“Just wait until you turn 30, your hips will just get bigger overnight and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted, but then one day it changed. Now I can’t smell bread without the pounds going straight to my hips.”
When I was in my early 20s, I heard those phrases from women who were in their mid thirties and forties. According to them, they once had a slim build, but age eventually took over and slowed down their metabolism causing excess fat to build up around their hips and outer thighs. It was like they accepted defeat and were warning me that one day it was happen to me too and there was nothing I could do about it.
Now that I’m in my early 30s, and I have struggled with both weight gain and binge eating, I’m here to tell you that the above attitude is not the way it has to work. Read on to learn how to lose fat on thighs, especially those dreaded saddlebags.
What causes saddlebags? Alot of things
- Accumulation of fat and weight gain
- Being a woman who is in child bearing years
- Insulin Sensitivity
How you store fat is often hereditary. If the majority of women in your family are pear shaped, you are more likely to be as well.
For most women, when we gain weight, most of it will automatically go around our hips, buttocks, and outer thighs, especially during our highest productive years. I’m not even having kids so I wish my body would just skip this on me, but it doesn’t work like that unfortunately. The extra fat reserves exist because of our reproductive system and needing those extra calories when “child bearing.”
Not All Fat Is Stored Equally
If you’ve ever noticed, that some fat just seems to be stubborn and won’t come off as easily, you’re not entirely wrong. Not all fat is stored equally in your body and some fat IS easier to burn off.
Fat is actually two different colors and exists for different reasons.
White fat cells store fat energy stores long term. These are the “fat reserves” that the body holds onto. Large quantites of white fat cells lead to obesity.
Brown fat cells provide insulation to your organs, provide body heat when it’s cold, and quickly turns into energy when we need it. As a baby we have more brown fat cells and the number slowly disappears into adulthood, making it alot easier to hold onto fat rather than burn it.
The number of brown fat cells you have directly correlates with your ability to burn white fat cells.
What Actually Leads to Excess Fat
This is a fairly new topic. Previously, it was thought that all you had to do was eat less than you expend. And alot of fitness coaches are out there promoting this, without even looking at the quality of foods and how it affects their clients’ bodies.
To put it simply, all those excess carbs you’re eating? That’s what makes us susceptible to fat accumulation. But before you go giving up carbs forever, read on. You don’t have to give up carbs!
Simple Vs. Complex Carbs
Not all carbs are created equal either. Our body is designed to need carbs, it’s our main energy source and the only energy source for the brain. It’s the type of carb you eat though that is important.
Complex Carbs are carbs in their purest form. These are the whole grains and vegetables.
Simple Carbs have had the grains stripped from them and undergone processing. There isn’t any nutritional value left. This is also the added sugars in food.
Simple Carbs spike insuline levels and complex carbs don’t. When insulin levels are raised for a prolonged period of time, calories are driven into fat tissue. Now, multiply that over the course of many years.
Fat is built up over time.
How to Lose Fat on Thighs
Where do we begin in losing fat on the thighs? Diet and Exercise.
In terms of diet, I’m not talking about going on a diet, where you restrict your calories. I’m saying to look at the quality of foods you have been eating. Switch up white bread for whole grain. See if you can opt for whole grain pasta instead of white pasta. The same goes for rice. Add some leafy greens and veggies as a nice side item.
Don’t give up cake and donuts completely, but eat those more in moderation. I will go ahead and tell you, there is no body in the world worth having if you have to give up things you love in order to have it. But realistically, you don’t need to eat pizza everyday or stuff yourself at the dinner.
There is a difference in allowing yourself to have a piece of cake because you want it and stuffing your face with sugar every chance you get.
Everything in moderation.
When it comes to exercise, see below on some moves I recommend!
Top Exercises to Lose Fat on Thighs
That title is a bit misleading. You can’t actually choose where you want to lose fat and there is no particular exercises that is designed to help with spot reducing fat on the thighs to make saddlebags disappear. Your body will decided when the fat goes away. I like to focus on a mix of strength training to build muscle that helps burn fat long term and add in some cardio for some accelerated fat burning.
Squats. This is a compound move that requires multiple muscle groups including your core. You will be building those quads in no time and increasing your mobility and flexibility in the process. I have found that the heavier the weight the more I feel it all over my thighs. To do a basic squat, keep your legs hip width apart, toes pointed forward and sit down in a chair position making sure your knees aren’t going past your knees.
Lunges. Another popular and highly effective lower body move, the lunge will work the calves, glutes, quads and hamstrings. It’s the ultimate leg toner. You are training one side at a time, which helps improve balance and coordination. To do a lunge, stand with your legs hip width apart, toes pointed forward, but instead of sitting in a squat, one leg goes back with the knee about an inch off the ground. Both legs are in a 90 degree angle with the front knee not going over the toes.
- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). These are relatively short 20 minute workouts that incorporate both strength and cardio moves allowing short amounts of rest inbetween longer work periods. What happens is, by resting and not actually giving your body a chance to chance up, you are increasing your EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption). So after the workout is over, you will be burning more calories as your body adjusts back to normal levels.
Cardio. Cardio seems to be getting a bad rep lately. I see people only wanting to focus on strength training to build muscle. And while that is important, I always like to finish off my workout with at least 10 minutes of cardio on my stationary bike to burn off that extra fat. And unless you are focusing solely on bulking up and then have a strict cutting phase, you need the extra cardio to help lose that fat. Go for a walk, a job, jump rope, or get on a bike like me.
Top Products to Help Lose Fat on Thighs
- Isavera Fat Freezing System. Fat freezing is still a fairly new concept. For years it was thought that the actual fat cells couldn’t be destroyed, what changes is the size of the fat cell. They shrink when we burn fat. Fat freezing suggest that we can freeze fat cell through a process called cryolypolysis. The cell starts to crystalize and over the next few weeks is excreted from your body. I personally use this product on my stubborn outer thighs and I tend to notice differences after 4 weeks of use. Drink plenty of water as that helps the dead fat cells leave the body. I love this product.
- Resistance Bands. Add some resistance to your workouts with resistance bands. You can work your glutes and outer thighs on the go with these.
Bye Bye Fat
Get ready to say goodbye to your outer thigh fat. As you can see, if you make just a few small changes to your nutrition and exercise routine, you’ll lose that fat on your outer thighs, especially those saddlebags.
I hope you enjoyed this and learned something new and found some things you can implement!
To learn more about the differences between carbs and how NOT to completely give them up, I created a FREE guide for you! Save the confusion, this will answer your questions!