The calves are not normally not an area conducive to fat storage. However, it happens that some people are complex about their size and / or no longer manage to wear shoes as they would like. If this is your case, know that there are solutions to refine them and find more comfort and peace of mind in everyday life. Follow the leader !
The calves are the muscles at the back of the lower leg, between the knee and the ankle. They are made up of two main muscle groups (the gastrocnemius muscle – the most visible and bulky – and the soleus muscle) and are supported by a complex network of tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Their role is essential : they are responsible for movements such as plantar flexion (tip of the feet down) and are used during walking, running, jumping and other activities that involve the movement of the ankles. Like any muscle, the more they are used to carry heavy loads, the more they grow.
Many factors can explain their volume, such as diet, physical activity (especially the practice of high impact sports), heredity, metabolism, overweight or obesity, venous insufficiency, fluid retention, medical history, stress, hormonal changes (pregnancy, birth control pill, menopause, etc.), etc. The distribution and storage of fats are therefore very variable depending on the person. And in some families, for example, there is a tendency to store more in the arms, thighs, buttocks, etc.
As a reminder, the perfect body does not exist! We always have something to complain about about our height, face shape, skin quality, hair color, etc. It is legitimate to want to refine your calves for aesthetic reasons, but you have to wonder about the reasons behind this change: your body deserves respect and your aesthetic choices should never be dictated by the eyes of others! If necessary, do not hesitate to seek the support of a professional to strengthen your self-esteem and feel more confident on this point.
Weight loss is a complex process that relies on the concept of energy balance, i.e. the ratio between the calories we consume through our diet and the calories we expend through our physical activities and the functioning of our body. “When we expend more calories than we consume, our body begins to dip into fat reserves to compensate for the calorie deficit, thus leading to an overall weight loss, explains Pauline Bruel. »
At the risk of disappointing you, therefore, targeted weight loss does not exist! “It’s a very widespread idea, but unrealistic from a physiological point of view”, underlines Dr. Barrault, sports doctor. In other words, it is impossible to lose weight only in the calves (just as it is impossible to lose weight specifically in the thighs, chest, arms, knees, stomach, love handles or calves). In fact, when we lose weight, our body tends to ” lose weight everywhere – and potentially a bit of the calves, provided you don’t put too much strain on them. It is therefore possible to adapt your diet and your degree of physical activity to lose weight and hope to refine your calves. To do this, call on certified experts who will be able to establish an appropriate action plan.
It is well known, it is impossible to lose thighs without make some effort on the plate ! However, there is no question of jumping on unbalanced restrictive diets, which can be the cause of deficiencies, frustrations, yo-yo effects and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, insists Pauline Bruel. Moreover, weight loss should be gradualbecause losing weight too quickly can have serious consequences on our body.
And the dietician summarizes: “To lose weight, you don’t necessarily have to eat less, but you have to eat better. Food must remain a source of pleasure!”.
In reality, no food in itself allows you to lose weight. To lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way, you must not neglect any essential nutrient (animal and vegetable proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, etc.). Slightly reduce portions and limit bad fats and sugar. And if you suffer from water retention, do not abuse the salt shaker and avoid consuming prepared meals, which are often high in sodium. In parallel, do not skip any mealstake the time to chew well and don’t forget to drink at least 1.5 L of water per day to promote the elimination of fat. If necessary, do not hesitate to consult a nutritionist to help you rebalance your diet.
Regular physical activity (at least twice a week) is essential to induce a calorie deficit and induce an overall weight loss. Sport makes it possible to increase muscle mass – and therefore to burn more calories during exercise and at rest. However, we must choose wisely, because some activities could over-strengthen our calves, thus making them “swell”.
The best sports to refine your calves? Running, swimming, cycling (indoors or outdoors) and any other endurance sport that allows you to lose weight by limiting muscle gain. What sports should you ideally avoid? High-impact sports, such as badminton, basketball, handball, volleyball or even skipping rope, which may increase the curve of your calves. The important thing is to choose a sport you like to train over time, without losing motivation! Also remember that it takes a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise to start burning stored fat, and that stretching well at the end of a session is essential.
In addition, consider boosting your basic metabolism by increasing your daily energy expenditure: get off a few bus or metro stops before your usual station, favor cycling or walking, etc. As a reminder, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is necessary to carry out at least 10,000 steps per day to stay in shape, preserve your health and control your weight.
Several tips can help you quickly find slimmer calves:
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