Although you should be ready to spend months before reaching your final goals, some things you can do to start seeing results very quickly include:
- Regularly do cardiovascular workouts such as running or biking to decrease your body-fat percentage. Half an hour per day for three to five times per week (depending on how much fat you need to lose) should be plenty.
- Modify your diet to have the right mix of carbohydrates, protein and fats. Generally, you will have to consistently consume less than the "Recommended daily intake" of Total Fat and Saturated Fat seen on Nutrition Facts labels. If you have the extra time and money you may want to consult a personal trainer or dietitian to make the process easier and more effective (but this is not mandatory).
- Regularly perform a variety of abdominal exercises. Don't over-do it right at the start and do 1,000s of repetitions you will likely injure yourself (results are not directly proportional to the number of crunches you do). Rather, get on a regular routine of doing about 15 minutes of ab work every other day and slowly increasing that until you are eventually working them every day.
Crunches are a good exercise to start with, but switching between different exercises every week or two seems to help.