Get your diet in check
Before you tone a six-pack, you’ll need to shed any excess pounds—and that starts in the kitchen. Countless studies have shown that diet, not exercise, is the key to weight loss. One 2014 analysis of past studies found that exercise didn’t have any effect on the first six months of a weight-loss program, but participants who ate well and worked out lost the most pounds after a year. “Food is everything and exercise is extra credit,” says registered dietitian Ilana Muhlstein, creator of Beachbody’s 2B Mindset program. “You can do 500 crunches a day all you want, but you’ll never see them if you’re carrying extra weight.” To get to a healthy weight, you’ll need to eat fewer calories and replace junk foods with satisfying, nutritious options.