The first time I heard someone say “get rid of a muffin top,” I chuckled. Not at those who have one, mind you, but just at the phrase. I think it’s funny, and it’s a great descriptive term. It’s kind of a cute and endearing description. Of course it is. After all, it’s generally used to describe what’s going on on a woman’s body, and we all know that women are more sensitive about the appearance of their bodies than men are. Hah! Nonsense. Have you stepped inside a Men’s fashion store lately? Men are just as self-conscious about their bodies than women are. So, and we’re just guessing here, you are just as likely a man reading this as a woman.
I too am the not-so-proud owner of a muffin top, but since I’m a dude, mine’s actually called a spare tire, which means, of course, that I have a big, ugly, nasty, rubbery donut of fat hanging out above my nether regions. It might not be called a muffin top, but it is essentially the same thing — extra fat around the midsection.
Whatever you call that little roll of fat that pops out above and/or hangs down below your belt line, it can be hard as hell to get rid of. Body fat is a stubborn thing, especially in that region. It is also a potential health hazard, so getting rid of it could help you live longer. I am proud to say that I’ve come a long way in getting rid of mine. To date, I’ve dropped about 60 pounds. And you know what? I’m pretty darn proud of that. I look better, and I feel better. And I know that sounds like an infomercial, but it’s nice to walk down the sidewalk on a windy day and not feel like a soft-serve ice cream cone when the wind plasters my shirt to my body. Be you man or woman, this article can help you learn how to get rid of your muffin top. Just read, apply, and be prepared to accept a few changes in your lifestyle.
Best Ways to Get Rid of a Muffin Top
Out with the bad
We pump an amazing amount of junk food through our bodies, and we know it. Our diets are much more processed, sugary, and unhealthy than they were 100 years ago.
The first thing you need to do for yourself is to go through your fridge, freezer, and cupboards and start getting rid of “foods” that are high in fat, refined sugars, and preservatives. Throw away the Hot Pockets (sorry!) and the Wonder Bread. Get rid of things like fried chips and crackers, and do yourself a huge favor and dump out that soda pop. I don’t have to tell you this; you know what’s bad for you. If you’re truly not sure, read the label. If there’s no label, just toss it. Don’t risk setting yourself back.
In with the good
Now that you’ve got some extra storage space, get to the grocery store and buy yourself some healthy foods. There’s nothing better for weight loss than fruits and vegetables (with an emphasis on vegetables, as they usually have fewer sugars). Many of these are made up almost completely of water, which as we all know is zero calorie. Aside from fruits and vegetables, get some lean meats like fish and poultry. Also, buy yourself some beans. They are good protein and are high in fiber. As far as breads go, just make sure you’re buying whole grains.
In case you feel that whole foods are too expensive to buy, they don’t have to be. Sure, going to a high-end food store is going to cost more than a supermarket. One thing you can do, though, is buy real food like veggies in bulk, prepare them on Sundays, and eat them throughout the week. For lots of people, that simple step helps to create a healthier eating habit.
Change some habits
The problem with habits is that by the time you realize you have them, the can be so engrained in your brain that they are hard to break. But getting rid of bad habits will do more than get rid of your spare tire. It will help you get rid of other fat, your stress, and give you more energy overall.
One of the first things you should do is cut your portions at meal times. Muffin tops hate it when you simply reduce your caloric intake. It’s tough at first, but this will cause your appetite to decrease, and your body will quickly get used to it. It’s also a good idea to eat a number of small meals throughout the day (five or six) instead of the standard three large meals. By eating more often, you will maintain an elevated metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day. When you’re out shopping, read the labels. Actually take the time to look at things like calories and fat content while you’re at the store. And when you feel like you need a snack, instead of a cookie, have some beef jerky, baby carrots, a few nuts, or a glass of cold water.
Additionally, try to have a true “fast” every night. Fasting helps your body in many ways. Start out with making sure there is a good 12-hour period each night, perhaps from 8pm to 8am, where you intake no calories. If you can increase that without affecting your work or other important routines, crank it up.
There’s nothing better for getting rid of muffin tops than cardio. Running, jogging, speed-walking, swimming, dancing, Pilates, kickboxing, working out on an elliptical machine — anything that gets your pulse up is where it’s at. You should do this three times a week at the very, very least and go for around 40 minutes at a time (you might have to start small and work up to that).
The main thing is that you want to get your heart rate up, and ideally break a sweat. If you are doing those two things, your body is working hard enough to be cranking through excess calories. Be sure you stay hydrated while you do this.
After your cardio, do some core work like planks, or crunches, sit-ups, or leg lifts. As far as weight training goes, get some light weights that allow you to do lots of reps. This will allow you to tone your body instead of Hulking out. You can get started at home, especially with the variety of online cardio videos from Amazon, many of them free with Amazon Prime.
You would be shocked by how much a small amount of exercise will help someone who has been sedentary. It is really a gamechanger.
Learn to control your stress levels
You can’t always control what’s going on around you, but you can learn to control how you react to it. And this is important. When you’re stressed out, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. This is the “fight or flight” hormone, and it causes your body to release excess levels of blood sugar. If you don’t use this blood sugar in a “fight or flight” kind of way, it gets stored as fat and makes your muffin top all the sweeter. So chill. Learn to let things roll off of you. Purchase some music that you like, sit quietly, and get lost in it, or better yet, do some yoga. Simple deep breathing exercises are also great.
You might think — what in the world does deep breathing have to do with my muffin top? Your body is a system — and all of the things mentioned above work in concert to improve your health.
Simple Muffin Top Control
Up to this point, I have been focusing on how you can get rid of the excess fat that causes a muffin top. Perhaps you want a quicker fix. Here are some things you can try.
Wear clothing that fits properly
This might mean a trip to a department store, but by wearing clothing that fits you well, especially pants, excess fat is not forced out of place to create a muffin top. Buy some looser, mid-rise pants, and avoid low rise at all costs. If you wear a belt, be sure it is not so tight that you are constricting your midsection and causing the excess flesh to push up or down.
If you don’t want to exercise or want something to help keep your muffin top in check while in the process of losing weight, you may want to consider Spanx. Spanx offers a huge line of body-shaping garments that are designed to keep your body in check. We don’t know your shape or what-not, but here’s a good place to start: Spanx on Amazon.
While this won’t make your muffin top go down at all, it can improve its appearance. Scrub your muffin top vigorously for five minutes a day in the shower. This action is said to stimulate the cells and help to increase blood circulation for a healthier-looking body.
We’ve been getting told to stand up and sit up straight since we were kids. Turns out this simple action can help to tone and strengthen the muscles of your core and thus help you reduce, however slightly, the size and appearance of your muffin top.
Some people who look pretty fit actually have excess fat, they just carry themselves well and have excellent posture. If you have a muffin top, look in a full-length mirror and try standing with different angles. You will find that the confident, straight posture makes you look more fit overall.
Extra Help for Getting Rid of Muffin Tops
In some cases, getting rid of a muffin top can prove to be more difficult than you ever expected it to be. The fat stored in muffin tops or spare tires is commonly reported to be the most difficult to get rid of. This is especially true if you are a lady who has recently had a baby. However, quite often the problem is due more than anything to a lack of self discipline and self motivation. For this reason, I strongly recommend getting yourself a personal trainer. These people know their stuff and are made to motivate. Not only will they will help you set up an exercise regimen that will work for you, they’ll also help you work out a diet menu that won’t feed your muffin top. One of the beauties of having a personal trainer is their availability. Not only can you set up appointments with them at a location such as a gym or fitness center, many of them will also come directly to your home. Not only is this nice for the super busy who simply don’t have the time to go to the gym, it’s also nice for the more self-conscious of us who don’t feel comfortable burning off that muffin top in front of dozens of strangers.
The Danger of Muffin Tops
There are a number of reasons for wanting to get rid of a muffin top. Most of the time, however, it seems that the number one reason is vanity. We want to look good, and there’s no shame in that. Turns out it makes getting laid a little easier. But you know what? It’s hard to get laid if you’re dead or dying. I realize looking good is important, but your health should be even more so. Below is a list of ailments that can be caused by being overweight or having excess belly fat.
- Heart disease
- Type II diabetes
- Liver disease
- High cholesterol
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Gall bladder disease
- Respiratory problems
- Pregnancy complications
- Premature death