Managing Your Muffin Top
Muffin tops aren’t just for middle aged women anymore! Men and women of all ages are spilling over their pants in increasing numbers. This phenomenon, known as central adiposity happens when a number of factors collide in your body:
1. Increasingly stressful lifestyles lead to increased cortisol levels. Excessive cortisol signals your body to protect its most prized possessions… its organs! So you pad up around the middle to save yourself – from your stress.
2. Lack of activity. Do you have trouble exercising because of your long commute and 60 hour work week? You are not alone. Research shows that we are spending more time in the car and at our desks than outside. Screening (computer, tv) during leisure time compounds this problem.
3. Dysbiosis. Adding to the problem and visual appearance of muffin top is the widespread problem of dysbiosis—or an imbalance in the gut bacteria. This can leave you feeling chronically bloated and constipated.
4. Blood sugar roller coaster. Diets high in refined grains and sugar lead to insulin resistance and central weight gain.
5. Alcohol consumption. Alcohol causes an alteration in liver function, can cause insulin resistance and causes food “disinhibition” (meaning that you eat without restraint).
Muffin tops aren’t just visually unappealing. They represent a serious health risk. When your waist becomes bigger than your hips, so does your risk for diabetes, cancer, hypertension, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease and stroke. If your waist to hip ratio exceeds 0.8 as a woman or 1.0 as a man, you need to focus on melting your muffin top.