The Best Diet For Men Over 40: Simple and Effective Eating Tips

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

diet for men over 40

You can get in great shape — and stay that way — by following a simple, effective, and delicious diet for men over 40.

When you’re over 40, your hormone levels, metabolism, and dietary needs begin to change.

Whether your goal is weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain, or better overall health, eating right is the key to success.

Exercise and daily physical activity are important too, but remember, you can't out-exercise a bad diet!

Don't worry — a ‘diet' doesn't mean only eating tiny amounts of food you hate.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet for men over 40, but there are common characteristics of a proper diet that, when followed correctly, will always lead to success.

The main theme is to eat various antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, proteins, and calcium-rich dairy or plant-based. Eating these foods regularly helps control your overall calorie intake and reduces disease risks.

In this article, you'll find the tools you need to build the best diet for men over 40 and, more importantly, the best diet for YOU.

We'll teach you:

    • The five common characteristics of a proper diet for men over 40.
    • The importance of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
    • How to control — not count — calories.
    • Healthy recipes that don't suck.
    • And more!

But before we get into all that, check out this video that explains the 10 key principles that make a weight loss diet for men effective, simple, and sustainable.

Welcome To The Fit Father Project – Your New Nutrition and Workout Resource!

At the Fit Father Project, we specifically help busy men over 40 get back in shape by offering free information and resources on our website, backed up with our Fit Father 30X (FF30X) Program.

This article will teach you how to build the best diet for men over 40, but we're here to help you make a whole slew of healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes that will last.

Everything we do here at the Fit Father Project aims to simplify eating and exercise for you, so you can get in great shape and stay strong and healthy for your family — without any unnecessary complications.

Sound good? Good. Let's dive in!

Characteristics of a Proper Diet For Men Over 40

Here are the five common characteristics of a proper diet for men over 40.

1. It’s High in Fiber

Whether you've reached an ideal body weight or strive to achieve your goal weight, the best diet for men over 40 is loaded with dietary fiber.

Fiber-rich diets boost satiety and help lower blood cholesterol and heart disease risks.

Men over 50 need at least 30 grams of fiber daily, and men 50 and younger should aim for 38 grams of fiber each day. You can meet your daily fiber needs by eating various fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. You can also ask your doctor if fiber supplementation is right for you.

Sample fiber-rich foods and their fiber content include:

  • 1 cup of cooked split peas: 16 grams
  • 1 cup of cooked lentils: 16 grams
  • 1 cup of cooked black beans: 15 grams
  • 1 ounce of chia seeds: 10 grams
  • 1 cup of cooked green peas: 9 grams
  • 1 cup of raspberries: 8 grams
  • 1 medium-sized pear: 6 grams
  • 1 cup of cooked broccoli: 5 grams
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa: 5 grams
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice: 4 grams
  • 1 ounce of almonds: 4 grams
  • 1 medium banana: 3 grams

2. It’s Rich in Protein

Protein is a key nutrient for men over 40 for numerous reasons.

It promotes satiety, keeping you full for longer time periods.

Protein helps you build or maintain lean muscle mass, which is important for aging men.

A good rule of thumb, especially when trying to build or maintain muscle, is to consume 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight daily, suggest researchers who conducted a 2018 review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

The following is a list of protein-rich foods and protein content:

  • 3 ounces of grilled chicken: 28 grams
  • 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese: 28 grams
  • 1 scoop of protein powder: 25 grams
  • 3 slices of tofu: 24 grams
  • 3 ounces of fish: 22 grams
  • 3 ounces of seitan: 21 grams
  • 6 ounces of Greek yogurt: 18 grams
  • 1 ounce of soy nuts: 12 grams
  • 1/2 cup of pinto beans: 11 grams
  • 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds: 9 grams
  • 1 ounce of peanuts: 7 grams
  • 1/2 cup of lentils: 9 grams
  • 1/2 cup of edamame: 9 grams
  • 1 cup of low-fat milk: 8 grams
  • 1 cup of soy milk: 8 grams
  • 1 large egg: 6 grams
  • 1 ounce of reduced-fat cheese: 6 grams

If you're following a vegetarian or vegan diet, you have plenty of plant-based proteins to choose from.

Meet SuperFuel. The Delicious Protein Shake Packed With 40+ Energy-Boosting Vitamins & Superfoods (Designed For Busy Men)

As a busy guy, it’s challenging to stay consistent with healthy eating. That’s why we created SuperFuel… the delicious “all-in-one” nutrition shake for busy guys 40+ to give your body the protein + key nutrients you need for more energy, fat burning, and muscle building.

3. It Contains Healthy Fats

Like protein, dietary fat keeps you feeling full longer.

Higher-fat, low-carb diets promote fat loss, according to numerous studies.

And replacing saturated fat with heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fat reduces your chronic disease risks.

Choose from the following:

  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Plant oils
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Nut butters
  • Fish oil

A healthy diet for men over 40 includes heart-healthy fats at each meal and most snacks.

4. It’s Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants help fight against aging, as these nutrients protect cells in your body from oxidative stress and may help lower chronic disease risks.

The following foods and nutrients are rich in antioxidants:

  • Coffee
  • Green tea
  • Black tea
  • Vitamin C (citrus fruits, red peppers, and leafy green vegetables)
  • Vitamin E (oils, nuts, and seeds)
  • Vitamin A (red fruits and vegetables)
  • Resveratrol (grapes, red wine, and berries)
  • Pomegranates
  • Apples
  • Curcumin (turmeric)
  • Selenium (walnuts, fish, and shellfish)
  • Isoflavones (soy foods)
1 day meal plan

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5. It’s Calorie Controlled

Controlling calories is the key to staying healthy, especially in men over 40.

Calorie recommendations for men over 40 provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 are as follows:

  • Energy needs for weight loss in men: 1,500 to 1,800 calories
  • Calorie requirements for sedentary men over 40: 2,000 to 2,200 calories
  • Energy needs for moderately active men over 40: 2,200 to 2,600 calories
  • Calorie recommendations for active men over 40: 2,400 to 2,800 calories

To keep your calorie intake within these daily allotments, track calories using an app or simply divide your plate into fourths. Fill:

  • Half your plate with vegetables
  • One-fourth of your plate with protein foods
  • One-fourth of your plate with fiber-rich starches
  • A small portion of your plate with healthy fats

Examples of nutritious starches include whole grains, legumes, peas, corn, and sweet potatoes.

How many calories should you eat each day to lose weight? Watch this video to find out your EXACT number.

Building the Perfect Plate

Here's the real secret to the best diet for men over 40: don't base your meal plan around what you cannot eat and confine yourself to broccoli, chicken, and rice on repeat.

At the Fit Father Project, we have a simple and straightforward healthy eating strategy called the Perfect Plate. Using our Perfect Plate method is simple and doesn't take much planning. It's basic but effective; here's everything you need to know about to lose weight over 40

    • Half of each plate should be vegetables, particularly lower-calorie, non-starchy ones (remember, green is good).
    • One-fourth of each plate should be nutritious, protein-rich foods (turkey, chicken, lean beef, tuna).
    • One-fourth of each plate should be fiber-rich carbohydrates (sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa).

Also, be sure to mix in healthy fats at each meal, consume three servings of dairy foods or plant-based alternatives (plant milk or plant-based yogurt) daily, and eat about two servings of fruit each day.

This method is perfect for men at any weight loss stage because it can be completely customized to your food intake. As you start to slim down and “cut,” you can start to limit your portion sizes. But when you're just starting out, it's so important that you eat nutritional meals.

Learn more about the Perfect Plate!

Sample Menu for Men Over 40

A sample menu that's part of a diet for men over 40 and minimizes signs of aging includes:


  • Egg omelet with spinach, mushrooms, and red peppers
  • A medium-sized orange
  • Cooked oatmeal topped with walnuts
  • Coffee or tea



  • A leafy green salad with cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken breast (or tofu or tuna), pistachios, pumpkin seeds, strawberries, and an oil-based dressing
  • A baked sweet potato
  • Coffee or tea


  • Greek yogurt
  • Pomegranates


  • Cooked quinoa
  • Grilled salmon
  • Asparagus mixed with cooked carrots
  • Coffee or tea

Snack (optional)

  • Hemp milk or protein-fortified almond milk plus walnuts OR edamame OR a whey or pea protein shake

Incorporating healthy go-to meals into your daily schedule will make your nutrition more consistent!

Healthy Recipes for Men Over 40

If you’re looking for nutritious age-fighting recipes for men over 40, the following list is a good place to start.

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Add oven-roasted Brussels sprouts to any lunch or dinner dish to get in your daily dose of green vegetables and heart-healthy oils. This recipe contains just four simple ingredients: Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve with grilled chicken, turkey, fish, or tofu as your main course.

Lentil Soup

This lentil soup recipe is loaded with fiber, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Eat it as a main dish or an appetizer. Main ingredients include lentils, carrots, tomatoes, olive oil, onions, celery, broth, and seasonings.

Salmon Baked in Foil

What better way to meet your daily protein needs and boost omega-3s than by choosing this salmon recipe as your next main course? The main ingredients are Salmon, olive oil, tomatoes, shallots, and seasonings.

Chia Seed Pudding

When you’re in the mood for something sweet that’s loaded with antioxidants and other essential nutrients, try this chia seed pudding recipe instead of traditional desserts. Ingredients include almond milk, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, strawberries, and almonds. This easy recipe is loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Avocado Side Salad

When you’re looking for a fiber- and antioxidant-rich satiating salad that aids in weight management and minimizes signs of aging, try this delicious avocado salad recipe. Avocados, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, lime juice, and seasonings are on the ingredients list.

Artichoke and Bean Salad with Tuna

This artichoke and bean salad with tuna makes an excellent protein- and fiber-rich lunch that keeps you full all afternoon. It’s also loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Ingredients include white beans, tuna, artichoke hearts, celery, onion, olive oil, and seasonings.

Cauliflower Baked Ziti

To reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates that can pack on unwanted pounds, replace pasta with cauliflower in this delicious baked ziti recipe that’s loaded with protein and fiber. Ingredients include cauliflower, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, olive oil, lean beef, cloves, other seasonings, and ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses.

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Greek Stuffed Chicken

Try this Greek stuffed chicken recipe to add a twist to traditional grilled chicken. It’s rich in satiating protein, fiber, and the micronutrients needed to minimize signs of aging in men over 40. Ingredients include olive oil, lemon juice, lemons, chicken, cloves, zucchini, tomatoes, red onions, feta, mozzarella, and seasonings.

Chicken Taco Avocados

Replace traditional taco shells with avocado halves to create a delicious, nutritious lunch or appetizer that’s loaded with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Ingredients in this chicken taco avocados recipe include halved avocados, rotisserie chicken, black beans, corn, and taco seasonings.

Blackened Shrimp Bowl

Combine protein-rich shrimp with whole-grain brown rice, veggies, and avocado in this blackened shrimp bowl recipe to get a variety of macro and micronutrients needed to stay healthy, maintain an ideal weight, and fight aging. Ingredients in this dish include shrimp, brown rice, olive oil, seasonings, corn, red pepper, and lime juice.

Balsamic Chicken & Asparagus

Chicken breast, asparagus, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, and olive oil are on the ingredient list in this balsamic chicken and asparagus recipe, which is a perfect addition to any diet for men over 40. It’s loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Lemon Garlic Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi is an excellent protein source when you’re trying to achieve or maintain a healthy weight, burn fat, or build muscle. Serve this lemon garlic mahi-mahi recipe with brown rice or quinoa and a variety of antioxidant-rich red or green veggies. Ingredients in the dish include mahi-mahi fillets, butter, olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings.

Harvest Chicken Casserole

This heart-healthy harvest chicken casserole recipe is loaded with protein, fiber, and age-fighting micronutrients. Ingredients include wild rice, chicken, carrots, olive oil, onions, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, chicken broth, almonds, cranberries, and seasonings.

Egg Roll Bowl

Loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, this egg roll bowl recipe will surely be a hit with your entire family. Ingredients include pork, onions, cabbage, carrots, sesame seeds, oil, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. You can substitute chicken for pork if you’d like.

Caprese Zoodles

Instead of traditional pasta, try lower-carb zucchini noodles in a Caprese zoodles recipe instead. This can be a delicious entrée or side dish, and it's packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Here’s a FREE Meal Plan & Workout For Busy Men 40+

We’ll show you exactly what to eat & how to exercise to reignite your metabolism in your 40’s, 50’s & 60’s.

Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Father Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT FF30X >> See the FF30X Program overview here. You’ll discover how this proven Fit Father Program can help you lose weight and actually keep it off – without the complication and restriction of normal diets. »

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on the best diet for men over 40.

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Fit Father Project Fact-Checking Standards

Our Fit Father Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Father Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Father Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
  2. In nearly all of our articles, we link to published research studies from the most respected peer-reviewed medical & health journals.
  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
  4. Inside our articles & videos, we do promote our free meal plans, workouts, and/or paid programs, because we know they have the potential to change your life.
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  6. Above all, we are a community of likeminded men and women committed to living healthier. We do not advocate any health advice that we wouldn’t personally implement with our families. Because as far as we’re concerned, you’re our family too.

Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality. – The Fit Father Project Team


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