“As iron sharpens iron, so too does one man sharpen another.” - Proverbs 27:17

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Use this Approach to Create the Ultimate Fat Burning Diet for Men

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

Writer at The Fit Father Project

fat burning diet for men
Creating a fat-burning diet for men is easier than you think when you have the right tools in hand. You’ll be surprised to learn how making simple changes in your daily routine leads to drastic changes in body composition. Knowing how to structure your diet, choose fat-burning foods, and complete fat-loss workouts help you achieve the lean body you desire!

Ways To Induce Fat Burning

There are several ways you can enhance your body’s ability to burn fat. Examples include:

#1 Create a Calorie Deficit

Burning more calories than you consume puts your body in fat-burning mode. You can create this calorie deficit by increasing your calorie expenditure, lowering your calorie intake, or both! Aim to burn at least 500 more calories than you eat daily by:

  • Work out at least 30 minutes most days of the week
  • Increase activities of daily living (take the stairs vs. the elevator, do yard work, walk the dog, etc.)
  • Cut out alcoholic drinks
  • Eliminate sugary drinks and other sweets
  • Increase fruit and vegetable intake
  • Cut refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and white rice

It’s fairly easy to create a 500-calorie deficit by making a few simple changes in your daily habits. Cutting out alcohol or sodas alone might do the trick, as each of these beverages provides 100-150 calories (or more) in just one serving. You can also eliminate a 500-calorie serving of a large order of fast food French fries.

You might require 1,500-1,800 calories daily to drop excess weight and body fat, suggests the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, or slightly more calories if you work out often. For example, if your usual intake is 3,000 calories aim for 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day instead.

#2 Reduce Carbohydrates and Boost Healthy Fats

Lowering your carb intake helps put your body into a state of ketosis, which is when it burns mainly fat as fuel instead of carbohydrates. While the Institute of Medicine recommends adults eat at least 130 grams of carbs daily, many adults consume many more carbohydrates than this.

Because ketogenic diets focus on burning fat vs. carbs as fuel, aim to reduce your total carb intake and increase heart-healthy fats such as:
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  • Plant oils
  • Fish oil
  • Olives
  • Avocados
  • Nut butters
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

The reason this method works for fat loss is because dietary fat boosts satiety, or helps you feel full longer. Continue to also eat protein-rich foods  like lean meats, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, tofu, plant milks, protein shakes, low-fat cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt.

The carbohydrates you do eat should be from fiber-rich sources, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Eliminate refined carbohydrates found in white bread, crackers, white bagels, white rice, regular pasta, sugary cereals, and other sweet treats.

#3 Complete Fat-Burning Workouts

High-intensity interval training and circuit training (that combines cardio exercise with strength training) are some of the best fat-burning workouts for men. The Fit Father Project provides numerous muscle-building and fat-burning exercises for guys over 40, and even offers free workouts to get you started in your fat-loss journey! Aim to work out at least 30 minutes most days of the week, and slightly increase cardiovascular exercise for best fat loss results. Combine the Fit Father Project workouts with a fat-burning diet to achieve the lean body you desire!

#4 Try Forms of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting, or avoiding food during certain times during the day, can be an effective fat burning strategy. You may want to avoid fasting for an entire day, however, so you don’t experience the physical and mental fatigue associated with it. Studies show that eating only during an 8-hour window each day combined with resistance training helps reduce body fat and maintain lean muscle in men.

1 day meal plan

Here’s A Free Weight Loss Meal Plan For Busy Men 40+

1 day meal plan
Discover exactly what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to lose belly fat & feel energized 24/7 without hard dieting...

What a Fat-Burning Diet Looks Like

A fat-burning diet consists of several components that make is successful. Try the following tips when creating a fat-burning diet of your own!

#1 Drink Water in the Morning and Before Meals

In the morning when you first wake up, you might be dehydrated from 7-9 hours of sleeping without fluids. Instead of reaching for breakfast foods when you first wake up, choose water instead to jump-start your metabolism and boost your energy.

Aim to drink 2-4 cups of water upon waking up to begin burning fat. Doing so also helps you feel full, making it easier to eat less during meals.

Another fat-burning diet tip to try is drinking at least 2 cups of water 30 minutes before each meal. Studies show this weight loss strategy helps you eat fewer calories at mealtime.

#2 Focus on Non-Starchy Veggies

Vegetables (or vegetables plus fruits) should make up the majority of your plate at each meal. Fill half of each plate with non-starchy vegetables to fill you up and control calories for fat-burning.

Examples of non-starchy veggies include spinach, other leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, celery, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, bell peppers, and mushrooms.

The fiber in vegetables aids in weight and fat loss, according to numerous studies. So regardless of how many calories you’re eating in a day, focus on vegetables!

#3 Prioritize Protein

Protein increases satiety, boosts your metabolism, and helps you maintain lean muscle while burning fat. Fill one-fourth of each plate with protein-rich foods such as: grilled chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs, low-fat cottage cheese, non-fat Greek yogurt, plant milks, or protein powder smoothies.

#4 Choose Fiber-Rich Starches

Fiber-rich, slow-burning starches fuel your body, give you energy, and help boost satiety when fat loss is your goal. Fill about one-fourth of each plate with healthy starches, such as sweet potatoes with the skin, black beans, peas, lentils, other legumes, corn, and whole grains.

#5 Don’t Forget about Healthy Fats

As part of a fat-burning diet, top off each meal off with a healthy fat by:

  • Add avocado slices to soups, salads, grilled meats, and omelets
  • Cook with olive oil or other plant oils
  • Top oatmeal, other whole grains, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and salads with nuts or seeds
  • Add nut butter or coconut oil to protein smoothies
  • Eat olives as a snack, or add them to soups and salads
  • Take a fish oil or vegan omega-3 fatty acid supplement

These nutritious fats boost satiety, keep you full longer, help curb sugar cravings – and are healthy for your brain, skin, nails, hair, and heart!

Foods to Avoid

Numerous healthy foods work well as part of a fat-burning diet, while others can hinder fat loss. Foods to steer clear of when fat burning is your goal include:

#1 Processed Meats

Processed meats are often high in sodium, preservatives, fat, and calories – and can increase your risk of certain cancers. To maximize fat burning avoid hot dogs, cold cut meats, regular bacon, sausage, bologna, and ham.

#2 Alcohol

Alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories, containing 7 calories per gram, but provide few or no essential nutrients. Alcohol calories are stored as fat in your body, and drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing certain cancers. Cutting alcohol from your diet is one of the best (and easiest) fat-burning and weight loss strategies!

calories alcohol fat burning diet for men

#3 Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are often high in calories but don’t help fill you up. In fact, these drinks often leave you craving more sugar. Replace sugary drinks (energy drinks, sports drinks, lemonade, sweet tea, soda, etc.) with green tea, black coffee, or water to achieve the best fat-burning results possible.

#4 Diet Drinks

diet soda fat burning diet for menDiet drinks can be just as bad as sugary drinks when it comes to weight and fat loss.

While the evidence is somewhat conflicting, studies show that diet soda and other artificially-sweetened drinks may induce sugar cravings due to their sweet taste (despite being calorie-free).

Other studies found that overweight and obese adults who consume diet drinks compensate by consuming more calories from solid foods.

#5 Sweets

Nix cookies, cakes, ice cream, doughnuts, candies, and other sweet treats when following a fat-burning diet. Sugar adds extra calories to your meal plan but doesn’t provide healthy nutrients or fill you like fiber-rich starches, protein, and nutritious fats do. Try replacing sweet treats with fiber-rich fruits instead.

#6 Refined Carbohydrates

Refined carbs are foods you should steer clear of when fat loss is your goal. Avoid white bread, regular, pasta, white rice, dinner rolls, white tortillas, white bagels, baked goods, and similar items. Choose whole grains and starchy vegetables or fruits instead.

#7 Fried Foods

Fried foods contain extra fat, calories, and carbs that often travel straight to your waistline. Avoid fried chicken, chicken fried steak, French fries, mozzarella sticks, and other fried foods to maximize fat burning results.

#8 Prepackaged Foods

fat burning diet for menPrepackaged and other convenience foods are often highly processed and loaded with sodium, other preservatives, sugar, and extra calories.

Unfortunately, these foods are generally lower in protein and fiber than unprocessed foods. Opt for whole foods instead to achieve and maintain the lean physique you desire.

#9 Restaurant Foods

It can be difficult to shed pounds and burn fat when dining out because of hidden ingredients and calories present in restaurant foods.

Fast food restaurants are especially problematic, but studies show that frequent trips to sit-down restaurants are also associated with higher body mass indexes (BMIs). Cook at home when possible if fat loss is your goal.

#10 SOME Protein Powders and Bars

Protein powders and bars can be healthy additions to fat-burning meal plans, but watch out for added sugars found in some of these products. Check nutrition facts labels, and look for protein supplements containing less than 5 grams of sugar per serving.

Sample Fat Burning Menus for Men

Following the sample fat burning menus below will help you get started on your journey toward a leaner, more muscular physique. Portion sizes will vary depending on your daily calorie expenditure, size, age, body composition, and weight management goals.

Day #1


  • 2 hard-boiled eggs: 144 calories
  • 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries: 25 calories
  • 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal: 150 calories
  • 1/3 ounce of sliced almonds: 44 calories
  • Coffee: 3 calories

Total: 366 calories

muscle building workout plan

  • 1 1/2 cups of skim milk or plant milk: 120 calories
  • 1 scoop of powder: 115 calories
  • 1/2 of a banana: 55 calories
  • 2 teaspoons of peanut butter: 60 calories

Total: 350 calories


  • 3 ounces of canned light tuna: 99 calories
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of avocado oil mayonnaise: 67 calories
  • 2 slices of multigrain bread: 140 calories
  • 1 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes: 40 calories

Total: 346 calories


  • 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese: 163 calories
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries: 42 calories
  • 3/4 ounce of walnuts: 135 calories

Total: 340 calories


  • 3 ounces of grilled chicken: 125 calories
  • 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa: 111 calories
  • 1 cup of grilled asparagus: 40 calories
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil: 80 calories

Total: 356 calories

Daily total: 1,758 calories

Day #2

Thanksgiving leftovers

  • A 3-egg omelet made with 1 cup of raw spinach and 1/8 cup of feta cheese: 273 calories
  • 1/2 cup of cubed honeydew melon: 32 calories
  • 1/2 container of nonfat Greek yogurt: 50 calories

Total: 355 calories


  • 1 1/2 cups of skim milk or plant milk: 120 calories
  • 1 scoop of powder: 115 calories
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries: 25 calories
  • 2 teaspoons of almond butter: 65 calories

Total: 325 calories


  • 3 ounces of grilled catfish: 122 calories
  • 2 cups of leafy greens topped with 1 ounce of sunflower seeds: 181 calories
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil-based salad dressing: 53 calories

Total: 356 calories


  • 1 cup of carrot sticks: 50 calories
  • 1/4 cup of plain hummus: 145 calories
  • 1 reduced-fat cheese stick: 45 calories

Total: 240 calories


  • 3 ounces of baked turkey: 125 calories
  • 1/2 cup of cooked wild rice: 83 calories
  • 1 cup of zucchini sautéed in 2 teaspoons of olive oil: 107 calories
  • 1/4 cup of sliced avocados: 58 calories

Total: 373 calories

Daily total: 1,649 calories

Reasons to Join a Fat-Burning Weight Loss Program

When fat burning is your goal, joining a healthy weight management program can help! The Fit Father Project 30X is a healthy lifestyle program designed for busy dads over 40 and has helped thousands of men reach their goal weight and desired physique. Not only that, these men maintain healthy lifestyles for life!

The FF30X program walks you step by step through the process of eating right, completing fat-burning workouts, and adopting other healthy habits so you can achieve the lean body you desire. Try FF30X today or begin with the Fit Father Project:

The motivational support from health experts, nutritious recipes,  and custom workouts you’ll receive after joining FF30X will take you to the next level!

1 day meal plan

Here’s A Free Weight Loss Meal Plan For Busy Men 40+

1 day meal plan
Discover exactly what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to lose belly fat & feel energized 24/7 without hard dieting...

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

Writer at 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.

Here’s How Busy Fathers Over 40 Are Finally Burning Stubborn Belly Fat & Getting Healthy Without Restrictive Diets or Time-Consuming Workouts

This proven "Fit Father Program" has helped 38,000 busy men 40+ lose weight, rebuild muscle, and finally keep the weight off.

If you're frustrated with stubborn belly fat, failed diets, and time-consuming workouts, this is the answer you’ve been looking for…

Join 38,000 guys in over 108 countries that are using FF30X to lose weight. You get everything you need to succeed – including:
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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 a fat burning diet for men.


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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.
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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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