Getting rid of cellulite

June 22, 2009 12:32:07 PM PDT
We all know what cellulite looks like, but do you know what it really is? Some of you may see it, especially below your waist. You may think once it's there, there's little you can do to get rid of it. We have a real eye-opener to get you on the road to becoming cellulite-free.

Ninety percent of women have it. Even celebrities. Even fitness buffs like Autumn Anderson.

"I've always worked out, but I never reached that level to where I was proud to walk around in a swimsuit," said Anderson.

The older she got, the more the cellulite appeared. So after her 30th birthday, Anderson changed some bad habits, and in a few months she transformed her body. She got on stage for a figure competition wearing virtually nothing.

"It was a two-piece. Teeny tiny. A two-piece that does not cover your butt at all," said Anderson.

Nutritionist Keith Klein runs the Institute of Eating Management and has helped sculpt some of the best bodies in Houston.

"Nobody is stuck with it. If they do the right exercise and they eat the right way, anybody can reduce it dramatically at the very least, and at the very most, get rid of it entirely," said Klein.

Klein told us the skin is held up by tiny pillars filled with collagen. As we gain weight, these pillars can break down especially around our hips and thighs.

Age plays a part too. As we get older, our collagen production slows down and our skin gets thinner so the cellulite shows more.

"So what a lot of people are doing is using creams in an effort to smooth out the top of the skin, but it does nothing to fix the structural defect that's beneath the skin," said Klein.

To fix the structure, you must change from the inside. Klein told Anderson to start eating lots of small meals, instead of loading up once or twice a day.

"On average, the typical woman can assimilate, absorb, and utilize about 350 calories per sitting. So if they eat 1,500 calories in one seating, and can only use 350, the rest has got to be converted to fat," said Klein.

While she continued to eat some carbohydrates like rice and potatoes, Anderson eliminated processed carbs like bread, bagels, and pasta. They are big contributors to cellulite. So are a few other surprising things like alcohol and wine.

"It's a simple sugar that goes right through the stomach wall, floods into the bloodstream, and affects insulin levels which affects fat storage," said Klein.

Dairy products, including whole milk and cheese, and fruit juice have a similar effect.

"Think about how many oranges you'd have to juice to get a glass. It's all that sugar that's in that glass. It's more than a can of Coke," said Klein.

On the flip side, Anderson was told that diet sodas and other carbonated drinks do not cause cellulite.

"If it's a non-caloric soda, it's fine. Carbonation has no interaction to the cellulite process whatsoever," said Klein.

What about salt?

"Nope. I can't see how that would have any interaction at all," said Klein.

Getting rid of cellulite means you're going to have to exercise. If you do hit the gym, do not lift heavy weights because you'll only bulk up and you'll be bigger. So opt for lighter weights and more repetition.

The real key, though, is cardio. Shorter intervals at higher levels.

"If you can talk to the person next to you, you're not doing cardio," said Klein.

As for Anderson now, well, after taking her body to this extreme, she started splurging again and began to see some of the cellulite return.

"You just have to work at it. There's no magic cream. No magic pill. No magic anything," said Anderson.

Klein said most people simply don't realize how much sugar, fat, and calories they're eating every day. For a list of more bad foods that lead to cellulite, and good foods that help to get rid of it, visit our Cellulite: good and bad foods list.

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