Want to know how to lose fat in your legs?
It’s not as hard as you might think. While some dieters will tell you to focus on your leg muscles, this isn’t the only way to lose fat in your legs. But it is a part of the 3 steps we’ll outline.
Instead, to lose weight in your legs, you’ll need a well-rounded approach that targets fat in general.
Step 1: Eat the Right Foods
If you’re exercising like an Olympic athlete yet you’re banging your head against the wall saying “how do I lose weight in my legs,” you’re missing the most important element: diet. Some of the fittest people in the world consume 3 times the daily recommended calories because they are training so hard, their body demands 5,000 – 7,000 calories a day of the right food.
Don’t believe me? Michael Phelps, the best Olympic swimmer in the world, eats an astonishing diet of 12,000 calories a day.
So, there are a few things to note here:
- Starvation or low calorie diets are not optimal.
- You need to eat the right foods.
With this in mind, you want to eat foods that will help you stay lean and kick-start your metabolism. This means:
- Protein: chicken, fish and turkey are ideal.
- Healthy Fats: nuts, avocadoes and olive oil.
- Carbs: potatoes, wheat pastas and brown rice.
Yes, there are a lot of carbs I left out that could be added as well as healthy fats. According to experts, an adult should get 20 – 35 percent of their entire daily calories from fats. This is why so many athletes choose to eat avocadoes – because they are extremely healthy forms of fat.
Obviously, you’ll also want to:
- Limit sugar intake
- Cut out sodas
- Restrict your calories (more on that soon)
- Cook whole foods (no packaged food should hit your plate)
The 3-Week Diet has a lot of great information on this very subject that will help you learn to eat the right foods.
Step 2: Restrict Calories
Losing fat is a science that revolves around calories. Everything you put in your mouth will have an effect on your body: good or bad. It’s a simple process:
- You eat
- Calories are absorbed
- Excess calories are stored as fat
The hardest part for most people is that they are either eating far more calories than they expect or far less calories than normal. Unfortunately, both will lead to you maintaining or gaining weight. Yes, even too little calories will have a negative effect on your fat loss goals.
So, where is this all going?
You can’t start when you don’t know where to begin. What I recommend is doing the following:
- Register with MyFitnessPal.
- Enter in all your meals on a normal week.
I stress not starting a diet yet, but entering in what you normally eat so that you can see a true estimate of your calorie consumption. This will allow you to see:
- How many carbs you eat
- How much fat you eat
- How much protein you eat
- True calorie values of your favorite food
Once you see how many calories you eat, you’re going to modify this to lose fat off your legs. For example, you eat:
- 2,000 calories on average
- You burn 200 calories exercising
If you were to eat just 300 less calories a day (1,700), you would be cutting your calorie consumption by 500 calories a day or 3,500 calories a week. Losing a pound of weight should be a lot easier from this starting point.
Step 3: How to Lose Weight Off Your Legs With Exercise
Exercise will help tighten and tone your legs so that they are firmer and more muscular. While it’s very difficult to target a specific body part with weight loss, this doesn’t mean that muscle growth won’t produce satisfactory results.
Cardio is a great way to increase the amount of calories you burn while working your leg muscles. Cardio, can include:
All of these activities will help you boost the amount of calories you burn a day while also strengthening your leg muscles.
It goes without saying that exercise must be a part of your daily routine. You want to be able to exercise the right muscles to promote as much positive muscle growth as possible. My recommendation?
Squats are one of the most hated exercises because they are hard. However, squats will work your:
There are also several smaller muscles that are engaged when squatting. Front dumbbell squats or even regular squats are great to add to your workout routine.
Barbell deadlifts work your hamstrings and will also engage the butt, back, quads, hips and shoulders as well as other muscles. This is done by:
- Placing a barbell on the floor
- Squatting down with a slightly bent back
- Straightening the legs while keeping the back straight
It’s a difficult exercise to explain in words, and I highly recommend watching a professional perform this movement to limit your risk of injury. BodyBuilding.com has a great video on performing a proper barbell deadlift.
There are also several other exercises that can be performed that are great for your legs:
- Calf raises
- Chair squat
There are dozens of leg-centric workouts to choose from.
If you want to know how to lose fat in your legs, the answer is this: a mix of diet, calorie control and exercise. This is a marathon and not a sprint, so it will take time for you to see optimal results. But it is well worth the effort in the end. A nice one-two punch approach to this is following a healthy eating and fitness lifestyle that will help you realize the best results. Check-out our review of the 3 Week Diet system to see how this well balanced plan can give you an edge in your marathon.