Maybe you've always been a little heavy around your hips and midsection, or you've started putting on weight as you age. Whatever the cause, there's only one surefire way to rein it in -- a healthy lifestyle. This includes a nutritious diet, regular exercise, stress control and adequate sleep. You can't choose where the weight comes off first, so you'll have to be patient. Once you've reduced you're overall weight, you'll be the proud owner of thinner thighs and a tighter tummy.
Create a Calorie Deficit
To lose body fat from your thighs, belly or anywhere else, you need to expend more energy -- or calories -- than you consume through your diet. The best way is to do this over an extended period of time; how long depends on how much weight you need to lose. This puts your body in a caloric deficit, and it begins to burn fat for fuel. To create this deficit, reduce the calories you consume, increase your activity level or do a combination of both. A general rule is that for every 3,500-calorie deficit you create, you'll lose a pound of fat.
Defeat Belly Bulge
Although both diet and exercise are important to your health, your diet plays an especially large role in fat loss. Losing weight by dieting is easier than losing weight by exercising, according to exercise and weight control expert Timothy Church in "The New York Times. People are more likely to stick with low-calorie diets than with exercise plans, he says. A healthy low-calorie diet should primarily include fruits and vegetables, with smaller amounts of lean proteins, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and nuts and seeds in moderation. Limit consumption of sweets to special occasions, and cut out fried foods, fast foods and sugary beverages.
Exorcise Fat With Exercise
A regular exercise program can help you burn extra calories and raise your metabolism. To see expedited improvements around your thighs and belly, get at least 300 minutes of moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking, or 150 minutes of vigorous activity, such as running, each week, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Building lean muscle mass through twice-weekly strength-training sessions will help boost your resting metabolism, because muscle takes more energy to maintain than fat. Incorporate targeted exercises for your thighs and belly, such as planking and squats, to create a toned appearance.
Lifestyle Changes to Live With
In addition to diet and exercise, other lifestyle changes can help you lose weight around your belly and thighs -- and keep it off. Lack of sleep and high stress levels have both been associated with increased belly fat. Take steps to reduce your stress levels through daily meditation or speaking with a counselor, and be sure to get 7 1/2 to 9 hours of sleep each night. To prevent the fat from creeping back on, continue with your diet and exercise plan indefinitely, bumping up your calories slightly when you've lost the weight you want.
- CNN Health: When You're Losing Weight, Where Does The Fat Go?
- CDC: Healthy Weight - It's Not A Diet, It's A Lifestyle!
- The New York Times: Dieting vs. Exercise for Weight Loss
- CDC: Physical Activity
- NHS Choices: How Can I Speed Up My Metabolism?
- The Dr. Oz Show: Reset Your Hormones to Beat Belly Fat