There is nothing worse than putting on your jeans and noticing that nasty bulge of flesh over the top of them which is commonly known as the ‘muffin top’ or in a more positive light, ‘love handles’ (though if a ‘love’ tried to squeeze mine, he’d definitely never do it again!).
But did you know that even skinny people can suffer from this type of stubborn belly fat?
The fat is called ‘visceral fat’ and it wraps itself around the body’s organs across the abdominal area. Visceral fat stores oestrogen, the reproductive hormone and is considered to be pro-inflammatory, meaning that it contributes to inflammation and is a definite sign of metabolic stress. It can also be a sign that your reproductive hormones may be out of balance. It has also been linked to Type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and high blood pressure.
I have been trying to rid myself of this unwanted visceral yuk for a while now and had put it down to age, however, through researching this article, I’ve found out that the main cause of muffin top is:
Too much sugar and not enough sleep.
If a combination of caffeine and sweets – primarily refined sugar or carbs are your primary source of energy, then your insulin levels—the hormone that regulates the body’s blood sugar—go haywire.
If this happens too often, i.e. your intake of these chemicals is regular (I eat silly sweets and chocolate every single day!), your cells become insulin resistant, which means that your body is producing insulin which it cannot use.
When the body’s cells become resistant to insulin, the cells aren’t getting the sugar they need, therefore, can’t produce the natural energy your body needs.
Thus, the body tries to produce more insulin in an attempt to feed the cells the glucose they need in order to work properly. Over a long period of time, the body is unable to keep producing this much insulin, and in some, this is how type 2 diabetes develops.
The excess sugar goes directly to your liver and is converted into FAT.
I know how difficult sugar is to give up. It is apparently more addictive that Heroin and unfortunately much more available, not least because it is added to just about everything – cereals, yoghurt, bread.
Apart from willpower, there is nothing I can suggest eating when you get that sweet craving. You could try vegetables and fruit – but I know how hard it is because I’ve failed so many times and I don’t want to be a hypocrite. So, all I can say is: limit your sugar intake and exercise. This is my plan. And if you need to add sugar to food, I suggest using stevia instead. Stevia is a natural plant and lowers blood sugar and tastes just as sweet!