Fat cells are a normal part of the human body, and they are essential for life. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, fatty acids known as triglycerides are stored inside the body's fat cells to provide energy as needed. Many adults have excess fat because they consume more calories than their body requires. Although it varies among individuals, the stomach, legs and hips are common areas where fat is stored.
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Women are genetically predisposed to store more fat than men. Patrick J. Bird, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida, notes that hormones drive the storage of fat around the abdominal section in men, while female hormones direct fat storage to the pelvic region. Fat storage in the hips and thighs is a common complaint but evolutionarily, it is the most convenient way to carry excess fat while leaving room for the female body to become pregnant and carry a baby to term.
The only tried-and-true method to reduce fat from a particular area of your body is to reduce fat overall. In order to lose fat, you need to burn more calories than you take in so your body is forced to burn stored fat for energy. You can do this by eating a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein and exercising on a regular basis. As stored fat is used up, your fat cells shrink and appear less noticeable beneath the skin.
Spot Reducing Fat
If you're already at an ideal weight and fitness level but you have a small area of fat that still bothers you, the only option might be surgical fat reduction. Liposuction requires a small incision into which a surgeon inserts a metal tube known as a cannula. This tube breaks up the layer of fat and suctions it out of the body. Many patients report good results when maintaining a healthy lifestyle following this procedure. Although less invasive methods such as laser liposuction do exist, the procedure may not be affordable for everyone. Speak to a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon if this option appeals to you.
Some other simple considerations may help reduce the appearance of hip fat in certain individuals. Supportive undergarments can smooth an unsightly bulge and improve the way you look in pants and skirts. Skip tight garments like g-strings and thong underwear that may cut into the skin and create the appearance of excess fat in an otherwise healthy figure. Well-structured clothing made of quality fabric can also provide more appropriate support and improve the overall look of a woman's silhouette. Also consider strength-training exercises like side leg lifts to tighten and tone the hip muscles so they appear slimmer. Try to complete at least 20 reps on each side three times a week.