Women are more prone than men to gaining weight in their lower body. A woman’s thighs, hips and lower stomach are all key areas where fat is stored. If you feel your legs are too big and carry excess weight, whether you’re a man or woman, you should understand that losing weight from your legs requires a full-body approach. You cannot pick and choose what part of your body you want to lose fat from. Your leg size can naturally be reduced by making changes to your diet and exercise regimen.
- Change your eating habits by reducing your caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories daily. One pound of fat has 3,500 calories so you will lose 1 to 2 lbs. in a week. Skip fried foods, sugar and refined carbohydrates because they throw off your blood sugar levels so your appetite increases and fat metabolism slows down. Get carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables. Prepare lean protein instead of fatty protein and avoid saturated and trans fats found in cookies, cakes and fast food.
- Replace your large breakfast, lunch and dinner with six smaller meals spread out over the day. Feed yourself consistent nutrients so your metabolism stays active and you don’t feel deprived.
- Exercise three days a week, for 45 minutes per day to burn fat. Move your lower body by swimming, running or biking — and aside from caloric burn, you will also experience light toning of your legs. Add intervals where you speed up for several minutes to high intensity. Intervals increase caloric burn more so than steady cardio does, so you get fast results.
- Accelerate your resting metabolic rate by following an whole-body strength training routine. Increase muscle tissue so you burn fat all day and night instead of on the spot, as cardiovascular exercise does. Use your own body weight, free weights or weightlifting machines to train arms, stomach, shoulders, chest, back and legs for all-over fat burn.
- Tone legs because muscle takes up less space than fat so your legs will appear slimmer. Perform lunges while holding dumbbells in your hands for added resistance. Step forward with your right leg. Come up on the toes of the left leg. Hold the dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing your body. Shift your weight so it is mostly resting on your right leg. Bend both knees to lower your upper body straight down to a few inches from the floor. Push yourself back up to the start position and exhale on the exertion.
- Include squats in your leg workout. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Point your toes straight ahead. Lower your body by bending your knees so that your upper legs are no more than a 90 degree angle to your lower legs — imagine sitting down in a chair. Avoid the knees from going over the feet. Push through your heels to come up to the start position and exhale.
- Brew green tea and drink three to five cups per day. Substances in green tea called catechins speed up your metabolism, according to Colon Health.