The best way to reduce the size of your calves depends on whether your calves are large because of fat or muscle. If your calves are fatty, you must reduce your overall weight by reducing the calories you consume and increasing the calories you burn through diet and exercise. If your calves are very muscular, you probably already exercise, so you will need to change your diet and alter your exercise routine. This applies to people of any height.
Reduce the number of calories you consume per day. Eat more lean protein, whole grains and fresh vegetables. Use an online calculator such as LIVESTRONG's MyPlate to determine how many calories you burn per day and how many calories you should consume in order to burn an extra 500 to 1,000 calories per day. At that rate, you're likely to lose 1 to 2 pounds of fat per week, which is considered a healthy weight-loss rate.
Perform moderately intense exercise for 30 to 60 minutes five days per week. Avoid exercises that pump your calves, such as stationary biking. Walking, running and swimming are better options.
Perform strength-training exercises two days per week. If you exercise your calves, use light weights and avoid continuous pumping motions.
Increase your overall activity throughout the day. Opt to go for a walk or play with your pets instead of watching TV. Walk farther to work or to the store by parking farther back in the parking lot. Sit on an exercise ball or stand at work, or keep a free weight or a resistance band in your office.
Reduce the number of calories you consume. Again, use an online calculator such as LIVESTRONG's MyPlate to determine how many calories you burn per day and how many calories you should consume.
Perform yoga or Pilates for strength training instead of using weights. These exercises work your muscles lightly and elongate them, so you boost endurance instead of building bulky muscle.
Stretch your calf muscles every day for five to 10 minutes, especially before you exercise but after a short warm-up. Sit on the ground with your feet out in front of you and lean as far forward as you can, or hang one heel off a step and gently push your heel toward the ground.
Perform more aerobic exercise and less strength training, especially for your legs. Avoid exercises that require a pumping motion for your calves, such as biking. Running, brisk walking and swimming are better for slimming calf muscles.
Use lighter weights with higher reps in any weight training that you perform with your calves.