Everyone carries excess weight differently, but most women tend to put on the extra pounds in their lower body. If you have excess weight in your belly, hips or thighs, you're probably in the market for a weight-loss plan of attack. Because the concept of spot reduction is a myth, to lose fat in these areas you'll need to introduce more physical activity in your life, coupled with better food choices, in order to reduce body fat overall so those newly toned muscles can show through.
Increase your activity with more aerobic exercise. The President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition says adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise per week; increase this amount for more weight loss. Focus on exercises that engage most of your body to burn more calories, such as running, swimming, skiing, aerobic dancing, cycling and basketball.
Complete strength training at least twice a week for your entire body to increase muscle mass and boost your metabolism. Include a variety of exercises that target your upper and lower body. Use three to five exercises per workout and complete at least one set of eight to 12 repetitions for each.
Exercise your abdominal muscles. Use crunches, leg lifts and flutter kicks to target the upper and lower abs. Bicycle crunches and side bends strengthen the oblique muscles on your sides. Work until you reach muscle fatigue with each exercise.
Do squats, lunges, deadlifts, the leg curl and leg extensions for your hips and thighs. Use a weight heavy enough that you can perform at least eight repetitions, but no more than 12 repetitions. Increase the weight used when you can easily perform 12 repetitions without your muscle fatiguing.
Emphasize nutritious foods in your diet. Focus on vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, lean protein and seafood. These foods are high in nutrients without extra fat, sugar and calories. Avoid alcohol, added sugar, refined grains and foods that are high in saturated and trans fat.
Ashley Farley has been a certified personal trainer since 2008. She is also a writer specializing in healthy living, fitness and nutrition topics. Farley has an Associate of Science in mental health services from the Community College of the Air Force and is pursuing her B.A. in English at Wright State University.