If you tend to store fat in your lower body, consider yourself lucky -- hip fat is less likely to contribute to the same chronic conditions as belly fat, which include diabetes and heart disease. That said, bulging hips can make you self-conscious and ashamed to wear your clingiest clothes. If slimmer hips are on your wish list, get ready to embark on a healthy eating and exercise plan that reduces fat from all over, as no specific move will only target fat on your hips.
Reduce Calorie Intake
The most effective way to lose body fat is to eat fewer calories. One pound of fat has about 3,500 calories; assuming your weight is steady on your current eating plan, you should lose 1 to 2 pounds per week by cutting 500 to 1,000 calories each day. Men should get at least 1,500 calories per day, however, and women should get at least 1,200 calories per day. Depending on genetics, your hips may take longer to get trim than other body parts — this is often true with women — but with patience, you will eventually begin to see results.
Burn Calories with Cardio
To hasten your hip slimming, plan 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate cardiovascular exercise, which may include walking briskly or playing doubles tennis. If you're already athletic, go for 75 to 150 minutes per week of vigorous cardio activities such as running or cycling uphill. A 155-pound person burns 345 calories per hour walking at 3.5 mph, or 360 calories in 30 minutes running at 6 mph, allowing you to lose about 1 pound every 10 sessions.
Toning exercises help sculpt your muscles to make your hips appear firmer. Do squats and lunges to shape your hips and thighs, performing two to four sets of eight to 12 repetitions. Hold a weight in each hand to add resistance once you grow comfortable with these exercises. Even if your hips are your main focus, you also need toning exercises for the rest of your body for optimal balance and strength, so perform weighted or body-weight exercises for your limbs, back, chest and stomach as well. Two to three toning sessions per week are ideal, and allow two full days for recovery.
Keep the Weight Off
The hardest part is over once you've lost the weight, but if you revert to your pre-loss lifestyle, your hips will likely widen to their previous state. Ensure lasting success by continuing to make healthy food choices and by exercising most days of the week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends sticking to a consistent eating plan every day, even on holidays or other occasions when you may be tempted to overeat. The CDC also notes that most people who successfully keep weight off eat breakfast, so don't skip your morning meal.
- Harvard Health Publications: Taking Aim at Belly Fat
- Harvard Health Publications: Calorie Counting Made Easy
- Scientific American: Why Does Fat Deposit on the Hips and Thighs of Women and Around the Stomachs of Men?
- ExRx.net: Exercise Calories Burned Calculator
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Keeping It Off