Tried And True Techniques To Target Weight Loss Around Your Thighs

Losing weight, whether in general or from a specific body part, such as your belly or your thighs, can be a challenge. But if slimmer thighs are your goal, there are tried and true exercises that will help you to target weight loss in this area.

Keep in mind that some of your body parts, like your thighs, require you to work out your entire body to see results. On top of this, you should consider adding workouts that specifically target weight loss around your thighs. 

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Why is it hard to lose weight around the thighs?

There are many reasons why we may struggle to lose weight from our thighs, including:

Not eating enough protein

Studies¹ show that a higher-protein diet encourages your body to burn fat and preserve lean body mass. Eating higher protein and lowering carbs also reduces water retention, as your body turns carbs into glycogen, which can cause you to hold water weight.

If you are eating a 2,000 calorie diet, the ideal daily protein intake is between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, while at the same time reducing your daily carb intake to less than 225 to 325² grams.

Not doing enough cardio

Cardio tones your legs as well as your whole body, and by regularly doing cardio workouts you will increase the benefits. Cardio or high-intensity workouts burn more calories than other types of workouts to support your weight loss goals.

Expecting fast results

When you first start a diet and exercise program, you can lose weight quickly. The initial weight loss is often water weight. As you continue with your routine, your progress eventually slows. Although you are still losing pounds, you may not see much change in how your body looks, specifically your thighs.

Your ability to lose weight in your thighs is affected by:

By addressing these factors, you can keep losing weight from your thighs, but it may still be a slow process.

Ineffective workouts

To lose weight from your thighs, you should pick the most effective workouts and avoid doing one repetitive exercise. For instance, you could do squats one day and lunges the next. The variation will keep your thigh muscles working.  By changing up your leg workouts, you will focus on working the entire leg, rather than just your thighs, which can speed up the weight loss process.

The best exercises and activities to lose weight around the thighs

Losing weight slowly and consistently is the best, most sustainable approach. The CDC³ recommends that you aim to lose around 1 to 2 pounds per week to be able to maintain your weight loss. Make sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet to manage your weight, as well as stay active and work out your muscles effectively.

Stay active

On average, you should be moderately active at least 150 minutes each week. If you are trying to lose weight and get your body into better shape, you could increase this to around 300 minutes per week.

Some ways to boost your daily physical activity include:

It generally doesn't matter what you are doing to be active, as long as you are moving. Find activities you enjoy and can do consistently. If you are not a fan of the gym, try:

  • Walks on the beach – A beach walk on the sand will get your heart rate up and work your leg muscles, especially your thighs.

  • Taking the stairs – Did you know that climbing stairs for around 30 minutes can burn around 295 calories? This will vary based on your current weight and whether you are climbing or walking down the stairs.

  • Finding a sport you enjoy – Swimming, cycling, dancing, or team sports are all effective ways for you to be active. Pick one or more that you enjoy losing weight in a fun way.

Strength training

Training the muscles in your legs through strength and resistance workouts can be very beneficial to losing weight and improving the appearance of your thighs. Your thighs are a major muscle group, so your exercises should target them specifically.

Squats, lunges, and deadlifts are often the first choices when targeting the thighs for both strength and weight loss. While they are important exercises, you should regularly change the ways in which you work out different muscle groups to ensure that they don't get too used to one motion or activity.

Other options to train your thighs include:

  • Squats with added weights

  • Fitness ball bridges

  • Hamstring curls

  • Platypus walk

Exercises that do not specifically target the thighs can also provide benefits, such as calf raises and hip bridges, by strengthening other areas of the leg.

Resistance training⁴ has been shown to be effective at reducing fat while increasing lean mass. You can mix up your routines, whether at the gym or at home, and increase resistance by adding in resistance using bands or extra weights, such as dumbbells or plates.

It is also important to keep in mind that many women naturally have cellulite around their thighs. While to some extent it cannot be removed, you can reduce it by toning your thigh, glute, and core muscles.

What to know before you start working out

The success of any workout routine depends on your ability to stick to it consistently to see results. Many people struggle to get started, especially when you first feel those muscle aches from doing things your muscles aren't used to doing.

If you want to become more physically active, there are some things you will want to consider. For instance, you should talk to your doctor if you are unsure what exercises are safe for you due to mobility or current health issues.

Other tips include:

Drink water

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, whether you plan to work out or not, and especially before meals. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, you want to avoid dehydration which can increase muscle cramping and pain during and after a workout. Secondly, drinking water before meals helps you to feel fuller and reduce how much you eat.

Increase protein

When you are working out your muscles, you need to eat enough protein to help them recover and get stronger. To add more protein into your diet, you could start your day with eggs for breakfast, instead of a carbohydrate-based breakfast such as cereal or toast. Prioritize protein over carbs to lose weight around your thighs, especially if you want to get rid of cellulite.

Reduce sugar

Find ways to reduce your sugar intake, such as not eating processed foods that have added sugars. Excess sugars mean excess calories which make it difficult to lose weight.

Listen to your body

Above all, listen to your body. If you feel too sore to work out the next day after a hard training session, it’s okay to take a step back to give your body time to recover. Consider going for a walk to promote active recovery. When you feel able, get back into it, but maybe reduce the intensity to create a more sustainable routine. If the aches or soreness are unbearable, you may want to talk to your doctor.

Tips to make working out easier

The hardest part about losing weight from your thighs is often finding the motivation to push forward with your diet and exercise routine. Tips to make it easier include:

Schedule time to work out

Too often we forget to exercise because we live busy lives. Make a plan that involves exercising at a certain time of the day and commit to it.

Get a workout partner

When you work out with a friend or partner, you can push each other to stick to your workout routines. This can make it much easier to commit to and have more fun while doing so. It can be hard to exercise alone as you are only accountable to yourself, so it can be tempting to go easy on yourself.

Do workouts you enjoy

Find the workouts that work for you and you enjoy doing, so you can commit to a routine. You might hate sit-ups or are physically unable to do lunges. Tailor your workout to what you like.

You can work out anywhere

Not all workouts have to be done at the gym. Walking your dog in the park, going swimming with your children, or even cleaning the house can be a good workout. Making exercise a regular part of your day and taking opportunities to increase your physical activity, no matter what you’re doing, can lead to sustainable weight loss.

The lowdown

Losing weight is often a challenge. If you’re looking to lose weight generally or specifically from your thighs, it’s important to create a diet and exercise routine that works with your lifestyle and you can commit to. By choosing effective exercises that you enjoy, and reducing calories in a safe, sustainable way, you can achieve weight loss from your thigh area and maintain it for long-term results.

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