Everyone has a different “problem area,” or part of their body that seems to hold on to fat regardless of exercise or diet. For plenty of women, the thighs tend to be the main problem area. They can either carry extra fat on the outer thighs, creating what are known as saddlebags, or they can carry more fat on the inner thighs, causing the thighs to rub together when they walk, leading to discomfort and chafing.
If you want thinner thighs, you have a few options. What will work for you depends in large part on what’s behind the excessive fat in the thigh area. In some cases, people see results after making a few small changes to their habits. In other cases, surgery might be the most effective way to reshape the upper leg and get rid of excess fat.
Tweak Your Workout
When it comes to toning and trimming your thighs, try to ignore any workouts that claim you’ll get more shapely thighs or that you’ll lose inches in just a few days. Adding exercises that focus on strengthening the thighs can help, but you can’t expect miracles or rapid results. Generally, if you keep at it, you’ll see results from a regular thigh workout after about a month.
The type of exercise you do also plays a part in trimming or toning your legs. Strengthening exercises, such as lunges, are great for your thighs. But, you can’t rely on lunges alone. Running, bicycling, or any other form of cardio workout is also a must to help you burn extra fat and tone your legs.
Tweak Your Diet
Your diet can also help or hinder you when you’re trying to get trimmer thighs. In fact, a change in your diet for the worse can lead to more fat on the thighs. Some foods are better to eat than others, namely sources of lean protein, such as poultry, fish, and beans, any type of vegetable or fruit, and sources of good fat, such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts. Try reducing the amount of sugary foods or high-fat, highly processed foods you eat to help you slim down.
If That Doesn’t Help . . .
Some people see the results they want just from making changes to their diet or exercise habits. But, that’s not the case for everyone. In some cases, losing weight from the thighs can make their shape worse, as the skin doesn’t bounce back after weight loss, but continues to sag and rub together.
Surgical options, such as liposuction or a thigh lift can help you take the next step towards toned and trimmed thighs. There are some things to understand when deciding if either option is right for you. While liposuction will remove extra fat from the thighs, it’s not a weight loss tool. You should be very near to or at your goal weight before considering this surgery.
Liposuction will permanently remove fat cells from either the inner or outer thigh area. While the fat won’t return, you’ll still want to watch your diet and continue to exercise, as it’s possible for the remaining fat cells to expand if you do gain weight later on.
If you have loose skin and muscle, either along with or instead of extra fat, a thigh lift might be a good choice for you. A thigh lift is typically performed on the inner thighs only. While it can be performed on anyone who is unhappy about sagginess in the thigh area, it’s commonly performed on people who have lost a significant amount of weight and who now have loose skin on their thighs.
During the surgery, the surgeon will make an incision from the middle of the thigh in the back to the middle of the thigh in front, cutting away a crescent moon shaped section of the skin and fat. The surgery does leave a scar, but it can be easily covered up by pants, a skirt or longer shorts.
If you decide on either liposuction or a thigh lift, or both, you’ll need some time to recover after the surgery, usually between a week and two weeks. It will take some time for the results to be visible, too.
Dealing With Cellulite
As if saddlebags and thigh chafing weren’t enough, plenty of women also have to deal with cellulite, or dimpled, bumpy looking skin on the backs of their thighs. Cellulite can happen to anyone, even people who have trim thighs. Exercise can help keep cellulite away, but once you have it, there aren’t that many options for dealing with it, aside from covering up.
Fortunately, there is one treatment can effectively smooth away cellulite. Cellusmooth is a minimally invasive laser treatment that treats cellulite in three ways. First, it helps melt the fat that is creating the bumpy look. Second, it loosens the fibers that are pulling on the outer layer of skin, making the bumps less visible. Finally, it also tightens the skin, creating a firm, smooth appearance.
Whatever issue you are having with your thighs, whether it’s cellulite or a dissatisfaction with their shape, Dr. George Bitar at the Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute, near Washington, DC, can help you decide which solution is best for you. To schedule a consultation, call (703) 206-0506 today.
George Bitar, MD, FACS is an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, the Founder and Medical Director of Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Virginia. He specializes in the latest surgical and minimally invasive techniques to scar management and reduction. Dr. Bitar is involved in groundbreaking research and education in plastic surgery and has authored numerous articles, abstracts, and chapters.