Is a 30 or 60 Minute Workout Better For Weight Loss?

Less can truly be more.

By: Emily Freeman

When it comes to the best workout for weight loss, less can truly be more. So, if you’ve been programmed to think that you need to do more to reduce your body fat, this may come as a shock — a 30-minute workout for weight loss may be all you need! In fact, research suggests a mere half-hour a day can increase fat loss more effectively than a 60-minute workout for weight loss! Mindblown? Believe it! This is huge news for those convinced you don’t have enough time to get fit and feel amazing all you need is 30-minutes. And, we’re going to show you exactly how to make shorter workouts work for you and your schedule. 

The Science on Why a 30 Minute Workout May be Better Than A Whole Hour 

A study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that participants who exercised for only 30 minutes a day lost about 30% more weight than those who exercised for a full hour. Why? The participants who exercised for 30 minutes ended up expending more energy throughout their day in addition to their training session, most likely because they had more energy left over after their workouts. Longer workouts may also make people feel hungrier. Hourlong exercisers can end up eating more beyond the amount of extra calories they actually burned, which takes them out of the necessary caloric deficit to lose weight. Also, 30-minute workouts are much more manageable to fit into a busy schedule which increases the likelihood of consistency, the most important factor to losing weight. 

5 Tips on Fitting 30 Minutes of Fitness Into Your Day 

If you feel like it’s nearly impossible to fit a longer workout into your busy day, it’s time to make shorter workouts work for both your schedule and your fitness goals! Here are five tips on fitting those quick yet effective 30-minute workouts into your day. 

#1 Schedule Your Workouts Like Meetings 

When you have a meeting on your calendar, you don’t miss it. You’ve blocked out the time, and you’re committed. The same should hold true for your workouts. Before your busy week starts, look at your schedule. Decide when you can fit in your workouts and schedule them into your calendar. If your schedule changes, no biggie. Just find another time slot in your schedule! Remember: when it comes to workouts for weight loss, it’s all about consistency!

#2 Break Up Your Workouts Into Even Shorter Bursts

Science has shown that short bursts of exercise can be just as effective as longer workouts. So, forget that 60-minute workout for weight loss! Try breaking up your workouts into two 15-minute sessions per day. You can focus on building strength in one session and increasing your heart rate in the other. The trick to making super short workouts work? Stay focused. Give every minute your all!

#3 Set Out Your Workout Clothes Ahead of Time 

Visual cues, like setting out your workout clothes the night before, helps train your brain to form habits. And, it’s one less thing to have to think about before getting your sweat on. When you’re crunched on time, every minute matters. Having your workout clothes ready to go eliminates the valuable time it takes to pick them out. 

#4 Make It Fun!

If you’ve never been one to enjoy exercise, this may be a foreign concept. So here is your invitation to find a workout you don’t hate, at the very least. There are so many different ways to burn calories, build muscle, release tension, and improve your flexibility. You really don’t need to settle for workouts that make you say, “ugh!”

#5 Reward Yourself 

You release serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine during your workouts, which gives you that amazing post-workout feeling. If you’ve ever experienced runner’s high, you know! For some, the anticipation of this feeling alone is enough motivation to move. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. 

For those harder to convince, try giving your brain a happy boost by setting up rewards for meeting fitness goals. Maybe you treat yourself to your favorite low-sugar coffee after your workouts. Or indulge in a healthy meal, new workout clothes, or that air fryer you’ve been eyeing at the end of the week for completing all your workouts. 

What if You’re Short on Time?

Some days, a 30-minute workout for weight loss just isn’t going to happen. Last-minute meetings come up, children have tantrums, and schedules get packed. We’re human! On these days, do your best to find other ways to stay active. You can take the stairs, schedule walking calls and meetings, do squats while you brush your teeth, or even set a timer to get up and do an exercise every hour. We love 10-20 reps of push-ups, lunges, jump squats, kickbacks, v-ups, and planks rotate them throughout the day! 

Honor Your Time and Your Body

Your time and body are two of the most valuable things you have. Many people tend to place more emphasis on time because they don’t realize they can prioritize both. A 30-minute workout not only supports weight loss efforts but can also stimulate your mind, improve your creativity and productivity, and keep you living an active and healthy life. 

That extra time gives you more time to slow down and achieve all the other things on your to-do lists!

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