We all have stubborn areas when it comes to weight loss. Maybe the scale continues to go down, but we still can’t seem to figure out how to get rid of thigh fat, etc.
It all really comes down to genetics and hormones. People who are more estrogen dominant tend to store fat in their hips, thighs, and butt.
Unfortunately, when eating in a deficit, our body will lose the fat from wherever it sees fit. Sometimes it loses equally all over our body, but sometimes it does not.
We can’t spot reduce fat. What we can do, however, is focus on fat loss overall.
Even if you store more fat in your lower body, it will eventually come off if you continue to lose weight.
Won’t exercise get rid of fat on legs?
First of all, like I said before you cannot target fat loss. Doing endless squats will not get rid of that excess fat, only a calorie deficit will.
Exercise can help create a calorie deficit if you burn more calories than you eat in a day.
Building muscle can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite, increase your metabolism (which would help increase you calorie deficit for fat loss), and give your thighs a stronger more defined look.
And, muscle takes a lot more energy to maintain than fat. So, if we’re eating in a calorie deficit our body will wisely try to get rid of muscle mass first. But, if we are exercising to show our body that we need that muscle mass, it will likely pull from fat instead. So working out your legs is a great way to target weight loss from fat.
Best exercises for legs and thighs:
The best exercises are going to be compound movements because they will lead to the biggest calorie burn.
Compound Exercises for legs:
It doesn’t sound like an impressive list, but there are endless variations to these movements. My personal favorite are Bulgarian split squats (a lunge variation), static lunges, back squats, sumo squats, Romanian dead lifts, and Sumo dead lifts.
Also, it’s important to note that you should be doing these exercises at the squat rack.
Using a Smith Machine creates more of an isolation movement instead. Isolation movements have their place, but your workout should be structured with compound lifts coming at the beginning when you have the most energy and then you can add in isolation exercises and accessory work last.
Cardio is not necessary. If you hate cardio, you don’t have to do it to lose fat. It is a good way to increase your calorie deficit though. Whether you choose to do HIIT or steady state cardio comes down to personal preference.
Losing thigh fat through diet.
You can’t out exercise a bad diet. If you want to lose the fat, you need to make sure your diet is on point.
When we eat in a calorie deficit we will lose weight, but that weight loss can come from a combination of fat, muscle, & water. By tracking macros you are ensuring your protein intake is high enough to retain as much muscle as possible. This way your body will turn toward your fat stores for weight loss instead.
Bottom line, if thighs are your trouble area it probably means it’s where you store the most fat naturally. So, in order to lose it once and for all you just need to be in a calorie deficit until you get to your desired leanness.
You can get that deficit either through diet alone or just by adding in extra workouts or doing a combination of both. Just be patient and put in the time because it’s not going to happen overnight.