While areas of the body affected by lipedema, such as the hips, thighs and ankles, are almost completely resistant to diet and exercise no matter how few calories are consumed or burned. However, it is essential that women who suffer with lipedema need to practice healthy nutrition and exercise. Eating well-balanced, nutritious food helps to reduce inflammation while avoiding putting on unnecessary weight.

Marcia V. Byrd, M.D. is the Medical Director and founder of The Lipedema Surgery Center.  As a leading lipedema expert, Dr. Byrd is dedicated to accurately diagnosing  lipedema and successfully treating patients who have this debilitating disease. For more information about The Lipedema Liposuction Center, click here.

Nutritional Guidance

Some Patients have reported that their symptoms worsened after eating processed foods, drinking alcohol, or foods that contain yeast. Other patients claim that inflammation improved by avoiding certain foods and including healthier choices into their daily diet. The table below outlines dietary alternatives as well as foods to avoid.


Nutrition and exercise

Helps to Eliminate Inflammation

Contributes to Inflammation

 Nuts Gluten and Casein
 Spinach Safflower and Sunflower oil
Olive Oil Soy and Corn
Tart Cherries Meat
Turmeric and Ginger Dairy and Eggs
Pineapple Processed Meats
Orange Vegetables and Fruits Fried Foods
Onions Soft Drinks
Garlic Fast Food


Studies show that low impact exercises that do not increase lactic acid help to increase lymphatic drainage and improve blood flow through affected limbs including:

  • nutrition and exerciseSwimming or other water activities
  • Walking
  • Whole body vibration
  • Stationary bike (or street bike if able)
  • Elliptical trainer
  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Pilates
  • Dancing

High impact exercising (i.e. jogging, step-aerobics) should be avoided as they may worsen join pain. Patients with lipedema should avoid sitting or standing for long periods and always try to build some form of exercising into their daily routine.

Dr. Byrd tells each lipedema patient about how important nutrition and exercise are to their treatment plan. Often it is met with resentment because so many have been told that they are just fat and need to go on a diet. She will always tell them that this disease is not their fault and understands that going on a diet will not remove lipedema fat. Nutrition and exercise  aims to reduce inflammation and fluid retention in the body while keeping women at their target body weight.

Lipedema patients will be given additional information about nutrition and exercise as part of their treatment plan.

Dr. Marcia Byrd and her team of experts care for patients throughout the United States and Canada. Locally, Dr. Byrd services the North Atlanta, GA area including Roswell GA, Alpharetta GA, Milton GA, Woodstock GA, Canton GA, Dunwoody GA, Sandy Springs, GA and more. If you suspect that you suffer from lipedema, call (770) 587-1711 and schedule a consultation. Be the best you can be and live a full life – there is no reason to wait!