Slimmer legs help give you a more fit and athletic appearance. But transforming your lower half from flabby to fit takes more than just strength training, since spot reduction to eliminate fat only in your legs is not possible. You also need to include cardio in your workout routine and eat a healthy, low-fat diet to lose weight all around. Once you start to shed pounds, leg-toning exercises will help your legs look both stronger and slimmer. Consult your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise regimen.
You Are What You Eat
Reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories a day to safely burn a pound of fat each week; this will help your whole body lose weight, resulting in slimmer legs. Again, only do this if your doctor gives you the go-ahead.
Reduce the amount of saturated fats you consume, such as those found in dairy, fried food and butter, to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. Replace them with healthy, unsaturated fats like those found in avocados, soybean oil and fish.
Reduce the amount of carbohydrates you eat each day by half, since your body burns fat for energy in the absence of carbs. Do this by only eating half of the amount of carbs you would normally eat at each meal; for example, eat half of a bagel rather than a whole bagel for breakfast.
Eat between 0.5 and 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day; the more strength training you do, the more protein you need. Eat the right amount of protein to build muscle in your legs when doing strength training.
Kick Up the Cardio
Engage in no less than 150 minutes of moderate intensity, or 75 minutes of high intensity, cardio exercise each week; this will help you burn extra calories to shed fat throughout your body, leading to slimmer legs. Spread these sessions evenly throughout the week to get the best result.
Choose exercises like running, cycling or riding a stationary bike, and swimming, since these exercises tone your legs while giving you an aerobic workout.
Add interval training to your cardio routine by including bursts of high intensity exercise between periods of normal-paced exercise. Include several intervals of high-intensity exercise during each cardio session to burn more calories and lose weight more quickly.
Get Slimmer With Strength Training
Strength-train three to four times a week. Do not strength-train more than two consecutive days in a row so your muscles have time to recover.
Do body weight exercises to tone your legs such as squats, single-leg squats, lunges and calf raises; these tone your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves to give your whole leg a more fit look. Complete eight to 12 reps per set.
Do weighted leg exercises, like leg extensions, hamstring curls, dead lifts and single-leg dead lifts. Choose a weight that allows you to complete eight to 12 reps per set for toned, slim-looking legs.
Include strength training for your upper body and core as well, since building more muscle throughout your body will help you burn more calories so you lose more weight.