Our legs carry us through our day, so it’s no wonder they tend to be quite muscular. But legs are also a problem area for many people because fat tends to accumulate there, particularly on the thighs.
If you’ve been wondering how to lose leg fat in a healthy way, you’re in luck! While there are no magic cures, there are plenty of proven strategies you can use to get slender, sexy legs.
Lose Leg Fat with Exercise
Our legs get a workout whenever we walk, but that’s not enough to burn away all the excess fat. To lose leg fat permanently, you’ll need to start a regular cardio routine and follow it up with some strength training.
Cardio exercise increases the heart rate and speeds up our fat-burning metabolism. Consult an online calculator to find your target heart rate for optimal fat burning, and choose an aerobic activity that keeps you in that zone for at least 20 minutes a day, 3 to 5 times a week.
Which exercise is the best? To target your legs, try swimming, cycling, jogging, or walking through sand or along the bottom of a swimming pool. If none of these options appeal to you, try sports or group exercise classes. The key is to find an activity you enjoy so that you will do it regularly without getting bored or feeling tortured.
It doesn’t hurt to start slowly, especially if you’re not accustomed to regular exercise. Choose a fun activity to do for 15 minutes a day, and work your way up to 30 minute sessions.
Strength training exercises can be done at a gym or at home. If you prefer the gym, use machines designed to give your legs a great workout. If you’d rather stay home, try squats, wall-sits, and lunges.
Lose Leg Fat through Diet
A highly thermogenic diet will help you lose leg fat faster. Thermogenic foods are thought to heat up the body’s core temperature, leading to a faster metabolism. While this idea has its share of skeptics, many swear by it. Some of the most thermogenic foods include tropical fruits, peppers, and green tea.
Fill in the rest of your diet with leafy green vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole eggs, lean meat, and whole grain products. Use sugar and salt sparingly, and opt for unsaturated fats instead of dangerous trans fats.
Lose Leg Fat by Losing Stress
Stress causes weight gain. When our bodies feel threatened (by stress, illness, or too-frequent dieting), they cling to their fat stores and start putting away more calories as fat. That’s because of a primal instinct for survival that helped our ancestors make it through times of famine.
Today, since few of us face the threat of famine, we simply accumulate fat. You can reduce your stress level and your body fat by doing yoga. Yoga relaxes the body and the mind, sending stress hormones packing.
For extra leg toning, look for poses that require you to balance on one foot, poses that require you to stand with bent knees, or floor poses that require you to hold your legs away from your body.
Note that you can’t lose leg fat without losing fat from the rest of your body. Take care of yourself by eating right and exercising, and your legs will shape up fast!