Or maybe you've tried one of those fancy abs machines advertised on TV and in stores, only to find that they haven't produced that gorgeous set of chiseled abdominal muscles you're looking for.
While crunches and abs machines might give you a powerful set of rippling muscle tissue around the middle of your body, they do nothing to eliminate the layer of fat that hides the labor of your hard work.
It's like a layer of fresh snow covering an evergreen tree.
All of the rugged, well-defined features of the needles and branches lying hidden under a thick, white blanket of snow.
It's a beautiful picture when that blanket covers a tree.
It's not quite so beautiful when that blanket covers the muscles around your middle.
You may be thinking, "But if I just exercise my stomach area enough, I can certainly get rid of all the fat that's hanging out there.
" Unfortunately, that's not how it works! Scientific studies have discovered that you can't eliminate fat in one area of your body by spot exercising that single area.
That's just not how to get abs.
Building muscle is only half of the equation.
What you need is something that will reduce the fat around your middle.
And the only way to do that is through your diet.
You need to eat right to reduce your total body fat.
But if you don't follow the right diet, you may end up shedding muscle instead of burning fat.
The difficulty with burning fat is this: If you just reduce the number of calories you eat each day -- but you don't do it the right way -- your body will react the wrong way and actually conserve fat.
And it will burn through your muscle tissue to provide the calories you need to go about your daily activities.
The net result? You'll actually lose muscle and keep your fat.
Hard to believe.
But it's true.
What happens is that a sudden reduction in caloric intake tricks your body into thinking that you are about to starve.
And as a defense mechanism, your body switches into survival mode, a condition where it seeks to conserve calories in the form of fat -- the most efficient method of calorie storage.
Essentially, it stores up calories for a rainy day.
So how to get abs requires a balanced equation of exercise and diet.