Belly fat has a tendency to develop into deep visceral fat, which can pack around the organs and increase your chances for cardiovascular disease. Leg fat does not offer the same physical threat as belly fat, but it can still cause embarrassment and low self-esteem. Lose both types of fat by changing your eating habits and exercising. Fat-burning and muscle-building exercises will give your legs and belly a leaner appearance.
Eliminate the fattening foods from your diet. These include toaster pastries, candy, meatball hoagies, pies, cakes, sundaes, wings and cheeseburgers. Stick with foods that have high nutrient values, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Cut 500 to 1000 calories a day to lose one to two pounds a week.
Increase your metabolism by eating small, frequent meals. Combine protein and complex carbs with each meal and eat every two to three hours. This will also keep your appetite under control. Cottage cheese with chopped-up fruit and sunflower seeds mixed in is a balanced meal.
Perform cardiovascular exercise to burn the fat in your belly and legs. Do any form of cardio as long as it is at a moderate to high intensity. Rowing, running, elliptical training, swimming, kickboxing, inline skating and brisk walking are examples. The Centers for Disease Control recommends 150 to 300 minutes of moderately-intense aerobic exercise or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous cardio a week to lose weight. Exercise a few times during the day if you do not have time to do it all at once.
Execute leg exercises that work all your major muscles. The quadriceps, hamstrings and calves are the major muscles in the legs. Do exercises such as squats, step-ups, lunges, leg presses and calf raises to target these muscles. Perform 10 to 12 reps, and do three to five sets. Work your legs three days a week on the alternating days of your cardio.
Perform abdominal exercises for your entire stomach area. This includes the lower abs, obliques and upper abs. The obliques are on the sides of the stomach. Incline crunches, alternating leg raises, side crunches, Russian twists and stability ball sit-ups are examples. Aim for 15 to 20 reps, and do three or four sets and work out three days a week. Do your ab exercises right after your leg exercises.
Spot reducing your belly and legs with exercise is not possible; but the definition you create with your leg and ab exercises will be more visible after you lose weight overall.
Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues.