Muffin Tops and Saddle Bags
I have reproduced a post from the UK’s leading personal trainer below as it just restates exactly what I have been saying about insulin resistance and fat loss and how to get high fitness levels to work for you to get rid of excess fat of this kind.
Note especially the advice regarding frequency of workouts and the reduction of sugars (carbs) in the diet. But remember that I do not advise avoiding carbs all together, just avoiding processed foods and making sure you eat proteins and fats as well to avoid insulin surges will do the trick.
Also, to your body, all carbs are sugars. So don’t think that just because you don’t put sugar in your coffee and you don’t eat lollies, that you are avoiding sugar. Get your carbs from fruits and vegetables most of the time.
Now, to answer your questions…
It’s a very common question that I receive from both readers and clients and, perhaps surprisingly, it’s a very easy question to answer.
The sites you’re talking about are common fat storage sites in both men and women who notice first a ‘thickening’ of the area and then a ‘fleshing out’ and finally the growing of ‘love handles’ or ‘muffin tops’ as some people call them. No matter what you call them, they’re fat and, as such, they respond (almost) like all fat.
Meaning that you CAN burn them off and expose the firm, muscular abdominals, obliques and lower back muscles again. Regardless of how long you’ve had them.
Now, the reason I say ‘almost’ is because, whilst this type is the same as abdominal fat, the reason for it being laid down is different. Whilst all fat has its roots in over-consumption of calories, the sites that fat is deposited tell us a lot about the hormonal balances of the body as the time it was laid down.
For example, whilst belly fat is closely related to cortisol (the stress hormone), the area of the back and hips (including the lower back/love handle area) is related to over production of insulin relative to other hormones.
Knowing this, we can approach fat loss more strategically.
For a start, insulin over-production is directly related to over-consumption of carbohydrates. Sugars. I don’t just mean table sugar (but DEFINITELY includes this) but all simple carbs.
Go for low GI carbs (like those from fruits and vegetables) and reduce the overall carbohydrate intake and make sure that those consumed are spread throughout the day to avoid insulin ’spikes’ that will command your body to store fat. Maintain a steady protein and fat intake and be sure to supplement your diet with a high quality fish oil too.
Regarding training, shorter, more intense workouts utilising resistance training carried out twice a day seem to work out best for this area. I’ve found that 2 x 15-20 minute sessions are more effective at mobilising fat in general (and this area specifically) due to increased insulin resistance over time.
Circuit-style training, supersets and shorter, high intensity workouts excellently for this… as long as an Elimination Diet protocol is followed. The Elimination Diet is made up of non processed foods just like the FitterFaster Nutrition Plan.
Also, try training more often, like daily, rather than 3 times a week. Just as 2 mini workouts a day is more powerful at mobilising this seemingly stubborn fat, so too are daily sessions better than less frequent ones.
Hope this helps!
The UK’s Leading Personal Trainer
So the take home from this can be summarised as:
- train as frequently as possible within recovery limitations-5 times per week is much much better than 3 and the occasional twice per day is an excellent way to attack these fat deposits
- reduce your overall carb intake and get the carbs you do eat from fresh fruits and vegetables.
- use high intensity training techniques just like at Bootcamp. If you wish to do extra low intensity stuff, that is great, but always get your high intensity training done first-not the other way around
- avoid processed foods and stick to real, whole foods 95% of the time
- Make special note of this paragraph “ you CAN burn them off and expose the firm, muscular abdominals, obliques and lower back muscles again. Regardless of how long you’ve had them”