Do you look great in your jeans, except for the fact there's an undesired belly fat spilling over the waistband? Discover how to get rid of muffin top for good so you show off a sexy, slim waist and a flat belly instead ...
The dreaded “muffin top” is a weight loss challenge faced by many. During the winter months in Europe, we turn on our hibernation mode with increased cravings for comfort food.
The added festive season brings temptations from open chocolates boxes and alcohol, resulting in the gain of a few pounds during this time.
There are six equally important fundamentals to weight loss, especially when it comes to the elimination of abdominal fat, which can sometimes be very tricky to shift.
If any one of these fundamentals is compromised in any way, you’re going to have a hard time in shifting the weight!
- 1. Nutrition
- 2. Exercise and Movement
- 3. Sleep
- 4. Hydration
- 5. Breathing
- 6. Stress
This article will concentrate on two of the fundamentals – nutrition and exercise.
It is a known fact that a six-pack is created in the kitchen, and not in the gym. No matter how hard you work out – if your diet is not on par, you will not have the desired results.
Let's look at four important aspects, which will assist in getting rid of excess abdominal fat:
When I look at a client’s weekly food diary, I start by clearly highlighting the sugars they consume. This is all sugars – processed, fruit sugars and hidden sugars (including alcohol).
They will start by eliminating the processed and hidden sugars and cutting down on fruit sugars, sticking mainly to bananas and berries. Sugar consumption causes increased secretion of insulin by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar.
The more sugar consumed, the higher the level of insulin in the blood and the harder the pancreas has to work for the body to digest the sugars and convert it to glycogen for energy.
If the energy is not utilised, it will "float" around and convert into fat, specifically abdominal fat. Reading food labels is of utmost importance.
For instance, have you ever checked the amount of sugar in a pot of low-fat yoghurt? Low in fat, but high in sugar to make the product taste better, does not mean you’re any better off.
Next, I look at the amount of gluten consumed on a daily basis and find healthy gluten-free options for essential carbohydrates as an energy source.
Simply cutting out wheat for two weeks will make a massive difference to anyone, and replacing it with lean protein, vegetables and pulses will be just as satisfying.
Gluten forms mucus in the digestive tract, which in turn holds on to toxins causing inflammation and damage to the immune system, and this decreases the body’s ability to eliminate fat.
Some individuals might be intolerant to dairy which can cause bloatedness of the abdomen. Again, the consumption of too much dairy in your diet increases inflammation in the body.
You might want to eliminate dairy from your diet for two weeks and see how it makes you feel.
4. Healthy Unsaturated Fats
Fats are essential for burning fat. "Old" fat stored in the body’s peripheral tissues – around the belly, thighs and butt – can’t be burned efficiently without "new" fat to help the process.
Healthy unsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds and oily fish help break down existing fat by activating PPAR-alpha and fat-burning pathways through the liver.
Omega 3, 6 and 9 is known for its fat burning properties.
When it comes to exercise specifically with the aim to get rid of that dreaded muffin top, I recommend a mixture of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and metabolic resistance training.
HIIT has been proven to be a far more sufficient way of burning fat than continuous training on, for example, a treadmill. With HIIT, you will perform an exercise intensely for a short period, followed by a less strenuous exercise or rest period, ensuring the heart rate goes up and down substantially to increase the metabolic rate.
Resistance training is very important as unlike aerobic exercise, which burns both fat and muscle, resistance training pushes energy usage towards fat loss exclusively.
"You can burn as many calories as you want, but if you don’t stimulate the release of adrenaline, you are going to be less efficient at burning fat.
This is why slow plotting aerobic exercise just does not cut it. Intensity is the only way to turn on the release of adrenaline and high-intensity weight training is great at making this happen.
As it turns out, belly fat is very rich in the type of receptors that adrenaline reacts with. These receptors are called b-receptors.
Since belly fat is so rich in b-receptors, it would make sense that adrenaline would be able to drive fat burning in this area in a very efficient way, and it does."
WHAT’S THE BEST EXERCISE TO BURN BELLY FAT?
Weight training also stimulates the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone. This has a powerful fat burning and muscle building effect, and has a special action on belly fat.
HGH opposes the fat storing action of cortisol at the belly, and testosterone leads to the production of greater numbers of b-receptors in the belly fat. It is also a known fact that the more muscle dense we are, the more fat we burn when we are active.
I therefore concentrate on developing a training programme for my clients which is progressive and varied, combining the aforementioned training systems.
Once the desired weight loss is achieved, I continue to work towards sculpting the body more specifically and working on individual muscle groups selectively.
Getting rid of your muffin top starts with the desire to do so. You have to be ready to take on the process. It requires self-discipline and a lifestyle change which is easily implemented.
Start with the four dietary principles mentioned above and make regular exercise part of your weekly routine, and you’ll soon see the fat melting away and abdominal lines will slowly appear.
You will experience increased energy, and a positive, healthy feel good self-esteem and you’ll become an inspiration to others. Engage in the process.