What do you think about when you hear the words “muffin top”? Let me give you some help. You can pick from one of the following options.
1. The ugly fat hanging over your waist.
2. Your jeans are so tight that your belly sticks out.
3. Your belly looks like a muffin every time you look at it.
4. All of the above.
Okay. So, muffin tops basically mean when you have that ugly belly fat that sticks out, where it looks a little bit like the top of a baked muffin. Now, not only does the muffin top actually look bad, from a physical appearance perspective, but a muffin top also indicates symptoms of diabetes, a heart problem, high blood pressure, or stress.
The reason why muffin tops occur in the first place is simply because of a chemical in your body called cortisol. When you have a muffin top, your cortisol level is activated. Cortisol is a chemical that regulates other chemicals in your body, in order to digest your food naturally.
So, when your cortisol levels are spiked or go up and down, they act like a spoiled little teenage child. The cortisol level does not talk to the other chemicals in the body and so your food is not digested properly. What happens is, your body starts to resist any weight loss, because of the foods settling in and the chemicals not being stimulated properly to digest it all.
Think back to the good old days, before we invented homes and the ability to take care of ourselves. Back in those days, our bodies were naturally wired as hunters, we ate when we killed animals, and the body automatically stored the fat for the winter months. Our biological system was set up so that in the winter time, when you’d otherwise have starved to death, it would have accumulated and stored the fat in your body to use as nutrition during the lean times.
Now, however, when you have excess fat in your body, the cycle begins to repeat itself. Your body, or your biological system, automatically thinks that maybe hard times are coming around, so it uses the belly fat to create more belly fat. And the way it does that is by spiking your cortisol level up and down.
So, you can see, the cycle repeats itself, and it’s actually bad for your body. This cycle usually comes about when you are stressed, aren’t feeling that good, and things around you aren’t working out as you intended. So, what happens is you get all this belly fat deposited.
The best thing to do is become stress-free.
The number one reason why your cortisol spikes is that you may be having a stressful day, things are not going your way, and you need to decompress or calm down. The way to do that is to take 15 minutes out of your day to meditate. Or, if you’re finding it difficult to meditate or de-stress yourself, listen to your favorite music or tunes on the radio.
Fire up iTunes and download your favorite songs. Listen to them. It’ll automatically de-stress you, and put you in a better mood.
Some simple tips you can do in addition to de-stressing yourself and getting rid of the body fat:
- Limit the amount of caffeine per day to 200mg tops.
- Avoid fatty, junk, and processed food.
- Get plenty of high-quality protein and lots of water, to keep your stress hormones, especially cortisol, lower and in check.
It’s difficult to stay in shape, and it’s difficult to get rid of that muffin top, but making these daily day-by-day choices for helping you be in more control of your life, less stress-free, and focusing on the right things to eat will be a challenge at first, but the results will be worth it. Not only will you look good on the outside, but your body will thank you for it, since you will feel better on the inside.
Do yourself a favor. If you have a muffin top and you’re trying to get rid of it, just know the cortisol level in your body is working against you. It is acting like a spoiled child right now.
Your only goal is to keep that in check, and while you do that, to add simple techniques that will help you get rid of the belly fat, so it doesn’t create and store more belly fat. These new behaviors will help lead you to a better lifestyle and the best You that you can be.