may 4, 2019
Another topic I am very passionate about is how to get rid of saddlebags. I am very prone to it and during the last years I’ve collected lots of information, I’ve tried many workouts and exercises to lose these stubborn saddlebags on my thighs.
Some people may think that there is nothing wrong with this area and there is no need to worry if you have saddlebags. But I personally don’t like the way it looks on me, at least when my saddlebags become too evident. I prefer more toned and tight body. Besides, even apart from the aesthetic side, saddlebags can be a sign of some health issues. I will discuss it further in the post. That’s why I see many reasons to fight saddlebags or at least to make them less prominent.
Luckily, there are some things that actually work in reducing saddlebags fat so I can’t wait to share everything I know with you!
Why do we have saddlebag fat?
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For those who don’t know this term, saddlebags are fat stored on your thighs just on the side of your buttocks (don’t confuse with curvy hips that are a healthy-looking and beautiful part of woman body). They have kind of unnatural, sharp angles and don’t look harmonious with your body line.
The main reason why you store fat on any part of your body (not only on the butt) is a calorie proficit (surplus) in your diet, in other words – you eat more calories than you burn during the day.
But there are some reasons that make you prone to storing fat in this particular area the most:
- Sedentary lifestyle. Saddlebags are a sign of atrophied buttocks settling on your outer thighs. Lack of activity may be the cause of your problem. If you are sitting the whole day and don’t move much your blood circulation becomes slow that often leads to cellulite and saddlebags.
- Lower back problems. They say there is a link between lower back issues (for example, scoliosis or lordosis) and your saddlebags. You have to focus on getting your lumbar curve back and keeping your lower back healthy.
- Estrogen dominance. Hormonal problems can be the reason why you are prone to saddlebag fat even though you don’t have much extra weight on other parts of your body. Estrogen in women triggers the accumulation of fat in the thigh area.
- Overall excess fat in your body. I think it’s obvious – the lower your body fat percentage the less appearance of cellulite and saddlebags is.
- Poor unhealthy diet. If you accumulate extra fat it means that something in your diet is contributing to that fat sticking to your thighs.
How to get rid of saddlebags
Taking in consideration the main reasons of saddlebag fat we can create a strategy on how to reduce them: it’s a cleaner diet, a certain workout routine that targets saddlebag area, low back exercises, massage, and hormonal issues treatment. Let’s go deeper into it.
Diet for losing saddlebag fat
Your diet can determine how your body looks like. There are some foods you need to avoid if you want to get rid of saddlebags.
First of all, eliminate refined carbs (white rice, cookies, white bread, cakes, pastries) and refined sugars as they contribute to fat storing on your legs.
Your body needs carbs but it needs the healthy ones. My favorites are brown rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, lentil pasta, beans, and chickpeas.
As for the sweets, it’s better to incorporate coconut sugar, maple syrup, stevia, dates and fresh fruits.
And remember that whole is always better than processed. Processed food plays a huge role in accumulating excess fat. So make a better choice by purchasing whole grains, vegetables, fruits and berries, beans and legumes.
And I don’t ever say you have to eat 100% clean and healthy all the time. If you can do that then you are lucky and, of course, keep doing. But I am not that kind of person, unfortunately. So I just prefer to eat roughly 80% healthy food and 20% other stuff (like vegan burgers, fried potatoes or Starbucks coffee). The only thing that matters and affects your body is what you do regularly. So try to eat healthy on a daily basis and occasionally allow yourself to indulge if you feel the need.
If the main cause of your unhealthy eating is constant food cravings (let’s say, you are always thinking about sweet treats or carbs), then my handy mini-guide “How to curb hunger” will be really helpful for you. It’s packed with the best information on physical and emotional eating, “secret” recipes to suppress appetite, methods to cope with hormonal cravings and handy printables to keep you get started!
The tips I share in this guide were life-changing for me as when I learn to control my hunger, everything else became easy and manageable. Check it out!
The best Exercises for Saddlebags
If you have saddlebag fat it means your butt is settled on the bottom of your hips. This happens when your glutes are not strong enough as well as your lower back.
My personal experience shows that the best solution is weight training as it lifts the booty up and transforms the body image in a good way.
I find that the following exercises for saddlebags to be the most effective:Squats with side leg liftsClamshells (using a resistance band)Leg lifts with a loop movement (using a resistance band)Curtsy Lunges (the best!)
Besides these ones I also love the following exercises as they help to reduce saddlebags as well:
- Side Lunges
- Cross Lunges
- Good mornings
- Dead Lifts
- Fire hydrants
- Grasshopper beats
- Glute Bridges
These exercises for saddlebags are great. But don’t be focused on legs alone. As I’ve mentioned earlier weak lower back may lead to saddlebags as well. So pay attention to strengthening your back muscles.
But be careful. If you have any health conditions like scoliosis, you need to consult a specialist. Weight lifting can worsen your conditions if you don’t do it properly. If some cases weights are prohibited so you may be offered a yoga, pilates or other types of activity.
That was true in my case as I have some spine issues. After a few months of weight lifting I started experiencing pain and extreme discomfort. After seeing a few specialists and doing it was clear that lifting is not for me. Unfortunately. And I quitted weights, now I only use body weight and resistance bands in my workout. Foam roller and stretching are also an essential part of my fitness routine because they help me to cope with any unpleasant feelings in my back.
Hormones and saddlebag fat
Hormones play a huge part in the way our body stores fat. That’s why women and men have different body shapes. Our female hormones usually determine the location of the fat – it’s more common to be stored at thighs, butt, and legs.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, to get rid of saddlebags effectively you have to be sure that your estrogen is in balance. If it’s not it can be the main reason why you have excess fat on your thighs even though your overall body fat percentage is low.
If you have PCOS or think that you have estrogen dominance, you should try to balance it and remove excess estrogen from your system. One of the ways to do it is by taking supplements such as DIM and NAC.
DIM (Diindolylmethane) is a nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables that helps to improve estrogen metabolism.
NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) is an amino acid that helps to detox your liver from estrogen and provides antioxidant support.
I personally used to suffer from hormonal imbalance and it made me experience very stubborn fat in some areas of my body – saddlebag fat and fat around my belly button. Of course, my healthy lifestyle and fitness routine transformed my body, made it toned and fit. But I still had problems with these two areas. As soon as I stopped doing my routines I gained fat in these areas immediately. And only when I learned how to deal with my imbalance it started to be easy to maintain my weight and body physique. So never underestimate the importance of hormones.
Stress can also increase the estrogen production as during stress time your cortisol level rises. It all can make your gain fat pretty quickly. That’s why it’s recommended to have your stress under control. Even though in our modern world it’s impossible to eliminate stressful situations completely you can definitely learn to manage stress properly so it doesn’t affect your health so much.
These are some tips to balance the hormones and get rid of saddlebags:
- Have your hormones checked (try estrogen dominance blood tests to start with) and treated under control of a specialist. Other hormones should be in balance as well.
- Some vitamin supplements can help you to stabilize estrogen: zinc, vitamin B6 and curcumin. They fight inflammation and balance hormones.
- Avoid external estrogens as much as possible. Many environmental factors can mess up your hormones. That’s why try to reduce pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, dry cleaning chemicals, plastics, fuels, animal meats, soy, and any types of toxins. Be careful with fake tans as they may contain xenoestrogens (harmful estrogens) as well. Switch to more natural cleaning products, consider safer cookware, natural skincare products etc.
- Detoxify your body. Excess estrogens create a toxic environment in your body. If you suffer from hormonal imbalance it’s very important to detox your body in order to keep it healthy. Some of the thing to try: drink more water, drink green juices and smoothies, eat a lot of fiber, consume cleansing herb teas etc.
- Liver plays a great role as it deactivates used hormones so that they can’t continue to float around in your body and cause hormone imbalances. Help your liver metabolize other day-to-day toxins so that it is strong enough to deal with those hormones efficiently. Take milk thistle herb that helps in the regeneration of liver tissue and decreases inflammation. You can also try artichoke leaf, turmeric, dandelion, oregon grape, bitter fennel, licorice, yellow dock, burdock, and gentian.
Additional awesome ways to get rid of saddlebags:
Swimming. This activity is perfect to improve the quality of your skin, to reduce the appearance of cellulite and saddlebags.
Standing desk. It’s a great solution for those who spend many hours working on a computer. When you sit all day long on your butt without moving your blood circulation slows down that leads to cellulite and saddlebag fat. So try to stand when it’s possible or just take many breaks when you can walk or do any simple exercises. The benefit of using a standing desk is that you burn more calories when you stand then when you sit.
Massage. Build a habit of doing self-massage every evening after the shower. It will improve blood circulation and fastens the process of fat loss. This method works pretty good for me especially when I do a coffee scrub massage in a shower first and then use some grapefruit oil to massage my skin. So give it a go!
That’s all for today’s topic. I hope you’ve got tons of information from this post and learn how to get rid of saddlebags. Now you can implement all these tips and get beautiful, toned hips and legs 🙂
Let me know what you think in the comments below. And please share this post if you find it helpful!
source:How to get rid of saddlebags