I hope you’ve been enjoying my how to get skinny legs blog series. I have given you the foundations of nutrition and exercise to help you achieve lean and toned legs. Now I’m going to provide you with some information about common mistakes that you might be making.
1. HEAVY SQUATS
Through my experience and that of others, I have learned that heavy squats don’t work for most body types. It results in overly muscular legs (but does amazing things for the rest of your body!). While squatting is still good for you and can really help tone up your legs, I would avoid squatting heavy (I’m sure most personal trainer’s are hating me right now).
2. TARGETING INNER THIGHS
There is a common misconception that if you do exercises to target your inner thighs, your inner thighs will get smaller. This comes from the idea that you can spot reduce fat from specific areas of your body. This is not really true, except for doing cardio (particularly running and walking) to reduce body fat on your legs (read more here).
In fact, by doing exercises to target your inner thighs you are actually making the muscle bigger, which may make your inner thighs look bigger. To reduce the size of your thighs you need to do cardio to reduce the fat (plus eat healthy)!
3. NOT EATING ENOUGH
Yes in order to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit, which means eating less food than your body needs. BUT many people underestimate the amount of food they need and severely restrict their calorie intake.
I know I have mentioned this time and time again, but not eating enough food slows down your metabolism and causes your body to go into “starvation” mode. This means that when you do eat more food or have a naughty meal, your body will store it as fat.
If you starve yourself for a long period of time (more than 6 months eating less than 1200 calories), you will do long term damage to your metabolism.
The other bad side effect that can be caused by severely cutting calories is binge eating. Binge eating will DEFINITELY cause you to gain weight and causes inflammation within the body.
So please please don’t do any crash diets or juice cleanses or try to starve yourself, as I PROMISE it will backfire in the long run!