Health and Fitness By Mae Davies / June 2, 2014 We all dream of having killer abs. You know..those flat, toned, and sexy abs that we see on those exercise videos or the models on the front page of magazines. We do as many abdominal exercises as we can until our abs burn thinking to ourselves that we’re just one crunch away from a flat stomach. But have we really achieved any results? What are we doing wrong? Do we need to do more reps or sets? When we fail to see results we start to question if our workout regimen is the reason behind our setback, but the truth is what we do in the kitchen plays an even major role in weight loss and achieving a flatter stomach – not how many sit-ups you do every day. So what more reasons do you need to convince you why exercising isn’t enough to achieve a flat stomach? Well here are five. 1. Truth is, everyone was born with abs. The only problem is they are buried underneath a layer of belly fat. That is why reducing overall body fat through proper diet will make you lose inches in areas that you want it most, especially in your belly area. So maybe ease up on the crunches and situps, you’re only punishing yourself by overdoing it – just stick to a healthy diet and sooner or later you’ll see those abs that have been hiding all along. 2. Not getting enough Z’s can be damaging to your mental health as well as your weight loss progress. Lack of sleep affects a hormone that stimulates hunger and food consumption and increases your retention of fat, which is something you do not want to happen, especially if you’ve worked so hard to get rid of that stubborn fat. Without proper sleep and a healthy diet then your hours at the gym will be worthless. 3. Exercise may aid in strengthening your muscles and burning calories, but when you disregard portion control and eating more lean meats, fruits, and vegetables, then you can kiss having a flat stomach goodbye. So you’re eating healthy, clean foods but you don’t measure the amount you consume in one sitting, do you expect to achieve your goal? No! Watch your portions and eat sensibly – just enough to nourish what your body needs every day and you will see good results. 4. Spending your time working out at the gym everyday isn’t enough for you to achieve that flat stomach if you have a love affair with carbs. I know we all fall into temptation sometimes when that luscious slice of cake is calling out your name or that heavenly glazed donut keeps giving you a cheeky wink, but you know what? You have got to have control over yourself. Okay, maybe you can have a small piece every now and then, but if you make it a constant habit then you can just bid farewell to a flat stomach as well as your entire workout session. Exercise and bad eating habits do not mix. 5. What’s the point of exercise when you habitually drink alcohol on a daily basis? Especially if it’s more than what you should consume in a day. If you didn’t know already alcohol does not contain any essential nutrients that your body will need to use as energy, and therefore will be stored as belly fat. If you want to achieve sexy abs then alcohol consumption should be taken in moderation or ideally completely banned from your life – if you can handle it. Exercise, a healthy diet, and a healthy lifestyle go hand in hand in order to attain a flat stomach and a slimmer figure; you can’t have one without the other. So drop those painful crunches before you hurt your neck and focus on improving your diet and lifestyle so that you can turn your dreams into reality.