The human body plays a cruel joke when it stores fat. Rather than evenly distributing the fat across your entire body, it stores most of it in one area. For men, it tends to be the abdomen, and for women, it tends to be the thighs. While exercising alone can strengthen and tone your thighs, if you really want to lose thigh weight, there are certain foods you should not eat.
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The Spot Reduction Myth
It's important for you to know there is no magical exercise or diet that can make you lose fat in a specific region, such as your thighs. Attempting to do this is referred to as "spot reduction," and it is a myth. Fat can accumulate more in one particular area of your body, but the only way to lose fat is to lose it all over.
The first thing you need to cut from your diet to lose weight is sugar. Natural sugar that comes from fruits and honey is okay in small amounts, but refined or white sugar is something you want to avoid all together. Your body cannot make use of sugar for anything other than an immediate energy burst, so if the calories from sugar are not burned off immediately, they are stored as fat.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is essentially just another name for sugar. It's used as an ingredient in countless food products because it provides a cheap alternative to granulated sugar for food manufacturers. Some argue that HFCS is actually worse for you than regular sugar; a study conducted by Princeton University in 2010 showed that rats consuming HFCS had unusually high amounts of body fat.
As a general rule, you should not eat any white foods if you're trying to lose weight. White bread, white pasta, white rice and anything with white flour in it are all foods to avoid. This is because they are refined carbs. Refined carbs are complex carbohydrates that have been turned into simple carbohydrates by means of stripping them of their fiber and other nutrients. Refined sugar and HFCS also fall into this category, so, technically, even healthy foods that have refined sugar or HFCS added to them are foods you should not eat.
Saturated and Trans Fats
Saturated fats and trans fats, in simplest terms, are the fats that make you fat. They should not be confused with unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, are derived from plant sources and are actually good for health and promote weight loss when consumed in moderation. Saturated fats come from animal sources, such as beef, pork, cream and butter. Trans fats are by-products of adding hydrogen to vegetable oil. So, when you see "hydrogenated vegetable oil" on an ingredients label, what you're really seeing is "trans fat." Not only do saturated and trans fats promote weight gain, they also clog your arteries and raise your cholesterol levels, putting you at greater risk for heart disease.
- American Heart Association: Trans Fats
- American Heart Association: Saturated Fats
- Natural Bias; How Sugar and Refined Carbs Can Ruin Your Life; Vin Miller; May 18, 2009
- Princeton University; A Sweet Problem; Hilary Parker; March 22, 2010
- Science Daily; Trans Fat Leads To Weight Gain Even On Same Total Calories, Animal Study Shows; June 19, 2006