What Is a Muffin Top & What Causes It?

Likelihood is, you’ve heard somebody complaining about their “muffin prime”

Alas, they’re not speaking about perfectly-crusty prime of a blueberry muffin or pumpkin muffin.

Extra doubtless, the “muffin prime” in query is a standard drawback space across the midsection and consists of what many individuals consult with as love handles.

Right here’s what causes this cussed stomach fats and what you are able to do to stop it.

What Is a Muffin Prime?

“Muffin prime” is a slang time period used to explain an accumulation of fats across the midsection, simply above the hips.

In tight-fitting pants, this additional fats could spill out over the waistband — “similar to a muffin above the paper cup,” explains Robert Ziltzer, M.D., FACP, FAAP, weight problems drugs doctor and coauthor of “Chasing Diets.”

Two types of belly fat could contribute to a muffin prime, Ziltzer provides: subcutaneous fats (the mushy, pinchable fats just under the pores and skin) and visceral fats (a deeper layer of fats that surrounds the stomach organs).

Woman eating a burger and fries

What Causes a Muffin Prime?

A couple of components could make this midsection bulge extra more likely to happen:

Eating regimen

Very similar to precise muffins, “muffin tops” are additionally made within the kitchen.

Consuming extreme energy day-after-day can contribute to fats storage across the midsection, so ensure you are burning extra energy than you’re consuming, says Brittany Noel Robles, M.D., M.P.H., C.P.T., an OBGYN and NASM-certified private coach.


Genetics decide how and the place you retailer fats, Ziltzer says. When you can’t management your genes, train and wholesome consuming will help with fats loss.


Anxiousness, fear and misery may also play a task in creating these midsection rolls.

“Stress results in the discharge of cortisol in your physique, which tells your physique to carry on to that fats, specifically in the midsection,” says Abby Nouis, ACSM-certified private coach and facility director of QuickHIT Health in Madison, WI.

Stress may also result in emotional consuming, which might contribute to weight acquire.

Man scrolling through smartphone

Lack of train

If you happen to aren’t burning extra energy than you’re consuming, these additional energy can undoubtedly land round your center.

Whether or not you like HIIT, barre, dancing, or boxing, ensure you’re transferring your physique day-after-day.

Not sufficient sleep

Research suggests a shorter sleep length could also be related to a better physique mass index, waist circumference, and subcutaneous fats storage.

“Sleep deprivation has an impact in your urge for food, cravings, and temper,” Nouis says, and it may additionally have an effect on your motivation to train.

Meditation or stretching earlier than mattress will help you unwind get night time’s relaxation.

Can I Lose My Muffin Prime?

Sure — however it requires exhausting work and endurance.

“It’s undoubtedly attainable to lose the muffin prime,” Robles says. “Nevertheless, it isn’t an in a single day repair.”

It isn’t attainable to spot-reduce fats from particular drawback areas. However as you lose general physique fats, you’ll see your midsection shrink.

To that finish, your finest weight-loss method is a multi-channel one which addresses the controllable contributing components, together with weight loss program, train, sleep, and stress discount, Robles provides.

Sustaining a nutritious diet and acceptable calorie consumption is vital.

Nouis recommends getting loads of nutrient-dense meals — like broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach, and cauliflower — together with protein.

Final however not least, don’t overlook self-care.

Discovering wholesome methods to take care of stress will help cut back cortisol ranges in your physique and make it easier to sleep higher at night time , each of which can make it easier to beat back that muffin prime.

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