Doing 500 crunches a day and STILL not seeing results? It's time to make changes to your diet, says WHF training consultant Alice Round

Why can't I get a six pack? - 3 diet tips to strip your stomach of fat - PHOTO - Women's Health & Fitness

Quick anatomy class: abs are like the sun – always there. Reason you can’t see them is that they’re covered by your body’s equivalent of clouds: fat.

So guess what happens when you do 500 crunches a day and build up the muscle underneath? Cruelly, you can actually look more like Homer Simpson than Miranda. So put away your yoga mat and follow Round’s advice carefully:

1. Cut down on alcohol.

Alcohol supplies 'empty calories: calories without nutrition'. To make matters worse, it is the first fuel to be used when combined with carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

'Alcohol, whenever taken in, is the first fuel to burn,' says diet guru Robert C Atkins. 'While that's going on, your body will not burn fat. This does not stop the weight loss, it simply postpones it.'

2. Avoid processed sugars and saturated fats

Sugar can make it difficult to lose weight because of constantly high insulin levels, which cause the body to store excess carbohydrates as fat.

“The white granules are nothing more than empty calories, which create excess energy and lead to weight gain,” says sports dietitian and nutrition consultant Alison Miles.

3. Increase your water intake & drink green tea daily

If you are dieting, it is important to drink water so your liver can effectively metabolise body fat. Green tea is also said to help control body weight.

Recommended exercises

* Do high intensity interval training.

* To up the calorie burn, aim to also include full body movements that focus on your core. Think T-dumbbell push-ups, rotational lunges or squat presses with weights.

Want a flat stomach? Browse more ab workouts.