How to Lose Thigh Fat Without Bulking Up

Carrying extra weight in your thighs can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance and affect the way you look in your clothes. It's possible to lose thigh fat and work toward slimmer, toned thighs that aren't overly muscular. By engaging in healthy eating habits and an exercise program that promotes overall weight loss, you can lose excess weight in your thighs, too, asserts the American Council on Exercise.

Exercise to Lose Thigh Fat

Engage in 300 minutes of aerobic exercise weekly at a moderate intensity level, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, to lose weight all over and from your thighs; break up the time in a manner that best suits your schedule. Maximize the thigh-slimming benefits by doing forms of exercise that use the thigh muscles, such as jogging, bicycling, swimming or playing basketball.

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Achieve slimmer-looking thighs by toning the muscles without adding bulk. Perform leg raises to work your inner and outer thighs. Lie on the floor on your right side, resting your head on your arm, which should be resting on the floor, as well. Bring your left leg forward to form a 45-degree angle from your right leg; point the toes of your left leg down toward the floor. Raise and lower your left leg by 1 foot until the muscles are tired, and then do five more. Repeat on the other side. Do this exercise three times weekly.

Tone the quadriceps and hamstrings -- the muscles in the front and back of the thighs -- with walking lunges. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding hand weights at the sides of your body. Take one large exaggerated step forward with your right foot and bend your knee as you plant your foot on the ground so your thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold the lunge for a count of two and then repeat on the other side for one repetition. Perform 25 repetitions three times per week.

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Do plie squats three times per week to further slim and tone the thighs. Stand with your feet about 3 feet apart, with your toes pointed outward. Place your hands on your waist and create a soft bend in your knees. Keeping your back straight, squat down in a plie position until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Hold the squat for a count of two, and then rise to the starting position. Perform 12 to 25 plies.

Healthy Eating to Lose Thigh Fat

Eat mindfully, suggests Harvard Medical School, to promote weight loss all over your body and on your thighs. Set a timer for at least 20 minutes and use the entire time to eat so your body and brain have time to realize you're full.

Stock up on healthy foods, such as fresh produce, high-fiber whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products. Substitute healthier fats such as olive oil for trans and saturated fats, and eat naturally sweet-tasting fruit instead of sugar-laden desserts.

Reduce your caloric intake by 250 per day to lose 1/2 pound each week or 500 daily to lose 1 pound weekly, which will help you lose thigh fat and other body fat. Enjoy small, frequent meals to boost metabolism and sidestep possible temptation due to hunger.


Consult your doctor before beginning a weight-loss plan. Perform muscle-toning exercises at least twice weekly, suggests the CDC, but not more than every other day, so your muscles have a chance to recover.