Cellulite--fatty deposits that usually appear on thighs, hips and buttocks--is not a serious medical condition, but it can be unsightly, giving the skin a dimpled orange-peel appearance. It is the strands of fibrous tissue attached to the skin, which pull the skin inward while plumping the fat outward, that are responsible for cellulite's puckered appearance.
Although it is not necessary to be drastically overweight to have cellulite--it is often called "the thin woman's fat"---the fact remains that it is excess fat that causes cellulite, with a sedentary lifestyle often contributing to the problem. Fortunately, a program of diet, exercise and herbal supplements can help to improve the appearance of cellulite-affected skin.
Eat a balanced diet, with lots of fruits and high-fiber foods to keep the digestive tract functioning and avoid constipation, a condition that contributes to the formation of cellulite.
Eat foods high in protein, such as eggs, chicken, fish and nuts; the amino acids involved in the breakdown of protein help repair damage done to cells, as well as increasing beneficial collagen levels.
Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to help flush waste from your body.
Banish excess salt from your diet--it contributes to water retention and worsens the appearance of cellulite--and avoid coffee, tea and caffeine-containing drinks--they constrict blood vessels and make cellulite more prominent.
Fight Cellulite with Exercise
Engage in 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a minimum of five days a week. The muscle you will develop can help fill in tissue in cellulite-laden areas, and will help the appearance of cellulite.
Sit in a sturdy chair while putting your palms on the outsides of your knees and pushing hard against your palms, pressing inwards with your hands at the same time. This exercise targets outer thighs and hips.
Sit in a sturdy chair with your feet on the floor, knees at a 90 degree angle and a pillow between your thighs. Squeeze the pillow while exhaling then hold the pillow tight, breathing normally, for one minute. This exercise targets inner thighs.
Fight Cellulite with Herbs
Take 30 milligrams of extract of Indian pennywort--scientifically known as Hydrocotyle asiatica--three times a day, making sure the extract you use contains 70 percent triterpenic acids. According to the Healthier Talk website, this substance normalizes connective tissue metabolism, and demonstrated impressive clinical results in 80 percent of patients when used to reduce cellulite.
Take 10 to 20 milligrams of aescin, extracted from horse chestnut, three times a day; aescin has anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling qualities.
Garnish fish, meat, salads and stews with sprigs of parsley daily. According to the Body Cellulite website, parsley helps to eliminate toxins from connective tissue in the areas affected by cellulite.