Being overweight or obese has many disadvantages for a woman's health. However, if most of your excess weight is in the lower portion of your body -- where women tend to put on the most weight -- you may be better off. Women who are pear-shaped are at lower risk for developing diabetes and blood lipid abnormalities, according to a 2004 "International Journal of Obesity" study. At the same time, fat on the thighs and butt is difficult to shed and is responsible for unsightly flab and cellulite.
Reduce Calorie Intake
You will be most successful at losing weight by consuming the appropriate amount of calories. In order to shed pounds, you need to take in fewer calories than you use. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NHLBI, explains that the number of calories each individual should consume is based on gender, age and activity level. The least active you are, the fewer calories you need. Healthy females who are sedentary, meaning they get little, if any, exercise outside of their ordinary routine, need about 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day. Moderately active females need 1,800 to 2,200 calories. If you take in more calories than you burn, your body will store the excess calories as fat. Women with a pear-shaped physique are more likely to store that fat in the butt and thighs.
Eliminate High Calorie Foods
Consuming 150 calories a day above the amount you burn through physical activity can lead to gaining 5 lbs. over the course of six months, according to the NHLBI. By eliminating one beverage or one snack a day, and choosing healthier recipes, you can easily reduce your calorie intake. Drink zero-calorie water or club soda rather than a 136-calorie cola. A large serving of fast food French fries can have more than twice as many calories as a small serving. You will eliminate 320 calories from your diet by opting for a small French fry at one popular fast food eatery. When eating an omelette, choose egg whites, which have roughly 79 calories, versus one made from regular eggs, which can have 600 calories based on a three-egg omelette.
Eat Healthier Foods
Simply increasing your family's intake of healthier foods could significantly impact your body mass index. In a 2008 study published in the journal "Obesity," children in families that introduced healthier foods, such as fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy and reduced energy-dense foods with limited nutritional value, showed a greater reduction in overall body fat compared to families who continued eating an diet high in energy-dense foods. Body mass reduction in the parents followed the same pattern as their children. The Mayo Clinic suggests eating foods that are low in calories but can make you feel fuller longer, known as low-energy-dense foods. Several fruits and vegetables are high in water content and low in calories, such as grapefruit and carrots. Foods high in fiber take longer to digest, which makes you feel fuller on fewer calories. Good examples are vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Dairy and lean meat contain fat, which can make you feel satiated longer. The key is to take in lean sources of fat, such as low-fat milk and poultry. Also, nuts, seeds and olive oil contain healthy, monounsaturated fats.
Facts About Target Weight Loss
Unfortunately, there is no way to target and reduce fat in just one area of your body. You can, however, reduce the size of your thighs and butt by taking in fewer calories and consuming healthier foods. As the pounds fall away, the change in areas you gain the most weight could show a more dramatic improvement compared to areas where you have less fat. According to an article published by "Scientific American," no cream, injection, pill or other gimmick will reduce excess weight in a woman's butt or thighs. The only way to shed pounds here is with a sensible diet and regular exercise.
- International Journal of Obesity; MB Snijder, et al; January 2004
- Scientific American: Why Does Fat Deposit On the Hips and Thighs of Women and Around the Stomachs of Men; Patrick J. Bird; May 2006
- University of Oxford: Being Pear Shaped Not Apple Shaped Protects Against Heart Disease; January 2010
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: How to Balance the Food You Eat and Your Physical Activity and Prevent Obesity
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in 3 Egg Omelette
- Obesity; Leonard H. Epstein, et al.; 2008