Why does cellulite look worse after weight loss?

I thought exercise would reduce my cellulite, at least a bit, but it's the opposite. I think it looks even worse now and I don't understand why. Did this happen to anyone else?


F, 59, Virginia

Tags:woman age 55-64 cellulite after weight loss exercise

I dropped over 60 pounds very quickly when I was trying to lose some extra weight I had acquired over the winter. It left a lot of loose skin that was riddled with stretch marks and cellulite. I was, at first, confused about the severe cellulite. Originally, I had thought that maybe it was a much more intense form of stretch marks on top of my regular stretch marks, but upon taking a closer look, I discovered that it was indeed cellulite. The cellulite looks kind of like an orange peel. To look how to reduce cellulite, I went to the internet with questions of how this was so, and learned that fat cells are not completely responsible for cellulite. Lost collagen must be replaced to prevent fat from poking through the skin and causing those unsightly lumps and bumps. A few bottles of collagen later, I noticed a very positive difference in both my actual stretch marks and the amount of cellulitis I was retaining.

This happened to me too, and it was really frustrating to feel like all my hard work just made my skin lumpier. It turns out that cellulite is basically caused by these bands of connective tissue that attach the skin to the muscle, so even weight loss cannot get rid of cellulite. The bands tend to pull down on the skin while layers of fat push out on the skin, causing that sort of dimpled look. When I lost weight, my skin also lost quite a bit of elasticity. The looser skin I ended up with after weight loss sort of exaggerated my cellulite, so it was really noticeable until my skin firmed up again.

I work out five nights a week. I follow a very strict schedule, and rarely miss a night at the gym (like, I have to be hurt or sick or something to miss). I have maintained an excellent physique for many years now, yet I have always had an ongoing problem with cellulite. With my healthy lifestyle, you would think that I would be the last person to have it, but you would be wrong. Their appearance doesn’t bother me much (I’m a pretty confident guy), however one of my lifting bros told me how hard lifting can be on your skin. He said my stretch marks and cellulite came from my skin being stretched too thin over my expanding muscles and that I should take the time to rub on lotion after working out so that my skin handles my swell better. He said that it was a lot like rubbing oil into leather to keep it from shrinking and cracking.

I think it’s great that you are exercising and losing weight. It’s a good lifestyle choice and I hope that you don’t get too frustrated because you can still see cellulite on your skin. I had this problem at first too. I went from a size 18 to a size 6. I was so happy with myself until I would see my thighs in the mirror. It wasn’t pretty! But I kept exercising and eating a healthy diet. I found out that your skin must regain its shape after losing weight but eventually the cellulite will go down. Reducing body fat and strength training will help your skin tighten up. So, keep doing what you’re doing and don’t lose hope!

It didn't happen to me, but it happened to my friend. She also got wrinkles in different parts of her body after weight loss. I'm not sure and this is just a theory, but we both think it's because her skin got sort of stretched when she was fat. When her fat went away, her skin is already stretched and saggy. It's why the cellulite and wrinkles appear.


I think you must try to do exercise that builds a lot of muscles, like bodybuilding. So that your skin will become tight and firm again. Ask your doctor first before doing this, though. Some muscle-building exercises have special requirements.