Photo: Getty Images
We’ve all had it, have it, or seen it. A nice looking person, confidently striding through the mall, down the street or heading out for a night on the town. We think they look fine – until we glance around their mid-section and whoa! A big circle of flesh exploding out from just over the pants/skirt area.
Known affectionately (not really) as ye olde muffin top – this unfortunate layer of flesh resembles that of a muffin – and it may be caused by an indulgence in them too. Puffing up and out like a real muffin--it’s the dread of many women, although interestingly, many others seem completely unaware of their muffin tops protruding from their torsos. I'll get to you ladies in a moment.
But let’s forget the fashion faux pas for a minute. Belly fat – also known as visceral fat – can be deadly when it comes to heart health. Studies show that the more visceral fat we have, the more likely we are to have heart health problems.
So how do we deal with muffin tops?
From a physical point of view, muffin tops are made of fat. Cardio exercises (including martial arts and kickboxing) are one the best ways to lose this kind of fat. Treadmills, elliptical machines and plain old walking really work. If walking, running and cardio machine are too difficult, then swimming is also an excellent way to burn off fat. Look into water aerobics for a low-impact, effective and fun activity.
Not only are these exercises good for weight loss, they are great for our hearts.
More exercise for our bellies can be found here, from professional certified trainer Mark Dilworth: http://www.empowher.com/healthy-eating/content/melt-away-your-belly-fat
For those of us over 40, it is a little harder. Our bodies are different, so are our hormones and metabolisms. For more information on what works well over 40 and beyond toward menopause, click here: http://www.empowher.com/menopause/content/how-get-rid-menopause-belly-fat?page=0%2C1
As for what foods to eat, keep foods fresh, wholesome and unprocessed. Treats, by definition, mean foods not often taken - so don't indulge often.