Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

Does Losing Weight Get Rid of Cellulite? (Expert’s Opinion)

Radmila Vasic
Published by Radmila Vasic | Contributor
Last updated: August 1, 2023

Cellulite is a cosmetic condition that affects most women and some men at some point in their lifetime.

I’ve been a fitness coach for over a decade, and I’ve had countless women come to me wondering if they'll lose cellulite if they lose weight.

I did tons of hours of research on cellulite and helped my clients get fit. Here’s what you should know about cellulite and weight loss.

Quick Summary

  • Losing weight can reduce cellulite, but it can't completely eliminate it.
  • Lymphatic draining massage, drinking water, collagen peptides, and leading a healthy lifestyle are some ways of reducing cellulite.
  • Cellulite form for different reasons like age, loss of collagen, tissue inflammation, family history, or increase in fat cells.

Why Cellulite Occurs?

Cellulite around the body

Cellulite occurs because of excess fat deposits in areas where there’s a network of connective tissues covered by a thin skin layer.

Cellulite happens when connective fibers underneath the skin become weak or loose. There’s a fat layer that contains fibrous connective tissue.

Over time, this tissue degenerates, and cellulite forms.

"Fat pushes between the connective tissue beneath the skin, making the surface of the skin pucker and look lumpy. Most women have cellulite of some description or indeed will get it at some point in their lives, and having it does not mean you are unhealthy."

- Dr. Ross Perry, Medical Director at Cosmedics Skin Clinic

About 80% to 90% of women have a certain amount of cellulite because their bodies are made up of 25% of fat. On the other hand, only 10% to 15% of man’s bodies are made up of fat, so a lower number of men have cellulite.

Women have higher estrogen levels, and fat cells react differently to estrogen compared to male hormones. As women age, estrogen rises, which only worsens the issue.

A big part of why women get cellulite is also DNA. This is the reason why some women get cellulite on their arms and stomach and others on their thighs.

Other reasons why cellulite forms include:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Tissue inflammation
  • Loss of collagen
  • Poor circulation
  • Increase of fat cells because of fat gain

Weight Loss and Cellulite

Pinching side fats

Cellulite is only loosely connected to how much you weigh.

There’s a common belief that losing weight will get rid of cellulite, but that’s only partly true.

People who are overweight and have an above-average BMI will notice a reduction in cellulite when they lose weight and body fat.

But, losing weight won’t get rid of cellulite if someone has a normal BMI and good body weight.

Losing weight won’t eliminate cellulite completely because cellulite doesn’t go away once fat tissue forms.

Fat cells shrink and collapse during weight loss but aren’t 100% eliminated. If you gain weight again, you’ll develop new fat cells.

Fit women have cellulite as well. Exercise can cause cellulite reduction but not completely cure it. Aging happens no matter what we do, but you can reduce the body fat percentage by losing weight and removing cellulite at least a little.

Related article:

4 Ways to Get Rid of Cellulite

Having a massage and drinking water

You can never eliminate cellulite, but you can strengthen the connective tissue over the body. This is especially important if you’re in the process of losing weight.

You can do several treatments to keep the skin supple and cure cellulite.

1. Lymphatic Draining Massage

Lymphatic draining massage is one of the best cellulite treatments. It works on the lymphatic blood vessels and removes cellulite.

A Brazilian study found that ten hour-long sessions of this massage over two and a half weeks had improved cellulite look [1].

This massage also improves the skin’s overall appearance and temperature.

If you don’t have time for this massage, you can try a five-minute home massage a couple of times a week.

2. Water

Lack of water can make cellulite worse because you aren’t flushing toxins out of your body. Drinking water and a healthy diet will keep your skin looking fresh and youthful.

It’s recommended to have 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, which is about 1.5l a day.

Note: Don’t drink too much water, as this will have the opposite effect and cause swelling of cellulite instead of reducing cellulite.

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Tissue inflammation
  • Loss of collagen
  • Poor circulation
  • Increase of fat cells because of fat gain

3. Collagen Peptides

Pouring Collagen Peptides to drink

Collagen keeps the skin and connective tissue strong.

But, cellulite breaks collagen fibers, which is why you should boost the collagen count to increase the cellulite appearance.

For example, collagen shots can help you boost dermal metabolism and repair damaged tissues.

A study found that bioactive collagen peptides improved cellulite in women who took it for six months [2].

4. Healthy Lifestyle

While there’s no way to prevent cellulite, a healthy lifestyle can reduce it or even postpone its creation.

You should do regular exercise that targets lower body muscles to improve the dimpled appearance of your thighs. HIIT workout and strength training is especially effective in removing cellulite.

You should also eat a plant-heavy diet, and foods rich in lecithin, such as:

  • Eggs
  • Apples
  • Peanuts
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli


Does Cellulite Go Away When You Tone Up?

No, cellulite doesn’t go away when you tone up, but this may help improve its appearance.

Does Walking Reduce Cellulite on Thighs?

Yes, walking can reduce cellulite on the thighs.

Will You Remove Cellulite if You Lose Weight?

Losing weight won’t remove cellulite completely. It’s impossible to remove cellulite all the way, but there are several things you can do to improve its appearance.

You should exercise, drink water, and lead a healthy lifestyle to postpone the creation of cellulite or better its appearance. You can also opt for treating cellulite with professional procedures, such as laser therapy.

If you’re looking to get rid of stubborn fat, check out our round-up of the best fat-burning creams.

These creams speed up fat loss, making them an ideal option for getting rid of cellulite, especially in those parts of the body you can hardly target with exercise.


Was this article helpful?

About The Author

You May Also Like

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *