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Why Can't I Lose Thigh Fat?

author image William McCoy
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.
Why Can't I Lose Thigh Fat?
Two women are flipping tires in a parking lot. Photo Credit: kjekol/iStock/Getty Images

Few things in the world of fitness are more frustrating than dedicating yourself to working out but failing to see any progress. If you've begun a workout regimen with the goal of losing your excess thigh fat but aren't quite yet able to slip on a pair of skinny jeans, a number of factors could be at play. Evaluating your workout and lifestyle and deciding what areas to change can quickly put you on track toward fat loss.

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Don't Expect Immediate Results

If you're working out without seeing any progress, it's possible you haven't yet devoted enough time to see results. Fat loss doesn't take place overnight. A reasonable rate of fat loss is one to two pounds over the course of a week, but you can't exclusively lose this fat off your thighs. If you lose a pound in a week, for example, the fat loss will be from several parts of your body. Even if you're losing weight at a successful rate, it might be a period of several weeks before you can track a difference in the size of your thighs.

Think Big Picture

Taking a 20-minute walk once a week might help you feel as though you're improving your fitness -- and, to a certain extent, you are. But this infrequent approach to exercise is unlikely to yield significant fat-loss results. If you use a medium-pace exercise such as walking as you attempt to lose weight, you must devote around 300 minutes per week to the activity. Up-tempo exercises, such as jogging and cycling at a brisk pace, require about 150 minutes per week.

Choose the Right Exercises

The exercises you perform in your attempt to lose thigh fat can be the difference between success and frustration. You don't necessarily have to resort to vigorous workouts to burn fat, but those with a slow tempo can make fat loss extremely slow. Lifting weights, for example, is beneficial in that it boosts your basal metabolic rate, but the exercise itself burns calories extremely slowly. Likewise, yoga might help you feel limber and fit when you practice it, but its rate of calorie burn is a fraction of such activities as jogging and swimming.

Don't Discount Your Diet

Failing to burn fat, despite frequent exercise, can be the result of a high-calorie diet. To lose fat, you have to burn more calories than you consume on a repeated basis. This state is known as a calorie deficit. Although frequent exercise can help you work toward a calorie deficit, a high-calorie, unhealthy diet can quickly erase the positive work you do in the gym or on the road. If you feel as though you're performing the right exercises frequently enough, reduce your calorie intake by skipping high-calorie foods and see if you begin to lose weight faster.

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