Getting rid of a muffin-top waist can often be done by making one or two small changes to your daily living.

We humans tend to be creatures of habit. For better or for worse, our daily habits play a big role in how we look and feel. So, taking stock of our own habits is the trick to making impactful changes in our lives.

Here are few small things you can do to get rid of your muffin top fast.

11 Ways to Get Rid of Your Muffin Top Fast

1. Substitute One Food Item in Your Diet

Just one high-fat food consumed at least five days a week can add several pounds to your frame. So think about what you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Then identify one high-fat food that you could eliminate.

Before you eliminate the high-fat food, however, first find a lower-fat food as a replacement.

It is important that you actually replace the high-fat food rather than just remove it from your diet. Otherwise, you may feel hungry and deprived which will lower your defenses.

Lowered defenses can make foods like cheesecake irresistible. Your low-fat replacement food should be both tasty and accessible. Also make sure your substitute food contains some fat as it is fat that makes us feel sated.

Without some fat you will be hungry soon after you eat. As an example, you could substitute a bowl of mixed fruit with nuts for a fast-food burger.

2. Have a Well-Stocked Refrigerator

You don’t need to have the food planning expertise of a Rachael Ray, but it is a good idea to make sure that you always have healthy food on hand so you can make good food choices. Otherwise, if you are hungry and staring into an empty refrigerator, you’ll be more likely to make a bad food choice such as ordering out for pizza.

3. Eliminate Your Weakness

Is there is a particular snack that you just cannot resist? Chocoholics, you know who you are. Chipoholics, you too.

If you cannot put down a snack bag without first consuming a large portion, you should remove it from your environment. This means never bringing the temptation into your home. Be sure, however, to have a substitute food on hand.

For example, you can substitute the sweetness of chocolate with the sweetness of oranges. Likewise, you can substitute salty chips with cucumber slices sprinkled with salt.

4. Find a New Recipe 

Find a new, healthy recipe that is tasty and easy to make. Add this new recipe to your normal meal rotation so that it becomes part of your dietary habit.

Once the new recipe becomes part of your normal routine, look for another. Continue slowly adding recipes and over time you will be eating healthier meals without even noticing the change—except of course when you look in the mirror.

5. Drink More Water

If you find yourself overeating, it may be due to insufficient water intake. Many people simply do not like drinking water and so they eventually confuse thirst for hunger.

Track your water intake for a few days to know how much you are drinking. Then make a conscious effort to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. If you don’t like the taste of water, try lemon lime and cucumber water. This is tasty without adding calories.

6. Avoid Distracted Eating

If you eat while watching TV, playing video games, or using your phone, you are engaged in distracted eating. You are also most likely over eating.

Instead of eating snacks while you watch TV, engage in a hobby that you can enjoy while you watch TV such as scrap booking, crocheting or model building. Likewise, when you play video games or use your phone, make an effort to eat meals away from your device and leave the snacks in the kitchen.

7. Avoid Sodium

Too much sodium can result in water retention which will cause bloat and excess weight gain. The best way to make sure your sodium intake is in a proper range is to avoid fast food and convenience food.

When you make food from your own kitchen, you have control over the ingredients. If you do buy prepackaged foods (such as soup), get the no-sodium variety and add your own salt when you prepare it. This gives you control over your salt intake and the salt you add will most likely be far less than the amount added by food manufacturers.

8. Reduce Stress

Stress can be a big contributor to weight gain. Increased stress means increased levels of cortisol in your body. This stress hormone is released when your body encounters a fight or flight situation.

Nature intended cortisol release to be a quick survival mechanism to help you escape a deadly saber-toothed tiger. Unfortunately, things like a mean boss can trigger cortisol release over a longer period of time than nature intended. High cortisol levels increase your appetite and contribute to an accumulation of visceral fat in your body; truly a nasty situation.

It stands to reason that if you feel a lack of control from a daily stressful situation, then you are vulnerable to stress and stress eating. Habitual stress eating is a way to feel better in the moment.

If you receive a harsh email from your boss once, you aren’t likely to reach for a candy bar. But if you receive daily criticism from your boss, you will seek an outlet for the emotional upheaval and feelings of loss of control. Often that outlet is food.

Eliminating the source of stress is one way of handling the situation. This could mean finding a new job or transferring to a different department. If, however, you find yourself stuck in a particular situation, you’ll need to find a healthy outlet for your stress. Here are a few options.

Exercise

This is one of the absolute best ways of reducing chronic stress. Group exercise can be optimal; physical activity coupled with socialization can ameliorate just about any kind of stress. Find a fitness routine that works for you. Exercises ranging from intense cardio workouts, to Pilates, to calming yoga stretches can be highly beneficial.

Meditate

Learn how to center yourself through meditation. You can practice still meditation or learn a moving meditation such as T’ai Chi.

Monitor Your Breathing

Controlled breathing is another way to calm yourself and de-stress. If you have trouble learning controlled breathing on your own, you can purchase a biofeedback device such as the

Start a Hobby

Starting a new hobby or renewing an old hobby is a great way to occupy the mind and reduce stress. Hobbies can give you back a sense of accomplishment and control that the stressful situation caused you to lose.

Socialize

Getting out and being with people is one of the best ways to leave the day’s worries behind. Try attending lectures and events at your local library or university. You can also join a choir, book club or other group.

Find Support

Talking to supportive friends or loved ones can help you gain a better perspective and reduce your stress. Also developing the habit of positive self-talk can help move your mind to a healthier place when you experience a stressful situation.

Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep will help you feel calm and centered and better able to handle stressful events.

9. Find Exercise You Like

If you enjoy exercising you are more likely to do it. You may even develop a passion for it. Explore different types of exercises until you find something you like. Be sure to keep an open mind and step outside your comfort zone.

Here are a few types of exercise you might want to try.

Martial arts

No, you are not too old. Good martial arts schools welcome students of all ages. Visit the schools near you and observe a few classes. Speak to the owner or instructors about the school’s philosophy. Each school is different and you will instinctively know when you find a good fit.

Rebounder

Jumping on a mini trampoline can be a great form of cardiovascular exercise. Rebounding can be done at every fitness level; rebounders with stabilization bars are sold for people with balance issues. At the other extreme are very challenging, sweat-inducing rebounding YouTube workouts.

Hula hoop

Yes, the hula hoop is back and very popular. You can find several workout routines on YouTube.

Dance

There are so many different types of dance to try: ballet, tap, hip hop, Zumba, flamenco, Irish, country line, modern, ballroom and more. There are several apps and online instructional videos for each type of dance.

Rec leagues

If you are looking for a more social form of exercise, you may want to join a kickball, soccer, basketball, volleyball or softball recreational league.

Active play

If you have small children, consider organizing an hour of active play each day. You can be the coach and make up the rules. Make sure you are active alongside your kids so that you are getting exercise too. You can construct obstacle courses or create throwing, kicking and running games. Just make sure everyone is having fun.

Catch

Go to the park and throw a baseball, football, lacrosse ball or Frisbee with a friend or group of friends. Playing catch is not just for kids!

Housework

Turn on the music and dance while doing an hour of household chores every day. You will get fit and your house will always be clean!

Snowshoeing

If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow in the winter, then embrace the weather and go snowshoeing. It is a good form of cardiovascular exercise and you won’t fall victim to cabin fever.

10. Use a Fitness App

One of the best ways to get fit and lose weight is to use a good fitness app. There are so many free and paid exercise apps to try you will surely never get bored.

One of the best fitness apps is the Jillian Michaels app. Unlike many of the other free apps which offer only still-picture cartoons, Jillian leads your workouts out in high-definition video and her motivational instructions can be easily heard in crystal-clear audio.

The Jillian Michaels app offers free seven-minute (give or take a couple of minutes) workouts. These free workouts are customizable:

  • Select from easy, medium and hard fitness levels.
  • Specify which, if any, equipment you have.
  • Set the number of seconds to rest between each exercise.

Since the Jillian Michaels workouts are customizable, they can be as easy or as difficult as you want them to be. There are five free workouts to choose from:

  • Abs
  • Upper Body
  • Legs
  • Cardio
  • Total Body

11. Do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be one of the quickest ways to burn calories. These workouts also tend to be short in duration so you also save quite a bit of time.

HIIT workouts consist of high-intensity cardio exercise that you do for 15-90 seconds, followed by periods of rest or low activity. Typically you do 5-10 intervals but you can also do as few as 3.

One example would be to run as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then walk for 30 seconds, then repeat until you have completed six intervals. Alternatively, you could run as fast as you can for 100 yards, then walk for 100 yards, then repeat.

This type of workout may sound easy, but when you first get started it can be quite challenging. Even if you are relatively fit, you may at first feel nauseous and may want to give up.

Over time, however, your endurance should increase and your very first workout will later seem easy. If you want to do HIIT, you should first consult your physician.

If you are looking for an HIIT workout to do at home, the Jillian Michaels fitness app has five workouts that include HIIT training:

  • Dad Bod – Resistance training and HIIT intervals
  • Gauntlet – Running, calisthenics, yoga, kickboxing, lifting, HIIT training, jump training and more
  • Sexy Abs – HIIT circuits and core focused strength exercises
  • 10K – Run-walk intervals, distance runs, HIIT training, mobility work and resistance training
  • Bangin’ Bikini Body – HIIT intervals, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing and more

Final Thoughts

Getting rid of a muffin top fast means that you must take a look at your daily eating, exercise and coping habits.

Nature abhors a vacuum, so don’t just eliminate bad habits; be sure to replace bad habits with good habits. Making just one or two positive changes can have a drastic impact on your health, fitness level and waistline.

As you take stock of your daily habits and begin to make changes, you’ll soon be looking in the mirror at a happier, healthier, slimmer you.

Loretta Thorpe is a writer for fitness and other blogs. She has had a life-long fitness mindset and enjoys cardio and martial arts workouts. Loretta also writes webpage copy for a variety of small businesses and is the creator of the crafts blog thediycreativelife.com.