Do you want slim and toned thighs? Are you feeling like your lifestyle needs a bit of a makeover and some new inspiration? Slim thighs don’t just magically appear, but with some work, they are definitely doable. You’ll need to deploy the right combination of exercise and diet; and if you’re consistent, you’ll see results in no time.
Exercise Tips for Slimmer Thighs
1. Avoid exercises such as squats
Avoid exercises such as squats, lunges, leg curls, stiff-legged deadlifts, leg extensions and calf raises, especially with heavy weights for now. They DO NOT slim thighs. A piece of cardio machinery you would do well to avoid is the Stairmaster/ step machine. Although these exercise are often promoted to make thighs smaller, they actually target thigh muscles and can make them bigger. Weight training make muscle fibers larger. You can do these exercises once you have striped fat from your thighs and have a clearer idea of how muscular your thighs are.
2. Cardiovascular exercise to slim thighs
This is the main tool in your arsenal. Your cardio goal should be to burn fat without gaining much muscle mass in the thighs. To achieve this you need to avoid working the thigh muscles more than necessary. If you are working out on cardio equipment, you need to keep the resistance low (e.g. elliptical trainer, stationary bike) or the incline low (treadmill). However, aim for a moderately high intensity (how hard you are exercising) for maximum effectiveness. Use the heart rate calculator. If you are exercising outside avoid hilly terrain.
3. Long-duration cardio to burn fat without bulking up
This will avoid targeting the type of muscle fiber that makes muscle get big and bulky. Instead, long-duration cardio (e.g. long-distance running) will target a smaller muscle fiber that has very limited capacity for growth. The result is that you build stronger muscle without building big thigh muscles, while burning fat. On the other hand, avoid short intense bouts of cardio (e.g. sprinting, HIIT). Although this can be a great fat burner, it may also increase the size of your thigh muscles. Endurance running is one of the most effective exercise to get defined, slim thighs and legs. Endurance runners tend to have very slim legs, especially in compared with sprinters who have highly developed and very large thigh muscles.
4. Running to slim thighs and reshape legs
Endurance running is especially effective in those who have big thigh muscles, as it may decrease the size of the muscles and reduce fat around the muscle to make the thighs smaller. It will completely transform the size and make-up of your thighs and your calves. Therefore, to slim down thighs do endurance running with little or no incline. If you find it too difficult to run or are unable to run, try the elliptical trainer with little or no resistance. Posture on the elliptical trainer is critical. Correct posture will target your butt, outer thigh and hamstring muscles (back of thighs) and lessen the strain on your quadriceps (front of thighs), avoiding you from inadvertently building big thighs.
5. Resistance training
When you have lost some fat from your thighs you can think about resistance training. If you need to increase muscle mass in order to increase the shape and definition of your thighs you can implement resistance exercises. In order to have fantastic legs you need muscle. Therefore, if you lack shape having lost weight, a program of resistance training targeting the legs will help to shape and firm them. Be sure to keep the weights moderately light (up to 70% of your one-lift maximum), so that your thigh muscles become harder, stronger and more defined, but not significantly larger. In other words, focus on completing more repetitions, with less resistance. Those who have the type of muscle (mesomorphs) that responds quickly and gets big need to be particularly vigilant and may not choose not to do any such exercises, since their thigh muscles are already well toned.
You need to be patient and focused on what you want to achieve. You cannot burn body fat in specific areas, especially inner thigh fat. You cannot spot reduce. Body fat is lost from the entire body during weight loss. The inner thighs will be one of the last areas of the body in a woman to be slim and firm. Just remember to be realistic and to take your body shape, genetics and current level of body fat into consideration when setting goals. You can get slim thighs, but you need time to get there.
Diet Tips for Slimmer Thighs
1. Take in fewer calories than you burn during the day
Want to lose weight? This is the only reliable way to do it. Since one pound contains about 3,500 calories, you’ll need to burn approximately 3,500 more calories than you eat as food in order to burn one pound of weight.
Don’t get daunted by these numbers. 3,500 calories is a lot to lose in a single day. Shoot at first to lose around 500 to 800 calories per day. This will probably mean taking in anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 calories and burning anywhere from 2,000 to 2,800 calories a day with exercise and regular activities.
Get in the habit of counting the calories you eat. A lot of people don’t know how many calories they consume until they actually start writing them down. Make a list or a calorie counter journal to keep track of all the food you eat during a given day. Like a budget, this list will help guide and inform your weight loss program.
2. Don’t starve yourself for a quick fix
Starving yourself actually has a negative effect on weight loss, funny enough. When you deprive your body of essential energy, it believes that it needs to start saving up energy to prepare for a period where it might not be getting as much food. In other words, your body prepares for hibernation. Instead of losing fat, you’re likely to lose muscle and other lean tissue. That’s not a good recipe for real weight loss.
3. Eat more food in the morning and afternoon than at night
Eating a balanced meal in the morning to start off the day is important. It gives your body the energy it needs to perform essential tasks. But eating a whole lot of food right before you go to sleep isn’t good for you, not because your metabolism slows down, but because the types of foods you are likely to eat right before bed are often bad snack foods.
Studies have shown that animals that eat exclusively during their “right” cycles — that is, when they are most active — do better at weight loss than animals that eat during their “wrong” cycles — the night for humans, or daytime for mice. Eat late, risk putting on weight.
4. Eat the right kinds of foods.
In order to get extra weight off your whole body generally, and your thighs specifically, it’s essential to eat the right kinds of food. If you need help, take a look at the Cruise Control Diet, a whole-foods approach to weight loss and overall health.
Scientists and doctors routinely recommend going with a combination of:
- Lean protein: white poultry meat, soy and dairy products, fish, etc.
- Vegetables and legumes: spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, peas, lentils, beans, etc.
- Fruits: citrus fruit, bananas, apples, kiwi, pears, etc.
- Whole grains: whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, almonds, walnuts, etc.
5. Stay away from the wrong kinds of food
Overly processed foods, foods with the saturated or trans fats, and foods that fit into a high-glycemic diet are ones that doctors recommend staying away from. These foods include:
- Refined sugars: candy, cakes, sugary drinks (sodas), etc.
- Simple carbohydrates: normal pasta, white bread, etc.
- Saturated and trans fats: butter, solid shortening, lard, margarine, etc.
6. Drink lots of water
Drink water to keep your body hydrated, your organs happy, and to partially help trick your body into thinking that it’s fuller than it is. If you’re really hungry, drink an 8 oz. glass of water before you start your meal. Your stomach will think it’s getting more food in it than it actually does; you’ll feel fuller and you won’t end up eating as much.