Thigh Fat: Excess fat around the hips and thighs is a very common problem.
Especially for women, while men are more likely to store fat around their stomachs. women are more likely to store fat around their thighs their pelvic region and their hips.
This female preferential fat storage pattern is believed to be caused by higher estrogen levels.
In women leading to more subcutaneous fat storage or in other words more fat stored under the skin in areas like your thighs rather than “visceral fat” storage which is fat stored around the stomach area and the organs.
Unfortunately even though visceral fat is more dangerous for your health.
If you continue accumulating more subcutaneous fat around your lower body it can lead to aesthetic issues like the development of cellulite and an overall pear-shaped body.
So, today I want to go over the 3 key steps that you could take to help reduce the fat around your thighs:
1) Stop focusing specifically on losing thigh fat and instead shift your focus to losing overall body fat :
So many women go to the gym and try to do though next at they found online hoping that doing a thigh workout will help slim up their lower bodies.
However, even though certain exercises will help improve the shape of your lower body none of these exercises will help burn the fat directly off.
The thighs Instead the fat will only come off your thighs as you lower your overall body fat percentage and the number one way to do that is via diet.
But you don’t want to go down the traditional dieting route of simply aiming to eat less calories a common starting point is, for example, to eat 500 less calories per day and reduce calories more over time.
This eats less and less approach is something that I’ve seen over and over again particularly with female clients.
But the problem is even if you’re eating less calories and those calories are still coming from sources that are either “processed high in fat or sugar” then you’re more likely to create insulin resistance which will physically prevent fat loss.
And instead of burning that extra 500 calories per day, your body will just slow down its metabolism to make up for those missing calories.
So, instead of just tracking calories it’s very important to also know your macros and you have to fill those macro with the fresh Whole Foods that don’t come in a box and are usually made out of just one single ingredient like avocados, rice, or eggs to easily find out your macros.
Now once you have your macros a great way to prevent your metabolism from slowing down as much is to cycle your calories and macros not only does this help keep your metabolism elevated but for many people, it may also help you avoid “binging”.
Cycling your calories naturally incorporates days where you’ll be allowed to eat more food helping you feel more satisfied while still burning fat.
For women that struggle with thigh fat in particular you mustn’t be constantly yo-yo dieting because you’ll never be able to stick to your diet long enough.
To tap into that stored fat in your thighs and every time that you quit it’ll cause you to progressively gain more and more fat around your thighs.
This is one of the main drawbacks of your body preferentially storing fat in your lower body first while preferentially burning the fat from that same area last.
So, instead of going down the calorie restriction route one of the best ways to start calorie cycling is by simply dropping your calories a little more aggressively.
first by let’s say something like 30-35% from maintenance for two weeks and then you would bring your calories back up to maintenance levels for two weeks.
Research shows that these “two weeks on & two weeks off” dieting approach can help lead to more fat loss.
while being more sustainable and less likely to result in a metabolic slowdown.
Now keep in mind while you cycle your calories you want to mostly cycle the number of carbs or fats that you’re having per day while keeping protein consistent at about 0.70-0.75 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight,
This is so important because not getting enough protein is another major issue that many women run into.
So make sure that you’re doing that to take advantage of the muscle-building, appetite-controlling and the metabolic boosting effects (that come with eating a higher protein diet).
Now, as you burn away the fat underneath that fat I’m sure you’re hoping to find some perfectly round glutes and some slender toned legs but the only way to ensure that you have a tone lower body is by following step two.
2) focus on getting stronger with weight training :
I know that many women are terrified of using weights because they’re afraid of bulking up.
However, science shows that lifting weights is something that helps women get the defined bodies that they want.
It also helps funnel the protein carbs and fats that you’re eating towards rebuilding your muscles.
Instead of towards fat storage, another benefit of building more muscle is that it helps elevate your metabolism which is the key to actually keeping the fat off in the long run.
Lastly, even though we can’t target the fat sitting on top of your thighs we can target the muscles like the glutes quads and hamstrings themselves to improve the shape of those muscles.
So I’m going to give you three of the best exercises that you can do to start developing your glutes and your thighs:
i) deep squats:s
Deep squats are excellent at stretching and challenging the glutes and the hamstrings more than regular parallel squats.
But keep in mind if your knees bother you or if you’re a beginner then squatting to parallel is still extremely effective as well.
So to begin you’ll want to “first unrack a barbell with the barbell resting on your traps and then spread your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart while slightly rotating your feet outward.
Before lowering yourself down make sure that your chest is up pointing straight ahead
and that you’re maintaining that neutral curve in your lower back then take a deep breath and hold it as you drive your hips back
Bend your knees and lower yourself down while making sure to keep your weight over the midline of your foot squat down until your hips are a little under parallel with your knees.. and then drive through the middle of your foot extend your knees and come back up then repeat for reps”
ii) Walking lunges:
These are amazing at toning up the legs especially with posterior muscles like the glutes and hamstrings.
Start by grabbing two dumbbells, then take a big step forward and plant your front foot flat on the ground while coming up on your toes with your back foot.
“When doing this keep in mind that from a front angle your feet should still be about hip-width apart,
you shouldn’t be trying to keep them in a straight line and shouldn’t be crossing over”
Once you’re in the proper starting position lower yourself down by bending both knees and dropping your back knees straight down.
Then stand back up and step forward on the other side for your next lunge alternating back and forth for reps as you walk while doing this.
Something to keep in mind is if from a side angle you’re creating more of a triangle in between your legs instead of what looks like a rectangle
Or if your front knee is passing over your toes then that means that your feet are too close and you need to have a longer stride length by stepping further away from your back foot as you do your reps.
iii) Step-ups :
Well, this exercise is awesome for thighs.
You’ll simply get a platform that’s about knee level.
you’ll grab two dumbbells to make the exercise more challenging and then you’ll place one foot flat on top of the platform
Then kick off your back foot as you drive down with your front leg and stand straight up.
After that lower yourself back down and repeat all your reps on one side before switching to the other.
Also if you want to challenge your glutes more with this exercise then point your back toe up before each rep to take your back calf out of the movement.
Now if you simply do three to four sets of each exercise with a challenging weight it should be enough to already get quite a good leg workout.
Well, one of my friends asked me last month about legs workout without any equipment!
And I know that this is a very common problem.
So, even if you don’t have access to weights and you just do this at home with just your body weight by incorporating more sets and reps,
It can still go a long way regarding enhancing the muscle tone on your thighs.
Also, keep in mind that even if your main goal is to improve your lower body you should still also work the rest of your body with weights throughout the week,
To ensure that you develop a proportional figure while still optimizing your lean body mass and metabolism.
Cardio can help you burn some extra fat. but I purposely save this for last because most women are already doing way too much cardio and not enough weight training.
Even though cardio can help you burn fat if your training plan is all cardio and no weight training you can bet that you’re gonna sacrifice some muscle mass and your metabolism will drop. Especially if you’re coupling that with cutting calories.
It’s much better to just focus on burning fat with your diet and to get the best results. You have to save cardio for when you hit a plateau and can’t seem to burn any more fat.
Another good time to add cardio is after you’ve already substantially dropped your calorie intake and you don’t want to continue dropping your calories any further also if you’re adding in cardio you want to add it in slowly.
So add one cardio session for the week and see how it goes if it helps you break through your plateau then don’t add any more cardio sessions unless you plateau and get stuck again.
Now if instead you add a bunch of cardio all at once and you overdo it, your body will adapt and start burning fewer calories from your cardio sessions.
You may also find yourself getting hungrier and taking those calories right back in by eating more food.
And on top of all that ‘too much cardio’ will tire you out, preventing you from being able to perform optimally during your weight training workouts.
The bottom line is don’t be a cardio Queen and instead add cardio in slowly.
I recommend that you also stick to high-intensity interval training where you alternate between short 15 to 60-second burst rounds of intense aerobic exercises like –
slams or burpees
And then combine that with less intense recovery periods in between,
For example, walking for 15 to 60 seconds in between each sprint performing cardio like this will help you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.
than typical steady-state cardio exercises like running on a treadmill.