How Hormones Cause Muffin Top in Women
Does this sound familiar:
I slip on my awesome skinny jeans that flatter my shapely legs, enhance the sexy curve of my booty - but then, OH NO...
Turning to check how I look from every side, I see my jeans fit perfectly except for the muffin top spilling over my waistband... WHAAAAT?!
Welcome to muffin top misery.
Sure, you can hide it by wearing a 1 piece swimsuit at the beach or a control top cami under a not too tight shirt - BUT - when you take that stuff off, the muffin top will still be there. Soon you’ll be convinced that everyone around you notices it too.
Not All Fat Is Created Equally
There's more than just one type of Fat. If you've ever had your body fat measured by those scary-looking calipers, you were getting your subcutaneous fat checked.
This is the fat which is located just below your skin’s surface.
It's the pinch-able fat.
This is also the fat the layer that provides padding for areas like your arms, booty and the soles of your feet.
All in all, a certain amount of it is necessary and so having a little too much of it is not so bad.
But unfortunately, subcutaneous fat has an evil - sometimes lethal - counterpart known as visceral fat.
Even calipers can’t measure this type of fat because it resides deep inside of your abdomen.
Having too much of it will surround and crowd your vital organs and it stubbornly refuses to leave your midsection.
Visceral fat also likes to create other trouble. It does so by releasing a nasty substance called adipokines. Here are a few thing that adipokines do:
- it increases your blood pressure
- decreases muscle mass
- messes with your insulin sensitivity
These things set you up for insulin resistance which can eventually lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
My dear ladies - it gets even worse. Visceral fat also increases your risk for dementia. A study with middle-aged adults found visceral belly fat can shrink brain size.
I think you get that nothing positive comes from carrying visceral fat.
Trouble is, visceral fat knows how to protect itself for the long term.
So what's to blame for making it so stubborn and difficult to banish? Your HORMONES!
Hormones that give Muffin Top Asylum
Just like most things in life, having some highs are great but balance is the real key to a good life.
The same goes for most hormones to in order for you to be lean and healthy.
Adipose is what makes leptin, a hormone that triggers satiety to your brain telling it you've had enough to eat.
Leptin helps control your appetite and also helps to determine if your body will use food as fuel or store it in your midsection.
When your leptin is out of whack, and you've become leptin-resistant, your brain isn't getting the "Okay, I'm full enough" message so you just want to eat… and eat…
If you’ve got too much midsection fat, you’re likely leptin resistant.
Cortisol is another tricky hormone that can be a bad-boy when it's off-kilter.
It has 3 main functions:
- raise blood sugar (for the "fight or flight" response)
- raise blood pressure
- modulate immune function
Cortisol works by releasing a quick jolt of glucose into your system.
This can help you to deal with a short-term stressful situation - like escaping from a burning house!
The problem arises when you are triggering cortisol due to constant stress.
When it stays cranked up, it actually prevents your feelings of stress from going away!
It also contributes to increased blood sugar and insulin resistance.
If that isn't enough bad news, you should know that belly fat cells contain 4x more cortisol receptors compared to other cells.
As a result, every time cortisol is raised in your body, you keep adding fat to your muffin top.
Insulin: The fuel regulator
Insulin regulates how your body uses fuel from your food. Insulin directs your muscle, liver and fat cells to remove glucose from your blood and store it.
Generally, your cells know when they've had enough glucose - but when insulin is behaving badly, it demand your cells to take more.
And when every type of cell in your body has said NO to more glucose, there's one type that will always say yes: your fat cells.
Fat cells just can't say no and they will enable insulin long after every other cell has slammed the door shut!
What you are facing now is insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance issues include excess weight, obesity, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke and some cancers.
This is not something to ignore and not deal with.
Chronically high insulin will not only keep visceral fat from burning off, they lock the door to your fat cells so that the fat-releasing hormones get shut out.
With elevated insulin levels, and screwed up leptin, your muffin top’s not going anywhere.
5 Foods to Reverse Muffin Top
In this case, you are what you eat. If you keep eating muffins, you'll continue to have a muffin top.
Same goes for eating similar foods like cookies, cakes, pastries, and other baked goods loaded with white flour and many forms of sugar.
Many studies have shown that a diet high in sugar combined with chronic stress is an almost certain path to continual fat storage and the way to metabolic syndrome.
It makes sense then for you to eliminate the highly processed white stuff like sugar and flour but you should also include white rice and potatoes on the no, no list.
The next step is to eat the right foods to get your hormones working for your fat loss.
Balance hormones with the following foods
• Wild Salmon
This is a very high-quality protein, packed with nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3's can also help to reduce visceral fat. But make sure you only eat wild and not farmed salmon.
Farmed fish often have high levels of PCB's which are a toxin.
Adding toxins to your system will impede proper hormone function and work against fat loss.
This dense and creamy fruit is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber. The compounds in avocado can help you to feel less hungry.
Eat from 1/4 to half an avocado at a time since it is very calorie dense.
• Raw Almonds
This is another super health food which is loaded with healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Raw almonds help stabilize blood sugar.
Almonds and seeds are also rich in magnesium, a mineral most of us are deficient in.
One recent study found a high-fructose diet with low magnesium levels causes the optimal conditions for increased belly fat storage..
• Green Tea
Both coffee and green tea have caffeine but your cup of java can raise cortisol while green tea is calming. There are also many studies that show there are substances in green tea which help reduce body fat.
Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants, insoluble fiber and phytonutrients. Add them to smoothies, protein shakes, Greek yogurt, or just eat them on their own.
But do make them your berry of choice and have them several times per week.
There are lots more foods to include, some of which you will find here on this site by reading: 13 Best Belly Fat Burning Super Foods
You can also learn how to fast track your hormone control and rid yourself of muffin top and belly fat quicker by taking advantage of a kick-ass female fat loss system.
This breakthrough method is fairly new. You can find out more by clicking here: Female Fat Loss