How To Lose Thigh Fat (The Truth On Losing Weight In Your Legs & Butt)

Are you trying to lose weight in your thighs and butt?

You are not alone.

Losing thigh fat is extremely difficult as most excess fat accumulates in the lower body.

But all hope is not lost!

After reading this post, you’ll learn the following:

  • How to lose thigh fat and keep it off,
  • The amount of time it will take you to lose weight, and
  • Specific foods you should avoid that can cause weight gain

Let’s get started.

how-to-lose-weight-in-your-thighs-and-butt cover image

Disclaimer: Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.

How can I lose weight from my thighs?

The only way to lose weight in your thighs and butt is to decrease your overall body fat percentage.

You can do this through a combination of diet and exercise.

However, your diet is by far the most important component.

You must eat in a way to decrease your calorie intake AND give your body all the nutrients it needs to optimize fat loss.

This is known as a calorie deficit and is the key to losing weight.

On the other hand, exercise can help increase your calorie expenditure and help tone your leg muscles!

Both are useful, but a healthy diet is much more critical.

The Best Exercises To Help Lose Fat From Your Thighs

The purpose of the following exercises is to help you:

  • burn calories,
  • build lean muscle mass,
  • and improve the appearance of your thighs and buttocks

But don’t forget,


Okay, with that out of the way – let’s go over the exercises now.

Inner Thigh Exercises

Curtsy lunge

Curtsy lunges are a great alternative to the traditional lunge that targets the inner thigh muscles.

To do it, you need to step your foot back and towards the side while keeping your spine tall.

brittany doing a cursy lunge, lunging back and across her other leg while holding a dumbbell

Make sure to keep your spine tall and your core muscles engaged.

Lateral lunge

Lateral lunges (aka side lunges) are one of the most effective exercises targeting adductor muscles.

It does require some balance, so if you need to hold onto a chair, do it!

Keep the non-lunging leg straight to activate the inner thigh muscles.

brittany performing a lateral lunge while holding onto a chair

To see a bunch more inner thigh exercises check out my post, The Best Exercises For Ther Inner Thighs.

Outer Thigh Exercises

Goblet squat

We cannot talk about toning your leg muscles without discussing some squat variations.

Goblet squats are a great exercise, as you use a dumbbell in the front of your body, which allows you to scale the movement to your fitness level.

brittany holding a dumbbell by her chest as she squats down

Make sure to keep your feet hip-width and flat on the ground at all times.

You can even set your feet wider apart and do sumo squats.

Weighted hip abduction (AKA Lateral Leg Lift)

The weighted hip abduction is a great exercise to target your outer thighs and can easily be scaled up or down!

All you need is a dumbbell or weight plate to hold on the side of your leg.

Make sure you have something you can hold onto, as this exercise also requires balance.

brittany performing a standing weighted hip abduction

To see a bunch more outer thigh exercises check out Best Exercises to Get Rid of Saddlebags.

Buttock Exercises

Now, let’s review some exercises to target your buttock and hamstring muscles.

Quadruped Banded Kickback

The quadruped-banded kickback is one of my favorite exercises of all time.

It is easy to perform and gives you a nice burn at the underbutt and hamstrings.

You will need a long closed-end resistance band. Amazon has this set of bands which is excellent for making this exercise easier or harder.

Just make sure to train both sides equally.

Brittany in a quadruped position and extending her leg backward against a resistance band

Hip thrusts

You cannot grow the glutes without doing a hip thrust exercise.

You can do this exercise with just your body weight when you are first starting.

Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top position and hold it for a two count.

Feel free to place dumbbells or weighted plates on your hips when this gets easy.


See The Video Of These Exercises Below!

Check out my post, The Best Underbutt, and Glute Isolation Exercises, to see more buttock exercises.

A Simple Exercise Plan To Target Your Thigh Muscles

Now, let me show you how to design an at-home workout to put these leg exercises to good use!

You can do these workouts at home or at the gym.

Workout A

Curtsy Lunges310 each leg
Quadruped Banded Kickbacks312 each leg
Banded Kickbacks315

Workout B

Hip Thrusts312
Goblet Squats312
Lateral Leg Lifts310 each leg

On the other days, you can focus on another area of the body, such as your arms, chest, or back!

Okay, now let’s go over some common questions.

What causes thigh fat?

Excess body fat tends to accumulate in the thighs, hips, and butt in most women.

This is genetically determined and not something you can change.

You can, however, influence the amount of fat you have in your body!

Causes of excess fat include:

  • consuming too many calories,
  • eating nutrient-poor foods and/or
  • living a sedentary lifestyle.

The best part is- all of these are modifiable!

image of a pear with the words

Is it easy to lose it?

Losing thigh fat may be more challenging than it sounds.

Unfortunately, you cannot spot reduce body fat naturally. In other words, you cannot choose where you lose weight from.

Although it would be great to communicate to your body that you want to lose thigh fat, it just doesn’t work that way.

The ease at which you lose thigh fat depends on a few factors:

1. Your Genetics

The number of fat cells you have and their location are genetically determined.

Unfortunately, you cannot change this.

This is what we call non-modifiable.

Some people will lose weight from their thighs and butt first, while others will lose weight from their arms and breasts.

It is highly individualized and something you will know once you begin losing weight.

2. The type of food you consume

The type of food you eat can certainly play a role in how fast you lose weight, as some foods can increase your risk of weight gain.

We will discuss the type of food you should be eating and avoiding later.

3. Your activity level

Although diet is the most crucial factor in weight loss, exercise catalyzes the effect.

Regular exercise can help you burn even more calories while helping you build muscle!

All forms of exercise can be beneficial, including:

4. Your metabolic profile

Other factors can contribute to excess weight gain and slow metabolism.

Examples include:

  • high-stress levels (which raises cortisol)
  • sleep deprivation,
  • dehydration, and
  • thyroid abnormalities.

If you are not getting enough sleep each night, this is something you should start to prioritize!

How long does it take to slim down Your legs?

Generally, it can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks of consistent lifestyle changes to notice a slimmer appearance in your legs.

With that said, some women may notice a difference in fewer than six weeks, and some may not notice a difference after 12 weeks.

That is okay!

Everyone is different and has a unique body type- so make sure you DO NOT compare yourself to others.

it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks of lifestyle changes to notice slimmer legs

You could take before and after photos of yourself, as pictures are the most objective way to track your body composition.

In addition, you can take measurements of your thighs before and during your weight loss journey to document your progress!

Do any specific foods cause thigh fat?

Although no specific food causes thigh fat, there are certain categories of foods you should try to avoid when trying to lose weight.

You should avoid calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods and beverages as much as possible.

Common examples include:

  • Soda
  • Regular Juice
  • Fast food
  • Pastries and other sugary carbs
  • Highly processed grains
  • Foods cooked in high amounts of vegetable oils

These foods are typically full of empty calories, provide very little nutrition, and are loaded with ingredients like sugar that keep you hungry.

What should I be eating instead?

It would be best to focus on eating as many natural, whole, nutrient-dense foods as possible to lose body fat.

The foods I am referring to are ones you find in nature.

These foods are full of the macro and micronutrients your body needs to function optimally.

These include:

  • Lean meat and wild-caught fish (for protein)
  • Whole grains and Legumes (for carbohydrates)
  • Leafy green vegetables and fresh fruits (for micronutrients)
  • Nuts (for healthy fats)
  • and plenty of Water!

The goal is to consume fewer calories WHILE eating more nutrient-dense foods!

In fact, I have even created The Busy Moms‘ Nutrition Guide for Postpartum Fat Loss to help guide you on how to incorporate these foods into your lifestyle.

This guide is a step-by-step plan that tells you exactly what to eat to focus on losing fat healthily and sustainably.


Does walking reduce leg size?

Walking by itself won’t reduce leg size. However, when walking is combined with dietary changes, you can notice changes in leg fat mass (Study).

Plus, walking is also the easiest physical activity to stay consistent with!

In fact, The American Heart Association recommends walking 30 minutes a day (along with regular strength training).

Benefits include decreasing your risk of:

  • stroke,
  • high blood pressure,
  • obesity,
  • type 2 diabetes,
  • and cardiovascular disease.

If you can only do one type of exercise for health, let it be walking!

(Alternatively, you can also do other forms of aerobic exercise such as low-intensity cardio, high-intensity interval training aka HIIT, or swimming).

Can I lose fat without exercise?

Yes, losing body fat is predominantly a nutritional challenge. Exercise can help, but it is not necessary.

The best way to lose weight in your legs is to eat fewer calories than you expend while improving your nutrient intake.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to target thigh fat specifically (aka spot reduction). You must lose fat from your entire body as a whole.

That said, the best strategy is to combine regular physical activity with a reduced caloric intake.

Is it possible to lose fat fast – (in 2 weeks)?

It is not sustainable or healthy to lose large amounts of fat in 2 weeks or less.

Trying to lose weight rapidly significantly increases your risk of:

  • regaining the weight back
  • having loose skin
  • developing metabolic and digestive problems

Ideally, weight loss should be gradual, with a target of 1-2lbs per week over the course of months.

Weight loss can be fast at first- but achieving a sustainable rate of fat loss over the long term should be your goal!

Final Words On Losing Leg Fat

So there you have the information you need to sustainably lose stubborn fat in your thighs and butt.

Do not lose hope!

You must remain consistent and stay patient to see results.

Now I want to hear from you.

What have you tried to lose unwanted thigh fat?

Comment below and let me know.

Related Articles on Getting Rid of Body Fat From Different Areas:

Get Four Free Workouts To Help Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor & Heal Your Mommy Tummy!


Brittany Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN physician, a NASM certified trainer, and a prenatal and postnatal fitness specialist. She holds a Master of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.

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  1. Ramírez-Campillo R, Andrade DC, Campos-Jara C, Henríquez-Olguín C, Alvarez-Lepín C, Izquierdo M. Regional fat changes induced by localized muscle endurance resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Aug;27(8):2219-24. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31827e8681. PMID: 23222084.
  2. Ryan AS, Nicklas BJ, Berman DM, Dennis KE. Dietary restriction and walking reduce fat deposition in the midthigh in obese older women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Sep;72(3):708-13. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/72.3.708. PMID: 10966888.

9 thoughts on “How To Lose Thigh Fat (The Truth On Losing Weight In Your Legs & Butt)”

  1. Hello! I was searching for weight loss program and landed on your website and I am very much inspired by your workout.
    I am a 28 year old woman who weighs 68.8 kg. I want to lose 20 kgs. Would you please help out in this… What exercises should I be doing to lose weight fast?
    Thank you.

    1. Brittany Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

      Hi Rose,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      Unfortunately there are no fat loss exercises.

      Exercise can certainly help in burning fat and creating lean muscle but weight loss is primarily determined from your diet. Without addressing the types of food you are consuming, exercise will not specifically cause weight loss.

      The best exercises you could do to maximize your time working out would be functional, full body movements like the squat, deadlift, and pressing variations like I describe in many blog posts. Feel free to check them out to learn more.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Looking for easy healthy recipes to make for myself, 2 children under 6, and a husband who is fairly picky and is a contractor( lots of manual labor and out door work). I would like to lose weight but have very little time to exercise but can plan ahead to make meals my family will enjoy too. I do exercise when I can, mostly body weight/functional, mountain biking, walking, running, stacking wood…we are a pretty active family but there is room for improvement, especially during the week. Thank you for your article!

    1. Brittany Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

      Hi Erin!

      Thank you so much for your post.

      Seems like you have a very active family- keep up the great work 🙂

      1. Hi,i was 60 kg now 64kg with 167 cm height.when i was 60 kg from 69 kg,my butt and thigh still upper body look how do i get rid of this fat in a month.

  3. Hi, I’m overweight specially on my butt and tights and I’m looking for a diet it doesn’t matter for me if it’s hard could u please tell me one that could really help me I tried all kind of sports but it didn’t help at all

    1. Brittany Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

      Hi Jennat,

      Thank you so much for your comment.

      I am typically not a fan of traditional diets because they are usually unsustainable for most of us.

      Instead, I focus on principles.

      These principles are ones that ensure that you are getting all the nutrients your body needs while making gradual but sustainable changes to your nutrition.

      If you are interested in learning more about these principles check out this post:
      There you will also see The Postpartum Trainer’s Nutrition Guide which you might be interested in.

      Hope this helps!

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