Get rid of your muffin top for good
A lot of people can relate to the annoying muffin top dilemma and search for solutions on “How to lose the muffin top”.
While muffin tops as baked goods are desirable, muffin tops on your body are the opposite.
It is always in the way when you want to wear your favorite jeans or unpleasantly shows in tight shirts.
No matter how hard you try to get rid of your muffin top, it is always the last place where you lose weight. And unfortunately, it´s the first where you gain weight.
But don´t give up. It is not impossible to lose your muffin top. With the right nutrition, regular exercise and a change to a healthy lifestyle you will get there.
What is belly fat?
The name says it already, the belly fat aka muffin top is around the midsection of your body. It is visible prominently and hard to hide.
The look of it is one thing but what is even more important, belly fat is actually very harmful to your health. That means to get rid of your muffin top it should not only be a goal for optical reasons. It should be health reasons in the first place.
Excess body fat is annoying at any part of our body. It´s most of the time for optical reasons we want to lose it. Belly fat or „visceral fat“ is linked to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a whole lot more diseases.
Visceral fat is also known as organ fat. It is stored between internal organs and the torso. Visceral fat is a combination of different types of fats. It is also known as central obesity or (what most men can rely to) „beer belly“.
The fat on your legs, for example, is a different kind of fat. This is called subcutaneous fat. This kind of fat is stored underneath your skin.
15 proven ways to lose your muffin top
Maybe you know the saying: „You are what you eat!“ These 5 words sum it up pretty well.
I get it, there are many temptations around us all the time. And our sweet tooth that is demanding chocolate, cake, fizzy drinks, gummy bears you name it. If you put in all of these foods you can´t expect a model-like body.
All the excess sugar, fat and chemicals end up in your body. The body is overwhelmed and can´t metabolize all the food.
So, you not only have to eat according to your energy consumption. You have to eat nutrient-dense food to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fat, carbs and protein. Your body will thank you for that and give you the most energy you ever had and the best shape of your life.
That actually leads to point number 2. The “right” diet matters.
2. Nutrient-dense diet
A calorie doesn´t equal a calorie.
From a thermodynamics perspective, you can say that 500 kcal from one food equal the 500 kcal from the other food. I will give you an example to make it more clear: you walk 5 miles and burn 500 kcal (hypothetical). Nothing gained and nothing lost in regards to body weight.
Of course, calories do matter! Let´s compare extremes:
1.000 kcal = 20 apples (including vitamins, minerals, fiber)
1.000 kcal = 4 Snickers Bars (including fat, sugar)
It´s not only the numbers that count it´s more important what´s wrapped around those numbers. Are the 1.000 kcal in the shape of a Snickers Bar or are the 1.000 kcal wrapped in a healthy, nutritious apple? The nutritional quality of a Snickers Bar can never be the same than the quality of an apple. I´m sure we can agree on that.
What is heavier? One pound of bricks or one pound of feathers?
Sure, the weight is the same but the material couldn´t be any more different.
The quality of your food is important not the quantity.
To get rid of your muffin top for good your diet should consist of lots of veggies, fruits, nuts, healthy fats, lean protein and whole grains.
3. Cut down the booze cruise
I have bad news for you. It is true what they say, yes you can drink your calories!
Every glass of red wine, beer, cocktail, and liquor has calories. Alcohol has more calories than carbs.
As you can see, alcohol adds to your calorie intake big time. And it gets even worse when you are drinking cocktails. Hard Liquor plus sugar loaded juice will let your muffin top grow.
Alcohol has more negative effects besides the calories. It can result in a nutrient deficiency.
If you drink too much alcohol regularly it´s likely that you will have a Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) deficit. Alcohol gets metabolized like carbohydrates. And for the carb metabolism B1 is necessary. The more alcohol you drink the more B1 is used.
To fill up your Vitamin B1 stores, these foods are helpful:
- nutritional yeast
- whole grain
- wheat germs
- green beans
4. Stress less
Stress has so many negative impacts on your health. People with high-stress levels need more vitamins because their body is exposed to the aggressive oxidation processes. After the damage is done, there is a loss of proper cell function.
There are several studies that link stress to overeating that results in weight gain.
Stress releases hormones (cortisol), that make you crave high fat, sugary foods. Cortisol increases your appetite and will also mess with your motivation in general. Sadly, that includes the motivation to eat healthy too.
After the stressful episode is over, cortisol levels should decline again. But if the stress continues cortisol will remain elevated.
However, the effects of stress and cortisol levels vary from person to person.
People that respond to stress with high cortisol levels are more likely to treat themselves with snacks to calm down the troubles.
To get rid of your muffin top try to reduce stress to a minimum. I know, it is easier said than done. But now that you know the connection between stress and stubborn muffin top it might help.
5. Increase your protein intake
Protein-rich foods keep you full for longer and are more satisfying.
Just try it by adding more high protein foods to your meals. Increase your intake gradually and observe what happens.
Keep in mind to eat everything in moderation. Even the healthy protein-rich foods have calories.
If you wonder why protein keeps you full for longer, here comes your answer!
First of all, protein has vital responsibilities in your body. Way more than only make you feel full for a longer time.
We need protein to build and repair cells, build muscle mass, healthy organs, and tight skin.
The recommended protein intake should be 10-15 % of your daily calorie intake. To give you a number, that equals approximately 50-80 gr.
Protein takes more energy for you to digest than refined carbs. Plus it gives you a more satisfied feeling.
To get rid of your muffin top you should not jump to a protein only diet! That will be contra productive.
Balance is Key!
Digesting protein releases acids in your blood stream. Your body neutralizes the acids with calcium. If there is not enough calcium from your food intake in the system, it will be pulled from your bones. As a worst case scenario, you can suffer from osteoporosis.
Here is something you might experience when you have a protein-rich meal right before bed. Let´s say you have a tasty protein shake right before bedtime to melt away your muffin top. The chances are good that you have to take an extra stop at the bathroom later that night.
When you are eating more protein, nitrogen levels will rise. The kidney metabolizes the nitrogen and as a result, you have to visit the bathroom more often.
Choose the most natural protein sources to melt the muffin top. Perfect protein-rich foods are:
- low-fat dairy products
6. Avoid sugary foods
That´s a no-brainer, of course. Sugar is bad in so many ways! It makes losing your muffin top impossible.
When your sweet tooth overwhelms you and you end up binging on your favorite chocolate bars, baked goods, crunchy cereals. Whatever your sugary weakness looks like, the sugar crystals in your bloodstream harm your vessels.
The sharp little crystals will leave a mark everywhere they come along. The initial smooth inner surface of the vessels gets rough after time. Harmful deposits stick at these rough places and make the vessels become constricted. If that happens to your vessels that lead to your heart or brain it results in a heart attack or stroke.
As you can see, eating healthy is not only vital for optical reasons. It´s even more important to what is going on inside of your body!
Sugar is a Vitamin B1 killer. If you are eating a lot of sugar the chances are high that you will develop a Vitamin B1 deficiency. To metabolize sugars Vitamin B1 has to be present.
Sugar not only lets your muffin top grow it also makes you look old! Yes, you read that right. Sugar molecules tie themselves to protein molecules. As a result, the proteins lose their flexibility and that adds to the aging process.
7. Use coconut oil more often for cooking
Coconut oil is an amazing product from mother nature. It is nutrient dense, anti-oxidative, and has an amazing taste. On top of that coconut oil is easy to digest.
Coconut oil is an MCT oil (MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides). Triglycerides are the main constituents of natural fats and oils. Sometimes they are also called “lipids”.
When you think of your muffin top, you think of triglycerides. They are the end product of digesting and breaking down fats in food. All dietary fats are molecules made up of carbon atoms linked in chains.
To get rid of your muffin top this benefit of MCTs comes in handy: medium-chain triglycerides are absorbed intact and directly delivered to the liver for energy usage. This makes them a fast energy source and less likely to be stored as fat.
The fats with longer chains have to be broken down in the intestines first.
8. Keep track of your food intake
It is important to eat everything in moderation. If a food is healthy that doesn´t mean it is calorie free. Healthy foods have calories too!
You can use tracking apps on your phone like myfitnesspal. If you track your meals for a few weeks then you have a good overview of the different calorie density of each food.
9. Eat avocados more often
Did you know that avocado is actually a fruit? It has a very high fat content (322 kcal and 30 gr. fat). That is more than most other healthy foods have.
Avocados are high in anti-oxidants. They fight free radicals. Free radicals are destructive oxygen molecules (a natural byproduct of metabolism). They destroy cells and cause several kinds of health problems. Antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables act like a neutralizer for free radicals.
Damaged cells can´t work properly and your metabolism runs less efficient. As a result, you have a hard time to get rid of your muffin top for good.
Avocados are satisfying and keep you full for longer. This is linked to the high calories plus it is a good source of fiber.
10. No sweet drinks
Sweet drinks like your favorite ice tea or a fizzy lemonade will go straight to your muffin top. It is so easy to increase your calorie intake when you drink sweet drinks.
There is no chewing involved that would slow down the time of the calorie intake.
The bulk of calories reaches the liver unchecked. The liver, therefore, can´t metabolize that high amount of calories at once. Every calorie the liver can´t metabolize will be stored as fat.
11. Avoid juices
If you think you can replace the sweet drinks with juices then I have bad news for you.
I wrote an article about “Fructose – is sugar from fruit bad for you?” If you are interested to know more about fructose and weight-loss you should read it.
It is a common misunderstanding that juice must be healthy because the fruit is healthy.
A lot of juices aren´t actually made of any fruits. They are pure chemical products that will do a lot of harm to your health. Always check the nutrition label before you put it into your body. You will be surprised by what you see on the label.
12. Get good sleep regularly
We are used to actively do something to reach our goals. To get rid of your muffin top you take action and change things. But with sleep it is different. You don´t actually physically do anything and that can be the reason this part is highly underestimated.
Sleep deprivation has been linked to weight gain in many kinds of researches.
When you are tired that´s where the vicious circle starts. To keep you awake during the day you lean on constant caffeine intake. You skip your workout. Instead, you order your favorite comfort food and eat it on the couch while watching your favorite tv show.
Sleep deprivation revs up your brain´s reward center. Your brain keeps looking for something that makes you feel good.
Less sleep triggers a cortisol spike. Remember, I talked about cortisol before at the section “Stress less”. This stress hormone signals the body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours.
Within just a few days of bad sleep, your body loses the ability to process insulin. Insulin changes sugar, starches, and other food into energy. When you don´t respond properly to insulin your body has a hard time to process fats from the bloodstream. The fat ends up in your muffin top.
13. Best exercises to get rid of your muffin top
If you want to lose the unwanted fat depots on your body you want to make sure you include regular workouts in your daily routine. Time is valuable so you want to make sure to get the best results from your muffin top workout.
For some people, cardio is the ultimate workout to lose the muffin top. Others swear by lifting weights to lose some pounds.
Here are the facts:
You burn more calories while you are running for example than you burn while lifting weights. But that is only in the moment while you are doing it. Weightlifting (or anaerobic workouts) keeps your post-workout calorie burn going. It actually extends from hours to days.
The extended afterburn effect from weightlifting is because of the greater intensity. The higher the intensity the more oxygen needs your body to repair muscles and recover.
Muscles are the most metabolic active parts of the body. The more muscle mass you have the more effective you burn calories all day. Muscles keep you slim and they are also the perfect anti-aging helper.
In general, I would suggest that the workout you like the most is the best to get rid of your muffin top for good. If you hate lifting weights you will not do that for a long time. It will be a torture for you and you will sooner or later give up.
Let´s say skating is your absolute favorite. Great, then that is the perfect workout for you. It will not be hard for you to include that in your daily routine.
It´s not about fast results it´s about creating a healthy lifestyle with lasting results.
14. Best exercise equipment
A strong core and well-trained midsection help to get rid of your muffin top for good.
While it is not possible to target one desired body part for weight-loss you can support the definition of certain areas with muscle building. Meaning, it is impossible to lose fat only on your left leg for example. If you want your legs to be thinner than you have to be in an overall calorie deficit. Your body decides on its own at what time at what body part the fat will go.
This process is coded in everybody´s DNA and not changeable. Once the muffin top melts off the muscles you worked for will be visible.
My favorite device to form a strong midsection is TRX.
The TRX suspension trainer is something you have to get used to. It is different from everything you have done before. But once you master the tool you will get amazing results.
The TRX has one great benefit. No matter what workout you do with the suspension trainer, the core muscles are always used to stabilize your body. This helps to strengthen the midsection and develop your core stability and posture.
The video below gives you an idea for the best moves to lose your muffin top.
Number 4 is my personal favorite!
15. Change your lifestyle
Don´t worry, you don´t have to change everything at once. Include healthy lifestyle changes step by step into your life. Repeat them over and over again until they become a habit. Once the changes become habitual, they become automatic.
That means you no longer think about them, you simply do it. Habits, once established, use a different part of your brain. You are not thinking of them anymore and therefore they don´t drain your mental energy.
Getting rid of your muffin top isn´t a short term thing!
You are in it for the long term and want to change your life for the better. Health and healthy lifestyle choices should always be your priority.
If you live a healthy life all the optical results will follow too.