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Keto and Cellulite: Can the Ketogenic Diet Help?

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  Published on November 23rd, 2023
  Reading time: 4 minutes
  Last modified October 30th, 2023
Keto and cellulite

Cellulite is a common complaint among people of all body types and genders. It presents itself as a sort of dimpled flesh, highlighting lumpy fat cells that cluster in key parts of the body. Usually, it presents itself in the abdomen, thighs, and buttocks, but could surface in other places as well. If you want to know what you can do to minimize this condition, you might want to consider the keto diet. 

So how are keto and cellulite linked? Here’s what you need to know about choosing the right diet to combat stubborn cellulite.

What to Know About Cellulite

Before taking a deep dive into how ketosis affects cellulite, let’s first take a quick look at what you should know about this condition. Cellulite is relatively common, impacting about 90 percent of women. [1] Men are also affected but at lower rates. 

It tends to form in areas where fat cells are stored, which means you are more likely to spot this dimpled flesh in the abdomen, buttocks, hips, thighs, and even on the triceps.

So why are women more impacted by cellulite than men? The reason is twofold: they have a decrease in estrogen levels as they age and they have more layers of fat in certain areas of the body. 

As women age, they see a decline in their estrogen levels, which negatively affects their circulation and collagen levels in the same areas. As fat cells increase in size, they become visible through the lower collagen levels, and the result is cellulite. [2]

Women also have extra layers of fat around certain areas including around the knees, on the hips, buttocks, belly, and triceps instead of only one layer, making it more likely that cellulite will appear. [3]

The good news is that ketosis holds a lot of promise for combatting visible cellulite. Here is what you need to know about how the right diet can minimize the appearance of this bumpy flesh.

Ketosis and Cellulite: What’s the Connection? 

The primary way that keto leads to weight loss and fat reduction is via a lower carb intake. Most people on keto eat 50 grams of carbs or fewer each day. Typically, the body will burn carbohydrates for energy. When these are absent, the body switches to burning fat stores instead.  

One study looked at women who had cellulite to determine the connection between the reduction of cellulite and better eating habits, exercise, and topical cream. Researchers found that women who stuck with a keto diet in the first few weeks of the program had increased rates of lipolysis (the breakdown of fats) and reduced fat tissue. [4]

Using keto and cellulite cream to combat cellulite

Keep in mind that in this particular study, a keto diet was used in conjunction with exercise and a lipolytic topical cream. Still, the results suggest that ketosis helps you to minimize the appearance of cellulite because it reduces the overall fat tissue in your body composition. 

Increasing Collagen to Improve Cellulite

Another way that keto can impact the formation of cellulite is through nutrition. Many people on keto take a collagen supplement for its many benefits, and this supplement is especially important for those looking to reduce the appearance of cellulite. In one research study, a specific type of collagen peptide supplement was shown to improve women’s skin hydration, elasticity, and density. [5] Collagen supplements have also been shown in double-blind research studies to reduce cellulite and skin waviness on the thighs. [6] 

This might mean incorporating more foods into your diet such as:  

  • Chicken with the skin still on
  • Beef cuts with fats and connective tissue
  • Bone broth
  • Eggs (both whites and yolks)
  • Gelatins (try unflavored mixed into keto smoothies or use it to make desserts)
  • Sardines 

You can also buy collagen protein powder or powdered collagen peptides which are easily tossed into bowls of sugar-free Greek yogurt or your keto morning smoothie. As an added benefit, collagen supplements have tremendous benefits for your skin health in general as well as your cellulite. 

Managing Cellulite with Ketosis

If you are serious about combatting your cellulite, the keto diet might be an excellent way to eliminate stubborn fat pockets that lead to the dimpled, telltale signs of cellulite. By sticking to a low-carb diet, your body will tap into fat reserves for energy. The more fat it burns, the less likely you are to see dimpled flesh. 

Make sure that you also increase your intake of collagen if you want to see the maximum impact on your cellulite. This can be easy to supplement in the keto diet with a few key recipes.

Ashley Simpson is a freelance writer dedicated to helping people improve their lives -- in every way possible. She understands that food and diet are necessary components to a healthy lifestyle and experiments with both. When she isn't typing away, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.



Young, V. L., & DiBernardo, B. E. (2021). Comparison of Cellulite Severity Scales and Imaging Methods. Aesthetic surgery journal, 41(6), NP521–NP537. https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sjaa226


Leszko M. (2014). Cellulite in menopause. Przeglad menopauzalny = Menopause review, 13(5), 298–304. https://doi.org/10.5114/pm.2014.46472


Harmon, K. (2009, May 4). Is cellulite forever?. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-cellulite-forever/ 


Roe, E., Serra, E., Guzman, G., & Sajoux, I. (2018). Structural Changes of Subcutaneous Tissue Valued by Ultrasonography in Patients with Cellulitis Following Treatment with the PnKCelulitis®Program. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 11(3), 20–25.


Bolke, L., Schlippe, G., Gerß, J., & Voss, W. (2019). A Collagen Supplement Improves Skin Hydration, Elasticity, Roughness, and Density: Results of a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blind Study. Nutrients, 11(10), 2494. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102494


Schunck, M., Zague, V., Oesser, S., & Proksch, E. (2015). Dietary Supplementation with Specific Collagen Peptides Has a Body Mass Index-Dependent Beneficial Effect on Cellulite Morphology. Journal of medicinal food, 18(12), 1340–1348. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2015.0022


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