The legs and thighs can be one of the most unsightly areas to hold excess weight. Directly training these areas can improve their appearance but will not remove fat from the areas in question. Contrary to popular wisdom, spot reduction of fat is impossible. To lose weight in these areas as efficiently as possible, you'll have to adhere to a regimen of diet and cardiovascular exercise as well.
Start a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise. This, more than any direct muscular training, will burn the calories necessary to lose weight in your lower body. Additionally, it will increase your natural metabolism, causing your body to burn calories faster than normal even while at rest. Each week, complete at least three cardiovascular exercise sessions, with each session lasting either 20 to 30 minutes of high-intensity activity or no less than 45 minutes of low-intensity activity. Acceptable activities include anything that causes a consistently elevated heart rate, such as aerobics and pick-up basketball. As your cardiovascular endurance improves, increase the length and frequency of your sessions.
Reduce the caloric content of your diet. No matter how hard you exercise, you'll never lose weight if you're consistently overeating. Take an inventory of the foods and drinks that you consume on a standard day, and use the relevant nutritional information to estimate your average daily caloric intake. Depending on the urgency and magnitude of your desired weight loss, decrease this figure by between 500 and 1,000. This will ensure that you'll lose between 1 and 2 lbs. per week. To reach this figure, eliminate junk foods from your diet. If this does not suffice, decrease your portion sizes as necessary.
Weight train your lower body at least twice each week. While this won't burn much fat, it will develop your lower body muscles, creating an appearance of increased leanness. At each session, select five exercises from the following list: squat, front squat, hack squat, split leg squat, leg press, lunge, leg extension, leg curl, standing calf raise and seated calf raise. For each exercise, complete between three and four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, resting for a maximum of 60 seconds between sets.
Always consult your physician before beginning a new program of diet or exercise.