Hi everyone, I'm back with a new post! Today's topic? The dreaded muffin top, cue the dramatic music! This one is for all you ladies out there. If you're not familiar with the term, it's a rather unflattering way to describe the excess flab that spills out over the top of your pants, much like a muffin bulges over its casing. It's pretty common, too. You only need to take a stroll around your local shopping centre to see it in action. So what's a girl to do!? First, don't panic. Too much stress causes your body to secrete cortisol which, if left unchecked, can contribute to inflammation and fat gain around your belly and hips.
We all get stressed sometimes, and a little can actually be good for us, but too much is a recipe for disaster. If you're chronically stressed, take some time out to recharge and balance yourself emotionally. Yoga and meditation can be great additions as can supplementing your diet with B-vitamins and omega 3 and 6. The mind is an incredibly powerful tool and taking steps to look after your emotional wellbeing will create a rock-solid foundation for the following steps.
DIET: Ugh! You must be sick of hearing it, but it's the truth! What you eat has a profound effect on how you look and feel. The saying 'you are what you eat' has never been more fitting; eat too many muffins and you'll get a muffin top! This isn't just a coincidence. Muffins, like pastries and waffles, are made from refined carbohydrates which are quickly converted to sugar in the body and spike insulin levels. They also do little to quell your hunger thanks to their low levels of fibre and protein. The same goes for 'comfort' foods such as ice cream, fast food and even some of your favourite Starbucks drinks. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy them, you can. Just don't make them a regular part of your diet. For that, leave it to high quality proteins, complex carbohydrates, leafy green vegetables and natural fats such as those found in nuts, salmon and flax seeds.
EXERCISE: There's no magic recipe here. Exercise burns calories and when combined with a healthy calorie-controlled eating plan is the most effective way to shrink your muffin top. Unfortunately, most women are put off by weight training in fear of bulking up and getting too muscly, but this is nothing more than a common misconception. Women don't have the necessary hormonal requirements (testosterone) for significant muscle growth, so the fear of ending up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger is unfounded. What regular bouts of weight training does do is increase your metabolic rate, making it easier to lose fat around your belly and hips and keep it off. To maximise your results, combine this with yoga, Pilates and aerobic cardio workouts a few times a week. For more information, checkout leanrunnerbean's best way to lose muffin top article here.