Are you looking to slim down and get in better shape? If so, you're not alone. Many men struggle with their weight. It can be extra challenging with age, as weight gain issues usually begins around your thirties and continues on as you age.
If you’re also wondering why you suddenly have more belly fat—men tend to have a higher tendency to accumulate visceral fat around their stomachs than pre-menopausal women. This can also put men at a higher risk of obesity and cardiovascular conditions like heart disease.
Many weight loss programs, apps, and products promise quick results for fat loss. But it's often best to focus on simple, sustainable changes that you can make to your lifestyle.
If you're a man looking to shed a few pounds, there is some good news. Losing weight is typically easier for men than women, biologically speaking. Men have more muscle mass and less body fat, and this difference in body composition means you may burn more calories at rest and during exercise. Plus, testosterone can help maintain lean muscle mass while dieting, boosting calorie burn. Of course, weight loss still requires effort, dedication, and consistency.
1) Track and Count Your Food Intake
Losing weight can seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Technology can help! There's an app and device for it all, from apps that help you maintain a healthy diet to those that monitor everything from your heart rate to your blood glucose levels.
Want to try a high-intensity workout but don’t know if it’s right for you? Wondering if a high-protein diet is the right fit for your specific needs? By counting macros you consume every day, you can lose and maintain your weight in a healthy, sustainable way. Take a look at some of our favorite apps and tools to help you optimize your health.
Best Tracking Tools
- MyFitnessPal is a free app that can help make being healthy simple and easy. The app allows you to track what you eat and drink, how much physical activity you engage in, you engage in, and indicates how many calories you're consuming and burning.
- Nutrisense collects data from continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) that you wear on your body. They collect blood glucose data to determine how the foods you eat and the exercise you are doing affect your body. You can log your food and exercise into the app and use the comprehensive data to determine caloric needs and lifestyle changes to optimize your health.
- If you’re a pen and paper kind of person, all you need is a food journal and a few minutes every day to log your meals. A small notebook and a pen are all you need.
2) Drink More Water
If you're looking to lose weight, a straightforward piece of advice is to drink more water. That's right; plain old H2O can help with your weight loss efforts, so do what experts recommend and increase your water intake.
Drinking enough water, and maintaining adequate hydration may help your body's overall metabolism function. Even moderate dehydration can make it harder for your body to lose weight and remain healthy.
Health Benefits of Staying Hydrated
- When you drink enough water, your body is better able to metabolize fat.
- Proper hydration helps keep your energy levels up, preventing fatigue and unwanted snacking.
- Water aids your body's natural detoxification processes, helping to eliminate toxins.
3) Eat More Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient for your body. It also plays a significant role in weight loss. It helps promote fullness and can help increase your metabolism. It’s also essential for maintaining muscle mass as you lose weight.
Some research suggests that eating around 1.2 to 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight per day and about 25 to 30 grams of protein per meal is beneficial for weight management.
You can get your protein from various sources, including lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, tofu, nuts, and seeds. Incorporate protein-rich foods into every meal and snack throughout your day to balance your diet and reach your daily protein goal.
Health Benefits of Adding More Protein to Your Diet
Still wondering why adding more protein to your diet is vital for weight loss? Bahar Brocken, RD and Nutrition Project Manager at Nutrisense, explains, “A balanced diet that includes plenty of protein can help you optimize your glucose levels and prevent conditions like diabetes.”
Protein also helps to keep you feeling fuller longer, making it a crucial part of any weight loss plan. When selecting protein foods, choose options that are of high quality, like grass fed beef, free range pasture raised chickens and eggs, and wild caught fatty fish like salmon. We’ve also seen that having protein before your carbohydrates can help improve your glucose response to that meal.
A more stable glucose response can contribute to higher levels of satiety. So, a lower likelihood of you experiencing an energy "crash" after eating, and you'll be less likely to reach for that quick pick-me-up (i.e., the chocolate or candy at your desk).”
4) Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
This one may seem obvious, but we’re going to point it out anyway. Eating more whole fruits and vegetables (avoiding canned fruit in syrups or dried fruit which is more concentrated in sugars than its fresh counterpart) is a simple, effective way to lose weight. Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients, so you can fill up without packing on the pounds.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, and fiber helps to promote satiety and fullness, so you eat less overall. Fruits and vegetables are also low in calories, so they can help you create a calorie deficit. You'll burn more calories than you're taking in, helping with weight loss.
What's more, produce is full of water, so it helps keep you hydrated, another critical component of losing weight. They contain essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function correctly, and antioxidants that have been linked to weight loss.
Health Benefits of Eating More Fruits and Vegetables
Wondering what some other benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are? Here’s a few quick ones from our dietitian, Marie Funk, MS, RD, LDN.
- Pack antioxidants to clean up free radicals in the body, reducing risk of disease
- Contain loads of micronutrients that support bodily functions and wellbeing
- Packed with fiber and prebiotics that feed and support a healthy gut microbiome, feelings of fullness, and glucose control
5) Eat More Fiber-Rich Foods
You probably know about fiber as the component in food that keeps your digestive system regular. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can't digest. This means that it is a carbohydrate that doesn’t break down into energy and sugars like other carbohydrates.
As we mentioned earlier, it also keeps you full for longer. It also helps your body absorb water, and helps slow its sugar uptake from carbs and sugars in your diet. When you include more high-fiber foods in your diet, you'll be less likely to snack between meals. It will help reduce your overall calorie intake and lead to weight loss.
We know fiber can help to mitigate or balance blood sugar levels as previously mentioned, and this can help with weight loss overall. Avoiding high fluctuations in blood sugars may help to prevent excessive cravings or overeating.
Health Benefits of Eating More Fiber-Rich Foods
There are so many added benefits to eating more fiber-rich foods. Here are some more from Elizabeth McKinney, CNS, LDN:
- Promotes feeling of satiety, which can further support weight control/weight loss.
- Supports lower, more stable post prandial glucose responses.
- Increases bulk in the intestinal track which helps to remedy constipation.
- Fermentable fibers, prebiotics, produce short chain fatty acids that are important for a healthy gut microbiome.
- Can help reduce cholesterol in your body.
6) Avoid Eating Refined Carbs
Refined carbs are carbohydrates that have been processed and had their fiber and other nutritional parts removed. This makes them quicker to digest, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Eating too many refined carbs can lead to weight gain and other health problems over time.
If you're looking to lose weight, cutting out refined carbs can be a great place to start. Refined carbs are in processed foods like pastries, white bread, and white rice. These foods have been stripped of their fiber and nutrients, making them less filling and more likely to cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Avoiding refined carbs can help you stick to a healthy diet and support your weight loss goals.
Foods to Replace Refined Carbs
Refined carbs can be difficult to avoid since they’re in everything from white rice to white bread. Here’s what RD and Nutrition Manager at Nutrisense, Bahar Brocken, suggests doing.
“I love having legume-based pasta like chickpea, lentil, or edamame pasta. There are also options like spaghetti squash instead of white pasta, quinoa (a great source of protein and fiber) over white rice, and sourdough bread over white bread.
Sourdough has lactic acid in it, which contributes to its distinctive taste and can also help moderate a glucose response.”
7) Eat Meals at a Slower Pace
Eating at a slower pace could help you lose weight more efficiently. When you rush through your meals, you're more likely to overeat and consume more calories than necessary. Slowing down will allow your body to register that it's full, preventing you from overeating.
Eating mindfully lets your brain process when it is actually full. You may also enjoy your food (and your company) more when you take your time eating and chewing your food.
8) Moderate Alcohol Consumption
It’s because alcohol is a toxin that your body has to work hard to metabolize. It also contains an abundance of empty calories. If you go out for a drink or two with friends, avoid beers, ciders, and mixed cocktails. These alcoholic beverages contain many calories and usually have a lot of added sugars.
Opt for clear spirits and mix them with citrus and club soda, or enjoy them on the rocks. Remember, you don’t need to cut out indulgences completely; a healthy diet is all about learning what’s right for your specific needs.
9) Start Lifting Weights Regularly
Are you lifting weights regularly to help with your weight loss goals? If not, you should consider it. While cardio exercises are an essential part of your calorie-burning workout, lifting weights helps build muscle mass and boost your metabolism. These are key for long-term weight loss.
Regular weightlifting can promote weight loss in several ways. First, it helps build muscle mass, which burns more calories. Additionally, it can help increase your basal metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns at rest) and raise your levels of fat-burning hormones like adrenaline and testosterone.
Sample Workout Plan
You want to do three sets of five to 10 reps of each workout. Choose an intensity level that allows you to do at least five reps with perfect form. But ideally, focus on having a high enough intensity to hit failure by the time you hit 10 reps. Once five to 10 reps of this intensity become less challenging, you should switch to a higher intensity.
Progressing up a difficulty level is a signal that you’re growing muscle! Here’s a sample plan for exercises to include through the week:
Monday: Work on your Chest and Back
- Plank Raise and Tap Crunch
- Military Press
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise
- Hip Hinge (AKA Good Mornings)
Wednesday: Leg Day
- Side Lunge
- Glute Bridge
- Donkey Kick
Friday: Work on Your Shoulders and Arms
- Overhead Triceps Extension
- Shoulder Press
- Curtsy Lunge with Biceps Curl
- Plank Up-Down
- T Lifts
10) Get Eight Hours of Sleep Daily
It's no secret that a good night's sleep is vital for overall health, but did you know that it's also crucial for weight loss? Studies have shown that people who get adequate sleep every night are more likely to lose weight and keep it off than those who don't.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults should get seven to nine hours of restful sleep per night. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of Americans don't get enough sleep. It turns out you may need more zzz's than you think.
11) Consider an Intermittent Fasting Diet
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and eating. It's an approach to eating that may help you burn fat, lose weight, and improve some of you health metrics. This approach is more about when you eat, although what you eat is still important.
Though it may seem like an intimidating way to change your eating patterns, intermittent fasting is safe and effective for most people. It can help you lose weight by helping you burn more calories and reducing your appetite.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- By restricting your eating to certain times of day or days of the week, you can create a calorie deficit that may lead to weight loss.
- Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and body fat while improving your insulin sensitivity.
Engage with Your Blood Glucose Levels with Nutrisense
Your blood sugar levels can significantly impact how your body feels and functions. That’s why stable blood glucose levels can be an important factor in supporting overall wellbeing.
With Nutrisense, you’ll be able to track your blood glucose levels over time using a CGM, so you can make lifestyle choices that support healthy living.
Ready to take the first step? Start with our quiz to see how Nutrisense can support your health.
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Natalie received her degree in Dietetics from Mansfield University and a Master’s in Clinical Nutrition from the University at Buffalo. Her career has included nutrition education and program development in her local community, adjunct faculty at several collegiate institutions, and clinical nutrition in both inpatient and outpatient settings.