Hip and thigh fat are the hardest to burn of all the stubborn fat because evolution placed it there. Before the introduction of agriculture, famine was a real, day-to-day threat, and the only way for the body of our cave-dwelling ancestors to survive famine is to have a store of extra calories – around stomachs in men, and on the buttocks, hips and thighs in women.
Why Losing Hip and Thigh Fat Is So Hard
Abdominal fat evolved to provide a quick burst of energy to pursue a prey or run away from a predator, which is why it is much faster to lose (compared to thigh and hip fat) with high intensity interval training, as this training mimics our ancestors’ way of life that required sporadic bursts of energy.
Women, on the other hand, evolved to have fatty deposits in the buttocks, hips and thighs so they will have extra calories to feed their unborn infant in times of famine. In short, nature made sure that women have extra calories to meet the energy demands of breastfeeding.
Exercises that reduce body fat around the hips and thighs – squats, lunges, leg lifts, deadlifts with dumbbells, stair climbing, stationary biking – have their slimming benefits, but at some point you will reach a plateau when the remaining fat in your hips and thighs just won’t budge, no matter how much ‘eating less and moving more’ you do.
Metabolic Adaptation: The Reason for Stubborn Fat
The ‘last 10 (or 5) pounds’ zone is the bane of any weight loss program, which many weight management experts attribute to the principle of metabolic adaptation: The body eventually adapts and trains itself to survive on whatever calories it gets. So no matter how extreme your dieting and exercising becomes, understand that the body has built-in mechanisms to protect itself from what it perceives as famine. After your body loses a certain amount of weight, nature puts up its defences and puts it to work.
This is all well and good in terms of keeping us alive when food is scarce, but in terms of losing those stubborn pockets of fat that perform no useful function, it’s an uphill battle.
You can continue to work on losing one pound at a time with diet and exercise, or you can take advantage of non invasive fat reduction treatments such as TriLipo and Cool Sculpting to jump start permanent fat loss in your hips and thighs. Because these are non-invasive, zero-downtime procedures with high safety and efficacy profile, TriLipo and Coolsculpting are favoured by patients in Singapore where these treatments are currently very popular.
Can You Really Lose Hip and Thigh Fat for Good?
TriLipo utilizes safe radiofrequency (RF) energy to heat the subcutaneous fat tissue layer, stimulating natural fat metabolism and releasing liquid fat from the cells. This liquid fat is then drained via a ‘squeeze effect’, reducing the volume of the fat cell layer. Consequently, the squeezing pulls collagen strands closer together, leaving the skin tighter and smoother.
The focused TriLipo RF energy heats the dermal layer of the skin, activating fibroblasts in the connective tissue, and forming new collagen so the skin becomes firmer and denser over time. Because TriLipo is FDA-approved for dermal heating larger areas, this makes it a suitable treatment if you are looking to contour your waist, hips and thighs.
On the other hand, the Coolsculpting procedure is a fat freezing treatment that uses FDA-approved controlled cooling to damage fat cells non-invasively. Compared to the surrounding tissues, fat cells are sensitive to low temperatures, and they die as a result. The body then eliminates these damaged fat cells naturally, using the same pathways to eliminate cells that die as a normal part of its growth and development.
Because the procedure requires no downtime and fat removal results are permanent, many Coolsculpting Singapore patients favour this kind of treatment to reduce face fat and fat in other areas such as the back and the armpits (where the bra bulges), the arms, the flanks, abdomen, the fatty roll below the buttocks, and of course, hips and thighs.
To learn more about how you can safely lose weight and keep off the pounds for good, read our blog posts on non invasive fat reduction treatments.