How to Reduce Cellulite >> Nutrition + Exercises for Toned Legs & Butt

Image from behind of a young woman standing on stairs outside.

Algae body wraps, anti-cellulite oil or a 10-day serum… Let’s be honest: all those high-priced magic cures that are supposed to get you rid of cellulite over night just don’t work. Hardly any woman can show off smooth and even skin on her thighs. Most of us walk around with orange-peel skin. Did you know that 80% of all women suffer from cellulite? Well, it’s good to know, you’re not alone.

The good news: There are ways to reduce the symptoms of orange-peel skin. Nutrition, foam rolling and your motivation to get fit are the keys to toned legs and a firm butt. 

Young woman stretching

What is cellulite?

First of all, cellulite is not a disease. This term rather describes the fat tissue under your skin which usually is present your in thighs and butt. It is mainly women who suffer from cellulite pockets in their skin. But why is it mostly women struggling with the so-called orange-peel skin? Because they have a thinner skin compared to men. Fat cells and collagen fibers are intertwined in a net-like structure in a man’s subcutaneous tissue. Those fibers are parallel in women, making the tissue less stable. Therefore, fat cells can emerge at the surface by passing in between the collagen fibers. And this is what we perceive as uneven “orange-peel skin.” However, men can also show signs of cellulite when suffering from a lack of androgens, the male sex hormones.

Reasons for cellulite

So, who or what is to blame for orange-peel skin besides the already mentioned weak connective tissue?

  • Genetic predisposition: Unfortunately, those lumps under your skin are hereditary. If your mom is struggling with weak connective tissue, you’re more likely to get cellulite too…
  • Hormones: You feel like a walking orange right before your period? This might be due to changes in your hormone balance. Plus, did you know that also birth control pills can promote cellulite on thighs and butt?
  • Unhealthy lifestyle: Alcohol, cigarettes or stress all have negative effects on your body. Unhealthy food choices foster cellulite too, as excess body fat is often deposited in affected zones like your thighs.

Eine Frau schneiden Zitronen und Limetten auf einem Holzbrett

Nutrition tips to reduce cellulite

A healthy, balanced diet is not just great to shed a few pounds, but also to “peel off” that orange skin. Actually, it benefits your entire body. Bigger fat cells in your thighs and backside aren’t just annoying, but they also squeeze your blood vessels. As a consequence, the blood flow in your whole body is hampered, your metabolism slows down and lymph drainage is impaired. This, in turn, makes your skin less tight and nasty orange-peel pockets become even more visible. So, what do we do? Boost your metabolism! Say no to fast food, as well as fatty foods, alcohol and sugar. All those are cellulite’s best friends and foster its existence. Plus, they can all lead to being overweight.

How to use nutrition to get rid of cellulite:

  1. Lots of liquids: Drink enough liquid like water or unsweetened tea (try green tea or nettle tea) during the day. This helps your body transport vital nutrients to its cells and eliminate waste products.
  2. Low-sodium nutrition: Did you know that foods rich in salt lead to liquid retention in body tissue? The bloated tissue makes the orange-peel look even more visible.
  3. Foods rich in potassium: Go for foods like apricots, bananas, potatoes, ginger and artichokes. They have one thing in common: they contain lots of potassium. This important mineral helps with oxygen and nutrient transport to your cells. Moreover, potassium also promotes the excretion of waste products from your body while cells are repaired and renewed. Also nuts with a high Vitamin E content are great for your skin. But, keep in mind that nuts contain lots of fats, too, which promotes weight gain. A handful a day is enough.
  4. Vitamin C: Bell peppers and kiwis are both rich in Vitamin C, which fosters collagen production in your body. And collagen is responsible for smooth and even skin.

High angle point of view of female hands cutting Portobello mushrooms. Various fresh and healthy vegetables are on wooden table. Woman is cooking food. She is domestic kitchen.

A general rule to follow:

Avoid crash diets! The quick weight loss (and gain) can promote cellulite. Plus, you also lose muscle with crash diets, which leads to a more visible and less even tissue.

If you’re looking for nutrition tips, check out our blog posts on reasons to quit sugar, healthy foods that cleanse the body or the difference between good and bad calories!

Exercise tips to reduce cellulite

Now that we’ve talked about the number one ally in your fight against cellulite, it’s time to get active. Literally. If you really want to lose weight and/or tone your body, as well as get rid of cellulite, you need to get moving. Strengthen your butt and thigh muscles to reduce fat cells in these areas and to tighten your connective tissue.

Woman doing forward lunges in the park

Squats, lunges or a HIIT workout–they all strengthen your legs and basically the entire body. Plus, those exercises will boost your metabolism. Bodyweight-Training is also very effective if you’re looking to work out several muscle groups at the same time. Need some workout inspiration? Check out Fitness Coach Lunden’s blog post about the eight best bodyweight exercises for women. For those aiming at burning fat, too: try tabata training, interval runs, hill workouts or skipping rope! Or just pick one of these 4 amazing fat burning workouts.

Try these legs & butt exercises you can do at home:

And here’s one last tip:

have you ever heard of fascia training or foam rolling? Fascia is what keeps the muscular connective tissue together in your body. After an intense workout or tons of squats, your muscles need time for recovery. Good thing you can help! Try foam rolling to promote your regeneration.

What’s your secret to toned legs and a firm butt? 

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Tina Sturm-Ornezeder Tina is a passionate editor, loves avocados & yoga and is very curious. She likes to discover new trends and report on them. View all posts by Tina Sturm-Ornezeder »

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