Losing Weight On A Time Crunch: The 30 Minute Calorie Blaster

It’s that one magic bullet we’re all looking for – the ability to lose weight in a rush, often times having to dedicate the minimal amount of effort in the process. Now hold on just a second – I’m sure you’ve probably heard the phrase that anything worth having is worth hard work, so why should you expect to obtain a highly fit, healthy body without putting in the work?

Before looking to generalize, it is important to realize that there are people who honestly only have a very small amount of free time on a daily basis in which to partake in exercise, or other pastimes. However, exercise should in no form or fashion be considered a pastime, as it is vitally as important as sleeping or eating when it comes to maintenance of health.

That aside, even if you can find that 30 minutes to dedicate to working out on a daily basis, you can obtain a very decent physique, and not to mention health that will serve you for years to come. Wondering what is the best way to really make use of that 30 minutes?

That’s exactly what we going to address today, so without further ado let’s get going.

The Prerequisites

You’re going to have a very difficult time losing any amount of weight if you don’t set the stage for weight loss. This means that you must maintain at all times a calorie deficit, or consume less calories than you expend.

So, the first things you need to do are:

Calculate Your Calorie Needs

Your calorie needs generally speaking, are the requirements your body necessitates for maintenance of basic processes. This can be considered the total amount of calories you expend on a daily basis while doing absolutely nothing. Also referred to as your basic metabolic rate, or resting metabolic rate, after factoring exercise calories or relative exertion level, you only need to consume slightly less calories than this.

calorie calculator app

For instance, if your basal metabolic rate comes out at 2000 Cal daily, and when factoring in activity level this comes up to 2500, your best bet is to consume approximately 2000 Cal on a daily basis. The deficit of 500 created allows your body to dig in to stored calories in the form of fat, and thus, weight loss ensues.

Also, worth mentioning when calculating your calorie needs is the macronutrient breakdown. For weight loss, protein intake should be kept high, while fats should be kept moderate, and carbohydrates low to moderate.

Ensure You’re Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep should be considered the master reset switch; which helps us to recuperate over and over again. Yet, more than 25% of adults don’t get sufficient sleep, or of a quality that leaves much to be desired.

We understand – hectic lifestyle and not enough hours in the day to do what you really need to do can leave you feeling as if sleep is nothing more than a luxury for the lucky. Add weight loss to the equation, and you’re now placing even more stress and physical requirements on the body and still not improving your sleep.

Given, if anxiety is what bothers you, or you toss and turn because you don’t feel tired, exercise might be just the thing to fix that for you. If you find it exceedingly difficult to get sleep, why not try an effective natural sleep remedy which contains melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by our body that helps to initiate and maintain sleep. That way, by helping to supplement diminished production as a result of chronic stress, you can restore your circadian rhythm and get natural sleep. We recommend trying Dreamzzz


Ensure Your Micronutrient Requirements Are Met

It should go without saying that the foods you consume should be rich in nutrients, but living a life on the go might sometimes result in a less than ideal diet. For this reason, it might be important to consume a balanced multivitamin/multimineral supplement, preferably one that contains less synthetics and more nutrients from whole food sources.

Micronutrients play key roles in the maintenance of good health, and are involved in a slew of enzymatic reactions in the body. Without these critical micronutrients, you better believe that fat loss will take a backseat as the necessary resources will be routed to survival and maintenance of life processes.

Prioritize What You Need To Do

This should go without saying, but if 30 minutes is all you have to dedicate to work out, do not waste time on minor isolation type exercises, or experimenting with the latest trendy workout you see on the Internet or in a fitness magazine.

Rather, stick to the basics, activity that will deliver the greatest return for time invested, depending on whether you are looking to achieve solely weight loss or body recomposition in the process.

This might include the heavy compound exercises, as well as cardiovascular exercise on the days when you are not resistance training.

Circuit Training

Depending on your relative experience level when it comes to training, a whole-body circuit type workout might suit you best. This might include super setting three or four exercises back-to-back and only resting after each circuit set has been completed.

An excellent example of this could be 15 push-ups followed by 15 jumping jacks, 15 barbell rows, and finally 15 crunches. Of course, you can modify the order and actual exercises significantly depending on your particular needs.

man doing circuit training exercises

Circuits are one of the best ways to utilize an immense number of calories in a manner that is not typical cardio. Nevertheless, you can rest assured that the sheer volume will tax your cardiopulmonary system to a level exceeding even that of low intensity aerobic exercise.


Tabatas are an intensity technique that increase calorie burn far beyond the first 30 minutes. In fact, you’re unlikely to be able to perform 30 minutes of any type of Tabata exercise, as many are often completed in the space of 10 minutes or less.

To perform, you’d be best served by choosing an exercise that allows you to quickly modify intensity. For 20 seconds, more or less you go all out at the highest intensity possible. Following that for the next 10 seconds, you recover at a very leisurely pace (albeit, still performing the activity). Following this brief rest interval, you jump straight back into the maximal intensity exercise, and repeat the cycle for a total of 10 or so repetitions.

Tabatas can also be modified depending on experience level, reducing the duration of active work and increasing rest periods might also help. As your experience grows, you might be able to perform more total cycles in your workout.

Intensity Techniques

While a Tabata is technically an intensity technique, the intensity techniques were talking about usually involve resistance in the form of weights. But make no mistake, they are called intensity techniques for a reason – they add immense difficulty to exercises and can lead to a massive calorie burn during and after the exercise.

Examples of intensity techniques include:


These usually involve performing two exercises back-to-back without rest. Owing to the fact that you are effectively doing double your volume now without rest, opposing muscle groups are usually combined. For instance, performing a chest movement coupled with one for the back is an excellent way to perform a superset. This way, different muscle groups are activated and because they are opposing, you can actually achieve better muscular balance.

Drop Sets

Drop sets are effectively giant reverse pyramid sets, performing the heaviest resistance initially, and then subsequently reducing the load for two or three more sets. For instance, you perform an exercise with 100 pounds for 10 reps, then you immediately reduce the weight by 30, perform five more, reduced by another 30, perform five more reps, and then finally finish up until you cannot perform a single rep more.

man doing seated cable rows

Rest Pause

The rest pause is my absolute favorite simply because there is no reduction of the load involved, taking just a very brief rest to effectively extend the duration under tension, and the number of reps achieved.

Take for instance performing eight reps with a moderately heavy load, having a brief 10 to 15 second rest, hitting out three more reps, taking another brief pause, and wrapping up with two last reps. In effect, you have now completed 13 repetitions. The very brief rest interval helps to maintain the metabolic advantages gained from heavy weight training, and does not allow your body sufficient time to properly recuperate – a brutal scenario conducive for strength and muscle growth.

Low Intensity Cardiovascular Exercise

With all the fanciest techniques and equipment aside, surprisingly good old cardio still retains the throne for sheer number of calories burned. The only way you can possibly make classic aerobic exercises even better is by adding an angle to the exercise, such as creating an incline on your treadmill, increasing rate of movement – such as when cycling or running, or increasing tension.


Not a lot of discussion surrounds swimming these days, but it still remains an excellent calorie burner if you’re looking to try something different or dislike the typical calorie burning exercises. Plus, swimming is very low impact on the joints – in fact virtually no impact, having a very restorative effect on aching muscles and joints. This is possibly why it is highly favored by the elderly or people nursing and recovering from injuries. Of course, there’s one big requirement, and that’s the fact that you actually know how to swim.

woman swimming in pool


Yes, you will not burn the greatest number of calories from walking, but if you’re just getting started or find that the intensity of the order exercises intimidates you, then walking is a fine option. Plus, if you’re involved in sports that are of a longer duration, such as training for a marathon or even golf, the ability to walk long distances can be a big boost for your stamina and endurance.

Just walk the entirety of the 30 minutes if it’s all you can handle, it still much better than sitting on the couch doing nothing.

Jumping Jacks

Yes, you read that correctly. Jumping jacks aren’t merely a warm-up type exercise, which is all they seem to be relegated to these days, but in reality, an excellent calorie burning exercise. If you’re not used to plyometric activity, the calorie burn is likely to be even greater, as the explosive nature of jumps tend to develop muscle fibers in a way different from the grounded approach of weightlifting.

 man and woman doing jumping jacks

As little as 30 minutes of jumping jacks can burn in the vicinity of 500 Cal, which is more than stationary cycling, walking and jogging. Of course, the up-and-down nature of the activity can leave your joints feeling sore, so we don’t recommend you doing this several times weekly. A great way to act prophylactically is to ensure you supplement with a high-quality collagen protein powder to reinforce the health and integrity of those precious joints.

Putting It Together

As a good rule of thumb, when working with limited time do not perform intense weight-bearing exercise more than three times weekly. If you insist on working out seven days per week, the other four days should be spent on aerobic or cardiovascular activity.

Be sure to use a mix of lower intensity cardio with the occasional high-intensity version, as the human body has a way of rapidly adapting to stimuli it comes into contact with frequently.

Ensure that you do your best to consume quality nutrition, and sleep sufficiently at night.

And finally, do not go from 0 to 100 during the first week of your training plan. Time may seem limited, but remember that there is only so much you can achieve within 30 minutes. Being a little too overenthusiastic could leave you with an injury that sidelines you for a much longer time than what you are trying to make up for.

With a little patience, in a few months you can see a significant difference in your body and the way you feel.