Where your body stores extra fat is mostly determined by gender and genetics. For women, the thighs are among the most common areas where excess fat tends to accumulate, as well as in the butt, hips, and lower belly. So if your problem area is just your thighs, what can you do to lose the excess fat?
Targeted Fat Loss in Thighs
There’s still no definite consensus on whether or not targeted fat reduction works. Also known as spot reduction, this is an exercise strategy for fat loss that focuses on a specific problem area. For example, a person may exclusively perform triceps exercises in an attempt to get rid of the extra fat on the back of the arms.
However, there is a lot of evidence that suggests that spot reduction is not effective. Experts claim that while your body determines where it accumulates excess fat, it does not burn extra fat for energy from these specific problem areas when you only exercise said areas. Instead, the fuel needed for exercise can come from anywhere in the body where there is fat.
What does this mean? Fat loss does not occur only in a specific area; it is, rather, generalized to the entire body. Whole-body exercises that combine cardio workouts and strength-training will work better at burning any and all excess body weight than targeted exercises. Even if you’re not fat “overall,” your body will burn the extra fat wherever it is located, and you will also get the amazing benefit of having a toned, fit, and strong physique.
But while spot fat reduction may not be effective, you can still target specific body areas, such as your inner thighs, for muscle toning.
Targeting a specific area for fat loss may not work, but you can target a specific muscle area to tone and make more defined. But it is important to note that you will still have to perform cardio exercises together with toning exercises to burn fat because toning exercises, alone, do not use up a lot of calories.
You will have to lose the extra bodyweight if you want to see definition in your stomach from doing sit-ups and crunches, for example. The same goes for losing the extra fat in your thighs, but you can perform the following exercises to help tone the muscles in your thighs:
- Curtsy lunges, 10 to 15 reps each leg. Optional: Hold dumbbells in each hand for extra resistance.
- Lunges, 10 seconds each leg, 10 to 15 reps. Optional: 5- or 8-pound dumbbells that you can simply hold steady against either side, or you can perform bicep curls with the lunges.
- Side lunges, 10 seconds per leg, 10 to 15 reps. Optional: Medicine ball which you will hold against your chest.
- Pile squats, 10 seconds each, 10 to 15 reps.
- Skaters, 20 reps.
- Supine inner thigh lift, 15 reps each leg.
- Walking or running on the treadmill at an incline to add intensity. Alternatively, you can walk or run on stairs or a hill.
Here are some more tips to help you lose thigh fat:
- Reduce the sodium in your diet by avoiding or minimizing consumption of processed foods. Too much salt leads to water retention and bloat.
- Add more electrolytes into your diet (e.g. calcium, magnesium, and potassium) as these compete with salt and, therefore, helps with the balance of fluid in your body. Dark, leafy greens, bananas, and yogurt are excellent sources.
- Cut back on carbs, as extra the extra glycogen from carbohydrates eventually gets stored as fat and also makes the body store more water.
- Eat more fiber and protein to keep you fuller longer.
- Watch your food portions.
- Keep a food diary to track your food intake.
Losing excess fat in your thighs will take a whole-body weight-loss approach, which should combine exercise and a healthy diet.
How to Lose Excess Fat in Thighs – The Bottomline
Most fitness professionals agree that spot training to lose fat in a specific area does not work. You can spot-train for some toning and definition in the targeted muscle group/s, but you will most likely not lose much of the excess fat in the same area.
If you want to lose excess fat in your thighs, performing thigh exercises and being more mindful of what you eat are steps in the right direction. While you’re at it, you can gradually incorporate whole-body movements and a cardio routine to achieve the results you desire. Find an activity you enjoy, such as swimming or walking. Take advantage of the many mobile fitness and diet apps to help you stay on track.
Even if your problem area is just your thighs, you will have to work your whole body to lose the extra baggage. Weight-loss through exercise and a proper diet occurs throughout the body, and a combination of cardio exercises and strength-training will work best in getting rid of not just your thigh fat but your overall body fat.
Keeping the weight off is, of course, another story. You will have to stay committed to making healthy choices for life. Modern Fit‘s 16-week course can get you started on the right path.