Can intermittent fasting reduce cellulite? If you want to get rid of cellulite, then intermittent fasting may be the solution for you.
Cellulite is the dimpled appearance on skin that affects 90% of women, mostly on their legs and hips (1). While it isn’t harmful, many women find it unattractive and want it gone like yesterday. It’s also known as orange peel, moon craters, and the bane of existence!
Some have shown intermittent fasting to give impressive results in reducing cellulite. Although results may vary for several factors, you can at least minimize the appearance of cellulite when using intermittent fasting correctly.
In this blog post, you’ll discover how and if intermittent fasting can eliminate cellulite and the best methods to get the best results the fastest. If done incorrectly, weight loss and intermittent fasting can make your cellulite look worse. So keep reading to discover how to use intermittent fasting to eliminate and reduce cellulite.
Does Intermittent Fasting Help With Cellulite
Intermittent fasting can help reduce cellulite by helping you lose weight and lower your body fat. One of the leading causes of cellulite is a high body fat percentage which can be reduced with intermittent fasting (2). The key to getting rid of cellulite is to shrink down the fat cells pulling your skin, causing cellulite in the first place.
Intermittent fasting is effective for burning fat because you are depleting your body of sugars, carbohydrates, and other calories that it will burn for fuel first. However, since you are going for an extended period without eating, your body will be forced to turn to the next fuel source, which is your fat stores (3).
Your body tends to pull fat for energy from places where it is the most abundant, and for many women, that is their hips and thighs. Intermittent fasting works best combined with a low carbohydrate or a ketogenic diet because your body will further have to use your fat source for fuel without any quick-burning sugars or carbohydrates (4).
Intermittent fasting also boosts Human Growth Hormone (HGH) in your body (5). With age, your natural production of HGH declines which causes you to store more fat and decrease collagen production. In addition, you’ll have improved lean muscle mass from increasing HGH via fasting (6).
Try adding a C8 MCT coffee creamer to your morning coffee while fasting to help your body tap into your fat source even further. Your body converts this preferred source of MCTs into ketones, the same fuel source your body makes from fat stores when fasting and in keto for an extended period. So this can help to trigger the same fat-burning process in your body faster.
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Intermittent Fasting Before and After
Depending on the severity of your cellulite, it can be impossible to completely get rid of it 100%. But with that said, intermittent fasting can at the very least help reduce its appearance when done correctly. Many women notice at least a 20% cellulite reduction on their thighs after 2 to 3 weeks of intermittent fasting.
How long does it take before seeing results?
Results, of course, can vary person the person depending on the severity of the cellulite as well as their body fat percentage and how well they stick to the fasting. If you have a high body fat percentage, then add some strength training to tone up and “fill out” the skin after weight loss (7).
But any kind of weight loss could effectively make cellulite appear worse if you have a high body fat percentage and not enough lean muscle. Muscle keeps your body from becoming “skinny fat” after weight loss otherwise, it can look like a deflated flabby balloon. So if you aren’t already carrying enough muscle on your body to tone up, it could appear worse.
If you have loose skin, this could also worsen your cellulite after losing weight. Skin integrity deteriorates with age from lost collagen production. The connective tissue in your skin loosens increasing cellulite (8). Fasting can also increase autophagy which is your body’s process of eliminating old cells. This can result in healthier skin, less fat tissue, and stronger collagen fibers.
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Intermittent Fasting Schedule for Cellulite
If you’re new to fasting, starting on the lower end of a fasting window is best to ease your way into it. If your body is used to eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks in between, then I’ll take some time for it to adjust. Although if you’re hardcore, you can jump right into an extended fast too.
Most women will get the best results following a 16 to 18-hour daily fasting window. This is the most sustainable and will give the best results without having to deprive yourself too hard. Many women can also work their way up to 20 hours a day of fasting, or I can follow an alternate day fasting schedule too.
A strict water fast to kickstart things can be highly effective but requires more discipline. I found it quite challenging to stick with strict water fasting but it will give you some fantastic results when done correctly.
During your feeding window, try to follow a low carbohydrate or even a keto diet for the best results. Eat a higher amount of protein which helps build muscle and tone up your hips and thighs (10). Consume more vegetables but limit your fruit consumption to low-sugar fruits like berries and avocado.
Then eliminate the wrong foods that contribute to cellulite and high body fat percentage. These include sugar, processed foods, refined grains, seed oils, alcohol, and other junk foods.
HIIT Workout for Cellulite
If you’re looking to add an exercise routine to accelerate losing cellulite, then a high-intensity interval training (or HIIT workout) can work great. HIIT workouts are effective because they help burn more fat faster while also building lean muscle (11).
HIIT workouts are shorter than traditional workouts, but they are much more intense and can provide excellent results in a relatively short amount of time. However, you don’t need much equipment to do HIIT workouts since they can be done with just bodyweight.
To do a HIIT workout, you have to alternate between periods of high-intensity exercise followed by slower intensity. Since cellulite is usually focused on the hips and thighs, I would combine a high-intensity cardio exercise with low-intensity strength training for your hips and thighs.
So an example would be to do 30 seconds of jumping rope followed by 30 seconds of squats. Do that for a handful of sets before switching it up. Then you could do 45 seconds of uphill walking on a treadmill at a challenging pace and then follow it with 30 seconds of step-ups on a box.
A lot of this will depend on your current fitness level, and you may need to add more rest times too. You can start with lower intensity exercises and less time for each exercise. It’s a good idea not to go too hard too fast since you could hurt yourself or the difficulty could cause a loss of motivation.
The Last Word
So, if you’re looking to start intermittent fasting to reduce cellulite, then know that it can be quite effective for getting some quick results. Your results will vary depending on a few factors such as the severity of the cellulite, body fat percentage, age (skin integrity), genetics, and how well you stick to the fasting schedule.
You can speed up your intermittent fasting results to get rid of cellulite faster by combining it with a low carbohydrate diet and HIIT workouts. Have a fasting window of at least 16 hours and use some approved fasting drinks to boost your metabolism and curb hunger. Try to exercise when you’re fasting so your body burns up even more fat stores for fuel.
Fasting shouldn’t be done if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding since you’ll need extra nutrients for the baby. Women over 50 may have hormonal issues that make it harder to lose cellulite, but fasting can also help. If you’ve had an eating disorder, then intermittent fasting might not be the best idea.
Remember, results can vary from person to person, and you may not 100% get rid of the cellulite, but you can at the very least significantly reduce its appearance. Now that you know the best methods for using intermittent fasting to eliminate cellulite, you can put it into action. Let’s get fasting!
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.