Think nothing can be done about cellulite and stubborn saddlebags? A proven formula to iron out the creases is back – and it’s better than before…
Banish saddlebags: Through specific toning exercises and the right diet, you can shape up in just a month
Are your jeans feeling uncomfortably tight? Would you do pretty much anything to get rid of your cellulite?
Unfortunately, when women pile on the pounds, it tends to sit stubbornly on our hips, bottom and thighs.
But the good news is that there is something you can do about those unwanted lumps and bumps. How does dramatic inch-loss in less than a month sound?
Wendy Stehling, author of Thin Thighs In 30 Days — which sold more than 2.5 million copies in the 1980s — has updated it for today’s woman.
Though the basic programme remains true to the highly effective original, a handful of new exercises and the introduction of interval training in the Walk Out section will blast away cellulite more efficiently than ever before.
Follow Wendy’s expert advice and your thighs should feel sleeker and slimmer within days.
‘Because of our female physiology, wobbly, cellulite-ridden thighs, saddle bags of fat on hips and a dimpled, droopy bottom are the bane of most women’s lives,’ says Wendy.
‘In my experience, however, we can eliminate some of that unwanted fat and firm up things quite dramatically in a relatively short time with a focused diet and exercise.
‘You don’t need to eat exotic foods, buy expensive miracle creams or even invest in a gym membership to see results. All you have to do is commit to my simple, proven, three-step programme for 30 days.’
STEP ONE: THE WALK OFF
Get perfect pins: It’s a walk in the park
One of the very best ways to slim your thighs and improve your general health and well-being is to get out and walk — briskly and regularly.
It doesn’t sound innovative, but did you know that with the right pace and route, walking can burn off more than 300 calories an hour?
And when you use the correct technique, walking regularly really can tone bottom and thigh muscles incredibly quickly.
To get the dramatic results that the Thin Thighs In 30 Days programme promises, you need to walk one to three miles, six days a week — follow the weekly walking ‘prescriptions’ in the 4-Week Fitness Plan box (below).
You also need to perform the simple — but hugely effective — Work Off exercise routine after each walk.
Walk off wobbly thighs
- Decide on the routes you are going to walk. You need to map out a selection of 1½, 2, 2½ and 3-mile courses. To quickly work out suitable routes, go to mapmywalk.com. Key in your proposed walk on a map of your local area and the site will calculate the distance for you.
- Alternatively, first drive or walk around your proposed route and use your car’s mileometer, or — if you’re on foot — a pedometer to measure distance. Include hills and inclines in your workout when you can for their extra fitness and toning benefits.
- Set aside at least 45 minutes (ideally an hour) every day for your Walk Off, but do remember you must include a rest day each week (I recommend Mondays). You can walk to work, pop out at lunchtime for a brisk stroll — whatever suits. Walking on a treadmill counts, too.
- Always walk in a pair of good-quality walking or running shoes that leave plenty of room for your toes.
- Walk at the pace that is right for you. If you’re already pretty fit, alternate jogging and walking to boost your routine.
- Stretch your muscles thoroughly before and after exercising.
Quicken your pace
LUMPS AND BUMPS
70 per cent of cellulite is caused by lifestyle; 30 per cent is genetic
Posture is important. Keep your shoulders back and your chin held high — look straight ahead. Walk naturally, but faster than you typically do, allowing your arms to swing.
This is not a casual amble around the shops, so step up your pace several notches. Lengthening your stride will tone your inner and outer thighs more efficiently.
If your legs become stiff during your walk or you become short of breath, slow down.
If you become dizzy, stop immediately and regain your equilibrium. If you haven’t exercised in a while, you may struggle at first, but don’t give up.
Just take things steady until you build up enough strength and stamina to up your pace a little.
STEP TWO: THE WORK OFF
1. THIGH RAISE: Lying face down, raise your legs —from just above your knees — so your feet are a few inches off the ground (above top). Bend your knees, keeping them off the ground, and hold that position (above bottom). Start with five seconds and gradually work up to 15 seconds. Slowly unbend your knees and, with control, lower your straight legs to the ground, then repeat
2. BYE BYE TO YOUR INNER THIGHS: Sit on the floor with your back straight, knees bent and legs wide apart. Place your left arm directly over your left knee, using your right hand to support yourself by your hip (pictured left). While sitting straight, move your right foot to your left hand and hold for five seconds to start. Begin with five reps, then repeat on the other side
3. KICK-KICK: Sit straight, on the floor, with your right knee bent and left leg straight out (above, top). Lift up your left leg so that your foot is at least 6in off the ground (above, bottom). Hold for five seconds to start, then, with control, lower leg. Repeat on the other side
4. PONY KICK: Get down on your elbows and knees (above, top). Keeping your back flat, slowly raise your left thigh to about 45 degrees, with your knee bent and pointing your heel up to the ceiling (above, bottom). Hold for five seconds. Lower leg and repeat five times or more — before repeating exercise and same number of repetitions with your right leg
5. BALLET THIGH: Holding on to a railing or the back of a chair, stand with both feet facing forward. With your chin up, move your right leg back with the toe touching the floor (left). Then raise your right leg back at an angle (not straight back) — lead with your heel, until your heel is 12in off the ground (right). Hold for five seconds, then lower leg and repeat. Start with five repetitions and work up to 20 or more. Repeat on the other side
6. THIGH CHAIR: Stand about a foot away from a wall with your feet straight ahead. Slide your body down the wall, until you are sitting with your thighs perpendicular to the surface (pictured). Hold this position for between 30 seconds and two minutes
YOUR FOUR-WEEK FITNESS PLAN
Every day (except Monday): Walk for at least one mile at a brisk pace. On days when you have extra energy, add a hill to your walk or introduce interval training: walk at a fast pace for 30 seconds to one minute. Then slow to a brisk pace for 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat for as long as you comfortably can.
Follow each of your walks this week with this Work Off routine (outlined above). Repeat exercises one to four five times on each leg. Hold Ballet Thigh for five to ten seconds and repeat five to 20 times (do as many repetitions as you can comfortably manage). Hold Thigh Chair for 30 seconds to two minutes.
Apart from on Monday, walk a minimum of 1½ miles every day this week.
Interval train on Tuesday (alternating fast and brisk paces for 30-second to one-minute intervals) and walk up a hill five times in addition to your walk on Friday.
After each walk, perform five repetitions of the Thigh Raise, eight repetitions of exercises two to four on each leg and hold Ballet Thigh and Thigh Chair positions for as long as you can.
Walk a minimum 1½ miles on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Walk two miles (including one-minute interval training) on Tuesday. On Friday, walk 1½ miles and walk up a hill five times. Walk 2½ miles on Sunday.
After each walk, do the Thigh Raise five times. Repeat exercises two to four up to ten times on each leg. Hold Ballet Thigh and Thigh Chair for as long as possible.
Walk a minimum two miles on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Walk 2½ miles (including one-minute interval training) on Tuesday. On Friday, walk two miles, and walk up a hill seven times. Walk three miles on Sunday.
After your walks, repeat Thigh Raise eight times. Repeat exercises two to four up to 15 times on each leg. Hold Ballet Thigh and Thigh Chair for as long as possible.
STEP THREE: THE WEIGHT OFF
Tried-and-tested tips to help reduce your calorie intake:
- Weigh yourself every week.
- Eat when you are hungry. Never come to the table starving — you’ll just over-eat.
- DRINK plenty of water and stay hydrated. Water can help you feel satisfied and full.
- Always sit down to eat — and enjoy your food!
- Pick one food that is calorie-dense that you splurge on regularly (mine was desserts) — and stop eating it.
- Check with your doctor before you begin any diet. Never eat fewer than 1,500 calories a day without being monitored by a physician.
- Treat food labels with caution. Check serving sizes to see how many there are in the container — you might be eating four servings and not even know it!
The diet part of the Thin Thighs In 30 Days regime is incredibly simple: you need to count calories. That’s right, straight-forward calorie counting. No eating only a single food group, no crash diets or weird recipes to follow.
According to a 2009 study by Frank Sachs, Harvard School of Public Health professor of cardiovascular disease prevention: ‘Weight loss depends on cutting calories rather than any specific diet. People can lose weight eating the food they like to eat just by eating less.’
So despite what other diets would have you believe, it really is that simple. Eat the right number of calories and you will lose weight.
The Weight Off diet is designed to help you drop up to half a stone in 30 days.
If you have more than a dress size to lose, you are best finding long-term support in a diet programme.
So how many calories should you be eating? Once you start following the Thin Thighs Work Off and Walk Off programmes, if you eat the right amount of calories to maintain the weight you’d like to be (see chart below), you should lose weight.
So, if you are 39 and would like to weigh 9st, you need to eat 1,900 calories a day. This is because active, strong muscles need more calories to keep them ticking over than inactive ones do.
If you are fit and your muscles are toned, you’ll be burning substantially more energy than an unfit, inactive person — even if you’re just sitting on the settee.
It’s easy to keep track of the amount of calories you are eating each day. All you have to do is tot up the number of calories on the nutrition labels of the foods you are eating.
But do remember that though a calorie is a calorie, whether it is in ice cream or vegetables, foods that are packed with lean protein (such as grilled chicken, nuts, fish, low-fat dairy products and lean red meat) and low in fat, added sugar and rich in fibre (such as vegetables, fruit and wholegrain carbohydrates) will fill you up for longer.
And they will help to keep you healthier than a diet of cakes, crisps and chocolate.