You've got #bodygoals and you're ready to hustle. Whether you want to impress your Instagram following or get ready for a beach vacay, time is of the essence. One month isn't likely enough time to make a huge difference in your glute and thigh fat, but it is enough time to make a good start.
Body-Fat Burning Basics
There's no secret to fat-burning. Barring any health conditions that affect your hormones or metabolism, eating less and exercising more is the best strategy. You can further maximize your results by doing the right kinds of exercise and eating the right foods.
Your first step to lose glute and thigh fat in one month is to set realistic goals. Four weeks is a relatively short amount of time when it comes to fat loss. Crash diets aren't healthy and they won't get you long-term results. Although you might want to see slimmer thighs ASAP, slow and steady is the way to go.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should plan on losing around 1 to 2 pounds per week as a long-term goal. In the short-term, you may find you lose more than that, explain authors of a research review published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In the first few days or weeks of a weight-reduction program, your body isn't just burning fat, but also stored carbohydrate and protein — as well as water that is bound with the two.
However, you can't control where you notice results first. As you lose fat and body mass, some of it will come from your desired areas, but it will also come from other places, such as your face and arms. However, you can influence the shape and muscle tone of your thighs and glutes with the right exercises.
Best Exercise for Fat Loss
Knowing what to do to lose glute and thigh fat and actually doing it are two different things. The truth is that the biggest key to fat loss is behavior change and doing the work that's required to lose a significant amount of fat.
With exercise, the harder you work the more results you will get. Walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes three or four days a week is a great place to start, but you will eventually need to up the intensity, frequency and duration, and add in some strength training.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends all adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise each week. For even better results, you should aim for 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 150 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise weekly. Adults should also engage in moderate to intense total-body strength training two days a week.
If you're currently walking, try jogging, then work your way up to running, at least for short periods of time during your walk. Interval training, in which you alternate intense bursts of activity such as sprinting for 30 to 60 seconds with a period of recovery, is a very effective fat-loss workout. An extensive review of research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that interval training was 28.5 percent more effective at burning fat than steady-state moderate-intensity exercise.
A 2014 study in BioMed Research International found that circuit training, which involves high-intensity strength training and cardio exercise at the same time, is also one of the most effective — and time efficient — fat-loss workouts. Short spurts of weightlifting and cardio interspersed with brief periods of rest cause you to burn far more calories in an hour than you would jogging for 30 minutes and using weight machines for 30 minutes.
To target your thighs and glutes, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends grabbing some heavier weights than you're used to — maybe a barbell — and doing compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, step-ups and lunges. These exercises target the thighs and glutes and require many of your large muscles to work at once, which increases your calorie burn.
And don't worry about "bulking up." ACE suggests repetition ranges of 8 to 12 with a challenging weight if you want to see your glutes and thighs become more shapely as you burn fat.
Read more: 10 Body-Fat Burning Moves
Don't Forget Your Diet
You can do as much exercise as you want, but you won't lose thigh and glute fat if your diet isn't on point. Invest in a good fitness tracker and keep your calorie intake below your calorie expenditure. This calorie deficit causes your body to tap into fat stores for energy.
But don't go too low. You need adequate calories and nutrients to support your overall health and energy levels. Eat clean, whole foods as much as possible, which will make calorie tracking even easier. In fact, when you eat clean — think fresh veggies and lean protein — you may not even need to track your calories.
Focus on high-quality protein. A review published in Nutrients in December 2018 reported that a high protein diet was most effective for fat mass loss. This is likely because it was also the most effective at maintaining lean muscle mass, which is often lost at greater rates during calorie reduction. The review suggests that intakes over 2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day is more effective than the current recommended daily allowance of .8 grams per kilogram.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Losing Weight"
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: "Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans"
- BioMed Research International: "The Effect of a Short-Term High-Intensity Circuit Training Program on Work Capacity, Body Composition, and Blood Profiles in Sedentary Obese Men: A Pilot Study"
- American Council on Exercise: "5 Benefits of Compound Exercises"
- American Council on Exercise: "A Girls Guide To Gaining Muscle: Weight Training"
- Nutrients: "Body Composition Changes in Weight Loss: Strategies and Supplementation for Maintaining Lean Body Mass, a Brief Review"
- Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Time to Correctly Predict the Amount of Weight Loss with Dieting"
- British Journal of Sports Medicine: "Is Interval Training the Magic Bullet for Fat Loss? a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training With High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)"