If you are a man over 40 who has a lot of weight to lose, you might be thinking is it possible to lose up to 21 pounds of fat in 21 days?
The answer to that question is YES it really is if you are willing to take the steps below:
Get your nutrition correct
I am a big believer in intermittent fasting because it has proven beneficial for fat loss, adherence, longevity, skin health and focus.
When you have not eaten for a long period of time and then introduce bigger meals into your system, you will use more of the sympathetic nervous system resulting in more fat being burned and a bigger impact on improved testosterone.
By offsetting your first meal, you will gain more focus and clarity and provide a huge buffer of calories, making it harder to exceed your calorie allowance for that day.
The truth is breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day like we have been led to believe. In fact, the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day was first touted by cereal advertising companies, who’s best interest was to make money – NOT to provide the best health to the public.
Intermittent fasting works because your body is not processing food continually throughout the day, making fat loss much easier to attain.
It is also in line with how our ancestors used to eat – they realised that eating big meals before hunting would only slow them down. They hunted for food and would eat big feasts at night, they knew food should be used to fill you up, keep you satisfied and aid relaxation.
With intermittent fasting, men over 40 get confused about carbohydrates, should we eat them as we get older? The simple answer is YES, we should, but I would adhere to moderate carbohydrate consumption.
Carbohydrates are an energy source and too many of them can quickly spill over to FAT stores, with that said though, they are needed to fuel your workouts, keep you feeling full and provide your body with energy.
The trick is not to exceed your daily calorie allowance for the day.
The best forms of carbohydrates are complex, meaning they form longer chains, take longer to digest, and do not spike insulin, like simple carbohydrates do.
They tend to offer more vitamins and minerals than simple carbohydrates and it is this reason why you should keep them as natural as possible.
Some great examples of complex carbs include oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice, chickpeas, vegetables. My recommendation is to stay away from junk carbohydrates and refined white sugar as much as possible.
How much protein do need? The recommendation to eat more than 1g per pound of bodyweight per day is ridiculous. However, as men over 40, I am a firm believer in keeping protein on the high side.
Eating slightly less than 1g of protein per pound of lean body weight per day, is a good rule of thumb. For example, if you weight 190 pounds, aim to get between 160-190 grams of protein per day.
Protein is very satisfying, will keep you feeling full and helps with recovery from your workouts. But one of the most important elements to eating protein is the absorption – it takes a lot of work for the body to digest and assimilate protein than it does for that of carbohydrates and fats.
Protein needs to be broken down into amino acids before it can be used by the body, that means the thermic effect of eating protein is important as part of the fat loss equation.
The body MUST work harder to digest and assimilate protein as it does for carbohydrates and fats.
If you have been reading my articles on lean over 40 for men, you will know I am NOT a huge fan of protein supplements.
Supplements CANNOT make a bad training work, however if you find it hard to meet your daily protein requirements, prudent use of a few cannot harm you.
The bottom line is you do not need any supplements to lose fat and build lean muscle. But as we get older, some additional supplements for natural testosterone production and joint health can be of benefit.
Men over 40 stay away from fat when trying to lose bodyfat, but FAT is important even in a fat loss diet. A diet too low in fat impairs testosterone production and testosterone is VITAL for good body composition particularly when our testosterone production is already declining.
I recommend getting 25-30% of your total daily calories from fats. But not all fats are created equal, trans-fats and high heated cooking oils should be avoided.
When fats are heated to extremely high temperatures, they can become harmful to the body, damaging cells and not being beneficial.
Mono-unsaturated fats such as olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil are all beneficial to human health.
Fat is also very filling with 9 calories per gram, keeping you feeling full and satisfied. Some saturated fats are needed in the diet, so I recommend keeping some of them in for testosterone production.
Eating the right number of calories consistently matters as a long-term fat loss strategy but it is not just the number of calories that you eat that matters, but the QUALITY of those calories.
You should be eating a slight calorie deficit but not going too low on calories so that it causes your body to rebel and makes fat loss even harder.
What about exercise?
Exercise is important as part of the equation for losing up to 21 pounds in 21 days but too much cardio is not the answer.
I see this time and time again, men over 40 think that the key to losing fat is doing tons of cardio, running, cycling, rowing, anything that gets them training hard – ouch I will say this again, cardio is NOT the answer to losing fat.
The only time I would recommend doing lots of cardio such as running is if you are training for a marathon i.e. a 5 or 10k.
Instead you need compound exercises that train 2-3 big muscle groups at the same time, building lean muscle and boosting testosterone.
Here’s to your success!