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Are you after toned legs with less fat?
Have you tried to spot reduce or just your daily workout routine, but nothing seems to work?
Lots of women out there want to know how to lose thigh fat; you are not alone.
Sadly, there is no one food or exercise that guarantee the loss of outer or inner thigh fat, but if you want to know what can help, read this guide.
Why We Gain Thigh Fat
It is a common phenomenon that as people grow up, they tend to fatten up.
However, there are distinct differences depending on gender and age.
The deposition of fat around the thighs, the pelvis and the buttocks, and the bellies in men is largely driven by hormones.
In women, this fat is physiologically crucial during pregnancies.
But why are many trying to lose this fat? It has a cosmetic downside – cellulite.
Compared to men, women throughout their lives have a higher percentage of body fat.
In their mid-twenties, they have twice the amount of body fat than men, at least for healthy-weight individuals.
This difference can be traced back to the childhood years.
Cells determining fat gain triple in both genders from birth until the age of six, which is why there is a similar and gradual increase in body fat.
Girls will begin gaining weight at a much faster rate by the time they hit the age of eight.
When puberty begins, the changes in female hormone levels lead to an additional increase in body fat.
This is marked by an increase in size and number of the fat cells, and it can be seen by how the pelvis, the buttocks, thighs, and sometimes the breasts increase in size.
After adolescence, the increase and growth of fat cells stop.
Losing this type of fat is difficult, and although it is important during lactation, the cellulite problem sooner or later creeps in.
Cellulite is an orange-peel look on the buttocks, the hips, and the thighs, and is caused by more fat being packed into the existing fat cells.
The cells swell up as more fat is gained and, eventually, it becomes visible through the skin.
The hormone that causes the gain of fat in the thighs is estrogen.
From the moment it starts flowing in the body, weight gain occurs.
This might sound unfair or ridiculous, but the hormone causes a preferential distribution of fat to the thighs and the butt.
To make the matter worse, controlling the production of this hormone is a bit of a challenge.
How we respond to certain stimuli in life and our lifestyle habits, for example, what we consume, stress levels, and how we sleep can easily wreak havoc with hormones, particularly estrogen, triggering persistent fat spots that makes calorie-cutting ineffective.
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In terms of diet, an increased-calorie diet is a culprit.
It creates a surplus of energy, which makes it hard to control weight gain.
Adding even an extra 100 calories a day to your normal diet will make you gain 10 lbs. in a year, and if you add processed foods, the problem gets worse.
Eating unhealthy foods increases calorie intake.
They are full of empty calories, and if you aren’t doing any or enough exercise, you are on the way to getting lots of thigh fat.
Gaining thigh fat is also believed to be related to an individual’s lipolytic threshold.
Here, the genetic predisposition makes a big difference.
The amount of stored thigh fat is somewhat predetermined prior to your being born, and it runs in the genes you inherit from your parents.
Exercises to Reduce Thigh Fat
You can get thigh fat for any reason, but the most important thing to remember is that it is only through proper diet and consistent exercise that you can cut extra pounds off.
You will get in shape and realize a fat loss in some other parts of the body as well.
If you are really into knowing how to get rid of thigh fat effectively, here are some exercises that will help.
This is the first solution for how to lose weight in your thighs and the body in general.
It is very important that you burn more calories than you consume, but how do you achieve that?
Heart-pumping cardio is the answer you are looking for. It ups your calorie burn.
Cardiovascular exercises also focus on toning your legs.
Examples include cycling, running, and jumping rope.
If you haven’t been doing any cardio or have been doing only a few cardio exercises in a week, it is about time you pump up the exercise or start it all together.
Increase it to burn more calories.
It is recommended that you do some heart-pumping cardio exercise for about two hours and a half every week.
For maximum results, mix these workouts with high-intensity exercises, which will help you burn fat fast and benefit from a boosted metabolism.
While doing cardio, it is also important to add inclines for better targeting of the inner and outer thighs.
For example, if you are taking brisk walks on a treadmill, you can use the incline settings to make your exercise a bit more challenging.
But if you jog or run outside every morning or evening, find a trail with a steep surface.
You will feel your inner thighs and glutes burn.
Walking or running on a hilly trail is more effective in burning thigh fat than doing so on a flat surface.
This is one of the most important moves that is a great warm-up.
It stabilizes your muscles and activates your core.
Moreover, this exercise is effective in targeting your inner thighs. It is also simple to perform.
Clasp your hands behind your head and stand on your left leg.
With your right foot flexed, bend your right knee and swing the leg up and across your body.
Without putting the right foot down, make a sweep of the right foot to the right side of your body.
Do this ten times, back and forth with the right leg. Then switch legs.
Stand on your right foot, clasp your hands behind your head and repeat the same procedure the same number of times.
During the exercise, brace your abs all through to ensure that you maintain perfect balance.
Keep in mind patience is important.
Make this one of your workout routines until you realize changes.
Side Plank Lift
This exercise is another of the leg variations that challenges the whole lower body as well as the core and your arms.
There is no preference for position while trying this exercise.
You can start with any that you like.
For example, by lying on your left side, balance the upper body on your left arm with the palm firmly placed on the floor.
Stretch the left leg straight out with your toes pointed.
Bring your right knee to a bent position, and step it flat on the surface behind the left leg such that it leaves the left part of your body stacked up on top of the right side.
This is the plank position.
The next thing you need to do is to shift your weight to the right leg to make sure that the left toe touches the floor lightly.
Bring your thighs together as you raise your left leg up to meet the other bent knee.
Hold that position and call it the first rep.
Do at least 15 of these reps with the left leg and 15 with the right leg.
Like the previous exercise, brace your abs and hips through the exercise.
The effectiveness of these inner thigh workouts is achieved through the use of gravity’s resistance in challenging the inner thighs.
Bend and get down in a crawl position – with your hands and knees; ensure that your palms are flat on the floor and that they are shoulder-width apart.
Without changing the posture of your lower back, raise your right leg and place it under your trunk, crossing it in front of the left thigh.
With your right knee turned out to the side, place the outside of the same foot on the floor.
Then bring your inner thighs together by squeezing them, while raising the right knee up off the surface.
Ensure that you do not lose contact with the floor.
Keep your right foot always on the floor. Lower the knee and repeat the procedure.
Do this 15 times and then switch to the left leg.
Repeat the same exercise for the same number of times.
To make this exercise even more challenging, you can lift the whole limb, not just the knee, off the surface as you carry out the workout.
Sumo Squat Slide-In
Sumo squats are also known as grand plies and are the reason behind the perfect toned inner thighs of ballerinas.
In this exercise, you will add slides, which will force your muscles to maximize their performance.
Assume a standing position and, with your feet pressed together, turn your toes and knees at an angle of at least 45 degrees.
Extend either of your feet to take a wide step, then make a squat.
Go down as low as you can.
With your back kept straight, drop your hips low and with your arms in front of you, reach them to the floor.
Then as you brace to stand up, slide one of your feet towards the other.
Squeeze them together until the heels make contact as you reach your arms overhead.
Assume the same position again and repeat the process.
Start with either of the feet; do the squats 20 times, switching the legs every time.
Ensure that your knees point over the toes as your body is lowered into a squat position.
Side Lunge Sweep
Among the popular exercises for toning legs is side lunges.
It is one of those inner thigh workouts that is also effective for the outer thigh.
The additional cross in this exercise also engages the core.
The process is simple.
Place your hands on your hips and assume a standing position with your feet together.
To your left side, take a wide step out and lower yourself into a lunge.
Bend the left knee and push your hips behind you.
Continue pushing through your left heel and then stand back up, making a cross with your left leg in front of the body without making contact with the floor.
Make a wave with the left leg back out to the left side of your body and repeat again.
Carry out 15 reps with the left leg and 15 more with the right leg.
While doing this, concentrate on squeezing your inner thighs as you make the cross with the leg in front of your body.
Side Shuffle Switch
A side shuffle switch is a fast-paced movement that increases your heart rate and blood circulation.
It is also very effective in blasting body fat if one sticks to the routine and follows a diet.
It triggers the inner-thigh muscles to enable you to keep up with switching directions.
To do this workout you need to stand up with your feet close together and your arms by your sides.
Make a shuffle by taking three quick movements to the right, that is – right, left, and right – then lift your knee up while swinging the right hand forward.
Quickly change the shuffle to your left, that is – left, right, and left – and make a landing with your right knee up, and the left knee in a bent position and your right arm swinging forward.
Repeat this fast shuffle at least 20 times consecutively and as fast as you can with sides alternated.
It helps if you can use a steady rhythm. Count 1, 2, 3, as you shuffle.
You will stay quick, agile, and will achieve results much faster.
Lunge with Isometric Adduction
There are different types of lunges you can do.
The first one is the low lunge with isometric adduction.
It activates the inner-thigh muscle while at the same time engaging the rest of the body.
With your feet together and arms at your side, take a large step to the front with your right foot, then lower your body into a deep lunge position.
Put your hands on the floor and on the inside of your right foot.
Next, bring up your right knee and press it outside the right shoulder.
Squeeze, and then hold the position and count to 10.
Relax from the position, then push off the floor and assume a standing position.
Repeat with the other foot to complete the set. Do at least 3 of them.
Alternatively, you can try to do a lunge with a dumbbell.
With a 5- or 8-pound dumbbell in each hand, make a forward lunge with one of your legs and bring the other knee about an inch above the surface.
Step back and continue with the other leg.
Ensure that you bring it in so that it makes a slight tap at the back of the right knee.
Stretch the left leg out again and repeat with the other leg.
This is a simple body-weight exercise that guarantees getting rid of thigh fat gradually.
It tests the strength as well as the endurance of the lower body.
This exercise works differently than the other methods of losing thigh fat, particularly the squats.
It involves holding the body in a static position for a specific amount of time.
It is that simple.
With a wall sit, you will effectively work the hamstrings, the glutes, and the calves.
To begin, lean against the wall with your back and keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and hip-width apart.
The distance between the wall and your feet should be about two feet.
Next, brace your abs, and with your back against the wall, glide down until a right angle is formed with the bent knees.
The angle is crucial because, if the thighs aren’t parallel to the floor, the leg muscles will not be exercised fully.
Ensure that the knees are directly above the ankles and the back touching the wall throughout the exercise.
However, you can use something like a ball.
Place the ball against the wall to go easy on your back.
The ball will also give you a gentle massage!
Hold the position for about a minute, or if you can’t manage that, for at least 20 seconds.
Attitude to Side Extension
This is one of those ballet-inspired movements that is a great leg toner due to requiring good balance and engaging the inner thigh muscles.
To begin, stand on your right leg, slightly bend the knee, and place your hands on your hips.
Lift the other leg into what is called the attitude position.
This you can achieve by lifting the leg up and across the body, and turn the heel up as the lift occurs.
Do this for the left leg.
Next, to the side of the body, open the leg in the attitude position – in this case, the left leg – then straighten it out to a full extension.
Repeat this procedure about fifteen times with the left leg, then switch to the right leg.
Do the same 15 reps.
Make sure that while carrying out this exercise, a good body posture is maintained.
Do it exactly like the ballerina style.
Keep your spine tall, the chest lifted, and the abs tightened.
There are a ton of other exercises you can use to lose weight in your thighs.
If you eat sensibly and incorporate these exercises, you will realize results faster.
Practice regular aerobics and do the above thigh-toning exercises.
Remember that you don’t necessarily need to practice outdoors or at the gym.
You can do the exercises from the comfort of your home.
If you have some fitness tools like balls or treadmills, you can combine cardio and toning.
Dietary Changes to Lose Thigh Fat
As mentioned before, getting rid of thigh fat can only be achieved through exercise and eating healthily.
Patience and commitment to these two objectives will determine the overall result.
A healthy diet is a key to achieving maximum weight loss and maintaining a healthy and a lean body, your thighs included.
And regarding such a diet, take note of the following:
Consume Low-Calorie Foods
The most natural way to lose weight is by ensuring there is no surplus of calories in your body.
What this means is that you need to burn more calories than you eat.
This will allow the body to tap into the fat reserves, including the stores in your thighs as a source of energy to fuel your exercise.
Cutting at least 500 calories in a day will allow you to lose pounds considerably.
You will lose about a pound every week with this diet.
Regardless of what you consume, you will lose weight.
However, you should carefully choose what you eat for the low-calorie diet.
So, what kind of low-calorie diet should you incorporate into your workouts for the best results?
To succeed, you need to stick to the diet and follow it strictly.
\Make sure that in this diet, the calorie intake is restricted to between 1200 and 1500 calories a day.
It doesn’t sound easy to some people, but you can actually do it.
Reduce the consumption of fat to about 35 to 50 grams a day.
This will guarantee that fat makes up 20 to 30 percent of the day to day calorie requirement.
Similarly, reduce your intake of complex carbohydrates, which many processed foods contain, to about 170 or 180 grams a day.
This, you can achieve by eating foods like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, which will fulfill the daily requirement of 45 to 65 percent of calories.
Another thing to consider eating, to make your diet complete and healthy, is low-fat foods.
Fish, meat, and poultry should also be consumed.
The recommended percentage of low-fat proteins is between 50 to 95 percent, which will apparently amount to 15 or 25 percent of daily calorie intake.
Vegetables and fruits are particularly low in calories but are very healthy.
You can consume lots of them without having to worry about calories, and this is important in that they help you be satiated as you exercise.
Munch on a snack of vegetable soup or carrot sticks or even an apple to feel always full in between meals.
Before dinner, eat green salad drizzled with a little olive oil to feel satiated.
You can also add sautéed vegetable soup, casseroles, or pasta.
Apart from the above low-fat proteins, others that are particularly low in unhealthy saturated fat include skinless turkey, eggs, low-fat dairy products, chicken breast, and beans.
Stay away from red meat, as many cuts contain fat.
Nuts are also great for providing healthy protein and a significant amount of healthy fats.
The addition of these proteins, like veggies and fruits, helps you feel full and eat less during your outer and inner thigh workouts.
You will also be able to retain your muscle mass, and at the same time lose weight.
What else do you need for perfectly toned thighs and legs?
Watch the Sugar
Many people have a weakness for sugar, which is why desserts are the leading culprits in our struggle to shed that orange-peel look.
Examples of some foods you should consider excluding from your diet include energy drinks, sodas, and juices, among others.
They have a high sugar content. Water makes a perfect substitute.
It is crucial to your health and efficient in flushing out toxins from your body.
And it carries nutrients to the cells and ensures that there is a moist environment, which is exactly what the body tissues need to keep functioning.
It is even better than vegetables in terms of polyphenols – it contains ten times more!
Because of this, green tea is very effective in protecting cells from free radicals, which is why you should get yourself a cup of sugar-free green tea.
While you are at it, it is also important to substitute your sugary juices or soda with fresh fruit juices containing no artificial sweeteners or sugar.
They will provide your body with the ideal nutrients, and keep it hydrated without gaining more pounds, as opposed to the sugary counterparts.
Also, keep your hands and cravings off pastries, chocolates, cakes, and candy.
But if the urge becomes irresistible, do not overeat.
Exercise in the morning is mandatory.
Count the Carbs
This is why counting carbohydrates is important.
If you completely exclude them from your diet, it will do you no good.
There is a required minimum amount of carbohydrates needed for the body to function well.
This you can get by consuming foods like unpolished or brown rice, hand-pounded rice, multigrain flour and biscuits, cereals, and bread.
Be warned. If you add butter to any of these carbohydrate foods, you are ruining it.
The butter will make the carbs look bad. It isn’t eating healthy.
To be on the safe side, find ways to count the carbs you consume daily.
It is a great way of knowing how much you should eat, and how much you are consuming.
Incorporate Fiber-Rich Foods
Boosting your fiber intake is highly beneficial if you want to lose weight by burning more fat.
This dietary change works wonders, and it is believed that eating fiber-rich foods causes substantial weight loss.
For even better results, incorporate this food into proteins.
Using a high-fiber, high-protein diet leads to more burning of fat than eating foods with high protein and high carbohydrates.
Fibrous fruits and vegetables are two of the best sources of fiber.
Apples, peppers, greens, pears, blackberries, and raspberries, among others, are a few examples.
They boost your fiber intake and burn fat faster if combined with protein.
For instance, you can serve chunks of grilled chicken on an arugula salad, or grilled salmon with steamed kale or spinach, or even vegetable soup with a significant amount of black beans.
Fiber can also be gotten from whole grains, bread, whole-wheat pasta, and oatmeal, among others.
However, regarding grains, consume them in moderation, especially if you are counting your carbohydrates.
They also contain a substantial amount of starch.
Other foods that you need to incorporate into your diet are those that increase your metabolic rate.
These foods are beneficial for their health properties.
They will also help you maintain your weight if you have only a few pounds to cut.
But if you are excessively heavy, fat burning foods alone will not suffice.
How to Prevent Getting Thigh Fat
Losing overall body weight is sometimes effective in cutting those pounds off your thighs.
Still, if you want to maintain good health and your lean thighs, or you want to make them shapely because you don’t like how they look, here is what you should do.
Lose Weight by Eating
Eat a clean diet, like the one described above.
Limit your calorie intake to ensure there is no surplus.
Include some complex carbohydrates, high-quality proteins, and high-fiber foods.
Fruits and vegetables are mandatory. Most importantly, always give fresh food the priority.
Apart from eating healthily, eat small meals throughout the day.
It is recommended that you eat about four to five meals daily, instead of three large and heavy meals.
This will help you keep your metabolism high, and it will keep you satiated so that you do not overeat during your workouts.
Keep the portions small.
The last thing you want is to eat lots of foods rich in calories.
Limit your intake of saturated fats, which are contained mainly in desserts.
Watch how many sweets you eat. Do not exclude, but limit.
Some of the saturated fats have benefits you are likely to miss if you exclude them entirely, like those found in nuts and fishes.
While you are at it, replace your pork and beef with turkey and chicken, and if possible, scout for fresh tuna or other fish with oil and lower in fat as opposed to red meat.
Also, eat lots of low-fat dairy products.
This is especially helpful for women prone to osteoporosis.
Think milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
It is important to limit your alcohol intake.
It is a source of empty calories that you don’t want to include in your diet.
Your fat-burning ability is reduced, making it simple for carbohydrates and fat to be stored.
This happens as the body tries to rid itself of the alcohol’s by-products.
Diet busters. Don’t make room for them in your diet.
Sweet cereals, French fries, and soda should be avoided.
Lose Thigh Fat Through Exercise
Spot reducing for your thighs is no good. It doesn’t work.
Lose your overall body fat, and you will also lose thigh fat.
It is one way of being realistic in your expectation of cutting those pounds off your thighs.
Try the above-discussed exercises and few more others.
Increase your cardio and ensure that you do this at least half an hour a day, five days a week.
Try interval training. Alternate intense bursts of vigorous workouts.
Walk and jog, five minutes for each for a total of half an hour or an hour.
Alternatively, try alternating a jog with a run.
This way, you will burn more calories and, hence, fat.
Aim for these types of exercise for about 4 to 5 times a week.
Do squats, lunges, around-the-room froggies, scissor kicks, and pillow squeeze with your cardio, and you will see the best results.
Love Your Body
This is by far what will motivate you to exercise and maintain a healthy diet.
Be realistic. You are not alone, and your worst critic is you.
You notice your outer and inner thigh thickness much more than other people do.
Are the thighs worth your trouble?
Are you seeing more than really exists?
Do this evaluation and know if you are being overly critical of the state of your body.
Ask the friends that you trust, or family, to give you an honest opinion of how your thighs look.
They can help you learn if you truly need to tone them.
Or you can visit your doctor for a true and accurate medical evaluation.
Look for the positives.
Your thighs may look unpleasant to you, but other parts will make you proud.
Don’t waste all your energy feeling bad about your thighs, but concentrate on those that make you feel beautiful.
This will motivate you to exercise with confidence.
Appreciate your body, as it is a system that helps you live your daily life.
Being appreciative of it goes a long way in helping you pay attention to what it can do every day.
It isn’t just an ornament, but an instrument.
Realize that those strong thighs helped you lift up your children if you have them and that they helped you play hopscotch in your driveway, in addition to giving you the strength to walk up a flight of steep stairs.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Drink plenty of water as you cut out excessive sweets or sugar from your diet. It is healthy, plentiful, cheap, and it really tastes good! Drink about 1.9 liters every day. Before you eat, drink a glass, or a cup of tea for that matter.
- Maintain a physical exercise for the whole body that isn’t too intense, or that you can’t handle or is too technical.
- Join a challenge league or a recreational club. Play a sport or form an exercise program with your friends.
- Ensure that you get plenty of rest. With all the exercise you are doing, you are bound to get exhausted, which is a good sign. Good sleep will help you burn that fat and lose weight.
- Pick up what you like the most and do it fully. This way, your mind is relaxed, leading to the secretion of happy hormones. The less you are stressed, the more you will burn fat.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables with high-quality proteins like nuts or meat. Opt for lean proteins instead of red meat.
- Be patient. Results may not be realized immediately but through a consistent diet and thigh workouts.
- Avoid lots of sugar or sweets.
- Alcohol: Try to stop using alcohol while exercising, or entirely if you want to lose that fat faster. When you consume alcohol, it gets broken down into sugar, which is stored as fat.
- Heavily processed foods should be avoided. Any bagged foods, or boxed, frozen, or canned ones. Also, avoid pre-made foods like pizza, or fries.
- Minimize the intake of dairy or meat products, which are high in fat.
- Avoid the intake of foods high in saturated fat as they can be damaging if consumed in excess.
How to lose thigh fat is challenging for many people.
Sadly, it also isn’t the easiest part for one to train, but with the above-discussed exercises, the diet, and the do’s and don’ts, the result will be rewarding.
Only don’t overdo your workout as this will result in soreness.
This will demotivate you.
Just pick a few of the exercises, or if possible, over the course of several weeks, you can alternate them.
Do them for at least thirty minutes a day for five days.
Do both high-intensity ones and the ones that don’t take much of an effort.
Don’t forget cardio exercises.
The workouts will work magic on your butt, thighs, hamstrings, and quads, as well as calves.
Also, note that the transformation will not happen overnight.
Be determined, focused, motivated, and patient.
Keep working on it and you will achieve the results you desire.
Hopefully, this guide was sufficient in helping you learn everything you need to know about losing thigh fat.
If you have more ideas for how to get rid of a few pounds from your thighs, feel free to share.