Did you know that the question “how to lose muffin top” is google more than 5,000 times a month?
With so many people trying to figure out this constantly, it would seem like humanity would have come with a simple and sustainable solution. Yet women (and men) of all ages continue to struggle and dislike their appearance without finding the answer.
The problem, in my honest opinion, is that all articles out there on this topic have mostly vague information and not tell you exactly what to do to lose the muffin top.
“Drink more water”, “Eat less sugar”, “Walk to places”. While these are technically not wrong, you can still try the 10 tips on their list for months without getting the results you want.
Are you still here? Good! In this article I’ll tell you exactly what to do to loose that muffin top for good. I will require some effort on your part but I rather be honest than to *cof* lie to you *cof*.
Losing your muffing top for good.
1. Understanding how a muffin top is created
While you might think a muffin top is a life sentence and something super hard to get rid of, it is actually very simple to do it when you frame it from a scientific and knowledge perspective. (Note that I said “simple” and not easy as in there is an exact formula to do it yet it might require some effort).
A muffin top is simply localized fat.
Why you have it? Well, when you eat more calories than you burn on a daily basis, your body stores the extra calories as fat.
There are two types of fat; white fat cells and brown fat cells, white fat cells typically accumulate in areas like the butt, thighs, abdomen, arms, and breasts. The function of these fat cells is to store energy as well as regulate our hormones.”Nutritionist Joannah Pearce
Additionally, where exactly your body stores fat will depend on factors like genetics, stress, medication, environmental factors, diet, exercise, age, and hormonal levels.
Fat stored in the stomach is usaully associate with: hormones such as elevated estrogen, insulin, and cortisol (our stress hormone).
But regardless of those factors, you can get rid of your muffin top by taking a science-based approach and make your body use the excess fat for energy production.
2. Create a caloric deficit for fat loss
As I explained in the previous section, stored fat is caused by an excess of calories so it is obvious that the most important factor to get rid of it, is to create a caloric deficit.
When you create a caloric deficit by eating fewer calories than what your body needs to function, it will be forced to use some of the stored fat and turn it into energy.
I know there are a lot of trendy diets out there and new ones keep appearing every day but the truth, the reason why diets “work” is not because of some magical combination of foods or elimination of others, it’s because they create a consistent caloric deficit.
I don’t mean you should not follow a particular diet if you feel it is easier for you to maintain a regime that way.
I just want to give you the freedom to know that you do not need any specific diet or eliminate a food group to be able to lose belly fat and get rid of your muffin top, uou just need to create a consistent caloric deficit.
How to do it? You can use a calculator like this one to find out how many calories you burn daily. It will give you an estimate based on your age, height, weight, and activity level.
It will then tell you how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight.
In the example of the image, the calculator said this person needed 1829 calories per day to maintain their current weight.
So in order to calculate how much you’d need to eat for weight and fat loss you can simply subtract 400-500 calories. E.g. 1829-500=1329 calories for fat loss.
Note: a deficit of 500 calories is calculated to create a loss of 2 pounds a week. This is the most you should aim to lose or otherwise you will definitely end up losing muscle which will actually make it harder to lose belly fat.
3. The ‘right’ fat loss foods
Now that we are clear on how much to eat, let’s talk about what to eat.
Based on the calories in/out formula you could technically lose weight while eating french fries but since those are very high in calories you would end up very hungry and it would not be sustainable (not to mention unhealthy).
The goal is that you eat a balanced diet of mostly unprocessed foods. Not only because those are lower in calories but because they have nutrients you need for….you know…living.
What does that look like?
- More veggies: a cliche I know but veggies are not only filled with vitamins and minerals, they are also generally low in calories so you can eat a lot of them while sticking to your goals.
- Protein: Whether you are eating a plant-based diet or not, protein is essential to keep you full and maintain your muscle mass as you lose weight. You don’t need to obsess about it though, most Americans consume more protein than they need so just make sure it is prepared in a healthy way that doesn’t add unnecessary calories to it.
- Healthy carbs: I am not sure how or when it happened but somewhere in the 2000s we all became afraid of carbs and it’s time we stop. You should definitely incorporate some healthy carbs like brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, yams, beans, and other legumes into your diet.
- Fats: healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and olives should also have a place in your diet but make sure to watch your servings since they are heavier on calories. 100-150 calories of fats a day are more than enough.
- Alcohol and processed foods: these are not the devil but they are high in calories without any nutritional value and most likely while leave you feeling sluggish. I’d suggest you limit them or otherwise make sure they fit in your caloric goals.
If you are looking for a balanced meal you will definitely love our 28-days Plant-based meal plan that can you can get for free by signing up on the form at the end of this article.
4. To exercise or to exercise, that is the question
No, that was not a typo. Exercise (of any kind) will make losing your muffin top way easier. Not only does it make you burn more calories so you can eat more while maintaining a caloric deficit. but it also helps maintain your muscle mass making sure you lose that belly fat.
Additionally, exercise contributes to a proper hormonal balance and reduces cortisol which is responsible for belly fat storage in the first place.
But do not worry, I know not everybody enjoys exercise so you don’t need to put yourself through something you hate. As long as you are moving your body 3-4 times a week, you’ll be contributing to your ultimate goal.
Here are some types of exercise that you can try:
- Resistance training: Also know as weight lifting, resistance training has massive benefits for fat loss. It boost your metabolism on the short term burning calories for hours and days after you work out and it also improves it in the long term since you’ll be building some precious muscle that burns much more calories than any other tissue.
And do not even worry about looking ‘bulky’. Gaining the amount of muscle necessary to look like a bodybuilder takes years of intentional training and it won’t happen unless you are truly trying. Most chances are you won’t even notice any muscle gains, you will just look more toned and fit.
- HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training is exactly what it sounds like, a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short recovery periods. It keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time making it ideal if you have a busy schedule (don’t we all?).
You can perform HIIT by running outside or indoors, cycling, using the stairmaster, or performing a combination of body weight exercises.
- LISS: Low Steady State Cardio is the opposite of HIIT. It is a form of cardio exercise where you maintain the same low-intensity pace typically 30 to 60 minutes at the fat-burning 50 to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate.
You can also practice this in different ways like walking, cycling, swimming or even rowing.
- Yoga: Yoga doesn’t fall in any of the previous categories but depending on the type of yoga you perform, it can also help with your fat loss goals. Some types of yoga like vinyasa or power yoga can burn lots of calories in one session plus they help build some beautiful muscles and lower your stress levels.
- Abs: Contrary to popular belief, performing ab exercise won’t help you lose belly fat. what it will do is help you build some muscle in that are which can help with posture and looks. If you are already following the other points in this guide, doing ab exercises can be a nice cherry on top but it won’t be a decisive factor.
5. Self Massage
I am a big fan of self massage, I have been practicing it on and off for more than 6 years whenever I feel necessary and I can say it has definitely help me lose fat and even cellulite in some stubborn spots.
Most trainers and nutritionists don’t talk about it since there is not really many studies to back it up but I rather share my anecdotal evidence with the hopes of helping someone than staying quiet in the name of science.
When combined with eating a healthy, calorie-controlled diet, and getting enough physical activity, massage can be a helpful part of a weight loss program.
It boosts your metabolism, blood circulation helps tone muscles. Additionally, massages help reduce the dimpling of skin that comes with the accumulation of fat, a.k.a cellulite.
I have used a lot of self massage tool over the years but there is a couple that have given me the most results:
This tool does A LOT of things including helping to reduce localized fat. It also helps with chronic pain and cellulite but if you are only concerned about losing that muffin top, it can definitely be a great ally.
There is still some controversy around it like people complaining about bruising, but that is explained by the manufacturer as part of the process. Other people say they didn’t see any improvement but as with exercise and diet, you need to stay consistent and you can get some great results as some of the shown below.
You can buy it here on their website and you can find a lot of other testimonials there as well.
They are also one of the only companies who have conducted a third-party study were results showed a reduction in subcutaneous fat (SAT) over a 90-day period. (1)
Heat and Suction Tool
The other tool I use paired with the Fasciablaster is called an Electrical Cupping Machine. It has a suction and heating effect that helps prepare the body and creates better results.
The Fasciablaster requires your bodily tissues to be warm and flexible so I have found this type of tool to be a perfect pairing. I got this one from Amazon but there is a lot of similar options there to choose from.
6. Fat Burning Supplements
Last but not least, I want to talk about fat burning supplements. I have written a couple of articles about them on this blog that has actually changed my perspective about them.
However, if it were that easy, nobody would struggle to lose weight or belly fat.
So, in this scenario, fat burners can help as an extra-non-essential-last-10%-push aid in your goals of getting rid of your muffin top.
Without going into too much detail, fat burners can give your metabolism a boost helping you burn more calories, give you the energy to stay motivated, and help you avoid hunger and cravings.
But remember, they will NOT work if you don’t follow all the other factors mentioned in this guide.
Moreover, they only work for some time since your body gets used to them, so I’d recommend getting started with your lifestyle changes alone and leaving them as a secret weapon to boost your results after 4-5 weeks.
How to lose a muffin top FAQ
What cause a muffin top?
Genetics, an excess of calories and posture are some of the main reasons that cause and maintaining a muffin top
What is the best exercise for muffin top?
You can not spot reduce a muffin top with exercise so the best is to perform any exercise that helps you burn calories while eating on a caloric deficit. This way your body is forced to burn stored fat for energy.
Does walking help muffin top?
As mentioned in the previous question, any type of exercise, even light exercise as walking can help you get rid of a muffin top. But consider that no amount of walking can outweigh a poor diet so make sure to support your goals with your eating habits.
Do sit ups help muffin top?
To go straight to the point, they don’t. Sit-ups or other ab exercises can help strengthen your abs muscles but they won’t reduce a muffin top because that is not how fat loss occurs.
As explained in this article, you need to follow a caloric-controlled diet along with exercise to lose the stored fat and get lasting results.
Will my muffin top go away?
Of course, it is completely possible to lose a muffin top by following the guidelines in this article. A muffin tcreating a caloop is not a life sentence or a mythical being to be afraid off, it is simply stored fat and it can be lost by creating caloric deficit and making your body isted that fat for energy.
It didn’t appear overnight though so don’t expect it to go away that way, stay consistent, and trust the process.
Losing a muffin top is a simple formula, create a caloric deficit by paying attention to your diet and doing some type of exercise you enjoy.
Do not fall for “fat burning diets” or “10 ab exercise to lose belly fat”. Stay consistent with the steps outlined in this article and you WILL get the results you want.
If you have any questions drop them in the comments below!