How to lose weight for men over 40
If you’re a man over 40 looking to lose weight you’ve come to the right place. Losing weight can be frustrating especially with all the information and misinformation out there, fad diets, supplements and overnight promises.
And one of the problems I see all the time is overcomplication, it’s not hard to learn what to do, but doing it on a consistent basis is another thing entirely.
To lose weight, you need an effective program and series of steps to implement.
What kind of weight are you losing?
When men over 40 talk about losing weight, what they’re really after is fat loss.
When you just “lose weight” it will come from a combination of muscle and fat giving you a vastly different appearance to someone who primarily loses fat.
That’s why some men over 40 will look worse when all the weight comes off because they lose as much muscle as fat.
My recommendation is to focus on losing primarily fat which I’ll come to in a bit.
Know where you’re currently at
It’s hard to set a goal if you don’t know where you’re currently at, so the first step is to determine how much fat you need to lose.
Losing weight is more than just scale weight alone, as I mentioned if you just drop “weight” you’ll be losing muscle as well.
To see exactly what’s happening as you drop weight I recommend getting some body fat callipers and measuring your body fat.
With most callipers, a single pinch of the waist and comparing that measurement to a chart on the back of the packet is an indicator of body fat percentage, it’s very fast and convenient.
Now as a general recommendation, if you want a flat stomach and to see your abdominal lines I recommend a body fat percentage of somewhere in the region of 9-12 %.
As a quick example, if you’re a man over 40 and you measure your body fat percentage at 20% 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 as recommended in Abs Over 40, it should only take between 15-22 weeks to achieve this goal.
Eat a calorie deficit
If you’re trying to lose fat what do you think is the most important…The number of meals you eat per day, the macronutrient proportions or the number of calories?
If you guessed calories, you’d be correct!
It doesn’t matter how much you play around with macronutrients, fasted cardio, meal timings or how many meals you eat per day if you’re not eating slightly less calories than what your body burns per day then you’re going to have a hard time losing fat.
Notice how I say slightly less?
That’s because drastic reductions in calories fail too because it’s not sustainable, encourages binge eating, messes up the metabolism and forces the body to hold onto stored fat as a survival mechanism.
For fat loss to occur you should be eating approximately 20% less calories than your BMR i.e. how many calories you eat to sustain your weight.
At this rate you would lose 1-1½ lbs of fat per week – perfectly sustainable and ensure you’re losing what you want – FAT.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to speed up this process, those that do that won’t lose fat faster and at this rate all those little bits soon add up to huge progress.
The diet industry this is where a lot of the fat loss attention is.
Either they’re getting you to go too low on carbs, cutting out fat, going super high on protein or somewhere in between.
But diets aren’t sustainable because they encourage an unhealthy, unnatural way of eating that must come to an end.
Then any benefits gained over the short term are lost again over the long term.
When you’re eating in a calorie deficit, it’s important to eat a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat. That means eating approximately 0.8g of protein per pound of lean bodyweight per day, a good balance of carbohydrates and the remainder as healthy fats.
We lose approximately 3% of our muscle mass per decade after age 30, that means strength training becomes even more important as we age.
When we lose muscle, our metabolism drops, and fat storage becomes even easier. If you’ve ever noticed you look fatter although your scale weight is staying about the same, its most likely that you’re going through a body composition change.
That means you’re losing muscle and slowly gaining fat!
I can’t stress the importance of lifting weights for men over 40 to get lean, improve muscle and protect joints.
But it must be done correctly. Men over 40 must train differently than guys in their twenties or early thirties.
They must stick to tried and tested compound movements that build the most muscle and have the most impact on the male hormonal system.
And they mustn’t exceed their recovery ability which becomes even more important as we age.
Lifting weights is not about being in the gym every day.
In fact, you would make much better progress if you stick to 3 balanced weight training sessions per week that focus on the compound movements.
Cardio training can help you eat more calories and still lose fat, but I’d rather you put most of your focus into strength training and nutrition.
In Abs Over 40, I give you two cardio options, either 2 steady state cardio sessions per week or ONE hard cardio session using compound movements performed with lighter weights.
Both options will compliment your weight training and fat loss progress without exceeding your ability to recover.
For men over 40, lifting weights and balancing cardio can be a fine balancing act. And performing more cardio is never the answer to more fat loss.
Key takeaways to losing weight for men over 40:
- In order to lose fat, you must eat in a calorie deficit without drastic calorie reductions
- Eating in a calorie deficit doesn’t mean you should feel starved
- A balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats works best, I explain everything in my course Abs Over 40.
- Strength training becomes even more important as we age
- Cardio can help speed up fat loss as long as its balanced and executed correctly into the plan