Cellulite is simply fat and even the fittest athletes can be affected. Unfortunately genetics will dictate the amount of fat cells you have and where you have them. We all have connective tissue that separates these fat cells into compartments and in women, this tissue is similar to a honeycomb shape giving fat the chance to bulge. This appearance is referred to as cellulite…most commonly known as "cottage cheese". The good news is that even if you were dealt unfavorable genetics you can decrease the appearance of cellulite by pumpin' some iron!  

The Study. Fitness researcher and author of "No More Cellulite", Wayne Wescott PhD, designed a cellulite reduction program to test the effects of exercise on cellulite. This program was performed three days a week by the control group and included a 20 minute strength training program, combining 5 upper body exercises and 5 lower body exercises, along with 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. he compared the control group with the subjects whose exercise was limited to only steady-state cardiovascular exercise. His studies showed that those who strength trained changed their body composition by adding muscle and decreasing fat causing a reduction in the appearance of cellulite. While those who performed only cardiovascular exercise lost weight but did NOT show a measurable difference in body composition or in the appearance of cellulite. Also he noted that when the participants combined the exercise program with a healthy diet, they doubled their fat loss. 

The Warnings. Losing weight does not equate to losing fat. Avoid fad diets or quick weight loss gimmicks. Losing weight can possibly mean you are also losing muscle. The goal should be to preserve muscle and lose FAT. Realize that muscle is what helps to speed up your metabolism, burning more calories which helps to keep you lean. So losing muscle by dieting will not help the task of reducing cellulite. Furthermore, when you come off a fad diet, which will happen, you will regain that weight and be back where you started, or even worse! 

Also beware of creams and wraps that promise to reduce cellulite. A topical cream cannot penetrate the skin to rearrange fat cells in your body. As for wraps, yes you may see a temporary difference that day because your skin has been compressed giving it a smooth appearance, but it will be back to normal in the next day or so. These are quick fixes and are not solutions. 

The Conclusion. You may not have control of whether or not you have been cursed with cellulite, but you certainly have control of how to reduce the appearance of it. To ward off cellulite, us experts recommend a regular exercise routine involving strength training, cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet. Avoid quick fixes and adopt the healthy lifestyle to reduce the cottage cheese! 

By Liza Hughes RN
Lifestyle Coach to Women

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