Last Updated December 11, 2019 10:11 AM
Ever wondered why some girls can eat and train in the same way as you but end up with very different results?
Yes – genetics, hormones and different health issues play a big role. But there is an additional factor that we all seem to forget – your body type.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I am a big proponent for women not training like men and adjusting their diet and fitness to their own body type (and individual fitness and physique preferences).
A lot of women (myself included) particularly struggle with their legs and thighs! Unfortunately, for most, thighs are one of the last places where we tend to store fat.
In this blog post, I will focus on sharing my best tips on how to get lean legs according to your specific body type.
Before I realized how important it was to know your body type, I used to spend a lot of time in the gym asking myself, “what am I doing wrong?”
I wanted to get lean legs, so I joined the gym with a group of girls. We all had the same fitness goals (to get lean and to slim our legs) and we were put on the same workout program.
We started lifting heavy weights and doing lots of squats (because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you want to lose thigh fat and get skinny legs, right?).
But, instead of slimming down, my thighs kept getting bigger and bigger! My shorts became too tight and my thighs just kept growing. I started to lose my confidence and my motivation to continue working out.
And I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me. I thought I was doing everything right!
But then I noticed that some of the girls who worked out with me were getting completely different results, even though we were pretty much following the same diet!
So, it got me thinking: If two people are doing the exact same workouts and getting different results, it must mean that not all of us can be put on the same exercise and diet regime.
Someone who has a larger frame with naturally muscular legs is going to need a different workout and nutrition program than someone who is naturally thin and finds it hard to build muscles.
And that’s when I learned about different body types!
If you really want to get skinny legs, you first need to learn your body type and adjust your diet and exercise accordingly.
It’s actually very simple. Just take my 2-minute, free body type quiz that will tell you if you’re an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph.
After that, I’d recommend reading your particular body type’s diet and fitness tips (below).
These girls usually have a lower body fat percentage without needing to exercise or diet. And they usually find it difficult to gain weight.
But they also find it hard to build muscle, which means it’s harder for them to get that nice toned look.
Well, it would be very hard for a true ectomorph to become overweight.
However, one of the biggest misconceptions about ectomorphs is that they can eat whatever they want.
Yes, they tend to be quite naturally slim, and they have a fast metabolism…but that doesn’t mean they can constantly eat junk food.
If they ate a lot of junk food, they would most likely gain fat.
So, whilst they can be a bit more relaxed with their diet, they still need to make sure they’re consuming healthy foods so that they don’t start to look skinny fat.
Skinny fat is a term used to describe people who appear skinny when wearing clothes but actually have a higher body fat percentage.
If you want to avoid the skinny fat look (especially as an ectomorph), I would advise you to follow a healthy diet and to do resistance training.
If you are a true ectomorph, you’ll find it hard to build muscle tone, so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll bulk up, even if you do a lot of weights and squat.
But, as I mentioned, if you avoid any type of resistance training, you will start to look skinny fat, and your legs won’t look toned.
So, what should you do to get lean and toned legs if you are an ectomorph?
If you want to get skinny legs as an ectomorph, here’s what you should do:
Well, if you don’t have extra body fat, you could get away with doing minimal to no cardio. However, cardio will help your body stay lean.
Aim to do 2-3 cardio sessions per week so you can stay fit and healthy.
And if you need to lose some body fat, I would stick with low to moderate intensity cardio. This type of cardio works best for fat loss.
If you want to look really fit and toned, you should use moderate weights and keep your number of reps moderate to high (8-12).
Aim to do resistance training 3 times per week (or more if you feel this is not enough).
As I mentioned, you could get away with eating junk food without becoming overweight. But you could still have a high percentage of body fat.
Ectomorphs do best on a diet that’s relatively high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fats.
Just make sure that you don’t eat a lot of processed foods. Stick to whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies and lean protein.
This is a good macronutrient split for ectomorphs:
If you want to get more info, read my blog post on how to get lean and toned legs if you are an ectomorph body type.
OK, so mesomorphs are usually average size – not thin like ectomorphs, but also not naturally large, like endomorphs.
If you are a mesomorph (like me), you’re very likely to have an athletic body, respond quickly to exercise and can have great muscle definition.
So, if you’re a mesomorph, and you want to become a fitness model, then you’re in luck – because you’ve got the genetics!
When it comes to weight, you find it easy to lose and gain weight, so it’s not unusual if your weight fluctuates.
As I mentioned, your body has great potential, but if you have a very sedentary lifestyle and eat a lot of junk food, you can gain weight and fat.
In mesomorphs, fat should be quite evenly distributed. But a lot of you have told me that even though you can lose weight quickly, you find it difficult to lose inner thigh fat.
I also noticed that I tend to store most fat in my inner thighs and that’s usually the last place where I lose weight.
Here is what you should do to get skinny legs as a mesomorph.
For best results, you should incorporate both cardio and resistance training into your routine.
If you need to lose body fat, do high-intensity cardio (running) 3 times per week and power walking 5 times a week.
For more info on cardio and how it works, read my blog post on why you need to do cardio to lose fat.
Mesomorphs react to training quite quickly, but you can bulk up quite easily, especially if you do weights.
If you prefer to have more muscle, weights might be a great option for you.
But if you’d like a leaner look, and you don’t want to bulk up your thighs, I would advise you to skip weights and stick to bodyweight training.
Here are some of my favorite bodyweight workouts that won’t cause your legs to bulk up:
Aim to do resistance training 3 times per week. You can also try my FREE Train Like
Your body type does best on a well-balanced diet. This means you should be eating a combination of healthy fats, protein, and carbs.
Your body type does best on a well-balanced diet. This means you should be eating a combination of healthy fats, protein and carbs.
Try to avoid white sugar and processed carbs.
A good macronutrient breakdown for mesomorphs looks like this:
If you are a mesomorph, and you want to learn more, read my blog post on how to exercise and eat for mesomorphs.
Endomorphs have a naturally larger, solid frame and are generally curvy, with a higher level of body fat.
This body type gains muscle and fat very easily and findS it difficult to lose weight, especially through diet alone.
Endomorphs have strong muscles (especially their legs). And losing body fat for the endomorph will probably take a bit longer compared to the other body types.
But it’s not impossible! Endomorphs can lean out their legs with the right diet and workout routine! :)
As I said, getting lean legs if you are an endomorph can be a bit tricky.
Endomorphs naturally have muscular legs, and they tend to store most of their body fat in their thigh area.
So, if you want to lean your legs out, you need to reduce your leg muscle. And you also need to lose overall body fat to lose that stubborn thigh fat.
I’m going to share what EXACTLY you should do to finally get those lean legs you’ve always wanted.
Weighs, squats, CrossFit – these are all great exercise options, but they will work your quads and make your thighs grow.
So, if you notice that a certain type of training is making your thighs bigger, stop doing it.
You should aim to do it 5 times a week for at least 45mins. Also, after every resistance training session, do at least 20mins of power walking. This will help with fat loss.
I know you may be tempted to skip resistance training altogether because you’re afraid it will only make your legs bigger.
But if you avoid resistance training completely, your legs will not be toned.
Resistance training will help you get muscle tone and it will speed up your metabolism which will help with weight loss.
You should do bodyweight training 3 times per week.
When it comes to your diet, the most important thing is do not eat too many (or too little) calories.
If you want to lose weight, you should be in a slight calorie deficit. But if your calorie deficit is too severe, you’ll just slow down your metabolism, and you won’t lose weight.
If you don’t know how many calories you should eat, read my blog post on how to calculate your ideal calorie intake.
Endomorphs will get the best results on a low-carb diet. Here’s how their macros intake should look:
So, my lovely endomorphs, protein
When it comes to protein, you should eat lean meat (especially turkey, chicken and fish), eggs, protein powder, yogurt and soybeans.
And when it comes to healthy fats, you should stick to avocado, nuts, seeds, nut butter, olives and coconut oil.
Unfortunately, you don’t do well when eating lots of carbs. If you want to lose weight and lean out your legs, your body type cannot get away with a high carb diet.
However, you shouldn’t avoid carbs completely, as they are absolutely essential for your body to function.
Good sources of carbs include fruit, green vegetables, whole meal bread, brown rice and oats. But your main source of carbs should be veggies.
The time of your carb intake is also super important. Make sure to eat your carbs first thing in the morning or within one-hour post-workout.
I’ve written a more detailed blog post on how to get skinny legs if you are an endomorph body type, so be sure to check it out.
You can, in fact, be a combination of two body types.
If you are an ectomorph/mesomorph, it is best for you to follow the mesomorph guidelines.
If you are a mesomorph/endomorph, it is best for you to follow the endomorph guidelines.
No matter what your body type, you CAN lose body fat, gain muscle and make an improvement to your legs. But you CAN’T change your body type.
If, for example, you are an endomorph, you will never have the physique of an ectomorph, and this should not be something to aim for.
Your goal should be something that is attainable for your body type and that will make you look and feel your absolute best!
I know that getting rid of thigh fat and reducing muscular legs can seem impossible. But I promise you – you can get amazing results if you know your body type and how to eat and train accordingly.
That’s why I designed my 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program to help you get skinny legs according to your body type (without adding any extra muscle bulk).
There are 3 different versions of my program, one for each body type.
Each version combines the right type of cardio and resistance training for a particular body type, so you can be sure you’re going to get the best possible results.
And of course, since you cannot train and be on a crappy diet, I included a complete 8-week meal plan in my program. You can find more information here.
And if you prefer to follow FULL-LENGTH videos, now you can. Check out my Lean Legs Video Course and get those lean legs you’ve always wanted!