There’s nothing worse than wearing long, large pants in summer in an effort to cover up that extra jiggle on your upper legs that just won’t budge. Instead of settling for uncomfortable clothes, why not slim down your legs so you can also sport a bikini, shorts or short skirts? With summer right around the corner, time might be limited. However, there are various healthy lifestyle changes you can incorporate to speed up your weight loss.
Lose 2 Pounds a Week
MayoClinic.org states that losing more than 2 pounds a week is unhealthy and often requires drastic measures that are hard to keep up long-term. Also, fast weight loss is often from muscle tissue and water, instead of fat. To lose 2 pounds a week, you must create a deficit of 1,000 calories a day. This adds up to 7,000 calories a week, and since 1 pound of fat has 3,500 calories, you’ll end up losing 2 pounds. The 1,000-calorie deficit can come from dietary changes and calories burned during exercise.
Boost Your Cardio
When it comes to reducing body fat, it was proven by research results that were printed in the Journal of Obesity that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is more effective than other forms of exercise. During this type of training you alternate between a vigorous exercise pace and a slower, easier-to-maintain exercise pace. You can, for instance, jog for three minutes and then accelerate into a one-minute sprint. You can also do interval training on a stationary bike or elliptical machine by alternating between a vigorous and moderate speed. Perform three 25-minute HIIT sessions a week to optimize your weight-loss results.
Targeted Leg Exercises
Understand that solely reducing the fat in your legs (spot reduction) isn’t possible. To slim down your legs, you must lose weight from your entire body. When your entire body slims down, your problem areas will also slim down. Although spot reduction doesn’t work, you can still work your legs with targeted exercises to firm the muscles under the fat. Muscle tissue makes your burn calories more efficiently, and when your body fat reduces, you’ll have shapely, lean legs. Some of the best leg exercises include lunges, step-ups, dead lifts, and squats, since these work multiple muscles simultaneously. Make these exercises part of your bi-weekly full-body strength-training session during which you target all your large muscle groups.
Change Your Diet
Small dietary changes can have a big impact on your weight loss. Drinking reduced-fat milk and water, is better than drinking whole milk and soda. Eating brown rice and whole-wheat bread is better than eating white rice and white bread. Replacing ice cream with frozen yogurt, and eating smaller portions can also spare you calories. Get your nutrients by eating from all the food groups, and read and compare food labels so you can make healthy choices.
MayoClinic.org: Weight Loss
Journal of Obesity: High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:Physical Activity
Ask the Trainer: Best Leg Exercises
Helpguide.org: Healthy Weight Loss & Dieting Tips