The weight around your middle can be very stubborn to shift. Anyone who’s tried to get rid of their muffin top can vouch for how difficult it is to part with. If you want to tackle a wobbly tum and sides, you need to BOTH exercise and mind your diet. Stay with us as we give you the exercise tips along with a MUFAs diet plan to make that muffin top a thing of the past.
Get good abs with… crunches and a clean diet!
Start by lying on the back with the knees bent at a 90o angle. Think of forming a curved-in stomach by pulling you belly button in towards your spine and then curl your truck up. Keep your head and neck tall and in line with your body. Keep pulling your navel in towards your spine during the whole movement. Do three sets of 25 reps each.
Target your baby belly with… the tummy tucker.
Begin by lying on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor and the hands on your abs. Taking a deep breath, exhale, and draw your bellybutton in to your spine, trying to pull your belly button into the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Make one set of 5 reps, working up to 15 reps.
Target love handles with… a one-legged plank hydrant.
Get into a normal plank position with the hands and feet on the floor. Pull one of your knees close to the chest without touching the floor. Now push your leg back out and up so it’s behind you at a 45o angle. Hold the position for 2 seconds, then bring the leg back into your chest. Do 2 sets of 10 reps on each leg.
Belly button fat
Relieve stress and tone up with… the downward dog to plank sequence.
We start with the hands and feet on the floor, with the wrists slightly in front of your shoulders. Knees are positioned hip-width apart and the toes are curled under. Exhale, lift your knees off the floor, reach your sit bones toward the ceiling and straighten your legs in a downward dog position, pushing through the heels. Hold the position for 5 slow breaths. Inhale and move your weight forward into plank position. Hold it and exhale pushing into a downward dog position. Repeat the exercise 5 times, holding for 5 breaths each time, but make sure you rest when you need to.
MUFAs- the monounsaturated fatty acids!
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are plant-based fats. They are a healthy type of fats that are essential to our bodies and are found in foods like avocados, oils, nuts and seeds, the olives and dark chocolate.
These foods contain fats (MUFAs) that are good for you, enhancing cardiovascular health and offering protection against chronic ailments. These nutritional superstars are actually able to target fat cells where it is most difficult to lose it; your belly!
How the MUFAs help melt your muffin top
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) fight muffin tops by targeting the hormones that cause them. While the hormones are essential for the wellbeing of the body, their levels must be in balance. However, there are a few you will want to keep elevated as they help reduce visceral fat – interleukin-6 (IL-6), adiponectin and immunoglobulin A (IgA). Other hormones you want to keep low.
We have leptin, a hormone that tells your brain when you’ve had enough to eat. It provides a cautious measure against developing fat. Excess of it will however lead to leptin resistance, meaning your brain no longer listens that you’ve had enough to eat.
Cortisol is responsible for raising blood sugar, blood pressure and modulating your immune function. If it releases a lot of glucose into your system, the excess will be converted to fat by hormones from the liver. The problem with muffin tops is that belly fat cells have four-times more cortisol receptors than other cells. This means each time cortisol levels go up, you are feeding that muffin top!
Your body therefore needs a mechanism that will ensure that the hormones are in constant balance. You do not get too much glucose to become fat, nor do you get too little of it to ferment into deprivation.
How do you achieve this? By consuming monounsaturated fatty acids! They lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in your body while maintaining the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.
They also help improve your blood vessels function. Certain studies have also shown that they control insulin and blood glucose levels.
MUFAs diet plan
Your MUFA diet plan may look something like this: Canola oil, flaxseed oil, pesto sauce, olive oil, sesame oil and walnut oil as the options. Stir-fry, pan-fry or cook with any one of combination of them. You may as well use flaxseed and olive oils in your salad dressings.
Pick either almonds, Brazil nuts, dry-roasted cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds (in limited amounts), roasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts and eat as snack or sprinkle on your salad.
Slice and serve avocado with a chosen salad or any entrée. You can as well serve with chips or salsa. Alternatively, serve olives as snack or sprinkle some on pizzas, pastas or salads.
Dark chocolate can also be eaten in any way you prefer, as a snack or an addition to a main dish. It is very nutritious, rich in antioxidants, helps decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol and is good for your brain.
Muffin tops may be notoriously difficult to subdue, but with the right exercises and the correct diet it’s as easy as any other fat in your body – you just make the effort.