Are you spending hours in the gym working on core exercises to create chiseled abs—yet still aren’t seeing the results you want? While pumping iron and doing hundreds of situps can certainly help achieve the look you desire, that alone may not be enough. Let’s discuss some tips to find those hidden abs.

You Are What You Eat

Exercising is good. Exercising and changing your diet is better.

Your calorie intake is a primary factor in achieving those much-desired six-pack abs. But how many calories do you need? A simple formula is to take your body weight, in pounds, and multiply it by 9–13 to learn your required daily calories. If you’re just starting out, go high and then move low.

So if you weigh 200 pounds, multiply that by 13, which puts you at 2,600 calories. Start there. Slowly decrease your caloric intake as you continue, which will eventually put you at 1,800 at your lowest. Be smart, though, and remember to never make drastic changes in your diet without the supervision of a medical professional.

A significant amount of your diet should include proteins, the building blocks of life. According to nutritionists, 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight should be your goal.

Space out your meals so you’re going no longer than three hours without food, although you should stop eating a few hours before bedtime to maximize overnight calorie burn.

Exercise Is Key

Are you stuck in a rut of doing the same routines day in and day out? If that’s the case, you’ll certainly hit a plateau before too long. For best results, alternate your routine frequently and include high-intensity workouts as well as lower level days. Some exercises you may not have considered, but ones that could provide killer results, include:

Floor leg rotations with a barbell: Hold a barbell over your chest while lying on your back. Hold your legs straight while you lift your feet up and start lowering them, first to the right and then to the left. Make sure that your feet do not touch the ground and are suspended in the air at all times. The left, center, and right movement counts as one rep.

Side Jackknife: Lie down on your right side with your legs straight out, stacked on top of each other. Put your left hand, bent at the elbow, under your body to support yourself, while your right hand is flat on the floor in front of your body. Contract your abs to pull your legs up in front of you to meet your right arm, bending as they move in. Continue to exhaustion and then roll over and repeat on the left side.

Cocoon: Lie down flat on your back, with your legs and arms outstretched to make a straigh plank. Move into a typical cruch and pull your arms over to enclose your knees, thereby transforming your straight line into a ball.

Track Your Progress

What gets measured gets improved, so make sure you’re measuring your progress. But don’t just trust the scale, which only tells part of the story. Once a week, preferably at the same time and under the same conditions, measure your weight, body fat percentage, chest circumference, and waist circumference. Of course, also do a visual review (pictures help) so you can see how you’re pulling that six pack out from under its comfy layer of fat.

CoolSculpting Can Help

Even with all that you’re diligently doing to see results, they can take a concerted effort and a bit of time to come to fruition. If you want to see the fruits of your labor pay off a little quicker, you can trust the non-invasive option of freezing that fat. CoolSculpting is a painless, easy, and fast solution that targets your excess fat cells in just the area you want to sculpt.

And at Bodify, we want to make our male guests comfortable, so we have a ManCave reserved just for you. Here, you can catch up on work, watch a game, or even take a nap while our technicians put our patented applicators to work.

The procedure lasts less than an hour, so you can be back to work in a jiffy. Or head to the gym. It all works for us.