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Thighs Getting too Bulky

I'm hoping that someone can shed some light on my new problem. I've been doing the same workout routine for a while now. On MWF, I go to the gym to use the elliptical for about 45 minutes, which is then followed by a 15 circuit of dumbells for my arms, then a nice stretch. On T/TH/S, I do a round of Tae Bo. I also do yoga everyday. However, lately I have been noticing that my thighs have been increasing in size. I've been trying to improve my diet (eating fruits, veggies, etc.), but it's not making a difference. Could it be possible that I'm overexercising? Also...because I use the elliptical for a vigorous workout, could this machine also be promoting bulkier thighs? Is it time for me to switch to power walking? I've heard this type of cardio can lead to slimmer thighs. I'm open to any suggestions!

Tue. Jun 19, 9:56pm

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although you can't target a specific area, you can tone the muscle underneath the chunkyness. try the stationary bike with a lot of resistance on the hills setting. i know my thighs were super shapely when i rode my bike everywhere.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007, 10:09 PM

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It could be that you need to switch up your cardio routine or just your routine in general....whenever you do the same routine for a long time your body hits a plateau and you stop noticing results. I would suggest running, that slims down thighs and I believe the bike would be great too....but I think that you should make it a habit to switch your cardio's fine if MWF you want to do cardio but don't always use the elliptical machine. Maybe on Monday you could do the elliptical then run a mile or two on Wednesday and then ride the bike on Friday...good luck!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 2:01 AM

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I guess the reason why I'm so frustrated is that I've been using the elliptical religiously for about 2 years, and I couldn't sing enough of its praises at first...thighs were much slimmer. I've been recently adding calories to my diet, with the advice that I wasn't eating enough for my fitness level. Still, I don't believe that I'm eating enough to gain weight. Is it true that you can have temporary weight fluctuations when going from a low caloric intake to a normal one?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 7:16 AM

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Are you sure that your thighs are really getting larger? (Are you measuring?) I know this sounds like a stupid question, but I ask because when I lost weight I didn't lose it evenly all over, and my proportions changed. My thighs _seemed_ to get bigger because I was losing weight on my hips and butt. It took me a while to get used to the new look, but I like it now!! :-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 9:05 AM

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what was your calorie intake previously and what have you increased it by. also are they 'healthy calories' or coming in the form of cakes/biscuits etc. additionally what sort of effort level are you exercising at, while it's important to fuel your body, 45 minutes training at a moderate level wouldn' require you to start eating more unless you were already on a very low calorie diet.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 9:10 AM

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Thanks OP

I am having a similar problem. I do cardio every day and weights / resistance machines T / T. I change it up so that it is almost always elliptical but I throw in tread and bike all totalling anywhere between 40 min - 75 min. I eat about 1200 cals and my thighs are getting bigger. I ahve actually measured and they are increasing

Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 9:49 AM

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I actually began to realize that I wasn't getting enough calories...probably 1200 the most on some days. When I used a few BMR programs online, it said I should be eating anywhere from 1800-2400 calories! I know my thighs are getting bigger because all of my pants feel tighter only in that section. As for good/bad calories, I really have been trying to add in more fruits and veggies, as well as yogurt and granola. I also read somewhere that going from a low caloric intake to a moderate one can cause some temporary bloating and water this true?

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 7:45 AM

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active women need 1600 calories/day on average, 2400 calories for the amount of exericse you're doing (which is great, you should be commended for being so active) is WAY too much *maybe for a professional athlete in some sports like triathlon or rowing, that figue may be accurate). i would presume that if you increase calories, that there would be a temporary weight change but i would also ask the question, have you measured yourself all over. weight gain doesn't go specifically to one area.

Thursday, June 21, 2007, 10:14 AM

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I'm actually just trying to cut back on the amount of cardio I do at the gym, and I'm beginning to add weight training in the equation. I can't give up yoga (love it), but is there such a thing as too much cardio?

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 7:08 AM

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10:14, hard to say how many calories are too many without knowing someone's height and age. I assume the poster has that information. :-)
I rowed for a while and if one is maintaining (not losing) and training seriously, 3500/day is not too much for a lot of people.

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 7:56 AM

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OP, could you be gaining muscle in your thighs, resulting in the increasing size? Maybe the intensity level on the elliptical is high and your muscles are bulking up?

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 9:29 AM

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I'm only 5 foot, and if I ate much over 1,000 cal per day, I'd be eating too much. Let's try to be respectful when talking about caloric intake. It's not as if we all know how tall/ what kind of bone structure the OP has. Geez. Ease up. To the OP, do not raise resistance, lower it and go for longer periods, and defiintely move to the treadmill, I've had friends that sang the elliptical song for months only to end up with tight butts and big thighs. Switch it up now, and you'll be fine.

Monday, June 25, 2007, 12:44 AM

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12:44-- I am 5'2'' and there is no way I could survive on 1,000 calories. I am still young, barely in my 20s, so I stay around 2,000. I read even middle age women should consume 1800. I know all people different, but you should drop below 1200. That is not healthy.

Monday, June 25, 2007, 12:58 AM

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Just to share...I'm 5'5" and 22 years old...female. I really think part of my problem was that I wasn't eating enough calories...I think my metabolism went nuts and tried to hold on to the few it was getting. I also think I wasn't drinking nearly enough water to replenish my system after workouts. I am trying to cut back on cardio and I'm switching to power walking and circuit training (doing shorter rounds on the bikes and treadmills).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007, 9:53 AM

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me too

I've been doing Tae Bo for a month now and my thighs increased in thickness by one inch. So I think it's the Tae Bo!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007, 1:13 PM

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sheesh! what is wrong with having an added inch of muscle? lets get rid of the fat & add some muscle & we'll all be looking very fit & slender!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007, 1:23 PM

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That's the thing that's stumping me...I've been doing Tae Bo and my gym routine faithfully for about 3 years's only been recently that I've been noticing added weight (or some people say muscle) on my thighs. When I used to play soccer and basketball in high school, my thighs were much larger, and I got them slimmed down a bit when I went to college. I've been reading up on low twitch/high twitch fibers in the leg muscles...anyone know about these?

Thursday, June 28, 2007, 7:36 AM

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Fast twitch: basically you only hit this deep muscle tissue when you really stress the muscle (e.g., at your failure point when you really, really can't do 1 more rep or doing anaerobic exercise). Working these gives you the most fitness benefit and can quickly increase your strength in these muscles, AND your metabolism. Also tightens you up and gives you definition. Slow twitch: your endurance muscles (activated when you do cardio activities). You do build LEAN muscle when you work your fast twitch muscles, but I have been training this way (via High Intensity (weight) Training) since '02 and have not gotten bigger. I burn a lot more calories this way (during my workouts and at rest, since I'm building muscle) to the point that I don't gain weight if I consume 2400 cals/day (I'm 5'6", 134 lbs, 34 y.o. female, wear size 6-8 in pants). I lose weight easily at 1700 cals/day.

Sounds like there's two issues with the OP: 1) muscle memory from doing the same exercise for so long; and 2) slower metabolism as the body adjusted itself to lower calorie intake. Solutions: 1) change up the workouts. Regular stationary bikes are great at slimming thighs (although you don't burn as many calories as running or the elliptical since you're not bearing your body weight, the machine is) so you need to go a long time. If you're doing squats when lifting weights, STOP! Very bulking. Rather, do lunges - very slimming and hits a lot of muscle groups. If your knees, like mine, can't take this, do the leg press machine. If you have the machine where your body moves back (vs. your legs pushing weight out) this is best for your back. 2) Be sure to change up your exercise routines but pushing yourself on weights (at least some days), do exercises in different order, etc. 3) You'll have to increase your caloric intake to get your metabolism working normally. The fastest way to do this is to take in more calories than you normally should eat for your body and activity level, then reduce to the appropriate level. This takes time and patience, as you may gain a little weight at first as it adjusts. Here's an interesting (although extreme) article on the subject.

Good luck!


Thursday, June 28, 2007, 2:08 PM

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Thank you so much to the last poster! That makes perfect sense about starvation mode...with the amount of activity I add in daily, I know from online calculators that I need at least 1800 cals. a day, if not more. I also know for a fact that I definitely was not consistently eating 1200 calories per day...sometimes even less. I would, occassionally, binge...usually on the weekends with friends, but that probably wasn't enough to kickstart my metabolism. And, as the article says, you will notice a weight gain from about 6-8 pounds due to water! This has happened for me, and while it is frustrating, it has been propelling me to change up my workout. I've also begun a waitressing job, so I'm even going to assume that I may need to cut back on my cardio in order to keep up with my food intake. I think that article may be exactly what happened to my used to a low calorie diet that now its rebelling when I've begun to eat normally. Well, consider it a science experiment!

Friday, June 29, 2007, 8:14 AM

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this is a popular related thread:

How To Get Rid Of Fat Inner Thighs


Friday, October 01, 2010, 8:57 AM

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Related PEERtrainer Articles:

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Thursday, June 25, 2020, 3:57 AM

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