Excess fat in the outer thigh and hip area commonly plague women who are prone to store fat in the lower body. Solely reducing fat in one area isn't possible. To quickly remove your saddlebags, you must focus on burning total body fat. This means taking on a reduced-calorie diet and performing regular exercises to create the caloric deficit that's needed to lose weight.
Set a weight-loss goal of two pounds per week, which is a safe weight-loss rate. Resorting to drastic measures to lose weight quickly isn't recommended; this can result in health problems and nutritional deficiencies.
Perform 300 minutes of moderate cardio per week to burn calories. Jog, walk briskly, climb stairs, ride a bicycle or pedal on an elliptical machine. Maintain an intensity that still allows you to talk, but not sing.
Incorporate high-intensity intervals into your cardiovascular routine to optimize caloric burn. For instance, alternate between jogging and sprinting, or between a moderate cycling pace and vigorous cycling. Move back and forth between intensities for 15 minutes. If you're doing one hour of cardio on five days of the week, work intervals into your routine two to three days of the week. Since you're burning more calories, consider shortening your total workout time to 30 or 45 minutes on these days.
Perform resistance training two days of the week to stimulate muscle tissue, which promotes caloric burn. For optimal results, work all your major muscles, including your arms, legs, back, shoulders, abs, hips and chest. Effective exercises include biceps curls, dumbbell rows, pushups, bicycle crunches and chest presses. To make sure your upper body is in proportion with your lower body, include exercises like lat pull-downs and lateral and front dumbbell raises. Lunges, side leg lifts and squats will strengthen, tone and firm muscles in the saddlebag area. When your body fat reduces, these exercises will ensure that you'll have a firm, toned physique.
Add variety to your workout with circuit training, which optimizes your caloric burn. Set up several cardio and weightlifting stations and go from one to the other to complete one circuit. For instance, do dumbbell squats for one minute followed by one minute of jumping rope. Then one minute of dumbbell lunges, followed by one minute of jumping jacks. Do lateral dumbbell raises, followed by one minute or cycling. You can add more exercises or repeat the circuit. Minimize or avoid resting between the exercises -- do this for at least 15 minutes on days when you're bored with your normal routine.
Cut calories from your diet to contribute to your weight loss. Eat smaller portions and replace foods that are high in calories with low-calorie foods. For example, instead of whole milk, drink low-fat or non-fat milk; replace snacks, such as cookies and chips, with fruits and vegetables. Limit foods that are high in salt, saturated fat, sugar and cholesterol. Get your nutrients mainly from lean protein, low-fat or non-fat dairy, whole grains, veggies and fruits.
- Scientific American: Why Does Fat Deposit on the Hips and Thighs of Women and Around the Stomachs of Men?
- The Fat-Free Truth; Suzanne Schlosberg and Liz Neporent
- Weight-Control Information Network: Weight-loss and Nutrition Myths
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Shape.com: 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Shape.com: 7 Benefits of Circuit Training (and One Downside)