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Thigh troubles: Exploring the effects of weight gain on your lower body

Posted
August 9, 2023
5 min 10 sec
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Are your thighs revealing more than you'd like? 

Discover the science behind weight gain and the secrets to shedding stubborn thigh fat for good! In this article, we delve into the realm of thigh troubles and explore the effects of weight gain on your lower body. 

It’s not uncommon for fat to stick around in the hips, thighs and legs, so you’re not alone in pinching your thigh fat in front of the mirror. So it’s important to understand the physiology behind leg fat, why fat accumulates in the thighs and set up a game plan for losing it in a healthy and motivating way. 

Thigh fat - why does it happen and how to get rid of it?

We all know that weight gain happens when the body consumes more calories than it burns, which creates fat. That fat stores up in various parts of the body, usually belly, arms, hips and thighs. The thigh area is a particularly fat-hungry part of the body, particularly in women, due to hormonal factors. This physical trait often results in a dip in self-confidence, and overall well-being.

When you start to gain weight, the fat cells in your thighs start to expand, often leading to cellulite, causing that “orange skin” appearance on the legs and buttocks. While it is essential to accept and love our bodies, if you feel self-conscious it is important to take positive steps towards achieving a healthier lifestyle.

To lose thigh fat effectively, we need to focus on two key aspects

  • A balanced diet 
  • Regular physical activity

Balanced diet: it is obviously key for adequate weight management. Choose nutrient-dense foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals while keeping calories in check. Make sure you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains everyday (that’s right, every single day). Steer clear  of processed foods, sugary snacks, and high-calorie drinks (that includes alcohol).

Regular physical activity: moving around regularly helps burn calories and lose weight. It doesn’t have to be olympic, just getting up to walk for half an hour per day can help (although the more the better, of course). Cardiovascular exercises like jogging, cycling, and dancing are excellent choices to target stubborn thigh fat. Strength training exercises, such as squats and lunges, can also help tone and shape the muscles in the thighs, contributing to that lean body you crave for.

Exercises for losing thigh fat

Targeting specific areas for fat loss is called spot reduction. While it isn’t failproof, regularly practicing exercises that engage the thigh and leg muscles can help tone and strengthen the hip area. Here are a few exercises to include in your workout routine:

Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and lower your body as if sitting back into an imaginary chair. Keep your back straight and knees aligned with your toes. Rise back up to the starting position. Squats work the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

Lunges: Take a step forward with one leg and lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Push back to the starting position and switch legs. Lunges target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

Leg Press: Using a leg press machine or resistance bands, sit down and push the weight or bands away from your body using your legs. This exercise targets the quadriceps and glutes.

Step-ups: Step onto a sturdy platform or bench with one foot, and then step back down. Alternate legs for each repetition. Step-ups work the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

Leg Curls: Lie face down on a leg curl machine and curl your legs toward your glutes. This exercise targets the hamstrings.

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How to lose thigh fat safely and effectively

Gradual weight loss: while losing 20lbs in a few weeks can sound like a dream, it can actually lead to muscle loss and nutritional deficiencies. So be patient and aim for a gradual, sustainable weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. This steady approach allows your body to adapt and maintain muscle mass, which is crucial for a healthy metabolism.

Stay hydrated: drinking an adequate amount of water daily is essential for losing weight. Water helps flush out toxins, makes digestion easier and faster, and can help control appetite. Make it a habit to carry a water bottle with you and sip throughout the day.

Monitor portion sizes: pay attention to how much you eat as much as what you eat to avoid overeating. Expert tip: using smaller plates and bowls can trick your mind into feeling satisfied even though the portion is smaller. Try to stop between each bite to savor it, and have a drink of water. It prevents overindulgence because your body has time to stop being hungry before you actually finish your plate

Motivation and mindset

Staying motivated and positive is the most important thing when setting yourself up to lose weight.  

Set realistic goals: unrealistic expectations can lead to frustration and disappointment. Set achievable, short-term goals to keep yourself motivated. Celebrate each milestone you reach, no matter how small, because it means you’re moving forward. 

Find an exercise routine you enjoy: exercise doesn't have to be a chore; it can be fun! Try to find activities that you genuinely enjoy and incorporate them into your routine. Whether it's dancing, hiking, swimming, or joining a group fitness class, doing something you love will make staying active feel like less of a burden.

Be positive: be kind to yourself and avoid negative self-talk. Instead of focusing on perceived flaws, remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. Embrace self-acceptance and treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would offer to a friend.

Try self-hypnosis: by working with your subconscious mind, you can reinforce healthier habits and your confidence. Using self-hypnosis techniques to motivate yourself can help reach your weight loss goals swiftly and easily. 

Sustainable lifestyle changes

Losing weight is not about quick fixes but rather adopting sustainable lifestyle changes.

Prioritize sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone balance and lead to weight gain. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your weight loss efforts.

Reduce stress: Chronic stress can trigger emotional eating and contribute to weight gain. Practice stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, self-hypnosis, deep breathing, or spending time in nature to alleviate stress and improve your overall well-being.

Seek support: Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or even an online community with similar goals. Having a support system can provide encouragement, accountability, and motivation on your weight loss journey.

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