If you’ve ever enjoyed a breakfast buffet, you probably have also experienced not being able to resist loading up your plate with all the trimmings: scrambled eggs, pancakes, hash browns, toast and a fresh baked muffin. Why not indulge, and treat yourself to a decadent morning meal? The problem is, while those muffins taste good going down, they offer one disadvantage: the ever so noticeable muffin top.

Losing Your Middle (Without Depriving Yourself)

The term muffin top is as unflattering as the look. Coined from Australia in the 1990’s, it refers to excess belly fat that hangs, or spills over a tight pair of pants, shorts or skirt. (Just think about that blueberry muffin you had for breakfast, whose top spills out over the bottom.) It’s nothing to write home about, and many women strive to eliminate it altogether. Whether you’ve had a muffin top for years, or it’s been a more recent add-on to your physique, there’s hope: with smart snacking and an increase in cardio, you can get rid of it, once and for all.

You Can Run (But You Can’t Hide) From Cardio

Despite how you might feel, your excess belly fat is not here to stay. If you are self-conscious about your mid-section, and no longer feel comfortable wearing your blouse tucked into your pants, it’s time to act, and therefore, change what you see! The more belly fat you have, the greater at risk you are for diabetes, insulin resistance and heart attack, according to the Mayo Clinic. Up your cardio, and ‘up’ a body transformation that will give you an active, slim and trim healthy life.

Getting rid of your muffin top doesn’t have to be a struggle. Instead, make it something you can accomplish in a fun way. Cardio isn’t meant to be boring and repetitive, full of ‘the same old, same old’ on the treadmill or elliptical machine. Change it up! Take a Zumba class on Monday, a dance class on Wednesday, and jog at an inline on Friday. Dancing for an hour at an above-moderate level can burn between 500-800 calories, while jogging at various inclines has the potential to rev up your metabolism, and keep it going all day long.

Forget starving yourself. Forget the latest fad diet. Forget empty promises from diet pill manufacturers. Increase your cardio and don’t just say goodbye to your muffin top. Say hello to a confident stomach, and a self-assured life.