Start early in life with healthy foods and exercises. This could preclude that unsightly belly overhang which usually makes its appearance when one reaches the age of 40 and above. We have heard that phrase “life starts at 40” but developing a belly overhang isn’t a good way to start it.
Whatever people call it, muffin top, spillage or belly overhang, that accumulated growth in the tummy is a result of bad habits, genetics or hormonal changes. There are varied reasons why we develop muffin tops. One needs to be informed about the causes before planning on how to get rid of that flab. It will be a daunting task, especially without the proper guidance.
Hormonal changes have a huge role in how the body will store fat, especially in the middle-age years. For younger women, there is a higher level of estrogen in their system. This hormone directs the body to store fat areas, usually the thighs, hips, and chest. As women grow older, estrogen production decreases and this results in the depositing of fats in the abdominal region.
Furthermore, the process of aging will also cause the muscle mass loss. This loss will negatively affect the rate of calorie metabolism, meaning the potato chips one usually indulges in will not be broken down for body use but will be stored as fat. Even exercise becomes more difficult with muscle loss. When more of these happen, the bigger the muffin top becomes.
Trimming that extra flab in the midsection is not as easy as it sounds. It will involve physical activities, portion-controlled food servings, controlled levels of stress, and a lot of sleep. Some exercises and the selection of foods can contribute to losing that extra luggage on your tummy.
If one is serious about losing that flab, he will have to content himself with portion-sized and balanced meals. Nutrient-rich lean meats, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and fish will contribute in giving a smaller waistline. Also, too much fat around the waist increases the risk of cancer and other types of chronic diseases.
Along with healthy and filling meals, one will also need an exercise routine to help him look and feel good. Healthy food, an effective exercise program, and enough sleep will set anyone on his way to trimming that extra muffin weight around the midsection.
The Best Exercises to Do
When one overeats, devouring unhealthy foods at that, chances are he will develop an overhanging belly. Strange as it seems but that body part seems to catch excess fat easily and yet, it’s so difficult to get rid of. With determination, one can still undo the damage caused by unhealthy habits. First, consult with a doctor. Ask him how many calories should be taken daily. This will depend on the age, weight, and height.
After setting the diet requirements, it’s time to do some exercises. Consider these waists trimming exercises for the workout plan, done at least once a week. This should prevent one from developing love handles:
- Go slowly, emphasizing each rep.
- Start with 3-sets of about 35 repetitions on each leg.
- After some time, try to make 50, if you can, on each leg.
- Take your time; there’s no hurry. You aren’t going anywhere, and no one’s running after you.
- Lay on your back on the floor.
- The legs should be straight out; the arms stretched above the head and toes pointed toward the ceiling.
- Raise the arms towards the toes while raising the legs to a 45 or 90-degree angle.
- The shoulders should be kept off the floor. Bring the arms over the belly button. At such position, the body will be mimicking a jackknife.
- Return to the original position with the arms and legs outstretched.
- Do about 40 repetitions of this. Increase gradually if possible.
- Sit with the torso leaning back at a 45-degree angle.
- The knees should be bent, and the feet should be touching the floor. For a more intense workout, elevate the feet a few inches off the ground.
- Keep the back long and the abdominals tight, lean back slightly and lift the feet a few inches off the floor.
- Slowly twist the torso to the left beside the left hip. Return to center then slowly twist to the right beside the right hip to complete one rotation.
- If this is too easy, increase the intensity by holding weights in your hands.
- Start with three sets of twenty repetitions.
- Stand with the feet hip-distance apart and arms at the side.
- Reach down towards the toes with one arm. Lift the other arm towards the waist and place it on the hips.
- Alternate sides with one arm up and the other arm down.
- Do a hundred repetitions of this exercise.
- Place any band or thin article on the floor between the hands.
- Jump over the line as fast as possible while remaining in control.
- Repeat the routine for a minute to complete one set. Do three sets of this exercise.
- Place the hands behind the head.
- The elbows should protrude out, and the knees slightly bent.
- Isolate the midsection and make sure the hips do not move.
- A twist on one side and then the other, alternating sides. Remember not to rotate the hips.
- Do 100 repetitions.
Toe Touch Crunches
- Lie down with the back of the mat.
- Hold the feet in the upward with the back firm against the mat.
- Reach out, trying to touch the toes. This may be difficult for beginners but try to reach as high as possible.
- Repeat the move and do as many as possible for a minute. The lower back should always stay on the mat.
- Lay flat on the floor. Slower raise the arms and reach for the knees thus forming a V-shape.
- Tighten the muscles of the abdomen and rely on the core strength in maintaining this balanced position.
- Hold that position for as long as possible then go back to the starting position.
- Repeat the move as many times for a minute.
Pair Your Workout with These Foods
Exercise is just part of the program to reduce that belly fat. Perhaps psychologically, the harder part of the program is giving focus on the foods one cannot eat. Sounds tormenting, right? Not necessarily as there are lots of healthy foods that one can include in his plate to help ward off unhealthy food cravings. It will take patience and control to lose that belly fat.
Too much sodium in circulation will lead to the retention of fluids in the body, and this will make the appearance puffy and bloated. Salt isn’t the only source of sodium. When buying, read the labels.
When under stress, the body will release the hormone, cortisol which may cause food cravings. When this happens, one will have less control over what kinds of foods he eats, whether they be healthy or unhealthy. Avoid stress, and no cortisol is released, and there will be less craving for food. Furthermore, studies have proven that people under stress are more likely to gain weight. Try to add these foods to the diet regimen to help trim your muffin tops:
Avocado. This is a consistent top-ranking food in nutritious food lists. This pear-shaped fruit contains glutathione, a substance that can prevent the absorption of some fats in the intestines. They also contain a lot of monounsaturated fats. Research has shown that these fats can help reduce belly fat. The fruit’s fiber content will make one feel satiated, and this will lessen food cravings.
Celery and Fennel. Instead of candy bars as snacks, pack some celery and fennel stalks. These crunchy veggies have diuretic properties that will help one lose that excess water he’s retaining.
Fatty Fish. Fish from the world’s cold regions like sardines, salmon, and mackerel are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. They are not only healthy for the heart, but they also help burn fats in the body.
Grapefruit. These fruits from the citrus family are loaded with vitamin C and filling fiber which can help in weight loss.
Lean Protein. The great thing about lean meat is that it takes the body more time to digest and absorb it. This means that the person will feel full longer and won’t be having food cravings for some time. And that translates to less food intake and weight gain.
Nuts. Nuts are not only good sources of protein but also in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have been proven to help reduce fat.
Red Chili Peppers. When cooking, sprinkle foods with some cayenne pepper. It will not only make the dish tastier but will also help in reducing fat. Chili peppers contain the antioxidant capsaicin, a substance which has been found to lessen hunger pangs. Spice up diet foods now and lose some weight.
Sweet Potatoes. The special starch found in sweet potatoes is resistance to digestive enzymes. It will take the digestive tract longer to break down the starch and therefore delay the onset of hunger and food cravings. Sugar cravings are also reduced by the sweetness of the sweet potato.
Yogurt. One of the healthier snacks around and a great food for people who want to lose weight. It has been proven that those who consume low-fat dairy products can lose more weight than those who don’t.
More Tips for You!
The only thing that needs to be done to lose that overhanging belly around the waist is to lose the poundage. To lose this extra baggage, one needs to burn more calories through exercise and to be selective about the foods are eaten. Here are some helpful tips to accomplish the goal towards slimness:
Maintain a Food Journal. Take notes on the food and drink intake. In a journal, write down the foods and drinks and the amounts of calories for each. At the week’s end, sum up everything and divide by seven. That will give the average daily calorie intake.
Don’t Starve Yourself. One can reduce your calorie intake, but that does not mean starving oneself just to lose weight. Remember, the body will always act to protect itself. If a person doesn’t eat, the body can go into starvation mode and will start storing everything eaten as fat because it doesn’t know when it will be getting the next fuel it needs. That could lead to craving, cortisol, and finally weight gain.
Burn Calories Through Everyday Activities. Going to the gym isn’t the only way to burn fat. Even normal daily activities can contribute. Climbing stairs, bicycling to work, walking, and more are some good activities to practice. All these collectively can contribute to burning fat.
Drink a Lot of Water. Water will not make one lose weight but will certainly make him feel fuller. Consequently, there is a lesser urge to eat. More water intake is also important in making the body function properly.
Find the Right Inspiration. To see is to believe, that’s how the saying goes. A great motivation for people who aspire for slimmer waistlines is to see pictures of people who have succeeded in their goals of losing weight. Find a raw model who had successfully hurdled his/her program and who is like one’s physique, age, frame size, and height. Be realistic.
Sign up for a Workout Class. Group activities can cause one to burn fat faster than going solo. There is also that extra benefit of people motivating and cheering you to push further than when doing it alone. You can also start exercising with a buddy. It’s always fun to do things with a buddy. If both are striving for the same goal, they can motivate each other to excel in what they’re doing.
Watch Your Juice Intake. Do you love to drink juices? Read the labels first. Often, juices are loaded with calories in the form of sugars. That would not be helping you to get rid of the muffin top. One may be increasing belly fat instead of losing it.
Reward Yourself Regularly. The goal is to take off inches from the waistline. If one succeeds in losing an inch or two, be generous by giving himself a deserving reward. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a food reward. The person can buy himself a pair of pants or a cool shirt. That is rewarding enough too. For the first inches, small rewards. For finishing the program, the sky’s the limit.