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How to Trim the Thighs and Butt
by Justin Leonard
Written on August 14, 2002

It's no secret. The butt and thighs are probably the number one problem area for most women. No matter where our problem areas are, improving them always comes down to overall fat reduction.

In the following article, I'll discuss several options for toning the thighs and butt, as well as a few simple diet modification tips that are guaranteed to work.

Why Problem Areas Exist

Lets' face it, reducing the size of the butt and thighs can be a frustrating, especially if you don't see result right away. Before I get into how to tone the butt and thighs, it's important to understand why this particular area seems to be the repository for everything you eat.

The simple answer is survival. In other words, if you were stranded on an island with no food, the body would tap into its primary fat reserve just to keep you alive. For mothers [or mothers to be], the reserve is or was enough for two people to survive.

How the Fat Gets There

Much of the fat deposits on the thighs and butt are from extra and often unneeded calories eaten throughout the day: primarily carbohydrates. The amount of fat stored as a result of overeating depends primarily on factors such as genetics, metabolism, and physical activity. The faster your metabolism is, the less likely you are to hold onto excess fat. Physical activity and selective eating are great for reducing and controlling excess fatty stores on the butt and thighs.

Key to Success

What's the best way to trim the butt and thighs? The answer may surprise you. If you guessed diet modification, you're right. The first and easiest step you can take to fix the shapeliness of your butt and thighs is to focus on what I call diet modification (not dieting). Diet modification involves eating the foods you love, but in a way that allows you to shed unwanted pounds. Proper nutrition will yield the most noticeable results.

The reason I don't recommend "dieting" is because you have to make too many inconvenient sacrifices. They may include starving, eating bland foods, and demanding eating schedules. Dieting works, but is not realistic. Plus, diets don't last long because of the demands. Anything you lose while on a diet will usually return 10 fold in two main areas: the thighs and butt.

Diet modification makes it easy to eat and burn fat. For example, instead of eating goodies in the evening, eat them around midday. Try to eat a very low serving of carbohydrates with your last meal. This technique literally forces your body to burn fat while you sleep. Or consider using the "yo-yo" method for dieting. This method involves eating less when your activity level is low, and more when your activity level is high.

Additionally, be sure to eat at least 3 - 5 times per day. It's important to eat small meals frequently. If you don't, you're basically telling the body, "I'm going to be stranded on an island for a week with no food!" If this signal is relayed, the body will naturally hold onto excess fat where it hurts the most.

Exercising the Thighs and Butt

Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to help reduce the size of your thighs and butt. Two of the easiest and most convenient cardiovascular exercisers are stationary bikes and treadmills. It is important to keep resistance low to medium if you're using a stationary bike or treadmill. Reason? If the resistance level is too high, you'll cause muscle growth instead of fat loss. If this happens, it can actually make the lower half more prominent.

Speaking of resistance exercises, you don't necessarily have to "feel it" when you perform your routine. Even though you may not feel anything, fat is still being burned.

Depending on your level of fitness, the time spent on a cardiovascular machine can vary. A good rule of thumb if you don't normally workout is to begin with only 10 - 15 minutes on a bike or treadmill. Add 2 - 3 minutes each week that you workout until you reach a total of 20 - 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. During this time, begin with a low resistance level and end with a medium level of resistance. Try to avoid hills and automated programs.

Weight Training Yields Results

The use of weights can significantly help to tighten and trim the thighs and butt. There are several exercises that can be used to target the problem area at hand. The biggest mistake you can make is to only target the muscles of the thighs and butt. The entire body must be trained for maximum fat loss! This is very important. You don't have to train the entire body in one workout, but try to work each muscle within at least one or two weeks. Like cardiovascular exercises, weight training should be performed using light weights and high repetitions.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, the key to improving the appearance of the thighs and butt is total bodyfat reduction. Remember that these two muscle groups will naturally be the primary areas for fat storage on women. Diet modification should be your primary focus, while cardiovascular exercise will significantly help to trim these areas as well as the rest of the body. Spot reduction is a myth! You cannot target the butt and thighs for fat reduction. The entire must be trained for best results.

Lastly, remember to consult with a doctor before starting any exercise or eating program. With a little motivation and discipline, it doesn't take long to trim and tighten problem areas. You'll be surprised at how easy it is.

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