How to Lose Belly Fat in 3 Days – 11 Tricks for a Quick Transformation

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan | Updated on 5 December 2021

Figuring out how to lose belly fat in 3 days can be of the utmost importance, especially if you want to fit into that fancy dress for a special event or you want to look great for a last-minute beach trip! The good new is, you can begin to transform your body by following some of these tricks to knock off of those pountds. But first. let’s explore how those pounds got there in the first place so we are better equipped to keep the weight off…

Poor Diet & Inadequate Nutrition

Eating is almost always on the agenda when you go out with friends. We meet people for lunch, for dinner, for coffee… Food dominates social interaction. However, most of us tend to eat unhealthy junk food whenever we go out to eat, which is very high in calories. Most Americans innocuously fill their diets with empty-calorie meals, scarce in vitamins and minerals and extremely high in sodium and carbohydrates. 

Fast food is full of carbohydrates, meaning it won’t satisfy you for a long time. You’ll also have to eat sizable portions to feel satiated. A single Big Mac from McDonald’s can have over 550 calories, and who eats a burger by itself? Along with fries, dips, and beverages, a complete fast food meal can come out to over 700-800 calories, leaving barely any room for more meals during the day and increasing belly fat [1].

Have you ever had that uncomfortable, tight feeling after eating a lot of junk food? That’s the reason why! Excess carbohydrates also cause your body to hold on to water (water retention), and unhealthy, fried food creates gas, both of which make your stomach bloat [2].

Bloating and fluid retention make your stomach look bigger than it is, lowering your confidence even further.

Illnesses, Intolerances, and Hormone Imbalances

Food allergies and intolerances can cause sufferers to bloat. Lactose intolerant people will bloat if they have dairy, and those with Celiac disease will suffer from an upset stomach, nausea, pain, and belly bloating if they eat gluten.

People with Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and pancreatic disorders may also suffer unnecessary belly bloat. 

After menopause, women also experience a host of hormonal changes as the estrogen in their bodies declines and testosterone rises. This imbalance raises the risk of fat accumulation around the belly. Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) also experience a similar hormonal imbalance, making them more prone to gaining belly fat [3].

If you suspect you might have food intolerances or illnesses, are troubled by an irregular menstrual cycle, or have recently noticed drastic changes in your weight, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Lack of Exercise

Even if you eat healthily, you likely won’t burn more than you consume if you don’t move around during the day. People with sedentary office jobs are especially likely to sit all day and get no exercise, meaning their body doesn’t burn fat.

Besides, people who don’t exercise lack muscle tone, and muscle increases the energy your body consumes every day. Less muscle means less energy consumption, so you require fewer calories per day to maintain your weight and lose belly fat.

Alcohol Abuse

Drinking excess alcohol is a surefire way not only to increase your risk of heart and liver disease while also gaining belly fat. Alcohol abuse can cause fat to accumulate in your liver, a severe medical condition known as fatty liver syndrome, which fills your abdomen with fluid in its later stages and makes your belly bloat.

Alcohol also contains an abundance of calories, with 12 ounces of beer amounting to more than 150 calories. Most people who drink in excess consume way more, significantly increasing their risk of gaining fat.

Genetic Predisposition

Some people are more prone to gaining fat on their belly via genetics [4]. This tendency runs in families, and though it doesn’t make it impossible to lose belly fat, it does mean that you’ll gain fat on your belly first and lose it last.

People with this tendency are said to have an “apple” body type. Not to fear – though it might take some extra work, you can still use these tips and figure out what works for you when it comes to how to lose belly fat in 3 days.

Why is Belly Fat Harmful to My Health?

Now that you know why you might have gained belly fat, here’s some motivation to lose it! There are two types of belly fat – subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous fat sits under the skin and is not more harmful than fat anywhere on your body, but visceral fat is a whole other beast.

Visceral stomach fat surrounds your internal organs, like the liver, stomach, and intestines, making it the most dangerous fat on your body. Not only does it swell your belly, but it can also build up in your arteries. This belly fat dramatically increases your risk of multiple diseases, including:

  • Heart problems
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Many types of cancers
  • Dementia

You can figure out if you need to lose fat for your health have by measuring your waist-to-hip ratio (WHR):

  1. Stand straight against a wall.
  2. Using a measuring tape, measure the narrowest part of your waist and note it down.
  3. Next, measure the widest part of your hips and note it down.
  4. Divide the waist measurement with the hip measurement, and you have your WHR.

The WHO says that any ratio above 0.85 for a woman or 0.90 for a man is too high, meaning you may have excess visceral fat that can negatively impact your health [5]. You should probably lose some fat for better health outcomes in the long run.

Tried and True Tricks to Lose Belly Fat Quick!

So, you now know how fat loss works and what to look out for when losing weight. While you can’t get abs in just a couple of days, these tips will help you shed the pounds and become healthier overall while telling you how to lose belly fat in 3 days.

1. Eat Soluble Fiber

Eating plenty of soluble fiber promotes fat loss since it keeps you full for longer. It slows down the passage of food through your digestive system, creating a gel to impede its progress naturally. A study of over 1,100 adults showed that belly fat gained decreased by 3.7% for every 10-gram fiber increase [9].

It may also decrease how many calories your body absorbs from food [10]. Eat an abundance of flax seeds, brussels sprouts, avocados, blackberries, and legumes to up your soluble fiber intake. Besides, most vegetables and fruits are full of fiber and antioxidants, which have an anti-inflammatory effect.

2. Pair Lean Protein with Complex Carbs

Lean protein includes eggs, chicken breasts, most kinds of fish, and plant protein like pulses, beans, nuts, and seeds. Avoid processed meat like sausages, as they can be high in sodium, making your body retain more fluid.

Protein not only enhances muscle tone by aiding post-workout muscle recovery, but it also keeps you satiated longer. It positively affects the hunger hormone ghrelin and GLP-1, so you feel fewer hunger pangs and lose belly fat more efficiently [11].

When people bump up their protein intake from 15% to 30%, they end up consuming 441 calories less on average in a matter of days [12]! Eating just protein can get boring and isn’t sustainable, though, so pair grilled chicken or salmon with small servings of complex carbohydrates like whole-wheat pasta and brown rice.

Why complex carbs? Complex carbs contain plenty of fiber, aiding in good digestion, reduced bloating, and stabilizing blood sugar levels. They also give you an instant boost of energy so you can work out with ease [13]. The combination of protein and carbs makes for a healthy, satisfying meal.

Avoid white carbs as they’re calorie-dense and don’t make you feel full quickly. If you want to avoid bread and rice altogether, steamed vegetables like cauliflower are an excellent replacement for losing belly fat and make for a complete meal!

3. Drink Water, Not Alcohol

Throughout these three days, and in the future, you should try to drink at least 2 liters of water every day, if not more. To make it easier, you can get a gallon water bottle. Though lugging it around might be a little cumbersome, it’ll be worth it!

More than half the time, when you think you’re hungry, you’re really just thirsty [14]. Chugging at least half a liter of water about 30 minutes before a meal can help you lose 44% more weight than you otherwise would [15].

Besides, when you’re dehydrated, your body holds on to every ounce of fluid it can. This water retention causes your stomach and face to swell and bloat. Though it may sound counter-intuitive, drinking lots of water reduces water retention and bloating as it encourages your body to expel excess fluids, making you look slimmer without losing weight.

While you make sure to hydrate, avoid drinking alcohol for these three days. Alcohol dehydrates you, and people who average less than one drink per day have less belly fat on average than those who drink more.

4. Avoid Too Much Sodium

If you feel your stomach is bloated and tight all day, this might also be a sign of water retention. Consuming too much sodium, mainly salt, increases the risk of bloating by 27% [16].

Most fast food is extremely high in salt, with a single pack of fries almost fulfilling (or extending beyond) your daily sodium requirement. Do eat some salt, though, as it’s essential for regulating blood pressure.

By avoiding sodium-heavy food, you also avoid most unhealthy food in general, which means you consume fewer calories. Instead of fast food, eat potassium-rich things, like banana and spinach, along with drinking plenty of water.

5. Do Lots of Cardio

Aerobic exercise, also called cardio, is the best and most efficient way to burn fat [17]. Activities, like running, swimming, dancing, etc., count as cardio, and they help you get in as much movement as you can throughout the day.

You can use online calculators to estimate how much you burn with each exercise. Remember, it’s better to underestimate calories burnt through exercise than overestimate.

  1. Walking – If you’re very overweight or suffer from heart disease, walking can be a very effective form of exercise. With every one hour of brisk walking, a person weighing 160 pounds can burn over 300 calories [18].
  2. Running – A jog or a run burns double the calories in half the time compared to walking. Make sure to get some good running shoes before you start, though, and don’t run too much if you’re very overweight or obese since it can put a lot of pressure on your feet and knees.
  3. Swimming – Swimming is one the best fat loss exercises if you have quite a bit of extra weight. If it’s summer in your part of the world, get yourself to the pool! It burns over 400 calories for a 160-pound person in just an hour and puts almost no strain on the joints [18].
  4. HIIT – If you’re a busy person, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) may be the best option for you to burn belly fat. It involves alternating short bursts of breathless activity with rest periods and can burn 28.5% more fat than moderate-intensity exercise [19]. Most HIIT workouts are short but intense. Avoid them if you have a heart condition, but feel free to try them out otherwise to lose weight.

Other than these, try to get in as much aerobic activity as you can throughout your day. Dancing in your room, taking your dog for a walk and running around with your kids all count as cardio. The spectrum is vast, so don’t give up.

6. Lift Heavy Weights

Lifting heavy doesn’t mean going straight to the 60 kg barbell for squats – it just means you should try to challenge your body. If you think bicep curls with 3 kg dumbbells are too easy, don’t be afraid to try 4 kg!

Challenging your muscles with weights creates microtears in the muscle fiber and your muscle mass gradually increases as these tears repair themselves by building more muscle. A pound of muscle also requires more calories to maintain than a pound of fat, so the more muscle mass you gain, the more you can eat while still losing fat.

combination of cardio and resistance training is the best way to get rid of visceral fat [20], but you should be careful not to injure yourself. If you’re confused about a routine or how to operate a machine, seek advice from gym staff or a certified personal trainer.

7. Do Ab Exercises

No exercise in particular will target just belly fat, but ab exercises can make your abdominal muscles pop once you lose enough fat. Strong core muscles also improve your posture, helps alleviate back pain and make you stronger overall.

Some abdominal exercises you can try are:

  1. Bicycle crunches – Lie flat on your back with your knees up and feet on the ground. Put your hands behind your head and lift your shoulders off the ground using your abdominal muscles. Bring your right shoulder to your left knee, lifting your foot to the ground and making your abs work, not your neck. Repeat this with the other shoulder and knee. Quicken your pace, and you’re doing bicycle crunches!
  2. Sit-ups – Lie flat on your back with your knees up and feet on the ground. Put your hands behind your head and lift your shoulders using your abdominal muscles, not your neck. Keep lifting till your chest touches your knees, then gradually lie back down to complete one sit-up.
  3. Butterfly kicks – Lie flat on your back with your hands under your tailbone. Bring your legs together and push them down as far as is comfortable while keeping them off the ground. Move one leg slightly up, then move the other leg up while the other comes down. Do this fast for a round of butterfly kicks.
  4. Russian twist – Sit with your knees up, legs together, and feet on the ground. Bring your hands to your chest and lean back as far as you can. If you can, take your feet slightly off the ground. Twist from the right to the left while balancing on your bottom to do Russian twists.

8. Avoid Most Sugar

While you should avoid eating added sugar since it can be extremely high in calories, too much natural sugar can also add up. A tablespoon of honey is 64 calories, which can be quite a lot in a cup of green tea. Use all kinds of sugar sparingly.

Belly fat studies show that high sugar intake correlates with increased abdominal fat [21]. Avoid diet drinks for at least three days, too, since they light up the same pleasure sensors in the brain as actual sugar and may make you crave sweet foods [22].

8. Take a Hike

The average American gets in barely 3,000-4,000 steps per day – a lot less than the 10,000 doctors recommend [23]. However, if you’re wondering how to lose belly fat in three days, getting as many steps in is ideal.

Besides your daily exercise, try to schedule a long hike in the coming three days. If you’re a beginner, choose an easy trail – you’ll still get a lot of steps and burn fat. Keep first aid, food, and water with you, invite a couple of friends, and enjoy! It’s a fun way to go beyond your daily step goal and whittle down belly fat.

9. Attempt Intermittent Fasting

If you’re a snack fiend and have a hard time controlling your cravings, intermittent fasting might be the right option for you to burn belly fat. This method involves fasting for set hours and eating in the remaining time. The most popular type of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 method, where you fast for 16 hours and eat within the leftover 8.

Intermittent fasting can decrease abdominal fat by 4-7% within 6-24 weeks, so these three days might be the best time to build a strong foundation [24]. Of course, if you think you’ll be ravenous after all that time and end up overeating, it might be better to eat healthy snacks throughout the day.

10. Track Diligently

Make sure to log and track every calorie you consume to reduce belly fat. Since you’re trying to lose belly fat in just 72 hours, you need to remain within your calorie deficit if you want to see progress. Use an app like MyFitnessPal or create a food journal to track calories and stay on your path to fat loss.

Beware of Shady Gimmicks

No matter how well you track your calories or adhere to a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to avoid things that sound too good to be true. Though you can lose fat in a matter of days, you should avoid magic pills and diets that claim the impossible, like making you lose 10 pounds of belly fat in 10 days.

Some other red flags include:

  1. Extreme low-calorie diets – While very low-calorie diets can be helpful to lose belly fat if you’re otherwise healthy and much above a healthy weight, you should never follow them long-term. The lack of calories and nutrients can cause low blood pressure, nausea, dizziness, hair fall, dry skin, general fatigue, and the loss of your period (in women) [7].
  2. Shady supplements – Some trustworthy supplements and drugs are safe to take for weight loss, especially if a doctor prescribes them to you, along with most natural remedies to lose belly fat. However, diet pills and supplements that promise to make you lose an impossible amount of belly fat in just 72 hours often do it by inducing diarrhea or vomiting and can permanently harm your body. This isn’t to say diet pills or supplements don’t have their place, but one should be cautious of one’s that promise overnight results. 
  3. Avoiding water – You might find people online saying water makes your belly bloat, and you should avoid water before a big event. Avoiding water should only be done if you’re competing for something and any bloating is short lived.

Lose Belly Fat and Stay Healthy

With these tricks, you know exactly how to lose belly fat in 3 days or less! If you keep up with it, this can be the beginning of a long lasting wellness exploration for a healthier life. 

Remember, keep your goals achievable and realistic. Don’t be afraid to take progress photos at the beginning and the end – it’ll be nice to reflect on once you achieve that dream body. Don’t worry if you have any setbacks, just try again day after day and eventually these tricks will be second nature. 

References

[1] Poti, J. M., Braga, B., & Qin, B. (2017). Ultra-processed Food Intake and Obesity: What Really Matters for Health-Processing or Nutrient Content?. Current obesity reports, 6(4), 420–431. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5787353/

[2] Mari, A., Abu Backer, F., Mahamid, M., Amara, H., Carter, D., Boltin, D., & Dickman, R. (2019). Bloating and Abdominal Distension: Clinical Approach and Management. Advances in therapy, 36(5), 1075–1084. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824367/

[3] Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, October 3). Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 26, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/symptoms-causes/syc-20353439

[4] Carey, D. G., Nguyen, T. V., Campbell, L. V., Chisholm, D. J., & Kelly, P. (1996). Genetic influences on central abdominal fat: a twin study. International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders : journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 20(8), 722–726. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8856394/

[5] World Health Organization. (2008). Waist Circumference and Waist-Hip Ratio [PDF]. WHO. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44583/9789241501491_eng.pdf

[6] Dwyer JT, Melanson KJ, Sriprachy-anunt U, et al. Dietary Treatment of Obesity. [Updated 2015 Feb 28]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK278991/

[7] NHS. (2019, November 18). Very low calorie diets. NHS. Retrieved November 26, 2021, from https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/managing-your-weight/very-low-calorie-diets/

[8] Burton-Freeman B. (2000). Dietary fiber and energy regulation. The Journal of nutrition, 130(2S Suppl), 272S–275S. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10721886/

[9] Hairston, K. G., Vitolins, M. Z., Norris, J. M., Anderson, A. M., Hanley, A. J., & Wagenknecht, L. E. (2012). Lifestyle factors and 5-year abdominal fat accumulation in a minority cohort: the IRAS Family Study. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 20(2), 421–427. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856431/

[10] Burton-Freeman B. (2000). Dietary fiber and energy regulation. The Journal of nutrition, 130(2S Suppl), 272S–275S. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10721886/

[11] Lejeune, M. P., Westerterp, K. R., Adam, T. C., Luscombe-Marsh, N. D., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2006). Ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 concentrations, 24-h satiety, and energy and substrate metabolism during a high-protein diet and measured in a respiration chamber. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 83(1), 89–94. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16400055/

[12] Weigle, D. S., Breen, P. A., Matthys, C. C., Callahan, H. S., Meeuws, K. E., Burden, V. R., & Purnell, J. Q. (2005). A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 82(1), 41–48. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16002798/

[13] Harvard School of Public Health. (2021). Whole Grains | The Nutrition Source | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Retrieved November 26, 2021, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/whole-grains/

[14] Dennis, E. A., Dengo, A. L., Comber, D. L., Flack, K. D., Savla, J., Davy, K. P., & Davy, B. M. (2010). Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 18(2), 300–307. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19661958/

[15] McKiernan, F., Houchins, J. A., & Mattes, R. D. (2008). Relationships between human thirst, hunger, drinking, and feeding. Physiology & behavior, 94(5), 700–708. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2467458/

[16] Harvard Health Publishing. (2019, October 1). Problems with bloating? Watch your sodium intake. Harvard Health. Retrieved November 26, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/problems-with-bloating-watch-your-sodium-intake

[17]  Ohkawara, K., Tanaka, S., Miyachi, M., Ishikawa-Takata, K., & Tabata, I. (2007). A dose-response relation between aerobic exercise and visceral fat reduction: systematic review of clinical trials. International journal of obesity (2005), 31(12), 1786–1797. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17637702/

[18] Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019, November 21). Exercise for weight loss: Calories burned in 1 hour. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 26, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/exercise/art-20050999

[19] Ives, L. (2019, February 16). Short bursts of intense exercise ‘better for weight loss’. BBC News. Retrieved November 26, 2021, from https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47242940.

[20] Dâmaso, A. R., da Silveira Campos, R. M., Caranti, D. A., de Piano, A., Fisberg, M., Foschini, D., de Lima Sanches, P., Tock, L., Lederman, H. M., Tufik, S., & de Mello, M. T. (2014). Aerobic plus resistance training was more effective in improving the visceral adiposity, metabolic profile and inflammatory markers than aerobic training in obese adolescents. Journal of sports sciences, 32(15), 1435–1445. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24730354/

[21] Stanhope, K. L., & Havel, P. J. (2009). Fructose consumption: considerations for future research on its effects on adipose distribution, lipid metabolism, and insulin sensitivity in humans. The Journal of nutrition, 139(6), 1236S–1241S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3151025/

[22] 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

[23] Rieck, T. (2020, March 23). 10000 steps a day: Too low? Too high? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 26, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/10000-steps/art-20317391

[24] Barnosky, A. R., Hoddy, K. K., Unterman, T. G., & Varady, K. A. (2014, October). Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Translational Research, 164(4), 302-311. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S193152441400200X

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.