Will fasting get rid of cellulite?

detail of cellulite on woman leg isolated on white
The best way to reduce the appearance of cellulite is through regular exercise and a healthy diet. See more pictures of skin problems.
©iStockphoto.com/Stéphane Bidouze

Cellulite -- that fat that shows up as dimples on your hips, buttocks and thighs -- is pretty much an equal opportunity skin issue. You can get it whether you're a size 4 or a size 14, and everyone has a hard time getting rid of it. Some people may suggest fasting as a way to solve this frustrating problem -- but don't be too quick to put a padlock on your fridge. The truth is, you can't really completely eliminate cellulite. There are healthy things you can do to make it less noticeable in the long run, but fasting isn't one of them [source: Mayo Clinic].

If you're wondering where cellulite comes from, you can blame your genes, as cellulite is often hereditary [source Doheny]. It's also incredibly common -- nine out of 10 women have it [source: Doheny]. Aside from genetics, weight gain is another cause of noticeable cellulite. Cellulite occurs when fat cells build up and push up on the connective tissue that attaches your skin to the muscles underneath, so the more fat you have on your body, the more prominent your cellulite will be [source: Mayo Clinic].


You may think that if you lose a lot of weight quickly through fasting, your cellulite will go away, but that's not necessarily the case. Plus, fasting can leave you with more problems than just dimply skin. When you fast, most of what you lose is fluid weight, and you'll probably end up gaining those pounds back when you start to eat normally again [source: Seliger]. Additionally, fasting slows down your metabolism, making it even more difficult to lose weight in a healthy manner [source: Seliger]. Though quick weight loss might temporarily make your cellulite less noticeable, as soon as you gain it back, your cellulite will appear exactly as it did before.

Instead of fasting, try a regular exercise plan. Incorporate both cardio -- for fat burning -- and strength training with weights. Not only will exercise help you burn calories and lose weight safely, studies also show that regular strength training, along with some diet adjustments, contributes to an improvement in the appearance of cellulite [source: Doheny].

There are other products and procedures that claim to help reduce cellulite, including creams, liposuction and radiofrequency wave treatment. But paying attention to your workout routine and diet is one of the simplest and least expensive options. Fasting, if it helps at all, would only be a quick fix.

For more tips on addressing skin problems, check out the links on the next page.


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Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Doheny, Kathleen. "Bye-bye Cellulite." WebMD. 3/16/09. (Accessed 9/16/09)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/bye-bye-cellulite
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Cellulite." Mayo Clinic. January 20, 2009. (Accessed 9/16/09)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cellulite/DS00891
  • Seliger, Susan. "Is Fasting Healthy?" WebMD. (Accessed 9/29/09)http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/is_fasting_healthy
  • Willingham, Val. "Elusive search for cellulite cure continues." CNN.com. 8/17/09. (Accessed 9/29/09)http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/17/cellulite.elimination/