Have you finally reached age 40 and been trying to lose weight to no avail?
Male weight loss after 40 is no joke.
Are things going much more poorly than expected, despite all your rigorous dieting and exercise after 40?
Want to see more successful results on your weight loss journey short-term and long-term?
If you’re facing difficulty with successful male weight loss after 40 – know you aren’t alone.
A simple cursory internet search will net you thousands upon thousands of people with similar stories. You’ll come across plenty of websites, blogs, and content writers proclaiming they’ve got the “5 keys to weight loss success.”
We’ve done all the research for you to better understand why some people can successfully lose weight and how to implement these strategies into your daily routine.
Narrowed down to the best advice; we’ve looked through research-based studies, and scientific literature, and read through mounds of personal anecdotes so you don’t have to. We’ll outline everything you need to do below to reach better (peak) physical health regardless of age.
What does successful male weight loss after 40 look like?
Weight Loss Transformation For Males Over 40
Before we get into how to successfully make that weight loss transformation, we need to understand the ‘why.’ Why is weight loss so much more difficult for men after a certain age – namely in their 40s?
It really comes down to a couple of things working against us. This includes ourselves, and how we can often insidiously maintain habits that are detrimental to our own health. We want you to better understand how to lose weight after 40 and keep it off, and this means going a little more in-depth.
It has long been known that suppression of insulin secretion is associated with weight loss. Conversely, we have known for some time that insulin is tied to type II diabetes and hyperinsulinemia is prevalent among those with obesity or metabolic syndrome.
Other hormones like growth hormone and cortisol also play important roles. It is important to regard these as interconnected, as they all play a synergistic part in metabolism and promoting weight loss (or weight gain).
Countless studies have shown us that lack of proper sleep is strongly correlated with markers of disease, including obesity. Sleep helps to regulate certain key hormones, often those tied to appetite and metabolism. A lack of proper sleep can lead to dysregulation of the neurotransmitters ghrelin (promotes hunger) and leptin (promotes satiety).
This means increased appetite in those with fewer hours of quality sleep, along with poor food choices – those with less sleep seem to opt for food higher in carbohydrates and calories. This means lack of sleep can promote overeating and indulge in unhealthy food choices like refined grains or junk food.
Metabolism is impacted by sleep as well, as dysregulation of metabolism can occur from a disrupted circadian rhythm. Insomnia and sleep disorders are linked to insulin resistance and higher blood glucose levels.
Most men will fail with the general approach of eating less and exercising more.
People will still repeat this advice ad nauseum as a simple function of calories in, calories out, and burning more than you can consume. I’ve seen this kind of advice spoken and regurgitated online myself far too many times.
The truth is, this isn’t enough.
Most men will fail to properly implement a routine specific to them. Any generalized guide or plan, or just having an idea of eating less and visiting the gym more isn’t going to help you keep the weight off with fluctuations in metabolism and hormonal levels impacting the ability to accomplish this.
This means formulating a sustainable weight loss meal plan, a weight loss workout + exercise plan, and committing to the process.
Successful Male Weight Loss After 40: A Diet Plan
The reason dieting is much more effective than exercise alone is that it can take a lot of physical activity or exercise to generate a 600-calorie deficit compared to cutting out refined carbohydrates like white rice, pasta, or bread.
Most people would also not be able to keep up with the physical demands of an exercise plan without also increasing the number of calories they consume.
Firstly, you can always use a Macro Calculator Tool to determine the exact macros you need to maintain weight, lose weight, or gain weight successfully.
The 80/20 rule is an important consideration here, as 80 percent of weight loss can come down to nutrition/diet over physical activity.
You also need to keep in mind that your body will naturally tend to resist weight loss through dieting alone. This can plateau you through a process known as metabolic compensation. This means if you eat less or restrict calories, your body will account for this by burning fewer calories during exercise or normal movement.
More simplistically, this means that a 250-pound man who loses 50 pounds will burn fewer calories than a man who weighed 200 pounds initially. Not only that, but the person who was 250 pounds will also likely feel much hungrier than the 200-pound person as the hormones that regulate hunger also change.
Effective nutrition does not mean obsession when it comes to counting calories. It needs to be sustainable, and that means practical.
If you’re a reader of our blog, you probably already know what food is healthier for you – it just comes down to implementing this in your day-to-day routine, without indulging in junk food. You need to ditch:
- Refined seed oils (vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower seed oil, corn oil, soybean oil, etc.)
- Refined carbohydrates and sugar
- Processed food
You should be having high protein at every meal or snack. This can include things like seafood, grass-fed beef, nuts, seeds, legumes (chickpeas or lentils), and seafood.
This will help with two things: keep you feeling fuller for longer, and keep you from losing muscle mass while slimming down.
Never opt for pre-packaged or processed foods marketed as “low fat” because they often replace fats with added sugars or refined carbohydrates which are equally problematic (if not more). Always opt for whole food:
- Vegetables (starchy tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes, lots of leafy greens)
- Fruits (avoid high-sugar fruit; eat blueberries, blackberries, apples, pears, and avocados)
- Grass-fed meats (stick to beef and poultry over pork; avoid all processed deli meat)
- Seafood (lower in mercury options like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and cod)
- Nuts and seeds (chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts)
You can also check out our comprehensive tips and tricks on how to better plan meals or snacks around losing weight, so you aren’t depriving yourself of nutrition while still practicing mindful eating.
Over 40: A Weight Loss Workout Plan
When it comes to formulating a weight loss workout plan, the key is to incorporate formal and informal exercises together on a daily basis that works for you.
Informal exercise simply means moving about – not being a couch potato glued to your desk or phone. It is important to remember exercise and workouts are a weight loss tool, but not the only component to successful weight loss.
Daily movement is vital, especially for those that work office or desk-based jobs that aren’t physical. Sitting for 8 hours a day isn’t healthy for anyone, but especially not for those trying to lose weight. You need a minimum amount of movement daily in order to properly regulate hunger and metabolism.
We would recommend brisk or light walks in the morning before work. If you move around a lot at work or have a manual labor/physical job, you don’t need to worry about this component.
For those that work an office job, we recommend:
- Getting up from your chair every 45-60 minutes to move around, stretch
- Always take stairs instead of an elevator
- Walk or ride your bike to work if you can; avoid using a car as much as possible
Once you’ve started implementing daily movement, you need to focus on formal exercise, namely strength training and high intensity interval training.
Both of these have time-proven and scientifically backed research to prove their efficacy at helping to burn fat and lose weight.
What do these kinds of workouts look like?
- 5×5 Training Program – 3 workouts per week. An off-day before proceeding to the next workout. 5 by 5 means 5 sets of 5 reps with the same weight. A proper schedule would be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. For example, bench press 50kg five times, rack it, then after 90 seconds of rest, do five reps again until you’ve done five sets of five.
You can find a variety of 5×5 programs available online or in print. An example of one day of workouts would be:
- Barbell Row 5×5 30kg/65 pounds, bench press 5×5 20kg/40 pounds, and overhead press 20kg/40 pounds.
- Focused on alternating the duration and intensity of the exercise. This means going from jogging to sprinting.
- Run, jog, or bike for 30-seconds as hard and fast as you can. Rest for 3 minutes after completion, and repeat the 30-second/3-minute pattern 5 times.
- Incorporate lunges, burpees, squat jumps, and sidewinders into your everyday workout.
Losing Weight After 40: Success Stories
It is absolutely not too late to start on your weight loss journey – as a 40-year-old man, or as a 58-year-old man. There doesn’t have to be a ‘middle ground.’ There is never some sort of ‘endpoint.
Healthy dietary habits, proper exercise, targeted workout routines, sleep, and adequate nutrition are pillars of lifelong health. These things need to be implemented early and followed through with a degree of consistency that extends throughout your life.
There are plenty of success stories from men young and old alike when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. Some of these men sought to lose a modest amount of weight for improved self-confidence and physical strength, while others needed to lose 100-150 pounds to regain control of their health and avoid cardiovascular disease.
Men are not alone in their struggles with weight loss as they age. This is clearly difficult for anyone, of any gender.
As the men and women with success stories can attest to – the key is consistency with food, nutrition, sleep, and exercise. This means a call to action of sorts that you need to commit yourself to fitness and bettering your health. Adding muscle tone, building muscle, and adding definition all while losing weight is possible.
This may involve pushing otherwise sedentary people out of their comfort zone. This is necessary. Once you establish and implant healthy habits in your daily life, you’ll likely find the endorphin rush and physical improvements motivating enough to drive you further.
Limiting belief in yourself is a recipe for disaster and a failed diet plan.
This becomes more than a ‘weight loss after 40 plan’ and is instead a way to redefine your lifestyle. If anyone has personally encountered the physical (and psychological) changes they’ve noticed from improving their health through weight loss – please share this with us!
You need to find your external motivation for losing weight and harness that.
FAQ: Male Weight Loss After 40
Why is it so hard for men to lose weight (and keep it off) after the age of 40?
Losing weight as a man becomes increasingly more difficult as we age – this doesn’t explicitly mean a concrete age like ‘40,’ but things generally become progressively more noticeable after your 30’s. 40-59 are considered the ‘peak’ points for obesity in terms of age demographic.
Weight loss is tied primarily to hormones and hormonal function. These hormones include insulin, cortisol, and growth hormone.
As men age and life responsibilities catch up with them – they often find it harder to implement the skill-set required to effectively keep weight off, while maintaining a healthy body or physique. This means adequate sleep (critical), proper diet and nutrition (sustainable), and daily exercise in addition to targeted workouts (practical). These all need to be practiced in conjunction with a determined and dedicated mindset. You need to want it, and this means putting in the effort required of you.
What is the best way to lose weight after 40? Is it all diet and exercise?
Not exactly. Diet and exercise play an integral role in an overall, all-encompassing weight loss plan. The easiest, and the first thing you need to consider is your sleeping habits.
Sleep is the primary foundation upon which you want to build the rest of your plan, outwardly. It also costs nothing and doesn’t require a gym membership or scaling back on meals.
Very few people can consistently maintain weight loss (or healthy weight) in their 40s and 50s onward based solely on diet and exercise.
Is weight loss still possible for men after 40?
Of course. Weight loss can be attainable at any age – otherwise, you wouldn’t see a myriad of success stories from old and young alike.
You need to prioritize your health by setting up a goal for yourself. Ten pounds, twenty pounds, thirty pounds – it doesn’t matter as long as you can feasibly reach it. You can set new goals as you reach them, and commit yourself to what you’ve set out.
Male weight loss after 40 is more difficult, but not an impossible task. Formal exercise, workout plans, meal plans, and sleeping right don’t have to be difficult things to implement. A key is a simplistic approach that is fine-tuned to the individual.
As we’ve provided all the tools for a successful plan – you just need to find the determination and inner strength to implement them. Weight loss success after 40 relies on steadily gaining forward momentum through applying all the protocols we’ve discussed and outlined.
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