Weight Loss

21 Best and Worst Foods for Cellulite

Worst foods for cellulite girl on bed

By Dana Leigh Smith

From creams and spa procedures to cellulite-blasting foods, there’s no shortage of suggestions on how to lessen the appearance of skin dimpling. While these things have varying levels of success, they all have one thing in common: They’re far more effective when you kick certain foods out of your diet.

As it turns out, certain nutrients (and the foods that are filled with them) worsen the appearance of cottage-cheese-like skin—even if you’re taking other measures to smooth it out. “Since genetics plays a major role in cellulite, there’s really no cure. However, losing weight and cutting back on unhealthy fats, sugar, and salt can make the appearance of cellulite less apparent,” says registered dietitian-nutritionist Kristen Carlucci Haase. Read on to discover some of the very worst foods for cellulite that you need to take out of your shopping cart, stat! And after you see how easy it is to eat your way to smoother-looking skin, whip up some of these 26 Amazing Recipes that Reduce Cellulite!

First, the Worst

1 & 2
Processed Meats &
Cheeses

A standard serving of deli meat packs up to 790 milligrams of sodium—a third of the daily recommended intake. Now consider that most people pile their bread with far more meat than what’s considered to be “standard.” And processed cheese isn’t much better, which some varieties, like feta, carrying 400 milligrams of salt in a quarter-cup serving. What’s all this have to do with cellulite? “High sodium foods like deli meats, bacon and cheeses cause water retention,” explains Haase. “And that bloating and extra water weight can make cellulite more visible.”

Eat This Instead!
Thankfully, you don’t have to kick your favorite sandwich ingredients to the curb to get smoother stems. Instead, shop smarter: “Look for low-sodium versions of these foods, eat plenty of hydrating fruits and vegetables and be sure to sip water continuously throughout the day,” says Haase. Staying hydrated will plump up your skin, making dimpling less apparent. Is plain water leaving your taste buds bored? Check out these 50 Best Detox Waters for Fat Burning and Weight Loss!

3
Canned
Soup

Canned soup may be a simple dinner solution when you're in a pinch, but most are loaded with salt...which can lead water retention and dehydration, making dimpling appear more pronounced than it is.

Eat This Instead!
Want to slurp your soup, and have it, too? Simmer up your own pot, using a low-sodium broth. If you don’t have a go-to recipe, check out these 20 Best-Ever Fat Burning Soups—they’re all delicious and nutritious!

4 & 5
Soda & Sweetened
Beverages

Has your cellulite gotten more aggressive with each passing birthday? It’s likely because your body is producing less collagen—the protein that supports the appearance of smooth, un-dimpled skin. Unfortunately, since this is a natural part of aging, there’s no way to reverse the effects. However, cutting back on sugar (a nutrient that’s been shown to accelerate collagen’s demise) can help. Though the sweet stuff is found in everything from bread to cereal, it’s most abundantly found in the sweetened beverages like processed juices, energy drinks, and soda.

Eat This Instead!
Although guzzling bottled sugar is never something we’d suggest, if you must indulge your sweet tooth, stick with the diet variety and check out our exclusive report, 38 Top Diet Sodas—Ranked!.

6
Barbeque
Sauce

When you slather your chicken with barbecue sauce, you probably know you’re adding some salt to your plate. But did you realize that you’re also taking in more than half your day’s sugar quota, too? That’s right: A measly two tablespoon serving of the Southern-inspired sauce packs up to 15 grams of the sweet stuff! What’s worse: Most of it is coming from high fructose corn syrup, an additive shown to increase appetite. And the bad news doesn’t stop there: Not only can loading up on sugar increase weight gain, and subsequently, the appearance of cellulite, it also spikes blood sugar levels, causing the body to release the fat storage hormone insulin, explains Haase. Yikes!

Eat This Instead!
If you can’t imagine kicking your beloved BBQ pork to the curb in the name of a cellulite-free backside, switch to a low-sugar variety with no more than 250 grams of salt per serving. Organic Annie’s Original BBQ Sauce and Bone Doctors' Carolina Bold Barbeque Sauce both fit the bill.

7
Cottage
Cheese

What’s the connection between the cottage cheese you get at the grocery store and the cottage-cheese-like dimpling on your booty? Sodium. Even though the breakfast staple doesn’t taste salty, a one-cup serving can carry almost 700 milligrams of the mineral—more than a third of what you're supposed to have in an entire day.

Eat This Instead!
If you’re going to keep the stuff in your breakfast lineup, swap to a no-salt-added variety. Or, better yet, eat a container of Greek yogurt instead. It’s a low-salt, high-protein cottage cheese substitute we’re big fans of.

8
Pizza

Outside of genetics, there is a variety of things that can cause cellulite, says registered dietitian Yasi Ansari. One of the most common? Poor blood flow. “A diet high in unhealthy fats can slow blood circulation and oxygen flow. As a result, connective tissues weaken, making skin rippling more apparent.” To keep your blood flowing freely, avoid foods high in artery-clogging saturated fat—like pizza. According to The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, pizza and cheese are the biggest food sources of saturated fat in American's diet.

Eat This Instead!
Even if you’re short on time, you can still get dinner on the table without calling your local pizza joint. Just whip up any of these 20 One Pot Dinners for Weight Loss! Or better yet, make one of these 8 Healthy Homemade Pizzas—either way you can’t go wrong.

9 & 10
Margarine & Buttery Spread

Several decades ago, scientists discovered that if they injected vegetable oil with hydrogen, it would turn solid—and stay that way, even at room temperature. This discovery fueled the creation of trans fats, which also tend to harden inside your body, where they jam up your arteries, making it difficult for blood and oxygen to circulate. Not only is this dangerous for your heart, but it can also cause skin tissues to weaken, making skin rippling all the more pronounced. The dangerous man-made fat is commonly lurking in low-calorie margarine and butter “spreads.”

Eat This Instead!
Ditch the fake stuff and smear grass-fed butter onto your toast instead. Believe it or not, it’s an excellent source of fatty acids—like conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA—that support weight loss. In fact, CLA is sold commercially as a fat-burning supplement. And speaking of easy ways to blast away fat, add some of these awesome weight loss teas to your slim-down routine to get the body you’ve always wanted.

11
Soy
Sauce

Have you ever noticed that your belly is a bit paunchy after eating a salty meal like soy sauce topped sushi? This happens because your body retains water after a sodium-packed meal. Along with making your jeans tight, it can also decrease blood flow and make cellulite more visible.

Eat This Instead!
Opting for low-sodium soy sauce over the conventional types can save you up to 700 milligrams of the salty stuff!

12
White
Bread

To get rid of cellulite, registered dietitian and personal trainer Kristin Reisinger suggests giving up foods made out of white flour, like white bread. Why? You may not think of white bread as a sweet indulgence, but the body converts refined carbohydrates into sugar and then glucose, a nutrient that damages collagen, making cellulite look far worse than it actually is.

Eat This Instead!
Picking whole grains over refined will help keep your excess glucose out of your system, lessening the appearance of dimpling and aiding
weight loss efforts.

13
Doritos

Though anyone of any size can have cellulite, if you’re overweight, losing weight and decreasing overall body fat can lessen the appearance cellulite, says registered dietitian Laura Burak. To speed weight loss, Burak recommends avoiding processed snacks—especially those that are hard to eat in moderation, like chips. Sure, all chips are hard to put down, but none is more addictive than Doritos. The reason? It’s recipe was specially designed so that no single flavor overpowers another. And when foods lack a dominant flavor, people are less apt to feel full and, in turn, consume more, say researchers. Crazy fact: One of the first ingredients on the food’s label is monosodium glutamate (MSG), an additive that’s been known to increase appetite and make foods taste more appetizing. Stay away from this addictive snack to help blast away belly fat and lessen the appearance of cellulite.

Eat This Instead!
Can’t ignore your nagging hankering for nacho cheese? Pick up a bag of Beanitos Nacho Cheese White Bean Chips. A serving of these bean-based chips have a whopping 6 grams of belly-filling fiber, so you’ll definitely be able to put the bag down once you’ve eaten your fill. Plus, they’re free of MSG, which should let your natural willpower kick in.

14
Snack Cakes

Eating one is better than eating an entire birthday cake, but that doesn’t make snack cakes like Ho Hos and Ding Dongs any better for your body. Surprisingly, the pint-sized cakes can carry up to 42 grams of sugar, a nutrient that’s been linked to weight gain, and collagen breakdown, two things that can worsen dimpling and puckering.

Eat This Instead!
Craving something sweet? Blend up one of these 56 Best Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss.

15
Bagels

You’re already staying away from obvious salt-bombs like french fries to keep bloating and skin puckering at bay, but what about the less-than-obvious sources of the mineral? Most people don’t know it, but bagels are one of the biggest sources of salt in the American diet. Depending on which type you pick up, you can get a whopping 600 milligrams of sodium in just one fluffy carb pillow—and that’s before adding a smear of cream cheese. Eek!

Eat This Instead!

When struck with a bagel craving, opt for a bagel thin or a Bantam bagel. The donut hole-sized bagels are filled with cream cheese and still manage to be lower in calories and sodium than a normal-sized bagel.

AND NOW, THE BEST FOODS THAT REDUCE CELLULITE!

1
Cilantro

This herb does much more than take your taste buds South of the border: Fresh herbs like cilantro promote detoxification by helping to remove heavy metals from the body that tend to hide in fat cells. These heavy metals can disrupt normal tissue function and, as a result, prevent your body from healing and functioning properly. By reducing overall toxins in your body, you can help get rid of excess stored fat, which can help lessen the appearance of cellulite. Bonus: This botanical will also keep you vacation-ready by boosting immunity and reducing the frequency of colds. Bye, bye, summer colds.

Eat This! To include more of this herb into your diet, try adding small amounts of cilantro to dips like guacamole and salsa, or add them to salads, stews and sandwiches.

2
Parsley

This incredibly potent herb often gets pushed to the side of people’s plates, but it does far more than make your meal look nice. In addition to helping rid the body of toxins, it also acts as a diuretic, which helps flush out your kidneys, preventing bloating and water retention. Not to mention, parsley is also a rich source of vitamins A, C and E, nutrients important for healthy, vibrant skin that help smooth out the appearance of cellulite.

Eat This! Use parsley the same way you would cilantro by adding small amounts to soups, salads and sandwiches for added flavor and health benefits. You can even slip some leaves into a weight loss smoothie without altering the flavor.

3
Buckwheat

This lesser-known grain gives trendy quinoa a run for its money. Buckwheat is a slow-burning, easily digestible whole grain that, in addition to being a complete protein, is also rich in B vitamins and fiber. While you might focus on fiber for its waist-whittling and satiating effects, the nutrient is also incredibly important in the fight against cellulite because it helps push toxins out of fat cells. If you needed anymore reason to search out this grain, buckwheat takes another swing at cellulite with high amounts of lysine, an amino acid that helps repair body tissue and collagen.

Eat This! Make a healthy breakfast porridge with kasha (the cooked form of buckwheat), or include buckwheat flour in baked goods and pancakes. Soba noodles are also made from buckwheat and can be tossed with sauteed or steamed veggies for a healthy, cellulite-blasting meal.

4
Nuts

We know you’re already eating them for their rich essential fatty acid content, but nuts are another diet staple that help lessen the appearance of cellulite. Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to the health of the skin cell membrane, a two-fold protector of your body: It not only blocks harmful compounds like toxic chemicals but also holds in healthy elements (like water) to make your skin look softer, fuller and wrinkle-free. Essential fatty acids can also help delay the skin's aging by reducing the body’s natural production of inflammatory compounds.

Eat This! Add crushed nuts like walnuts or almonds to yogurts and oats, or just eat them solo as they’re one of the best high-protein snacks out there.

5
Grapefruit

Long a darling of dieters for its fat-burning ability, this citrus fruit can help your skin appear smoother thanks to their vitamin C content. C may be recognized as the cold-fighting vitamin, but it also helps build up and repair skin collagen — an essential component in the fight against cellulite. Eating this tangy fruit can also keep you hydrated, which is an easy way to make your skin look brighter and plumper. Some research has even found that consuming grapefruit regularly can help boost metabolism. Keep your calorie-burning furnace humming will boost your fat loss, helping dimpled thighs look trimmer and tighter (especially when combined with a regular workout plan).

Eat This! Reaping the benefits doesn’t have to be more complicated than simply cutting a whole grapefruit in half and digging into the segments with a spoon. (Grapefruit spoons work best because they have small ridges that help break into the fruit.) But if you’re not into eating it straight, grapefruit segments can be used in refreshing summer salads or even added to smoothies for a zest.

6
Water
with Lemon

Spiking your water with a simple lemon wedge can help shoo away cellulite in three ways: by hydrating your body, flushing out toxins and delivering a big hit of vitamin C. Your goal is to avoid dehydrated skin, which can look and feel dry, dull and lumpy while adequately hydrated skin appears soft, supple and smooth. With the added vitamins from the lemon, your skin will not only feel and look softer, but also have the necessary nutrients to fight against damage from things like the sun and air pollution.

Drink This! Start your day off with a hot cup of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. You can choose to drink this detox water hot or cold, but your body absorbs the warmer water more quickly because it doesn’t have to work to heat it up.

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