6 Effective Exercises And A Few Diet Tips To Shed That Pesky Muffin Top
May 10, 2018 13:04 By Fabiosa
A muffin top can be successfully hidden with loose clothes. But why not get rid of these annoying flabs on your sides and belly and wear whatever you want? Getting rid of a muffin top and stubborn fat in other areas of your body calls for a complex approach, which should include both diet changes and exercise, as one without the other isn't going to be very effective.
Below, we list a few suggestions regarding your diet and activities to melt that pesky muffin top and feel more confident in skinny jeans!
How to change your diet to get rid of a muffin top
If you want to make a muffin top and extra fat in other areas of your body disappear, your diet needs a makeover. To get specific diet recommendations, it's best to consult a registered dietitian.
Below, we list a few general tips on what to change in your diet to get rid of a muffin top and extra fat in other areas:
- don't eat more calories than what is recommended for your age, gender, and activity level;
- eat small meals (4 to 5 daily) with a few healthful snacks in between;
- if you have the need for a snack, choose something healthy, such as yogurt, a handful of nuts and berries, a banana, or a whole-grain avocado toast;
- drink enough water every day, as dehydration can cause you to feel hungry;
- avoid sodas completely, as they have little nutritional value but are high in sugar;
- instead of drinking fruit juice (even if it's pure), eat the whole fruits to get fiber and feel more satiated;
- ditch refined sugar, refined grains, and any processed foods, or at least limit them to a minimum;
- pick slow carbs over fast carbs to feel full longer;
- eat plenty of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables;
- eat protein at every meal (a few good sources of protein are low-fat dairy products, soy and soy products, legumes, and beans);
- make your diet as varied as possible within the range of healthy foods.
Exercises to shed a muffin top
Diet alone is not enough to bring your flanks and belly into shape. To reach your goal, you'll also need to get a decent amount of exercise every week. But it’s important to keep in mind that cardio alone is not very effective at fat burning. To get the best results, combine cardio with strength training, with a focus on strength training. To maximize the benefits, do cardio after strength training sessions. And don’t forget that it is impossible to get rid of fat from just one particular area. So don't concentrate only on abdominals since this approach will not work!
Here’s an example of an effective workout complementary to your main exercise program. Do 5 sets of each of these six exercises:
1. Deep squats
Deep squats do require more effort than regular squats, but they are also more beneficial. Also, it’s best to add a barbell to this exercise. If you feel you can’t squat deeply, start with regular squats, and then progress to deep squats. Here’s how to do them:
- stand straight, your feet shoulder-width apart;
- put your arms in front of you to maintain balance;
- tighten your glutes, abs, and thigh muscles;
- lower into squat, leaning forward, keeping your back straight and pushing your hips back (in a regular squat, your thighs are parallel to the ground, but in a deep squat they should go lower);
- go back to the initial position and do 19 more reps.
Don’t do this exercise too fast, otherwise you may hurt your knees in the process.
- start from a low squat, your hands firmly on the floor;
- jump your feet back, assuming the plank position;
- lower into a push-up;
- assume the plank position again and jump your feet back into a low squat;
- jump up, with your whole body straight and hands up;
- go back to the start position and do 19 more reps.
3. Gluteal bridge:
- lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms at your flanks, palms down;
- keeping your arms and shoulders on the floor, lift your hips, keeping your feet firmly on the floor (your knees should bend at a 90-degree angle);
- hold the position for 15 seconds and lower your body back on the floor;
- do 15 reps in total.
It's more convenient to have someone hold your feet during this exercise, but you can simply put them under the couch or bed to fix them in place. So, here's how to do the exercise:
- lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet firmly on the floor, shoulder-width apart from each other and slightly apart from your buttocks;
- put your hands on your head (not on the back, but on the sides, with your thumbs behind your ears);
- tighten your abs and lift your upper body (your chest should touch your thighs);
- lower your upper body back on the floor and do 20 reps in total.
- lie on your belly, your arms in front of you;
- tighten your abs;
- keeping your legs and arms straight, lift them as far up as you can simultaneously;
- hold the position for 5 seconds;
- lower your arms and legs back and do 19 more reps.
- lie on your back with your feet shoulder-width apart and firmly on the floor;
- put your hands on the sides of your head (not on the back);
- lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor (your chin should be an inch or two away from your collarbone), keeping your lower body still;
- lower back on the floor and do 19 more reps.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.