With summer fast approaching, you may be contemplating how to lose weight in your thighs so you can go to the beach or wear shorts without feeling self-conscious.
For women, in particular, the thighs are a common fat storage area. It’s a genetic thing, and there’s not much we can do about genetics.
However, reducing your calorie intake and undertaking regular aerobic activity will lower your body fat and improve your thighs’ appearance.
Doing muscle toning exercises for the thighs can also give them a more visually appealing, streamlined appearance.
Keep reading for diet and exercise tips that will help you to reduce thigh fat.
How to Lose Weight in Your Thighs Through Diet
The first and most important thing to consider when you want to lose weight in your thighs is your diet. Exercise will firm your thighs. This, in turn, will make them appear slimmer.
But you could exercise daily for months or even years, and if your thighs have a lot of underlying fat, while firmer, they will still be fat. With more muscle, they could, in fact, look even larger.
It may be tempting to go on a crash or fad diet. But to lose weight and keep it off, it’s best to take a slower and more reliable approach. It will take you longer to reach your goal, but it will be easier in the long run.
Why Crash Diets Don’t Work
Extreme calorie restriction is incredibly difficult long term. And if you follow such a diet, you will risk nutritional deficiencies that could negatively impact your health. You will more than likely feel lousy, too.
Sure, your aim is to reduce thigh fat, but do you want to feel weak and light-headed, have headaches and constantly feel hungry and irritable?
Another thing to consider is that when we cut too many calories, our body’s natural defense mechanism kicks in, and we burn fewer calories to sustain energy.
To lose weight in your thighs, and all over for that matter, you need to increase, not decrease, the number of calories you burn.
Exercise is an effective way of doing this. If you aren’t taking in enough calories, you won’t have the energy to exercise efficiently, so again, don’t even think about crash dieting.
To lose one pound of body fat, you will need to burn approximately 3,500 calories. Divide 3,500 by 7, and you get 500. That is the number of extra calories you will need to burn each day to lose one pound per week.
This is safe and relatively easy to achieve through diet alone. It is even easier to accomplish if you take in 250 calories less each day and burn an extra 250 calories through exercise.
Easy ways to cut calories
As stated above, to lose weight in your thighs, you will need to lower your body fat.
One easy way to do this is to switch to eating low-fat dairy products. Cutting out or reducing the amount of sugar you put in your tea or coffee will also make a difference.
Swap out high-calorie sugary soda for water, which has zero calories. Water will also take the edge off your appetite. Try drinking a glass or two about half an hour before mealtimes. Studies have found that people who do this usually need less food to feel satisfied.
Cutting the portion size of your meals will help a lot, as will making some food substitutions.
For example, if you love potatoes and typically have French fries with dinner, try baking wedges instead. Add some tasty herbs and spices and a spray of vegetable oil. You will still be able to enjoy your potatoes, and you will take in fewer calories. Just be sure to watch your portion size.
What Foods Help to Reduce Thigh Fat?
A reliable way to lose weight in your thighs – and anywhere else – is to make protein a part of every meal.
Protein will keep you feeling full longer, making it easier to eat less. It is also required to build muscle as you exercise. Stick with lean protein sources like fish, chicken, and turkey or beans if you are a vegetarian.
Eating more fruit and vegetables is another key factor in reducing thigh fat. Most fruits and vegetables contain a high level of fiber. As well as being filling, it takes a long time to digest, so you will feel full for longer when eating fiber-rich foods.
Fruit and vegetables also provide the nutrients you will need when you increase your activity level through exercise.
Carbohydrates are okay in moderation if you eat the right type. In fact, they provide energy. Just be sure not to choose processed carbs full of empty calories – calories with little or no nutritional value.
Eat whole grains. Choosing grain bread over white will be healthier, more nutritious, and the fiber in the grains will take longer to digest and keep you feeling full long after you have finished eating.
How to Lose Weight in Your Thighs Through Aerobic Exercise
Now that you know the correct dietary approach for losing thigh fat, it’s time to formulate an exercise plan.
Cardiovascular exercise offers one of the best ways to shed excess body fat. Try cycling, either on an indoor bike or a regular push-powered bike outdoors.
Using a treadmill, rowing machine, or elliptical trainer will also work well. These machines can be especially useful to lose weight in your thighs as they target the lower body.
If you don’t want to join a gym or purchase exercise equipment, walking, jogging, or even dancing can work for you just as well.
If you decide to go the exercise equipment route, don’t up the resistance level on the equipment too much, as doing so could result in your thighs becoming bulkier due to an increase in muscle mass.
To build strength and endurance without adding bulk, work at low resistance.
For an optimal calorie burn, focus on keeping your heart rate elevated to its maximum level for at least twenty or thirty minutes each workout. Gradually increase your sessions’ duration to a maximum of sixty minutes as you become stronger and fitter.
If possible, do this five or six days a week.
If you can’t spend an hour exercising, HIIT is an excellent option that torches many calories in a short period of time. The workouts are intense, so not ideal for people who are just beginning their fitness journey.
Long-distance running is one of the best exercises to reduce thigh fat. Observe just about anyone who regularly runs long distances, and you will see they are usually slim with lean muscle mass.
Keep in mind though, that it takes a lot of time and effort to run marathons, and it’s not the sport for everyone. Jumping and bar exercises that keep you on your toes offer great toning benefits for the entire leg, not just the thighs.
Muscle Toning Exercises that Reduce Thigh Fat
Once you have lost some of your excess fat and you’re ready to start focusing on specific thigh toning exercises, try Squats, Lunges, and Step-ups onto a bench. Instructions for these plus more exercises to reduce thigh fat, read Diet and Exercise Tips to Lose Thigh Fat Fast.
One or two sets comprising 12-15 reps is a good starting point. Increase the number of reps and add an additional set when your muscle strength increases. Aim to do the workouts three to four times a week, taking a day off between workouts. The break will help you to avoid stress injuries that can occur when muscles are overused.
Whether you’ve recently gained weight or have been struggling to lose weight in your thighs for years, with persistence and dedication, it can be done.
Skip the crash diets. They are temporary at best and can be dangerous in the long term. If you eat nutritious food in smaller portions and work out regularly, you can reach your goal.
Want some specific exercises? Click here to take the 28 Day Squat Challenge.