Large calves can make your legs appear short, stocky and overweight. This may damage your self-confidence and limit the types of clothing that you feel comfortable wearing. If you would like to slim down your calves, you will have to lose weight over your entire body while toning the calf muscles to sculpt aesthetically pleasing lower legs.
Calculate your body’s basal metabolic rate, or BMR. Your BMR is the number of calories your body needs to consume daily to maintain proper function in a state of rest. After you have determined your BMR, modify your diet so that you are eating within your daily caloric requirements. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing so allows you to successfully burn fat from your entire body. As long as you do not exercise too vigorously, this number of calories will keep you healthy and encourage weight loss. Use the following equation to determine your BMR:
Men: 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years) = BMR
Women: 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years) = BMR
Perform three sets of standing calf raises every other day to tighten your calf muscles. To perform one repetition of the standing calf raise, begin by standing up straight near a wall or chair to use for balance as necessary. Place one hand on the wall or chair and slowly rise up onto the balls of your feet, contracting your calf muscles. Hold this position for two seconds before slowly releasing back to a starting position, completing the repetition. Perform 13 to 15 repetitions to complete one set of calf raises.
Execute three sets of seated calf raises every other day to burn fat from your calf muscles. To perform one repetition of the seated calf raise, begin by sitting in a chair with your back straight. Place your hands on your knees and apply a light amount of pressure downwards. Slowly contract your calf muscle, raising your heel off the ground so that weight rests on the ball of your foot. Hold for one second, maintaining pressure with your hands before releasing to complete the repetition. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions to complete one set of seated calf raises.
Perform 30 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to five days a week to raise your metabolism and burn leg fat. According to the American Council on Exercise, 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise raises your metabolism for up to 10 hours. An increased metabolism causes your body to burn more calories, and therefore fat, at a state of rest. Examples of cardiovascular exercise include jogging, jumping rope, rollerblading, swimming, cycling and hiking.
Stay hydrated with eight to 10 glasses of water daily. Dehydration can make your body retain water weight, making your calves larger, writes the American Council on Exercise. Always consult with your physician before beginning a new diet or exercise program.