The ‘30-30-30’ fitness trend on TikTok, touted for its weight loss benefits, involves consuming 30 grams of protein and doing 30 minutes of low-intensity exercise within the first 30 minutes of waking up.
Originating from Tim Ferriss’s book ‘The 4-Hour Body’, this routine gained TikTok fame through Gary Brecka, a podcaster and self-described ‘human biologist’ promoting various ways to improve physical and mental health.
In two videos, each surpassing 18 million views, Brecka explains how the 30-30-30 rule contributes to weight loss and blood sugar control. Now, what does the scientific evidence indicate regarding the effectiveness of the 30-30-30 rule morning routine? Can it truly assist in weight loss, and are there potential risks involved?
Is the 30-30-30 approach effective?
Determining the effectiveness of the 30-30-30 rule method and its potential for weight loss is challenging, as it has not undergone rigorous scientific study. Ultimately, the success of any diet or fitness regimen hinges on the individual and their specific goals.
Nevertheless, the method’s individual components, such as consuming a high-protein breakfast and engaging in low-intensity morning exercise, have been researched. Here’s what is known about the benefits of these specific steps.
Breakfast and its impact on weight loss.
The question of whether breakfast contributes to weight loss remains. Evidence from the National Weight Control Registry suggests a link between daily breakfast consumption and sustained weight loss, though the exact mechanism is unclear.
Contrary to claims that breakfast boosts metabolism, a 2022 analysis found no evidence that a larger breakfast accelerates calorie burning. The 30-30-30 rule advocates eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking, emphasizing a 30-gram protein intake. The impact of this practice is still uncertain.
While not mandatory within the first 30 minutes, having breakfast within a few hours is beneficial. This aligns with the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily for healthy adults, translating to around 54 grams for a 150-pound adult. The definition of a high-protein diet varies by individual body size.
Research suggests that including protein in breakfast promotes satiety, controls blood sugar, and improves insulin resistance. High-protein breakfast options include eggs, lean meats, Greek yogurt, ultra-filtered milk, nut butters, and protein shakes. While carbs are acceptable, combining them with protein moderates glucose spikes.
It’s also advised to incorporate fruits and vegetables into breakfast for essential fiber and added nutrients.
Moderate-intensity exercise to promote weight loss.
The method’s final step entails 30 minutes of low-intensity, steady-state (LISS) cardiovascular exercise each morning post-breakfast, like brisk walking or swimming. U.S. health guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity weekly.
Exercise, in general, aids in lowering blood sugar levels, but immediate post-meal research is limited. TikTok videos claim the 30-30-30 rule method boosts fat burning, emphasizing that lower-intensity exercise utilizes a higher fat percentage, yet higher-intensity exercise may burn more total calories.
Weight loss hinges on a calorie deficit. While morning exercise is favored for logistical and health reasons, sustainability varies. A study in Obesity suggests that exercising between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. may assist weight loss, fostering mindful eating throughout the day. However, the ease of establishing morning exercise as a habit varies by individual.
Can the 30-30-30 rule contribute to weight loss?
Ultimately, the effectiveness of the 30-30-30 rule method hinges on an individual’s current activity level and habits, as highlighted by experts. It’s crucial to assess whether the 30-30-30 steps represent improvements over existing habits.
If you currently don’t engage in any exercise and add 30 minutes of daily low-intensity cardio, that’s a positive change. However, caution is advised if you’re replacing higher-intensity or longer workouts with the 30-30-30 method, as it may not yield the same calorie burn, experts note.
While various factors contribute to weight management, it’s essential to emphasize that the primary strategy for weight loss revolves around maintaining a calorie deficit. If the 30-30-30 rule method doesn’t accomplish this, achieving weight loss is unlikely.
The risks of the 30-30-30 rule
Compared to other trends, the 30-30-30 rule seems less concerning, emphasizing a high-protein breakfast and daily exercise. While generally harmless, it’s not universally effective.
Individual preferences matter; not everyone enjoys morning meals or early workouts. Forcing compliance may not be advisable, and if these aren’t your preferences, the method might not be suitable. Still, experimenting with it is an option to observe your body’s response.
Consuming 30 grams of protein at once is generally safe, exceeding daily recommendations for most adults. However, those with conditions like chronic kidney disease may need to limit protein intake.
Similarly, 30 minutes of low-intensity exercise is generally safe for the healthy population, but individuals with underlying health concerns should consult their doctor before starting a new regimen.
Disclaimers apply: if a food or activity doesn’t suit you, stop. In essence, amidst emerging trends, the key advice remains: exercise regularly, maintain a balanced diet, and prioritize sustainability for long-term well-being.