Many people want to lose fat around their legs. Achieving this requires a combination of exercises to tone the leg muscles and general changes to promote weight loss.
Everyone has some leg fat, but the amount varies from person to person. It is not possible to lose weight in just one area of the body, but certain exercises can tone and strengthen the legs. At the same time, these exercises and other strategies can reduce overall body fat.
In this article, we are going to look at ways to tone leg muscles and reduce body fat. Using a combination of the following techniques will be most effective.
Top Strategies to Reduce Leg Fat
Multi-joint exercises, such as squats, are a good way to tone leg muscles. Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce body fat, including leg fat.
In one small study, for example, researchers had volunteers do 960 to 1,200 repetitions of the leg press three times a week for 12 weeks, using just one leg. The results indicated that the workout was effective in reducing fat mass all over the body, not just in the used leg.
Strength training involves performing resistance exercises to build muscle strength and endurance. A person can, for example, use dumbbells or resistance bands. Strength training builds lean body mass and can help reduce body fat.
It is recommended to practice 8 to 10 multi-joint exercises two or three times a week. Multi-joint exercises work multiple muscles at the same time, which burns more calories and promotes weight loss.
Multi-joint strength training exercises that can help tone and define leg muscles include:
– leg presses
– hamstring curls
Aerobic exercise is a cardiovascular workout that increases heart rate and breathing rate. They include activities such as:
– the bike
This can be exercising at a steady pace or at high and low intensity intervals.
Aerobic exercise burns calories, which can promote overall fat loss, and it can strengthen the heart and lungs.
A small study evaluated the effectiveness of sprint interval running on fat reduction. Researchers found it to be particularly effective in young female participants, who reduced body fat by 8%, on average, after running sprints three times a week for 6 weeks.
No specific diet is the best for reducing leg fat. In general, a person loses weight if they burn more calories than they take in, and healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, generally contain fewer calories.
Be sure to eat these foods instead:
– a variety of fruits and vegetables
– whole grains, such as brown rice and wholemeal bread
– protein from a variety of sources, including beans, nuts, seeds, lean meats, and eggs.
– healthy oils, such as olive oil and nut oils.
Additionally, eating plenty of fiber-rich foods can help with weight loss. The body takes longer to digest these foods, which makes you feel full longer.
Many people looking to lose weight turn to low-carb diets, which focus on foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in protein and healthy fats.
Research investigating whether low-carb diets are more effective than others at promoting weight loss has had mixed results, but some studies support their effectiveness.
Drinking alcohol can contribute to weight gain because alcoholic beverages are often high in calories and have no nutritional value. Also, drinking large amounts of alcohol can lead to unhealthy food choices, such as overeating. Avoiding overconsumption can help prevent weight gain and reduce unwanted leg fat.
High levels of stress can harm health in a variety of ways, including causing changes in appetite, overeating, and excessive weight gain. A 2017 study found that participants with higher baseline stress levels gained more weight over 6 months than those with lower stress levels. Finding ways to relax, such as meditation, deep breathing, box breathing, and relaxation exercises, can help combat this problem.
Not getting enough sleep can increase the likelihood of weight gain. Sleep regulates various hormones, including those that affect hunger. The hormones leptin and ghrelin, for example, which help regulate appetite, are both affected by lack of sleep. Lack of sleep causes an increase in ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, and it decreases the production of leptin, a hormone that usually reduces hunger. Getting enough sleep can help regulate hormone production.
Liposuction is a surgical option for removing unwanted body fat. If a person is unable to lose the desired weight through exercise, diet, and other lifestyle factors, they may want to consider this option with a doctor.
The intervention consists of:
– administration of an anesthetic
– injection of a solution to reduce blood loss and localized swelling
– the use of high frequency vibrations to destroy fat cells
– the use of a tube and an aspirator to fragment and remove fat through one or more small incisions
– drain excess blood and fluid
– closure of the incisions and application of a dressing.
– The procedure lasts 1 to 3 hours and the person must sometimes spend the night in the hospital.
It should be noted that liposuction is best suited for people who plan to maintain a healthy weight.
Bazzano, LA, et al. (2014). Effects of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets: A randomized trial [Abstract].
Chao, AM, et al. (2017). Stress, cortisol, and other appetite‐related hormones: Prospective prediction of 6‐month changes in food cravings and weight.
Eating & physical activity to lose or maintain weight. (2019).
Fiataraone-Singh, M., et al. (2019). ACSM guidelines for strength training.
Hazell, TJ, et al. (2014). Running sprint interval training induces fat loss in women [Abstract].
Ramírez-Campillo, R., et al. (2013). Regional fat changes induced by localized muscle endurance resistance training.