Cellulite…it’s nearly every woman’s natural nemesis regardless of body type. Cellulite does not discriminate, is very tough to reduce and has little to do with a person’s weight. What is Cellulite? In simple terms, cellulite occurs when fat deposits expand and move towards the surface of the skin, creating a dimpled appearance. Some main factors that contribute to cellulite include genetics, gender (women are more prone to it via thinner skin and hormones) and diet can also play a role. Over 80% of women in the U.S. have cellulite. Cellulite Reducers: There are tons of “cellulite busting” products on the market – including creams that promise they will reduce the “appearance” of cellulite. The “appearance” is the key part here – because creams do not have the ability to actually melt or reduce fat cells. Any results seen here are temporary, and are usually just a tightening and toning of the skin. 1. Exercise One powerful way to reduce and prevent cellulite is through exercise, which translates into burning fat and gaining muscle. Weight lifting is key here, as building lean muscle mass will reduce the appearance of cellulite and boost your metabolism. One of the most common missteps women make is concentrating on the cardiovascular exercise and skipping the weight training for fear they will “bulk up.” This is a big misconception, as adding the amount of muscle mass to achieve a bulky appearance is extremely tough for most women, and requires ingesting a large amount of protein plus lifting heavy weights. To tone those muscles, quads and derriere (!), try doing some lunges or squats and make sure you sign up with a personal trainer so they can show you the proper way to weight train. Most gyms have a free session with a trainer when you join, so take advantage of this. 2. Diet The other part of the cellulite-busting equation is your diet. Obviously, foods high in saturated fat are a no-no – so avoid those frequent trips to McDonalds or anything deep fried! Foods with lots of chemicals, additives and preservatives also tax the liver, your primary fat burning tool, so avoid these as well. A healthy diet consists of whole-grain carbohydrates, such as brown rice, plain oatmeal or Ezekiel brand bread, which actually contains no flour! Fiber is also high on the cellulite-busting list for its natural body cleansing power, as are raw vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins like chicken and fish. The other key component here is good old H20 – drink at least eight, 8 oz. glasses per day for optimal detoxifying purposes. One thing to remember regarding your diet is MODERATION. Try to stay on target with your healthy eating 5-6 days a week, and allow yourself a “cheat” meal once in awhile or say, dessert on Saturday nights. Completely depriving yourself can be a binging disaster waiting to happen, so give yourself permission to have that ONE piece of pizza once in awhile or ONE piece of birthday cake. 3. Massage/Endermologie Treatments/Laser Therapy According to medicinenet.com, Endermologie has been approved by the FDA as a temporary reducer of cellulite. This treatment uses an electronic device that essentially shifts and redistributes the fat. It is also costly, requires multiple treatments and doesn’t seem to be a permanent solution. According to medicinenet.com, the FDA also approved laser light therapy techniques, which also temporarily reduce cellulite through the massaging of muscles and tissue. These therapies can end up costing individuals thousands of dollars. The Bottom Line about Cellulite: Even if you do eat a diet low in saturated fats and exercise frequently, you may still have cellulite. Supermodels and actresses too have cellulite -- it is just simply airbrushed out of the photographs or hidden with the right lighting. The best thing you can do is aim to be your healthiest, embrace and accept your imperfections, and not stress over cellulite too much.