Muffin Tops and Love Handles: Why Fat Deposits in These Spots

You want to lose weight, but more specifically, you want to lose fat in those pesky love handles or muffin top. Other names for these stubborn fat storage sites are a spare tire, middle-age spread, and plain old flab. These problem areas bulge over your waist band and seem to linger, no matter how hard you work out and eat right.

These areas are common places to accumulate fat due to a variety of health issues and lifestyle habits. Read on to find out exactly why this middle fat is so common and hard to lose.

Why you gain weight

You gain weight when your calorie intake through meals and beverages exceeds your calorie output through daily activity and exercise. Your body stores excess energy in fat cells that plump in response to the surplus. Why your body chooses to store fat in the area of your waist depends somewhat on genetics, but other factors also come into play.

The wrong foods

A diet high in sugary sweets and beverages, simple carbohydrates, and packaged foods can lead to accumulation of fat around your midsection. Your body processes these foods quickly so they get turned into fat.

Instead, choose foods high in fiber, such as whole grains and fresh produce, and high in protein -- such as poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and lean steak.

Sedentary lifestyle

When you’re inactive, your body just doesn’t use a lot of calories. The food you eat doesn’t get used as energy and is stored instead. If you bump up your physical activity level to at least the 30 minutes per day that’s recommended by major health organizations, you can start to lose extra fat, including the stuff stored in your midsection.


Stress from daily life -- bills, work pressures, family obligations -- can cause weight gain, especially in the problem areas of the love handles or muffin top. Stress raises your body’s production of the hormone cortisol, which encourages your body to store fat, particularly in your middle. Stress can also drive you to make poor food choices, deprive yourself of sleep, and skip exercise. These side effects can also encourage weight gain.

Poor sleep

Getting too little or too much sleep also contributes to the accumulation of fat in your love handles. Poor sleep habits mess with the hormones that drive feelings of hunger and satiation. When you get less than seven hours of sleep per night, or more than nine hours, you tend to feel hungrier and have trouble feeling satiated when you do eat. The excess caloric intake makes you pile on the pounds.

Genetic bad luck

The body type you inherited from your parents plays a large role in determining where you tend to carry fat. If you’re an apple shape, weight accumulates more easily in your midsection. And even when you slim down, your body holds on to deposits of fat in the love handles or muffin top. These areas may be the last areas in which you notice weight loss, even when the numbers on the scale go down.

If you’ve got love handles or a muffin top that just won’t slim down, you don’t have to wait for diet and exercise to work its magic. Body sculpting with Zerona® gives you immediate, targeted results in areas that are usually resistant to traditional weight loss methods.

Ask about how you can benefit from Zerona treatments at Joyce Family Chiropractic and Wellness. Just call or use the online booking tool here on the website to make an appointment.

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