TikTok’s 30-30-30 weight loss trend: Another gimmick or does it actually work?

The “30-30-30” method is one of TikTok’s latest health trends. It involves consuming 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up and then 30 minutes of cardio.

Advocates claim it supports steady weight loss and muscle preservation [1]. The first part of the 30-30-30 method involves consuming 30 grams of protein shortly after waking up.

Protein is crucial for the body’s repair and recovery [2].

The amount needed varies based on physical activity, typically between 1.2 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight. According to Sinead Roberts, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at the University of Westminster, in an article published in The Conversation: “The amount of protein you need varies depending how much stress you put on your body.”

Higher protein intake can help preserve muscle during weight loss.

Breakfast often lacks protein, consisting primarily of carbs like toast or cereal. The 30-30-30 method aims to boost daily protein intake by starting the day with 30 grams of protein.

However, more is needed to meet daily protein goals; daily food choices are still important.

Protein is also filling, which may help reduce overall calorie intake, aiding weight loss. Consuming protein in the morning might help some people feel fuller, leading to less calorie consumption throughout the day.

However, this effect can vary among individuals.

The exercise portion of the 30-30-30 method includes 30 minutes of steady-state cardio in the morning. Activities like brisk walking or jogging fall into this category.

Research on exercise timing shows mixed results; some studies suggest morning exercise can improve metabolic health, while others find the timing less significant [3].

The key is finding a convenient and enjoyable time for exercise, which increases consistency. Steady-state cardio is just one type of exercise.

Studies show it’s not necessarily more beneficial for health or weight loss than other forms, such as high-intensity interval training [4].

The 30-minute duration is practical, short enough to fit into a busy schedule but long enough to provide cardiovascular benefits and burn calories. While more exercise can be beneficial, it doesn’t always result in a linear increase in calories burned as the body adjusts its energy use.

The 30-30-30 method promotes habits that can support health and weight loss. Starting the day with protein and exercise can help establish a routine, but it’s not a guaranteed formula for weight loss.

[1] https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2024/0612/1453114-tiktok-30-30-30-fitness-exercise-nutrition-trend/
[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20048505/
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7492403/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657417/

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