10 Weight loss tips for men over 40
A lot of men over 40 think of weight loss as seeing the scale move in the right direction and while that’s important, it’s only half the story.
When you lose weight, it can come from fat, muscle and water. If you lose a lot of muscle with fat, then you’re going to end up looking soft and skinny rather than lean and defined.
But if you lose primarily fat and retain or build lean muscle then you’re going to look awesome for your age.
Your primary concern when losing weight should be fat loss, in this article I’m going to share 10 tips to ensure you’re losing fat.
1. Get your calories correct
You won’t lose weight if you’re not in a calorie deficit and doing extra cardio sessions or classes won’t make up for it.
To lose weight, neither should you be eating too few calories nor too many. If you restrict calories too much, your body tends to hold onto fat, preserving its energy.
The key is to eat approximately 20% less calories than what your body burns per day, that means no obsessive restriction of calories.
From those calories, you should be getting adequate protein to build and preserve lean muscle, adequate carbs and enough healthy fats to keep testosterone at peak levels.
2. Strength train
The best way to get a lean body is through strength training and nutrition, if you nailed those two things, you’d be well on your way to getting the body you want.
When you’re in a calorie deficit, strength training will make sure you’re losing primarily fat as your body will hold onto its muscle.
When you hold onto or build lean muscle, you’ll look lean and defined as you lose fat.
And you don’t need to be in the gym every day lifting weights, 3 strength training sessions per week works well for men over 40.
3. Use compound movements
Compound movements are exercises that train 2-3 muscle groups in one movement, build lean muscle and trigger increases in testosterone.
They’re super productive for men over 40, joint friendly and save time so you can have a very effective workout in under an hour.
For example, the incline barbell bench press trains the muscles of the chest, shoulders and triceps in one movement, it’s these types of exercises that men over 40 should focus upon.
4. Use multiple sets of lower reps
Strength training is important for losing fat but doing endless sets of every exercise under the sun isn’t the best way to build lean muscle and lose fat.
As we age, it takes our bodies longer to recover and to keep progressing, multiple sets of lower reps keep total volume lower, spare your joints and allow more concentration of the exercise.
A lot of men over 40 use lighter weights with higher reps as they get older, but this fails to address the safety and effectiveness of the exercise.
Doing lots of sets, reps and isolation exercises will place more wear and tear on your joints than using compound movements with heavier weights and good form.
5. Eat fewer, bigger meals
The research is clear that eating 5-6 small meals per day has no effect on speeding up the metabolism. It’s the total number of calories you eat each day that counts, not how many meals.
But eating 2-3 bigger meals each day uses more of the sympathetic nervous system resulting in increases in growth hormone and testosterone.
Eating 3 solid meals per day is much better for digestion, something we need to pay attention to as we get older.
6. Don’t place a huge emphasis on cardio
Doing excessive amounts of cardio is not the best use of your time for losing fat.
As discussed nutrition and strength training should be your main priority, get those two things right from the start and you’ll achieve your fitness goals.
Moderate amounts of cardio can help burn additional calories, but that’s all. The problem with lots of cardio is it’s proven to leave testosterone supressed for hours post exercise and makes you ravenous, not good if you’re trying to maintain a calorie deficit.
I recommend walking on your non-strength training days as it burns extra calories without cutting into your recovery.
Another option is to include a cardio-strength circuit in addition to your strength training workouts.
This training session means doing compound movements back to back, circuit style with lighter weights. It’s effective for men over 40 as it saves wear and tear on the joints, keeps the workout short and helps keep testosterone high.
7. Accept a gradual fat loss
It took you a while to gain fat and get out of shape in the first place and its going to take you a while to lose it.
You can’t expect to lose months or years of fat gain in 2 weeks or so, our bodies don’t work like that.
But if you focus on losing 1-1½ lbs per week you’ll ensure your body is primarily losing fat and it’s going to be permanent.
That might not sound like a lot of fat each week, but those little bits soon add up to huge improvements.
8. Avoid fad diets
I’ve lost count of the number of diets that come in and out of fashion over the years, they never work long term because they encourage skewed eating patterns and aren’t sustainable.
Any diet that cuts out one of the important macros, protein, carbs or fat isn’t worth considering.
Going too low in carbs and fat is one of the worst things you can do when trying to lose fat.
Especially for men over 40, carbs and fat play a huge role in testosterone, energy and keeping you feeling full and satisfied.
When losing fat, always make sure you’re maintaining a good balance of protein, carbs and fats and never go too low on calories.
9. Eat foods in their natural state
Generally, foods that are in their natural state and have fewer ingredients are much better for you. For example, chicken breast is just chicken breast and broccoli is just broccoli.
But when you buy processed foods they contain additives that wreak havoc on the human body, making fat loss that much harder.
Lean meats, fish, complex carbs, fruit, veg and healthy fats should make up the bulk of your nutrition plan and the possibilities of healthy meal plans are endless.
10. Track your progress
Knowing where you stand today i.e. scale weight and body fat percentage is one of the keys to designing a plan to get you to where you want to go.
Correct nutrition and training works big time! It’s persistence and lack of adherence to a solid program that are usually at fault when losing weight.
By tracking, measuring and seeing progress happening from week to week you’ll reach your goal. None of this happens by accident, it’s carefully planned out and executed.
I hope this article has provided you with some great tips of how to lose fat and get that lean pleasing appearance.
If you’d like to take it to the next level, my Abs Over 40 course, will take you through everything step by step.
Abs Over 40 will show you how to design your nutrition, how to structure your macros, how to strength train and how to add cardio into your routine for sustainable fat loss.