. Some people don’t respond well to retinol creams.  
  • Caffeine: Caffeine dries cells out, making them less visible. They need to be applied every day. If you choose to use a caffeine scrub, do your research first. You should only buy scrubs that are backed by research!

cellulite exercise

7. TRUE: Foam rolling and dry rolling can help cellulite look better.

If you want to treat your cellulite at home, try foam rolling or dry brushing. These techniques both help improve your blood flow, and they strengthen the connective fibres that we talked about earlier.

Experts don’t agree if foam rolling actually makes cellulite go away. However, there’s good evidence that foam rolling makes your skin swell very slightly, meaning that it can hide cellulite for a few days. If you want long-term results, you need to keep on rolling or brushing.

I have no problem with women foam rolling. It might not make your cellulite go away completely, but it can help your body stretch out and has lots of other benefits! I suggest foam rolling right before bed, first thing in the morning or after exercise. Your cellulite might get better, your circulation will improve, and you’ll feel relaxed.

Cellulite is such a common issue women worry about. If you eat well, exercise, and foam roll, your cellulite shouldn’t be too apparent. However, remember cellulite is a natural problem. Be kind to yourself as you improve your body. It will always be a journey. 

Picture of Rachael

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

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