Preparing for swimsuit season is never an easy task, especially when you’re trying to lose weight to fit into a bikini. Many women struggle to keep their upper thighs toned, since it’s a common problem area–especially for pear-shaped women. But there are ways to help lose weight from your upper thighs; following a few simple tips will help get your legs bikini-ready in no time.
1. Keep Your Diet in Check
Since there’s no easy way to spot reduce (reduce fat in only one area of your body), burning total body fat will help you reduce the fat on your upper thighs. If you’re overweight, start by reducing your daily calorie intake by 250 to 500 calories per day.
2. Limit Dietary Fat
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends that adults limit their total dietary fat to 20 to 35 percent of their daily calorie intake. Since one gram of fat equals nine calories, a 2,000 calorie diet should consist of 44 to 78 grams of fat per day. The DASH eating plan (for lowering cholesterol) recommends a daily dietary fat intake of 27 percent of total calories (60 grams of fat per day for a 2,000 calorie diet). Try to include healthy (unsaturated) fats when possible while limiting saturated fats. Foods that are high in unsaturated fat include vegetable oils, such as olive and canola oils, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
3. Increase Dietary Fiber
Most Americans don’t consume the recommended 20 to 38 grams of fiber per day. High-fiber foods are beneficial for weight loss because they are typically low in fat and calories and high in nutrients (such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes). Fiber also helps you feel more full and satisfied, for longer periods of time. Getting plenty of fiber in your diet will help you lose weight (and body fat) at a faster pace.
4. Perform Resistance Exercises
Resistance exercises, especially leg workouts, will help you tone up your upper thighs. Squats, lunges, leg extensions, and reverse plank dips are examples of leg-toning exercises that can be performed using dumbbell weights. Resistance exercises can increase definition and muscle mass which will help burn fat. Muscle burns more calories than fat cells (even at rest).
5. Increase Cardiovascular Exercise
Cardiovascular exercises, such as walking, jogging, biking, and swimming, will help burn calories and excess fat. The ADA recommends getting 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Alternate between resistance and cardiovascular workouts for optimal results.
6. Get Plenty of Rest
People who are sleep deprived have a harder time losing weight and body fat. Eating provides a burst of energy that most tired people welcome. The journal “Sleep” reported greater BMIs and fat tissue in young adults who got five or fewer hours of sleep per night (compared with those who got six to seven hours of sleep per night). Your body requires plenty of rest to recover from increased physical activity needed to help burn excess body fat.