You've finally found the page you've been looking for that explains the fundamentals of weight loss for men over 40.
This is one of the most extensive posts on this site (and one we update every year) because we want to hand you the proven 5 step guide to lose weight — and keep it off — as a man over 40.
FAIR WARNING: This article is far more VALUABLE and in-depth than your average “Top 10 Silly Tips” posts you see cluttering up the internet.
If you don't have 10 minutes to carefully read this article right now, bookmark this page and come back later. You won't want to miss a thing!
If you diligently read this article and understand this five-step process, you will have the big picture plan of weight loss for men over 40.
Learn how to get and stay healthy after 40 and build a foundation for health and wellness!
Why Weight Loss for Men Over 40 is So Hard
“I’ll just cut my carbs, scale back my portions, and start exercising again … I’m bound to drop some weight!”
Have you heard anything like that before? Or even said it yourself?
This “shotgun” weight loss approach sounds simple enough, and it's the general plan that most guys over 40 follow when trying to lose weight.
The BIG problem is that 92% of men fail at sustaining weight loss by using this general approach (according to data from the University of Scranton).
Tens of millions of guys (probably yourself included) are failing on diets because they are not following a specialized plan that integrates the five necessary steps of weight loss for men over 40.
Any unspecific or “cookie-cutter” weight loss plan won't work for you long-term as a guy in your 40s, 50s, or 60s.
Your body is undergoing a whole slew of metabolic and hormonal changes that need to be accounted for to lose weight effectively.
Instead of failing at weight loss again (and again), here’s what you need to start doing instead …
Step 1: DO NOT Start With Diet and Exercise
One of the biggest mistakes guys make when trying to lose weight is that they attack diet and exercise first.
This is a SUPER EASY mistake to make because it seems like diet and exercise would be the “perfect” place to start when trying to lose weight.
Yet, this is the WRONG first step.
Although both diet and exercise are very important (we'll discuss those extensively in Steps 3-5), there are two prior foundations that you need to build first.
- Foundation 1: Sleep Optimization For Weight Loss
- Foundation 2: The Proper Weight Loss Success Mindset
Poor Sleep Forces Your Body To Rampantly Store Fat EVEN IF You Are Following A Good Nutrition Plan
During sleep, your body regulates all of its major weight loss hormones.
Your body absolutely requires balanced levels of these hormones to lose weight effectively.
Weight loss for men over 40 is dramatically impacted because of these hormone levels.
Here are the most prominent hormones that impact your weight loss…
- Growth hormone — a key anti-aging hormone — naturally surges at night to help your body burn fat, build muscle, & repair tissues.
- Insulin — a key food and fat storage hormone — decreases to its lowest levels at night, enabling your metabolism to burn a ton of fat.
- Cortisol — your body's main stress hormone — decreases at night allowing your cells to relax and rejuvenate.
Without proper sleep, these critical fat-burning and fat-storing hormones get ALL sorts of messed up — literally forcing your body to hold onto fat.
In fact, after a single night of disrupted sleep, your body experiences lower growth hormone, higher cortisol, a slower metabolic rate, and greater insulin resistance.
How effective do you think your weight loss efforts will be as you're pushing against this terrible hormonal cascade?
Your weight loss progress will flat out suck if you're not getting enough sleep.
In fact, a study from the University of Chicago showed that people trying to lose weight with inadequate sleep experienced profound MUSCLE LOSS — with little to no fat loss.
That's the exact opposite of the result you want.
Adequate sleep is the foundation of your weight loss success — you should be getting a MINIMUM of 6-7 hours a night.
The type of sleeper you are matters, too. Check out these 11 tips for optimal sleep for more information.
Step 2: Get Your Mind Ready For Weight Loss Success — Find Your Why-Power
Weight loss is a BIG goal.
Anyone who says differently is either full of crap or hasn't been through the process themselves!
Transforming your health and body requires unwinding the unhealthy lifestyle habits that got you overweight in the first place.
This means your eating patterns, habits for coping with stress, exercise habits (or lack thereof), and more.
We need to shift you AWAY from the bad habits that are keeping you stuck, while also moving TOWARDS the new healthy habits that will support your goals.
As you can imagine, this degree of health change takes effort.
That’s precisely why your successful and sustainable weight loss requires you to develop a strong mindset with the emotional fortitude to handle making these healthy changes over the long term.
Speaking of mindset, check out how this Fit Father used a military mindset to lose 43 lbs in less than three months.
You need to develop a mindset that is DEEPLY and FULLY committed to your weight loss journey.
How do we find motivation for weight loss, working out, or sticking to a healthy diet?
We either push our way through with “willpower,” or we find our “why-power” to push us through.
This is one of our favorite motivation techniques.
What is your big weight loss WHY?”
What motivates you DEEP down to lose weight and be healthy?
Not all men over 40 want to lose weight for the same reason.
For me, my “WHY” is the promise I made to my dad just before he passed away from cancer to help as many fathers as I can during my lifetime to stay healthy and strong for their families.
That promise I made to my dad is my “why” and the big reason I started the Fit Father Project (read the full story here).
For you, your “why” may be losing weight to stay around to see your kids and grandkids get married.
It may be to stay strong to take care of your spouse.
I’ve found (in most cases) the strongest “Why Powers” are almost always rooted in something bigger than you as individuals.
Take a minute now to think about your weight loss “WHY”
- Why do you want to lose weight and get healthy?
- Is there somebody you need to stay healthy for?
- What will happen if you don't make health changes?
- What reasons and emotional power will keep you on track when weight loss gets hard?
My challenge to you is to DISCOVER your “why power” that will serve as the emotional bedrock of your weight loss success.
You will be shocked at how much more weight you'll lose over the next month when you have the PROPER MINDSET fueling your actions.
Yes, losing weight will get hard at times. That's guaranteed.
But having the inner strength, commitment, and purpose can always transcend “hard.” That too is guaranteed.
Step 3: Start a Sustainable Weight Loss Meal Plan
Nutrition accounts for 80% of your weight loss results.
It is 10 times more important than exercise!
For example, Fit Father Vijay lost 45 lbs in his first four months on FF30X. He didn't perform one single “workout” and he ate bread every single day for lunch.
Vijay just followed the simple, effective, and sustainable meal plan we put together that works with his schedule. And he walks during the day.
That's it. No voodoo is involved in dropping that 45 lbs.
Effective nutrition DOES NOT mean calorie counting, highly restrictive meal planning, or any of that unnecessary garbage.
Because when we trim all the fat and complication away from eating for weight loss, effective nutrition is as much about BEHAVIORS as it is about the food itself.
Eating for weight loss is about sustainable behaviors — not getting caught up in the hype of “magic fat-burning foods” — despite what the latest fad diet wants you to believe.
The beautiful part is that you already know which foods are healthy and which aren’t.
You know the salmon on the dinner menu is better than the burger. You know chips aren’t as healthy as fruits and veggies.
Knowledge is not your issue. Your issue is establishing the right eating habits and behaviors on a consistent basis.
The key to your weight loss success lies in finding ways to get those healthy foods into your mouth consistently — ideally in a simple, sustainable, and enjoyable way that doesn’t feel like work or torture.
Weight loss is about building sustainable nutrition habits.
Here’s A Free Weight Loss Meal Plan For Busy Men 40+
Discover exactly what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to lose belly fat & feel energized 24/7 without hard dieting...
Step 4: Start Doing Daily Activities — Not Formal Exercise
What’s the difference between daily activities and formal exercise?
Formal exercise is a “workout.” It’s training with weights. It’s performing fat loss interval training. It’s doing cardio.
Working out is useful and quite effective for weight loss, and we have a ton of great workouts on the Fit Father Project YouTube channel.
But remember, exercise is just one TOOL for weight loss. It’s not the foundation of your weight loss efforts.
In fact, to lose weight, formal exercise is the LEAST important part!
Please know that I’m NOT saying you can sit on your ass all day and lose weight. We both know that won’t work!
What WILL WORK is understanding that it's 1,000 times easier to NOT EAT 500 calories than it is to spend one hour exercising.
You can't out-exercise a bad diet. It's so much more efficient to make some smart changes to your eating than to throw more exercise at a “bad eating is keeping me fat problem.”
That's why formal exercise is not as important as healthy eating for the initial stages of weight loss.
Daily movement is VERY IMPORTANT though.
In fact, research has shown that our BRAINS require a minimum amount of daily movement each day to properly regulate our feelings of hunger and weight loss.
The MINIMUM amount of activity your body needs to lose weight is called your Daily Required Movement Threshold.
Here's the important (practical) part: your brain actually requires that you perform at least 30-45 min of active movement (things like walking) in order for it to properly regulate your hunger level.
If you fail to get this minimum amount of activity, your brain's appetite control centers malfunction, and your hunger runs wild.
Being hungry all the time is the worst scenario for weight loss.
If you miss this daily 30-45 minutes of active movement, your brain forces you to crave calorie-dense foods — even if your body has an “energy excess” (lots of stored body fat).
Crazy, right? That’s why DAILY MOVEMENT is so important.
We recommend a simple morning walk if possible — ideally in the sunlight to get some Vitamin D.
If you have an active job, you're good to go! Your Daily Required Movement Threshold is already being met, so focusing on starting a smarter nutrition plan will get you the best results.
If you work a desk job AND can’t do a morning walk … try setting a timer every 50 minutes to get up and walk around.
You'll meet your Daily Required Movement Threshold, plus, moving around every hour while working really helps alleviate back tension and stiffness.
Pro Tip: Use a fitness tracker or app and set a daily goal of 7,000 steps.
Here are a few other tips to move more:
- Park the car farther away in the parking lot.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator.
- Walk while you are talking on the phone.
- Walk with your dog, your wife, your, kids, or your girlfriend.
All of this seemingly small movement adds up to big results.
Remember: the goal of daily movement is NOT to burn calories.
The goal is to hit your Daily Required Movement Threshold so that your brain can maintain proper hunger control.
As a result, you’ll naturally eat less and lose more weight.
Finally, once the activity threshold is in place (coupled with a good diet, 6-7 hours of sleep, and a strong WHY-motivated mindset), we can address the capstone aspect of weight loss: formal exercise.
Step 5: Start Formal Exercise With the Right Workouts for Men Over 40
Just because we're talking about formal exercise, doesn't mean it has to be difficult.
In fact, your formal exercise approach for weight loss is simple!
There are TWO types of exercise that you need for weight loss:
- Fat-Burning Interval Cardio: The proper interval cardio workouts burn two times as much fat in HALF the time of typical “jogging on the treadmill” workouts.
- Strength Training: Nothing naturally boosts your body’s natural levels of anti-aging and weight loss hormones faster than pumping some iron.
You need BOTH fat-burning interval cardio AND the proper strength training routine to lose weight as quickly and easily as possible.
Here’s A Free 24-Min Fat Burn Workout For Busy Men 40+
This powerful workout will reignite your metabolism to burn fat 24/7 like you did in your 20s…
The 5 Key Points of Weight Loss For Men Over 40 in 30 Seconds
- Get 6-7 hours of sleep every night. Missing sleep destroys the hormonal environment your body needs to lose weight. Sleep is foundational!
- Figure out your weight loss WHY Power. What motivates you on a DEEP emotional level to lose weight? This is your WHY power that will keep you on track.
- Get on a simple and sustainable eating meal plan. Eating for weight loss is all about behaviors. You need a habits-based system that you can actually stick to.
- Start 30-45 minutes of daily activity — NOT exercise. Your body needs to hit its Daily Required Movement Threshold to properly regular your hunger levels.
- Once steps 1-4 are in place, you can start formal exercise. The most effective exercise options are high-intensity interval training and strength training combined into a time-efficient routine.
Please don't underestimate the simplicity of this approach.
Your weight loss success lies in generating momentum through the consistent application of these fundamentals we've covered in this guide for weight loss for men over 40.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today!
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…
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…
*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 weight loss for men over 40.