Obesity and Weight Loss from Mid-Thighs
In older obese women, mid-thigh fat deposits are associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes and lipid disorders.
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, demonstrated that a regime of low-intensity walking combined with weight loss could specifically reduce mid thigh fat while improving glucose metabolism as well as lipid metabolic risk factors for CVD.
Women with the most mid-thigh fat at baseline lost the most fat and gained the most muscle in this region and realized the greatest improvements in glucose metabolism.
The 24 subjects were all overweight non-smokers averaging 58 years old, were not receiving hormone replacement therapy, and had no overt evidence of any disease. During the 6 month weight loss intervention, the women attended weekly classes led by a registered dietitian who provided them with instruction in the principles of a fat reducing diet conforming to American Heart Association guidelines. Additionally they were encouraged to perform low-intensity walking 3 days per week, with one of the weekly walking sessions performed on a treadmill at an exercise facility associated with the research site.
At the conclusion of treatment, the women’s body weight and body mass index had decreased by an average of 8%; waist and hip circumferences had decreased by 4%; and the walking intervention produced an overall 8% increase in aerobic capacity. There was a significant 4% decrease in the circumference of the midthigh which, when assessed using a CT scan, showed a 16% decrease in fat and a 7% increase in muscle.
The combination of moderate weight loss and increased physical fitness in the mid-thigh area was associated with an array of extended health benefits for the women in this study.
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Weight Loss Advice
No matter how much excess weight or fat you have, if you want to lose weight permanently, your diet program should be directed toward a slow, steady weight loss. According to official government dietary guidelines, unless your doctor feels your particular health condition would benefit from more rapid weight loss, you should expect to lose no more than 2 pounds of fat a week, although initial loss (mainly water) may be greater. Losing more weight is no guarantee that weight loss is likely to be permanent.