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I know that you can’t spot reduce fat. This means that if you do crunches, it’s not going to help you get rid of the fat from your stomach. But you can do certain things to help lose fat from stubborn areas, such as inner thighs, hips (muffin top), lower belly and back of arms. Obviously losing weight overall will help you slim down these areas too and is always a good thing to focus on if you want to lower your body fat. Losing fat overall will come from a combination of a good diet, cardio and resistance training.

In this blog post, I want to tell you about my own experiences with losing fat in these stubborn areas and what works for me (and past clients).

HOW TO LOSE FAT FROM INNER THIGHS 

This is always the most common area that women want to slim down (myself included). It does have a bit to do with your genetics and body shape. Women with wider hips will generally have more of a “thigh gap,” but this isn’t always the case either.

The best thing to do to lose inner thigh fat is walking! For me, whenever I do lots of walking (for example on vacation), my legs slim down reasonably quickly. But I am talking LOTS of walking, like 10km per day or more. And consistently too, not just for a couple of days here and there or for a week.

Doing lots and lots of walking is time consuming though and sometimes boring so I understand why people don’t do it. But you don’t have to do a 10km walk all in one session. You can accumulate this over the day. I always try to start my morning off with a 45 – 60 minute walk, where I usually walk around 5 – 7 km. And then I will try to do as much walking throughout the day to reach 10km.

You can use the Health app on your iPhone to track your steps and distance (and I’m sure there are lots of other free apps if you don’t have an iPhone). This is a great way to stay accountable and to actually track how you are going.

how to reduce fat from stubborn areas

If you really want to slim down your inner thighs, I would aim to walk 10km per day for at least 5 days per week and keep it up for 2-4 weeks. You should definitely notice them slim down after this. But just remember, the more walking you do, the better your results will be. 

HOW TO LOSE FAT FROM LOWER BELLY & HIPS (MUFFIN TOP) 

For me, this is ALWAYS the last place I lose fat, so I find it the most difficult. Losing fat here really does require you to lose fat all over through a combination of cardio, resistance training and diet.

CARDIO

High intensity cardio will help you slim down all over. Whenever I do lots of running, my belly slims down (especially my hips). You don’t necessarily need to be doing running as your cardio – other forms such as spinning and swimming will also work. But it needs to be intense and steady state for at least a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes.

RESISTANCE TRAINING 

High intensity interval training is the best type of resistance training to slim down your lower belly and hips. Doing exercises such as burpees and jump lunges in your HIIT circuits will actually help you slim down your belly even quicker (weird I know). But for me, I can’t overdo it on these exercises otherwise I will end up with bigger legs in the process. I do them very occasionally, but prefer to do HIIT exercises such as this to help me tone up and slim down, without increasing the size of my legs.

DIET 

You won’t reduce the fat from your lower belly and hips if you are overeating or eating lots of sugar and carbs – even if you are doing lots of exercise. You NEED a good diet. This means eating at a calorie deficit (i.e. less calories than your body is burning), and keeping typical “junk food” to a minimum. The better you eat, the better your results will be. Have a look at my clean eating blog post for ideas on what to eat.

how to get back on track after you've gained weight

I have also written a detailed blog post on how to lose lower belly fat so have a read of that for more information.

HOW TO LOSE FAT FROM BACK OF ARMS 

The only way to lose fat from the back of your arms is to lose weight all over. But the good news is, women tend to lose weight from their upper bodies first. So if you’re losing weight, it shouldn’t take long before you notice a difference in your arms.

In my own experience, the best things to do lose fat from the back of my arms is

  1. Eat at a calorie deficit; and
  2. High intensity cardio.

High intensity cardio is important here because it burns SO many calories and will help you achieve a calorie deficit easier. When I say high intensity cardio, I mean things like running and cycling, and generally steady state for at least 20-30 minutes.

You don’t necessarily need to do any type of resistance training to slim down your arms. They will slim down with diet and cardio. But if you want to tone them up, boxing will help tone really quickly and won’t bulk you up. I also love swimming as it tones up my arms really quickly and doubles as cardio!

KNOW YOUR BODY TYPE

I would also advise you to learn your body type.

There are three different body types and they all gain weight and build muscle in a different way.

You see, someone who naturally tends to gain muscle quite easily will need to train differently from someone who is very slim and who find it very hard to build muscle.

That’s why I have created a special quiz that will help you learn your body type in just 2 minutes :)

SUMMARY

So in general, there are specific things you focus on to reduce fat from certain areas. But you will get best results if you do a combination of everything –

  • Low intensity cardio (walking) – amazing for reducing inner thigh fat
  • High intensity cardio – great for everything and slimming down all over
  • Resistance training – best for slimming and toning your lower belly and hips
  • Eat healthy and at a calorie deficit – also great for everything and slimming down all over

I hope you found this helpful!

If you want help with a program, my 3 Steps to Lean Legs program includes a combination of low and high intensity cardio, resistance training and a full 8 week nutrition plan with all recipes xx

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.

33 Responses

    1. Hi lovely,

      It would still depend on the length of your legs or how wide your steps are but it should be around 11-13,000 steps. :)

      I hope that helps. xx

    1. Hi lovely,

      thanks for reaching out! <3

      You should combine low-intensity cardio (walking) with at least 2-3 days of moderate-high intensity cardio only. Running at a steady pace and on a flat surface will work best for your body type and will help you achieve fat loss in your lower body and slim down your legs. Some endomorph women (especially if you are shorter) can get bigger legs from running because running, of course, builds some muscle. If you know this is the case for you or if you are shorter, it might be best to avoid running and stick to power walking instead.

      I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any questions! xx

      Love,
      Sanja

  1. Hi rachel thank for you time in make blogs, videos and the program in order to help women like me lose weight. You are amazing and honestly need more in the world. I am a Endomorph and I find it really hard to lose weight in my butt and thigh area is there any tips that you to lose weight in those stubborn areas. Is it possible to lose weight in the buttocks even. Thank again!

    1. Hey lovely! :)

      I will send Rachael your kind regards, since she is with the baby right now! :)

      Here is a helpful blog post on cardio that can help you get leaner legs.

      Here is the link to the blog post on a thigh workout that can also help you.

      All of those can also reflect on resizing your booty. :)

      Love,
      Ana

  2. Hey Rachael,
    I have a mesomorphs body type and am pretty skinny, but my legs and butt are bigger. I know most people want to have a bigger butt but i am looking to slim it down. What is the best thing to do in order to accomplish this? Will your Lean Leg Program help not only with my legs but my butt also?
    thank you

    1. Hi lovely,

      Thanks for reaching out!

      Rachael’s Program is a full-body workout, so it will help :) Rachael also wrote a great blog post on booty workouts. You can find it here. Let me know if you have any questions! xx

      Love,
      Sanja

  3. Hi Rachael,

    I am somebody who was a skinny girl but put on a bit of weight I am still slim but I was wondering which best workout would help me lose the weight I put on a lot quicker, workouts preferably I can do at home. x

    1. Hi lovely,
      We would love to help you as much as we can :) So that’s why we have created the Lean Legs Program!

      The Program is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking.
      It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body).

      It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.
      You can find out more about the Lean Legs Program here:

      Lean Legs Program

      A great thing about the program is that you can workout at home or outdoors – it’s up to you! For more helpful info please have a read of these blog posts:

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/female-guide-how-to-get-lean-and-not-bulky-skinny-legs/

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

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  4. Hey Rachael,

    I did competitive gymnastics for seven years and quit last year but I still seem to have lots of the muscle I had accumulated over the years (mainly on my arms and shoulders) do you have any good workouts to help make my muscles smaller? I do a HIIT workout, one that I found on your blog (which was running at a medium to high intensity for around 2 minutes then rest I think). I have tried lifting light weights at the gym but I’m not sure whether the exercises I do will make my muscles bigger or not (this is some of my arm workout) 2.5kgs weight
    Front raise to lateral raise: 10 reps
    Reverse flys(bend over): 15 reps
    Alternate lift arm up : 10 reps each arm
    Arms up then bend arms:10 reps each arm
    Dips: 15

    Help would be greatly appreciated as I’m entirely confident in my own body! My body type is mesomorph :)

    Thanks so much xx

    1. HI lovely,
      I recommend avoiding weight lifting and instead doing workouts like cardio boxing and swimming to slim down your arms.
      We would love to help you as much as we can :) So that’s why we have created the Lean Legs Program.

      The Program is an 8 week workout and nutrition plan designed to help you get lean and toned without bulking.
      It will help you slim down your legs, but will also help you slim and tone your upper body and core too (the workouts are full body).

      It also includes a full meal plan, a separate recipe eBook and demonstration videos.
      You can find out more about the Lean Legs Program here:

      Lean Legs Program

      For more helpful info please have a read of these blog posts:

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/slim-muscular-upper-body/

      https://www.rachaelattard.com/217-lean-arms-workout/

      Love,
      Diana
      xx

  5. Hi Rachel,
    Just wanted your advice, I recently had an elbow replacement 5 weeks ago (9-12month recovery) and no upper body weight bearing excercise for a very long time ..
    I walk 10km daily, sometimes with a 7kg weight vest to increase my VO2 ….. seeing a difference in my legs, but what can I do for my tummy and hips, and my good arm, as I’ve got a little bit of cellulite near the arm pit and would like to tone it.
    It’s frustrating as I can do impact yet for awhile
    My diet has been good. Any advice to help toning my flabby woman bits would be terrific as HIIT is out of the question, no burpees ever on push-up.
    Cheers
    Teena

  6. Hi,
    How fast should you be walking during power walk & how should you do it?
    Meaning – shoulders down/back & core tight…. should you clench butt etc, pump arms?

    1. Hi lovely, there’s not really a specific technique – just make sure it’s a flat surface. But generally yes great posture always help so what you said about shoulder back and down, and core on are great! Aim for 6-7km/hr as a walking speed xx

  7. Hello Rachel :)

    I have been following your arm workout routine, and am wondering how do I avoid developing bulky muscle that makes my arms larger, and make my arms more toned and lean?? and is this more influenced by my diet? I also lift weight between 1-2 Kg during my workouts.

    Thankyou Rachel

  8. Hi Rachael,

    I’ve just discovered you and I’m absolutely loving your stuff! Your blog is seriously the answer to my “I want skinny legs” prayers! lol
    With regard to trouble areas, my area of concern is back of the legs, just below my butt at the top of my hamstrings –
    the bit where most women typically get cellulite.

    Even though as you say, it’s hard to spot reduce I was wondering what you’d say the best thing/s would be to just reduce/tone around that area – or any exercises in particular that would be beneficial for that specific spot.

    I’m not big or overweight but I’d just love to really tighten that area up.

    Thanks – your blog has given me a new burst of motivation and I’m saving up for your e-book, I just can’t get enough :)

    1. Hi lovely, sorry for my late reply! I have the same trouble spot and the only thing that really works for that area is lots and LOTS of walking. It seriously works wonders! Try some of the free butt workouts on my blog as it will help too :) All the best! xx

  9. Hi there :) if i’m gonna do the high intensity cardio (running) how many times a week do i need to do it? And i forgot to ask if i’m also gonna do your “full body resistance workout for a lean body”how many times a week should i do it? Thank you so much! :)

  10. Hi i have a question:) if i’m gonna do the high intensity cardio (running), how many times do i need to do it per week? Thank you :)

  11. Hi Rachel I’m so glad I’ve found you, finally a trainer that truly understands women & their concerns :) I would like some advice for the older woman..I’m in my late 50’s, am slim & keep myself healthy & active. I have been walking 10-12 kms daily for a couple of yrs now & do weekly clinical pilates sessions. I’ve always struggled getting pants to fit as my lower body has always been the biggest part of me despite being a fine frame. This is why I took up exercise in the first place. I tried the gym for a year but quit when I felt my legs started to bulk. However I’m becoming so disillusioned as I think I looked & felt better before I started exercising! Jeans are even more difficult to fit now as my waist is getting smaller & my thighs, calves & butt are getting bigger! The mid section of my legs has slimmed a little but my hamstrings & quads are getting too big & the upper inner thigh flab is increasing. I feel fit & strong but don’t like the way I am looking. Do you think the reformer would be causing my legs to bulk? Also I would welcome any ideas to help tighten the inner thighs at my age. Thanks for your wonderfully informative page & instagram :)
    P.S. You look absolutely amazing!!

    1. Hi Belinda, thank you! :) I’d say you probably built up some muscle in the gym and the constant exercise hasn’t really given them a chance to reduce in size. As long as you keep using them, they’ll stay the same or get bigger. The reformer might be making your legs bigger, it just depends on how much leg focused stuff you do. Generally I would think that the reformer is OK, but if you had muscle to lose, it would prevent this. It might be worth giving it a break for now so you can reduce the muscle size and just focus on walking. I hope that helps! xx

  12. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you for your informative blog posts. I was being on the fence of whether I should do heavy lifting (even have joined a community where every woman is so into posting photos of them lifting heavy weights) 30 minutes before I came across your website. What a relief! Thank you! I know lifting is good though as I would also love to see some definition but just not that much and bulky!! I have read a lot of your posts at once and want to summarize for myself. I am very average. Due to my natural bone structure which I have wider shoulder and hip, people would consider me “fit” as I do exercise a lot and eat really healthy. I just have some stubborn areas of fat that I want to get rid of (inner thigh the worst, lower belly and armpit) and have pretty toned up muscle. I don’t really care about my weight now but I do want to lose my body fat to about 20% (I am about 25-27% now) So, after reading your posts, I am thinking my weekly plan as blow:
    Day 1 Power walking 1 hr + glute resistant training
    Day 2 Running 40 minutes (I always try to aim 5K) + arm resistant training
    Day 3 Power walking 1 hr + glute resistant training
    Day 4 Running 40 minutes+ arm resistant training
    Day 5 Power walking 1 hr + HIIT
    Day 6 Power Yoga
    Day 7 Rest
    Do you think doing this can help me get rid of my inner thigh, lower belly and armpit fat? As I already have wide shoulder and hip, do you think I should avoid doing resistant training for hip and arms? I hope to have round butt and really toned arms though.
    Thank you!!

    1. Hi lovely, aww I’m glad you found me too! Yes I think this sounds like a good workout plan for you. You can still do some resistance training for arms and hips, but I would avoid any heavy overhead pulling or pushing exercises as these will make your shoulders and back wider. Good luck with your program! xx

  13. Hi, I was hoping for some advice. I started a new workout routine and have been on it for 4 months. I do LISS cardio (normally running) for 45-60mins 4 days a week; resistance training 30-45mins 3 days a week; HIIT 2 days a week and 15mins of yoga/pilates/foam rolling after every workout. (I workout 5-6 times a week). I eat about 800 calories a day and stay away from junk and processed foods. I am a vegan. I seem to be gaining weight and not only on the scale, but I notice it when I wear my clothes and physically I can see it especially my inner thighs, arms and back. I don’t know what to do. Please help. Thank you.

    1. Hi Jasmine, there are a few things that need some immediate improvement. You are gaining weight because you’re actually not eating enough. When you eat at a severe calorie restriction like you are, your body actually reduces its metabolism and stores fat, because it doesn’t know when it’s going to get food in the future. So it’s actually making it harder for you to lose weight. I would eat 1200 calories at the absolute minimum. Also, 45-60 minutes of running is a lot. I would try to make your runs shorter (30 minutes maximum). Do this 2 times per week maximum. High intensity cardio and for long periods of time is not good for your improving your metabolism, which is something you want to work on fixing at the moment. So try not to overdo it with the running. But you can do walking! The resistance training and HIIT is good to do so keep that up. But just try to do a total of 4 of these workouts per week. So a good idea might be 2 runs, 2 HIIT and 2 resistance sessions per week, plus your foam rolling, stretching and some walking xx

  14. Hi i’m from Argentina so my english isn’t good . I’m slim i have some of weight in my stomach and thighs (not much) . I have high porcent of fat in my body but this still looking like a child’s body . So i want to have curves . What can i do ? Please , i hopeyou understand me

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