With the right diet and workout, muffin top can be reduced. (Image via Pexels/Andres Aryton)

What Is a Muffin Top and How to Get Rid of It?

You might have heard the term 'muffin top'. This word can lead some people to feel insecure about an area of fat in their body.

They might start pulling down their shirts or wearing loose-fitting pants to cover up this area. However, having extra fat around this area is normal. Fortunately, there are ways to slim down this region while still looking and feeling great.


What is a Muffin Top?


Muffin top is a slang term used to describe an accumulation of fat above the waistband in tight-fitting pants. People who're overweight often have excess fat around their waists.

It's a type of fat called visceral fat that surrounds the abdominal organs and other internal organs in the body. Subcutaneous fat (the soft, pinchable fat just below the skin) is also a type of fat you can see in the body.


What Causes a Muffin Top?

There are various reasons why muffin top can accumulate in the body. Let's look at five common reasons :


1) Age

Muffin tops are common in middle age, but they can show up at any time. They're caused by a hormonal change that happens during menopause — when estrogen levels drop, stress hormones like cortisol go up.

That combination leads to fat build-up around the waist and tummy. Not everyone gets a muffin top as they get older. People who don't tend to be more physically active and focused on keeping their body healthy are likely to get a muffin top.

2) Chronic Stress

The body has a way of responding to stress. When you're under pressure, the adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol instructs the liver to produce more glucose so that the body has a ready source of fuel. It also makes you hungry for calorie-dense foods, including fat and sugar.

The liver, like the muffin top, is in danger of accumulating excess fat, and that can make you sick.


3) Lack of sleep

Too little sleep raises cortisol level, which causes you to store more fat in the belly and around your waist. That's because stress hormones like cortisol are mobilized by the body in response to stressors, like not sleeping enough. Insufficient quality sleep also raises cortisol levels.

4) Consuming Junk Food

If you eat an ultra-processed diet, your waistline will grow. Sugar in drinks and fruit juice is also a culprit.

Eat whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice, and avoid starchy foods such as white rice and pasta. If you want to lose weight, you might consider following the Mediterranean diet, which has been linked wotj a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

5) Not working out

One of the most effective ways to get rid of a muffin top is to cut back on cardio and up your strength training.

If you’re doing hours of cardio each week, you might be stressed out enough already and not getting into the fat-burning zone. Switching some of that moderate-intensity cardio for high-intensity intervals can help you get leaner while challenging your body in new ways.


Best Ways to Lose Muffin Top

Now that you know some of the main causes of excess belly fat, we will share with you a few strategies for reducing belly fat and getting rid of muffin top:

1) Eating a clean diet

The more calories you eat than your body needs, the more likely you're to gain unwanted weight. Eating clean is a way to ensure you do not take in more calories than you expend.

To get rid of muffin top fat, focus on eating primarily whole foods. Fill your plate with fiber-filled vegetables, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fats. Here're some high-protein, low-calorie breakfast ideas that can help you get the energy you need without adding extra calories to your day.

2) Getting enough sleep

Getting enough sleep helps lose weight, feel happier, and reduce risk of diabetes. No one can function at their best without a good night's sleep. Put away your phone, and stick to a sleep schedule that works for you.


3) Strengthening the core

Strengthening the transverse abdominis muscle can improve your curves, protect the back, and help you achieve better posture.

Pilates is a great way to learn how to make this core muscle strong. When you have a strong core, you are be able to tone your tummy and get rid of muffin top. Moreover, you will be better able to prevent injuries as well.

4) Doing HIIT Exercises

HIIT training — alternating between intervals of intense activity and rest for 20-30 seconds — is an efficient way to burn calories and keep your metabolism elevated all day.


Losing belly fat involves addressing each of the aforementioned common causes. You may not see results if you eliminate one cause, as your issue could be caused by another. So before choosing a strategy to lose belly fat, take the time to identify which factors are responsible for your muffin top.

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