Blog Diets 40-Year-Old Male Diet Plan: Here Is How To Stay Toned And Healthy After 40

40-Year-Old Male Diet Plan: Here Is How To Stay Toned And Healthy After 40

You might hope that just as good wine only gets better with age, so will you. Although age brings wisdom, experience, and inner peace, it is also accompanied by certain negative aspects, such as physical changes, health problems, and weight gain. 

Even if you’ve been slim your entire life, you might put on a few pounds as you age. However, the worst thing about this is not the weight gain itself, but the fact that it is more difficult to shed pounds when you become older. 

In this article, you’ll find out why it’s so difficult to lose weight after 40, what can help you stay in shape, and the main principles of a 40-year-old male diet plan. Let’s start!

Why Is It So Hard to Lose Weight After 40?

It’s no secret that losing weight becomes more difficult with age. People who easily shed pounds in their youth feel helpless and desperate when they can’t lose unwanted weight as they get older. But why is it so hard to lose weight after 40? The main reasons are (1):

Age-related muscle loss

As you age, the amount of lean muscles in your body decreases. This process is called sarcopenia (12). You may also lose muscles if you suffer from arthritis or a certain injury, which leads you to move less. As your muscle mass decreases, your body burns fewer calories, which makes it more difficult to slim down using the same methods you used to.

Hormonal changes

Men and women go through hormonal changes as they age. These changes often lead to weight gain. When men hit 40, their testosterone levels start to gradually decrease. This hormone regulates fat distribution and muscle mass, among other things. This means its reduction makes your body burn fewer calories.

Another factor that makes it more difficult to shed pounds after 40 is a decrease in the production of growth hormones. This is responsible for many processes, which include the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. Therefore, its decrease also reduces the number of calories your body burns.

Decrease in physical activity

As you become older, you tend to move less. Vigorous physical activity may take too much energy and effort, and sometimes it may even cause pain or certain health problems. This makes it quite difficult to burn the extra calories that your diet doesn’t reduce.

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40-Year-Old Male Diet Plan Basics

If you’ve led a healthy lifestyle all your life, you shouldn’t worry about weight gain after 40. Perhaps you may need to make some slight changes in your routine, but nothing drastic. 

However, if you like to munch on fast food every now and then, spend the morning in a chair, spend the afternoon on the couch or in bed, and enjoy a glass of wine or a bottle of beer every evening, then weight gain is almost inevitable.

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Luckily, it is never too late to get on the right path and start leading a healthy lifestyle. If you’re wondering: “What is the best way for a man to lose weight?”, “How can men lose weight fast?”, or even “How can you lose weight when you’re over 55?”, then we’ve got exactly what you need. 

Here are the 40-year-old male diet plan basics to help you achieve and maintain your desired weight (4):

Count your calories

No matter what age you are, if your goal is to stay toned, you need to make sure you burn all the calories you consume. If you dream of slimming down, then calorie restriction is your go-to. 

To successfully shed some pounds, you need to reduce your caloric intake so you eat less than you burn (16). However, you want to make sure you don’t cut your energy intake too drastically. Experts recommend reducing your daily caloric intake by 500-1,000 calories. Such a move will result in a loss of 1-2 pounds (0.45-1kg) of fat per week (7). 

If you don’t need to shed pounds and want to maintain your current weight, you should use a calculator to find out how many calories your body requires and make sure you don’t consume more.

Plants are your best friends

By the time you hit 40, you should have realized how important your food choice is and that it is one of the major factors that affect your wellness. Of course, you can slim down by reducing your calorie intake, but the foods you get those calories from are also incredibly important. 

Even a small child knows that you should eat your vegetables if you want to stay healthy and that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Unfortunately, many people tend to forget this and drift away from a healthy lifestyle by not eating enough plant-based foods. 

However, if you want to stay toned or burn a couple of inches of excess fat, you need to make sure you stick to a plant-rich diet, packed with fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.

40-year-old male diet plan  

Why plants? you may ask. There are a couple of reasons why plant-based foods are such a good choice for any healthy weight loss diet plan for men and women, including:


Plant-based foods are packed with fiber. This dietary component promotes healthy digestion, helps control blood sugar levels, lowers blood cholesterol, and adds to your feeling of fullness (9). This factor is particularly beneficial if you want to slim down. Vegetables and fruits are filled to the skin with fiber while being generally low in calories. With their help, you can stay full while cutting your caloric intake.

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Benefits Of High Fat Diet: Science Backed Facts

Vitamins and minerals

Micronutrients are as essential for your body as macronutrients. Although they can’t provide you with energy for the day, they play a crucial role in maintaining the proper functioning of your body. And where can you find plenty of various vitamins and minerals? In plant-based foods. Some of them are even known as superfoods as they’re rich in vital dietary components and have many benefits while being low in calories (17). Such superfoods include berries, leafy greens, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes, legumes (3), beets, soy, tea, and garlic.


Proper hydration is incredibly important for your wellness. Drinking plenty of water is essential if you want to successfully manage your weight. But did you know that 20% of the water a person consumes comes from food? (15). All those juicy fruits, berries, and vegetables promote proper hydration while enriching your diet with a plethora of flavors.

Read more: Intermittent Fasting for Men: Optimizing Male Wellness

Make sure you eat enough healthy fats

Although fat is generally considered to be a “bad” dietary component as among macronutrients it is the richest in calories (9 calories per 1 gram of fat (10)), there is “good” fat that is essential for your body. Healthy fats are unsaturated fats. There are also mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These are found in fish and seafood, avocados, nuts, and nut oils. Healthy fats promote optimal wellness by reducing the risk of conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes.

The other group – unhealthy fats – should be avoided. They include saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats become solid at room temperature. They can be found in meats and dairy. This type of fat can raise the levels of “bad cholesterol” in your blood, thereby increasing the chance of heart disease (8). It is recommended that you substitute saturated and trans fats with healthy ones.

Proteins are a must

Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They play a major role in muscle building and can prolong your feeling of fullness. You lose muscle mass with age, so making sure you consume plenty of protein should be one of your main goals. 

Rich sources of this dietary component include lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, and legumes. When choosing a protein-packed food, make sure it doesn’t provide you with unhealthy fats.

Steer clear of alcohol

Alcohol is often one of the main factors that causes weight gain after 40. In general, alcohol offers you lots of empty calories, meaning that it only increases your caloric intake without providing you with any vital nutrients. Therefore, any proper 40-year-old male simple diet plan should exclude alcoholic drinks.

Keep away from added sugars

As with alcohol, drinks filled with added sugars only provide you with empty calories. There are also plenty of foods, particularly highly processed ones, that contain a great amount of added sugars. You are much better off without various sauces, canned foods, candies, store-bought juice, baked goods, frosted cereals, flavored yogurt, ice cream, syrups, and many other foods.

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If there is a healthier alternative to a certain food, you know what to do

This is pretty self-explanatory, but if there is a healthier version or alternative to a food you plan to eat, you should choose that alternative. So, if you want to have some yogurt, skip that flavored, sugar-filled one, and choose a plain Greek yogurt instead. If you crave pasta, make some whole-grain pasta instead of regular pasta. If you want meat for dinner, get yourself a nice grilled chicken breast. 

Do you want to drink something refreshing? Keep those sugary drinks and alcohol at bay, and make some unsweetened tea or coffee, or make an infused water or unsweetened lemonade. Choose whole foods instead of processed foods. If you can eat a vegetable or fruit raw, do that instead of cooking it. You get the idea.

What Foods Should I Avoid After 40?

If you’re looking to make some changes to your diet, you’ve come to the right place. 40 marks a milestone in life, and often comes as a package with changes in metabolism, hormonal balance, and overall health. This listicle explores five foods you should avoid after 40:

1. Processed and Sugary Foods

This is a no-brainer. After 40, metabolism tends to slow down, which makes it challenging to manage weight. Processed foods are high in added sugars and can lead to weight gain and inflammation, which hinders muscle building. In addition, excessive sugar intake exposes you to insulin resistance, which can impede muscle growth and increase the risk of diabetes. (13)

An effective way of cutting down on sugary snacks, sodas, and processed food is to replace them with nutrient-dense options such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, lean proteins, seeds, and whole grains.

2. Trans Fats and Saturated Fats

Food that is high in trans fats and saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol levels and heart diseases. These include fried food, processed snacks, and fatty cuts of red meat. (14)

You should opt for healthier fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. These contain omega-3 fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties and help with muscle recovery, which is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass after 40.

3. Highly Processed Carbohydrates

Carbs are not your friend after the age of 40. Processed carbohydrates such as white bread, pastries, and sugary cereals can cause rapid changes in blood sugar levels. This then leads to cravings, fatigue, and difficulty maintaining a consistent workout routine.

For sustained energy levels and stable blood sugar, you should opt for complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, sweet potatoes, and whole grains. These foods support your workouts, help avoid energy slumps, and keep you feeling full for longer. (6)

4. Excessive Alcohol

It goes without saying that excessive drinking can have detrimental effects on muscle building and overall well-being, particularly after the age of 40. It can interfere with nutrient absorption, disrupt sleep patterns, and lead to dehydration, which hinders muscle recovery and growth.

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If you can’t eliminate drinking altogether, you should consider alternatives such as red wine, which contains antioxidants that may have heart-healthy benefits. Hydrate adequately and moderate your consumption mindfully.

40-year-old male diet plan  

5. Caffeine and Sugary Energy Drinks

If your go-to pick-me-up is a cup of coffee or a can of energy drink, it may be time to moderate. These drinks can cause dehydration, increased heart rate, and disrupted sleep patterns.

To replace caffeinated drinks, you should find alternative ways to boost energy, such as staying hydrated, getting regular exercise, and ensuring you get 8 hours of sleep. If you choose to consume caffeine, do so mindfully, and opt for sources such as green tea or black coffee without added sugars.

BetterMe app will provide you with a host of fat-frying fitness routines that’ll scare the extra pounds away and turn your body into a masterpiece! Get your life moving in the right direction with BetterMe!

What Nutrients Does a 40-Year-Old Man Need?

If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to essential nutrients for optimal health in men over 40, then look no further.

As men enter their 40s, together with lifestyle choices, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep, proper nutrition plays a crucial role. In this guide, we’ll explore three key nutrients that are essential for men over 40, particularly those who are looking to build muscle and incorporate intermittent fasting into their routine:

1. Protein: The Building Block for Muscle Health 

As men age, maintaining muscle mass becomes increasingly challenging due to decreased metabolism and hormonal changes. A sufficient intake of protein needs to be incorporated into your diet to counteract muscle loss and maintain strength and functionality. (11)

Add lean protein sources into your diet, such as poultry, fish, lean meats, eggs, and plant-based options such as beans and legumes. Including protein in every meal helps provide a steady supply of amino acids, which are important for muscle building. For those who are practicing intermittent fasting, it is recommended to distribute protein intake throughout the eating window.

2. Calcium and Vitamin D: Supporting Bone Health

Bone density often declines after 40. Calcium and vitamin D play key roles in maintaining healthy bones. Calcium is essential for bone structure and function and vitamin D facilitates its absorption. 

Including dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods in your diet will ensure an adequate calcium intake. In addition, spending some time in the sun for a healthy dose of Vitamin D can be beneficial. Those who are on an intermittent fasting diet plan should pay attention to nutrient-dense foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D within the eating window. (2)

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Supporting Heart Health and Reducing Inflammation

Heart health is a priority with age, and omega-3 fatty acids are a key component in achieving this goal. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish such as salmon and trout.

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Integrate omega-3-rich foods into your meals or consider fish oil supplements to ensure an adequate intake. These foods also contribute to joint health and reducing inflammation. (5)

How Many Calories Can a 40-Year-Old Man Eat?

The calorie intake of a 40-year-old man will vary based on his activity level, metabolism, muscle mass, and overall health goals. As a general rule, the daily calorie count for men typically ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 calories.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle: If you live a sedentary routine (little to no physical activity), your calorie needs will be at the lower end of the range, around 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day. 
  • Moderate Activity: If you go for a moderately active lifestyle that involves regular exercise or physical activity, caloric requirements may fall between 2,200 and 2,800 calories per day.
  • Active Lifestyle: Those with a highly active lifestyle that includes intense workouts or a physically demanding job may require 2,400 to 3,000 calories or more.

It’s important to note that individual variations exist and it’s advisable to consider factors such as muscle mass, metabolism, and specific health goals when determining calorie needs. If you’re aiming for muscle building (#Building Muscle After 40), you may need to consume additional protein and calories to support your fitness objectives.

For personalized advice on calorie intake and nutritional requirements, it is recommended that you consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian. They will be able to provide guidance based on individual factors and help create a tailored nutrition plan.

40-year-old male diet plan  

Read more: 17 Exercises to Build Chest Muscles, Tone Pecs, and Strengthen the Male Body’s Main Feature


  • Is 40 too late to get healthy?

No, it’s never too late to get healthy. Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and good sleep at 40 can actually have a positive impact on your overall well-being, longevity, and quality of life.

  • How do I take care of my body after 40?

Take a holistic approach with mindful consumption and regular mobility. Focus on routine exercise and muscle health. Prioritize a balanced diet, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, and schedule regular health check-ups to monitor and address any lurking concerns. 

  • What foods don’t age you?

Foods that support anti-aging include those that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Colorful fruits and vegetables, oily fish, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all excellent choices. Avoiding processed foods, excessive sugars, and unhealthy fats also contributes to a diet that supports healthy aging.

  • Can I still build muscle at 40?

Yes, it’s absolutely possible to build muscle at any age. You should incorporate strength training exercises into your fitness routine and ensure an adequate protein intake. Consider consulting a fitness professional to create a tailored workout plan that is in alignment with your goals and health condition.

The Bottom Line

Losing weight after 40 is no easy task. Although there are numerous effective diet plans for both men and women, shedding pounds after you hit 40 is much more difficult than it was when you were younger. 

This is partially because you tend to move less due to going through hormonal changes and because you’re not like your young self. The decreasing muscle mass reduces the number of calories you burn, so diets that helped you slim down when you were 25 won’t work for you now unless you adjust them. But don’t despair! Although it’s more difficult, it’s not impossible!

To stay toned or slim down after you’ve lived almost half your life, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. The 40-year-old male diet plan basics described above can help you reach your body goals even after you hit 40 and even 50. 

All you need to do is make sure that you correctly use calorie counting through your weight management journey, consume lots of plant-based foods, healthy fats, and proteins, reduce your intake of unhealthy fats and sugars, cut your consumption of alcohol, and choose healthier alternatives to any existing foods. To create a meal plan that works best for you, you should consult a specialist.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1.  5 Reasons It’s Harder to Lose Weight With Age (2019,
  2.  7 Essential Vitamins You Need After Age 40 (2015, 
  3. 10 superfoods to boost a healthy diet (2020,
  4. 14 Ways to Shed Pounds After 40 (2020,
  5. 17 Science-Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids (2023,
  6. 23 Studies on Low Carb and Low Fat Diets (2020,
  7. Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020,
  8. Dietary fat: Know which to choose (2021,
  9. Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet (2021,
  10. Fat and Calories (2019,
  11. Lift Weights, Eat More Protein, Especially if You’re Over 40 (2018,
  12. Muscle tissue changes with aging (2004,
  13. The sweet danger of sugar (2022,
  14. The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between (2022,
  15. The Wonders of Water (2010,
  16. Weight-loss basics (2019,
  17. What are superfoods and why should you eat them? (2019,
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