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Text and photos from ZCOOP Singapore | 8 July 2017
Training like a maniac and watching your diet but still not getting those sculpted abs? It doesn't mean you're not pushing yourself hard enough, but it could be down to the following reasons.
1. You're not eating enough

Sounds ironic but if you're starving yourself, chances are abs won't be in the pipeline. Eating enough is important for building lean muscle mass that plays a part when it comes to building up visible abs. By cutting down on valuable foods like protein or even carbs, this slows down your metabolism and makes it difficult to gain muscle, no matter how many crunches you clock in.

Be sure to work on and strengthen your core, with exercises such as deadlifts and lunges
2. Your hormones are acting up

If you've been sticking to a disciplined workout at the gym and a healthy diet, but yet still can't seem to get rid of that extra layer around your tummy area, chances are you could be suffering from hormonal imbalance. When this happens, your body's more dominant in the hormone, oestrogen  -  that's when more fat is built around the mid-section and hip area. To verify your condition, it is best to consult your doctor for a hormone test.

3. You're not focusing on your core

What results in visible definition besides a record breaking number of crunches, are your core muscles. You need to have a strong core above anything that works out your mid-section. Do exercises like deadlifts and lunges to strengthen your core.

4. You have food intolerances

As it turns out, you might just be bloated. Some foods that you consume might not agree with your digestive system, hence causing that bulge. Common culprits could be wheat, dairy, MSG and foods that are high in sodium.

Stress can be a big reason as to why you're not losing your tummy fat and building up abs
5. You're doing the wrong kind of cardio

When it comes to gaining rock hard abs, forget the long distance runs and your hours on the elliptical. Think short, intense workouts of track sprints or HITT sessions. Double this up with strength training and you should see results in due time.

6. You're way too stressed out

Besides causing occasional emotional breakdowns, your daily stressors could be the cause of why you're not losing your tummy fat. The more stressed you are, the more cortisol you release. This stress hormone messes up with a range of processes including your metabolism. While it's hard to entirely get rid of this problem especially in our busy lives, make effort to plan some 'Me' time  -  whether its practising yoga or doing anything that will make you happy.

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