“A 48-year-old man can lose belly fat by eating a slight calorie deficit, (400-500 calories less than BMR) each day, aiming for 1-1½ lbs weekly fat loss and focusing on compound movements that sustain muscle so that weight loss primarily comes from bodyfat.”

And being consistent long enough for fat loss to occur, ensuring progress is measured each week, scale weight and body fat percentage.

The main problems I see men over 40 making are excessive amounts of cardio, i.e., running on the treadmill, going to “classes”, circuit training etc.

Too much cardio has been shown to strip away lean muscle tissue, leading to a lowered resting metabolism, kill testosterone levels and make you ravenous! Not to mention the injuries we can get once over 40 years old…

Here are some common mistakes when trying to lose belly fat over 40 years old:

Too much calorie restriction

To lose belly fat you must be in a calorie deficit, meaning your body will draw on it’s energy balance as the remainder of calories to burn fat.

The problem arises when calories are restricted too much, leading to a brake in progress.

When calories are restricted too much and for too long, the body thinks a famine is around the corner and halts fat loss.

It also makes you feel extremely hungry and can backfire as you binge eat, making up for your starving state.

The bottom line is fat loss is hard, but you need to be in a slight calorie deficit, (400-500 calories less than BMR calories each day) which should be just enough to get you to lose 1-1 ½ lbs of fat per week.

Remember, losing fat is a relatively slow process. Its consistency done over time that will pay off, so don’t rush this process or it will likely backfire.

Not doing any resistance training

Another huge mistake for men over 40 is not doing any resistance training. Now, more than ever you should be lifting weights to build and preserve muscle as you get older.

Without weight training, your body will keep dropping lean muscle that is replaced by fat if you’re not careful.

As we age, our bodies start to lose muscle, and this unfortunately leads to a drop in metabolism – the amount of muscle you have will determine how many calories your body will burn each day.

That’s why a lot of men over 40 cannot understand, why they seem to weigh about the same but look fatter!

It is a metamorphosis of muscle loss and fat gain that is happening!

Lifting weights as you get older is super important, much more important than any “cardio” training because you’re working on permanently elevating your metabolism, not just burning a set number of calories for the training session ahead.

Men over 40 should be doing compound exercises, multi-joint movements that build muscle all over the body, increase testosterone and permanently elevate metabolism.

I’m not talking about getting “huge” but building a nice balance of muscle all over the body that looks pleasing to eye, defined chest, broad shoulders, and narrow waist.

Doing the wrong exercises

In our twenties we can get away with doing lots of silly isolation exercises, using poor form, doing endless training days, going for one rep maxes, and not properly paying attention to the components of recovery.

This is not the case once in our forties and beyond!

Too many isolation exercises wreak havoc on the joints and doing excessive amounts of dangerous and un-productive exercises might lead to injury and keep you out of the gym for a long time!

Stick to compound movements such as bench presses, pull-downs, trap-bar deadlifts, and you’ll build far more muscle without wreaking havoc on the joints and connective tissue.

When it comes to cardio, 2 x low impact cardio sessions each of 30-40 minutes will be fine. Or simply go out for a walk.

Simply going out for a walk, hitting 6k to 10k steps per day and doing your weight training sessions 2-3 x per week will get you burning fat at the correct pace.

Performing too many strength training sessions each week

Too many strength training sessions each week are not needed.

When you lift weights, you are tearing the muscle fibres down and this needs time to re-build itself.

Recovery time outside of the gym is just as important as being in the gym performing the session.

2-3 strength training sessions for men over 40 is plenty, couple that with a few steady state cardio sessions or simply going out for a walk and getting in 6-10k steps per day will be more than adequate for losing fat and building lean muscle.

Going too low on carbohydrates

We live in the “low carb” trend, but this doesn’t mean it’s the best thing to lose belly fat, quite the contrary!

The bottom line in losing belly fat is eating slightly less calories than what your body burns each day, but cutting out carbohydrates lowers testosterone in men, not only are those carbohydrates muscle sparing but they keep you feeling full.

Carbs also fuel your workouts and provide you with all day energy.

Going too low in fat

Fat is super important for men over 40 and especially for testosterone production. In fact, the good fats in your diet polyunsaturated and monounsaturated increase levels of HDL which in turn leads to increased growth hormone, triggering amino acid production.

This is the building block of protein which is essential for building lean muscle. A diet too low in fat can impair gains in muscle.

Losing fat over 40 – the correct way

Good fats will help you lose belly fat and improve levels of testosterone and growth hormone. Even moderate amounts of saturated fat are beneficial for men over 40, the key is to get the right amount and not go overboard.

So much for doing things the wrong way, what you need to know is how to do things the right way, and that means being realistic in your goals, being consistent and measuring progress each week.

First, I suggest taking your scale weight and getting some body fat callipers and measuring your bodyfat percentage.

It’s important to have a true picture of where you are starting from to see progress happening each week.

If you just say I’m going to eat less and start working out more, how will you know if you are progressing each week?

Get your scale weight and body fat percentage and start writing down some goals. Let’s say you weigh 15 stone, and your body fat percentage today is 20% and you want to see your abs…

That means you will need to get down to 10% body fat or under which equates to 23 pounds of fat to lose with a target weight of approximately 187 pounds.

Your body will need time to lose fat, approximately 1-1½ lbs per week, so make sure you give your body the number of weeks it needs to reach that goal (approx. 23 weeks).

Now you know within 6-months (if you start today) you can reach your target body fat percentage of 10% if you get each day’s nutrition, training, and recovery right.

Use intermittent fasting

The bottom line when losing body fat is being in a slight caloric deficit long enough so you start to burn body fat, it doesn’t really matter how many meals you eat per day i.e., 2 meals or 5 meals if you are consistent enough to make progress happen.

But intermittent fasting makes the process of sticking to less calories simpler, easier, AND enjoyable.

You offset the number of the calories you can eat by having a small snack first thing in the morning and then 2 bigger meals later in the day, this makes it very difficult to exceed your calorie totals for the day, simplifies your life and has other health benefits.

When you haven’t eaten for a long period of time and then ingest a big number of calories, growth hormone and testosterone are elevated. Intermittent fasting has other benefits too, improved concentration, brighter skin etc.

I cannot imagine an easier way for men over 40 to lean down whilst enjoying losing fat and still being able to have a life in the process.

If you want the full picture of how this all works, check out my popular course, Ripped Abs Over 40, where I explain in detail how to structure intermittent fasting based on your own bodyweight and bodyfat percentage.

The bottom line is we only have so much willpower and making fat loss more difficult than it needs to be is a completely unnecessary.

Strength training

I mentioned strength training as one of the pillars of losing fat for men over 40 and for good reason.

Strength training will make sure that what you are losing is primarily fat.

If you were just to do cardio without strength training, whilst in a caloric deficit, I guarantee that a lot of the weight loss would also come from muscle as well.

Muscle is responsible for how many calories you can burn each day, so make sure you focus on strength training for most of your workouts.

If you were just to get strength training and diet in good order, you would start to see fat loss happen.

But this process can also be speeded up by hitting 6-10k steps per day.

That’s right, I recommend going out for a walk each day in addition to your strength training workouts as you will burn more fat without having a huge impact on appetite.

If you’ve ever tried to lose fat whilst doing tons of HIIT cardio, classes, or anything that’s very demanding on the body you will know how difficult it can be to maintain a calorie deficit, that’s because these activities make you ravenous!

Much better to stick to a low impact form of cardio such as walking that will help to burn more calories without interfering with hunger levels.

Also, walking is much more enjoyable in my opinion, you could listen to a podcast, audio book or simply get out and enjoy the scenery with a loved one.

Bottom line, in conjunction with strength training and intermittent fasting it works like magic for losing belly fat!

I hope you have found this article very informative and why not get started losing fat today instead of waiting until tomorrow?

Click on the link below and get hold of my FREE guide, 40 Laws of Lean for Men Over 40.

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