So, you’ve decided to slim down your legs, tighten the skin, and get rid of that aggravating cellulite. Perhaps you’ve assumed diet and exercise are the obvious methods for achieving such a desirable goal.
Well, that assumption is correct!
However, don’t go into this endeavor blind. How you diet and exercise makes all the difference for your skinny legs.
Ultimately, targeted leg exercises by themselves are not going to give you the immediate results you’re striving for. The answer for how to get thin legs comes from a combination of fat loss, increased muscular strength, and flexibility.
In other words, it’s not one or the other, but everything together.
Reaching this point will take determination and focus. But with the right attitude, direction, and unwavering perseverance, you can get skinny legs fast!
How Long Does It Take to Get Skinny Legs?
The answer to that question largely depends on where you’re starting and the kind of results you’re looking for. If you just need to lose a few stubborn pounds and add some muscle tone, you could have your dream legs in as little as 6-8 weeks with the right diet and exercise plan.
That last part’s the key, though, no matter how much of a transformation you’re going for. Embarking on a fitness plan hoping for overnight results will leave you disappointed every time. Establishing healthy habits takes longer but it’s the best way to lose the weight and keep it off, so your legs will look just as sexy next summer as they do when your diet ends.
Diet for Slimmer Legs
To get skinny legs fast, your diet will be crucial! Exercise and flexibility alone are not enough to slim down your legs, but your diet can make all the difference.
Ideally, reducing body fat percentage through diet is achieved by doing the following five things:
- Increasing consumption of protein
- Decreasing consumption of carbohydrates
- Eating more frequent, smaller meals during the day
- Controlling blood sugar
- Slightly reducing caloric intake
Let’s take a look at each of these five things!
Increasing Consumption of Protein
Lean proteins will encourage muscle development for tone legs. Protein is what builds muscle after all!
Lean proteins that are excellent to add to your diet include:
- Fish. Fish is an excellent source of protein that also provides you with a hefty dose of omega-3 healthy fats, which can actually help you to burn energy and lose fat rather than gain weight. Fish is a perfect lean protein to complement almost any meal.
- Chicken. Be sure to look for chicken that’s ideally been pastured. Chicken provides about the same amount of fat as wild game, so this lean protein is perfect for your skinny legs!
- Dairy. Whether you want traditional dairy or opt for alternatives such as coconut or almond-based dairy products, dairy can provide protein in many different forms.
- Beans. Legumes add variety to your dishes and also contain excellent doses of fiber and iron. Choose kidney, black, or garbanzo beans for flavor and protein!
- Non-GMO soy foods. Soy foods can provide protein with zero fat. You can choose from soymilk, tofu, or edamame!
- Grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is high in omega-3s and rich in vitamins and minerals that are perfect for your skinny legs diet.
- Nuts. Nuts are a perfect solution for an on-the-go snack and provide protein as well as healthy fats.
- Seeds. Seeds such as pumpkin, chia, and flax seed can supply protein and lots of healthy fats to nourish your body while you lose weight and sculpt those legs!
Add at least one of these proteins to each one of your small meals that you consume throughout the day!
Decreasing Your Consumption of Carbohydrates
While carbs aren’t necessarily bad, it’s difficult to eat the right kind of carbs, which are complex carbohydrates.
If you do choose to include complex carbohydrates in your diet, you can choose foods such as:
- Brown and wild rice. These types of rice are less processed and provide more complex carbohydrates than white rice.
- Oatmeal. Choose steel-cut rather than instant oats for the most benefits!
- Non-GMO corn. Corn can be used for healthy snacks and add a vegetable-based carbohydrate to your diet.
- Fruit such as apples and strawberries. Apples and strawberries are on the Environmental Working Group’s list of foods you should buy organic, so stick to organic apples and strawberries!
- Squash. Take advantage of yellow squash, zucchini, even acorn and butternut squash are excellent complex carbs.
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are better, but regular potatoes can provide complex carbohydrates as well.
- Whole grains. Always choose whole grains rather than refined ones!
For the purpose of slimmer legs, keeping a higher protein diet will better influence this goal.
Expert dietician Elle Penner, M.P.H., R.D. suggests for a high protein-low carb diet to keep a ratio of 30% protein to 45% carbs. 25% of these carbs should come from healthy fats, such as coconut oil. When you adjust your diet accordingly, this usually means cutting back on carbs.
Eating Smaller Meals and Controlling Your Blood Sugar
Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day and controlling blood sugar go hand-in-hand!
Because large meals cause our blood sugar to rise. Once the food is digested, blood sugar falls dramatically, sapping your energy along with it.
Helen Foster from the Daily Mail, taking a cue from nutritionist Antony Haynes says, “The problem is, the bigger the meal, the bigger the crash – and the higher your need for sugary snacks to refuel your body.”
However, the more sugar we consume, the greater the increase in our body fat percentage!
Sugary foods in the form of fructose are a definite no-no. According to nutrition researcher Kris Gunnars, “When we eat a lot of sugar, most of the fructose gets metabolized by the liver. There it gets turned into fat, which is then secreted into the blood.” This causes a whole slew of problems in the body such as insulin resistance, leptin increase, and more.
Long story short – stay away from processed sugars.
It’s best to try and consume approximately five smaller meals throughout the day. This will help to normalize your blood sugar and boost your metabolism!
Reducing Caloric Intake
Lastly, you may need to make an adjustment to your daily calorie consumption.
It’s best to use an online calorie calculator to estimate how many calories you need to maintain your current weight. From there, try reducing this amount by 20%.
The amount of calories you need will largely depend on your current weight and your activity level–so basically how many calories you burn throughout the day.
The best way to diet for skinny legs fast is by keeping a diet journal. You’ll want to include such details as:
- What and when you eat each day for every meal
- Record your daily intake of calories
- Record how frequent your meals are
- Keep track of how much sugar you’re consuming
Once your journal reflects the proper guidelines, you’re well on your way to thinner legs!
You may also want to try such diets as:
- The Paleo Diet, which eliminates most grains (carbs) and focuses on protein sources such as grass-fed beef and eggs with healthy fats such as coconut oil.
- The Whole30 Diet, which includes eliminating sugars and grains for at least 30 days.
- The Mediterranean Diet, which focuses on healthy fats, protein such as fish, and lots of fresh vegetables.
Once you alter your diet, start your journal, and are feeling good, it’s time to start exercising for skinny legs!
Exercise for Slimmer Legs
A healthy combination of cardiovascular exercise, flexibility, and strength training is going to give you the fastest results for skinnier legs and help get rid of that thigh fat!
Let’s break these down.
Cardiovascular workouts are great because they burn fat and develop muscle tone with little risk of adding bulk muscle. For this, strength training can add muscle if you want toned legs in addition to skinny legs.
What types of cardio workouts can you do?
- Power walking
You can also incorporate any other cardiovascular routine that directly uses the legs will expedite muscle development! Aim for four to five cardio workouts a week lasting between 20-45 min or longer.
More importantly, include high-intensity interval training (also known as HIIT) as a part of these workouts. If all you ever commit to is moderate cardiovascular exercise, you stagnant your ability to target stubborn fat and convert it into muscle.
Therefore, it’s best to alternate between moderate intensity and high-intensity intervals each day.
A HIIT workout will be shorter in duration but significantly elevated in intensity and effort. A great way for the beginner to start out with a HIIT workout is by alternating between a 2-minute walk and a 2-minute hard run for a total of 20 minutes.
Over time, you’ll incorporate interval training like this into other exercises with longer durations of high intensity and shorter durations of rest.
For those with a mesomorphic body type who tends to gain bulk muscle easily and quickly, you may want to avoid HIIT workouts and stick to longer duration cardio. After all, there’s a reason long endurance runners have skinny legs!
Yoga is great because it encourages flexibility while simultaneously toning your legs. This will give your legs a longer, leaner look and is a perfect way to avoid higher impact exercise to stay injury-free!
If you’re not into yoga, you can always include stretching routines both before and after your workouts to increase flexibility. Flexibility is essential for our bodies as well as our skinny legs!
The best stretches for skinny legs include:
- Stretch your quads. Simply bend your leg up towards your butt, holding the outside of your foot with your hand, and stretch. It may feel uncomfortable if you haven’t stretched this way in a while. Do it for as long as you can, then switch to the other leg!
- Stretch your hamstrings. Laying on your back on the floor, bend your knee to your chest and place both hands on your knee, pulling your leg slowly towards your chest. Keep your other leg relaxed. Then, switch legs!
- Stretch your inner thighs. By doing the classic butterfly pose, you can stretch both of those skinny legs! Simply sit on the ground, put your feet together (keeping your knees out), and hold your feet, bending forward slightly.
Strength Training Exercises
Additionally, strength work is a prime supplemental activity for achieving slim legs. Remember that we must reduce body fat percentage first in order to see skinnier legs!
But before results show, it doesn’t hurt to target specific areas of your legs with resistance training.
Types of strength training exercises you can do for skinny legs include:
Aim to do one to three sets of repetitions up to 15. These are ideal resistance exercises that target the glutes, inner thighs, and hamstrings!
Tips for strength training:
- Beginners should start at one set and gradually work up to the ability to do three of each exercise after short intervals of rest.
- Add weight and other variations of these targeted strength routines as you become stronger.
- Keep a journal of your workouts (just like with the diet plan) and to record your accomplished work accordingly.
Be sure to incorporate at least one to two strength routines a week. Stay consistent with journaling your diet and exercise and you’ll see thinner legs in a matter of weeks, not months!
Do you want to know how to get skinny legs fast? The answers are all here. Now it’s up to you to want it … and get it. So the real question is, how bad do you want it?
Getting skinny legs is all about having a strategy and sticking to that strategy. You may need to lose weight first by exercising and reducing your caloric intake. You can also start eating better and trying different types of exercise such as the HIIT and flexibility routines we’ve discussed.
When you really want skinny legs, you’ll stick to the routine we’ve outlined here and see results in no time! Working towards skinny legs can be challenging at first, but with the right dedication and motivation, your workout and diet routine will seem effortless with practice.
We’ve seen that getting skinny legs fast is a combination of the proper diet and exercise techniques. This is achievable for anyone who wants skinny legs. So no matter where you’re starting from, you can get skinny legs fast. Now that you know how to do it, go out and get those skinny legs this summer!
- 9 Lean Proteins You Should Be Eating. Food Network.
- Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. American Heart Association.
- Penner, Elle MPH/RD. Ask the Dietitian: What’s the Best Carb, Protein, and Fat Breakdown for Weight Loss? My Fitness Pal, 9 April 2020.
- Foster, Helen. Why eating little and often is best. Daily Mail UK.
- Kubala, Jillian, MS/RD. 6 Ways Added Sugar is Fattening. Healthline, 23 April, 2019.