As engineers with a combined twelve years of health coaching experience, we needed to create a data-driven way for our clients to sustainably lose weight in 30 days. 

Our 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge is backed by science and numbers. The goal of our 30-day weight loss plan is to strip away the fluff and track numbers related to weight loss for one month.

You have never tried this 5 numbers approach before. And it’s going to work!

This free online weight loss challenge is for the analytical person who is willing to target and record numbers using a 30-day weight loss challenge tracker.

Time invested in this challenge WILL remove the mystery behind weight loss. 

As we always say, you can’t improve if you don’t know where you began. For us as engineers, that always starts with tracking numbers.

30-day weight loss challenge ryan and alex duo life

30-day weight loss challenge

Who Is This For?

Alex and I are both engineers. We left our corporate jobs to travel and pursue a business aligned with our passion — helping couples to engineer their healthiest and happiest lives. Now, we call ourselves “lifestyle engineers.”

As lifestyle engineers, we spend our days researching and self-experimenting ways to optimize our health. The 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge includes tried-and-true metrics (backed by science) that will help you lose weight and keep it off.

The 30-day challenge for weight loss is for you if you are willing to track and record five numbers every day. Yes, just five.

These numbers (we’ll explain all five in detail below) will help you understand weight loss and how your body loses weight.

30-Day Weight Loss Challenge RESTRICTIONS

Restrictions? There are none.

We kept this weight loss challenge is as simple as possible. Plus, restrictions and a deprivation mindset are counterproductive.

The goal is for you to lose weight, but, just as necessary, to understand why you are losing weight so that it’s sustainable.

Too many weight loss challenges available online involve a long list of what you can’t do, can’t eat, an in-depth meal plan, and recommended exercises.

With our 30-day weight loss challenge at home, you get none of that. But what you do get is more focused and meaningful.

In our free online weight loss challenge, we reduced the overwhelm by only asking you to track five numbers a day.

Therefore, there are no restrictions, as long as you can hit each number target daily. Of course, these five numbers are going to nudge you in the right direction and show you how to lose weight in 30 days.

That’s why you don’t really need an exercise plan, in-depth meal plan, or definitions about what is or is not junk food. However, we will share some recommendations to guide you.

What You’ll Need

You’ll need a device that counts your steps. If you don’t have one, we recommend buying this wearable fitness tracker. At around $35, we think it’s just as good as a FitBit or Apple Watch for tracking fitness and sleep.

However, a wearable that tracks daily calorie expenditure, like an Apple Watch or Fitbit, will make your life much easier. Not to mention, the data will be more accurate.  

You’ll also need access to the free MyFitnessPal app through your phone or computer.

We highly recommend having a buddy for the 30 days of the weight loss challenge. The best thing you can do is make this a couples weight loss challenge and rope in your significant other or spouse. This makes you 3X more likely to finish and get results.

Shop our recommended tools for the weight loss challenge below.  

Buy on Amazon

30-day weight loss challenge shopping list

What Does The Free Weight Loss Challenge Include?

Everything you need to complete this 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge at home is included in this post. There are five number targets for you to hit daily (or weekly in some cases). In this article, we’ll instruct you on how to collect or calculate the five number targets.

You’ll need to create a tracking sheet (pen and paper are recommended) so that you can monitor your progress and stay accountable during the 30 days of the challenge. 

You don’t even need a scale. It’s not important enough for this weight loss challenge. While the number on the scale matters for weight loss, these other numbers are significantly more important.

In this 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge, we’ll focus on the numbers that give you the highest return for sustainable weight loss.

Of course, since you’re so ambitious, we also include helpful tips for weight loss such as workout recommendations, rules for drinking alcohol, and encouragement to try both intermittent fasting and extended fasting. 

We recently finished a 3-day water fast and our experience and results were mind-blowing! In the below article, we documented our before, during, and after story, results, and plan that you can replicate during the 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge.

What Does the Upgraded Challenge Include?

We created this weight loss guide to help as many people as possible. By reading this article and following the instructions, you have everything you need to complete the 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge.

However, for individuals looking for a more personalized experience, support from Alex and me, additional weight loss tips via email, and a printable tracker sheet and guide, we offer an upgraded challenge.

Once you purchase the upgraded challenge, the tracker sheet will be sent to you as a printable PDF (to manually record your numbers) and as an electronic, editable spreadsheet (so you don’t have to do math) in Google Sheets.

You’ll choose one of these trackers and use it daily to record your numbers. 

Getting Started 

In the following article, we are going to outline the numbers that you’ll be tracking during the 30-day Weight Loss Challenge.

We’ll talk about why these numbers are important to weight loss, and how to track them. There is some math involved. However, no, you don’t need to be an engineer to do any of this. 

To get started with the free challenge, grab a pen and paper so you can write down the numbers you’ll be tracking during the challenge.

If you decide to buy the upgraded challenge, sign up below, and then, print the 30-day weight loss challenge tracker sheet PDF so you have it as a resource while reading about the challenge numbers.


30-Day Weight Loss Challenge Tracker Form V2 Ryan and Alex Duo Life

30-Day Weight Loss Challenge

As engineers with a combined twelve years of health coaching experience, we needed to create a data-driven way for our clients to sustain weight loss.

Too many weight loss challenges involve a long list of what you can, cannot, and need to do every day. We’ve reduced the overwhelm and only require you to track five numbers a day — calories, steps, fiber, sleep, waistline.

In this 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge, you’ll track five numbers daily to give you the highest return for sustainable weight loss.

Buy Weight Loss Challenge

30-day weight loss challenge numbers 

Everybody is unique. And every body is unique.

That’s a significant contributor to why weight loss is confusing, complicated, and mysterious.

Ages, gender, body composition are influential variables. Then there’s fitness level, food preferences, physical limitations, and an increasingly hectic lifestyle. 

So, when we talk to couples about their weight loss goals, where do we begin?

It’s not all about replacing processed foods with more vegetables. Or, cutting out the simple carbohydrates to eat more carbs loaded with fiber. Of course, we recommend a structured exercise program, but that’s not where to begin either.

Where do we begin? We have to start with the numbers. After all, math is the only universal language. Despite all of our age, gender, and body composition differences, we all have this in common:

To lose one pound, we need to create a deficit of 3500 calories.

When you follow the number targets in this 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge, you will lose weight. If you are wondering how quickly you should be losing weight, we include a graph in our article titled “How To Lose 20 Pounds.”

So, let’s dive into the numbers. 

NUMBer 1 = calories

Why calories are important:

Since your goal is weight loss in 30 days, you must know your calories.

To lose a pound, you have to create a deficit of 3500 calories. Conversely, to gain a pound, you need to eat 3500 calories more than your body burns.

Trying to lose weight without knowing your calories is like trying to train for a race without knowing the distance. 

Did you know that an excess of 200 calories per day adds up to 20 pounds in one year? 

What’s more, is both consuming an excess of calories AND too few calories can cause weight gain.

That’s why it’s so important to know your calories. Since calculating your calories is the most challenging component of our 30-day weight loss challenge, we’ll tackle this first. So bear with us. 

How to track calories:

1. First, There Are Calories In

Calories in is also known as your Daily Caloric Intake (DCI). The best way to track this is through the MyFitnessPal mobile app. You’ll need this app to measure fiber intake as well, so it’s highly useful.

Open up the free MyFitnessPal app, and start keeping of daily diary of everything you eat and drink.

Use this calculator to determine your target calories.

The MyFitnessPal app will output your actual calories in, or, DCI. Record that number daily and make sure you’re close to the target you calculated.

In the picture below, I would record 2,803 calories in.

2. Next, There Are Calories Out

Secondly, we need to track calories out. These are calories burned to sustain life (your Basal Metabolic Rate), plus calories burned from exercise.

Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) + calories burned from exercise = calories out

Option 1: Without using Apple Watch or FitBit (less accurate)

You can calculate your BMR here.

Take that value and add the number of calories you burned during a workout.

If you don’t have a way of tracking calories during your workouts, like calorie burn from a treadmill or chest strap heart rate monitor, use this calculator for a rough estimate.

Option 2: Using Apple Watch or FitBit (more accurate)

Both Apple Watch and Fitbit will tell you how many “Total Calories” you burned in 24 hours.

With Apple Watch, open the Activity app on your phone and swipe right under the Move Ring goal. Then, you’ll see “Active Calories” and “Total Calories.”

3. Final Number: Calorie Deficit/Surplus

Calorie deficit or calorie surplus is the critical number to track during the 30-day weight loss challenge at home.

If you have a healthy deficit, you’re on your way to losing weight. More on what a healthy deficit is soon. However, if you have a surplus, you need to course correct. 

Option 1 (using calculators):

Calories in – (BMR + calorie burn estimate) =  calorie deficit/surplus

Option 2 (using Apple Watch or FitBit):

Calories in – Total Calories = calorie deficit/surplus

Record your calorie deficit or surplus on your weight loss challenge tracker.

For example, let’s say your BMR is 2000 calories, and you burn 600 calories during your workout. Your total calories are 2600.

If you want to lose 1 pound per week (this is a healthy sustainable rate of weight loss), that’s 3,500 calories/7 days which is a deficit of 500 calories per day.

Calories in – 2600 total calories = -500

Solve that equation, and you can determine that your calories in or DCI should be 2100 calories. During this one-month weight loss challenge target a calorie deficit of 500 calories.

Again, this should yield about a pound of weight loss per week. Before moving on to our healthy calorie guidelines, let’s go through one more example. 

In the picture below, you can see that my Total calories out equal 2,581. And my previously shared screenshot showed that my DCI (calories in) from the MyFitnessPal app was 2,803.

So I would do the following math.

2,803 (calories in) – 2,581 (total calories) = 222 (a calories surplus).

If my goal was to lose weight, I didn’t achieve it on August 11th. I would have had to eat less or move more to hit my -500 calorie target. Fortunately, my goal was to maintain or gain weight so this is right on target.

4. Helpful Calorie Guidelines

Breaking these two calorie rules that will completely destroy your weight loss results

1. Never consume fewer calories than your BMR requirements. If you do, you’re your metabolism will plummet and you’ll gain weight. This is the problem with a lot of fad diets.

2. As mentioned in our article on managing your diets as a couple, women should consume (DCI) no less than 1200 calories and men no less than 1600 calories. If you’re below those thresholds, you will not lose weight.

We repeat: If you eat too few calories you will not lose weight.

Instead, your body will preserve calories in the form of body fat. Surprisingly, one of the most common weight plateau solutions is eating more food.

Number 2 = steps

Why steps are important:

Activity is essential. When we sit for 90 minutes, our bodies go into a state of hibernation. Even if you work out for an hour, 7-days a week, you won’t undo the damage of inactivity.

During the 30-day weight loss challenge, your target is 12,000 steps.

A recent study published in the journal, The Obesity Society, concluded that adult dieters who lost 30 pounds and maintained or continued to lose weight tracked 12,000 steps per day.

Overweight adults only tracked 6,500 steps.

Your 12,000 steps are about 6 miles. We still encourage you to exercise, but, rest assured, if you hit your 12,000 step target, you are on track to lose weight.

Please, no cheating and strapping your watch to the dog. 

How to track it:

We have Apple Watches to track our steps. Of course, a Fitbit or pedometer works fine too. Before we had our Apple Watches, we used this low-cost, accurate Mi Band 3 Fitness Tracker.

If you don’t have a step-counting device, check to see if your phone can estimate your steps or invest $26 into a Mi Band

Number 3 = fiber

Why fiber is important:

Most unhealthy, processed foods don’t contain fiber. They have been stripped of it and are no longer considered a “whole food.”

A 2018 study concluded that adult dieters who consumed 30 grams of fiber per day lost 5 pounds without making other lifestyle changes. Fiber is so important because 97% of adults in the United States are fiber deficient.

Processed foods contribute to weight gain, which is a known fact. 

Researchers at Pamona College (published in Food and Nutrition) fed two groups of adults meals identical in calories, fats, proteins, and carbs.

One test group from whole foods (with fiber) and the other from processed and packaged foods (without fiber and with added junk). They measured the calories that were metabolized and concluded the following:

Processed food subjects only burned 1/2 the calories. This is why processed, fiberless foods lead to weight gain. 

Fiber is important for weight loss because you can eat fewer calories without feeling hungry. This fiber target ensures that you are eating healthier foods. It’s also great for digestion.

How to track it?

Since we’re already using MyFitnessPal to track daily calories from food, this is easy. Using the free version of MyFitnessPal, you can see your grams of fiber. 

In our 30-day weight loss plan, the target is 30 grams for men and 25 grams for women.

But don’t stop there. Get as much fiber as you can and look to vegetables, complex carbohydrates (containing 1 gram of fiber per 10 grams of carbohydrates), and beans.

In the picture below, you can see that I consumed 63 total grams of fiber. Well above the target of 30 grams. 

number 4 = sleep

Why sleep is important:

Sleep and weight loss are closely linked. There’s a lot of science on why we need sleep to be healthy. To sum it up bluntly, you’re screwed if you are sleep-deprived and trying to lose weight

When you’re tired, your mind and body crave an unhealthy lifestyle. Your body wants to sit on the couch and watch TV, and your mind craves convenient snacks that are loaded with sugar or salt and high in calories.

If you need more data (we’re glad you like data as much as us), this study makes my above point clear. One 2-week study had randomized, dieting adults to sleep either 5.5 or 8.5 hours each night.

Subjects who slept 8.5 hours lost 55% more body fat and gained 60% more lean body mass (aka muscle) than subjects who only slept 5.5 hours.

We are obsessed with sleep and you should be too if you want to lose weight (or gain muscle) in the next 30 days.

Exercise and dieting are significantly more fruitful when we prioritize quality sleep. To help you improve, read this article on tried-and-true processes and products to help you sleep better.

How to track it:

It’s easy to track the number of hours you sleep. So, make sure you record it on your weight loss challenge tracker. 

If you have an Apple Watch, download and sync to the free Pillow App.

When you forget to count the hours you slept, the app keeps a history of that. It also rates your night sleep quality based on time asleep, awake, and in REM sleep.

Remember, your goal is 8 hours or more per night of sleep. If you have the app, also track your sleep quality %.

In the picture below, you can see that I slept 8 hours and 19 minutes, with a quality of 80%.

Number 5 = Waistline

Why your waistline is important:

No, the act of measuring your waistline will not help you lose weight. But, it’s one of the best ways to measure progress in this 30-day weight loss challenge.

No matter your height or build, if your waist measures more than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women, you’re considered overweight.

Not to mention, you’re at higher risk for obesity-related health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, etc.

A scale is useful as well, but inches around your waistline is a more accurate metric to track. 

How to track it:

This self-measuring, retractable tape is the most accurate way to measure. Or, you can just steal one from your mom’s sewing kit.

Measure your waistline circumference two inches below your belly button.

Record this number and watch it change during our 30-day weight loss challenge.

You can also record your weight on the scale if you have one of those. That is useful data to track as well. However, we feel that the waistline measurement is a more reliable metric. 

For an in-depth guide on tracking progress and a free printable PDF, check out our ‘Fitness Tracking Body Measurement Chart.’ 


30-Day Weight Loss Challenge Tracker Form V2 Ryan and Alex Duo Life

30-Day Weight Loss Challenge

As engineers with a combined twelve years of health coaching experience, we needed to create a data-driven way for our clients to sustain weight loss.

Too many weight loss challenges involve a long list of what you can, cannot, and need to do every day. We’ve reduced the overwhelm and only require you to track five numbers a day — calories, steps, fiber, sleep, waistline.

In this 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge, you’ll track five numbers daily to give you the highest return for sustainable weight loss.

Buy Weight Loss Challenge

Bonus Weight Loss Activities

ourWe recommend these extra credit activities for all participants to accelerate weight loss during the 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge.

If you purchase the upgraded version of the challenge, we’ll provide support and share additional weight loss tips via email.

1. Track Your Fitness

We designed a fitness test to benchmark your fitness level and measure progress periodically.

Take our Fitness Test before starting the 30-day weight loss challenge and then again after. This will motivate you to get in those steps and make progress daily! 

2. Lift

Weight lifting increases lean muscle mass, which significantly boosts metabolism and increases your BMR.

Ever wonder why it’s harder to lose weight as we age? Yes, that’s because our metabolism is slowing down. But, we can combat that by lifting weights. 

Weight lifting is an excellent way to lose weight, as shown in Alex’s weight lifting transformation story. If you’re not comfortable lifting weights, we recommend you follow one of Beachbody’s structured programs with professional instruction.

While we always follow Beachbody Workouts, we have created other free programs to supplement the weight loss challenge.

First, a great way to increase lean muscle mass is our 30-Day Ab Challenge

Second, a popular resistance training plan to go along with our weight loss plan is our 8-week, full-body Resistance Band Workout Routine.

3. Drink Water Only

Alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation, but not during the 30-day Weight Loss Challenge. Instead, drink lots of water.

Target at least half of your body weight (pounds) in ounces. Or, if you want to keep it simple and feel amazing, try drinking a gallon of water a day.

4. Read a Good Book

Since your goal is to lose weight and develop a healthy lifestyle, books are your best friend.

We like to read a variety of books written by authors with different backgrounds and beliefs. Therefore, we can determine what best fits our lifestyle. You can pick one from our list of recommended health and nutrition books.

Or, just take my word that this is the best health and nutrition book of all-time!

5. Cook At Home

If you eat out all the time or heat pre-prepared meals at home regularly, weight loss is going to be challenging. Learn how to cook at home and try to prepare 90% of your meals at home. 

Here is a healthy (and cheap) grocery list for you to use. 

Additionally, these are our 5 favorite meals to prep (in bulk) at home and eat during the week. 

6. Try Fasting

We have been intermittent fasting since 2018, and have experienced the scientifically proven health benefits of intermittent fasting. In addition to increasing longevity, weight loss, and muscle gain, your productivity will benefit from fewer meals to prepare. 

For many, transitioning to intermittent fasting can be difficult. Therefore, we wrote an ‘Intermittent Fasting How To Guide‘ to help you successfully start a 16/8 daily intermittent fasting plan. 

In 2020, we tried our first 3-day water fast and we highly recommend trying this after you complete the 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge. If you have questions about whether or not this is a fit for you, leave them in the comments and we’ll discuss.  

30 Days Later: Keeping Weight Off

 The goal of this 30-day weight loss challenge is to track progress, not just with stories, photos, or compliments, but by cold, hard numbers. The numbers don’t lie, and, when reading them correctly, can tell you a story.

For example, if you’ve created a calorie deficit but can’t fit into your jeans, you may be retaining water around your menstrual cycle or had a salty meal the night before.

If this is the case, check the history of your food journal on MyFitnessPal. Look for patterns of your body disagreeing with a particular type of food.

By going through the exercise of tracking your five daily numbers, you’ll become familiar with the types of food you need to be eating as well as how much activity you need to sustain. All of these are important tools as you work towards nurturing a healthier lifestyle.

After 30 days, we recommend that you continue following your tracker sheet. We don’t check these numbers daily, but we do at least monthly because they will change over time.

If you feel like you’ve hit a weight plateau, would like a recommendation for a new workout routine, or need nutritional guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments below.

Or, you can email us at

Other Weight Loss Plan Recommendations

There are three other weight loss programs that we strongly recommend based on our personal experience and the experience of our clients. 

1. Best Personalized Plan with Support: Noom

Noom is really amazing. When you sign up the plan is personalized based on your age, weight, build, and goals. There is a major focus on mindset and the app teaches you to develop habits to keep the weight off long term.

Additionally, you will be assigned a coach who helps you set goals and stay accountable. The app includes an accurate and user-friendly calorie counter, which we love. 

The best way to start is with their free trial. Click here and select “Lose Weight For Good.”

Noom Subscription – Free 2-Week Trial, then $150 for 6 months. 

30-Day Weight Loss Challenge Program Recommendation Noom Ryan and Alex Duo Life

2. Best For Emotional Eaters: 2B Mindset

This program includes 40+ videos that teach you everything from how to grocery shop for healthy food, cook tasty and healthy recipes, portion your plate at each meal, and master a positive mindset around weight loss.

The app is easy to use and gives you access to tons of recipes and nutrition tracking tools. You will never feel hungry or deprived. Because that’s just not sustainable. Click here and select “2B Mindset” and then “Base Kit.”

2B Mindset Kit – $119 for Lifetime Access

30-day weight loss challenge program recommendations 2b mindset

3. Best Portion Control Plan: The Ultimate Portion Fix

We like this plan best since we have analytical minds. If you’re the type of person who just needs a good plan to easily follow to a “T,” this is perfect. 

It teaches you exactly what, and how much you should be eating daily based on your goals. The plan includes a cookbook with very simple and healthy recipes. 

Click here and select “The Ultimate Portion Fix” and then “Base Kit.”

Ultimate Portion Fix Kit – $119 for Lifetime Access

30-Day weight loss challenge program recommendation ultimate portion fix

Start the 30-Day Challenge Now!

In this article, we outlined the numbers that you track during the 30-day Weight Loss Challenge.

We talked about why these numbers are important to weight loss, and how to track them. 

To get started with the free challenge, grab a pen and paper so you can write down your numbers daily for the next 30 days.

If you decide to buy the upgraded challenge, you can sign up below and we’ll be in touch shortly. 


30-Day Weight Loss Challenge Tracker Form V2 Ryan and Alex Duo Life

30-Day Weight Loss Challenge

As engineers with a combined twelve years of health coaching experience, we needed to create a data-driven way for our clients to sustain weight loss.

Too many weight loss challenges involve a long list of what you can, cannot, and need to do every day. We’ve reduced the overwhelm and only require you to track five numbers a day — calories, steps, fiber, sleep, waistline.

In this 30-Day Weight Loss Challenge, you’ll track five numbers daily to give you the highest return for sustainable weight loss.

Buy Weight Loss Challenge

I have questions. What do I do?

Ask away in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible and add your recommendations to this article accordingly.

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for your comment!

Buy on Amazon

30-day weight loss challenge shopping list

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Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.

The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.

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