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Belly and thigh fat are problem spots for many people. Losing fat in these areas improves health, reduces the risk of some health conditions and balances your body proportions. The bottom line in weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. This is achieved by making changes to your exercise and diet habits.
Spot reduction isn't possible, notes the American Council on Exercise, but cardiovascular forms of exercise play a role in dropping excess weight in your belly and thighs. This is because this type of workout burns calories, helping you lose weight overall. Most people need at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each week. Anything that gets your heart rate up for at least 10 minutes at a time counts. Brisk walking, swimming, cycling, gardening and jumping rope are examples of cardiovascular exercise that could aid in weight loss.
While cardiovascular exercise burns fat in your thighs, strength training tones and strengthens muscles in that area, giving you a leaner appearance. Incorporate these moves into a twice-weekly strength session for the best results. Wall squats, stair climbing and lunges are specific moves that work the muscles in your inner and outer thighs, helping slim them. Walking, jumping, cycling and swimming enhance these effects by working thigh muscles while burning calories at the same time.
Much like moves that target your thighs, the right exercises provide toning and strengthening benefits for the muscles in your belly, making it look thinner. Situps and crunches work the muscles in the front of your belly, while leg lifts and planks work those in your sides and back as well. Combined with cardiovascular forms of exercise, these moves uncover your belly muscles by helping you shed fat and work the muscles in the area, making them more visible.
While exercise does have a powerful effect on losing belly and thigh fat, cutting calories from your diet is also important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains. These foods are typically low in fat and calories, but high in appetite-controlling fiber and other nutrients vital to good overall health and energy levels. At the same time, allow yourself a small treat occasionally to prevent feelings of deprivation that might cause you to give up before you reach your goals.