Just as you cannot predetermine where fat settles in your body, you cannot reduce weight only in certain areas. When you reduce your overall body fat, you might also lose weight in your hips and thighs. To achieve this, a sensible, reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise must become part of your lifestyle.
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Monitor your caloric intake. To lose weight at the safe and expert-recommended rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week, you must create a daily deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends emphasizing healthy foods, such as veggies, fruits, whole grains, lean protein and non-fat or low-fat dairy, and limiting foods that are high in cholesterol, sugar, salt, transfats and saturated fats. It also suggests eating smaller portions to reduce your caloric intake.
Perform cardiovascular activities for 150 to 300 minutes per week to burn calories. Find activities that you enjoy doing. For example, ride a bike, go jogging, swim laps, or exercise on an elliptical machine or stair climber. Exercise at an intensity that still allows you to talk but not sing. If you're cramped for time, split your cardio routine into three, 10- or 20-minute sessions over the day.
Engage in strength training at least twice a week to maintain and build muscle tissue. Compared to fat, muscle uses up more calories to sustain itself. It speeds up your resting metabolism so you burn calories even when you're at rest and not working out. To optimize fat burn, work all major muscle groups. Perform exercises, such as lunges, squats, side leg lifts, biceps curls, crunches, triceps dips, bench presses, bent-over rows and overhead shoulder presses. Use enough resistance, so the last repetition of each set is always challenging to finish.
Get eight hours of sleep every night, because a lack of sleep can result in weight gain. According to Harvard School of Public Health, sleep deprivation affects your body's hunger-regulating hormones. You'll end up with hard-to-control cravings for carbohydrate-rich, fatty foods that can sabotage your weight loss. Also, sleeping longer means that you have less time to eat.