Fat on the sides of the knees is far away from the vital organs, which makes it harmless from a health perspective. The problem sets in when you wear shorts or outfits that reveal this adipose tissue. Instant feelings of self-consciousness have a tendency to crop up in this case, which can leave you frustrated. Losing this fat is not complicated, but you do need to have discipline. While it's not possible to spot reduce, a solid workout plan coupled with dietary changes allows you to burn excess fat from all over your body. Toning and tightening the muscles found near the knees will give you a leaner look as you lose weight.
Eat healthy foods and cut back on your daily intake. This one-two combination will create a caloric deficit and cause you to burn fat on the sides of your knees and throughout the rest of your body. Reduce your daily intake by 500 calories and eat nutrient-dense foods like whole grains, lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products, beans, fruits and vegetables.
Restrict your intake of calorie-dense beverages. Soda, beer, wine, slushies, sweetened teas and processed fruit punch all have a high amount of calories that often get overlooked when weight loss is an issue. Replace all of these drinks with water and diet beverages to further promote fat loss on the sides of your knees.
Stabilize your appetite by including healthy snacks in your diet plan. Contrary to popular belief, eating snacks will actually help you lose weight by not allowing you to become ravenous. Eat snacks about two to three hours after meals and keep to them 200 calories or less. Apple slices with yogurt dip, whole-grain crackers with hummus and low-fat cottage cheese with crushed pineapple are healthy options.
Perform cardiovascular exercise to burn fat around your legs and to target the muscles near your knees. Running, indoor cycling, stair climbing, rowing and brisk walking all work efficiently. Interval back and forth between high and low intensity to achieve faster fat loss. Start with a light warmup, then follow with a one-to-two ratio of high to low intensity. For running, sprint for 20 seconds, then jog slowly for 40. Continue this pattern for 30 minutes and finish with a light, five-minute cooldown. Exercise on three nonconsecutive days a week.
Execute a set of leg presses. Sit on the seat of the leg-press machine and place your feet shoulder-width apart on the platform. Press up to move the platform off the supports and turn the safety handles over to the sides. Lower the platform down by bending your knees and stop when your thighs are close to your stomach. Push back up in a steady motion until your knees are just short of locking out, and repeat the movement.
Grab a set of dumbbells to do reverse lunges. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and hold the weights at your sides. Take a long step backward with your right foot and lower yourself down until both knees are at 90 degrees. Keep your back knee off the floor and keep your front knee in line with your ankle when you lower yourself down. Rise up, step back to the starting point and repeat with your left leg. Continue to alternate back and forth.
Sit on a leg-extension machine to do leg extensions. Position your feet under the padded lever arm and lean back against the backrest. Grasp the handles on the sides of the seat and push the lever arm up by straightening your legs. Stop when your knees are just short of locking out, slowly lower the lever arm and repeat.
Execute a set of star squats with your body weight. Stand with your feet together and arms at your sides. Lower yourself down into a deep squat and place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs back and land in a pushup position with your legs still together and arms fully extended. Snap your feet back to the starting point quickly and jump in the air with all your might. Move your arms and legs out so your body forms an "X" shape, then quickly move your limbs back in. Land softly on the balls of your feet and repeat.
- The New York Times: A Healthy Mix of Rest and Motion
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight -- What Is Healthy Weight Loss?
- Shape: Interval Training -- Short Workouts that Really Pay Off
- Fitness Magazine: Star Squat
- ExRx.net: Lever Seated Leg Press
- American Council on Exercise: Are All Lunges Created Equal?
- ExRx.net: Lever Leg Extension