If you’re wondering how to lose belly fat for men over 40 you’ve come to the right place. Losing belly fat once we’re over 40 years old comes down to a series of steps executed on a consistent basis until you reach your goal:
1. Know your starting point
The first thing you need to know is how much belly fat you must lose and the best way to calculate this is to get hold of some body fat calipers, they don’t need to be anything fancy or expensive, just something that gives you an accurate measurement of your current body fat.
I recommend grabbing some calipers off amazon, the reason you need to get your body fat percentage is when you’re losing weight you want to make sure its coming from primarily fat, if you rely on the scale alone when losing weight, you’ll have no way of knowing if that weight is fat, lean muscle or water weight.
A single pinch of the waist will give you an accurate measurement, by comparing the measurement to a chart on the back of the packet you can quickly and easily get your body fat percentage and most importantly, keep tabs each week to make sure you’re losing fat.
2. Work out how much fat you need to lose
A mistake that men make when trying to lose belly fat is randomly training in a hope to lose fat, but not actually knowing how much fat they need to lose and how long it’s going to take them.
I recommend a goal body fat percentage of 9-12%, this is lean enough to see your abs but not super ripped, it’s a good goal to aim for so let’s use 9% body fat as your goal for this demonstration.
To work out how much fat you need to lose, use this simple formula:
Desired body weight = lean body weight / desired lean mass percentage in decimal form.
Let’s say you’re a male that weighs 200lb with a body fat percentage of 20%, first we would calculate how much fat you have at 20% body fat:
200 x 0.2 = 40 lbs
Next, we need to calculate your fat free mass, this is your body weight with zero fat. Note, you must have some body fat to be healthy.
200 – 40 = 160 lbs (fat free mass)
Next, you would divide your fat free body weight by your goal body fat percentage. In this example, I’m using a goal body fat of 9%.
160 / 0.9 = 178 lbs
Lastly you would subtract your goal body weight from your current bodyweight.
200 – 178 = 22 lbs
So, in this example you’d need to lose 22 pounds of fat to achieve your goal body fat percentage of 9%.
If you’re losing 1-1½lbs per week it should only take between 15-22 weeks to achieve this goal.
3. Get Your BMR Calories
You can’t lose fat unless you’re in a caloric deficit, BUT if you eat too few calories your body will down regulate its metabolism thinking there’s a famine around the corner. Also, if you restrict calories too much, it will be extremely difficult to stick to and encourage binge eating.
When you restrict calories too much, fat loss comes to a screeching halt. There’s a fine line between too few and too many calories.
The first thing you need to calculate is your BMR, this is how many calories you need to eat without gaining or losing any weight.
The fastest way to get your BMR is to multiply your body weight in pounds x 15.
Example 200-pound male:
200 x 15 = 3000 calories per day
Now to lose fat, aim for 20% LESS than your BMR calories per day. This will keep you at steady fat loss of 1-1½ lbs per week.
4. Break up those calories into the correct macros
This is very important, if you go too high on carbohydrates or fat it will making losing fat slow although you’re still eating in a calorie deficit. You want enough protein to support lean muscle, enough carbs to support training and keep you feeling full and enough fat to keep your testosterone levels high.
You should be getting about 40% of your over all calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein and the remaining 30% from healthy fats.
Make sure you’re including testosterone boosting foods such as eggs and avocados, keeping our testosterone levels as high as possible is very important for men over 40.
Low testosterone = hard weight loss
Therefore, keeping carbs and fat relatively high is very important, a diet too low in these macros will kill testosterone.
You need a balance that keeps you feeling full, keeps you losing fat and keeps testosterone at peak levels.
5. Eat fewer bigger meals
Stick to fewer bigger meals for fat loss rather than lots of little small meals throughout the day, bigger meals have been shown to have more testosterone boosting benefits, as when you’ve not eaten for a period and then introduce calories into your system, testosterone and growth hormone can sky rocket by as much as 400%.
I recommend under eating in the morning and then over eating for lunch, dinner and having a bed time snack of mainly protein to fuel your muscles.
2 big meals work well. Personally, I eat 2 big meals per day and a bedtime snack, I get most of my carbs for lunch and then gradually reduce them as the day goes on. My last meal of the day is protein based only. Don’t overcomplicate this though, just make sure you’re NOT exceeding your daily calorie limit.
6. Strength train using the basics
Strength training is a very important part of losing belly fat. Nothing has such a dramatic effect on the male hormonal system like strength training does.
If you perform strength training like I teach you’ll build lean muscle that gives you broad shoulders, defined chest, toned legs and arms rather than look like a meat head.
By sticking to multiple sets of low reps you’ll gain strength and build a nice natural amount of muscle that will keep your metabolism permanently elevated.
The beauty of sticking to the compound exercises is you don’t need to lift weights more than 3 x per week to get an awesome body and your workouts will be kept short. This means you’ll have more time for family and the rest of your life, perfect for busy men over the age of 40 that don’t have much time to train.
7. Perform cardio
Cardio is important for men over 40 to speed up the fat burning process, it will allow you to eat more calories whilst keeping you in a calorie deficit.
I recommend performing a minimum of 2 low impact cardio sessions for 30-40 minutes using a low impact full body machine such as the cross trainer.
This will elevate your heart rate and keep you burning fat, the mistake a lot of men over 40 makes is thinking that if a moderate amount of cardio is beneficial then more must be better, but excessive amounts of cardio cause the body to release a stress hormone called cortisol.
When our bodies are stressed it’s hard to lose fat and our testosterone levels are destroyed. The moderate dose of cardio for belly fat loss is far more effective and sustainable.
8. Lose Fat Gradually
The worst mistake men over 40 makes is trying to lose fat too quickly. A moderate fat loss of 1-1½ lbs per week is the fastest route to PERMANENT belly fat loss.
The relatively slow route to fat loss is the only way to ensure you’re burning primarily fat and ensure you keep that fat off. Those that try and lose fat faster will just end up with a down regulated metabolism and losing as much lean muscle as fat.
If you would a like a full program that walks you through getting a lean body, have a look at my Abs Over 40 course.
Here’s to your success!