She looks hot in shorts. And you keep wondering when will you get rid of your thunder thighs so you can sport a bikini. You have tried every diet under the sun, but the stubborn fat on your thigh don’t seem to budge.
What exactly is the reason behind thunder thighs, a problem that most young women battle? Well, it may be a result of hormonal imbalance, improper diet, genes, lack of activity, pregnancy or a combination of all.
So, what can you do to get a toned thigh? The best antidote is to increase your activity levels. Research has shown that active people are less prone to diseases and physical activity slows down aging (1), (2).
If you are clueless about how to go about it, we are here to help. In this article, we have listed the exercises that will help you burn thigh fat and build lean muscle. Then we move on to what you should eat and the lifestyle you should follow to maintain an overall healthy weight.
First, let’s get to the root of this problem.
Why Fat Accumulates In The Thighs
Primarily, fat gets deposited in the thighs due to the female hormones. If you have an abnormal menstrual cycle or experience unpleasant bleeding, it is probably because either estrogen or progesterone is being under-produced or overproduced. These hormones are produced in the ovaries, and fat cells accumulate when there is an imbalance in the hormone levels.
The Slim Thigh Test
How do you know whether you have extra flab in your thighs or if it is all in your head? Simple! Do a slim thigh test at home. Here’s how you can do it.
Pinch your thighs. If you can catch hold of a good amount of tissue, it means that your thigh muscles are covered with too much fat tissue. You can also use a fat measuring caliper to know how much fat has accumulated in your thighs. If your body fat is more than 25% as compared to other components, it’s time you lose those extra pounds.
How To Lose Weight From Thighs
1. Exercises For Slim Thighs
a. Leg Up
This a good thigh exercise. It will help you shed fat from the lower body.
- Lie down on the floor facing the ceiling.
- Keep your palms on the side facing the floor and relax.
- Lift both the legs at about a 30-degree angle from the ground.
- Hold for about five seconds. Slowly bring the legs down to the floor.
- Repeat this 10 times.
b. Leg Stretch
This stretching exercise will ensure proper blood circulation. You can feel it as soon as you do at least three sets.
- Sit upright with your legs joined and stretched.
- Slowly move the legs apart as far as you can.
- Now, breathe in as you bend right to touch the toes of the right foot with both your hands.
- Try to touch the knees with your head. Relax and hold for 5 seconds.
- Slowly lift your head up and bring your hands to each side of your pelvis. Breathe out while doing so.
- Do this for the left side.
- Repeat this 10 times.
c. Air Cycling
An effective way to lose fat from the thighs. Air cycling also takes care of your pelvic and knee joints.
- Lie on your back and face the ceiling.
- Lift your legs up to 90 degrees.
- Start moving your legs as if you are cycling in the forward direction.
- Do this for 1 minute and then slowly put down your legs and relax.
- Move your legs up to 90 degrees and start air cycling in the backward direction for 1 minute.
- Repeat the set 5 times.
Lunges are the perfect workout for your inner thighs. They also take care of the gluteal muscles and help shed a few extra pounds from your buttocks as well.
- Stand straight with your feet about 3 centimeters apart.
- Hold light weights.
- Step forward with your right leg and bend your left leg to come to a “proposing” position.
- Do this with the left leg.
- Repeat the set 10 times.
e. Trace The Alphabets
- Lie down on your back and face the ceiling.
- Lift your right leg straight up and start tracing A-Z with it.
- Do this with your left leg as well.
- Breathe and relax in between.
f. Table Top Cross Over
This exercise will help you lose fat from your outer and inner thighs.
- Lie down on your back and face the ceiling.
- Lift your body up by supporting your body weight with your limbs, creating a “table” shape.
- Lift your right leg up. Simultaneously, raise your left hand and touch the toes on your right foot.
- Repeat the same for the left leg.
- Repeat this for 20 times.
Here is a video to guide you:
g. Scissor Kick
This will work your thighs and buttock muscles and tone them as well.
- Lie straight on the mat, hold up your head by placing the palms of your hand behind your head.
- Lift your leg slowly and keep both the legs straight.
- Now, vertically move them apart, bring them together, and again move them apart.
- Repeat 15 times with each leg.
Do this only when you have lost a good amount of fat from your thighs. This exercise helps to build muscles. Without losing the fat, if you build muscle, you may actually end up making your thighs look bigger.
- Stand with your shoulders relaxed and your legs apart. Point your toes outward.
- Keep your upper body straight, inhale and slowly lower your buttocks till you come to a sitting position.
- Hold for about 5-10 seconds.
- Repeat this 10 times.
If getting skinny legs is what you had been dreaming about, this will be your last stop. Take a look at these!
These 7 Remedies Are All You Need For Those Slim Hips And Thighs!
12 Effective Exercises For Toned Thighs
23 Thigh Exercises For Strong Legs
9 Exciting Asanas That Will Tone Your Inner Thighs In A Matter Of Days
i. Cardiovascular Exercises
Cardiovascular exercises can be very effective in slimming your thighs. These include working out on cardio equipment like a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical trainer, etc. Half an hour of cardio for at least five days in a week helps a lot in slimming down the lower body and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Running slims down your thighs and reshape your legs. It is an effective exercise for people with big thigh muscles as it decreases the size of the muscles by reducing excess fat. Endurance running with little or no incline can trim down your thighs. If it appears difficult, you can also use an elliptical trainer with little or no resistance. Ensure that you maintain the correct posture on the elliptical trainer to lessen the strain on your quadriceps (front of thighs), thus preventing your thigh size from going up. Running on an incline should be considered as it can burn more calories than running on a flat surface.
k. Aerobic Exercises
Aerobic exercises help in burning fat on your inner thighs and the rest of the body as well. Certain exercises like stair climbing, brisk walking, running, and dancing increase the heart rate and work out your thigh muscles. Hence, make it a point to indulge in aerobic exercises for at least 45 minutes a day for five days a week.
l. Resistance Training
You can turn to strength training after you have lost some weight from the thighs to make them well defined. Often, it happens that after losing weight, your thighs and legs lack proper shape. Resistance training is the best solution to this problem. A program of resistance training makes your thigh muscles harder, stronger, and more defined. It also prevents your thigh muscles from getting larger in size. Weights should be kept moderately light to prevent your thigh muscles from getting bigger. Those with highly responsive muscles (mesomorphs) should avoid such exercises as their thigh muscles are already well toned.
m. Abduction Machine
Abduction machines are found in most gyms, and they focus on exercising your inner thighs. You can start off by placing your inner thighs on the padded levers and feet on the footrest. Ensure that there is enough resistance to make your abductors burn. Squeezing your legs together, hold and extend out to the starting position. Three sets of 20 repetitions should be performed.
You can consider liposuction if all your efforts to remove excessive thigh fat accumulation have failed. It involves removal of fat under the skin with a cannula and vacuum. However, this procedure can only be performed on fit individuals who have stubborn fat and not those who are overweight.
To lose thigh fat, you have to lose overall body fat. Physical activity targetted for thigh slimming should be supported by healthy foods.
In the next section, we shall discuss what you should eat and avoid to reduce your thigh fat.
A healthy diet is a key factor in losing weight and maintaining a healthy and toned body, including your thighs. Hence, as far as your diet is concerned, you should pay attention to the following points.
- Consume Low-Calorie Foods
To lose weight effectively, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Hence, a low-calorie diet with low-calorie food is recommended, which restricts your daily intake of calories to 1200-1500 calories. This can be achieved by limiting the consumption of fat foods to 35-50 grams per day, which will provide 20% to 30% of the daily calorie requirement.
Apart from this, around 180 to 270 grams of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, should be consumed, which will fulfill 45% to 65% of the calorie need for the day. Low-fat proteins like poultry, meat, and fish should also be eaten. It is recommended to eat 50% to 95% of low-fat proteins. This will provide for 15% to 25% of calorie intake for the day.
- Eliminate Sugar
We all have a weakness for sweets, but it is these desserts that make it tough to shed those extra pounds. Sodas, energy drinks, juices, etc. have a high content of sugar in them and hence should be avoided. Instead, drink plenty of water as it removes toxins from your body, transports nutrients to cells, and provides a moist environment needed by the body tissues.
Green tea is also an excellent source of antioxidants with minimal calories. It contains ten times more polyphenols than vegetables, and hence, protects the cells from free radicals. Thus, a cup of unsweetened green tea is a great option.
Fresh fruit juices (without sugar or artificial sweetener) are also a great option to provide your body with the essential nutrients and hydrate it without gaining extra pounds due to added sugar.
Avoid eating cakes, pastries, chocolates, and candies or even if you do, do not overeat. Make sure you exercise the next morning.
- Count The Carbs
The three essential macronutrients required by our body are fats, proteins, and carbs. Therefore, cutting the carbs totally from your diet will do no good. A minimum amount of carbs is required for the body to function normally. Eat brown or unpolished rice, hand-pounded rice, multigrain flour, multigrain biscuits, bread, and cereals. If you add butter to the biscuit or sugar in your bowl of cereal and think that you are eating healthy, you are wrong. In this case, the sugar and butter are making the carbs that you eat look bad, not the carbs themselves!
Download a calorie counting app and keep track of the carbs that you consume daily. It will also give you a fair idea on how much carbs you should eat every day and how much you are actually consuming.
The secret of losing weight often lies in staying happy and maintaining peace of mind. Your busy life does not give you that privilege. However, it is time to take control of your mind. Change your lifestyle and demand all the happiness that you deserve. Here is what you can do.
3. Turn Your Lifestyle Around
- Get Rest
We tend to accumulate a lot of fat when we overwork our body or mind. Proper rest is highly recommended for women who want to lose thigh fat or weight in general. Less than 7 hours of sleep can make you gain weight (3). Also, if you have been exercising, your body needs to burn fat and build muscles. Muscle building takes place when you sleep and not when you are working out. So, ladies, get a good night sleep.
- Play A Sport
I am with you if you are thinking—“I don’t have the time for games!” But, believe me, playing any sport at least thrice a week will help you in many ways. It can be playing fetch with your dog or playing soccer with your toddler as well! The adrenaline and the good hormones will help you lose weight and keep your hunger pangs at bay. Your mind will stop worrying all the time, you will also get a sound sleep at night, and hence, you will be active all day at work.
- Pick Up A Hobby
Start doing things that you like the most. Your mind is more relaxed and calm when you do things that make you happy. Happy hormones do a lot more good than you can imagine (4). The lesser stress you take, the more weight you lose, and the more confident you become.
- Take A Hike/Bike/Airplane
Try and take out time for hiking, biking, or traveling to places that you always wanted to. Hiking and biking will help you tone your thigh muscles, and traveling will help you see places and people that will open up a new world to you. By now, you must know that both physical and mental workout is required to lose your overall weight, which will ultimately help you get slim thighs.
- Go Easy On The Alcohol
Alcohol is broken down into sugar. Excess sugar gets stored in the body as fat. Hence, it is better to either avoid alcohol or to drink in moderation.Losing weight from specific areas, particularly your thighs, is quite an uphill task. Therefore, you should be patient and focused on what you wish to achieve. You need to give yourself enough time before you ‘flaunt’ slim and toned thighs. You have to be realistic in setting your goals after taking into consideration your body fat, genetic makeup, and current level of body fat.
- Join Social Groups That Promote Fitness
How we are, depends a lot on the people we hang out with. To lose weight, you have to be around people with similar goals or people who have lost weight. This will inspire you and make you more aware of healthy habits. Gradually, you will incorporate those habits into your life. And I bet, you will wake up and be proud of how your thighs and your whole body looks.
Losing thigh fat can be challenging. But with proper exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes you can make your mission successful so you can confidently wear any outfit. But hey, don’t push it for tomorrow. Start today, get your trainers out and do the exercises listed here at home.
Most importantly, I suggest you get a preliminary body check up done and talk to your physician to know the reason for excess thigh fat.
All the best!
Have questions? Check out these frequently asked questions by our readers. If you still haven’t found an answer, feel free to ask us in the comment box.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
How can I lose thigh fat without gaining muscle?
Do the exercises mentioned above, except for squats and lunges. Always start by doing a few stretching exercises and then move on to the exercises.
How can I tone my thighs?
Tone your thighs only after losing the fat. Do lunges, side lunges, standing cross kicks, squats, and strength train your thighs to tone them up.
I gained a lot of weight during pregnancy. Will these exercises help me reduce weight as well?
Yes, sure! Do not start doing all the exercises at once. It can injure your muscles. Start by doing warm-ups, walking, and freehand exercises. Then, after a week, you can start incorporating the activities mentioned above, one at a time.
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