None of us are perfect. We all have flaws and imperfections, and that’s what makes us beautiful. But a question I get often asked is how to lose thigh fat. Although the answer to the question is not usually what the person wants to hear, it remains the same: fat spot reduction is impossible naturally. You have no control over where you would prefer to lose more fat from a specific part of your body than others – it doesn’t work that way.
This information may not come as a surprise to some of you, but if it does, please don’t feel disheartened because to lose thigh fat is possible – very possible – and it gets better than that, too.
Whenever you lose body fat, you lose it from everywhere.
The body doesn’t think, “This week, I’m going to burn fat from the butt, and next week I’ll think about it, but I might decide to lose thigh fat.”
Whether it’s your legs, arms, butt, or back, it will come off all those places if there’s fat there.
In reality, dropping the pounds come down to being in a calorie deficit, and that’s all there is to it.
However, as the fat loss occurs, you have the option to pay more attention to a particular area that you’d like to have a better or different shape to, and that can come to fruition via doing the correct exercises.
So, we know fat spot reduction isn’t possible from the thighs (or anywhere). Still, the following ten methods can help ease any water retention your legs may have and tone them up while simultaneously losing fat from all over your body.
How To Lose Thigh Fat
Not only are lunges fantastic for your thighs, but they are also exceptional for toning the gluteal muscles providing you are following a sound nutrition plan and eating adequate calories.
- Either hold dumbbells or use your bodyweight only and stand with feet together.
- Take a large lunge forward using your right leg, ensuring your torso is upright. Lower your body until your back knee is about an inch off the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Return to standing position, then step forward using your left foot and repeat.
- Alternate steps.
2. Stay Hydrated
The truth is that most people aren’t drinking anywhere near enough water as they should be, and this can be mistaking the feeling of thirst for hunger as both signals are similar and are easily confused.
If you’re tired, lightheaded, or feeling confused, these are all signs of dehydration, though mild.
However, the important note to take away here is that these signs are similar to how we feel when hungry.
Without drinking enough water, the body cannot convert your food into energy at a respectable rate as it otherwise would if you were adequately hydrated.
A piece of advice I would give surrounding this topic is to drink water before dinner as it will make you feel full, thus causing you not to eat as much food, which means there will be a reduction in calorie consumption.
There is no denying that water is crucially important for us, but never choose it in place of whole foods, as nutritionally, it doesn’t give you all that your body requires.
Eat a healthy, nutritious, well-balanced diet consisting of tasty foods to help lose fat or grow muscle.
3. Improve Sleep
Studies show that people who have poor sleep hygiene and get less than 7 hours of sleep each night are more likely to be overweight than those who get 9 hours of sleep or more.
Getting enough sleep is not always possible for some, but here’s the thing.
Sleep-deprived people show to have lower levels of leptin, the chemical that helps you feel full so the body doesn’t trigger hunger signals when it doesn’t require the energy.
However, the same people show higher ghrelin levels, the “hunger hormone,” which can lead you to believe you’re hungry when your body doesn’t necessarily need food.
4. Work on Stress Levels
Stress and anxiety affect us all differently.
While some people experience weight loss, others gain weight.
The reason weight gain happens is that people develop poor eating habits and turn to food for comfort, which is a coping mechanism.
However, a never-ending “stress cycle” can occur as gaining weight from feeling stressed can make you more stressed, resulting in someone gaining even more weight.
Look into reducing stress, like deep breathing techniques and meditation.
5. HIIT Cardio
It’s well documented that cardiovascular exercise offers a host of benefits to the body, one of which contributes to lowering body fat levels.
However, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and steady-state cardio deserve a place in everyone’s workout regime to assist in losing weight and toning the thighs.
The CDC recommends adults get a minimum of 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week to stay healthy.
You cannot target your thighs any better than doing good old-fashioned squats, and you don’t even need to go to the gym to do them.
Incorporate bodyweight squats into your daily routine, and before you know it, you’ll have thighs to die for.
Not only do squats hit the thighs so well, but they also work the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and abdominal muscles, so you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Mastering the correct technique is everything, and it can be the difference needed to burn thigh fat.
If bodyweight squats don’t cut it for you, then head to the gym and do some barbell squats with weight and watch the results happen quickly.
7. Watch Alcohol Intake
Although many of us love a tipple, alcohol can contribute to fat gain as it is usually high in calories and is not nutritionally sound.
Worse still, it’s easy to make poor food choices when you’ve had a few too many, which leads to overeating.
My tip would be not to overconsume, which will reduce weight gain and unwanted thigh fat.
8. Track Your Food
Tracking how much food you’re eating can put things into perspective when consuming unnecessary calories.
Think about it:
When you’re not tracking calories, you are susceptible to consuming way more food than you need.
So use a food tracker like MyFitnessPal, for example, and track every morsel of food you’re eating over the day.
Another benefit of tracking your food is that it allows you to increase your knowledge of portion size to see how much you’re eating per meal.
And this is a life skill to have, especially when eating out and counting calories is not an option.
9. Monitor Your Sodium Intake
I cannot emphasize how vital sodium is for the body, so please don’t think I’m directing you away from having it.
A large proportion of people who exercise regularly do not have anywhere near as much sodium as their body needs, which can cause a host of issues like muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting, for example.
However, that said, having too much salt will make your body retain excess water all over it, thighs included.
So be mindful of your food choices and assess if you’re taking in too much salt. For example, having processed foods like pizza, chips, spicy meats, burritos, etc., will cause water retention.
You may notice how your clothes feel tighter a day after eating food high in salt and sodium.
10. Hit Enough Protein and Fats
It is wise to follow a diet relatively high in protein and good fats, as both protein and good fats are satiating, meaning they keep you fuller for longer.
Protein is also thermogenic, meaning it boosts your metabolism.
Aim to eat 0.8g-1g protein per pound of body weight, as this will ensure enough calories are coming from protein, which is superb for health benefits and lowering thigh fat.
Eat a healthy diet consisting of plenty of lean meats, eggs, healthy nuts, avocados, and fatty fish.
A Word on Weight Loss
Remember that exercise does not necessarily equal weight loss, no matter the intensity or how regularly you do it.
If your goal is to lose weight to tone up, then to achieve this, it comes down to calories in vs. calories out.
You must burn more calories than you consume.
However, there should never be a rush to reach your desired goal.
Crash dieting is not only unsafe, but it also is not sustainable for long-term progress.
Eventually, you burn out and quit the diet.
The sad reality of crash dieting is that once you go back to eating the same as before starting the diet, you add weight back on exceptionally quickly.
So, give yourself realistic and ample time to lose weight. Accept it will take some time.
A final tip I will add is that progress should not solely depend on what the scale says.
There are many more ways (and more accurate ways) to measure actual progress than the scale.
To get stronger, more toned thighs, you must do exercises that work the leg muscles.
If you’re looking to reduce body fat, ensure you are in a calorie deficit and doing a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise.
About the author
I'm Chris. I have a vast interest in all things relating to health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition. I also love to improve my mindset and learn how to increase my productivity. If you'd like to say hello or ask me a question, please visit my contact page, and I'd be glad to hear from you. Alternatively, you can find me on Twitter (@liveliftlife).