No matter how many crunches you struggle through in an effort to build the perfect six-pack abs, you won’t reach your goal without tweaking the rest of your lifestyle to shred down. and reveal them.

If you’ve been making an effort to keep your diet in check but still haven’t made progress, these five quick, easy tips can help speed it along.

Maryann Walsh, R.D., is a Florida-based registered dietitian with a bachelor’s degree in biology and dietetics and a master’s degree in food and nutrition. For more, visit

1. Beware of Not-so-Healthy “Health Foods”

“While items like pressed juices, acai bowls, and granola may contain healthy components, they’re also usually loaded with sugar and provide a considerable amount of calories in one small portion,” Walsh says. “Treat these items as more of a treat and practice portion control.”

2. Don’t Rely on Cardio

“Strength training helps maintain lean muscle mass, and lean muscle is more metabolically active than fat,” Walsh says. “So with strength training, you can burn calories long after your workout and better sculpt your body

3. Track What You Eat

At first it seems tedious, but tracking food intake via an app can set you up for success. “We often under­ estimate how much we consume throughout the day. A tracking app helps keep us mindful of everything we eat and drink and helps us evaluate how it all fits into our diet goals,” says Walsh. “There are several good apps on the market—find the one that works best with your lifestyle and budget.”

4. Get Enough Sleep

“Lack of sleep messes with appetite regulation and zaps physical and mental stamina,” Walsh says. “Also, staying up late only sets us up for late­night snacking, which often is calorically beyond what we need for the day to fuel us.” Make an effort to try to unplug from Netflix and social media an hour earlier than usual. This should lead to a deeper sleep.

5. Fiber Right

“All too often, I see clients go overboard on fiber, and this causes consistent bloating, constipation, and abdominal distention,” Walsh says. “Many nutrition bars and snacks as well as protein powders have considerable amounts of added fiber.” Look for the words “chicory root,” “oligofructose,” and “inulin,” which are common fiber additives. They have prebiotic properties and are natural and safe to consume, but for some, they cause excess gassiness and bloating.