If your muffin top is spilling over the top of your jean’s waistline, there is hope. You can burn off your belly fat with the right strategies. One strategy that will not work is doing 500 ab crunches every day.
You must understand the cause of your belly fat, namely a caloric imbalance. If you consistently maintain a caloric surplus (eating more calories than you burn), you will gain weight and body fat. A good amount of this fat will settle in your gut.
It's important that you burn off belly fat for health reasons. Your appearance will take care of itself. Research has documented that too much belly fat damages blood vessels and cells. Belly fat has also been associated with contributing to coronary artery disease, metabolic syndrome and cancer.
According to Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP, an internationally-renowned expert and speaker in women's health, fitness and nutrition, muffin tops can happen at any age. Pamela calls muffin top after age 40, "menopot".
Menopot occurs in women as their sex hormones decrease. This makes it easier to store belly fat instead of fat storing in the butt, hips and thighs.
Call it muffin top, menopot, belly fat or beer gut. The bottom line is that you need to get rid of it! You can do it with a sustained, strategic effort to lean out your entire body.
Here are my tips on how to burn belly fat and keep it off:
1. Build muscle and burn fat on your entire body. This is done primarily with full body strength training and secondarily with short, intense cardio sessions (like intervals). If you are trying to do spot body fat reduction alone (like 500 ab crunches), it won't work. Maintain long-term goals for your health and fitness.
2. Adopt an active lifestyle. This is an underrated weight maintenance strategy. Your fat-burning enzymes stay active when you are active. Walking as much as possible is one of the best ways to do this. Walking is also easy on your joints and helps keep you mentally alert during the day.
3. Change your eating habits. Get a meal plan based on your basal metabolic rate and daily calorie needs. You need a caloric deficit to burn fat and lose weight.