If you need to know how to get rid of cellulite fast, then you’ve come to the right place. You’re not the only one frustrated by stubborn cellulite.
Cellulite has been a long-standing cosmetic bane for women everywhere, making them hate wearing skirts, shorts, and swimsuits. But did you know there’s more to it than genetics and fat build-up?
You can even lose weight, but shockingly, it can make the cellulite on your thighs and bum look worse. The frustration is real. Every time you step into a changing room or plan a beach vacation, there’s that lurking cellulite dread.
Cellulite is very common in women, and there are tons of “miracle cure” cellulite treatments out there that promise the world but rarely ever deliver. You might have tried every method out there with next to nothing to show for it.
But the good news is cellulite might be stubborn it’s also not unbeatable. Imagine stepping out in your favorite shorts or swimsuit, radiating confidence with smoother skin. Here you’ll discover the fastest way to get rid of cellulite on your thighs and bum using the methods and exercises below.
What is Cellulite?
Many women naturally have some level of cellulite, and it doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy. You can check for cellulite by running your hands down your thighs and seeing ripples or dimples.
Think of cellulite like a mattress with a sheet over it. Now, picture marbles pushed up underneath the sheet. You can see where the little bumps and dimples are and where the marbles are.
Your skin is kinda like that sheet, and beneath it, we have layers of fat. Cellulite happens when the fat pushes against our skin while some tough cords, called connective tissue, pull down. This creates those dimpled or bumpy areas.
Cellulite affects around 85% of women at some point in their lives but only 10% of men.1 It’s less common in men due to differences in fat distribution, skin structure, and connective tissue.
Fat cells in women are arranged in vertical columns as opposed to men, who have theirs arranged in a net-like pattern. Unfortunately for women, this greatly impacts the appearance of cellulite.
The dimpled look of cellulite begins to form when the fat cells under your skin start pushing and pulling on these vertical columns. And the more fat you have underneath your skin, the more it pushes on these fat columns.
You can also have cellulite on your body if you’re thin because you’re “skinny fat.” This is when you appear to be thin, but you still have a high body fat percentage.2 Weight loss alone isn’t enough to lose cellulite since you can still have a high fat-to-muscle ratio and weakened skin structure.
What Causes Cellulite on Hips & Thighs
If you’re wondering why your thighs are so dimpled, then there are a few reasons why you may have stubborn cellulite on your body. Many think a lot of it is genetics which you have absolutely zero control over. It’s true genetics play a role in cellulite, but it’s not everything.3
Women tend to naturally have a pear-shaped body type.4 This instantly makes them more prone to storing excess fat in the lower trunk, like their hips and thighs.5 And the more fat you have in a certain area, the more likely you are to be plagued with cellulite there.6
You can even have a really thin upper body, but if you’re storing excess fat in your hips then your likelihood of cellulite goes way up. Your fat deposits push through your skin, causing this pesky cellulite.7 It’s usually the worst in the butt and thighs but can be present in other areas of the body, like your arms and stomach.
Women’s fat cells underneath their skin are usually arranged vertically, while men’s are typically arranged in a cross structure.8 This makes it significantly easier for women’s fat cells to start pushing their way into the skin.
So if you’re suffering from cellulite, then you most likely have vertically arranged cells of fat.9 But women who are lucky enough to have genetics that arranges theirs in a cross pattern can be overweight but not suffer from cellulite.
Hormones That Cause Cellulite
Hormones play a big role in the formation of cellulite. As you age, hormones can change and fluctuate, contributing to the build-up of cellulite on your hips and thighs.
- Estrogen: This is the primary hormone linked to the formation of cellulite. Estrogen can promote the storage of fat, which can increase the chances of cellulite development.10 As women approach menopause and estrogen levels decrease, and blood flow to the connective tissue under the skin decreases, leading to lower collagen production and fat storage in those areas.
- Insulin: Excess insulin can promote fat storage, contributing to cellulite’s appearance.11
- Thyroid Hormones: These hormones play a crucial role in regulating metabolism. An imbalance, especially hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone), can lead to weight gain and potentially contribute to cellulite formation.12
- Prolactin: This hormone, which helps women produce milk, can also play a role in cellulite formation, especially when levels are elevated.13
- Noradrenaline and adrenaline: These stress hormones can affect fat storage and the overall health of blood vessels. Chronic stress can potentially contribute to cellulite development.
- Progesterone: High levels of progesterone can lead to weight gain, fluid retention, and weak veins, all of which can contribute to the formation of cellulite.14
Hormonal changes such as decreased estrogen can also contribute to cellulite formation. Your body produces less estrogen as you age. This can cause a loss of elasticity in the connective bands that hold back your fat.
Menopausal women are at greater risk for degraded skin tissue from decreased estrogen. This leads to less production of type I and III collagen fibers, which is why taking a collagen supplement is a smart idea.
What Factors Make Cellulite More Likely?
Pregnant or postpartum women may also be susceptible to cellulite. 90% of women have significant skin changes from pregnancy that can contribute to cellulite.17
It won’t help if you’ve been a yo-yo dieter throughout your life. It can also cause the connective bands to loosen up from so many back-and-forth changes. This can result in saggy and loose skin, making cellulite appear worse.
If you’re stressed out all the time, then this can also lead to cellulite.18 Your body will carry more fat from hormonal releases in response to chronic stress. This is even more true when combined with a poor diet and no exercise.
The Journal Of Cosmetic Dermatology found smoking cigarettes can weaken the formation of collagen in your skin.19 So quitting smoking should be made a priority to reverse the skin damage caused by it.
Toxins can also build up in your body, leading to more cellulite. These toxins can impair circulation as well as lymphatic drainage in the areas where you tend to have more cellulite.20
Will Cellulite Go Away if You Lose Weight?
Losing weight can help reduce cellulite’s appearance in some people, but it won’t eliminate it completely for many and can even make it worse for some.
The nature of cellulite is in the fat cells pushing through the collagen fibers, or connective tissues, beneath the skin. This “poking” of the fat cells through the skin results in a dimpled appearance.
You can shrink fat cells in size with weight loss, but the structure of the connective tissues will remain the same. Skin elasticity decreases with age, genetics, sun damage, and other factors.21 Losing weight often doesn’t make cellulite less visible but more pronounced.
So if your cellulite is getting worse as you lose weight, this is the cause. Weight loss alone could cause a “deflating” effect causing the cellulite to appear worse since the skin isn’t as filled-out anymore.
Significant weight loss can lead to sagging skin, especially with rapid weight loss. This sagging of the skin can often make the appearance of cellulite look worse.
Instead of focusing on losing weight, you should focus on fat loss. The difference between fat loss vs. weight loss is you’ll be burning fat while building lean muscle. This is way more effective for tightening the skin in the newly slimmed area on your hips and thighs.
Increasing muscle tone in areas with cellulite can make the skin appear smoother. Strength training with the exercises below to target areas in the hips and thighs with cellulite can significantly help to reduce its appearance.
How to Get Rid of Cellulite Naturally
You shouldn’t feel discouraged about your cellulite. At the very least, you’ll be able to decrease its appearance on your hips and thighs, if not completely get rid of it.
The big key to getting rid of cellulite is to strengthen the connective tissue on your skin. If your skin integrity is weak and broken, the fat cells underneath the skin will continue to poke through.
Taking a collagen supplement is one of the best and fastest ways to reduce cellulite by rebuilding and strengthening skin integrity.22 Skin elasticity is also improved by collagen supplementation, making it effective for reducing cellulite.23
The fastest way to lose cellulite is to combine collagen supplementation with lowering your overall fat mass. If you carry too much fat on your body, it’ll be nearly impossible to completely lose the cellulite.
You’ll have to lower your body fat and increase your lean muscle mass to lose cellulite. You lost weight but still have cellulite because your body fat is still too high. You need muscle to tone up and shape your body; otherwise you can easily become skinny fat.
Taking the stress off the connected bands in your skin is absolutely critical. This can be done by lowering your body fat. Diet and exercise will be the most effective strategies for improving your body composition for a tighter, slimmer physique.
8 Best Exercises for Cellulite
The best exercises for cellulite on your thighs and bum will be ones that directly target the area. You’ll build muscle which is needed to tone, smooth, and firm up your hips and thighs.
Exercising your hips and thighs with targeted exercises is very effective for getting rid of cellulite. It improves blood flow to your connective tissues and helps to smooth out your skin with lean muscle.
Doing these exercises will also increase circulation and blood flow to your butt and thighs. Increasing circulation is also important for reducing cellulite. Low circulation means less oxygen and nutrients to your butt, contributing to less collagen production.
Spot reduction isn’t going to work very well for burning fat solely in your hips and thighs. It’ll be much more effective to follow the dieting tips below and follow a well-rounded workout routine to burn fat continually.
But doing these exercises will create lean muscle mass in your butt and thighs, which will help to “fill out” your skin. This is critical since you could get loose skin after you continue to lower your body and lose weight.
Increasing blood flow to your bum with these exercises will also deliver natural fat-burning hormones.24 Poor blood flow is one of the reasons stubborn fat doesn’t go away. Your body needs to deliver hormones and other fat-burning nutrients to these stubborn areas to signal it to start burning fat.
1-legged Hip Thrusts
1-legged Hip Bridges
1-legged Crab Bridges
Ball Hip Bridges
Hip Bridge Marches
Wall Squat Holds
Workout for Cellulite
You can put all of these exercises together into one workout routine. I prefer combining 2-3 of the above exercises and some cardio exercises. This will help to maximize the fat burning from the workout.
An example workout for cellulite would be:
A1. Jump Squats
A2. Bulgarian Lunges
A3. Hip Thrusts
B2. 1-legged Hip Bridges
B3. Mountain Climbers
C1. Squat Holds
C2. Hip Bridge Marches
C3. Jumping Jacks
Try to do each exercise until you really start to feel a burn in the muscle area. This is an indication you’re pushing your muscles in the area past their current limitations, which will result in the most results.
As you improve with the exercises above, you can start increasing the reps, time, and resistance to “level up.” Finding ways to make the exercises harder will continually ensure you keep getting results.
While walking can help to get rid of cellulite, using the Stairclimber machine will produce better results. Since you’re stepping up, you’ll be engaging the muscles in your hips and thighs.
For this reason, walking on an incline on the treadmill or uphill will also be more effective than walking on a flat surface.
Cellulite Detox Diet
Your main goal with dieting to drop your cellulite is to focus on lowering insulin, glycemic levels, and inflammation. These three are the worst of the bunch and, over time, not only lead to weight gain but also cellulite.25
A calorie-deficit diet will be necessary to lose weight and burn fat too. A balanced diet using the nutrition principles below will be the foundation of a healthy diet. Below are some strategies you can use to cut calories, lower insulin, improve blood sugar, build muscle, and reduce inflammation.
Cut Out Sugar
The number one thing you can do to get rid of your cellulite with your diet is to cut out sugar. I know this is easier said than done, as many tend to crave sugar more than any other food.
Sugar is a driving cause of skin inflammation that weakens collagen fibers.26 Chronic inflammation damages collagen, the primary protein in skin and connective tissue. Weakened collagen makes it easier for fat cells to push against the surface of the skin, making cellulite more visible.
Eating sugar causes rapid insulin spikes. Insulin is a hormone that promotes fat storage if the sugar isn’t immediately used up for fuel.27 Sugary foods are usually more calorie dense, which results in more fat storage in troublesome areas like the hips and thighs.
Sugar in your bloodstream can attach to proteins forming harmful molecules called “advanced glycation end products” (AGEs). These AGEs can damage collagen and elastin, fibers that keep skin smooth and firm.28 Weakened collagen and elastin can contribute to the appearance of cellulite.
If you can’t completely get sugar out of your diet, then at least minimize and switch to other natural sweeteners.
Reduce Inflammatory Foods
Inflammation causing foods should also be avoided if you want to reduce cellulite. Here is a list of many of the typical foods that cause inflammation:
- Sugary drinks and snacks
- Processed foods
- Refined carbohydrates
- Fried foods
- Trans fats
- Processed meats
- Vegetable and Seed oils high in omega-6 fatty acids
- Wheat (gluten)
- Artificial sweeteners
Calorie-dense processed foods should be taken out of your diet since they drive fat gain and inflammation.29 If the food is processed or has a lot of seed oils and preservatives in it, then you shouldn’t be eating it.
Eating too many soy foods can also cause hormonal imbalances and decreased estrogen levels.30 Lower estrogen can weaken skin connective tissue leading to cellulite. It’s probably fine to have a little here and there, but try not to eat it all the time.
High Protein Diet
A high protein diet is satiating, muscle-building, and burns more calories on its own than other macronutrients.31 So eating more protein will help make you feel fuller for longer while also building muscle and burning fat.
Some of the best healthy protein-rich foods include:
- Lean meats
- Lean cuts of beef (sirloin or tenderloin)
- Pork loin or tenderloin
- Nuts & Seeds
- Macadamia nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Low-sugar Dairy
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Hard cheeses
- Soft cheeses
Ideally, it’s best to choose grass-fed, pasture-raised, or wild-caught options when possible. These kinds of foods have a healthier fat profile and contain fewer additives or hormones.32
Aim for at least 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. Try taking a low-carb protein shake if you’re having trouble meeting this daily goal.
Cut the Carbs
Carbs should be eaten at a minimum when trying to lose fat and tone up your body. Carbs are used first by your body for fuel; unless you’re burning them off right away, they’ll likely be stored as fat.
Metabolic inflexibility is the reduced ability to burn fat stores or incoming carbs for fuel. It’s hard for your body to switch efficiently between burning fats and carbs as an energy source.33
Metabolic inflexibility often happens to those who are overweight, sedentary, have poor diet habits, and are insulin resistant. It’s best to keep your carbohydrate intake low to improve metabolic flexibility and keep burning fat for fuel.
For carbs, dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables should be eaten much more than you’re eating fruit. Even though fruit is a “natural sugar,” it still contains sugar and can contribute to cellulite. If you do eat fruit, then pick low-sugar fruits.
Eat Healthy Fats
Try to include more healthy fats in your diet. Eating healthy fats can help you feel fuller for longer, making it easy to reduce calorie intake. Fats will also stabilize your blood sugar and prevent insulin spikes.
Avoid bad seed oils that could lead to inflammation due to their high omega-6 content and high oxidative stress. Instead, switch these out for food fats like
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fatty fish
- Low-sugar dairy
Intermittent fasting is a proven dieting strategy that can accelerate fat loss while preserving lean muscle. It can help to balance hormones and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Studies have shown intermittent fasting can instantly help to reduce your calorie intake by 550 calories per day.35 Cutting out a meal or two earlier in the day is a simple and straightforward way to put your body into a calorie deficit.
Intermittent Fasting has been found to improve glycemic and insulin resistance.36 You can use intermittent fasting for cellulite to firm up and tighten loose, sagging skin that contributes to cellulite.
16-20 hour daily fasts will be the most effective for getting results. Start off on the lower end and work your way up to longer fasts. Have dinner in the evening, skip breakfast the next day, and don’t eat until lunchtime.
Hunger pangs can be the hardest part of fasting, but you can curb this hunger by drinking beverages that won’t break your fast. Water, coffee, tea, sparkling water, and even energy drinks can be used during your fasting window.
Try drinking coffee with Keto Elevate in it. This keto coffee creamer contains 100% C8-MCTs that your body converts into ketones. These ketones signal your body to burn fat stores by flipping the “metabolic switch.”37
Support Many of the Keto Benefits Associated With Increased Ketones, & Support Them FAST, but Without the Difficulty of Doing Keto...
- 3X Better Than Coconut Oil, Butter or MCTs
- Heightened energy levels
- Reduced cravings & appetite
- Graceful aging
- Healthy metabolism
- Increased mental clarity & focus
- Heightened physical performance and recovery
Collagen to Smooth Cellulite Away
Damaged and/or improperly formed collagen in your skin can be one of the driving causes of cellulite. Collagen is the connective tissue that’s “the support structure for your skin.” It holds everything together smooth and tight.
When you’re young, the connective tissue in your skin is flexible, but as you age, it stiffens up. When your collagen decreases or becomes damaged, your skin will thin, and cellulite will have an easier time poking through.38
As fat increases in areas like your hips and thighs, the more your fat cells will push and strain this stiff connective tissue. With time your fat cells can grow larger and continue into your outer skin layer leading to cellulite.39
Collagen production declines by age 30, which is why many women notice skin, hair, and nail issues in their 30s.40 It might seem like you suddenly have a lot of cellulite, but your collagen production has been declining for years. Then one day, it’s very noticeable.
When your connective tissue becomes damaged, it becomes either too thin or “full of holes.” When this happens, the fat underneath your skin can start to poke through, causing the dimpled cellulite look.
Cellulite strains the connective tissue in your skin, making it appear even worse.41 As the cellulite continues to damage your connective tissue, it’ll be even more downhill from there. Studies have proven your connective tissue can affect whether or not you have cellulite.42
Ageless Multi-Collagen is the best supplement you can find since it contains all 5 of the right types of collagen you need for results. It’s also flavorless and odorless, mixing easily in liquids.
Contains 5 of the key types of collagen in scientifically ideal forms. Uses hydrolyzed collagne peptides making it easier to digest. Mixes easily, no clumping, with no odor or taste.
- Supports healthy, youthful looking skin & skin elasticity
- Supports joint health & comfort
- Supports hair health & growth
- Supports healthy body composition
Having hormonal imbalances is one of the biggest hidden causes of cellulite. Your hormones play a big role not only in your metabolism but also in your skin. And if your hormones are out of balance, they could make your cellulite appear worse.44
Having either too low of estrogen or too much can contribute to the development of cellulite in your body. If you’re a little bit older, there’s a good chance you’re not producing as much estrogen in your body as you once did. This can cause a loss of elasticity in your skin and the connective bands that hold your fat back.
If you have too much estrogen, then it can lead to increased fat distribution in your lower body.45 And as you age, you may not have enough estrogen, which will lead to decreased blood flow under your skin. Estrogen can also cause fluid retention worsening the appearance of cellulite.
Younger women who have excess estrogen can also develop cellulite. This is known as having too much estrogen dominance, which then causes low collagen. Estrogen is another hormone that can lead to the accelerated growth of cellulite. Women who are in menopause know just how difficult it can be to lose a hormonal belly.46
Low estrogen caused by menopause will continue to decline your production of collagen.47 And low estrogen will cause water weight retention under your skin leading to increased permeability.48 All of these contribute to increased cellulite in your butt and thighs.
Estrogen dominance usually comes from eating too many processed and soy foods. Other contributing factors that can lead to excess estrogen include:
- physical inactivity
- chronic stress
- birth control pills
- exposure to hormone disruptors
Endocrine disruptors are in many plastics today. It’s a good idea to eliminate or at least minimize your use of plastics not to disrupt your natural estrogen production.
These environmental estrogens mimic how estrogen interacts with your cells. This can end up causing your hormonal levels to get out of whack and cause cellulite dimples.
Improving your diet by cutting sugars, processed foods, and refined carbs will improve insulin levels. Studies have found a strong link between high insulin and fat distribution to the lower thighs.49 Having high insulin levels can lead to increased skin inflammation.50
Adding massage can also reduce the appearance of your cellulite. Studies have found massaging areas impacted by cellulite significantly smoothed the skin structure.51
Foam rolling strengthens your fascia, the connective tissue surrounding your whole body. If your fascia is weak or too tight, cellulite appearance will increase.52
Improving circulation throughout your body to help fight off cellulite. Being more active throughout the day will increase circulation.
Lymphatic drainage is also key to getting rid of cellulite, as it’s one of your skin’s natural detoxification processes.53 It reduces the fluids that can put pressure on your skin fibers worsening cellulite.
You can perform a lymphatic drainage tissue massage yourself or by using a massage roller on your cellulite areas. Foam rolling improves lymphatic drainage to reduce water retention. It also plumps up the skin dermis lessening the appearance of cellulite.
You don’t have to go out and find a massage therapist to accomplish this. Regular foam rolling of areas like your hips, glutes, and thighs may help reduce the orange peel.
Drinking water can’t contribute to the overall healthier appearance of your skin and can reduce the visibility of your cellulite.54
Drinking water can help to remove toxins and other waste products from your body through detoxification. This will improve your skin health and reduce cellulite since toxins can build up in fat tissues and contribute to its appearance.
Your blood circulation will be enhanced since water intake supports healthy blood flow. With improved circulation, your skin cells will be nourished, and you’ll reduce inflammation. All of which help to lessen the appearance of cellulite.
Becoming dehydrated can cause fluid retention, worsening cellulite’s appearance. But by making sure your body is well hydrated, you’ll be able to maintain proper fluid balance and reduce skin puffiness that causes cellulite.
Be sure you’re staying well hydrated throughout the day. Drinking lots of water will help to improve your skin’s elasticity.55 This will help keep your skin and connective tissues healthy and pliable.
Lifestyle Changes to Get Rid of Cellulite
Some creams out there for cellulite treatment have been found to help reduce its appearance. Ingredients in cellulite treatment creams found to be effective in reducing its appearance include caffeine, retinol, aminophylline, AHAs, Gotu Kola, Gingko Biloba, L-carnitine, and capsaicin.
Sweating is good for cellulite since it eliminates the fluids and toxins that build up in your skin. Exercise and using the sauna increase sweating, helping to flush out the fluids and toxins in your skin.
Consider dry skin brushing daily (before you shower) to stimulate circulation. It helps break up the fluids underneath your skin, creating a smoother appearance.
Dry skin brushing will help to kickstart lymphatic drainage, which will help to get rid of toxins. These toxins can cause inflammation by building up in the fat layers underneath your skin.
Taking an Epsom salt bath can also reduce fluid retention and toxin buildup in the skin. The magnesium in Epsom salt helps to draw fluid out of the fat cells, making them appear smaller and less noticeable. The sulfates help to promote detoxification and improve circulation.
How long does it take to get rid of cellulite on your bum?
This will depend on how bad your cellulite is to start with. The worse it is then the longer it’s going to take. Also, your age will play a factor since your collagen levels go down with age. And having a history of strength training will lessen the time it takes.
I’ve seen women lose their butt cellulite after a handful of months, while it’s taken years in others. A lot depends on how dedicated you are and how much work you will put into it. Cellulite treatments
You can get some fast results for cellulite reduction by cleaning up your diet and working out consistently. Taking a collagen peptide supplement daily can improve your skin’s elasticity and reduce cellulite appearance. It’s one of the most effective ways to stimulate collagen production.
It can be disheartening to see the cellulite on your body even after you’ve lost weight. Weight loss alone can reduce the appearance of cellulite but not always. And taking cellulite creams aren’t scientifically proven to lead to any long-term results. But all hope is not lost.
Most people think they’re stuck with their cellulite and stubborn fat forever just because they were born with the genes that promote it. But if you’re willing to put in the work, then you can get rid of cellulite on your hips and thighs for good and faster than you think.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.