Q: I've been doing crunches religiously, but I'm not getting flatter abs! What do I have to do to lose belly fat?
A: Contrary to popular belief, toned abdominals don't come from doing a million crunches alone. In fact, you may already have abs of steel — they may simply be covered by a layer of insulation. A three-pronged attack is needed to really flatten the tummy!
- The first thing that's necessary is a fat-burning cardio workout, like running, biking, or using a treadmill, a stair climber, or an elliptical machine three times a week for at least 20 minutes.
- The next thing that'll help shrink your middle is exercises that target each of the different abdominal muscle groups as well as your lower back; try adding reverse sit-ups, for example. Focus on using good form and really tightening those muscles.
- Finally, you need to eat healthy foods and watch your portion sizes and calorie intake. If you do all three of these things, you should see a difference in about two weeks. So go for it — it's worth it!