Losing That Jiggle: Targeting Thigh Fat for Men

Key Points

  • Strategic steps such as strength training and clean eating make it possible to lose thigh fat for men.

  • Fat reduction due to weight loss occurs throughout the body, but targeting specific areas, such as the thighs, is possible for more dramatic results.

  • To lose thigh fat for men, consistent changes to diet and exercise yield significant results over time.

The need to lose thigh fat for men is a common concern. The thighs are difficult to target for weight loss, and carrying that additional jiggle around is frustrating. Reducing the jiggle is essential not only for aesthetic appeal but for overall health and well-being. 

With nearly 50 percent of Americans considered “clinically obese” by modern medical standards, maintaining a healthy weight is vital. Excess fat on the body increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a host of other health problems. Learn how to target stubborn fat deposits and lose thigh fat for men while achieving work/life balance.

Common Challenges for Men Attempting Weight Loss

If you follow the cheap rhetoric of the weight loss industry, you’ll see hundreds of persuasive advertisements telling you how “easy” it is to lose weight. You “need” this product or this piece of equipment, and the fat effortlessly melts away with little sweat equity from you. 

If it were easy, everyone could maintain a healthy weight, right? The fact is, there are challenges to overcome as you begin a weight loss journey. Knowing what to look for and how to overcome these hurdles is key to your success and long-term health.

Check out the most common pitfalls to watch out for as you get on the road to wellness.

You Might Be Starving

When you cut too many calories, particularly from protein, your body must conserve energy instead of burning it. This leads to the breakdown of muscle tissue to fuel essential body functions. Muscle plays a crucial role in your metabolism, which determines how quickly you burn calories and store fat.

To lose weight, you must reduce your calorie intake, but in a strategic way. Cutting about 500 calories a day by limiting expendable foods like chips, beer, and Oreos, for example, allows the body to assimilate nutrients from the healthy foods you choose instead. While every body is different, a good rule of thumb is to consume at least 1,600 to 1,800 calories daily to avoid slowing down your metabolism.

Maintaining your protein intake during weight loss preserves your lean muscle mass. If you're a sedentary person weighing 200 pounds, aim for about 75 grams of protein per day, equivalent to two chicken breasts. If you lift weights and participate in other strength-training activities, you need twice as much protein for muscle assimilation and repair. Maintaining muscle mass and boosting your metabolism allows you to lose weight more effectively and maintain healthy body composition. 

You’re Inhaling Your Meals

If you consume your meals too rapidly, you don’t allow sufficient time for your stomach to signal your brain that you're getting full. Try to chew and swallow each bite slowly, put down your fork in between bites, and drink water throughout the meal. You’ll eat less, consume fewer calories, and maybe even enjoy the taste of your food more!

Food Choices Are Too Refined

Processed bread, cereals, and canned goods are not the best option for those seeking to lose weight, as they contain minimal amounts of fiber. Fiber, a non-caloric component of plant-based nutrition, promotes the feeling of satiety and regulates blood glucose and insulin levels. Incorporate whole grain cereals, nuts, beans, and plenty of fresh produce as alternatives that boost metabolic processes.

You’re Tired and Hormonal

Lack of sleep can sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Studies reveal that men who sleep for only four to seven hours a night have increased glucose and insulin levels in their bloodstream, which is detrimental to weight loss. Erratic hormone production and high insulin levels promote body fat storage, making it difficult to shed excess weight and keep it off.

You’re Too Dry

When attempting to lose weight, water is your best friend. Water is an essential compound of any weight loss journey. Daily consumption of at least half your body weight in ounces eliminates waste products and transports nutrients to muscles. Water also assists in digestion and prevents overheating during more intense workouts. Have water readily accessible to you at all times to keep yourself hydrated and full of energy.

You Lack Food Prep Skills

If your greatest culinary accomplishment is picking up the phone to order Dominos, you have some things to learn about food preparation. A diet filled with greasy, salty, sugary takeout foods will not yield the results you want, no matter how much time you spend in the gym. 

Change that by stepping into the kitchen and stocking up on healthy, delicious morsels like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and organic dairy products. The more you embrace healthy cooking as a vital piece of the fitness puzzle, the more likely you’ll stick with a healthy way of life that ensures long-term weight management.

Fat 101: The Basics of Fat Storage and Why It Builds Up

Believe it or not, fat storage is a necessary part of healthy metabolic processes and overall wellness. Fat — also known as adipose tissue — plays a vital role in storing energy and regulating metabolism. It cushions and protects the organs, insulates the body to maintain a consistent body temperature, and aids in hormone regulation.

Fat also serves as a primary fuel source when the body doesn't receive enough energy from food, such as during fasting or exercise. Fat also helps maintain the structure and function of cell membranes, an essential part of their normal function.

Fat becomes a problem when you store excess amounts across various parts of the body. Excessive fat accumulation may lead to serious health problems, such as:

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart disease and stroke

  • Sleep apnea

  • Metabolic disorders

  • Fatty liver disease

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Gallbladder and kidney dysfunction

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Cancer

Being significantly overweight can also cause mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Many researchers now link the development of mental health disorders to high levels of inflammation brought about by the presence of excess fat and toxins stored in the body.

When you consume more calories than your body needs or uses, the excess calories get stored in white fat cells. Consistent accumulation of white fat increases the risk of obesity and health issues associated with carrying too much white fat in the tissues.

Thigh fat tends to be white fat that is stored subcutaneously under the skin. While not as dangerous as visceral fat (deep in the tissues), excess fat leads to potential health complications. Taking action to reduce fat and tone muscle while improving nutritional choices is the best recipe for better health and weight loss success.

Most Common Places To Store Fat

Women store fat in the hips, thighs, breasts, buttocks, and upper arms. They may also store fat in the abdomen and waist, though this is more commonly found in men. While every body is unique, fat storage patterns vary based on factors like genetics, age, and lifestyle habits.

The most common places men store fat on the body are the abdomen, chest, and lower back. This is known as visceral fat, which you store deep inside the body’s muscle tissue. Visceral fat is a serious risk factor for a variety of the aforementioned health problems. Men also store fat in other areas like the arms and upper thighs.

The Thigh Challenge

Losing fat from any one specific area of the body is challenging, as you tend to shed weight all over rather than from one particular area. Losing upper thigh fat is particularly difficult for some people.

Factors such as a sedentary lifestyle and a high-fat, calorie-dense diet contribute to fat accumulation in the upper thighs. Genetics plays a significant role in where your body stores fat as well. You may be genetically predisposed to store more fat in the upper thighs, making this area challenging even when working out and eating healthy foods.

Hormones also dictate where fat is stored. Any slight imbalance in hormone levels can trigger a silent, almost prehistoric command for the body to store fat. Getting hormone levels tested before starting a weight loss and nutrition protocol may yield interesting information that gives you more direction and greater success with certain exercises and foods.

You don’t have to resign yourself to your genetic destiny, covering your bottom half with dark colors and long clothes for the rest of your life. Sleek, gorgeous, muscular thighs are yours with knowledge and application of a few fundamental principles to practice consistently and, at times, vigorously. Lasting weight loss — particularly from the thighs — involves a combination of targeted exercises such as squats and lunges, as well as a solid nutrition plan and a sprinkle of cardio.

Here are some sample protocols you can try to sculpt and tone enviable legs to come. How much resolve are you bringing to leg day?

Strategic Protocols for Success

The foundation of any good and lasting weight loss program includes:

  • Sculpting and strength training

  • Cardiovascular training

  • Adequate hydration

  • Proper nutrition

  • Consistent application of these components

Implementing these strategies will melt that fat away and reveal a more muscular, leaner physique.

Sculpting and Strength Training

Strength training has a bigger impact on body fat than you may realize, despite the lower calorie burn when compared to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or cardio exercises during a single session. Studies indicate that increased muscle mass in the body leads to a higher caloric burn, which creates a calorie deficit and reduces body fat. 

Research on mice strongly suggests that weight training triggers a hormonal response that causes fat cells to break down, a process known as cellular crosstalk. Fatty acids released into the bloodstream during fat breakdown may also contribute to tissue repair. Lean muscle also helps to boost metabolism, resulting in a higher caloric burn over time.

Some exercises are more efficient at targeting stubborn thigh fat and sculpting long, lean thigh muscles. When it comes to building serious strength, it’s all about increasing your workload each time, allowing for recovery and muscle growth periods that shred stubborn fat.

Try incorporating some of the following best inner thigh busters into your next strength training session.

Sumo Squats

Sumo squats target the glutes, hamstrings, and especially the inner thighs. Similar to a regular squat, the sumo version sports a wider stance and a slight variation in your technique.

To perform sumo squats, stand with your feet wider than your shoulders, toes turned out at a 45-degree angle. Lower your body down by bending the knees and pushing the hips back, keeping the chest up and the back straight. Go as low as possible while keeping your knees aligned with your toes and heels on the ground. Push yourself back up through the heels to return to a starting position. Incorporate barbells or dumbbells for added strength and definition.

Side Lunges

Side lunges shred the muscles of the inner and outer thighs, glutes, and hips. As you build strength, kick them up a notch with added weight or resistance bands.

To perform side lunges, stand with your feet hip-width apart, then take a big step out to one side while keeping your toes pointed forward. As you step out, bend your knee and push your hips back as you lower your body down toward the ground.

Your other leg should remain straight as you lunge to the side. Keep your chest up, and ensure your knee stays in line with your toes as you lunge to avoid putting excessive strain on your knee joint. Once you reach the bottom of the lunge, push through the heel of your bent leg to stand back up, then repeat on the other side.

Curtsy Lunges

A curtsy lunge is yet another variation of the classic lunge exercise. In a curtsy lunge, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Take a large step back and behind your standing leg, crossing the leg in a curtsy motion.

Bend both knees and lower your body towards the ground, keeping your chest and back straight. Return to a standing position by pushing through the heel of your front foot and squeezing your glutes. Repeat on the other side for balance and strength in both legs.


The skater is a plyometric exercise that mimics the lateral movement of a professional speed skater. This is great for balance, full-body coordination, and functional strength in the legs, with or without the use of additional weights.

To perform a skater, start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Jump to the right, landing softly on your right foot and sweeping your left foot diagonally behind your right leg. Swing your left arm across the body, bringing your right arm behind you. Quickly alternate sides, jumping to the left, landing on your left foot, and sweeping the right foot behind you while you also alternate the movement of your arms.

Repeat alternating sides, trying to build speed, balance, and distance with each jump. 

Side Lying Adduction

While you recover from the last plyometric exercise, try side-lying adduction. Despite its mild appearance, this works your inner thigh muscles on a whole new level. 

To perform the side-lying adduction, lie on your side on the floor or a mat, with legs straight out and stacked on top of one another. Lift your top leg toward the ceiling, keeping your foot flexed and your toes pointed forward. Lower your leg back down to starting position without letting it rest on your bottom leg. Repeat 10-20 times on each side or until your inner and outer thighs burn in protest.

Cardiovascular Training

Incorporate cardio exercises into your training plan for a burst of metabolic activity and improved heart health.

Combining cardio with strength-based interval training (and taking at least one day out of the week for recovery) keeps your metabolism stoked and burns off excess fat, even when you’re not actively working out. Switch up your cardio routine with different types of exercises such as running, biking, and swimming to keep things interesting. 

If you’ve been out of the cardio game for a while, consider long slow distance (LSD) cardio for improving endurance. Exercising for a longer duration at a lower intensity level facilitates fat burning for energy, though your caloric burn may be lower. LSD workouts are ideal for recovery if you’ve overdone it in previous cardio and strength training sessions.

HIIT Options

HIIT is a powerful tool for strength-building, burning fat, and boosting metabolic processes. It positively impacts your insulin response and burns significant calories while getting you in premium shape.

HIIT involves alternating short, explosive bursts of intense exercise with recovery or rest periods. To experience its full metabolic and physical effects, you must perform your bursts at 85-95 percent of your maximum effort for 30-60 seconds. 

Studies show that intensity levels significantly impact your body’s ability to continue burning calories, even after your workout ends. The most intense HIIT workouts can burn calories efficiently for up to 24 hours after a session. 

One primary advantage of high-intensity workouts is your ability to mix and match bodyweight exercises, strength training, and cardio sessions for a comprehensive approach to fitness. Give yourself rest, recovery, and active stretching sessions after HIIT training to allow the body to repair muscle tissue and build new tissues that improve strength and endurance.

Proper Hydration

Adequate hydration plays a vital role in fat loss for several reasons. Staying hydrated is essential to optimize body function, including your metabolism. When the body is dehydrated, your metabolic rate may slow down, which makes it even more difficult to burn calories and lose fat.

Drinking water also helps increase feelings of fullness and reduces appetite, which leads to eating fewer calories and ultimately, weight loss. You won’t be quite as tempted to reach for sugary sweets and snacks that can quickly sabotage your weight loss efforts.

Superior Nutrition

Believe it or not, there are specific foods that effectively target and melt thigh fat. Incorporating healthy snacks and recipes into your diet with these power-packed, nutritious foods will have you fitting into those skinny jeans in no time.

Stock up on some of these delicious, nutritious options for meal and snack time.

  • Nuts

  • Eggs

  • Peanut butter

  • Grapefruit

  • Fish

  • Whole grains

  • Legumes

For lasting fat loss, consider maintaining a caloric deficit by consuming fewer calories than you burn. A balanced macronutrient intake helps you efficiently manage this deficit while still getting the proper nutrition that supports your body’s various systems.

An optimal macronutrient model includes 45-65 percent of your calories from carbs, 10-35 percent of your calories from protein, and 20-35 percent of your calories from healthy fats. Whole grains, lean-quality proteins, and healthy fats such as nuts and avocados are ideal foods for optimal nutrition and weight loss.

Strong, Sculpted, Svelte Results

Fred DeVito, Executive Vice President of Mind Body Training, lives this mantra when building bodies: "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you."

When it comes to creating exceptional thighs, challenge and consistency are key. Aim to incorporate proper exercise, nutrition, and self-care practices to yield fantastic results. Prioritize adequate rest and recovery to allow your muscles to repair and grow even stronger. With dedication and patience, you’ll soon achieve your lower body goals.

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