Cellulite treatment strategies often include weight loss as a fundamental component of cellulite removal. However, the science behind this assumption is controversial and unclear about whether it will work for everyone.
Cellulite Treatment Research
Does weight loss really help with cellulite removal? That was the question posed in a study by the Skin Sciences Institute at the University of Cincinnati. Results were published in the journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Plast Reconstr Surg. 2006 Aug;118(2):510-6), under the title, ‘Effect of weight loss on cellulite: gynoid lypodystrophy’.
The fancy title just refers to the subject of weight loss versus cellulite. Researchers started with the assumption that cellulite would improve with weight loss. The science behind this assumption has been mostly lacking.
The published study is laden with technical jargon. The overall results, however, were a bit surprising. Most women got better, as predicted. The condition for many others, unfortunately, got worse.
For those who improved, results were associated with: 1) greater reduction of thigh fat percentage; 2) greater weight loss; 3) greater initial severity of cellulite; and, 4) higher starting body mass index. Subjects, in other words, who were worse off in the beginning of the study had a better chance for seeing a lessening of the severity of their cellulite by the end of the study.
Unfortunately, cellulite got worse in those women who had a lower starting body mass index, smaller weight reduction, no change in thigh fat percentage, and an increase in tissue stiffness.
The study concluded that cellulite treatment that includes weight loss gives inconsistent results. Improvement depends on several factors that are only partially predictive for cellulite removal. Overall, however, you may expect that results will be better the worse off you are when you undergo significant weight loss.
What can you learn from this study? The bottom line is that not everyone will see improvement by using weight loss as a cellulite treatment. Overfat or overweight are not the sole causes for cellulite. However, any expected improvement in cellulite from weight loss will, indeed, depend somewhat on your starting point.