Fat deposits can occur anywhere in the body and are influenced by a number of things such as gender, age, hormones, and genetics. As weight increases, fat collects in areas based on those factors. However, just as we’re unable to determine where fat will be deposited as we gain weight, we are conversely unable to direct the release of fat from specific areas- a.k.a. spot reduction.
If you are above ideal weight, know that losing just a few pounds will help get rid of fat tissue throughout the body. Weight loss occurs when we create a negative energy balance- meaning that the calories consumed are less than our total expended. For nutritional strategies to help lose extra weight or simply eat healthier overall, you may want to consider visiting the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate website (USDA, 2013). There you’ll find great meal planning ideas and tools to help monitor your progress along the way.
When you couple dietary changes with the right exercises, it enhances the results while increasing your body’s lean tissue. This can have a huge impact on your metabolic rate. The amount of exercise to successfully lose or maintain your weight may vary, but most adults should strive for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week for just overall good health (CDC, 2013).
Specific exercises can make a difference in your program. Targeted strength training exercises are great for toning and tightening muscles but they have little effect on the actual layer of fat that sits on top of the muscle. Heart-rate elevating or cardiovascular exercises on the other hand can actually help mobilize fat stores so that it’s used as energy (ACE, 2013). Therefore a combination of both cardiovascular and strength training exercise is best to help send the fat on its way while sculpting your best thighs ever.
ACE offers an extensive online exercise library. On the site you can select workouts and programs for an entire routine or get ideas for some new moves targeting the upper legs. You can also choose to stream a workout routine to your computer or device to see a particular move in action on the ACE YouTube Channel.
Body composition changes take time and hard work. It’s important to keep in mind that each one of us is unique. We come in many shapes and sizes. Striving for your individual best while avoiding comparisons to others will help keep you focused and moving in a positive direction.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), The Benefits of Physical Activity. Retrieved 11/07/2013, http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/health/index.html.