Six Steps to Thin Thighs

A call to kindred midlife reinvention-istas seeking a triumphant resolution to their thigh anxieties.

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Paula Carroll, M.Ed., M.S., is a 45-year-old married mom from Massachusetts. Share your success story on her website, www.thinthighschool.com.

4. Lift Weights

Upper body weight lifting is absolutely beneficial to the thighs. Muscle anywhere on your body is a calorie-burning machine, not only while you are exercising, but for hours thereafter. Keeping your weight down is systemic, meaning that your whole body will weigh less and be smaller, including your thighs, from upper body weight lifting. Plus, no kidding, the wider and more defined the shoulders, the smaller the thighs appear.

There is no downside to upper body resistance training; it’s a win-win for both your upper body and your lower body. And there’s a whole spectrum of upper body weight lifting which will render good results. For example, upper body strength training can be as informal as using your own body for resistance, lifting your own body weight, with sets of push-ups and planks while you watch TV at home, or as formal as gym workouts with expensive equipment.

5. Stop Eating Refined Carbohydrates

White flour and sugar are no friends to your thighs. These refined carbohydrates cause the pancreas to secrete too much of the hormone insulin. The function of insulin is to transport nutrients - carbohydrates, proteins, and fats - out of the bloodstream and into the cells of the body for immediate use, as well as for long term fat storage. If you eat too many calories, all those nutrients — carbohydrates, proteins, and fats — can easily be converted to body fat. Here’s how it works. As stated, refined carbs, white sugar and white flour, lead to the over-secretion of insulin. If insulin is remaining in your bloodstream after all available nutrients have been stored, you will experience a surge in hunger, particularly an intense craving for more refined carbs. This cycle perpetuates itself with rebound-hunger, and this is why refined carbs have addictive characteristics. The more refined carbs you eat, the more you crave, then you eat them again to satisfy the craving, the cycle repeats, ever more frequently, over and over. As such, insulin is the most important hormone you need to be concerned about in the war against large thighs, and your overall weight status in general. Your body cannot store fat without the assistance of insulin, and too much insulin encourages fat storage. If you control your insulin response with a reduced carb diet that primarily relies on carbohydrates derived from fruits and vegetables, and you exercise, you do control and can greatly reduce your percentage of thigh fat!

6. Minimize Alcohol  Intake

There’s no doubt that frequent consumption of more than 1 to 2 drinks a couple of times a week makes weight management extremely difficult. In the hierarchy of alcohol, red wine is the least detrimental to your health and weight management endeavors and sugary cocktail mixes and extravagant concoctions are the worst for health and weight management. Regardless, too much and too often with any alcoholic beverage, including red wine, has the power to potentially wreak havoc on your ability to lose or maintain weight for the following reasons:

a. Alcohol is a diuretic which dehydrates your body. You tend to have a heartier appetite and excessively overeat when you are tired and dehydrated.

b. Alcohol is a depressant which decreases your calorie burning. Your metabolism is slowed down for several hours after alcohol consumption.

c. Your motivation to exercise dwindles when you are sapped of energy. You may skip your usual exercise routines and workouts.

d. Alcohol is famous for lowering one’s inhibitions and decreasing one’s ability to make good choices. Your ability to resist overeating when you are intoxicated is low.

e. Often, the calorie amount of what you drank is almost equal to or even higher than the calorie amount of your average meal. Thus, you could double your dinnertime calories, or even, an entire day’s worth of calories, depending on how much you drink.

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