Does your self-confidence suffer due to feeling like your calves and ankles are thicker than you would like them to be? While you may have vowed to only wear pants that cover what you perceive as your “problem areas,” you may become eager to begin wearing those short skirts and even capri pants again after you follow these 9 steps for skinnier calves and ankles!
1. Reduce Your Sodium Intake
Don’t use the salt shaker much? Even if you don’t purposely add salt to your foods, you may be eating packaged foods that are filled with sodium. Start keeping an eye on the nutrition labels of the foods you eat and reduce your intake of any that are high in sodium.
How will reducing your sodium intake slim your calves and ankles? When you eat too much sodium, your body retains more water. This can lead to many parts of your body appearing “plumper” than they really are. Once you cut down the sodium you eat, you may notice that your calves and ankles begin to look slimmer almost overnight!
2. Drink Plenty Of Water
You likely already know that you should drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day to stay in overall good health, but you may not realize that when you don’t drink enough water, it causes your body to hold onto more water as a self-preservation tactic. When you begin to drink plenty of water, your body goes out of self-preservation mode and releases the extra water.
As your body releases stored water, you can also quickly notice your calves and ankles appearing slimmer right before your very eyes!
3. Do You Work Out? Avoid Calf-Bulking Exercises
Many people who have thick ankles and calves begin to perform exercises that target these areas of the body in an attempt to spot reduce. This plan can quickly back-fire and cause your calves and ankles to become even larger!
Why does this happen? No exercise can cause your body to burn fat in just one area of your body, unfortunately. Once you begin performing exercises that target your calves and ankles, instead of shedding fat, you begin to build muscle in those areas. Added muscle in your calves and ankles can make them look even bulkier.
4. Try These Exercises Instead
If you want to shed fat from your calves and ankles, the only way to do it is to perform exercises that burn fat from your entire body. The best exercises to burn fat without causing your calves and ankles to bulk-up include walking, yoga, pilates, and other low-impact aerobic exercises.
Avoid the stair-climber and elliptical machines, because while they both burn calories, they also work your calves and ankles hard, which can increase the amount of muscle you have in the areas.
5. Wear Calf Compression Sleeves at Night
Another easy way to reduce water retention in your ankles and calves that makes them look thicker is to wear calf compression sleeves at night. The slight pressure they put on your calves and ankles can help prevent fluid from accumulating in the areas while you sleep and lead to thinner calves and ankles during the daytime.
6. Wear Dark Stockings Under Skirts and Dresses
An easy way to make your legs, including your ankles and calves, look slimmer when you are wearing skirts, dresses, and even shorts, is to wear a pair of dark-colored stockings under them.
Why choose dark colors? Light clothing colors, such as white, can make areas of your body appear larger, while dark colors make them look smaller. Don’t like the look of colored stockings? Just wear a pair that is about one skin-tone darker than yours, and your calves and ankles will look skinnier without anyone even noticing that you are wearing stockings!
7. Too Warm for Stockings? Try This Sunless Tanner Trick Instead
During the spring and summer when it is just too hot to wear stockings, you can create the same visual trick that wearing dark stockings creates by applying self-tanning lotion strategically.
The trick is to use it all over your body one night to create a very light tan all over. Then, apply an extra coat to only your ankles and calves. No one will notice that they are a bit darker than the rest of your body, but you will notice the difference when your calves and ankles look slimmer!
8. Wear Shoes that Make Your Calves and Ankles Look Slimmer
While you may know that the right pair of shoes can make or break the look of an entire outfit, you may not realize that the right pair of shoes can also make your calves and ankles look skinnier.
Avoid flats, shoes with ankle straps, white shoes, kitten heels, clogs, and any shoes with a chunky heel.
Instead, wear dark-colored shoes with thin, stacked heels when you want to look your best. When you must wear flats, just make sure they are also dark in color and don’t have ankle straps.
9. Choose The Right Skirt Styles
Just as the right shoes can make your calves and ankles look slimmer, the right skirt can, as well. Wear skirts that are full and move with you as you walk and avoid slim, fitted skirts.
Also, make sure the hemline of your skirt ends at an area of your legs that you like the look of most! The only skirt length you want to avoid is one that ends right at your calves or ankles. Instead, you can wear mini-skirts that draw attention to those great thighs or full-length maxi skirts.
Do you dislike the appearance of your thick calves and ankles? Follow these 9 tips for skinnier calves and ankles and you can finally begin to feel confident when looking into that full-length mirror!