Yay, spring is right around the corner! OMG, spring is right around the corner! If you seem to have grown a muffin top overnight, despite your best efforts not to, here may be why.
Slouchy clothes, comfort foods, and binging on Netflix are all cozy perks of winter. But they often lead to a less desirable cold weather addition. A little extra around the middle. Even if you haven’t changed your diet or exercise plan (much, anyway) through winter, you may still notice a little muffin top when trying on your springtime shorts and skirts. What’s the deal? You may be making some lifestyle moves that put on sneaky belly fat.
Oh, and if you are a female who does not contemplate her tummy prior to donning a bathing suit for the first time each year…you can skip this article. Also, we all want to be you.
6 Ways to Grow a Muffin Top Fast
1 Not eating enough. Sounds counter-intuitive, but going too long between meals can cause low blood sugar. And we all know what a case of low blood sugar can do midafternoon. Candy bars and chips, anyone? Eat a healthy snack that includes some protein between 3 and 4 pm to stave off starve-snacking.
2 Imbalanced hormones. Too much sugar in the diet can cause hormones to go out of balance. Out of whack hormones cause us to retain fat around the middle. Crazily enough, belly fat can also cause hormonal disruption. The bottom line: Less sugar means less belly fat and better hormone balance, stopping the vicious cycle.
3 Doing the wrong type of exercise. Whittling the waist may have you crunching like crazy. But experts say the best way to lose fat is through cardio. So, cardio first, crunches second.
4 Avoiding bread. Bread has become the villain of the #fitspo world. Give this carb a break and have a slice of whole grain. Consuming whole grains in moderation can actually help to decrease belly fat. So there.
5 Letting stress get the best. Stressing not only makes us feel terrible, but may help to pack on inches around the middle. Stress causes our body to secrete and maintain excess cortisol, the hormone produced when we are in a flight-or-fight situation. This is the perfect storm for creating abdominal fat. Do yourself a favor, for both body and mind, and take up meditation or some other form of stress management.
6 You are too serious. Laughing feels good, right? It has been shown that laughter also helps to improve tummy tone. Not only are you working ab muscles when having a good chuckle (it’s called a “belly laugh”, afterall), it decreases stress hormones and increases feel-good endorphins. Flip on “The Office” reruns and shed that muffin top.
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