Thinner in 30

Small Changes That Add Up to Big Weight Loss in Just 30 Days


By Jenna Wolfe

With Myatt Murphy

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$20.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around December 27, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A month from now, you’ll wish you had started today.

Yes, a month is all it takes to see long-term results.

And seriously-even YOU can lose that weight!

Food and exercise fads come and go, mainly because they just aren’t sustainable. After a few days, you’re hungry, bored, or hungry AND bored. That’s why the Today show’s very first lifestyle and fitness correspondent, Jenna Wolfe, created her famous 30-Day Fitness Challenge for her viewers. The challenge was wildly successful because of its unprecedented and simple approach to everyday health and fitness-one small tip a day for 30 days.

Now, in Thinner in 30, Jenna takes her foolproof program to the next level, giving you the tools and motivation you’ll need to achieve your wellness goals with thirty small changes that add up to big results-in as few as 30 days. It’s all possible without joining a gym, counting calories, or signing up for a trendy class you can’t even pronounce. The perfect plan for busy men and women of all ages and fitness levels, Thinner in 30 puts the focus on small, bite-size tips which lead to long-term weight loss.
Jenna blends athletic wisdom, laugh-out-loud humor, and easy-to-follow advice, like how many times to chew your food per bite, what the heck carbs are all about, and how to sneak in workouts without any time, money, equipment, or energy (pretty much covering any excuse you may have). Thinner in 30 will help you discover just how easy it is to get healthy without having to deprive yourself or work out 12 hours a day.


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Table of Contents


Copyright Page

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The Start of Change

An actual conversation with my mom

MOM: Hey, Gigi! [My nickname from a million years ago when my then little brother couldn't pronounce Jenna so he called me Gigi. Yes, it sounds nothing like Jenna, but nobody ever had the heart to tell him.]

ME: Hi, Mom. What's going on?

MOM: Hey, how do I lose that extra flab under my arm when I wave? It's like I wave and then the under part of my arm waves too.

ME: Oh! I've got some great triceps exercises you can do to tighten up that area! All it takes is a few minutes a day, maybe three days a week, and I could have you try four or five different routines so you're never bored. What do you say?

(Dead silence.)

MOM: I think I'll just stop waving.

I'm going to be honest with you: When my agent first approached me with the idea of writing a lifestyle/fitness book, I was a little taken aback. I had written blogs, paragraphs, and various sentences in my writing past, but a book?

I mean, I had definitely read books before and I'm pretty sure I had purchased books before, but did that qualify me to go out and actually write one? And what would I write about? A few of the possible book topics I remember considering during that initial conversation:

• Embarrassing Things That Happen on First Dates

• Sarcastic Superheroes

• Do Vegetarians Eat Animal Crackers?

• Burpees—Not a Digestive Issue (It's an actual exercise!)

• I Know Every Episode of The Golden Girls (more of a fact, really, but could double as a possible book topic)

Based on that list, clearly I couldn't write a book (at least not one anyone would actually read). But then I thought about it. What do I talk about with my clients more than anything else? What is the one thing I get asked about over and over again?

How do I change from the person I am to the person I want to be?

The x's and o's of change: why it's so hard, why we generally fail before we succeed, how we approach it—and, most important, how we stick to it. If the book focused on fitness in any capacity, the answer had to be yes. (If it focused on infrastructure and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa, on the other hand, then not so much.) After all, I had dedicated my life to fitness and helping people build a path toward a healthier lifestyle:

• I was a multisport varsity athlete in high school and college, so I understand why it's important to be well conditioned all year round.

• I was a sportscaster for twelve years covering professional athletes, so I had an opportunity to see close up what the human body is capable of with the right amount of training.

• I'm a certified personal trainer, so I understand how our muscles work and how to develop individualized programs.

• I've been working with clients of all different ages, body types, and fitness levels for years, so I know what works… and what doesn't.

• I lost all my baby weight… twice… so I've been there and done that.

• And I was most recently the NBC Lifestyle and Fitness correspondent, so I know how to connect with an audience of any size.

Watching my clients' failures and successes, I definitely experience the impact of change on a daily basis, but I want to share a story with you, something I've never really admitted to myself or anyone else, much less written down, so this will be a refreshing first.

Here's my truth, and part of my inspiration for writing this book:

After I had my first daughter, Harper, I remember counting down the days until I got the green light from my OB to go back to the gym. It was six weeks. Six weeks was the magic number in my head. I knew that if I got to Week Six and everyone was healthy, I could slowly start to refocus my attention (at least a tiny tiny tiny portion of it) on getting myself back in shape. I had been breastfeeding all along, so I was still burning calories (you can burn an extra 300–500 calories a day breastfeeding), but I wanted my pre-baby body back.

So after getting my "all clear" from the doctor, I left her office and went straight to the gym. I was so pumped to start moving, jumping, squatting, lifting, pressing, biking, lunging… to do anything. So I walked in, threw my stuff down, and headed over to my usual spot, where I was hoping to lose myself in sweat like old times.

But that didn't happen.

The old times were clearly no longer. I couldn't start. I just stood there. Staring in the mirror. Looking at this unrecognizable body of mine.

I wasn't fat. I was… post-baby plump. But I guess I hadn't seen myself like this before… under the gym lights, without the security of my maternity clothes. I felt overwhelmed.

For the last six weeks, people had been telling me how great I looked after having the baby, and maybe I bought into it without really earning the compliment, because looking at myself in that mirror I certainly didn't feel great.

"It's such an uphill climb," I thought. "How will I ever get back to the way I used to look? And what if I can't get there? What if I lost my motivation?" Clearly all I was capable of doing that day was a slow and easy workout, but I knew that slow and easy wouldn't make me any friends. I'd have to do 5,000 mountain climbers to come even close to a decent workout (a purely irrational thought). So… what's the point?

And then it hit me.

It's not supposed to be easy. Day One of any sort of change, much less this one, is a monumental act of courage. I know it because I was there. Standing in front of a mirror, completely exposed, staring up the hill with what felt like lead legs.

All those times I had rallied my clients around the concept of "one day at a time." All those sessions when I had told them that if you change nothing, nothing changes. All those moments I preached that even the shortest workout on the tough days is better than nothing.

And yet there I stood… and did just that… Nothing.

Just like so many people standing at the starting gate on Day One, I was terrified to start and finally understood their fear. I finally realized that people don't refuse change because they're lazy. They refuse it because they're scared. I was afraid to fail so I was afraid to start.

Every ounce of every fiber of my being wanted to run home, put on my loose maternity clothes, and hide in my apartment. But how could I ever expect to see a change if I decided not to make one? I saw that on the back of a bus one day and never understood what it meant until that moment.

So even though I was wearing three sports bras (if you've ever tried to work out while breastfeeding, you'll know why) and a baggy T-shirt with cut-off sweats (the least motivational outfit ever). And despite being a little sore from having had a baby exactly six weeks prior (did you notice that little was in italics?), I forced myself to look at the frightened girl in the mirror. I stared at her insecurities, her postpartum frustrations, and her bigger body, and just when I thought I couldn't stand there anymore, I said out loud: "I can and I will."

I can and I will.

I can and I will.

I can and I will.

I kept saying it over and over until I finally moved, until I was able to get myself down on the floor and start working out. I thought I could do 200 mountain climbers right off the bat. I did 50. And you know what? That was OK by me because at least I did something. I started and did something.

I continued to push myself for forty-five long, grueling minutes. And when I was done, I grabbed my stuff, said goodbye to the girl staring back at me in the mirror, and headed home. Day One was over. And unless I wanted another Day One a few weeks down the road, I knew I needed to get right back to the gym to see Day Two, Day Three, Day Four, and so on.

Because I could—and I would—and I did.

I relied on each and every one of the thirty Changes to get back in shape after having both of my kids. I've used them with my friends, my family, and my clients to help them all lose weight and improve their health. They've worked for me, they've worked for them, and now, they're yours.

With that… a book was born. And you can thank that conversation with my mom for reminding me of my relationship with change. You see, my mom wanted to lose the flab under her arms, but she didn't want to do the work because it felt like it would be too much—and I get that.

Exercise can be intimidating.

The moves hurt.

Diets don't last.

Pizza is delicious.

I can go on and on.

We are cut from a cultural cloth where we don't start our diets 'til Monday, we vow to lose thirty pounds in a week and when the going gets tough, we just postpone getting in shape until next month or until the weather gets warmer—whichever comes second. And as a trainer, both in my personal life and on TV, I am constantly having the following conversation with people:

PERSON: How do I lose twenty pounds?

ME: Well, twenty pounds is kinda lofty. Can you start with five pounds?

PERSON: You won't notice five on me. I need to lose twenty by the summer.

ME: Riiiiight. Do you work out?

PERSON: I want to, but it's really hard because of my kids. And also, I have no time, no money, no space, no idea what to do, no desire to get up early, no good gym clothes, no trainer, no iPod, no good songs, et cetera.

ME: Et cetera? Really? OK, well how's your diet?

PERSON: I've tried Atkins, the Zone, vegan, South Beach, Jenny Craig, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers, and even bathing in lemon juice with garlic, and I just can't seem to stick to anything.

ME: (Stunned silence)

It takes more than just wanting to improve to see results. It takes energy and willpower and failure and a little sweat and a few tears, but most important, it takes time, patience, and commitment. Change doesn't happen in a day. If it did, we'd all be perfect from Day One.

But if you adjust your expectations and approach change the right way (not by swearing to lose four hundred pounds by Thursday), it's doable. And if you take the big word change and break it up into thirty little pieces, it suddenly becomes more manageable.

That's the approach with this book. All I'm asking you to do is make thirty small changes in your life. I won't ask you to give up everything you know on Day One and wish you the best. Instead, I've weeded through the junk out there and eliminated the impractical, separated the science, and packed each chapter with the things you need to know in the right order. Best of all, I'm even letting you decide the pace, so there's no pressure to perform and no one watching over your shoulder.

You now have an opportunity to change the one thing that everyone is dying to change, yet so few people do—their life.

You can do this.

We can do this.

Let's take this journey together, and by the time we're done, you won't need me—or anyone's help—when it comes to living a better, healthier lifestyle.

The bottom line is simple. One step at a time, one day at a time, one result at a time… OK, I'm terrible at math. But I know that it all adds up to a better you, and if I can get my parents to buy into this concept, I can get anyone to do it.

How the Change Adds Up

If I gave you thirty days' worth of diet, fitness, health, wellness, and sleep tips to chew on all at once, you'd choke, spit them out, and seek solace in your nearest waffle. Just like if I planned a month of diet and exercise goals for my mom, she'd overheat before I got to the end of the suggestion. (Still love you, Mom!)

Sure, you'd love to lose twelve pounds before your sister's wedding tomorrow. One can dream, right? And obviously you'd love to tighten up every ounce of flab by tonight (a ridiculous goal unless you went back and started the journey thirty days ago utilizing some yet-to-be-invented form of time travel, in which case reading this book would not be your biggest priority).

But what if thirty days ago was right now? What if I gave you one small way to improve an area of your life each day—every day—for thirty days? And all you would have to do is follow that lesson to the letter and carry it with you to the next day, and the next day… and so on.

Suddenly, before you knew it… change!

That was my motivation for the 30-Day Fitness Challenge I created for the Today show in 2014. We started a daily newsletter and, every day of the month, challenged viewers to make better, healthier decisions through an on-air story, a blog, or an online video with tips, tricks, and tools. The idea was that if you followed along, by the end of the month you would change your life by moving more, eating less, and making wiser decisions about your health.

One small change.

Every day.

For one month.

Within a week, I started receiving letters and e-mails from folks all over the country sharing success stories. For the first time, these viewers were feeling good about the person they saw in the mirror. It made me feel great. It made them feel great.

Now it's your turn.

I'm not asking the impossible or the improbable here. The way I see it, if you live to be eighty—about the average lifespan of an American woman—you're alive on this planet for approximately 29,200 days. Of those, I'm asking you to take just thirty and try this plan. Obviously, you'd rather do it in one day as opposed to thirty, but you and I and everyone I've ever met (and everyone you've ever met) know that's impossible.

No matter what road led you here…

• I need to lose this baby weight.

• I hate looking older than my actual age.

• I wish I had more energy to do things with my kids.

• I'd love to see my six-pack—for the first time in my life.

• I don't want to have a heart attack at forty.

… I'm just happy you're here—period. All I ask is that you be patient. Let this work for you. Let your body adjust to the little changes and give it time to do so. Don't rush something so important. For that reason, instead of telling you to change everything about your life overnight, we're going to start with one thing.

And then another.

And then another.

We'll make small, seemingly insignificant tweaks to your overall lifestyle that may not bring you results right away—but they will make a big difference as you go through the month. That's because these thirty Changes will have a cumulative effect on your life. By the end of the program, you will be leading a healthier lifestyle, feeling more fit and active, sleeping better and moving better—all without feeling like it was too much effort.

One final thing before you start: You may notice that this program isn't as precise as many you may have tried. The truth is, you don't have to overcomplicate changing your life by counting calories, carbs, grams, pounds, percentages… and other things that make your head hurt. Too often, I see experts put together complex diets and exercise programs that ask you to eat 20 percent of this type of food, or count exactly this number of calories at exactly this time of day.

Not here. Not in my book.

I promise no math, no brain bruising, and no calculations.


Let's start.

The Right Way to Count Your Change

Most diet/fitness/lifestyle books waste your time with so many studies using so many big words and so many pages before you get some information that you've lost interest before ever getting started.

My job—whether I'm working one-on-one training someone at the gym or working one-on-millions on TV—isn't explaining the whos, wheres, or whats. It's to briefly explain the whys, then get right to the hows, so that whoever I'm speaking to can get started today.

What You'll Find in Each Chapter

Simply Put…

Nothing annoys me more than when I have to read through eighteen pages of fluff just to find out the author is asking me to eat more vegetables. It's a waste of time, because all I want to know is what I need to do, so I can start doing it right away.

That's why each chapter starts with a short paragraph called Simply Put. It's basically my point for that entire chapter in a nutshell, so that you never have to comb through countless pages trying to figure out exactly what I'm asking of you.

Don't Stop There…

Some of the thirty Changes are fine on their own, while others can sometimes be taken to a whole different level—if you're up to it. Whenever that's the case, this is the section that will steer you in the right direction.

Tips and Tricks

Let's face it, we all need them. They're fun, they fit in your pocket—they're handy little life hacks that can help guide you along the often bumpy path you're about to embark on. As long as you do each little Change, you're set. But you can still use these tips and tricks to help get you there faster. So feel free to use all or some (or none) if they keep you moving forward.

The "So You Know" Science

Even though I'm a trainer, an exercise expert, and formerly the Today show's lifestyle and fitness correspondent, I wouldn't expect you to take my word on everything I'm advising you to change about your life. As a journalist, I know when the details can make the difference, and that's what this section is all about.

Don't worry—you won't find them in every chapter. You'll find these short but sweet nuggets of information only among Changes where knowing a little bit extra may be to your benefit. You can choose to ignore them, educate yourself by reading them, or impress your friends with your ever-growing knowledge of fitness, diet, and health.

The Only Rules to Remember

Rule #1: Once You Learn Each Change, Don't Stop Doing It as You Move Forward

All thirty Changes add up to a healthier you. Each one becomes something you'll start to do every day. Once you feel comfortable adapting to it, you can move on to the next. But to see the most results, you can't slack off. In the early chapters, the Changes can be easier to follow because you've learned only a handful. But the further you move through the book, it can sometimes be tricky to keep track, and I don't want you to let any Changes learned earlier fall to the side and be forgotten.

That's why each Change chapter starts with "Simply Put." Each day, you can quickly scroll through the book and be reminded of what you need to do, just in case that Change hasn't become second nature to you just yet.

Rule #2: Please Do Them in Order

The goal of this book—and the reason you're reading it in the first place—is to change your life. To make this plan as successful as possible for you, I put the thirty Changes in an order that works for your mind, your body, and your soul. The Changes are in an order that will not only ease you into the next Change but help you stick with all thirty long after we've finished this journey together.

Could you skip around and start with Change #3, then do Change #8, come back to Change #2, and then try Change #23? Theoretically I guess you could. But when you were young, would it have been smart to go into sixth grade before you ever went to third? Sure, you could have struggled through it, but there's a lot that you wouldn't understand or be ready for.

Going in order will also prevent you from taking any shortcuts. You could flip through this book and say to yourself, "You know what? This Change works with my schedule, but this Change doesn't right now, so I'll come back to it." But you probably won't.

Doing them out of sequence, or picking and choosing what works best for you and ignoring what doesn't, will only put you at risk of failing, because there's a lot your mind and body may not be ready for. It also makes it easier to ignore certain key Changes that will most likely have the greatest impact on your life.

Rule #3: Move at Your Own Pace

Thirty days is the least amount of time it should take to get through all of the Changes—adopting one new Change each day for thirty days. Some will be easier (enjoy those and don't skip over them because you already "know that one").

Life isn't a dress rehearsal and it's certainly not a race. You don't have to rush through this. If you kept failing at various diet/fitness plans, think about why that was. Were you trying to do too much too soon too drastically? Make this work so that never happens again. Take your time and do this right and watch yourself stick to it for a change.

So you can do all of this in thirty days. Or, if you want to make a Change every other day, every four days, every week, or every other week, I won't stop you from setting your own pace. If it takes you a little more time to adapt to a Change, by all means spend time on it. And if you have to go backward because a Change didn't quite stick, then I want you to go back without feeling bad about it.

This book is merely a guide, a guide I've put together that takes you from what is simplest to incorporate into your life to what is slightly more complicated. I used this plan to lose all my baby weight. I know it works. I've seen it work.


Drink 20 Sips of Water the Moment You Wake Up

SIMPLY PUT… Put a full glass of water by your bed before you go to sleep each night. When your alarm goes off in the morning, literally sit up and start drinking. Drink twenty normal-sized sips of water. Not after breakfast or with your coffee. Not over the course of the morning, or on the way to work, or sometime throughout the day. Not in the shower or the—Please don't drink your shower water as your morning beverage. The alarm goes off, you sit up, reach for that glass, and drink.

Seems almost too easy, doesn't it? But the few seconds you'll spend sitting there on the edge of your bed sipping away will actually do your body hours of good afterward.

What you're doing by taking those twenty sips is more than most people ever bother doing. You're waking up your metabolism and literally telling your body "OK, here's the deal: It's time to get moving because we've got a lot of work to do today. I need you to start revving up so that anything I eat is digested properly and I'm burning as many calories as possible when I finally get out of this bed." I know that sounds like a lot to tell yourself, but you've been quiet all night: It's time to unleash the Chatty Cathy in you.

You see, every time you wake up, your body is already starting the day at a disadvantage by being dehydrated. Don't worry—it's a natural thing from not having anything to drink for six to eight hours (made even worse if you're the type that wakes up a lot at night to pee).

The problem is, most people do nothing about it, and losing as little as 1 percent of your bodyweight in water not only slows down your body's metabolism, it also causes fatigue that prevents you from being as active as you could be. Being dehydrated may even be behind your bad early-morning eating habits, especially if you're the type that eats everything in sight as soon as the sun's up. That's because when you're parched, your body oftentimes mistakes that thirst for hunger. Your body's not as smart as you are. (No offense, body.)

Taking those twenty sips will kick-start your metabolism and even curb some of your hunger pangs, so you're burning calories from the get-go. Right off the bat, those twenty sips give you a little bit of time to ease into the morning. Your body is a machine and you just fueled it, not with food but just by doing something so few people ever consider—you're hydrating it.

My favorite reason behind those twenty sips is how they set the table for many of the other changes in this book. They force you to do something good for yourself before you even think about what you need to handle for your family, your boss, or whoever else wants a piece of you that day. They will remind you of what's ahead and give you time to reflect and prepare for the other changes you'll soon learn and incorporate into your lifestyle.


On Sale
Dec 27, 2016
Page Count
240 pages

Jenna Wolfe

About the Author

Jenna Wolfe was most recently the Today show lifestyle and fitness correspondent. Jenna spent 12 years as a sportscaster before joining the Today show in 2007. A self-proclaimed daredevil and thrill seeker, she is also a certified personal trainer.

Learn more about this author