What Are Saddlebags & How Do I Get Rid of Them?
Most of us have parts of our bodies that we don’t exactly love. Perhaps you carry extra weight around your middle, or maybe you really want to tone up your arms. For many Americans – women in particular – saddlebags are a common “problem” area.
Saddlebags are the fat deposits found on your outer thighs. This type of fat can be easy to gain, but difficult to lose. Fortunately, there are ways to get rid of your saddlebags – starting with an effective weight loss program.
At Ideal You, we help you improve your metabolism so that you can burn fat more effectively. Depending on your unique body chemistry and other factors, your weight loss could even include dropping your stubborn saddlebags.
What You Need to Know About Saddlebags
Saddlebags are the name commonly used to refer to the fat that accumulates on the outer thighs, just below your bottom. There is no actual body part known as the saddlebag. Instead, this name is a reference to the bags that commonly hang off of a horse’s saddle.
Saddlebag fat is more common in women than in men. This is due to a number of factors, such as women having larger pelvises than men. Biology also plays a role in saddlebag fat: particularly during their reproductive years, women tend to accumulate fat around their hips, thighs and butts. The hormone estrogen also triggers the accumulation of this type of fat during pregnancy.
In addition, genetics play a role in the development of saddlebags. While it isn’t guaranteed, if your mother, aunts, or grandmother(s) had saddlebags, there is a good chance that you will have them as well.
How Can I Get Rid of Saddlebags?
Getting rid of saddlebags can be a challenge, particularly if you are genetically predisposed to have them. While a weight loss company may claim that they can reduce fat in this particular area (or another “problem” area), the reality is that the only way to get rid of saddlebags is to reduce your weight overall.
This starts with a change to your diet. Processed foods can be delicious, but they can also lead you to pile on the weight. The same goes for simple carbs (like french fries or a cookie) and fast food.
Instead, you should work to incorporate healthy carbs into your diet, like whole grains. Adding vegetables, fruit, and sources of protein (like fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, and some meats) can help your body burn more fat.
At the same time, try to reduce overeating. In an era of super-sized portions, it is all too easy to take in far more calories than you need. Keeping a food diary can help you track what you eat – and may even help you lose even more weight than you otherwise would.
While exercise isn’t strictly necessary for weight loss, it can help. Incorporating some form of daily activity into your routine can help you burn fat and calories. This can be as simple as taking a walk at lunch, dancing around your house, or going for a hike. Regular cardiovascular exercise can help you burn calories, which can allow you to drop fat – including in the outer thigh area.
Certain exercises can also help you reduce saddlebag fat. Building up your muscles in this area (where your hamstrings meet the gluteus maximus muscles) can tone the entire area and help to reduce the appearance of saddlebags. To gain strength in your thighs, you could try yoga or pilates, squats, lunges, hip extensions and hip raises, and balancing on a single leg.
Of course, it doesn’t matter how much exercise you do if you aren’t careful about what you eat. Taking in too many calories will sabotage your weight loss efforts no matter how many minutes you log at the gym. Focusing on your diet is critical to any weight loss plan.
In addition to what you eat, there are a range of other factors that can affect your ability to lose weight, from sleep to hydration to stress. If you find yourself stressed out, dehydrated and not getting enough sleep, you won’t be able to drop pounds regardless of what you eat or how much you work out.
At Ideal You, we take a holistic approach to weight loss. We know that diets don’t work. Our program allows you to eat real food and addresses the things that can cause you to gain weight and have trouble losing it. With this comprehensive strategy, you can lose weight quickly and safely – and keep it off. That includes extra fat stored around your hips, thighs, and butt.
While it isn’t possible to simply “spot reduce” a particular area of your body, improving your overall health can help to make your saddlebags smaller. Lowering your body weight is the best way to get rid of saddlebags, even if you are genetically predisposed to them. Remember that saddlebags are deposits of fat, so by dropping excess weight, you can usually reduce your saddlebags as well.
Ready to Make a Change?
As anyone who has ever battled their weight knows, dropping excess fat can be incredibly hard. While it is all too easy for most of us to put on pounds, shedding weight is much, much harder. This includes losing weight in “problem areas” like saddlebags.
At Ideal You, we understand this struggle. We offer a safe, sustainable weight loss program. With Ideal You, you won’t have to buy gross shakes or special food. Instead, you’ll eat real food, take all-natural supplements, use a weight loss journal, and work with a team of weight loss coaches to reach your goal weight.