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Get Rid Of Your Muffin Top

By University of Missouri Athletics Sports Nutrition Department

Sometime in the last ten years, the muffin went from one our favorite breakfast foods to a term used to describe the shape our body takes when our stomach spills over the top of our waistband—much like a muffin in muffin paper. Sad to say, this is one of the top issues women encounter with their bodies. It’s something that no one wants, but never seems to leave. The best exercises to lose your muffin top are those that burn lots of calories to help you lose fat and tone your entire body.


First, the basics: cardio, cardio, cardio! Whether it is running, cycling, swimming, aerobics or anything else – as long as you get your heart rate up, your body will be burning fat. A woman’s body doesn’t begin to tap into fat stores until about 40 minutes into cardio, so aim for 40-60 minutes at least 3 times a week.


While it is true that you cannot spot-burn fat, you can strengthen certain areas of your body. Strength conditioning does increase metabolism, which in turn will burn more fat. The thing to remember is that even during strength training, fat is burned throughout the body, not just where you work it.


Now, for the most important and most overlooked part of losing that irritating muffin top: your diet. The body requires about 2,500 mg of salt each day, and the average American consumes much more than this without even realizing it. Excess salt causes the body to hold in water, and thus bloat – especially in the mid-section. Another problem many women encounter is eating too much sugar. Sugar is stored in the body as fat, which is exactly what love-handles are. The bottom line is to cut down on the salts, sugars, and starches because these are what promote the buildup of fat stores. To really blast the fat, start eating more fruits and vegetables, and drink more water. Stick with this muffin-blasting plan and wearing loose, oversized t-shirts will be an option, not a necessity.