Ask any woman about their least favorite body part, and most will point to their midsection. Many struggle with muffin tops which make a nightmare out of rocking a pair of jeans. That pinchable fat on both sides of your stomach which sits on top of your favorite jeans is incredibly stubborn to lose. This might explain the numerous searches online on how to shed muffin top fat. Here is a practical and fast guide on how to get rid of muffin top.
Love Handles Vs Muffin Top: What Is The Difference?
Before we look at how you can lose this fat, let us begin by clarifying the difference between love handles and muffin tops. Contrary to what some people think, there is no difference. The two terms refer to the same thing.
These refer to the excess fat or weight accumulated around the sides of your waist. It’s what tends to be very visible when you wear a tight pair of pants, shorts, or a skirt. Although they can go by love handles, there is nothing to love about them.
These also signal several health conditions such as obesity, and an increased risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes (5).
Experts suggest you measure your waistline regularly and maintain it within the proposed healthy limits. For example, women are advised to keep their waist circumference or size below 35 inches and men under 40 inches (4).
Can You Lose Muffin Tops?
Yes, you can. However, let us clarify that it is not an overnight fix. Although some adverts suggest that there are quick ways of losing this excess fat around your waistline, science suggests otherwise.
Again, science acknowledges that you cannot lose fat in only one specific area. So, although fitness gurus may have you thinking it is possible to spot-reduce fat, science argues otherwise. In reality, you shed fat evenly when you start exercising for any fitness goal.
How To Get Rid Of Muffin Top
Of importance to note is that the journey is not a piece of cake. You will likely feel demotivated at times, especially when you don’t see results or are fatigued.
That said, we suggest you stay focused and eventually achieve your fitness goals. Now here are research-backed up methods of losing muffin tops:
Drinking Enough Water
Water has numerous benefits. It helps ease digestion, prevent constipation, and reduce muffin tops. According to Medical News Today, dehydration may lead to fluid retention.
Some of this fluid may be stored around your waistline, further worsening the love handles (5). Drinking enough water counteracts this effect, making these love handles reduce in size, mainly because they were caused by fluid retention.
Cutting Out Alcohol And Sugary Foods
Weight gain has been linked to consuming sugary foods and drinks, and alcohol for the longest time. However, experts further acknowledge that these foods can also lead to love handles. Instead of such foods, experts suggest consuming a moderate and balanced diet (5). Such a diet can include legumes, dark leafy vegetables, and whole grains. These foods have high protein and fiber intake. These two nutrients increase satiety and prevent extra calories obtained from overeating (5).
Reducing Stress Less
Experts have also linked high-stress levels to an increased risk of muffin tops. They argue that your body releases the stress hormone cortisol when you are stressed. Unfortunately, cortisol affects your appetite and makes you overeat (3). Therefore, you will gain weight and muffin tops if you consume more calories than your body is burning.
Similarly, the hormone increases insulin levels and drops your blood sugar levels in the blood. As a result, people crave sugary and fatty foods that lead to weight gain due to a calorie surplus (3).
Getting Adequate Rest
Lack of adequate sleep has also been tied to a bigger waistline and more love handles. Experts state that your metabolism suffers when you do not get enough sleep. Remember that metabolism plays a crucial role in the fat-burning process.
The general rule is to burn more fat or calories when your metabolism is high. This means you suffer from a slow metabolism due to sleep deprivation, and the result is that you hardly torch calories. When you consume calories most of them are stored in your body in areas like your waistline.
Eventually, the fat deposits increase and become muffin tops. Aim at getting enough sleep, ranging from 7 to 9 hours (5).
BetterMe app will provide you with a host of fat-frying fitness routines that’ll scare the extra pounds away and turn your body into a masterpiece! Get your life moving in the right direction with BetterMe!
This is considered a significant and rewarding method for anyone who wants to lose love handles. Furthermore, it is an effective way to lose fat if you do it correctly. There are some key aspects that you need to note about exercising to lose muffin tops. They include:
- Targeting the Entire body. As mentioned earlier, you cannot lose fat at specific body parts. Instead, you lose fat evenly. What this means is that a love handle workout or a hip dip workout will not do the trick if it targets only these areas. Workouts must contain exercises that also work other muscle groups.
- Combining Workouts. The magic formula for blasting muffin tops combines cardio, strength training, and core workouts (5).
- Although you may spot changes, their effects are not as massive when combined with other training programs. With this in mind, talk to your trainer about designing an all-rounded workout plan to eliminate love handles.
- Warming Up and Cooling Down. Please keep in mind that exercising without warming up is very dangerous. You risk being injured from exercising with stiff muscles (1). Warm for at least five minutes and with the appropriate exercises before performing your main routine.
- Additionally, remember to perform a cool down. This helps your muscles relax after actively engaging them in the workout.
- Consistency. Consistency plays a significant role in shedding excess fat around your waistline. However, some people take longer than others to shed fat due to genetics. This means, exercising one day or one week will not do it for such people.
- It may take months, perhaps even a year. But, stay motivated and consistent, and eventually, you will lose these fat deposits.
- Gradually Increasing the Intensity. The secret to losing muffin tops fast when performing any workout is to gradually increase the intensity. Be sure to increase the loads for your strength training programs and reps for your cardio activities over time.
This will help you burn more calories in every workout and eventually shed the muffin tops. Similarly, this will help increase muscle mass and strength and help you stay fit (5). However, only make these changes after consulting your trainer.
The Best Muffin Top Exercises
Be sure to heed the exercise precautions above before drafting your workout routine. With that said, let us look at some of the best exercises to perform to lose love handles. Note that some of these exercises can be performed with weights.
It would help if you talked to your trainer to assess your fitness level thoroughly. The assessment will shed light on the number of loads you can handle and the best routine matching your needs. For example, trainers often recommend the following exercises:
How To Get Rid Of Muffin Top: Bicycle Crunches
As the name suggests, these exercises mimic the bicycle pedaling activity. Here is a detailed step-by-step guide on how to perform these crunches (5):
- Lie on the ground with your back flat on the floor and bend your knees.
- Place your hands behind your head and contract your abdominal muscles.
- Slowly twist your right elbow towards your left knee as you stretch your right leg straight.
- Repeat on the other side to perform one rep.
- Repeat and increase your speed.
- Perform 15 to 30 reps on each side.
- Lie on your side and prop yourself with one arm. Be sure to align your elbow with your shoulder.
- Place one leg on top of the other and let your body form a straight line from the head to the toes.
- Tighten your abs and slowly lift your hips off the floor. Be sure to squeeze your glutes.
- Hold for 30 to 45 seconds before switching sides.
Betterme will keep you laser-focused on your weight loss journey! Nutrient-packed meal plans, fat-blasting workouts, galvanizing challenges and much more. Try using the app and see for yourself!
This is a strength training exercise that has been hailed effective in toning the abdominal region while burning fat (2). It is important to note that you must use comfortable weights to avoid injury. After that (2):
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulder distance and hold the bar in an overhand grip. Bend your knees to the point your shins are close to the bar.
- Pull the bar upwards and as you do this, keep the bar as close as possible to your body until your knees and hips are locked.
- Keep your back straight and hold for some minutes before placing the weight on the floor.
- Repeat three to five times or as instructed.
How To Get Rid Of Muffin Top: Russian Twists
- Sit on the floor and bend your knees. Slightly lean back and let your upper body form a 45-degree angle. Similarly, make sure your feet are flat and firm on the ground.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand if you can. It helps with increasing the intensity of the exercise.
- Lift your feet off the ground and start twisting your torso to the left. Try to touch the dumbbells to the left side of your body. Remember to keep your legs and upper body off the floor as you do this.
- Twist to the right side and continue alternating at a faster pace.
- Repeat and complete 15 to 20 reps on each side.
The Bottom Line
Muffin tops, also known as love handles, refer to the fat deposits around your waistline. They are very noticeable when you wear a tight pair of jeans, leggings, or a skirt. But, unfortunately, they are not appealing to look at, and so many people try to get rid of them.
In this guide on how to get rid of muffin top, we have discussed several methods. They range from exercising, cutting sugar and alcohol, hydrating, to getting adequate rest. These research-backed up techniques will help you lose love handles in no time.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Benefits of Warm-Up Exercises (2021, webmd.com)
- Best Exercises for Love Handles (2020, webmd.com)
- Can Stress Cause Weight Gain? (2016, webmd.com)
- Healthy Weight (2021, cdc.gov)
- What exercises can help reduce love handles? (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)