Whether you’re preparing for a special occasion or a beach vacation, you have your sights set on skinny legs. While you can lose fat, you can’t choose what part of your body the fat will come from. That means you may have to be patient with your body and allow it to choose when to get the fat off your legs. By sticking to a diet and exercise plan, you can lose 20 pounds, and that will eventually mean skinnier legs.
Take a picture of yourself and write down your current weight. Keep track of your weight and glance at the picture on occasion to motivate yourself to stick to the plan.
Do at least 30 to 60 minutes of cardio each day, for a total of 200 to 300 minutes of moderate cardio each week. Start with walking or swimming, as excess weight is hard on the joints and these are low-impact exercise options. Walk in different locations to avoid boredom. When you’re comfortable with walking on a regular basis, switch to running, biking, rowing, dancing or any other moderate-intensity cardio activity.
Sleep at least seven hours per night. According to U.S. News and World Report, sleep deprivation can result in weight gain, so make sure to get plenty of Zs.
Reduce your diet by at least 500 calories per day to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. You need a calorie deficit of 3,500 to lose 1 pound of fat. Eat lean meat, vegetables, fruits and dairy. Skip sodas and chips. Write down what you eat and schedule snacks to avoid impulse eating and keep up your motivation.
Work your quads. Stand with your legs together and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with your right leg. Bend your right and left knee 90 degrees. Push back on your right leg and return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times on each leg for a total of three sets.
Tone your hamstrings. Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in each hand in front of your body. Push your butt slightly backward. Bend your right elbow and bring the kettlebell to your shoulder, pushing through your legs. Repeat with your left arm. Lower both kettlebells, first with your right arm and then with your left. Repeat 15 times for a total of three sets.
- Perform the leg-strengthening exercises at least three times per week, with at least 24 hours in between each toning session.
- Talk to your doctor before you begin a weight-loss plan.
Though constantly traveling the world, Julia Williams is based in Chicago and has been writing since 2006. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting. She is also a licensed fitness instructor, specializing in Pilates since 2003 and has written hundreds of articles on exercise and health.