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Why Does Fat Pool in My Thighs?

Fat accumulation around the thighs is a common concern among a large demographic, especially women. Thigh fat, whether it be inner thigh fat or outer thigh fat, can trigger serious anxiety for some.

For many women, other than the belly and upper arms, the thighs are among the first areas in the body to lend themselves to fat storage, resulting in inner and outer tight fat. Reducing thigh fat can be difficult sometimes, regardless of how active or healthy you are.

With intense inner thigh workouts, you will build stronger muscles under the fat. As a result of your workouts, you might even notice a noticeable increase in the size of your thighs.

In this article, we explore why fat tends to pool around the thighs and how you can lose and get rid of it.

Why Do Women’s Fat Go Straight to the Thighs?

Gender does not only affect how much fat we have but also where our fat is distributed. Estrogen and testosterone circulate through our bloodstream and bind to fat cells1. With aging, pregnancy, exercise, or other life events, our hormone levels change, and fat settles in different parts of the body.

As women might expect, estrogen causes the preferential distribution of fat to the thighs and butt. Females have a bottom-heavy, pear-shaped fat, whereas testosterone sends fat to the belly, resulting in a male round apple belly.

In addition, genetics affects how our bodies interact with hormones and ultimately where we store fat.

Hormonal Changes and Fat Distribution

Hormonal changes affect fat distribution so strongly that when men are given estrogen as in the case of transsexual men, it also begins to affect their fat distribution.

Along with retaining more fat, they begin to gain fat disproportionately in the same areas as women – the buttocks and thighs. It also works in reverse for women-to-men transsexuals taking androgens (male hormones).

As they lose or start getting rid of fat in their hips, buttocks, and thighs, they begin gaining it disproportionately in their belly. Even small changes in hormone distribution can affect how fat is distributed.

So, why do Women have more Thigh Fat?

It is more difficult for women to lose weight in certain areas due to evolutionary factors that no longer benefit our bodies. Women will always struggle with losing weight in their hips and thighs.

Women have evolved to store calories in their hips and thighs for breastfeeding and to sustain a famine when pregnant. Therefore, the female body stores more fat in the lower body.

Why is it so hard to lose Thigh Fat?

Lower body fat, especially the thighs, is notoriously difficult for women to lose or get rid of weight. This is simply because stored energy is crucial for childbearing. A result of this is that fat tends to cling to that part of the body at all costs.

Genetics, age, and weight loss plateaus may also hinder thigh weight loss.

a lady with thigh fat and planning to get rid of her weight
3d image of a DNA sequence

1. Genetics

This may be the major cause of your inability to lose weight in the thighs. Genes determine the pattern of weight gain and weight loss. It may be more difficult to lose weight in your thighs if you tend to gain weight there first.

A study by the American Council of Exercise found you tend to lose weight last in any area of your body that gained weight first2.

2. Age

Age can also influence their ability to lose weight in their thighs. As we get older, we tend to lose muscle. The body burns more calories from muscle than it does from fat, so losing muscle reduces caloric needs. As a result, the methods you previously used to shed weight no longer work.

3. Method of Fat Loss in the Thighs

In addition to genetics and age, the method you use to lose weight could be contributing to your problem. If you exercise your legs exclusively, you may build muscle and burn fewer calories than you think.

In a study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, spot-reduction is not possible anywhere on the body3. In addition to that, the body eventually reaches a weight-loss plateau. When you lose weight, your body requires fewer and fewer calories to function.

As a result, if you maintain your current caloric intake and exercise regimen, weight loss may stop.

Is it harder for women to lose weight?

measuring tape and a pair of jeans

It might seem strange to women that their male partners lose weight so quickly, even with the same diet and exercise routine.

Despite following a low-calorie diet for eight weeks, men lost an average of 13kg while women lost 11kg in a recent study4. In addition, the men in the study lost more body fat than the women.

But why do women lose weight at a slower pace than men? Scientists say it has to do with muscle mass.  Due to higher levels of testosterone, men tend to have more muscle mass than women do.  This results in more calories being burned than fat at rest.

Typically, men burn 500 to 1,000 more calories a day than women. This means they can lose about 1kg of more weight than women in a week, even if they consume the same amount of calories.

When Diet and Exercise aren’t Enough

Even though men and women store and use fat differently, we all know the drill when it comes to losing weight. To shed pounds, you have to diet and exercise. But there are times when no amount of diet and exercise is enough to reach your goals.

Unfortunately, for many women, inner and outer thigh fat notoriously remains diet and exercise-resistant. If you’ve tried every other inner or outer thigh exercise without success, we might have a solution for you.

Non-Invasive Fat Removal for Thigh Fat

CoolSculpting and SculpSure are the two most popular non-invasive fat removal treatments on the market.

Both treatments are also the first of their kind to be approved by the US FDA to conduct fat removal using their respective technologies – Cryolipolysis, also known as Fat-freezing (CoolSculpting) and Laser lipolysis (SculpSure). Both CoolSculpting and SculpSure provide options to get rid of thigh fat without the need for surgery or lengthy recovery times.

CoolSculpting for Thigh Fat removal

Thighs are one of the most popular treatment areas for this fat freezing procedure. The nature of CoolSculpting enables it to effectively target stubborn fat in specific areas of the body, allowing it to be used to eliminate inner and outer thigh fat.

With a range of applicators designed to cater to different volumes of fat and different areas of the body, here are the most common ones used for thigh fat reduction.

Inner thigh fat – For patients who are looking for a significant reduction in inner thigh fat, the CoolFit applicator is one of the most common applicators used to achieve that. This applicator features a flat vacuum cup and large cooling plates. Its unique design allows treatment in the harder-to-reach areas of fat in the inner thighs.

Outer thigh fat – The CoolSmooth Pro applicator was designed to be used on the ‘unpinchable’ fats. This applicator is most commonly used on the outer thighs or saddlebags. Its non-vacuum-based cooling allows it to effectively treat fat for areas that are non-pinchable.

CoolSculpting can eliminate these stubborn pockets of fat in areas of the thighs in a targeted way by using cryolipolysis to freeze the fat cells.

This controlled cooling process is delivered through the applicator, which causes the thigh fat cells to crystallize before they naturally shrivel away and die. The body then dispels these frozen cells through a natural process.

SculpSure for Thigh Fat removal

The SculpSure treatment uses laser technology to pass heat through the dermis to target and break down fat cells. SculpSure permanently destroys and flushes the fat cells from your body. The targeted fat cells are eliminated over the course of 12 weeks.

Unlike CoolSculpting, SculpSure has four applicators with a frame that will be strapped to cover the treatment area. Each applicator arrangement also varies from person to person, depending on the volume of fat in the area of concern.

After the applicators are attached to the area, lasers are emitted through the skin to target and destroy fat cells.

Conclusion

As far as thigh fat is concerned, you probably won’t lose much if genetics predispose you to fat storage in the thigh area. The longer answer is that you can reduce your body fat with exercise and diet, but you will lose fat from all over your body and not specific areas.

But don’t give up hope. Non-invasive fat removal treatments can be the solution for you when it comes to targeting that stubborn thigh fat that has been plaguing you.

Schedule a body assessment with us today to find out which treatments might be most suitable for you.