How Does A Muffin Top Happen?
Although anyone can develop a muffin top, women are more likely to develop fat around the belly area compared to men, according to an article on WebMD, and this usually happens when women are undergoing menopause because estrogen levels fall leading to redistribution of body fat from the hips and thighs to the abdominal area. Additionally, you may also develop a muffin top if you have a sweet tooth for foods that contain saturated fats. A study carried out by researchers at Uppsala University found that people who eat foods rich in saturated fats tend to develop fat around the waist, but this is not the case for people who eat foods that contain polyunsaturated fats.
Other hormones responsible for the development of muffin top include leptin and cortisol. For instance, a report published by Huffington Post states that stress and worrying too much could cause cortisol (produced by the adrenal cortex) levels to rise. Although this in itself is not a bad thing, belly fat cells usually contain up to four times more cortisol receptors compared to other cells in the body. This means that whenever your body's cortisol levels rise, the likelihood of developing muffin top increases as well.
Finally, high insulin levels usually cause visceral fat to accumulate around the waist. In addition, high insulin levels prevent fat-releasing hormones like glucagon from working properly. This is according to the same report published by Huffington Post.
Why You Should Never Believe The Spot Reduction Myth
Targeted fat loss or "spot reduction" is a popular idea that has been around for decades, according to Yale Scientific (a Yale University science publication). Proponents of spot reduction believe it is possible to lose fat around certain body areas by exercising those parts alone. On the other hand, the opponents of this idea believe that it is nothing more than a myth.
Researchers and scientists have carried out studies to determine whether targeted fat loss works. For example, researchers at the University of Connecticut monitored 104 people who exercised their non-dominant arms for one week. At the start and end of this study period, the researchers used an MRI scanner to assess levels of subcutaneous fat in the arms of all participants. The results showed that fat loss in the arms that were involved in resistance training as well as arms that did not undergo training was more or less the same.
Another study carried out by researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that blood flow and breakdown of fat cells in the legs of people who performed single-leg extensions did not show significant differences.
According to Yale Scientific, spot reduction does not work because exercises that target specific body parts rarely burn many calories. In addition, body fat is usually in a form called triglycerides. The problem with triglycerides is muscles cannot use them directly as fuel. The body has to break them down into free fatty acids and glycerol in order to use them as fuel. Moreover, since triglycerides occur throughout the body, exercises that target specific parts of the body are unlikely to get rid of a muffin top.
Muffin Top Exercises That Will Help You Lose Body Fat and Eventually Muffin Top
Kickboxing is a great muffin top buster because it combines various cross body movements like sidekicks. This is in addition to high-intensity moves like side-to-side jumps as well as twists. If you have never participated in a kickboxing event, hire a professional to put you through the paces. A report published by Yale Scientific states that high-intensity exercises such as kickboxing are effective because of an effect called after-burn, which is an increase in the resting metabolic rate for up to 24-hours after exercise.
Squats and Squat Jumps
Stand on a level surface with your feet hip-width apart. Extend your arms in front and then lower your body down as if you are sitting down into a chair. Remember to have your arms on your sides as you rise up.
Reese Rider is a health researcher and author who specializes in researching methods of losing weight naturally through a healthy lifestyle. He's written numerous articles about losing body fat, belly fat, back fat, healthy eating, healthy exercise, including muffin top exercises and more. Learn more by going to http://howtolosebackfat.org/.