A Better Battle for the Bulge

By Lisa Marshall

Wish you could get rid of those bulging nodules of fatty tissue on your thighs and buttocks? What a silly question. Cellulite happens when connective tissues between the skin and muscle loosen, allowing fat storage chambers to bulge. By firming skin, burning fat, and strengthening weak connective tissues, you can temporarily erase this “cottage cheese,” says Denise Fuller, an aesthetician in West Palm Beach, Florida. Things to try:

A seaweed compression wrap. When used topically, kelp raises body temperature and stimulates metabolism (so you sweat out excess water and burn more fat). Meanwhile, the wrap compresses tissue, smoothing bumps and giving you a slimmer look for up to 10 days. Caution: If you are allergic to iodine or shellfish, or if you take thyroid medication, skip the seaweed.

A coffee bath. Fill the tub a couple inches high with coffee (caffeine is a natural skin firmer that also stimulates fluid flow), slip on some panty hose (essentially a do-it-yourself wrap), and take a soak, says Colorado massage therapist Anne Williams. No time to take a dip? Try a caffeine-laced anticellulite cream, or exfoliate your hips and butt with coffee grounds.

Dry brushing. To promote circulation and improve the appearance of your skin, brush upward on your legs, hips, and buttocks with a natural bristle brush once a day for five minutes.

Exercise. Movement trims fat and strengthens the connective tissues that allow those dimpled pockets to bulge. Take a brisk walk or practice yoga poses that focus on the lower body.