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Can You Get Rid of Cellulite With Diet & Exercise?

By Amanda Knaebel

Women spend more than $12 million a year on products and procedures that promise to get rid of cellulite, according to The Dr. Oz Show website. For the most part, these potions and devices do very little. Because cellulite is simply fat that bulges between the connective tissues that separate fat cells, reducing your body fat percentage is the best way to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity are the best ways to keep your weight and body fat percentage under control.

Regular Cardio

Regular aerobic exercise burns calories and reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. It's also an important component of a plan to reduce cellulite. Aim for 30 minutes of cardio most days of the week. The "2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans" recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, but the more you do, the greater the benefits. Personal trainer Joe Dowdell recommends regular high-intensity interval training for cellulite busting because it burns more calories in less time and speeds up your metabolism following your workout.

Strength Training

Cardio isn't the only component of an exercise program to fight cellulite. Strength training increases muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat. The more toned you are, the tighter your skin will appear, and this can help minimize the appearance of cellulite. Do strength-training moves for your upper and lower body two to three times a week. A study led by Wayne Westcott, a fitness research director at a Massachusetts YMCA, found that people who engaged in aerobic exercise lost 4 pounds of fat and gained no muscle, while participants who did aerobic exercise and strength training dropped 10 pounds of fat and added 2 pounds of muscle in eight weeks.

Dietary Considerations

Eating a healthy, balanced diet helps prevent your body from storing excess fat and keeps your weight under control. Stick to a variety of veggies, fruits, whole grains and lean sources of protein, such as poultry and beans, to make up the bulk of your diet. These foods provide the vitamins and nutrients you need, without adding an overabundance of calories and fat grams. Watch your salt intake as well. Sodium causes your body to retain water, which can worsen the appearance of cellulite, according to The Dr. Oz Show. Keep your sugar intake under 6 teaspoons a day since excess sugar gets stored as fat, making your fat cells swell and more likely to bulge into cellulite.

Staying Hydrated

Make sure you're staying hydrated and opt for water in place of sugary beverages as much as possible. Water strengthens collagen, which can help your skin look smoother, explains the Cosmopolitan website. It also plumps the skin to reduce the bulging appearance of cellulite and helps your body rid itself of excess fat. Drink to thirst throughout the day and consume extra when you're working out or when the weather gets hot.

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