Let’s face it, at some point or another, many of us have wanted to lose leg fat. If you’ve ever tried to do so, you’d understand how challenging it is to accomplish that goal. Why is getting rid of leg fat so difficult?
Losing leg fat is so hard because genetics, diet, gender, age, or health issues can heavily influence the result. By mixing up different exercise routines and maintaining consistent resistance training, you can lose leg fat successfully.
Read on to learn more about why it’s hard to lose leg fat and apply some general tips to help you in your weight loss journey.
Why It’s So Hard To Lose Leg Fat
Many reasons can make it hard for someone to lose leg fat. Here’s an outline of the reasons it’s so hard to lose weight, including leg fat, and how it can impact your results:
- Genes heavily influence weight loss. Your genes tell your predisposition to gain or lose weight effectively, such as whether or not you have a fast metabolism. A Harvard study found that a predisposition for obesity in someone’s genes has between 20–80% influence over their weight. This can be seen in the legs, known to hold the most weight.
- Age can have some influence on your weight loss/gain. In general, most sources show that younger individuals can lose and maintain smaller weights than older individuals. This can be attributed to slowing metabolisms or changes in diet preferences as they age.
- Gender also plays a fairly large role in weight, specifically for females. Females are biologically predisposed to gaining and storing weight during their mature years. During this time, they also create hormones that can help retain weight, and the gained weight often goes to areas such as the stomach and legs, where it’s harder to lose.
- Diet and health have major effects on your weight. To start with diet, we often get used to eating supersized portions of mostly grains and meats, which isn’t sustainable if we want to lose and keep off weight. In addition, some people may have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes that can inhibit their ability to lose or maintain weight.
For Women, How Long Does It Take To Lose Leg Fat?
Women can take 6 to 12 weeks to lose leg fat, although many may take longer. Everyone’s progress may vary, depending on factors like genetics, diets, health, and lifestyle. You can lose leg fat effectively as long as you consistently maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It’s Harder for Women To Lose Weight
It can be very hard for women to lose and maintain weight, which is often due to their biological predisposition to gaining weight and keeping it in the stomach and thighs. While this isn’t a very alterable fact, there are some things that a woman can do to help her with weight loss.
Don’t lose hope if you, too, want to get rid of that leg fat.
Men Can Build Muscles Easier Than Women
On the other hand, while it can be difficult for men to lose weight, they have less of a biological disposition to gain it. According to most sources, biologically, men are more able to lose weight and gain muscle than women.
Men who work on their legs will see their legs get toned faster than women.
You Can Lose Leg Fat in About Three Months
You might see improvements after the first few days of exercising and eating better, which is mostly attributed to rapid muscle gaining/water weight loss. After this, if you work steadily, you can most likely reach at least a portion of your weight loss goals in 6 to 12 weeks.
Remember that it’s recommended only to lose a maximum of 1–2 lb. (0.45–0.91 kg) a week, meaning this 6–12 week metric is only realistic for weight loss goals of 12–24 lb. (5.44-10.89 kg) at maximum.
Building leg muscles can be a quick process, and you can see the results as you progress.
With this, if you exercise for both leg muscle gain and fat loss at the same time, you should see at least some results within 1–3 weeks.
Activities To Reduce Leg Fat
To reduce leg fat fast, perform aerobic exercise, maintain consistent resistance training, vary your training schedules, take supplements, and make diet changes and calorie counting.
Let’s talk in more detail about how to lose leg fat fast.
Do Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise can be one of the best tools to use for weight loss. Aerobic exercise works by using your muscles for short-medium bursts. This allows you to use your glycogen (sugar) and then burn fat stores in the body.
In addition to this, aerobic exercise is known to improve heart health.
Maintain Consistent Resistance Training
After you’ve started your workout routine, you might want to try adding some resistance training. This training is characterized by exercising specific muscle groups together.
For example, you can train your leg muscles to increase their mass in one workout.
Don’t worry, though. This doesn’t have to make you look bulky and will help with weight loss. In the end, muscles are denser (look smaller) than fat and use more energy to maintain, so you can eat more calories if you have more muscle mass.
Vary Your Training Schedule
Most sources now recommend varying your training schedule to aid in weight loss. Not only does it increase the variety of muscles being trained, but it can also help lose weight by forcing your body to adjust to new workouts and activities.
Take Supplements and Make Diet Changes
Diet changes and the addition of supplements can help many people lose weight. Most professionals cite that dieting is 50%+ of your weight loss.
While positive diet changes look different for everyone (as everyone has different nutritional needs), most suggest eating a heavy amount of fruits/veggies, switching to whole grains, and limiting meat intake to palm-sized amounts per meal.
Not only do these changes improve nutrition, but they also improve calories, as most calorie-dense foods are meats and grains, so limiting those will, in turn, limit your calorie intake.
Using supplements can also help you in your weight loss journey.
While there are specific compounds that some people can get in pill forms, such as specialized nutrients, oils, or caffeine, many academic sources suggest trying things such as green teas, protein bars/powders, and more.
These work because they’re healthy foods/drinks, but they also can increase your satiety or speed up your metabolism.
Can Squats Reduce Leg-Thigh Fat?
Squats can reduce leg-thigh fat, but not in the way that most think. Most sources believe that spot training, or training a specific body part only to lose fat, doesn’t work very well.
However, if you want to lose weight and do squats, they can burn calories and increase muscle mass, possibly helping you.
Do Spot Training
As discussed earlier, spot training is mostly viewed as a myth. Instead, I suggest that you view exercise more as calories burned and muscle building rather than burning fat in a specific area. Spot training emphasizes the idea that working out muscles in an area reduces fat in the area.
In reality, this only increases the size of the muscles, making the body part look more toned as a whole.
Build More Muscles
With these exercises, such as squats, you end up building muscle. In the end, you need more calories to maintain your muscles, so you’ll eat more in a day. With this, if you start by building muscle, you can outweigh the calories you eat, forcing your body to burn fat as fuel.
In the end, leg weight loss is hard, and your demographic can heavily impact your ability to lose it and keep it off. Don’t lose hope. There are many ways to help, such as diet changes and resistance training!
Keep in mind, that these tips and tricks are cited to help but are not guaranteed to. This is especially true with leg fat, which can be some of the most stubborn fat. I recommend trying a few of them at a time to see if they work and only use the ones that work well with your body and schedule.
- Femina: How to Reduce Thigh Fat Effectively
- The Ohio State University Medical Center: Can Supplements Help With Weight Loss?
- One Medical: 7 Reasons to Switch Up Your Workout
- Healthline: How to Lose Leg Fat
- CDC: Losing Weight
- Nourish by WebMD: Weight Loss and Gender: Do Men Lose Weight Faster?
- PostPartumTrainer: How Long Does it Take to Slim Down Legs?
- Women’s Health Research Institute: Why is it harder for women to lose weight?
- Harvard Medical School: Why People Become Overweight
- University of Utah Health: Why is it So Hard to Lose Weight
- Healthline: Is it Possible to Target Fat Loss to Specific Body Parts?