Need some tips for best ways on how to lose muffin top belly fat? Where do I start? Which one is most important? What the heck is mindfully eating?
How many times have you seen an ad for a new product or the latest fad diet that promises to help you lose weight fast?
Stay here a bit and I’ll do my best to help.
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 Best Ways on How to Lose Muffin Top
Let’s face it folks, there are no magic pills or products that will drop those pounds for you unless you do your part too!
Besides, who needs a pill or fancy product for weight loss when you have a great program like Noom that can be available 24/7?
I’m here to share a few tips that I learned from being a member of the Noom Weight Loss program.
Their app and all the tools & resources it comes with, has helped me a great deal.
I hope what I share in this article will help you understand the types of things you can expect if you decide to try the 7-Day trial that Noom offers for only $1.
16 Tips – How to Lose Muffin Top Belly Fat
- Don’t eat while watching TV or playing on device
- Eat Breakfast
- Exercise – A lot of Cardio; 30 minutes a day
- Learn portion Control – Use Smaller Plates
- Eat Mindfully – Chew Slowly, Taste Your Food
- Drink Water, Not SODA!
- Snack on Raw Veggies – Not CHIPs & SWEETS
- Track the Foods you Eat
- Plan Meals ahead of time
- Fight the FAT – Stay away from FAST FOOD!
- Get at Least 7-8 Hours Sleep
- Set an Eating Schedule
- Budget Calories
- Avoid Refined Sugars
- Eat More Fiber
- Learn what Healthy Fats Are
1. Don’t eat while watching TV
Eating while distracted from watching television or surfing the internet on smart devices, is a big “No No!”
Have ever sat down to watch a movie with a bowl of popcorn or a bag of chips?
Of course, you have!
It’s the human thing to do, Right?
But then the entire bowl of popcorn or bag of chips runs out and you’re still reaching for more!
We probably aren’t even hungry, it’s just a habit or thing to do.
That’s why I made this #1 on my list of 16 tips.
If you just have to have that popcorn or those chips, get the mini-bags. If its chips, put some in a small bowl and leave the rest of the bag in the pantry, out of sight.
Eat one piece of popcorn or one chip at a time. (This works well with mixed nuts too!)
No, this tip alone, won’t lose that muffin top belly, but it’s a great place to start! 🙂
2. Eat Breakfast
Eating a high-protein breakfast has been known to help improve energy, increase metabolism, and decrease the amount of food you eat during the day.
So, Let’s think about this…
You’re just getting out of bed and let’s hope that you slept for about 7 or 8 hours. That is basically a fasting period of your life. The body needs to replenish glucose and other essential nutrients that’s responsible for keeping energy levels up throughout the day.
Let me be the one to tell you, without building up the supply of glucose, consider your metabolism to slow down.
Metabolism slow down means “no energy,” which decreases the amount of movement you will do and discourages any type of exercise.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the Day!
Eating a healthy breakfast has been linked to less illness, better memory and concentration, and known to help decrease levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Breakfast can also decrease the risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.
Yes, decrease in weight from eating breakfast!!
Because, your belly is satisfied for longer and most likely reduces snacking and eating too much during lunch and dinner.
It will also boost energy levels and provide the fuel the body needs to exercise more often.
So there you go…
“Eat Breakfast” is #2 on the list because it’s a very important 1st meal!
3. Exercise – A lot of Cardio; 30 minutes a day
Losing belly fat is not the simplest thing to do in the world, but if you add high-intensity cardio exercises to your workout routine, there’s a better chance of losing it.
Working out 30 minutes a day 5 days a week is recommended for good health and well-being, but if you are serious about wanting to lose fat, then 40-45 minutes of exercise 5 days a week will get you there much faster.
First of all…
It’s not possible to just pick a spot on the body to lose weight such as the muffin top belly.
Doing ab exercises want get it done either! Sure, it’ll tighten and strengthen those muscles that are under excess fat, but they don’t burn it off.
High-intense cardio exercises get the heart rate up for an extended amount of time. Cardio exercises that involve interval workouts are excellent.
Interval training involves low to high-intensity workouts, such as varying the intensity of the exercise. A good example would be run/walk intervals.
Run at a very fast pace for 30 seconds then walk for 1 minute. Then run as fast as you possible can for 30 seconds, then walk for another minute, repeating this sequence for 15-20 minutes.
This will keep the heart rate up as well as increase the persons capabilities for running longer at a more intense level.
As you build strength, increase the intensity from 30 second runs to 40 seconds and so on.
Boosting the metabolism in this way will help you lose more weight overall, including belly fat.
Running is A GREAT way to burn FAT!
Running just happens to be one of the best cardio exercise one can do for burning fat, because it’s not easy.
Training the body to run for a long period, especially when you mix it up, such as using a treadmill one day, a hiking trail another day, and cement path another. Varying terrain requires different levels of intensity from the body’s major muscle groups and can burn more calories.
- Outdoor bicycling
- Stair stepper (I use a NordicTrack mini stepper; great for toning the buttocks too!)
- Jumping Rope
- Aerobic exercises
- Stationary cycling
- Rowing machine
Chose something you enjoy doing!
Something that makes you feel great and boost energy levels. If you don’t like the exercise, you are less likely to stick with it.
Here’s a great video to get you started:
4. Learn Portion Control – Use Smaller Plates
Using smaller plates and bowls can trick the mind. Smaller is better because when you serve yourself dinner on a smaller plate or in a smaller bowl, there will be less room on the plate for food.
This trick can work as long as you take your time eating and don’t go back for seconds.
Learning how much is in a portion of each food is very important!
A whole chicken breast is not a single serving!
A single portion of chicken is 3-4 ounces, the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. A serving of fish is about 8 ounces, uncooked. This article about Suggested Servings may be helpful for you.
I highly recommend using portion cups and investing in a food weigh scale.
An example of a dinner meal plate;
- 1/2 Plate of Vegetables – Any vegetable; lots of color and fewer calories
- 1/4 Plate Proteins – Low-fat proteins are great for heart health and better for the waistline. Baked, broiled, or grilled is recommended.
- 1/4 Plate Starches – Whole-grain starches are good for heart health and help keep you feeling full longer. Some starches include yams, potatoes, corn, and whole grain rice.
These Grocery List Printable Templates from NOOM may help get you started out right. Of course, foods from the Green and Yellow list can be eaten more so than the foods on the Red list!
- FREE Grocery List Printable Template for GREEN Foods
- FREE Grocery List Printable Template for YELLOW Foods
- FREE Grocery List Printable Template for RED Foods
5. Eat Mindfully – Chew Slowly, Taste Your Food
For those of you who don’t know, eating slower can help with eating less. Besides, when you eat slower, food taste so much better!
Remember Tip #1 – No Television or Smart device
When we eat hurriedly, a lot of times we don’t even know what the food we’re eating taste like. As a golden rule, each bite should be chewed at least 20 times. This will also help the body digest the food easier.
When training yourself to eat slower, try putting the fork down between each bite and take a drink of water.
Enjoy conversing with family and friends during meals.
Stop shoveling food into your mouth and learn to savor each bite, tasting the wonderful spices and enjoying the way it smells.
Test it out!
One day when you’re alone try these steps:
Pick your absolute most favorite treat!
Sit down where you cannot be bothered or distracted for at least 5 minutes straight.
Turn off your phone; not on silence either!
Take a bite of your treat, and hold it in your mouth. Close your eyes.
Don’t chew yet (and don’t swallow!). Instead, just let your treat slowly melt in your mouth.
Breathe deeply, and enjoy the flavors.
Once you have finished enjoying your treat, tune into how you’re feeling.
- Do you feel satisfied from this one mouthful?
- How has this time compared to other times you’ve had this treat?
Most importantly, remember the whole idea behind mindfulness. Slow down and enjoy the satisfaction of what you’re eating. It’ll make a big difference in how you look at food from this day forward.
Extra little tip…
Brush your teeth after each meal. This will help keep snacking down in between meals.
6. Drink Water, Not SODA!
Water works wonders in many ways! It can make you feel full for longer, keeping the snacking down. It’ll surely keep your calorie intake at bay. Increasing your water intake can increase the number of calories burned during the day.
Drinking water also plays a role in boosting the metabolism and cleansing the body of waste. It’s also been said that when adding more water to the diet, it can help the body stop retaining water, which leads to weight loss.
Without the right amount of water, the body can’t properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates.
Dehydration can lead to constipation and hard stools. Believe me, it’s much easier to lose weight when the digestion system is working as it should and the body releases toxic waste.
Also, think of all the calories you won’t be taking in! Soda’s and sports drinks are loaded with sugar and calories!
It’s possible to drink too much water
How much water the body needs can vary, depending on several things. Here are a few;
- Body Size
- Activity level
Generally speaking, women need about 90 ounces and men need about 125 ounces of water a day.
A good way to know if you need more or less water is;
- If your urine is very dark – your body is starving for more water
- If your urine is light yellow – you’re probably getting enough water
- If your urine is almost clear – you’re most likely drinking more than the body needs
Sometimes when we get busy it’s easy to forget to drink water. Some ways that might help are:
- Drink water with each meal
- Always have a refillable water bottle in hands reach
- Have a glass of water next to your bed at night
- Eat more fruits and vegetables that have high water content;
- Watermelon (all melons)
Water is important for so many reasons. It helps muscles, connective tissues, and joints to move correctly during workouts. It even helps protect your muscles from cramping and becoming fatigue.
There can be many other consequences from not drinking enough water, including urinary infections, kidney stones, and unhealthy skin.
Although it is essential that we drink enough water, it is also an important factor, to not drink too much. There are serious side effects known as water intoxication, from the body getting too much water. These can be as serious as seizures and brain damage.
If you are still not sure how much water your body requires, please discuss it with your doctor or nutritionist.
7. Snack on Raw Veggies – Not CHIPs & SWEETs
Of course, eating raw veggies instead of chips or sweets for a snack is much healthier. People looking to lose weight should avoid foods that contain large amounts of salt, sugar, saturated fat, and simple carbohydrates.
Many snacks on the market today are processed and contain high levels of sugar, salt, or both.
Snacking between meals can help with weight loss, but only if you pick the right foods to snack on. Raw vegetables are a great alternative because they also provide essential vitamins, fiber, and protein.
The extra fiber can keep you full for longer which can decrease the chance of overeating later.
Dip it in Hummus, NOT Ranch!
Rather than dipping raw vegetables in ranch dressing or sour cream, try hummus. Vegetables and hummus compliment each other very well.
There are many variations in hummus dips, including flavor and texture. Pre-made hummus is available in grocery stores, but it can also be made at home. 🙂
Here are some snack ideas:
- Celery and nutter butter
- Raw vegetables in Hummus (See below for a great recipe)
- Low-Fat Cottage Cheese & Pears
- Kale Chips
- Sweet Potato Chips
- Apple Chips
- Banana Chips
- Air-Popped Popcorn (plain)
Veggie Sandwich with Edamame Hummus
For the Hummus:
- 3/4 cup Frozen shelled edamame
- 1/3 cup Non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped chives
- 1 Tsp honey mustard
- pinch of salt
(Serve as a dip for raw veggies or use on a sandwich)
For the Sandwich:
- 3/4 cup baby spinach
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 4 slices thin-sliced whole wheat bread, toasted
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.
- Add the edamame and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain well
- Place in a mini-processor and blend until finely chopped.
- Add the yogurt, lemon juice, parsley, chives, mustard, and salt.
- Process until smooth.
- Spread 2 Tbsp of the edamame hummus on each slice of bread.
- Top with the spinach.
- Spoon on 1/2 Tbsp of the hummus on top.
- Top with the sliced tomato and cucumber and a final dollop of hummus.
- Serve 2 open-face sandwiches per person
8. Log the Foods you Eat
Logging the foods you eat during the day can help keep track of calories. It can actually encourage you to eat fewer calories.
There have been studies that have shown people who kept a food journal were more likely to be successful in losing weight and keeping it off.
Writing down the foods you eat increases awareness of what and how much you are eating. Seeing this on paper can help decrease mindless eating and snacking.
It’s also a way to tell what foods can be cut out of their diet.
So don’t just log the food, write down how much and how many calories. At the end of the day, add the calories up and write it down. It may even be wise to track your weight in the same journal, by weighing and recording each day.
OMG!! There’s that many calories in…..
Just by knowing how many calories are in the foods you eat can help with managing weight loss.
People have found their hidden food triggers and problematic eating patterns, just from their recordings each day.
You may not eat something for the simple reason, you don’t feel like writing it down! 🙂
My personal recommendation would be:
- Record the date
- Record the time eaten
- Record the amount or portion eaten
- Include calories
- Record weight
** If you really want to get technical, record any fitness activity you did that day. If you have a fitness tracker, record your steps and calories burned that day.
It’s your diary!
Do what works for you.
As you start writing these things down, you’ll find your own format.
I personally believe in keeping a food journal along with my weight and fitness activity. It has helped me a great deal!
9. Plan Meals ahead of Time
Planning meals ahead of time can be a very important step when trying to lose weight or even just managing weight.
Write a list and stick to it!
Sit down and make a grocery list. Divide it up into sections; produce, dairy, cereal, meats, frozen, etc. Generally when I have a list, I’m pretty good at sticking to it and not buying anything else.
I like to try writing my list in the order I find it in my grocery store, that is if you know the store like that. This saves a lot of time for me. (I really hate it when they rearrange the food in the grocery store, which they are doing more often these days!)
On another paper, write the days of the week in columns;
Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Then under each one, write what you plan to have for dinner that night. Next, go to your grocery list and write down any items you will need to prepare that dinner.
Do this for each day of the week.
Of course if you want to write down breakfast and lunch in the same way, that’s fine too. I usually eat the same things for breakfast and lunch, so I write what I need on my grocery list, but don’t list it on my paper for meals.
Just recently I made the best Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad recipe from Noom. The recipe consisted of 4 servings and I was only fixing it for me, so I made all 4 servings, separating it into individual bowls. (shown in the image above)
I placed saran wrap over each of them and placed them in the refrigerator.
This was my dinner for 4 days in a row!!
Saved me a lot of time – Awesome salad by-the-way! 🙂
10. Fight the FAT – Stay away from FAST FOOD!
Let face it, we all know that fast food is bad for us. Obesity and Fast Food are like 2 of the same. Today, one of the leading causes of obesity is linked to fast food restaurants.
There’s more to being obese than just being fat. It causes many long term health conditions including premature deaths and illnesses. It has been a leading cause for diabetes, heart disease, strokes, gall bladder disease, fatty liver, arthritis, cancer and joint disorders.
Eating away from home is happening more and more.
It is the law now, for fast food restaurants to display how many calories is in their foods, but still people seem to not pay attention to it or not even care.
BIG Mac Meal 1100 Calories!!
Fast food is very high in calories, fat (saturated and trans fat), sugar, simple carbohydrates, and sodium (salt). A single Big Mac from McDonald’s as 593 calories, 33 grams of fat and 44 grams of carbohydrates.
Add fries and a drink and it’s 1100 calories!
Not only does fast food consist of high calories, fat, carbs, sugar, and sodium, it contains less fiber, vitamins and minerals.
For obvious reasons, people should avoid eating out and maintain a healthy diet from home.
If it’s necessary to eat out, choose healthier places to eat from such as Subway. 🙂
11. Get at Least 7-8 Hours Sleep
Poor sleeping habits are major risks for weight gain and obesity! Studies have shown that people who do not get enough sleep tend to have higher BMI (body mass index), and weight gain.
People who get fewer than 7 hours sleep have an increase in appetite.
Poor sleep quality can impact two important hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin is a hormone that’s released in the stomach.
This hormone signals hunger in the brain. The levels of Ghrelin are higher before you eat and low after you eat.
Leptin is a hormone released from fat cells.
It’s responsible for suppressing hunger and signals fullness in the brain.
Increase in Appetite
When the body doesn’t get enough sleep, it makes more ghrelin and less leptin, which leaves you feeling hungry and increases the appetite.
Sleep also helps support healthier habits, making better food choices. It’s also easier to resist foods that are unhealthy.
Getting enough sleep can improve memory, help with making better decisions, and increased energy levels. Having more energy can lead to more physical activity which can help with weight loss.
Poor sleep can also cause cells to become insulin resistant, causing more sugar to remain in the bloodstream.
This makes the body produce more insulin, which can make you hungrier.
Insulin resistant can cause the body to store more calories as fat, increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
12. Set an Eating Schedule
Your schedule can be flexible, but it’s best to try to stick to eating at the same times during the day.
Breakfast at 7:30 am
Lunch at 12:00 pm
Snack at 3:30 pm
Dinner at 6:30 pm
Have a routine for when to eat, helps keep you on track and avoid mindlessly eating throughout the day.
For some people, eating 6 small meals per day works better and loss more weight or it helps maintain their weight.
Eating meals at the same time every day can boost the metabolism, decrease food cravings and promote more energy.
Making a meal time schedule by eating at the same times every day, is easier for the body to establish a healthier lifestyle.
13. Budget Calories
Whether you plan a calorie budget for 1200 calories or 2500, depends on the person and their lifestyle habits. A calorie budget is not much different from a financial budget.
Figure out how many calories you want to allow yourself, plan meals ahead of time and write down the calories (including calories from drinks). Add them all up to see if you’ll meet the budget or if you need to cut calories somewhere.
After a while, you’ll have a pretty good idea what you can eat and how much, but at first, it can be more difficult.
If you are trying to lose weight, as a general rule, it’s necessary to burn more calories than consumed. There are apps that are specifically for helping with budgeting calories and can even help figure out the amount of calories in the foods to log.
Noom weight loss app is pretty awesome!
Noom is not free, but they do offer a 7-Day trial for $1!
I personally use the Noom app and love it. It’s user-friendly and consists of so many tools that help with losing weight.
The section where you log food, shows you the budget and how many calories are in the foods you log.
It’s pretty simple and makes things easier to manage.
How Many Calories to Budget?
It all depends on how much weight you want to lose and in what time period.
Losing 1 pound requires that you burn about 3,500 more calories than you consume. So if you’re trying to lose 1 pound per week and on average you burn 2,500 calories per day, your daily calorie budget would be 2000.
Here’s how it’s calculated:
Burn 1 pound weekly = 3,500
Daily, divide 3,500 by 7 days = 500
Take your daily calories burned and subtract 500 = 2,500 burned calories – 500 = 2000
Daily Calorie Budget = 2000
14. Avoid Refined Sugars
Why should we avoid refined sugars?
Refined sugars can lead to health conditions and weight gain.
Sugar is Addictive!
The more sugar you eat, the more you think you need it. Sugar stimulates the release of a chemical called dopamine, in the brain.
When we consume sugar, more dopamine is created causing us to crave more sugar.
How does it effect the Immune System?
The consumption of sugar lowers the efficiency of white blood cells. This decreases the body’s ability to fight disease and infections.
Sugar causes insulin resistance, diabetes, and weight gain. It has also been known to cause depression, anxiety, increased fatigue, irritability, and moodiness. It can also cause premature aging.
Obviously, sugar will decrease the ability for the body to lose weight in a major way.
Including ARTIFICIAL Sweeteners!
Artificial sweeteners are loaded with harmful chemicals and have no nutritional value. They have been linked to a lot of bad side effects, some include headaches, mood changes, dizziness, abdominal pain and cramps, physical weakness, fatigue, etc.
If you are looking for a sugar substitute, Stevia is recommended.
Stevia is a natural plant extract that has no calories, but it’s sweeter than sugar. It’s had no adverse effects on blood sugar levels.
DIET Sodas contain Artificial Sweeteners!
Diet sodas contain fewer calories, but they contain harmful chemicals and sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose.
So, if you’re going to drink soda, regular non-diet drinks would be less harmful.
Although, it you are serious about losing belly fat, then stay away from soft drinks all together!
Diet soda is calorie-free, but it won’t help you lose weight! In fact, people who consume diet sodas are most likely to gain weight!
How to Lose Muffin Top Belly Fat?
Staying away from soft drinks is a good place to start!
15. Eat More Fiber
Including more fiber in the diet will help keep your belly full for longer.
How about adding some kale to your next meal?
In just one cup of kale there’s 24 grams of dietary fiber and 33 calories. It is one of the most nutritious green vegetables with numerous benefits, including helping with weight loss and giving your overall well-being a boost!
What is Fiber?
Fiber is a carbohydrate found in plant based foods including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is considered a good carb, and is easily digested by the body, so it passes through the system quickly without causing blood sugar to rise.
As a general rule, for those trying to lose weight, Women should try eating 25 grams of fiber a day and men should eat 38 grams.
Other great fiber foods include:
- Flax seeds
- Fresh figs
- Baked acorn squash
- Raw avocados
16. Learn what Healthy Fats Are
Healthy fats can actually lower cholesterol levels, boost brain functions and support satiety (making you stay full longer).
What are healthy fats?
Ingredients to look for in unprocessed and naturally high in fats:
Avocados – Rich in monounsaturated fats (Good Cholesterol); packed with vitamin E, high in protein and folate.
Extra-Virgin Olive oil – High levels of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants; boost heart health, memory and cognitive function.
Fatty fish – Salmon and sardines are preferred sources. Contains Omega 3s.
Coconut oil – Rich in medium-chain fatty acids which are easy for your body to digest; improves brain and memory function.
Butter & Ghee – Full of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids (good for brain and skin health); rich in fat-soluble vitamins and minerals.
Nuts and Seeds – Rich in Omega 3 fats; helps lower LDL, or bad cholesterol levels.
Eggs – Packed with protein, with a full amino acid profile; can lower cholesterol while improving heart health; can reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Grass-Fed Organic Beef – Contains conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, which helps to prevent cancer and other diseases.
Full-Fat Dairy – Yogurt is full of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, protein and probiotics.
Dark Chocolate – High in fat and rich in antioxidants; helps protect our bodies from free radicals, which causes disease.
MCT Oil – MCT’s, aka medium-chain triglycerides, are a type of saturated fat; easily digested and sent to the liver and boost the metabolism.
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As you may have noticed, I’m a huge fan of the Noom Weight Loss App program. At Noom, they know that there’s not always one best approach to weigh loss that works for absolutely everybody.
So, instead of prescribing a strict diet or exercise regimen, they help you learn how to create your own personal food and exercise systems that allow you to lose weight and continue enjoying all of your favorite foods and activities at the same time.
It’s true, with a little balance and moderation, you can have it all!
Try it today! Join Noom’s 7-Day Trial for $1 (one dollar) and find out for yourself what it’s all about.
If nothing else, you can visit their food database and snatch some really great recipes.
You’ll first be prompt to take a short quiz. The quiz starts your personal profile and shows how soon it will be to reach your weight loss goals.
If you sign up, the Noom course and your assigned Noom coach will help you take things step by step, walking you through each of the evidence-based weight loss techniques.
Do you have any questions for me? I’ll be glad to answer them.
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