When you look up tips on how to shed a couple of extra pounds, you are liable to find advice that is mostly focused on women. But what about tips on how to lose weight for men. What is the average overweight or obese man to do? In this article, we are going to look into weight loss tips for men, weight loss nutrition tips for men – what to eat and how to eat it, – as well as weight loss exercise tips for men – what workouts are best when trying to lose weight and how to safely do them.
What Are Some Quick Weight Loss Tips For Men?
The painful truth is that there is no shortcut to sustainable and long-lasting weight loss. For you to lose those extra pounds and effectively keep them off, you must watch your diet and exercise. Anyone selling you tips and tricks on how to lose weight fast in 2 weeks or reduce belly fat in 5 or 10 days is lying to you. While shortcuts such as diet pills, starvation diets, or cutting entire food groups from your diet may result in quick weight loss, you will most likely regain all the lost weight (if not more) very quickly.
Weight Loss Nutrition Tips For Men
The truth of the matter is that losing weight is never easy. However, your nutrition can either make or break your efforts. Dedicating your time to lifting weights or running several miles a day will not help you lose weight if you do not watch what you eat. Here are some weight loss nutrition tips for men that you can follow to help maximize your efforts:
Count your calories
This may sound like a tedious endeavor but it is top among the weight loss tips for men that has been proven to work. When you eat on a caloric surplus, you are bound to gain weight. When you consume as much energy as you expend then you maintain your current weight. However, eating at a calorie deficit ensures that you lose weight.
Choose a trusted calorie counting app and log in all the meals you would normally consume – without dieting. Once you have this number, cut it down by 500 to 1000 calories a day. This will lead to a deficit of 3500 to 7000 calories a week. Since 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.45 kilogram) of fat, this deficit will allow you to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week (12).
An important fact to note is that the daily caloric intake differs from person to person, because it is dependent on factors such as the person’s age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity (6). That being said, according to Harvard Medical School, as a man, you should ensure to not eat less than 1500 calories a day, unless under the strict supervision of a doctor (9).
Eat more nutrient dense foods
An unfortunate fact about our diet today is that it falls quite short on the necessary nutrients. Most of the food stuff that we often crave and reach for does absolutely nothing for our bodies. On the other hand, nutrient dense foods are low in sugar, sodium, starches, and bad fats, while being full of vitamins and minerals, fiber, lean protein, and unsaturated fats. The best part of it all is that they are also low in calories. Not only will these foods aid in weight loss, but they also reduce our risk of chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease (11).
Add more protein to your diet
All macronutrients are important for weight loss. However, protein in particular seems to take the cake on helping people lose weight. Here is how:
- The body needs more calories to digest and metabolize proteins. Known as the thermic effect of food, this is an increase in the body’s metabolic rate after the consumption of food (19). When we consume either carbs or fat, the thermic effect rises by 5 to 10% and 0 to 3% respectively. However, when we consume protein, this effect rises by 20 to 30% (13).
- Boost your metabolism. People with a fast metabolism are able to quickly turn their food into usable energy and thus they are able to pretty much eat large amounts of food without gaining weight. On the other hand, those with a slower metabolic rate cannot do this and the food not used as energy is turned into fat making them gain weight (14). A high protein diet helps boost your metabolism which enables you to burn 80 to 100 calories more a day (17).
- Proteins keep you fuller for longer as they take longer to digest than either carbs or fats. This keeps you from constantly snacking and eating in excess.
- Regulates hormones. When consumed, this macronutrient reduces the levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and increases the levels of the leptin – your body’s satiety hormone. When you feel full, you will not eat and thus will remain in a calorie deficit leading to weight loss.
Drink more water
Whenever you are compiling a weight loss tips for men list, do not forget to include water. We are often advised to drink a cup of water before we eat because water is a natural appetite suppressant. A study published in 2014 showed that drinking 500 ml of water 30 minutes before meal time resulted in not only a smaller appetite, but also reduced body weight, body fat, and BMI (body mass index) (16).
Water like protein also increases calorie burning after consumption. Another 2014 study revealed that drinking 500 ml of cold or room-temperature water increased the number of calories burned in the body -even while at rest – for up to 90 minutes (10).
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Choose your foods wisely
Of all the weight loss tips for men in this article, this is most probably the most important one. Whenever you are at the grocery store, avoid the prepackaged foods. These foods are often stripped of their nutrients, full of sugar, high in calories, or full of saturated fats. Not only are all these factors bad for your health but they will also derail your weight loss efforts.
To avoid a risk to your weight loss journey and overall health, stick to buying and consuming more whole foods. Your shopping cart should include foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Proteins such as poultry, game meats and lean cuts of beef help with satiety.
- Whole grains like barley, buckwheat, oatmeal, whole wheat, and brown rice, etc. are full of fiber which helps with digestion, bowel movements, and keeps you fuller for longer.
- Fruits and vegetables make great healthy snack options and they too are high in fiber and water while being low in calories.
- Healthy fats include oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart health. Fish is also low in calories and high in protein. Other healthy fats include nuts and seeds which make great snack options.
Say no to refined carbs
Refined carbs include white flour, white bread, white rice, pastries, sodas, snacks, pasta, sweets, breakfast cereals and added sugars. Unlike whole grains and other complex carbs, refined grains and carbs have been stripped of almost all fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They do not provide your body with any nutritional benefits and thus are empty calories (1).
Reduce your alcohol intake and sugary drinks
Alcohol and other sugary drinks are full of hidden and empty calories that most of us do not take into account when we consume them. Ditch these drinks and stick to water.
Weight Loss Exercise Tips For Men
As stated above, when trying to lose some weight you should ensure that you workout. Here are some tips to help get you on the right track:
1. Start small
You do not need to start looking for a gym membership or enroll in the next upcoming marathon. Try working out for just 30 minutes a day. While this may seem like a short amount of time you can burn calories and continue to build up your intensity and muscles. Jumping straight into long and intense workouts will have you crashing as it is not sustainable.
2. Do some cardio
When we think of working out, this is mostly what pops into our minds, and for good reason. Multiple studies have shown that incorporating cardio or aerobic exercises into our day to day results in weight loss, increased muscle mass and decrease in belly fat, waist circumference and body fat (15, 5, 4).
Read More: Weight Loss Workout Plan For Men To Make Those Extra Pounds Fly Off The Scale
3. Start strength training
Strength training aka lifting weight has multiple benefits including improving balance and posture, building muscle and self-esteem, as well as decreasing symptoms of depression. In relation to weight and fat loss, strength training also helps by boosting your metabolism during and even after your workout. An important fact to note is that lifting weights builds muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat in the body (2).
4. Remember to rest
Do not be tempted to spend all day or show up to the gym all week. As a beginner, working out 2 to 3 days a week is enough. Take the rest of the days off to give your body a chance to rest and recover. If you do not do this, you risk burning out, overtraining your muscles, and increase your chances of injury (7).
Weight Loss Tips For Men Through Yoga
Yoga is perhaps one of the most overlooked exercises that there is. When asked to choose between yoga, aerobic exercises, or lifting, most men would prefer to choose the two latter options and have nothing to do with yoga.
While it is true that yoga is not the most intense and calorie-burning workout out there, it too can help you shed a couple of pounds. A point to note is that because this form of exercise is not always as intense or strenuous, it is one of the best weight loss tips for men over 50 who want to better their health but are finding it hard to keep up at the gym.
Here are some yoga poses that work well as weight loss tips for men (18). These yoga asanas will workout your muscle, increase your heart rate, and make you sweat thus leading to weight loss:
The Chair Pose
Also known as Utkatasana, sanding squat or thunderbolt pose, this yoga asana works the muscles in your quadriceps, gluteus, calves, ankles, shoulders, and upper back.
- Begin by standing tall with your feet together and arms at your sides.
- Inhale and as you exhale, bend your knees into a squat until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Your knees should project out over the feet, while the torso leans slightly forward over the thighs. Make sure that your back is flat and not arched.
- Try brushing your fingertips to the floor to ensure that you are dipping quite low to the ground.
- Once you are in this position, slowly lift your arms without getting up.
- Hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds, then inhale and straighten your legs to stand up. Do not drop your arms
- Exhale and stand tall once more with your feet together and arms at your sides.
The Low Plank
Also known as Chaturanga Dandasana, it is a great yoga weight loss workout for men as it targets the core and upper body. Here is how to do it:
- Get down on the floor on a yoga or exercise mat and get into high plank position with your legs and arms straight. Keep your feet hip-distance apart, your shoulders are over your wrists, and your core engaged.
- Shift forward by moving the shoulders in front of the wrists and feet up on tip-toes. Roll your shoulders back to help slightly lift your head and neck.
- Bend your elbows straight back, hugging them into the side of your body as you go.
- Once the upper arms are parallel to the floor, pause and hold this position. Do not go down any further.
- Ensure that your elbows are sticking to your sides and not spreading outwards as though you were doing a pushup.
- Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and then lift yourself up. Keep your chest broad and shoulders down (they should not be up to your ears).
- Roll over your toes, straighten your arms and you are done.
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The Warrior Pose
Also known as Virabhadrasana I, it is a great yoga pose to help with your balance.
- Start by standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose)- your feet together and arms at your side.
- On an exhale, step forward, keeping your legs about 3.5 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms perpendicular to the floor (and parallel to each other), and reach actively through the little-finger sides of the hands toward the ceiling.
- Pivot on the ball of your left foot and drop your left heel to the floor with your toes turned out about 45 degrees from the heel.
- Bend your right knee directly over your right ankle so that your right thigh is parallel to the floor.
- Rise to standing while continuing to reach to the ceiling with your hands. You can keep your hands shoulder-width apart or touch your palms. Do whatever feels the most comfortable for you.
- Lift your gaze up toward your thumbs and slide your shoulder blades down the back. Draw your right hip back and your left hip forward so that both hips are squared to the front of your mat.
- Keep your head in a neutral position, gazing forward, or tilt it back and look up at your thumbs.
- Stay in this position for 30 seconds to a minute.
- To come up, inhale, press the back heel firmly into the floor and reach up through the arms, straightening the right knee. Turn the feet forward and release the arms with an exhalation, or keep them extended upward for more challenge.
- Take a few breaths, then turn the feet to the left and repeat the whole process once more. Once you’re finished return to Mountain Pose.
Downward Dog Knee-To-Nose
This is a great workout for your balance, core, shoulders, legs, and back.
- Begin in downward dog. Place your hands and feet on the mat and lift your hips up and back.
- Inhale as you lift your right leg straight to the back and then exhale as you move your shoulders over the wrists and bring your right knee toward the nose. Hold this position for 3 breaths.
- Keep your left leg and your arms straight and breathe in as you push your shoulders back to return to one legged downward dog pose.
- Breathe out as you place your right foot on the floor and return to downward dog pose. Repeat this movement with your other leg.
The Crescent Pose
Also known as Anjaneyasana, it is a fantastic exercise for your hip flexors, quadriceps, glutes, ankles, core balance, and spinal flexion.
- Starting from mountain pose, step your right leg forward 3 to 5 feet, keeping your feet hip-width apart for balance.
- Bend your right leg to a 90-degree angle. Your knee should track directly over the center of the foot, with your back (left) heel lifted off of the floor.
- Square your hips forward and sweep your arms up overhead with your palms facing each other, plugging your shoulders down into their sockets as you straighten your arms. Think back to mountain pose and lengthen your spine, as you gently drop your tailbone down toward the earth.
- Soften your rib cage in toward your spine and extend out through your sternum.
- Relax your shoulders down away from your ears and feel the two opposing forces of gravity and extension working to hold you in alignment.
- Hold this position for eight deep breaths before standing and repeating the movement on the other side.
Remember that while the above poses and weight loss tips for men through yoga will help you shed some extra pounds, this form of exercise has multiple other benefits that include (3):
- Improves flexibility.
- Can prevent degenerative arthritis or mitigate disability.
- Promotes bone health.
- Improves and ultimately perfects your posture.
- Helps with lymphatic drainage and boosts immunity.
- Improves your heart health.
- Lowers blood sugar and ‘bad cholesterol’.
- Improves balance.
What Are Some Weight Loss Tips For Men Over 30?
Irrespective of your age, the tips remain the same. There is no shortcut to losing weight. You must eat at a calorie deficit, consume the right foods, watch your portions and work out. The only difference in working out is that you must remember to pace yourself. Older men do not have the same body composition as younger men do. Take longer breaks if necessary, choose lighter weights, and maybe work out for shorter periods. Remember to listen to your body so you may prevent injury.
How To Lose Weight Fast For Men?
As earlier mentioned, safe and sustainable weight loss is one that allows you to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, which is achieved through long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits (20). Choosing options that let you lose weight faster than this is setting yourself up for failure. The method may work in the short-term, but long-term you will regain the weight back.
How To Lower Body Fat Percentage?
Body fat percentage is a measurement of body composition (body fat and nonfat mass) which tells you how much of the weight of your body is fat (8). In light of this explanation reducing your body fat percentage is essentially reducing the amount of fat in your body. This is done through exercise, a calorie deficit and eating the right foods.
The Bottom Line
For anyone looking for weight loss tips for men, the answer lies in what you eat and how much physical activity you get in a day. Getting rid of junk foods and replacing them with healthy and nutritious foods is one way to do this. One you have fixed your diet, include working out in your day to day for at least 30 minutes a day. This boosts your metabolism which helps you burn more calories. Always remember that no matter how tempting, there is no shortcut to weight loss. You must be determined and dedicated for you to see the results that you desire.
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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. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 7 Weight Loss Diet Tips for Men Over 40 (n.d., mensjournal.com)
- 12 Benefits of Strength Training That Will Convince You to Lift Weights (2020, livestrong.com)
- 38 Health Benefits of Yoga (2007, yogajournal.com)
- A dose-response relation between aerobic exercise and visceral fat reduction: systematic review of clinical trials (2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Aerobic exercise training-induced reductions in abdominal fat and glucose-stimulated insulin responses in middle-aged and older men (2000, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Appendix 2. Estimated Calorie Needs per Day, by Age, Sex, and Physical Activity Level (n.d., health.gov)
- Are Rest Days Important for Exercise? (2019, healthline.com)
- Body Composition and Body Fat Percentage (2020, verywellfit.com)
- Calorie counting made easy (n.d., health.harvard.edu)
- Cardiovascular and metabolic responses to tap water ingestion in young humans: does the water temperature matter? (2014, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Changing Your Diet: Choosing Nutrient-rich Foods (2019, familydoctor.org)
- Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Diet induced thermogenesis (2004, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Does Metabolism Matter in Weight Loss? (2015, health.harvard.edu)
- Effects of aerobic and resistance training on abdominal fat, apolipoproteins and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in adolescents with obesity: the HEARTY randomized clinical trial (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Effect of excessive water intake on body weight, body mass index, body fat, and appetite of overweight female participants (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- How Protein Can Help You Lose Weight Naturally (2017, healthline.com)
- The Best Weight Loss Yoga Workout for Men (n.d., mensjournal.com)
- The Thermic Effect of Food: A Review (2019, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- What is healthy weight loss? (2020, cdc.gov)