The excess fat around your waist and abdomen can be called love handles, muffin top, or even belly bulge. Regardless of the name, getting rid of the weight around your middle is one of the biggest weight loss challenges because it is so easy to get, yet so hard to lose. While most would say the secret to losing your muffin top is liposuction, most studies have shown that a healthier diet as well as cardiovascular exercise are the most effective methods when it comes to battling your belly bulge.
What causes muffin top?
Poor posture: Our skeleton is what keeps everything balanced. When we hunch our shoulders or alter our posture in any way, it pulls our skeletons out of balance. The spine and hips are pushed forward, which causes the abdomen to bulge out resulting in a muffin top.
Lack of sleep and stress: When you are not getting enough sleep and are constantly worried about every little thing, your brain will release adrenaline and cortisol. This means that your body will store sugar in the form of fat leading to excess fat all over, including the stomach.
Eating habits and digestion: If you are constantly consuming sugary drinks as well as processed foods, your body will store these sugars and fats and cause you to gain weight. Additionally, digestion issues could be one of the culprits for your muffin top. For example, if you go to sleep on a full stomach, you aren’t allowing your body the chance to burn off some of the calories. This will cause bloating and an increase of belly fat.
Age and gender: Women store fat in their hips, thighs, and abdomen most of their lives, however, once a woman becomes pregnant the abdomen is stretched. This makes it easier for muffin top to develop later in life. Men are prone to a bulging belly because of androgen, a hormone that controls physique. In regards to age, both men and women lose muscle mass as they get older. Their metabolism also slows dramatically, which makes it easier to retain fat in areas like the abdomen.
How can I get rid of my muffin top?
To get rid of your excess belly fat, it is important to improve your diet. Here are some eating methods to implement in your daily life to make losing weight easier:
Refrain from distracted eating: Do you eat while driving, reading, or even talking on the phone? If you answered yes to any of these activities, you are a distracted eater. Distracted eaters tend to consume more food and this can lead to an increase in weight. To combat this dilemma, set aside certain meal times. This will prohibit you from being distracted and overeating.
Limit the size of your portions: Eating small meals throughout the day will allow your body to burn calories easier and will limit the amount of fat your body retains.
Get rid of high calorie drinks: You may not realize it but juices, sodas, and alcoholic beverages contain just as many calories as food does. Instead of drinking these beverages, replace them with water or sugar-free teas.
Eat foods with fiber: Fiber slows digestions and allows food to enter your bloodstream slower. This makes it easier to burn off. Collard greens, peas, and Brussels sprouts are fiber filled vegetables that are great to include in your diet.
Consume more protein: Protein is beneficial to your diet in many ways. It stops your body from digesting food too rapidly, increases your metabolism, and decreases the amount of fat that your stomach retains.
Reduce your sodium consumption: Salt will cause your body to hold onto excess waters and gases, which will result in a muffin top.
Exercising is another key component when it comes to losing the muffin top. From cardiovascular activities to going on a simple walk around your neighborhood, there are a number of workouts you can do to rid yourself of that belly fat. Here are a few exercise techniques that will help you accomplish you weight loss goal:
Engage in strength training activities: Doing these types of exercises will help you increase the amount of muscle you have. This will make it easier to burn fat and decrease the size of your belly bulge. Some examples of strength training exercises include the dolphin plank and superman.
- Dolphin plank: Begin by laying face down. Raise your body into a plank position and then inhale so that your body is in an inverted V position. Pause for a moment and then return to your starting position. Do this exercise three times with 15 repetitions.
- Superman: Start by laying face down with your arms and legs extended. Take a deep breath and raise your arms and legs as high as possible. Then, exhale and return to your beginning position. Repeat this exercise three times with 15 repetitions.
Tighten your side muscles: Your waistline will be toned by working out each side of your abdomen muscles. Leg lifts are an easy exercise you can do anywhere to strengthen your side muscles. Start by laying on one side and then raise and lower your top leg. Repeat this movement with the opposite leg.
Do more cardiovascular exercises: Cardio will force your body to work harder and burn more calories. By burning a large number of calories, you will also burn away the fat that is causing your muffin top. Zumba, swimming, and cycling are a few examples of cardiovascular exercises.
Perform ab workouts: While these exercises alone will not get rid of your belly bulge, ab workouts will help to tighten the abdominal muscles. Sit-ups are one of the most common and effective exercises you can do to help get rid of your love handles.