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

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan Petitpas | Updated on 7 February 2022

A man has his belly fat poking out of his shirt that says "present you," and a man in a blue shirt that says "future you" has lost the fat, and there's a food pyramid, a girl running, and the words 72 hours in the background.

Figuring out how to lose belly fat in 3 days can be of the utmost importance, especially if you want to lose weight for a wedding, fit into that fancy dress for a special occasion 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 pounds in just a few 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.

It may also decrease how many calories your body absorbs from food. 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.

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! 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. 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

Figuring out how to lose belly fat in just three days can be a challenge, but simply drinking 2 waters per day can make all the difference. You’d be surprised to know that on average, more than half the time, when you think you’re hungry, you’re really just thirsty. 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.

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%.

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. 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.
  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.
  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. 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 like the push pull legs routine is the best way to get rid of visceral fat, 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 Sugar

You may not be able to avoid sugar all the time and it’s not devil, but trying to eat sugary foods or jello for weight loss is not a good idea. Refined sugar has a ton of empty calories and it’s possible to go overboard on natural sugars too. So eating a whole pineapple in one sitting isn’t good for weight loss either.

Belly fat studies show that high sugar intake correlates with increased abdominal fat. 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.

9. 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. 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.

10. 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. 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.

11. 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.

Why Belly Fat is Harmful

Understanding how to lose belly fat is just half the battle, but knowing why belly fat is harmful can keep you motivated to stay on track and keep up with the 11 tricks above.

Firstly, there are two types of belly fat – subcutaneous and visceral. Where subcutaneous fat sits under the skin and isn’t necessarily harmful. Then there’s visceral stomach fat  that surrounds your internal organs, like the liver, stomach, and intestines,  which dramatically increases your risk of multiple diseases, including:

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

To 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. You should probably lose some fat for better health outcomes in the long run.

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 because three days is just the beginning. You can learn how to lose weight in a few hours, but it’s likely you’ll gain it all back afterwards. 

No matter what, don’t be afraid to take progress photos at the beginning and the end – it’ll be an eye opener to reflect on once you achieve that dream body. In addition to the tips found here, a beginner weight loss guide can teach you the basic principles behind getting slim and keeping it that way. 

Don’t worry if you have any setbacks, just try again day after day and eventually these tricks will be second nature. 


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About the Author

Nathan Petitpas

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.