A common misconception is that you can spot-reduce body fat with specific exercises. The reality is that to burn fat in your stomach and thighs you need to reduce overall fat. So while you may be tempted to perform crunches and lunges, you need to focus on an overall cardio, toning and calorie-deficit program to burn stomach and thigh fat.
Throw out unhealthy or “junk” food at home, in your car or at the office. Avoid foods with added sugar, more than 400 calories per serving and more than 5 percent of the daily value of fat. You can find the daily value of fat, trans fat and saturated fat on the nutrition label of food packaging. Examples of junk food include ice cream, pizza, fast food, fried foods, candy, cookies and chips.
Eat 250 fewer calories a day to lose up to a ½ lb. per week. To lose 1 lb. of fat you need to cut 3,500 calories. Try eating smaller portions and smaller meals more often. Eat slowly and stop eating your meal once you no longer feel hungry, do not wait until you are stuffed or full. Replace your favorite high-calorie snack with a reduced calorie version -- for example, instead of eating a bowl of ice cream, eat a non-fat cup of yogurt.
Emphasize a diet that is full of healthy foods. Eat a variety of green and orange vegetables, fresh fruits, low-fat dairy, lean protein and whole grains. Examples of vegetables include broccoli and spinach. Orange vegetables include pumpkin, squash and carrots. Lean protein comes from tofu, whey, soy, fish, egg whites, turkey and skinless chicken. These foods are naturally low in calories, fat and sugar.
Burn at least an additional 250 calories with daily aerobic exercise. The calories you burn during each session depends on your weight, pace, activity you perform and how long you work out. According to MayoClinic.com, a 160-lb. person will burn more than 500 calories an hour with aerobics, basketball, football, jogging, jumping rope, rowing and tennis.
Add strength training to your fitness program to tone your muscles, improve your metabolism and promote a lean physique. Train each major muscle group at least once a week with one to two sets of eight to 12 repetitions per exercise. Include exercises for your stomach, legs, back, arms and chest. Lunges, squats and wall sits are beneficial for toning the thighs. Crunches, flutter kicks and situps tone the stomach.
Consult your doctor before starting a weight loss program.