What’s keeping you from a Sexy Six Pack?

In an online poll of women, 62 percent said they were most self-conscious about their tummies.

It’s not a wonder since your body has advanced mechanisms designed to store fat in the abdomen every time things go awry. Here are 4 reasons you’re not reaching that sexy six-pack:

1. When you booze, you lose. Well, you don’t lose pounds or inches, but you do lose precious time and energy spent on sculpting a taut tummy. Alcohol causes dehydration and water retention – leaving your belly looking bloated and not so flattering. If you drink, keep consumption moderate and choose a heart healthy glass of wine (remember 1 5-ounce glass equals 125 calories) or a non-sugary liquor, like tequila on the rocks with a lime (80 calories per ounce).

2.  Stress less. If your belly bulge won’t budge, it could be stress, or even worse, a condition called adrenal fatigue. Stress cause secretion of a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol has many necessary functions in the body, but too much can lead to a break down in your system. One of the side effects of too much cortisol is excess belly fat.  Your ab routine is important to success, but so is reducing mental distress.

 3. The wrong exercise. If your ab workout consists of hours and hours on one of those weighted crunch machines at the gym – you are wasting your time. Those machines do not effectively work all the muscles of your abdomen and build bulk rather than a sleek, smooth, toned tummy. Isometric exercises have been proven to be the most effective – like planks, boat poses, etc.

4.Watch what you eat. Excess sugar is often stored in the abdomen as fat. Excess sodium causes bloating. Food allergies can cause bloating. Check your diet – are you eating foods with too much sugar or sodium?  Or does your body feel “not quite right” after consuming wheat or dairy? Make sure your diet is helping, not hurting your results.

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