To reiterate what many have already said: you can't target fat loss. You can only target with muscle development. Sometimes if your core is weak, strengthening your core can make you look leaner, but every body is different.
What I'd recommend: strengthen your legs.
If you're worried about losing fat in your legs when you lose weight, adding muscle will offset this. And as a bonus, if you're a complete noob at the gym, it's totally possible to get stronger and lose weight at the same time.
Where I would disagree with some of the previous posts is I would not recommend you to run. Or rather, I would recommend you to limit cardio that has high impact on your legs. Running will actually make your leg muscles leaner, which is the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve.
Besides, cardio is less crucial for weight loss, and there are low impact forms of cardio like elliptical and cycling that will elevate your heart rate, but not lean out your leg muscles.
Nutrition is how you lose weight. If you consume fewer calories than your body burns, you will lose weight.
I won't go into the science, but your body has an "ideal" weight (which is different for everyone) that it will try to go back to, and your body will naturally try to preserve fat as much as possible. Meaning if you eat less, your body will become more efficient and burn fewer calories.
The best way to lose weight is to track your calories over time, and just keep lowering your calories by 100 until you start to see weight loss, and only lower it further when you start to plateau. Keep a journal of how much you think you ate, and always subtract calories burned from exercise (so if you workout, you eat more). A good rule of thumb for someone your size is around 1 pound of weight loss per week. Any more than that would likely be unhealthy/not possible.
For example, let's say of you eat 2000 calories and your weight stays the same for two weeks. Lower your calories to 1900. If you only lost 1 pound over two weeks, try lowering your calories by another 100 to 1800. If you do cardio for an hour, and you burn 900 calories, eat 2700 calories that day. Burned calories are not free! You'll just starve yourself and it will make you more likely to cheat and fall off the wagon.
There's a lot to track, and weight loss happens slowly. This is why having professional assistance can be critical. It's also totally possible to be discouraged by misleading measurements. For example, you eat one salty meal and suddenly your body is holding 3 extra pounds of water weight the next morning. Measure your weight everyday to eliminate the error from natural fluctuations
Body development is a slow process, and it's entirely possible that your body is not physically able to attain the shape you want. Always mitigate your expectations and focus on short-term goals: I want to lose 4 pounds by the end of the month or I want to squat 135 lbs by the summer.
EDIT: I forgot to mention, always weigh yourself at the same time everyday, wearing the same clothes or naked. Please keep in mind your body naturally fluctuates in weight. A difference in 3-5 pounds with no change in body composition is normal. Heavier people can have even wider swings. Just because you are 5 pounds lighter after a week of dieting does not mean you lost 5 pounds of fat. It's just water loss and less food in your digestive tract. Weight loss takes time. Lots of it.
Last edited by IvorEvilen - on 25 February 2020