What Are the Causes of a Muffin Top?

obese woman trying to close the buttons of her jeans

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A muffin top is a cute name but hardly a cute look -- it occurs when belly fat spills over pants or shorts. Excess tummy fat can make your clothes fit awkwardly -- or not fit at all. But instead of battling with your jeans' button, you can make smart fashion choices to minimize a muffin top.

Muffin Top Basics

Excess belly fat is the primary cause of a muffin top. When you have extra fat around your midsection, it has nowhere to go but over your waistline. A few factors contribute to a muffin top:

  • Bloating caused by hormonal shifts, menopause, gas and food intolerance can lead to an expanded midsection.
  • Ill-fitting clothes-- such as a pair of jeans that are a size too small -- can create a muffin top. Small pants will not be able to contain a muffin top.

Fashion Fix

Your fashion choices can help hide a muffin top:

  • Replace low-rise jeans with mid-rise jeans. This waistline offers a more flattering cut that can contain any belly fat.
  • Choose pants with ample room in the waistline. The right fit will reduce belly-fat spillover.
  • Wear flowy tops that hide belly fat. Empire-waist blouses in loose-fitting fabrics such as chiffon can mask a muffin top.

Eliminate the Excess

A healthy diet and exercise can also help reduce your muffin top. Replace sugar and starchy carbohydrates with a diet rich in fiber and lean proteins. A whole-body workout, such as high-intensity cardio exercise, can also help you fight the flab.