Spring is coming soon! It is time for you to bring out those short-shorts, mini-dresses, and skirts to show off your perfectly toned, highly sexy legs. Women – and certainly men – rejoice everywhere!
If you are less enthusiastic about this prospect, do not worry! Whether you are wearing a sexy black dress on a night out, going to a beach in a bikini, every woman wants to have a pair of luscious, slim, sexy legs. Sculpted tone legs take hard work, but the results pay off.
Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions on how to get toned legs. There is no such thing as “fat spot reduction” of your legs.
The truth is that when you eat right and diet correctly, you will burn fat from everywhere and you are more likely to have fat removed from your legs as well.
Fortunately, we have a 30 day plan for you to be in your best shape for this spring to show off your sexy legs!
The Myth Of Fat Spot Reduction
All too often I hear from my clients and patients their complaints about how they are unable to get rid of fat from their waists, arms and legs.
Let me make this clear: There is no such thing as fat spot reduction. You cannot do a particular exercise to remove fat from just your legs. That’s impossible.
Human physiology is both complex and beautifully elegant. When you eat you are consuming calories from food which are used for energy. These calories help you maintain basic metabolic functions including staying warm, producing new cells, digesting food, and thinking.
Calories not used are stored as fat. Thus, by dieting and working out, you are burning more calories so you do not have any extra calories to store as fat.
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When you exercise on a caloric deficit your body needs energy, so to support your heighted metabolism you will burn fat that was stored by the body. This is why you lose weight. You are burning the fat to use as energy.
The body does not care if this fat is from your abdomen, legs, or arms. The body burns fat from everywhere when you are in a calorie deficit with heightened metabolism from working out. This is why you lose weight and you lose fat from all places.
You cannot tell the body to remove fat from just the legs – despite any marketing advertisements or health products that claim to do so.
Can You Lose Weight In 30 Days?
Yes. It is a manageable goal with a well-adjusted plan? Absolutely.
Your goal is to createa calorie deficit. As I explained in my earlier article about losing weight in a week, I strongly suggested the National Institute of Health (nih) Body Weight Planner as the foundation for understanding your current caloric intake and to help you make adjustments to achieve weight loss in a specific time frame.
Once you know how many calories you should be taking in you should subtract roughly 500 calories.
For example, as I discussed in my earlier article, if the nih Body Weight Planner indicates that a woman of moderate physical activity has a calculated baseline caloric intake of 1900 calories to maintain her current weight, I would recommend she reduce 500 calories from her diet and consume 1400 calories.
She would lose roughly 1 pound a week with this adjustment alone. However, with exercise added to the mix, she can lose 2-3 pounds in a week.
In my previous article I cautioned that if you consume less than 1200 calories a day you can get more fatigued and be too tired to go to the gym or work at your job. Also, if you go too low with your calories you go into starvation mode which is a catabolic state in which you burn muscle to provide energy.
Remember, your goal is to lose fat and maintain your muscle so you have a toned and sexy look.
What Are The Best Foods to Eat?
There is no specific diet to lose fat from just the legs. Remember, your body thinks a calorie is a calorie.
So your goal is to put yourself into a calorie deficit so you burn fat. But you want to be in a calorie deficit without going hungry. There are 33 superfoods you should be eating during your 30 day dieting.
The goal is to eat small portion meals (4-6 small meals a day) frequently so that you are constantly feeling full, but still maintaining a calorie deficit.
So if you are to eat 1400 calories a day, divide that into 4-6 meals so each meals has roughly 300-400 calories. In turn, you want to feel satiated by staying hydrated and eating plenty of fiber.
The foods you eat should be low in fat and carbohydrates, but rich in protein. For example, at dinner eat a salad with chicken or fish, but leave out any bread or fatty dressing.
For breakfast, eat oatmeal with an egg and a protein shake. Fiber and protein take much longer for the body to break down which is why you feel full longer.
Drink plenty of water too as this will keep you hydrated and less prone to want to eat sweets. When you do want to snack, avoid eating simple sugars, and opt for fruits and nuts which are packed with fiber and healthy monosaturated fats.
Be honest with your dieting goals. If you know you love rice, do not eliminate it completely as that will worsen your cravings.
Instead eat half the portion you normally eat, and substitute with more vegetables or protein. Your plate should include be divided into portions of lean proteins (25%), fibrous vegetables (50%) and whole grains (25%).
The lean proteins will build your muscle. The fibrous vegetables will keep you full, help with digestion, supply vitamins and minerals and keep you from snacking in the pantry later. And the whole grains provide you with long lasting energy to workout.
Do not remove too many calories or carbohydrates from your diet in an effort to hasten weight loss. This will backfire with binge eating, and your body will fight by retaining fat since it feels that it is going into starvation mode.
Be moderate in your dieting as this will pay off with moderate and consistent weight loss to help you get great legs.
What Are The Best Exercises To Lose Fat From Your Legs?
While there is no secret or specific diet to lose fat from just their legs, there are specific exercises to add tone to your legs.
Strength-training exercises like squats and lunges build the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes to add tone to your figure.
If you have access to machines, try doing leg presses or hack squats with sets of 10 reps starting at a heavy weight you can barely do. After you get it, reduce the weight then immediately go into another set.
Repeat this process until you have no weight on the machine. This is called a “drop set” and can turn a simple leg workout into cardio training. The more grueling your workout is the more you build muscle, and the more fat you burn.
While some women are concerned they may build “too much muscle,” let me assure you this is not going to happen. You will not turn into She-Hulk.
Sexy lean legs are legs with muscle and minimal fat. If you do not work out and build muscle you will never have tone sexy legs. So push yourself!
When I train my clients I have them do squats, leg press, hack squats, lunges and then we finish off with isolation exercises for leg extension and leg curls. Afterwards we do bodyweight exercises with jump squats and body lunges.
I like mixing it up so that they can do exercises that involve weights, machines and their own body to keep it fun and interesting for them. Usually I have them work in a rep range of 8-12 reps so that they are working hard enough to struggle but still get the weight up.
If I ever see them calmly working out with a smile on their face, I know the weight is too light so we increase the weight. Remember, you need to work hard to build muscle. Doing 12 reps that is easy will not cause much resistance. So make it tough and increase the weight!
After strength training it is time to do the best fat burning cardio: High Intensity Interval Training (hiit). This is taxing on the body, but it helps boost the metabolism throughout the day to keep burning fat.
In turn, use this interval training cardio with sprinting, cycling, punching bags, jumping squats, pushups and even rowing. If you decide to sprint, start off with a 5 minute light jog, and then do 8 sets of 20-second sprints followed by 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes.
After these rigorous 4 minutes (which will feel like an eternity!) take a 5 minute cool down jog. At the end of this you will be collapsed on the floor knowing you put your heart into it.
You will Get Sexy Legs!
Strength training and cardio together will pay off to help you lose weight and get toned sexy legs.
But you need to stay consistent.
Begin total body strength training 3-4 days a week, with a focus on leg training, and incorporate hiit after your workouts.
When you are not at home continue to eat small frequent meals with lots of protein and fibrous vegetables.
In the end, while you will not be able to spot reduce fat from your legs, you will see a noticeable difference in your overall physique and your legs will look great too! In 30 days you will be rocking it in those skinny jeans and cute black dress!
Rajiv M Mallipudi, md, mhs is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. He has over a decade of personal training experience and helped hundreds of clients of all levels achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. This inspired him to work as a clinical researcher at the nationally recognized, Johns Hopkins Hospital Weight Management Center. During medical school he and his classmates created the health and wellness organization, medfit, which provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. In his spare time, Dr. Mallipudi enjoys playing ice hockey, dancing, and training for his next bodybuilding and powerlifting competitions. Dr. Mallipudi serves as a contributing writer for Vixen Daily.
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