Weight Loss Programs: What Works Best for Older Men?
What to Look for in a Men’s Weight Loss Program
If you want to shed pounds and keep lost weight off for good, there are several key things you should look for when choosing a weight loss program.
Programs Containing Both Diet and Exercise Plans
Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand, so when shopping for a men’s weight loss program, choose one that provides both meal plans and daily workout regimens to maximize long-term success. That way there’s no questioning what your day-to-day routine should look like.
A Good Mix of Protein, Carbs, and Fat
When choosing a men’s weight loss program that’s effective for long-term success, pick a plan that’s nutritious — with a good balance of lean protein, nutritious carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Steer clear plans that severely restrict carbohydrates or dietary fat, as these nutrients are essential for your body to function properly. Getting a good balance of macronutrients helps maximize energy levels and workouts during weight loss.
As a general rule, choose lean protein, healthy fats, and slow-burning carbs at each meal. Fill half your plate with veggies and fruits, a fourth of your plate with healthy proteins, and a fourth of your plate with whole grains. Include fats as well, and small amounts of dairy foods (or calcium-rich dairy alternatives).
Lower-carb diets are often effective for weight loss but don’t severely restrict your carbs for long time periods. Eating fewer than 20 grams of carbs daily can lead to ketosis, which can cause headaches, nausea, physical and mental fatigue, and bad breath. The Institute of Medicine recommends adults eat at least 130 grams of carbs daily, which is a good rule of thumb when you’re exercising regularly as part of a men’s weight loss plan.
Not all weight loss plans work for everybody of every age and gender, so choose a weight loss program specifically designed for men or women. Better yet, choose a program developed for adults the same age as you — or a plan offering customized age- and gender-specific menus and workouts. Men generally need more calories than women, and older adults require fewer calories than young adults during weight loss.
When you’re not in your 20s or 30s anymore, consider signing up for a free 1-day fat-loss meal plan specifically designed for men over 40, to get you headed in the right direction in your weight loss journey.
Plans with Excellent Customer Feedback
When shopping around for the best men’s weight loss program, consider customer feedback before you sign up and spend money. Look beyond each weight loss program’s website to get a good feel for the pros and cons of real customers. Look for programs with a lot of reviews, as having a large reviewer sample size boosts accuracy.
Examples of Healthy Weight Loss Foods
Eating the right type and amount of food is one of the best predictors of weight loss success. In fact, a study published in 2012 in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine found that while diet and exercise are both effective for reducing abdominal fat, diet plus exercise combined is the best weight loss strategy. Exercise alone (without controlling calories) isn’t always effective for shedding pounds.
Generally speaking, a good goal for weight loss is to burn 500 to 1,000 more calories than you eat in a day. Doing so may help you shed about 1 to 2 pounds each week during your weight loss journey. Combine a lower calorie intake with increased physical activity to jumpstart weight loss, and keep lost weight off for good. Choose nutritious foods, such as:
Protein helps fill you up, burn extra calories, and maintain lean body mass, say researchers who conducted a 2012 review published in the British Journal of Nutrition. All of the benefits of protein aid in weight loss for men over 40 trying to shed excess weight and body fat.
Some of the best protein foods you can eat are those containing little (or no) animal fat — and are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, or all of these essential nutrients. High-quality protein foods include grilled chicken breast, turkey, lean pork, lean red meat, fish, seafood, eggs, tofu, low-fat milk or soy milk, Greek yogurt or soy yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, reduced-fat cheese, dried beans and peas, nuts, and seeds. Whole grains are also a source of protein (in smaller amounts).
Drinking protein powder shakes is another way to get in some extra protein, especially for men over 40 trying to shed pounds and boost lean body mass. Drinking protein shakes in place of one or two meals is often an effective weight loss strategy, and having a shake before or after workouts helps develop lean body mass. Mix whey, casein, egg, pea, hemp, or brown rice protein powder with water or milk. Blend it with ice, fruit, or nut butter to enhance the flavor.
Dietary fats also help boost satiety, which is beneficial when you’re trying to avoid splurging on junk food. Foods rich in healthy fats also provide you with essential vitamins and minerals, enhance the absorption of certain vitamins, give you energy, and help maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair.
Examples of nutritious fats to include in a men’s weight loss program are plant-based oils (olive, canola, soybean, and walnut oils, for example), fish oil, avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, and nut butter. Try adding avocados to salads or sandwiches, and sprinkle nuts and seeds on salads, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or cottage cheese. Add olive oil with herbal seasonings to pasta in place of marinara sauce (which contains added sugar).
Nutritious carbs are whole, non-processed foods rich in fiber and other essential nutrients (especially vitamins and minerals). Because of the fiber, healthy carbs take longer to digest and keep you full for long time periods.
Examples of nutritious carb-containing foods include fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, dried beans and peas, nuts, seeds, milk, plain yogurt, brown or wild rice, quinoa, whole-grain pasta, oatmeal, other whole grains, and Ezekiel bread.
To optimize weight and fat loss, try an egg white omelet with veggies and avocado, canned tuna or turkey with avocado on Ezekiel bread, grilled chicken with veggies and wild rice, brown rice or corn mixed with black beans, or grilled salmon plus veggies and a sweet potato.
Best Men’s Weight Loss Program Workouts
Just about any new workout can help men boost metabolism, shed pounds, and burn excess body fat. Even if you’re not dieting, burning 400 to 600 calories per exercise session five days a week may lead to weight loss in men and women, say researchers who conducted a 2013 study published in Obesity.
The best weight loss workout for you depends on your individual goals and preferences, but here are a few tips and tricks to get you headed in the right direction.
Combine Cardiovascular with Resistance Exercises (Circuit Training)
Cardiovascular and resistance training are both important when you want to become or stay slim and trim. Cardiovascular workouts help you burn extra calories — and resistance exercises (such as weight lifting and body weight exercises) boost muscle mass, keep metabolism high so you burn extra calories throughout the entire day, and tighten and tone problem areas.
When you’re tight on time try circuit training workouts, which combine weight training with cardiovascular exercise into one effective weight loss routine. A 2014 study published in BioMed International found that sedentary men who began circuit training lost significant amounts of body fat.
As part of a functional fitness circuit training routine, you might complete rope jumps, jumping jacks, burpees, jogging in place, using a rowing machine or stationary bike (if you’re at the gym or have a home gym), box jumps, or shuttle runs between weight training sets.
Examples of resistance training exercises commonly used in functional circuit training routines are planks, pushups, sit-ups, squat to press, kettlebell swings, deadlifts, triceps extensions or triceps kickbacks, biceps curls, dumbbell walking lunges, push jerks, pull-ups, ball wall squats, and many more.
When beginning a new exercise routine for weight loss, try a free 1-day workout plan for men to get you headed in the right direction.
Try HIIT or Continuous Cardiovascular Exercise
Alternate between high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and continuous cardiovascular exercise on the days you’re not doing circuit training, to enhance weight and fat loss. Both of these aerobic workouts are equally effective for shedding pounds, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research. When completing HIIT, alternate between high-intensity aerobic bouts and lower-intensity periods of recovery.
Study subjects who exercised three to four days weekly in the 2017 study in the Journal of Diabetes Research completed 29 to 38 minutes per session when doing HIIT training, and 51 to 75 minutes per session when assigned to continuous moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise. So if you’re tight on time, HIIT may fit better into your schedule.
Examples of cardiovascular workouts that work well when used in men’s weight loss programs are jogging or running, walking uphill, using an elliptical machine or stair stepper machine, rowing, and swimming. Playing in basketball or soccer games also works well if there’s an adult league or pickup games in your area.
The trick is finding something you enjoy — and is easy on your joints if you have arthritis or an injury — so you can maintain your fitness regimen long term.
Find a Men’s Weight Loss Program that Includes Exercise
When you’re working out by yourself, it’s often difficult to know which exercise routines produce the results you desire. Even if you’re familiar with fitness basics, coming up with specific daily workouts may seem like a daunting task. That’s why choosing a structured men’s weight loss program that includes customized workouts comes in handy for many men.
Signing up for a weight loss program takes the stress out of planning daily workouts (and meal plans), so you can focus on spending time with your family, friends, your career, or have free time for hobbies.
FF30X is a 30-day men’s weight loss and healthy weight management program designed for busy men over 40, with proven results. When signing up, you’ll receive customized daily menu plans and workouts, to take the guesswork out of staying healthy and getting the tight, toned body you deserve.
When you’ve lost weight, want to keep it off long-term, and need accountability and support physically, mentally, and spiritually, a Fit Father for Life (FF4L) membership helps you stay on a healthy path long term.
Beginning a New Weight Loss Journey
If you’ve tried losing weight in the past without success, don’t get discouraged. Make small healthy lifestyle changes you can stick with long term. Simple things like quitting smoking, avoiding alcoholic drinks, and getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night aids in weight loss and muscle building, believe it or not.
Change up your diet by cutting out sweets, sugary drinks, fried foods, processed foods (especially processed meats), fatty cuts of red meat, and refined grains (white bread and white rice, for example). Instead of dining out, cook meals at home using plant-based oils, lean proteins, lots of veggies, and whole grains as ingredients.
If you’re new to working out, start by going for walks most days of the week, add some resistance training exercises (try planks, dumbbell squats, and pushups) to your daily routine, and work your way up to more advanced workouts.
Choose a men’s weight loss program with good reviews and proven results, that keeps you accountable for meal plans and daily workouts. Health coaching support is a strategy that helps many men meet goal weights, boost muscle mass, and maintain healthy lifestyles long term. You can do it!
Writer, The Fit Father Project
A 15-year freelance writing veteran, Erin is registered dietitian and health educator who is passionate about health, fitness and disease prevention. Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife and mom of two beautiful children.