What if you could achieve a flat stomach in three days? You could go shirtless or flaunt a bikini at the pool without feeling self-conscious about your protruding tummy. Maybe you will wear that body-skimming dress or form-fitted shirt to an upcoming reunion. And imagine buttoning your waistband without a muffin top spilling over.
Flat Stomach Wishes
A flat stomach boosts your confidence and can be a sign of good health. But, you're tired of waiting. You want one soon, whether that's for a fast-approaching cruise, pool party or wedding. You want to know how can you get a flat stomach in three days.
If your stomach is protruding due to deep visceral fat that surrounds your internal organs or subcutaneous fat that sits just under the skin, losing the extra weight is going to take more than three days. However, three days may be enough time to reduce notable distension and bloating.
Find out the steps you can take to achieve a flat tummy in three days and in the days beyond.
Anatomy of Belly Fat
Belly fat is not just unattractive, it can be dangerous. You may have belly fat that's subcutaneous, so it sits just below the skin. It's usually a little soft and pinchable and isn't necessarily bad for your health. Subcutaneous fat is also the type that largely accumulates around your thighs and buttocks.
You may want to get rid of it to streamline your physique and feel more confident, but your risk of chronic disease doesn't increase because of subcutaneous fat.
Read more: The 3 Secrets to Losing Belly Fat
Visceral fat is the hard, unseen fat that wraps around your internal organs and lies deep in your belly. If your belly protrudes and is firm to the touch, chances are you have a good amount of visceral fat. This fat is inflammatory, explains Harvard Health Publishing, and can increase your risk of disease. Visceral fat is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Your belly fat may be made up of both types of fat, so it is important to lose the weight to help you feel better about yourself and reduce your risk of disease.
Lose Belly Fat
You may want a flat stomach in three days, but your physiology has other ideas. Fat loss is a process that takes weeks, months and sometimes years. It all depends on how much weight you have to lose and your dedication to the process.
Harvard Health Publishing does give you the good news that belly fat, including the dangerous visceral stuff, is quite responsive to a healthy, portion-controlled diet and regular exercise, such as jogging, hiking or cycling. Weight training can also help boost your metabolism and add lean mass. You lose subcutaneous fat the same way.
Long-term commitment to exercise creates a body with a higher percentage of lean mass, which actually makes you have a flatter stomach and more streamlined physique in the long run. The Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology published a study in 2016 that noted you don't actually "melt" fat during exercise. Rather, calories from meals shift toward skeletal muscle rather than toward fat tissue — so you basically end up feeding muscle and starving fat, resulting in weight loss.
Spot training with crunches and roll-ups isn't the solution either. You can tighten your ab muscles through sit-ups, but you're not going to see a drop in the fat covering those muscles as a result.
Fat Loss Isn’t Instant
You commit to a healthier, portion-controlled diet and the exercise to starve the fat cells, but this isn't going to get you a flat stomach in three days, or even a flat stomach in a week. Fat loss takes time and a safe, effective rate is usually about 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Read more: The Best Way to Lose Weight in One Month
You're not guaranteed all that will come from your abdomen either. It's been well accepted in the scientific community for decades that you can't "spot reduce," regardless of what fitness magazines and YouTube videos say. A 2011 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research confirmed that six weeks of targeted abdominal training was not enough to reduce subcutaneous fat in men or women.
So, what's the answer? How can you achieve a flatter stomach in three days?
Belly Bloat Cleanse
A bulbous belly isn't always due to excess fat. Bloating and distension are common, with up to 96 percent of patients with irritable bowel syndrome reporting the problem, according to a paper in Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 2014. The paper goes on to note that 20 to 30 percent of the general population have bloating and distension, too, and these sufferers describe it as moderate or severe.
While you may not be able to lose notable fat in three days, you can achieve a less bloated and distended stomach, giving you the flat look you desire. Changes in your diet and lifestyle support a slimmer looking, less bloated tummy in the short-term as you commit to long-term fat loss strategies.
Read more: Ten Ways to Beat Belly Bloat
High-Fiber Carbs for Slimming
A simple first step is to replace simple carbohydrates — think white bread, white rice and sugary sweets (including soda) —with high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, leafy greens and fruit. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine explains that eating high-fiber foods feeds healthy microbes in your gut.
These microbes are essential to preventing bloating; when they're hungry, they become irritated and cause a pooch. Feed them with fiber-rich foods to shrink your tummy down.
When you eat more fiber, you also become more regular. Constipation and gas that also contribute to bloating resolve, slimming your stomach.
Drinking more water doesn't cure constipation and the associated bloating, but drinking 2 liters of water per day does enhance the effect of a higher fiber intake reports a paper in United European Gastroenterology published in 2017.
Avoid Trigger Foods
Certain foods can be particularly bothersome for some people, usually due to genetics and the makeup of their gut bacteria. The 2014 paper in Gastroenterology and Hepatology noted that fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols — specific types of sugar called FODMAPS for short — can be to blame for bloating and stomach distension. Reduce these foods in your diet, and you may see results in just three days that's closer to the flat look you desire.
While it's a good idea to consult with your doctor or a dietitian when following a low FODMAP diet, you can take steps on your own to reduce trigger foods. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics details a low-FODMAP diet as reducing:
- Dried beans including lentils and chickpeas
- Soy-based products
- High-fructose fruits foods such as honey, mango, watermelon and sugar snap peas
- Sugar alcohol substitutes such as xylitol or sorbitol
- Pears, apples and cherries
The list of FODMAP foods is extensive, but you can start with those listed above to get flatter belly results in three days. Reducing FODMAPs doesn't guarantee you'll achieve a flat belly, but if you're sensitive to these sugars and carbohydrates, you may see relief and results quickly.
- Gastroenterology and Hepatology: "Management Strategies for Abdominal Bloating and Distension"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Abdominal Fat and What to Do About It"
- Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology: "Abdominal Fat Reducing Outcome of Exercise Training: Fat Burning or Hydrocarbon Source Redistribution?"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Weight Loss"
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: "The Effect of Abdominal Exercise on Abdominal Fat"
- Eat Right: "What Is the Low FODMAP Diet?"
- United European Gastroenterology: "Management of Chronic Constipation in Adults"
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: "Gut Bacteria"