How To Lose Inner Thigh Fat (Plus What Not To Do)

how to lose inner thigh fat

Last Updated MAY 21ST, 2020, 10:01 PM

How do you get rid of the inner thigh fat – that stubborn little area that seems to stick no matter what you do?

I know that the inner thighs are a problem area for many women (myself included) and a very challenging part to slim down, which is why I’ve decided to do a separate post on it.

A lot of you have told me that workouts that you’ve previously done only made things worse and caused your thighs to get bigger instead of making them smaller.

The truth is, there is a lot of misinformation about the right way to lose inner thigh fat, including doing gym machine exercises, as “the best workouts for inner thighs.”

Unfortunately, those exercises do not really work, as you cannot spot reduce fat.

It took me a couple of years to figure out the best ways to slim down legs and especially how to get rid of inner thigh fat.

In this blog post, I’ll explain how to lose slim inner thighs and get leaner and what are the most common mistakes you should avoid making when trying to get rid of inner thigh fat.

WHAT EXACTLY CAUSES INNER THIGH FAT?

When you consume more calories than you burn, your body starts storing those excess calories in the form of fat.

And we cannot really choose where our body is going to store that fat; that’s mainly determined by genetics, gender and our body type.

Most women store excess body fat in their inner thigh, hips and lower belly and that’s closely related to their body type.

Let’s talk a bit more about different body types and how they respond differently to diet and exercise regimes.

DIFFERENT BODY TYPES STORE FAT DIFFERENTLY 

learn your body type get rid of inner thigh fat
Endomorph, mesomorph and ectomorph examples [Khloe Kardashian, Margot Robbie and Elska Hosk- from left to right]

Some women naturally have less body fat and find it easier to lose weight. Those women most likely have an ectomorph body type.

Others may find it quite challenging, especially if they train in a way that’s not suitable for their body type.

And I see that a LOT.

Personal trainers often disregard these differences and train everyone the same way, and that’s not effective.

This is why you end up seeing 2 girls following the same diet and exercise regime and one ending up with much different results than the other one.

There are three main body types (ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph), and if you want to reach your fitness goals and get the best possible results, you need to learn yours.

You may be an endomorph like Kim and Khloe Kardashian or a mesomorph like Gigi Hadid and Margot Robbie, or perhaps you’re an ectomorph like Kendall Jenner and Elsa Hosk.

You can take my Free Body Type Quiz here that will help you determine yours in just a few minutes.

WHY IS INNER THIGH FAT SO HARD TO LOSE 

lose body fat fast

As I mentioned previously, the inner thigh area is one of the most stubborn areas for women when it comes to fat loss.

Even ectomorphs, who are naturally lean and slim, may not know how to lose fat in from inner thighs or know how to do it properly.

One of the most common mistakes I see is women trying to spot reduce inner thigh fat, which is impossible.

But, what does ‘‘spot reducing fat’‘ exactly mean?

Let’s say I want to lose belly fat. So, I start doing 1000 crunches a day, focusing all my energy on this body part. Will I lose belly fat and get those abs? Sadly, no. We cannot choose where we lose fat.

And most women usually find it easier to lose upper body fat than thigh or belly fat.

So, if you want to lose inner thigh fat, you’ll have to lose body fat all over.

What’s the best and quickest way to reduce body fat? Eating a healthy diet at a calorie deficit, followed by cardio and resistance training that will help you slim inner thighs down without adding extra muscle bulk.

We’ll cover each part, below.

HOW TO GET RID OF THE INNER THIGH FAT

1. ADJUST YOUR DIET FOR MAXIMUM FAT LOSS

best diet for losing inner thigh fat

If you exercise, but constantly eat crappy food, you’re not very likely to get great results.

Your body needs a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies, lean protein, good fats and fiber.

You should avoid alcohol, sugar (in any form), processed food, baked goods, deep-fried foods, etc.

If you want to lose inner thigh fat fast and get leaner, you really need to change your diet and stick to it.

WHAT’S THE BEST DIET FOR LOSING INNER THIGH FAT? 

I would advise you to eat at a slight calorie deficit and to follow a low carb diet for the quickest results.

When we need energy, our body starts burning carbs first, followed by protein and fat. So, if you eat a low carb diet and there are not enough carbs, your body will start to burn more fat and protein.

This essentially means you’ll burn more fat on a low carb diet, using it as a primary source of energy.

Also, if you want to lose weight and reduce body fat, you should be in a slight calorie deficit. And I mean slight: 200-500 calories.

But, keep in mind that any form of dieting and calorie restriction can potentially slow down your metabolism, so start with a small calorie deficit.

If you starve yourself and eat too little, you’ll just slow down your metabolism too much, and you won’t lose weight.

So, if you don’t know how to calculate your daily calorie intake, I have a blog post that will help you learn exactly how many calories you need here.

And if you’re not sure where to start, you can download my 7 Day Meal Plan for free and that will help you kick start your weight loss.

2. AVOID EXERCISES THAT CAN MAKE YOUR INNER THIGHS BIGGER

I see a lot of women that are trying to lose fat from their thighs doing precisely what they should not in term of workouts.

Working to substantially increase muscle size on your thighs (and especially if you don’t lose fat) will ultimately make your legs looks bigger…which is not your goal.

Again, there is nothing wrong with increasing muscle size on your legs by lifting heavy weights for example, but this will not get rid of the fat on your thighs.

2.1 SKIP CERTAIN TYPES OF RESISTANCE TRAINING THAT CAN MAKE YOUR THIGHS BIGGER

I see a lot of women targeting their inner thighs with resistance training (i.e. that weird inner thigh machine at the gym, sumo squats, etc.). Unfortunately, this won’t slim down your inner thigh area.

It will focus on working that inner thigh muscle and may make it bigger in size, but it won’t get rid of the fat.

In fact, it could just make this area end up looking bigger. If you add some muscle – but don’t really lose fat – then you’ll end up wondering why your legs are getting bigger from working out.

In addition, unless you want to make your thighs bigger, I would avoid workouts that heavily target your quads, such as the following:

RELATED: HOW TO SLIM DOWN MUSCULAR THIGHS

lose thigh fat what not to do

RELATED: HOW TO SLIM DOWN MUSCULAR THIGHS

EXERCISES THAT MIGHT MAKE YOUR (INNER) THIGHS BIGGER:

  • Squats and all squat variations
  • Lunges
  • Weighted leg machines
  • CrossFit
  • HIIT routines that heavily target your legs

Don’t get me wrong – these are awesome workouts – but I know that a lot of women actually have issues with muscular thighs and that is what we are trying to avoid here.

2.2 AVOID SOME TYPES OF CARDIO THAT CAN BULK UP YOUR THIGHS 

Cycling, the elliptical, stair master, stair or uphill running, etc. are all great cardio workouts. They increase your cardiovascular fitness and burn lots of calories.

But they don’t slim down your legs as walking or running, and they won’t necessarily help you get rid of inner thigh fat.

A lot of these types of cardio will actually build muscle (especially if you’re an endomorph) so your legs may get bigger, rather than slimmer.

3. DO THE RIGHT TYPE OF WORKOUTS FOR INNER THIGHS

Yes, there are still workouts you can do that will tone up your whole body, including your thighs.

And again, I suggest you test some things and different workouts for yourself and your body type and see what fits you best. To start, below I have recommended exercises for slimming inner thigh area that worked on the majority of the girls I trained (including myself).

BEST EXERCISE TO GET LOSE INNER THIGH FAT FAST

best exercises for losing inner thigh fat

If you want to burn inner thigh fat fast, you need to combine effective cardio with the right type of resistance training.

3.1 DO MORE LOW-INTENSITY CARDIO 

In all my experience, the best exercise for getting rid of inner thigh fat and getting lean legs, in general, is WALKING.

Not running, swimming, cycling, elliptical, dancing, etc.

DOES WALKING REDUCE INNER THIGH FAT?

I know – it sounds too simple, right? But do not underestimate its power.

Walking is the absolute best exercise for getting rid of overall excess fat, including your inner thighs.

However, you do need to do a lot of walking. By a lot, I mean 10,000 steps per day (or 10kms, if you can!) at least.

I know this sounds time-consuming, but the 10,000 steps don’t need to be done all at once.

You can accumulate these steps during the day. And remember – it’s just walking!

My advice is to start each morning with a 5km walk so a lot of your walking is already done for the day. Then try to do as much walking as you can throughout the day.

Get up from your desk and walk around the office, go outside for lunch, meet with friends for a walk, walk home from work or walk to the bus/train – do everything you can to get in those extra steps!

Bonus tip: In addition to walking, swimming is actually a great form of cardio that can help with slimming your legs. It won’t target inner thigh fat as well as walking, but it can be a great alternative.

RELATED POST: HOW TO GET LEAN LEGS: WHY YOU NEED CARDIO

IS RUNNING GOOD FOR REDUCING INNER THIGH FAT?

Running is a great workout and will help you slim down all over as it burns LOTS of calories.

But it doesn’t really get the same results as walking, especially for some body types.

Some endomorph women can get bigger legs from running because running actually builds leg muscle.

Generally speaking, long-distance running will not bulk up your legs as much as sprinting, for sure. But again, it is very individual, so pay attention to how your body responds to running.

If you know this applies to you and growing thigh muscle is not one of your fitness goals, it might be best to avoid running and stick to power walking instead.

3.2 FOCUS ON THE RIGHT TYPE OF RESISTANCE TRAINING (THAT WON’T MAKE YOUR INNER THIGHS BIGGER)

Resistance training doesn’t exactly get rid of inner thigh fat. Resistance training will tone up your body, and it will help you lose weight faster.

Doing the right kind of resistance training will keep you lean and toned without adding too much muscle bulk, so you won’t end up skinny fat after losing weight.

Any type of resistance training is great. BUT, if you are worried about your legs getting bigger with resistance training, or you are trying to reduce the size of your legs, you need to be careful with the type of exercises that you do.

Doing the type of workouts on my blog is a great start as I have designed them all to tone up without making you bulky.

EXAMPLE WORKOUT FOR BURNING INNER THIGH AREA

RELATED POST: HOW TO LIFT WEIGHTS WITHOUT GETTING BULKY

THE ULTIMATE PROGRAM FOR SLIMMING DOWN YOUR LEGS & LOSING INNER THIGH FAT 

I have designed my 3 Steps to Lean Legs Program to help you get rid of the inner thigh fat without building too much muscle. 

These exercises are especially focused on slimming your thighs and will help you lose inner thigh fat.

They will also help you tone up your entire body without getting bulky – through carefully planned resistance training.

Check out the results :)

best program for slimming down your thighs

My program has 3 different versions, one for each body type. That way, you can be sure you’ll get the best possible results. 

It combines cardio with resistance training, and it has a complete 8-week meal plan.

Also, the resistance training part of my program now has FULL-LENGTH videos that you can follow from warm up to cool down.

To find out more about my 3 Steps to Lean Legs program, click the link below:

https://www.rachaelattard.com/skinny-legs-ebook/

To find out more about my FULL-LENGTH VIDEOS, follow this link: 

https://www.rachaelattard.com/lean-legs-video-course/

Love,

Rachael xx

Picture of Rachael

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

58 comments on “How To Lose Inner Thigh Fat (Plus What Not To Do)”

    kam says:

    Hi :D So I’m 12 and I am a dancer who dances every day. My body is toned and slim except for my legs. My quad muscles and calves are kind of bulky after the conditioning classes I take, so is there any way to slim it down? Thank you :) (P.S. I am either between a mesomorph or an endomorph, but more to the mesomorph side ;)

      Marina - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,

      Thanks for reaching out! :)

      ​Since you are just 12 years old, your body is still going through a lot of transformations so ​I wouldn’t recommend any drastic routine changes before consulting with your parents and your doctor. Your doctor can advise you on your nutrition and workouts so that you can achieve the results you wish in a healthy way that suits your age.

      Wishing you the best of luck! xx

      Love,
      Marina

    Ari says:

    Do push-ups bulk you up?

      Marina - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hey lovely,

      If you’re doing push-ups just a couple of times per weeks, you shouldn’t bulk up :)

      Let me know if you have any other questions! xx

      Love,
      Marina

    sophia says:

    Hello!!
    I truly loved your advises! I am always afraid of making wrong workouts and my thighs end up being even bigger than before and there is so much misinformation on this subject that we can’t decide what is right to do. I would appreciate so much your opinion about jumping rope like 10-15 minutes a day . Is it going to help those inner thighs or more likely bulk them up? Asking especially for endomorph body type

      Tijana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      Rope jumping is not a good option for endomorphs since it can bulk up your calves primarily. Instead of rope jumping, I recommend power walks as the best cardio – but here you have different pieces of advice in detail about what works best for endomorphs. :)
      Love,
      Tina

    Esme says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I want to challenge you on your science. As far as research is concerned, the myth of “fat burn” zone has been debunked. And for slimming down what really matters is the number of calories you burn. As I read in an article – walk two miles in an hour, and you’ll burn about 200 calories, with roughly 140 of them fueled by fat. Cycle moderately for that time, and you’ll burn about 500 calories, with roughly 250 of them fueled by fat — so you’ll burn more calories AND more fat.

    From all the research, the best way to burn more fat still appears to be high-intensity exercises. Yes, you might not be exercising as long, but you’ll burn more fat due to the higher OVERALL energy, caloric, expenditure.

    I would like to see more explanation that makes more scientific sense why walking 10 km a day (which will take anywhere between 40 min to an hour) is better for slimming than 20 min of HIIT.

    Really looking forward to your reply.

      Marina - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,

      Thanks for reaching out! :)

      So, this is how it works –

      Our bodies constantly burn both carbs and fat for energy. Sometimes the dominant source of energy is fat and sometimes carbs. It all depends on what’s readily available and what type of activities we’re doing.

      Our bodies convert these nutrients – carbs and fat into a usable form of chemical energy called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.

      But in order to turn fat into energy (ATP), our bodies need a lot of oxygen that’s going to oxidize that fat. So when we’re at rest and breathing normally, oxygen is readily available and we can metabolize fat at a slow and steady pace.

      And in order to turn carbs into ATP (energy), our bodies don’t always need oxygen. That’s why when we do high-intensity workouts like HIIT or lift weights – when we’re puffing and struggling to breathe normally (when there’s not enough oxygen to oxidize the fat) our bodies burn carbs first and in a larger quantity than fat.

      So for example, let’s say I just had a meal high in carbs and I go and do a quick HIIT session or some resistance training. Since those are high-intensity activities, my body needs to get energy quickly. But in order to get energy from fat, my body needs plenty of oxygen that’s going to oxsidizes the fat. However, since I’m struggling to breathe normally (remember, I’m doing intense activities) there’s not enough oxygen to burn fat. And since I just ate carbs, my body is going to burn those first. Carbs are more available and my body doesn’t need oxygen to turn them into energy.

      I will eventually burn fat too, but still, the percentage of carbs burned will be higher than the percentage of fat.

      And let’s say it’s morning and I didn’t have my breakfast. My body is low on carbs and I decide to go for a power walk (fasted cardio). I have plenty of oxygen and not a lot of carbs in my system so my body starts to use fat for energy. Fat is more abundant and is a great source of slow-burning energy which makes it perfect for the times when I’m resting or doing low to moderate intensity activities such as walking :)

      This is why Rachael recommends both high-intensity activities and low to moderate intensity ones. She knows very well that doing just one type of activity is not enough. You’ll get the best results if you do both.:)

      That’s why her program combines low to moderate intensity cardio with HIIT and resistance training. Also, Rachael’s program includes a complete meal plan – it’s low carb and it’s intended for you to be in a slight calorie deficit so that you can be sure you’re burning off more calories than you’re eating.

      So yes, I will burn more calories in a shorter amount of time with HIIT and resistance training. And yes, these activities will also raise my basal metabolic rate which will help me burn more calories even when I’m resting. But still, if I do low to moderate intensity activities, I will, in fact, burn more fat with low to moderate intensity cardio or as you said when I’m in the fat-burning zone.

      Hope this helps! :)

      Love,
      Marina

    Tiffany Aucoin says:

    I want to know if this is a good plan to follow over the age of 40? I want to look toned and not flabby. I want to look lean and not bulky. I know our workouts should change as we age because our hormones affect how we lose weight. Can I still get the same results from this program being older?

      Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      Yes, the Lean Legs Program is suitable for all ages and will definitely help you sculpt lean and toned legs without making them bulky.
      We’ve had a lot of women in their 40s and 50s achieve amazing results on the program, so I would recommend giving it a go. :)
      You can find out more about it here.

      Love,
      Diana xx

    Ellen says:

    Thank you for such amazing advice! I wanted to know about skipping and where that fits into leaning down legs. I have been walking 8km every morning and seeing such amazing results, especially in my legs, but was thinking of adding in skipping. Not HIIT as such, more whatever I can do.

    What are your thoughts? :-)

      Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      Skipping is a great cardio workout, but can’t be substituted for walking and running because it won’t slim down your legs.
      It does burn a lot of calories which is great, but the jumping motion uses your calves heavily, so it will most likely make your calves bigger.
      I would recommend adding resistance workouts 3 days per week and occasional running instead. :) xx

      Love,
      Diana

    smi soni says:

    Hi, So I’m 15 and girl ! i just want skinny af thighs and a thigh gap, because my whole body is super skinny … except for my thighs. how long will it take for me to see results, and EXACTLY what workouts ( from youtube for example ) should i do to achieve my goals. also my body type i’m pretty sure is a ‘fat ectomorph body’, or maybe a mix of endomorph and ectomorph – definetely not really mesomorph tbh

    thanks xoxoxo keep slaying girlies x

      Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      You are still very young so just remember that your body will continue to change in the coming years. I would stick to walking daily, occasional running and resistance training 3 days per week. Also if some workouts are making your legs bigger, avoid them (especially squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc). I would also suggest checking out our YouTube channel with lots of great workout videos that will help you slim and tone your legs. :)

      For more helpful tips please have a read of this blog post:

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/what-to-do-if-youre-skinny-fat/

      Love,
      Diana xx

    Tia says:

    Hi, can you please explain how walking targets leg fat specifically? As far as I was aware, you’re unable to ‘target’ fat loss. You cannot pick and choose where you lose your fat from.

      Diana - Lean Legs Support says:

      Hi lovely,
      This is true, we can’t spot reduce fat. When your body uses the aerobic pathway, it uses stored fat, stored glycogen (carbohydrates) and on occasions, protein to produce energy.
      When you do cardio at a low to moderate intensity i.e. walking, your body burns stored glycogen (carbs) first, and then fats.
      The longer you exercise, the more fat your body will burn. So, by doing longer power walks, your body will burn more fat and it will help you get lean legs.
      Walking is very specific to getting rid of fat from your legs. It’s great for slimming down your legs, but you need to combine it with resistance training to tone them up further! :) xx

      Love,
      Diana

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.