Call it what you like; cellulite, cottage cheese thighs, orange peel syndrome, etc. The reality is that every woman has, to a greater or lesser extent, some cellulite located somewhere on their body. While we understand that it can make one feel as though they have to force their body into hiding, there are other better ways to manage this problem. Keep reading below:


The dreaded word for almost all women after puberty. Although it also affects men, it is less common - and some believe less visible - due to men having thicker skin in general.

So what is this condition? It describes the appearance of the skin, in particular, the lower limbs i.e. the legs and abdomen. Some of the common names you may have heard include orange peel or cottage cheese. It refers to the uneven distribution of fat in these regions. Fat is normally laid down pretty evenly, but in the case of cellulite, it gets lumped with space in between, giving the skin a dimpled effect, not unlike the skin of an orange… hence the name.

The cause of this condition is not very well understood, though there appear to be many common factors among those affected. These include genetics and lifestyle.

The one which poses the biggest problem in the treatment of the condition is estrogen, a hormone more prominent in women than in men. Levels of the hormone are at their highest from puberty until menopause. Estrogen appears to initiate and promote cellulite, though much more conclusive research is needed.

Of course, diet and lifestyle play a significant role. Cellulite is far less common and not as prominent in healthy individuals with low levels of general fat and an active lifestyle. Excessive amount of fat or too little fibre in your diet can lead to the formation of cellulite.

Other factors which might not be so obvious are smoking, tight clothes, high-heeled shoes (chuck away those pairs of Jimmy Choos) and standing or sitting for long periods of time in the same position - all have been linked to the condition.


First of all, understand that it is a harmless condition by itself, though it usually points to an overall unhealthy lifestyle, which may lead to health problems. Therefore, the biggest problem people have with it is appearance.

Now, for the bad news. Despite what many slimming centres and cosmetic companies market to you, there are no published reports in the scientific literature showing any treatment or supplement (these include herbal remedies or creams) having an effect on the condition. I know this one is hard to believe. The marketing is good. Remember, this condition has been documented for almost 90 years: if something worked, it would be documented by now.

That brings us back to the only accepted method - a well-balanced diet and a healthy and active lifestyle. No short cuts on this one. Get some exercise and dump the junk food for a fitter & sleeker looking you!

This article was contributed by Jason Moriarty, the Lead Instructor of Rebel Bootcamp in Subang Jaya and Brickfields who was recently featured in Episode 10 of the Biggest Loser Asia Season 2.  For further inquiries, check out or email