3 Day Cleanse to Lose Belly Fat – Detox & “Melt” Fat in 72 Hours or Less

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan | Updated on 19 December 2021

If you’re looking to get a flat stomach for summer time, or just can’t get those last few pounds off, we have just the detox to flush your system. Losing weight can help create healthier habits which in turn form a happier and healthier you!

To say the least, this 3 day cleanse to lose belly fat will melt those extra lbs right off while rejuvenating your mind, body and soul.

The 3-Day Detox Diet Plan

Dietary changes are essential for this 3-day cleanse to lose belly fat. If changes aren’t made you won’t see optimal results so we created a sample meal plan you can either follow for the whole three days. You can also add extra snacks if you feel the number of calories is too low for you – your ideal diet depends on your height and weight, after all!

This meal plan consists of healthy, unprocessed, filling foods that will keep you full throughout the day, with enough variety not to turn eating food into a chore.

Start the Day with Green Tea

Green tea is abundant with antioxidants like catechin – anti-inflammatory agents that increase fat burn and enhance exercise performance [1]. Replacing your morning coffee with green tea not only refreshes you but contains the caffeine necessary to wake you up.

Since green tea contains caffeine, it also suppresses hunger pangs as caffeine is a natural appetite suppressant [2]. Add 1-2 teaspoons of honey to your tea to sweeten it if it tastes bitter, and enjoy!

Green tea can start you off on the right foot each morning, but let’s dig into what we can eat afterwards:

Day 1

Breakfast – 2-3 boiled eggs with toasted brown bread and avocado on top. The eggs provide the protein, and the brown bread and avocado pack a punch of fiber and healthy vitamins C, E, and B6!

Lunch – Broccoli salad with red onions, sunflower seeds, and roasted nuts. Eat it as it is, or add some lemon for a tangy taste.

Afternoon snack – Apple slices with unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter.

Dinner – Roasted salmon with assorted grilled vegetables as a side, like broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower, etc. A perfect combination of protein and veggies.

Evening snack – A handful of cashews or almonds for an extra dose of protein and vitamin E.

Day 2

Breakfast – A cup of oats topped with blueberries, banana slices and sweetened with about a tablespoon of honey. Not only do the oats keep you satiated with fiber, but the blueberries and bananas also add their sweetness and make it a satisfying meal.

Lunch – Spinach salad with grape tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, and sesame seeds. Top it with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar for extra flavor.

Afternoon snack – A fruit bowl with assorted berries, pineapple slices, and any other fruits you like!

Dinner – Grilled chicken marinated in fresh orange juice and zest, a bit of olive oil, lemon, a couple of tablespoons of honey, dijon mustard, and hot sauce. This recipe makes for a sweet and spicy chicken perfectly paired with a cup of cooked brown rice!

Evening snack – A cup of Greek yogurt with berries.

Day 3

Breakfast – Pancakes made with almond flour instead of regular flour and sweetened with honey! You don’t have to deny yourself life’s little joys. Avoid topping them with syrup or butter, though.

Lunch – A nutritious Greek salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, olives, and feta cheese. Mix olive oil, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, garlic, and oregano to make the dressing and drizzle it on – not too much, though!

Afternoon snack – Celery sticks with cream cheese.

Dinner – Grilled codfish with mango, avocado, spring onion, and cucumber salad. Top it with lemon juice and coriander for a colorful feast.

Evening snack – A couple of hard-boiled eggs to end the 3 day cleanse to lose belly fat with a nutritious bang!

Keep Healthy Habits After a 3-Day Detox

A cleanse is a great way to flush your system and get things back on track. For sustainable health however, it’s important to build healthy habits that last.  Whether that’s replacing one meal a day with a salad or nuts, to exercising, or simply avoiding sugar, the following tips are ideal for longevity and prosperity. Not to mention, the tips below can help you drop a few dress sizes and live longer for your family too.

Eat Fibrous Fruit for Snacks

Got a sweet tooth? Try reaching out for some fruit instead of a cookie! Not only does the fiber in fruit keep your belly full for longer, but their sweetness also doesn’t make you crave more sugar like added sugar does. Most fruits are pretty low in calories, too, so you can eat a couple of apples or bananas guilt-free.

Fruits also contain various vitamins and minerals necessary for good health, so it’s a great idea to eat 2-3 every day as snacks to avoid any deficiencies or weakness since you’ll be eating less in general while on this cleanse.

Berries are low in sugar, too, but rich in antioxidants [10]. You can also replace commercial fruit juices with homemade smoothies, combining your favorite fruits with peanut butter, yogurt, protein powder, etc. This helps limit the consumption of added sugars, which is essential when aiming for belly fat loss.

Eat Plenty of Protein & Wholesome Carbs

Almost all your meals should contain some lean protein for three days. While you should avoid processed and red meats since they increase your cholesterol and risk of heart disease [5], foods like chicken breast, eggs, tuna, salmon, pulses, and black beans are great substitutes.

Protein increases the satiety hormones – GLP-1, peptide YY, and cholecystokinin – and decreases ghrelin, the hunger hormone [6] [7]. A high-protein diet also boosts your metabolism and burns 80-100 extra calories a day [8], and eating even 25% of your daily calories in protein reduces hunger pangs by 60% [9]! Besides, protein is essential for post-workout recovery.

Try not to skip meals to avoid feeling tempted to binge. For a filling meal, pair low-fat protein with unrefined, non-fried carbs like steamed brown rice, whole-grain bread or pasta, almond or oat flour, starchy vegetables like potatoes, etc. These carbs are high in fiber and keep you satiated for a long time while aiding in digestion and helping your belly debloat.

An easy formula you can try is the Plate Method – fill 50% of your plate with non-starchy vegetables and a quarter each with lean protein and whole-grain carbs. This method ensures you get enough nutrients without empty calories.

Replace One Meal a Day with Nuts or a Salad

While two of your daily meals should be a combination of protein and healthy carbs, you can replace one meal with nuts or a big bowl of salad. What time do you often forget to eat or feel the least hungry? Breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Choose the meal that will be easiest for you to replace.

For example, if you’re typically busy around lunchtime and often forget to eat, a handful of nuts should suffice. On the other hand, if you feel least hungry at lunch but think you’ll overeat later if you skip it, make a big bowl of salad with leafy greens like lettuce and colorful vegetables like tomatoes and avocados.

Both nuts and vegetables like avocados contain healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, which fill you up and boost your metabolic rate by about 3.8% [11]. Munching on a big bowl of salad takes quite some time and fills you up without adding too many calories.

Avoid Junk Food (Processed, Fried, or Sugary)

Processed and fried food, which is especially common if you eat a lot of fast food, interferes with your digestion and causes gas, making your belly bloat and look heavier without any weight gain! This food is also typically very high in sodium, so your body retains water, causing your belly to bloat once again.

Fast food is also rich in carbohydrates. Oil is one of the main culprits since deep-fried food like French fries is a common addition to any fast-food meal. Carbs also make you retain water in your belly and cause insulin spikes due to their high glycemic index and, consequently, hunger pangs [3].

Fast food addicts and sugar addicts overlap significantly. Like salty junk food, sweet food also makes you crave more sweets. Cut out whatever added sugar you can for three days, including regular sodas, cakes, pastries, commercial fruit juices, energy drinks, etc.

People who eat more sugar have more abdominal fat [4], and sugary foods are typically pretty calorie-dense but not very nutritious. So, while it may be unrealistic to cut out all added sugar long-term, you can surely cut out as much as you can for a few days.

For three days, at least, avoid whatever processed, fried, and junk food you can! Then, see if you can limit them afterwards.

Walking

Now that we have the food part our of the way, let’s talk about moving more by simply walking.

The best way to build an exercise habit is to take things slowly. Increase your daily step count throughout this 3 cleanse to lose belly fat by walking to the store or work, walking your dog, or taking short 10-20 minute walks 3-4 times a day.

Doctors recommend taking 10,000 steps daily for good health, but the average American only walks 3,000-4,000 steps per day [12]. While you might not get up to 10,000 steps, even increasing your step count by 1,000-2,000 over these three days is a considerable achievement!

A 160-pound person can burn over 300 calories in just an hour of walking, so it’s undoubtedly a proper way to exercise [13]. If you already walk a lot, you can alternate between jogging/running and walking on your walks to maximize calorie burn.

High-Intensity Workouts

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) burns more calories and 28.5% more fat than regular moderate-intensity exercise, incinerating belly fat faster, making it a more efficient exercise method [14].

If you’re typically very busy, HIIT might be an excellent option to get in some physical activity as most HIIT workouts are only 15-30 minutes long. Start with just 5-10 minutes if you’ve never done it before, but don’t try HIIT if you have heart issues, as it can increase your heart rate a fair amount. 

Abdominal Exercises

Since you’re trying to lose belly fat, enhancing your abdominal muscle definition is a good idea. 

These exercises strengthen your core while burning calories and belly fat. Try to do 5-10 minutes of some or all of these exercises each day, including:

Sit-ups – Lie flat on your back and place your hands behind your head while planting your feet on the ground. Slowly lift your shoulders off the ground using your abdominal muscles until you’re sitting up, then gradually place them back on the floor.

Crunches – Lie flat on your back and place your hands behind your head while planting your feet on the ground. Lift your shoulders slightly off the ground while engaging your abs and lie back down, quicker than a sit-up.

Russian twists – Sit straight up with your feet planted on the ground. Bring your hands in front of you and lean back until you’re at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. Twist to the right using your abs, then to the left, and back to the right. Lift your feet off the ground slightly if you can, otherwise keep them planted.

Butterfly kicks – Lie flat on your back with your hands placed palm-down under your tailbone. Point your toes and lift your legs, then bring them towards the ground as low as you can. Move your right leg up slightly and bring it down. While the right leg descends, lift your left leg slightly, then bring it down while bringing the right leg up.

Drink 3 Liters of Water Each Day

Exercising and food choices are imperative to staying healthy, but what tiny habits can encourage weight loss and longevity? Well for one, water is essential to any cleanse because it aids in satiation, digestion and debloats your belly since your body lets go of excess fluid when you’re hydrate. Drinking even just a liter of water a day can result in an extra 4.4 lbs of weight loss [15].

Drinking more water also tightens up your skin, giving you a fresh-off-the-cleanse glow. Replace sodas and commercial fruit juices with fruit-infused water instead of diet alternatives since they activate the same brain areas as regular sugary beverages, making you crave sweet things [16].

Meditate Before You Sleep

For successful long-term belly fat loss, you need to detox your mind as much as your body. If you’re chronically stressed, the stress hormone – cortisol – will remain in your blood and cause hunger pangs, making you stress-eat and lowering motivation to stick to your diet [17].

Stress management programs have reduced BMI and body fat [18], but you don’t need a whole program to destress – just 10 minutes can do the trick! Download an app like HeadSpace and meditate for 5-10 minutes before sleeping. Not only will you sleep better, but you’ll also lower your stress levels.

Go to Bed Earlier

If you stay up on your phone an hour after you get into bed and manage to get only a couple of hours of sleep, this last part of the detox is for you. Try to go to bed at least an hour earlier than you usually do for three nights, and try to keep your phone away at least an hour before bed for restful sleep.

Chronic sleep deprivation interferes with the levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and leptin, the satiety hormone, in your body. These interferences may cause you to feel tempted to give up your diet more often [19]. Short sleep also correlates with a larger waist circumference – get enough rest if you want to lose belly fat [20].

Not only does a good diet help you lose belly fat, but it also makes you feel more energetic in general [24]. Endorphins flood your body when you exercise, too, making you feel good. Researchers have shown that exercise even alleviates symptoms of depression in many cases [25], and it improves your cognitive abilities [26].

Drinking more water has some fantastic benefits, too, like hydrating your skin and debloating your belly, boosting your self-confidence. Last but not least, getting enough sleep and reducing stress increases your lifespan and makes for better health outcomes in the future.

Should I Try This Cleanse?

As you can see, a cleanse like this can be hugely beneficial for your body, not only to incinerate belly fat but also to build a better life! If you have any medical conditions, like diabetes or heart issues, make sure to consult a doctor before attempting this cleanse.

Otherwise, what’s not to love? Try out this 3-day cleanse to lose belly fat and feel the change today!

References

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[3] Harvard School of Public Health. (2021). Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar | The Nutrition Source | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/ 

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[8] Johnston, C. S., Day, C. S., & Swan, P. D. (2002). Postprandial thermogenesis is increased 100% on a high-protein, low-fat diet versus a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet in healthy, young women. Journal of the American College of Nutrition21(1), 55–61. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11838888/ 

[9] Leidy, H. J., Tang, M., Armstrong, C. L., Martin, C. B., & Campbell, W. W. (2011). The effects of consuming frequent, higher protein meals on appetite and satiety during weight loss in overweight/obese men. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)19(4), 818–824. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20847729/ 

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[16] Shmerling, R. H. (2021, March 22). Zero weight loss from zero calorie drinks? Say it ain’t so. Harvard Health. Retrieved November 23, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/zero-weight-loss-from-zero-calorie-drinks-say-it-aint-so-2021032222204

[17] Baudrand, R., & Vaidya, A. (2015). Cortisol dysregulation in obesity-related metabolic disorders. Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity, 22(3), 143–149. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517681/ 

[18] Stavrou, S., Nicolaides, N. C., Papageorgiou, I., Papadopoulou, P., Terzioglou, E., Chrousos, G. P., Darviri, C., & Charmandari, E. (2016). The effectiveness of a stress-management intervention program in the management of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence. Journal of molecular biochemistry, 5(2), 63–70. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4996635/

[19] Killick, R., Banks, S., & Liu, P. Y. (2012). Implications of sleep restriction and recovery on metabolic outcomes. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 97(11), 3876–3890. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5393445/

[20] Sperry, S. D., Scully, I. D., Gramzow, R. H., & Jorgensen, R. S. (2015). Sleep Duration and Waist Circumference in Adults: A Meta-Analysis. Sleep38(8), 1269–1276. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25581918/ 

[21] Rebello, C. J., O’Neil, C. E., & Greenway, F. L. (2016). Dietary fiber and satiety: the effects of oats on satiety. Nutrition reviews, 74(2), 131–147. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26724486/ 

[22] Knab, A. M., Shanely, R. A., Corbin, K. D., Jin, F., Sha, W., & Nieman, D. C. (2011). A 45-minute vigorous exercise bout increases metabolic rate for 14 hours. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21311363/ 

[23] Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C. H. M., Potts, H. W. W., & Wardle, J. (2009, July 16). How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 998-1009. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.695.830&rep=rep1&type=pdf 

[24] Harvard Medical School. (2011, July 26). Eating to boost energy. Harvard Health. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/eating-to-boost-energy 

[25] Harvard Medical School. (2021, February 2). Exercise is an all-natural treatment to fight depression. Harvard Health. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/exercise-is-an-all-natural-treatment-to-fight-depression 

[26] Mandolesi, L., Polverino, A., Montuori, S., Foti, F., Ferraioli, G., Sorrentino, P., & Sorrentino, G. (2018). Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing: Biological and Psychological Benefits. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 509. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934999/ 

 

About the Author

Nathan

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.