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30-30-30 method for weight loss: What is it and does it work?

Will you actually see its effects on your body weight if you follow it?

30-30-30 Method for Weight Loss: Does It Work? | Juniper

These days, trying to find a scientifically backed weight loss method that actually works for you and your body can be an overwhelming endeavour.

One scroll on social media will give you all kinds of contrasting and conflicting suggestions about how to lose weight and burn fat, all promising to be absolutely beneficial to your overall health and well-being.

The problem, then, becomes separating fact from fiction, so that's what we're here to do today.

Recently, the 30-30-30 rule has been going viral on social media as a great way to control appetite and sugar cravings throughout the day, which can help people lose weight and build lean muscle.

But what is the 30-30-30 rule, actually?

And will it actually help you replace body fat with lean muscle, or is it just another fitness trend we're destined to forget about when the next fad comes along?

In this article, we'll give you the rundown on what this new rule is all about, how it works (and whether it actually works), and what other rules and strategies you can implement to create a sustainable weight loss method that will create a positive ripple effect on your life.

What is the 30-30-30 rule?

The 30-30-30 rule is a new weight loss method that's currently going viral on social media.

The rule was originally created by Tim Ferriss, author of the 2010 book The 4-Hour Body.

In 2024, though, the 30-30-30 rule has been popularised by biologist and podcaster Gary Brecka. On TikTok, a video of Brecka explaining the weight loss method has gone viral, and currently has over 1.8 million likes [1].

The point of difference for the 30-30-30 method — as opposed to other weight loss plans — is that it combines diet and exercise. The aim is to create a healthier lifestyle overall that will also help people reach their weight loss goals.

The 30-30-30 rule is, in essence, an overhaul to your morning routine. It involves eating breakfast with 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up, followed by 30 minutes of low-intensity cardiovascular exercise.

Here's how it works.

The components of the 30-30-30 weight loss method

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are 3 components to the 30-30-30 rule.

The first is all about timing — instead of hitting snooze in the morning, you should be eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up.

The second is all about protein because your breakfast should contain 30 grams of protein.

The final component is 30 minutes of steady-state cardiovascular exercise to promote fat loss and fat burning.

But what is it about these 3 elements that works to promote weight loss and weight management? Let's break it down.

High-protein breakfast

One of the main components of the 30-30-30 rule is to eat a high-protein breakfast, specifically, one with 30 grams of protein. But what does this do for weight loss?

Well, aside from the fact that getting enough protein is important for healthy adults, research shows that eating a protein-rich breakfast can be key to sticking to your weight loss plan.

That's because protein helps increase feelings of fullness and leave you feeling satisfied for longer [7].

The idea is that this sets you up for success throughout the day and will allow you to make better eating choices throughout the day to support your diet and fitness goals.

By starting the day with 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking, some people find that it helps them eat fewer calories overall and allows them to eat a more balanced diet.

The cumulative result of all of these changes can be fat loss, weight management and improved health.

Additionally, a protein-rich breakfast is said to support muscle maintenance, boost your metabolism, and provide sustained energy, aiding in better focus and productivity.

Low-intensity exercise

Once you've kicked off your day with a protein-rich breakfast, the final part of the 30-30-30 rule is to do 30 minutes of steady-state cardio.

We're not talking about a HIIT class or anything that will have you puffing and your heart rate racing — just some low-intensity cardio, like 30 minutes of brisk walking, biking, swimming or strength training.

Steady-state cardio is a great way to kickstart the day and it has been found to improve the way you burn body fat [2].

It's also more gentle on your body overall, which makes for an easier recovery post workout, and a more sustainable exercise routine over time.

Other benefits of low-intensity cardiovascular exercise are that it's easier on the cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems and increases cardiac efficiency, making it a great option for your whole body [3].

Finally, steady-state cardio — as with any exercise in the morning, afternoon or evening — can help to improve your mental health.

In fact, exercise is proven to reduce anxiety, depression and low moods, as well as improve self-esteem and cognitive function [4].

Does the 30-30-30 method work for weight loss?

Now that we've established what the 30-30-30 rule is, the question is: will you see its effects on your body weight if you follow it? Will it actually help you lose fat, or is this all just another TikTok trend promising an easy fix?

The answer is: it depends on your current routine.

If your days start with a coffee run and a sweet treat at the office, followed by a full day spent in front of the computer, then it's likely you'll feel — and see — the benefits of the 30-30-30 method.

On the other hand, if you're the kind to eat breakfast and engage in an exercise routine, and you already know all about your protein intake, it's probably not going to create the kind of calorie deficit you'd need to see any noticeable changes in your body.

Benefits of the 30-30-30 method

The main benefits of the 30-30-30 rule are twofold.

First, starting your day with breakfast — particularly one with enough protein — can help you feel full for longer. In turn, this can lead to a decrease in snacking throughout the day, which can help lower body weight over time.

Then, 30 minutes of low-intensity exercise that keeps your heart rate steady will be beneficial to your body and mental health, regardless of what time of day it is.[6]

Again, the benefits you'll see depend on how much exercise you do currently.

As a rule, the NHS recommends that healthy adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, or 75 minutes of higher-intensity exercise each week, like jogging, aerobics or team sports [5].

Are there any risks?

The 30-30-30 method is still quite new, so it hasn't been studied rigorously just yet.

While there is potential for weight loss and improved health, the 30-30-30 rule doesn't provide any guidelines for the rest of the day.

So, there's a possibility that those following the method without counting calories won't see much in the way of success if they're not making healthy food choices throughout the rest of the day, or if they're not also doing some higher intensity exercise a few times a week.

Again, the risks or success of the method will very much rely on how it compares to your current routine.

Losing weight holistically with Juniper

If you're unsure about whether the 30-30-30 rule is right for you, Juniper's Weight Reset Programme might be a better fit for you.

Juniper offers a non-surgical weight loss method that's designed to support your weight loss journey and set you up for long-term success.

Designed by UK clinicians and dietitians, the Weight Reset Programme combines semaglutide — a groundbreaking medication for managing weight safely — with 1-on-1 support from a health coach, who will offer advice and help keep you on track.

Semaglutide helps to suppress appetite, reduce food cravings and improve metabolic function, and studies are showing that it's a safe, effective, and streamlined path toward sustainable weight loss.

When combined with the added support of healthy lifestyle and exercise changes, you can drop body fat and say goodbye to your weight woes, once and for all.

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