Workout goal

The 12-3-30 weight loss TikTok challenge might make a comeback

An option for those looking to achieve a slender, toned physique while maintaining muscle growth

During the summer of 2022, the 12-3-30 challenge went viral on TikTok for its effectiveness. Labeled as a sustainable weight loss workout, fitness experts predict it will come back in 2023 as the hashtag “#12330workoutgoal” now boasts 3.8 million views and counting.

The challenge consists of setting a treadmill to a 12% incline and walking at 3 miles per hour for 30 minutes, an option for those looking to achieve a slender, toned physique while maintaining muscle growth.


“The 12-3-30 challenge stormed the internet in the run-up to summer last year, and we think this trend will make a huge comeback,” said a fitness expert at Total Shape. “This weight loss technique demonstrated some impressive results amongst TikTokers, demonstrating sustainable results. The weight loss technique doesn’t only help burn more calories but enables you to maintain strength and build muscle while alleviating joint problems.

“Running on a treadmill won’t build bigger muscles, but it will tone and create definition in the muscles you already have,” the professional added.

According to the expert, “steadily walking on an incline does wonders for your body. It can strengthen your bones and muscles, boost your coordination and balance, and target your butt and the backs of your legs —a bonus for many.”


“While 3mph is classed as a moderate walk, doing the 12-3-3- challenge will feel like a vigorous activity for many people. So, if you can go at that pace and that incline for 30 minutes, you can class yourself as fit,” the person continued. “For those who suffer from knee problems, walking uphill is a better option, as it can strengthen leg muscles while introducing less joint load or pressure to the knee.”

A TikToker who tried the challenge confirmed the staggering results. “LMAOOO but all jokes aside y’all IT WORKS! I lost 8.6 pounds in 5 days doing this after every lift along with a clean diet ,” Makeda Thomas assures.


LMAOOO but all jokes aside y’all IT WORKS! I lost 8.6 pounds in 5 days doing this after every lift along with a clean diet 😭🤝 #fyp#gymtok#weightloss#girlswholift#fitness#gymhumor#12330

♬ original sound - Makeda Thomas -

According to a fitness expert at Total Shape, using an inclined treadmill can aid in losing more fat, especially in the belly area, as it mimics walking uphill and raises the heart rate more than walking on a flat surface.

“Researchers have found that an increased heart rate due to intense exercise correlates with the increased burning of calories per minute,” the trainer said. “Also, walking uphill during a treadmill workout at the same pace as regular walking may increase endurance, improve performance, and increase lean muscle mass. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, you can hasten the process of losing body fat even while at rest.”

Find below Total Shape’s top tips for people wanting to lose weight and maintain a strong physique sustainably:

Cut back on sugar and carbs

Homemade Churros recipe©GettyImages

Sugar and carbs are a key part of a weight loss journey and will prevent you from losing weight if too much is consumed. Spend time identifying the problematic food items in your life and reading labels on the foods you tend to consume. You’d surprised at how much sugar things like canned soup and tomato sauce have in them.

Also, be mindful of the fact that many processed foods labelled low or non-fat often replace it with sugar; which of course will become love handles after you eat it. The easiest and best way to cut hidden calories out of your life is to buy fresh fruit and vegetables instead of canned ones.

However, it is important to not cut sugar and carbs out altogether, as this can do more harm than good and deprive your body of a balanced nutritional intake.

Be smart about saturated fat


Saturated fats have a bad reputation these days, but in reality, low-fat items in the grocery stores are the main culprits to an explosion in obesity rates. On the store shelves, and animal fats have been traded out for refined sugars and carbohydrates to make up for the lack of taste that occurs when the fat gets taken out.

One thing is sure, cutting out fat from your diet is not the best solution to achieve weight loss. Therefore, try to keep a more balanced view towards fats by integrating them into your diet in healthy amounts and keep your fats non-artificial, as you will benefit from its advantages. 

  • Experts top tip: Natural animal fats like butter are always better for you than heavily processed items like margarine.

Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables

Healthy foods for 2021©Istock

Cutting excess calories doesn’t mean you have to eat less food, and many wonderful fruits and vegetables are available to help keep you fuller for longer and boost your mood.

Particularly high fiber fruits and vegetables like raspberries, mangos, and leafy greens keep you full longer because they take your body a long time to digest. Also note, any dark-colored vegetables are generally higher the fiber content.

The best way to alter your eating habits are to make fruits and vegetables convenient for snacking by storing them in easy access portions in your kitchen. Pack combinations like peanut butter and celery for your daily lunch to get a kick of protein with your fiber.

You’ll be amazed how easy it is to double or triple your day plant-based foods intake when you become intentional about it.

Try intermittent fasting

Apple Watch series 5©Apple

Regardless of the state of your weight-loss efforts, most people can benefit from a process known as “intermittent fasting.”

Intermittent fasting means that you schedule certain times during the week where you will not eat, no matter what. By doing this you force the body to make metabolic adjustments and burn through existing adipose tissue - particularly around the midsection - in order to meet your energy needs.

This might seem like a starvation diet at first glance however there is an important difference. Intermittent fasting is just that: intermittent. You fast for a pre-set length of time and then you resume your normal healthy eating.

  • Experts top tip: Some people pick one day a week to fast. Others eat their normal healthy foods 5 days in a row and then restrict their calorie intake to 500 - 600 calories per day for 2 days. Others fast during the day then eat one meal in the evening. Whatever works best for you.
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