1. Interval training. You can do crunches all   day long, but you will never see that six-pack if it is buried under layers   of fat. To achieve a truly flat stomach, work in some cardiovascular exercise   between sit-ups, crunches, planks and other abdominal exercises. Try jumping   rope, running on a treadmill or even do jumping jacks for 30 seconds to one   minute between each set. You will shred fat while building a solid core.

2. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals is an easy   way to earn a round waistline. When you skip meals, your body responds by raising   cortisol levels, increasing cravings and storing fat, especially in the abdomen.   Consuming small meals and snacks throughout the day can pacify cravings and   rev up your metabolism to prevent fat storage.

3. Skip the sweets. Sugar is the mortal enemy   of a flat tummy. Sugar causes unnecessary spikes, crashes of your blood sugar   levels and, when consumed in excess, gets stored as fat. If you crave sweets,   keep fruits like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries accessible to pacify   your sweet tooth.

4. Increase vitamin C. Vitamin C, found in abundance   in citrus fruits, broccoli, kale and bell peppers, can aid in keeping cortisol   levels under control. Plus, vitamin C is essential in the production of carnitine,   which the body uses to convert fat into energy.

5. Boost intake of healthy fats. Although you   should still moderate your intake, healthy fats like avocados, walnuts and olive   oil can improve satiety. These foods will also rev up your metabolism thanks   to high doses of omega-3.

6. Sleep. Statistically, when people get busy,   sleep moves down on the list of priorities. However, sleep is so important to   weight management and optimal health that you can’t afford to skimp on it. Multiple   studies have proven that too little or poor quality sleep leads to weight gain,   junk food cravings and increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Getting   more sleep is an easy way to keep your body trim and healthy.

7. Relax. Cortisol is the stress hormone. When   you’re stressed, levels of cortisol rise. In cases of chronic stress, like tight   deadlines at work, financial crises, injury or illness, your cortisol levels   can reach extremes or impair the function of your adrenal system all together.   This can lead to weight gain or the inability to lose weight, decreased immunity   and increased levels of inflammation. Making time to relax and meditate each   day – even for only five minutes – can help you keep cortisol levels balanced.