I have fat legs.

by 65 · July 12, 2014 at 05:41 PM

I have only around 15% bodyfat, but still "chubby" legs, I can literally grab fat into handfull and I have not very well shaped butt. It's flat and I have a lot of cellulite. I exercise enough (dancing, yoga, occasionaly running, I used to do a lot of hiit, but not anymore). My queston is WHY?? Would be weight training benefficial? After a professional messurement I get a suggestion, that I should be eating at least 1688 kcal per day , what's only just to survive. Can I believe that? I think I am eating around 1200-1500 the most days. I am female, 22 years old.

Total Views

Recent Activity

Last Activity


Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

14 Replies

240 · July 02, 2012 at 03:18 PM

While I think squats/leg workouts can be helpful for improving your body composition, I would actually consider looking a little closer at your diet/stress level. 15% body fat is extremely low for a woman, and consuming 1200-1500 calories for extended periods of time can be quite stressful for the body. It sounds like you may be dealing with some hormonal imbalance-- the fat distribution that you described sounds like possible estrogen dominance/low progesterone. This imbalance (which you may have had for a long time) can be perpetuated by stressful activities like staying in a caloric deficit for extended periods of time or going too low-carb for too long. Are you sleeping well? Recovering quickly from workouts? Is your digestion regular? How are your periods? These are good questions to ask yourself while dieting to make sure that your stress hormones are not spiraling out of control.

I wanted to respond because I dealt with very similar body composition issues while on strict paleo and doing a lot of physical activity. Adding more carbs/calories, doing only low-stress exercise (hiking, yoga), making sure I was getting adequate sleep really helped improve my hormonal balance and subsequently, my fat distribution. Also, I know it gets old to hear, but women really are designed to hold onto more fat than men. I do think that you should evaluate your stress level, but it is also important to consider that you might just be a lady with shapely thighs! Speaking from experience, obsessing about the circumference of your thighs is generally a self fulfilling prophecy. Relax about your gams and go do something nice for yourself!

20762 · July 02, 2012 at 03:58 PM

Couple of points:

Fat in the legs in women is good. That's usually EPA and it's kept there so that you can make good milk for a baby's brain.

If you're estrogen dominant, you will store fat in your legs. The fat cells there have more estrogen receptors, so they preferentially accumulate fat. Robb Wolf has a segment on this in a recent podcast. He's done some work with nicotine gum because it blunts the estrogen receptors, pretty cool stuff, check out that podcast

Squats, squats, squats. I've never seen a woman who can execute a proper heavy squat who didn't have an awesome posterior chain.

77342 · July 02, 2012 at 02:02 PM

Consider sprinting rather than squats.

30 · February 06, 2013 at 08:15 PM

Ugh, annoying answers! FIRST THINGS FIRST: Don't take advice about getting the body you want from men. They typically don't store fat in their legs and thighs and most aren't trying to get thinner thighs, but gain more mass there. Clearly, they don't understand!

I do though - you want to get rid of the jiggly parts and don't want STRONG legs, whatever the hell that means. You realize, just as I have, that squatting with heavy weights and all that leg work only increases the mass of your thighs because you've experienced it for yourself! Don't worry, you weren't imagining things - squatting and lifting heavy and all that crap won't get you any closer to your goals.

Second, most men will tell you how great strong legs are on a woman yet when you see the women they routinely call hot and are attracted to, you'll notice they're not the ones with the bulging quads and huge hamstring, but instead the thin, streamlined limbs that you are asking about achieving here.

ANYWAY, on to actually answering your question. Yes, you can do something about your fat legs if you want to. You need to lose body fat by coming up with a diet and exercise plan that is tailored to you. Cardio that gets your heart rate up and keeps it up for at least an hour multiple times per week, intermittent fasting, calorie cycling, hiit, stretching, targeted inner and outer thigh exercises... cutting out sugar, drinking a lot of water and green tea, making sure your meals are high in nutrients but low in calories as well as satiating, plus a lot of other things I can't cover here without writing a book (which I actually have done - google 'The Thigh Gap Hack')

Lastly, I would question if you actually are really at 15% body fat. That dude who claimed he was lean but couldn't see his abs - obvious town he isn't lean. A lean person with low body fat WILL HAVE defined abs because there will be little fat covering them.

People tend to have this misconception about themselves being leaner than they actually are. Everyone in their mind is lean or eats clean or follows a strict diet and can't understand why (fill in the blank about not achieving their body aesthetic goals).

I feel your pain and I can tell you that you can have the thin thighs you want with a bit more work (of course doing the right work and not counterproductive things like squatting heavy).

Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I'm here to help

65 · July 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM

Thank u all for your time and for your answers!!

1322 · July 02, 2012 at 02:05 PM

I don't know about the fat on your legs. You describe being able to grab a handful of fat. How are you measuring your BF%? I believe a commenter pointed out that you may simply store your fat in your lower body.

Squats may or may not solve the disproportionate amount of fat on your legs. Squats will improve over all body make up and your 'flat' butt problem. Heavy squat 3x5 2-3 times per week. Start with a 25 pound or 45 pound bar and add weight in small increments each time you work out to work up to your working weight. Flat butt comes from long distance running and too much cardio. You need to build up your muscle in your posterior chain. Heavy squats are the best way to do this.

0 · July 12, 2014 at 05:41 PM


I know that this is an old post, but for whoever is checking this because of fatty legs ( even after acheiving a very lean upper body ), you might want to look into lipedema or lipoedema

and if this is the disproportionate body type that you have you might want to give your lymphatic system some special care, and avoid certain foods that might irritate your lymph vessels and affects their permeability

0 · June 02, 2013 at 12:05 AM

I look a lot younger than i am, eat relatively healthily but snack too much and do no excercise. At times i've been the gym 4/5 times per week and was seriously underweight after my last child. Through all this i have had huge legs for my size and have never gotten rid of them except when i was underweight. I find it very difficult to find clothes that fit a small waist and big legs and NEVER wear shorts or short skirts, i would love to know how to get rid of fat legs but to be honest i don't think we can.The best i ever looked was when i was going the gym, i did an hr to hr and half 3/4 times per wk and the legs were more defined and shapely with less cellulite, at the moment i just hide them but the gym and a tan is looking like the best option. I feel your pain because other people are just fat and lazy but have fit legs, seems so unfair, i've been like this since my teens, just keep in shape an stay (safely) tanned, best we fatty legs can do i'm afraid. Chin up though, you could be an ugly person inside instead x

144 · July 02, 2012 at 07:01 PM

Run long distance, sprint, squat and do not neglect your core!

But seriously, genetics should never be the main problem. Watch your diet and be patient!

24412 · July 02, 2012 at 06:47 PM

Body composition is largely genetic, what shape is your mother, your mother's mother, and her mother? We have both thick calves and thick thighs in my family, no matter the level of fitness, we just have more circumference in the legs than your average Joe. If it is genetic you can try fighting against it, but you'll probably just make yourself miserable in the process.

Something else to think about can you still grab a handful when you tense up your leg? I have a considerably higher body fat content than you, but don't get much when the muscles in my legs are activated. Building muscle won't make them smaller, but it'll make them more firm.

As for the cellulite, I'm by no means an expert, but I've heard that it is largely influenced by hydration levels, with dehydration making it worse. Are you getting sufficient water and sufficient electrolytes?

As for building a nice butt, mine was never better than when I practically lived on my bicycle.

768 · July 02, 2012 at 01:44 PM

-better to store it their than on the belly -thigh fat could make your waist to hip ratio look better -you sound like the lady from the gary taubes slideshow who was morbidly obese below the waist and underweight over it lulz. but ur not.

1230 · July 02, 2012 at 01:43 PM

I suggest getting some kind of skin pinch test done for your legs and see how they compare to the norm in regards to your body type. If it's normal, then I suggest you question your judgement as to whether or not you are exaggerating the size of your legs. If it's not normal, then it's possible that just how your body stores fat. Going any lower in body fat percentage is likely not healthy.

Sorry to be so pessimistic. I'm in similar situation: I'm quite lean but don't have a six-pack. I have come to accept it.

1289 · July 02, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Learn to squat properly. Squat heavy twice per week. Problem solved.

2797 · July 02, 2012 at 01:54 PM

Not sure I follow...you want to get rid of some fat, the other things you mention didn't work, and you want to know why weight lifting would work?

It won't. Losing fat is about diet. Weight lifting is there so that you don't lose muscle while you're dieting.

And beware the cult of squatting.


Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account