How to Lose Thigh Fat

Medically Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on January 09, 2023
4 min read

The thighs house some of the biggest muscles in the human body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and adductors. Their functionality is vital: they allow you to bend, flex, and rotate your lower body. They’re also responsible for holding up a significant portion of your weight since you use them to stand with, thus putting all your weight on your thighs and feet.

Still, many people have an issue with how much fat their thighs have. If you’re someone who has thigh fat that you want to reduce or eliminate, know that there are options.

Thigh fat is simple: it’s the excess skin and weight you hold in your thighs. It’s normal — many people carry extra weight in their thighs — yet many of those people wish to eliminate their thigh fat altogether, or at least reduce how much fat their thighs have. 

Thigh fat also usually goes hand-in-hand with cellulite. Some people see the wrinkly, dimpled, and sometimes lumpy flesh on their thighs, abdomen, hips, and buttocks and think: is this normal? Is cellulite natural?  

Yes, cellulite is natural and happens to be very common. While female-born individuals are more susceptible to developing cellulite, cellulite can happen to anyone. So, if you see cellulite on your thighs or anywhere else on your body, don’t panic. It’s a natural and common occurrence.

Thigh Fat and Cellulite Causes. Thigh fat and cellulite have several causes, symptoms, and risk factors associated with them. Thigh fat is typically caused by an excess of weight being carried in the thighs, usually from people who are currently or have been obese. Yet, thin people can have thigh fat, too. 

Other common causes of thigh fat include genetics, age, and hormonal levels. If you have a family history of bigger thighs, you are likelier to have them, and hormonal levels can cause fat to grow in different body parts, including the stomach and hip areas. Estrogen is one of the leading hormonal causes of thigh fat because it causes increased levels of fat cells which cause fat deposits to form in and around the thighs.

Age can also be a contributing factor because aging results in a slower metabolism, which makes it more difficult to eliminate fat.

Hormones and genetics can also contribute to cellulite. In this skin condition, fibrous connective cords sandwich fat between the skin and underlying muscles that are tethered together. Fat cells then collect against the skin as the connective cords pull down, creating dimples and wrinkles on the skin’s surface.

Many people wonder how to get rid of thigh fat and cellulite. Luckily, there are many options for both natural and surgical remedies. 

Thigh Fat and Cellulite Natural Removal. Thigh fat removal can happen naturally through proper diet and exercise. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and fat-free products can help. You should also consider switching from processed grains to whole grains. Do your best to avoid refined and processed foods and alcohol. Also, consider cutting back on your salt intake because salt can make your body hold onto extra water, which can cause bloating throughout your body. 

Natural remedies for cellulite reduction include losing weight through diet and exercise, medicated creams, anti-cellulite creams, and detoxification. 

Thigh Fat and Cellulite Surgical Removal. The most common method of removing thigh fat is through thigh lift surgery. Sometimes thigh lifts are performed alongside a liposuction procedure. Since thigh lifts won’t remove all excess fat, liposuction is sometimes needed. However, what thigh lift surgery does is reshape your thighs by reducing extra skin and fat. It gives your skin a smoother appearance and allows your contours to be better balanced.

For cellulite, you can opt for either invasive or noninvasive procedures. Invasive procedures include surgery which involves using surgical tools to separate the fibrous bands under the skin. This process is known as subcision. The result of the procedure is smoother skin. 

Another invasive surgical method is known as fat grafting, which helps improve the skin’s appearance. However, it’s important to note that the effects of these procedures may not last. In fact, they usually only last up to three years. They also come with a slight risk for complications, including pain and bleeding underneath the skin. 

Noninvasive methods include laser and radiofrequency treatments, acoustic wave therapy, and a treatment known as cryolipolysis. With cryolipolysis, a device is used to suction and raise tissue into contact with cooling plates, thus reducing the fat beneath the skin. Several treatments are required, and results may take up to three months to be seen.

Popular exercises to help reduce and eliminate thigh fat and cellulite include cardio and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises. Thigh fat exercise includes: 

  • Brisk walking
  • Low-impact and water aerobics
  • Running
  • Biking
  • High-impact step aerobics
  • Strength training
  • Weight lifting

When exercising, it’s important that you don’t push yourself too hard. Make sure to add relaxation and recovery time into the mix. Listen to your body and your muscles—when it’s time for a break, they’ll let you know. 

Similarly, many of those exercises can help reduce cellulite, too. Other exercises aimed at reducing cellulite include.

  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Lunges