Being overweight is very common in men. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that 34.1% of men are overweight, compared to 27.5% of women.
A common reason behind the prevalence of weight gain in men is the lack of physical activity.
Men who exercised regularly or were former athletes tend to consume the same number of calories they did when they were active.
Since they no longer engage in physical activity, less calorie-burning occurs, and weight gain follows. If not addressed, excess weight can increase the risk of chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Losing weight is the solution to this. It can be difficult because it requires discipline, but there are a few tips to help men boost their efforts for better results.
Eat Big Breakfasts
Eating breakfast makes a person less hungry throughout the day. You tend to have a decreased appetite throughout the day because you’ve already consumed the bulk of your calories in the morning.
This prevents you from snacking as the day progresses, resulting in more efficient weight loss.
Eat a big and balanced breakfast by incorporating fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains into the first meal of the day.
Some of the best foods to include are eggs, Greek yogurt, and whole wheat bread.
Beware of Empty Calories
Empty calories come from food without nutritional value, like cakes and sodas. These consist of sugar and oils and little to no calories at all.
As such, you won’t feel full after eating them, and you’re more likely to eat more to satiate your hunger.
An article from Medical News Today titled “Everything You Need To Know About Empty Calories” further reveals that adult men consume an average of 923 empty calories daily.
This huge number contributes to the calories you need to burn to lose weight. If you’re unable to burn it, it’ll cause weight gain.
Avoid food with empty calories during your weight loss journey. Though they’re tempting, remember that they’re reversing your weight loss progress.
Dodge Highly-Processed Carbohydrates
Highly-processed carbohydrates—or refined carbs—contain a lot of sugar and have been stripped of fiber and nutrients.
Some well-known examples include white bread, pasta, and breakfast cereals.
Avoid these foods as their sugar content will make you gain weight. This is crucial for men like you because most of your fat is stored in the belly.
Fat in this area is more difficult to burn because its fat cells don’t quickly respond to the fat-breakdown process.
Instead of highly-processed carbs, go for unrefined whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal.
Avoid Restrictive Diets
Engaging in restrictive diets is a popular weight loss strategy because these cut out major food groups for reduced calorie intake. Basing it off that definition alone, it’s not a healthy practice.
A study on weight loss strategies informs that restrictive dieting results in low muscle mass since the body doesn’t get enough nutrients and energy to build muscle.
Besides less intense and frequent workouts, low muscle mass can lead to mortality risks like cardiovascular disease.
Don’t be tempted by the promise of quick weight loss via restrictive dieting. Instead, focus on including all the food groups in your meals—fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy—to get sufficient energy and nutrients for a healthy weight loss process.
Strive to eat more nutritious foods and consume your favorite treats in moderation.
Keep Breaking Records
Increasing workout duration and intensity boosts weight loss because it burns more calories.
Finding the energy or motivation to complete longer and more intense exercises can be difficult as it’s hard enough to exercise regularly.
Set records and aim to break them every time to encourage yourself to accomplish this.
For instance, gradually increase the number of miles to run weekly. In the first week of weight loss, you can aim for 10 miles, then 12 miles for the next, and so forth.
Breaking records is a fun way to reach goals and challenge oneself. It is entertaining and helps you learn more about your endurance—all while losing weight in the process.
Lift Weights Often
Cardio workouts, including running, cycling, and swimming, are popular among men trying to lose weight.
This is because cardio burns fat, which is what weight loss is all about. However, you shouldn’t overlook weight lifting as an effective exercise.
Weight training can shrink fat, according to the New York Times. After lifting weights, muscles make and release genetic material that travels to fat cells, kick-starting fat-burning processes.
Given this, weight training builds muscle for better workouts and assists in shedding a few pounds.
This is especially true for you because men’s bodies tend to be more muscular. Training these muscles means you get to do more intense workouts in the future.
Aside from lifting dumbbells and barbells, you can use your body weight to exercise. Some moves you can do are pushups, planks, and lunges.
Get Social Support
At first glance, social support has nothing to do with weight loss. After all, you’ll only lose weight if you have the discipline to eat healthily and exercise regularly—whether or not others show support.
Surprisingly, social support is crucial for long-term weight loss because it provides comfort and motivation in times of discouragement.
This is why effective weight loss plans for men include getting support from their peers. The support can come from an online weight-loss community for men or cheers from fellow gymgoers.
Receiving support is much more crucial for men because a study on weight loss found that they receive less support from family and friends than women as a result of societal norms.
Interact with people—whether online or in-person at gyms—for support, because they understand what it’s like to work towards weight loss, giving you the encouragement you need.
Get Enough Sleep
At first glance, sleep duration doesn’t seem connected to weight loss. Surprisingly, lack of sleep is an unseen contributor to weight gain.
Sufficient sleep contributes to regulating your testosterone levels. Low testosterone slows down your body’s metabolic processes, making it harder to burn fat and build muscle for intensive workouts.
Aim to get 8 hours of sleep nightly so your other weight loss efforts—like intense exercising and weight lifting—won’t go to waste.
Overweight men need to lose weight to avoid health risks like heart disease and stroke. Use our tips to boost your efforts and sustainably achieve your goals.