Ask Dr. Monti: Are There Any Natural Ways to Fight Cellulite?

Answer from Daniel A. Monti, director of the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital

Daniel A. Monti, MD

Question: Help! Bathing suit season is coming up fast. Are there any natural, non-invasive ways to get rid of and prevent cellulite?

Answer: Cellulite is caused when deposits of fat alter the connective tissues underneath the skin. This process can create visible changes in the shape and appearance of skin. A variety of factors, including total amount of body fat, gender, genetic predisposition, and lifestyle, determine the prevalence of cellulite. It is important to note that while obese people will often have visible cellulite, visible cellulite alone does not mean one is obese.

There is no “magic bullet” when it comes to cellulite, and the best defenses are preventive. The best ways to minimize the onset and effects of cellulite are through diet and exercise. Our Great Life Makeover diet is a good place to start. It is plant-based: rich in vegetables, some fruit, and whole grains. You can have modest amounts of unprocessed, lean animal protein, such as fresh fish. As much as possible, avoid sugar, animal fat, alcohol, and processed foods completely.

Likewise, regular exercise is important for minimizing excess weight and cellulite. And like a good diet, the effects are far greater reaching than aesthetic appearance. The best regimen includes a combination of cardio, moderate strength training, and stretching.

There are a few non-surgical techniques such as ultrasound and devices that deliver specialized massages that can be found at spa facilities and some medical offices. Unfortunately, there is not enough data for me to make a recommendation. Overall, lifestyle is the best defense. However, once cellulite and fat deposits form, they sometimes can be tough to get rid of no matter how stringently one adheres to lifestyle interventions. For those who have tried everything and are desperate for a solution, a board-certified plastic surgeon can offer some additional options.

E-mail Dr. Monti your question here, and he could answer it an upcoming blog post! Dr. Monti is Director of the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the author of “The Great Life Makeover”. Read more about him here.

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