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Effective Ways to Lose Thigh Fat

Dec 26 2016 - 10:00am

Even though full hips and thighs are a beautiful thing, many a woman has looked begrudgingly at her legs in the mirror. Unfortunately there's no one exercise or food that does the trick — spot reducing fat doesn't work — but keep reading to find out what can help.

Cardio and Enough of It

Burning calories is key to reducing your overall body fat, and heart-pumping cardio is going to make that happen. Choose the types that burn the most calories [3] such as biking, running, and jumping rope. As a bonus, these also tone the legs while you're doing them. Do 60-minute sessions five times a week [4] to really notice a difference.

Pump It Up

The incline, that is. When doing cardio, pump up the treadmill's incline, find some hills to bike or run up, or do the stairs outside or in your home. You'll instantly feel your heart-rate increase, which means you're working harder, burning more calories than if you stuck to a flat surface. Incline also targets the thighs, hamstrings, and tush, toning your lower body.

Tone Up

With all the cardio you're doing that's stripping away that extra layer of fat surrounding your lower body, you want to reveal strong, toned muscles underneath. Doing moves that sculpt your inner and outer thighs, hamstrings, and butt will make your legs look leaner and slimmer. Include strength training sessions a few times a week, targeting the lower body with workouts like these:

Start Your Day Right

Definitely don't skip the first meal of the day since it'll jump-start your metabolism, helping to reduce your overall body fat to reveal your leaner legs. Pass on sugary, refined-carb meals, and opt for a combo of protein and fiber-filled complex carbs. The protein will give you energy, so you'll feel pumped for that early morning cardio workout, and it also helps build muscle. The carbs will sustain that energy and keep you feeling full. Here are some satisfying breakfast ideas.

Snack to Stave Off Hunger

Eating a little something every few hours will prevent hunger from causing you to overeat, so be sure to eat a snack in between meals. Keep it under 150 calories and choose foods high in protein and fiber to fill you up and offer energy. Here are 150-calorie homemade snack ideas [14] like these strawberry creams.

Write It Down

You can't slim down by exercise alone. It's important to cut calories as well and to know your daily calorie intake. Though it may seem tedious, keeping a food journal works [15] — in fact, one study found that those who logged what they ate six days a week lost twice as much weight [16] as those who only kept track of a day or less. In order to lose a pound a week [17], you need to cut 500 calories a day — 250 through exercise and 250 through diet is a good breakdown. Just be sure not to dip below 1,200 calories [18]. Writing it down will keep you accountable for every bite.

Hydrate With H2O

Choose water every time you reach for a drink, and you'll save hundreds of calories avoiding sodas, fruit juices, and other sweetened beverages. Aside from being zero calories, it'll keep you hydrated, which also helps with weight loss. Keep water close by, and sip it often, especially before meals — filling up on water before eating helps encourage portion control.

Spend Time Dreaming

Getting enough rest is also proven to aid in weight loss [19]. Sleepiness makes people snack more, consuming extra calories, while also making them too tired to work out.

Embrace Genetics

If you're blessed with a pear-shaped body (and so is your sister, mother, aunts, and grandmother), there's not a whole lot that exercise, eating right, and taking care of yourself can change. Do what you can, but don't obsess or stress about it. Enjoy life in the body you were given — thighs and all!

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