Most women have at least some body fat somewhere on their bodies. Sometimes, it is carried all in one area of the body, like the stomach area, and sometimes, it is distributed all over the body instead. But, some women carry their fat in their hip or thigh areas, creating a type of human saddle bag look that is similar to the saddle bags that hang from a motorcycle or behind a horse’s saddle. Many people attribute it to body fat.
The term "saddlebags" used to describe a pair of bags (or pouches) that hung over the backside of a horse. Riders used it for carrying their items. However, it is also a term now used to describe women who have larger than normal hip and thigh fat. Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “a bulge of lumpy fat in the outer area of the thigh.”
Body Fat Produces Saddlebags
Fat can be deposited anywhere in the body; however, women have a tendency to store it in two or three key places: the abdominal area, the hips or the thighs. Although most women would prefer not to have fat at all, if you have to have it, you do want it on your thighs or hips instead of around your belly. The reason for this is due to the type of fat each body part stores and how detrimental one type is in comparison to another. The two types are subcutaneous and visceral.
This type of fat is the most detrimental to a person’s health and can lead to all kinds of medical problems. This is due to several reasons. One reason is this kind of fat is generally found deep in the abdominal cavity of the body, wrapped around the heart, liver and other organs of the body; therefore, it has more of an impact on our health than fat located in the lower part of our bodies.
If you can physically see--or feel--the fat on your body or you can pinch an inch as some people say, that is subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat lies just beneath the skin, and having some of it is considered essential to life--but only so much is needed in that way, of course. Our bodies use some subcutaneous fat to insulate us, keeping us warm during the winter. But, an abundance of this type of fat is also detrimental to our health. However, subcutaneous fat is far better to carry on your body than visceral fat, because it presents fewer serious health concerns. It is this type of fat that is located on the thighs of women, thus prompting the term saddlebags.
Getting rid of saddlebags isn't as hard as you might think. "Fitness" magazine's online May 2009 issue provides five exercises that can help you fight the fat that creates your saddlebags (see Resources). In addition to exercises that target this problem area, it is also important to reduce unnecessary fat from your diet as well. Since fat is the culprit for saddlebags, it will take the exercise and diet combination to successfully eradicate it from your thighs or hips, but it can be done.