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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Eat at a calorie deficit; and
- 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 :)
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