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Stubborn areas of fat on your legs can be especially discouraging when you've been working to lose weight. Although eating a healthy diet and engaging in cardiovascular exercise are effective ways to lose weight, the addition of strength-training exercises can help you slim down and get rid of stubborn fat on your legs by increasing your metabolism and toning your muscles. Combining all three components of a successful and healthy weight loss plan can assist in burning stubborn fat.
Count calories to ensure you're eating enough to meet your body's needs, suggests the University of California Riverside. Consume at least 1,200 calories per day if you're a woman and a minimum of 1,400 calories per day if you're a man. Dipping below the necessary calorie level causes your metabolism to slow down, making it difficult to continue losing weight and fat on your legs.
Eat foods that fuel your body and promote a feeling of fullness, preventing you from being tempted by sugary or fat-laden foods. Consume fresh produce, lean sources of protein, whole grains and dairy products with a low fat content. Track your daily fiber intake, suggests Shape Magazine, to ensure you consume 30 grams per day of these filling and satiating foods for a savings of 210 calories each day.
Increase your calorie burn from physical activity by adding to the 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise you're already performing at least five days each week. Extend your aerobic exercise time by 15 minutes or increase the intensity. Accumulate extra activity over the course of the day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, standing up while doing simple household chores, or playing with your children or pet.
Drink plenty of water. According to the University of California Riverside, dehydration can cause your muscles to break down, leading to slower metabolism. Fill a large reusable water bottle and keep it in the car, on your desk or near the couch to ensure you're getting a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses each day.
Perform squats to burn fat and tone muscles on the fronts of your thighs and the area directly below your buttocks. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart while looking directly in front of you. Get into the starting position by bending your knees and lowering your bottom and thighs as if you're sitting on an invisible chair. Extend your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height. Squat down an additional 3 to 5 inches, hold the position for a count of two, and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat each full repetition 12 to 20 times for one set. Work up to three sets of 12 to 20 repetitions.
Challenge yourself to extra muscle toning by doing one-leg squats. Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent while looking ahead. Place your left leg on a bottom step or 6- to 8-inch stool to get into the starting position. Keep your body weight over your right leg. Bend your right leg and squat until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Hold the position for a count of two, and then slowly rise to the starting position. Repeat 12 to 20 times on each leg.
Work the lower leg muscles, as well as your thigh and hip muscles by hopping in place. Balance on your right leg while extending the other leg in front of you, holding it a few inches above the ground. Hop on your right foot for a total of one minute. Hold lightly onto the back of a chair if you need help balancing. Switch to your left leg and repeat the exercise. Avoid this exercise if you have knee problems.
Do leg extensions to tone the upper leg muscles and burn body fat. Lie flat on your back and raise your head approximately 6 inches off the floor. Keep your legs straight without locking your knees and raise your toes about six inches off the floor to get into the starting position. Maintain your upper body position while drawing your knees into your chest, then slowly return to the starting position. Do not allow your feet to touch the floor until you've finished 20 to 30 repetitions. Performing this exercise also helps tone abdominal muscles.
- Be persistent and don't allow discouragement to cause you to give up. Consistent efforts will help you safely lose 1 to 2 pounds each week and assist you in getting rid of stubborn leg fat.