There are a million and one types of weight loss plans out there. While most of them target women, men also encounter weight-related challenges. However, a study shows that perceiving weight loss services as feminised spaces makes men feel self-conscious and out of place. Therefore, it is essential to provide weight loss plans which align with men’s preferences. And when weight loss is your goal, choosing the best weight loss foods is the right start to your new journey. Once you know which weight loss foods for men are the best, you can build appropriate meal plans and menus.
Causes of Weight Gain in Men
Multiple factors lead to weight gain in men. It varies in every person as all bodies are different.
Some common weight gain causes are:
In most cases, the drop in testosterone levels causes weight gain. Low testosterone levels amid andropause causes reduced muscles, increased fat, and a decrease in sexual drive. This condition is similar to the menopause that occurs amongst women. Weight gain in men due to testosterone deficiency mainly occurs in the abdomen region.
A study shows that testosterone deficiency and obesity have a bidirectional relationship. Low testosterone levels cause energy imbalance, impaired glucose control, reduced insulin sensitivity and dyslipidemia. All these factors lead to sudden weight gain.
Even after quitting smoking, some men can gain weight. It happens like a withdrawal symptom. Stress and overeating after quitting smoking lead to increased calorie intake. However, the effect of quitting smoking varies from person to person, and therefore not everyone may gain weight.
More often, weight gain occurs from certain chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and hormonal imbalance like thyroid. Diseases like diabetes result in the body’s failure to absorb blood sugar effectively. As a result, it leads to extra unused fat in areas like the abdomen and liver, increasing the overall body weight.
As per studies, thyroid dysfunction can cause weight gain. People with thyroid problems face the issue of the thyroid hormones not functioning correctly. As a result, it decreases the metabolic rate, resulting in weight gain.
Stress Due to Financial Responsibility
While the world has come a long way in gender equality, the primary responsibility and burden to make ends meet still fall on the male members of the family. Subsequently, they get stressed, which releases the cortisol hormone in excess. It slows the body’s functions and reduces metabolism. It also increases the appetite and cravings for sweet and salty foods. In addition, high cortisol affects the effectiveness of the body’s immune system, and the body burns much fewer calories.
Other Social Factors
In most communities, men tend to lead a sedentary lifestyle, starting at a relatively young age. They tend to prioritise work over their health which gradually becomes their lifestyle. Most don’t have a set routine for eating or exercise habits. Like women, they are not faced with unrealistic beauty standards as long as they do well for themselves and take care of the family.
Since beauty standards have a considerable gap between men and women, one can hardly see the men taking weight loss measures and, in turn, taking care of their appearance. Therefore, men tend to age faster. A study also claims that men experience accelerated ageing, causing poor metabolism and a higher risk of weight gain. It means that men need to take care of their health at a young age. Usually, by the time they realise the problems associated with obesity and fatigue, it is too late to act.
Weight Loss in Men
Men’s health can improve in various ways. For example, reducing extra fat and achieving a healthy body weight can significantly improve a man’s health. Healthy body weight can lower your risk of various diseases, like heart problems, diabetes and liver problems. Since there is more visceral fat in male bodies, they are more likely to develop chronic diseases than women. Visceral fat is abdominal fat associated with an increased risk for infections and problems such as male sexual dysfunction, agility, and depressive disorders.
Even your general well-being can benefit from weight loss. However, healthily reducing weight is essential. Therefore, men need to develop a holistic, long-term strategy that sustains the body, fulfils their requirements and is something they can commit to. According to research, dietary adjustments, regular physical exercise, and behavioural changes are practical weight-loss approaches for males.
Men should consult their doctor in case of rapid weight gain for no apparent reasons. The physician will inquire about the patient’s medical history and other symptoms. You can also undergo a physical examination for proper analysis.
Ideal Dietary Modifications for Men to Lose Weight
Protein-Rich Diets for Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss-friendly meals, men should prioritise protein. There is more lean muscle tissue in men than in women. Therefore, it’s critical to get enough amino acids to maintain lean tissue and feel satiated for a long time. Protein-rich diet provides the body with the essential nutrients while building lean muscles. The development of lean muscles helps burn calories in the process. Moreover, protein reduces hunger hormone (ghrelin) in the body. It prevents binge eating.
Amino acids form the building block of protein. There is no need to eat non-essential amino acids like glycine and alanine since your body produces them. However, the body does not synthesise essential amino acids. According to studies, these essential amino acids should be present in your diet for weight loss and the performance of lean muscles.
Non-vegetarians get enough protein in their diet from meat, fish and other poultry products. Vegetarian foods rich in protein include quinoa, pulses, yoghurt, chia seeds, flax seeds and soy.
Whole foods, Plant-Based Diets (WFPB)
According to studies, a diet containing whole foods and plant-based (WFPB) foods is beneficial for weight loss. Remember, WFPB diets are different from vegan diets. WFPB diets have high fibre content and other essential nutrients because they prioritise whole plant foods and avoid heavily processed meals. As a result, men who follow a WFPB diet are less likely to develop chronic illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and mental problems. Plus, they can attain better control over weight fluctuations.
WFPB diets incorporate a limited portion of animal items like fish, eggs, cheese, poultry, and yoghurt while focusing on whole plant foods like vegetables and fruits. Legumes such as green beans and black beans are also a good choice.
Low Carb Diet
Complex carbs are absorbed slowly and bear a lower blood sugar impact than refined carbohydrates. They are also high in fibre. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. A low-carb diet encourages fat burning for energy, resulting in weight reduction. It aims to include complex carbs rather than refined and processed carbs. Some low-carb diets strictly restrict carbs during the initial diet phase and gradually increase the number of allowed carbs.
The carb composition of these diets ranges from low carbs to a slightly moderate carb ratio. Low-carb consumption helps men lose weight and enhance their overall health. As per research, moderate carb diets are more likely to be continued than low carb diets. A significant consideration when choosing a weight loss diet is the capacity to stick to it over time. Therefore, a moderate carb meal is a suitable option for long-term weight reduction.
There is enough variety from fish such as salmon to leafy vegetables and broccoli. Other options can be pasteurised eggs, cauliflower, carrots, grass-fed chicken and kale.
Energy and Nutrient-Dense Diet
The calorie content of a food is measured in calories per 100 grams, whereas nutritional density measures the micronutrient content concerning the calorie load. For example, french fries, sugary baked products, sweetened drinks, and candies are high in energy but low in nutrients.
Weight reduction and weight maintenance require increased low-calorie, nutrient-dense meal consumption. Nuts, seeds, avocados, egg yolks, and unsweetened full-fat yoghurt are all nutrient-dense foods essential for a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy body weight requires balanced low-calorie food and nutrient-dense foods like vegetables and fruits.
Foods to Eat
Men need to consume a nutrient-rich and high-calorie diet. They can have sardines, salmon, seaweed, beans, strawberry, spinach, nuts and avocados. These are very high in energy and should be consumed in moderation and with a balanced diet.
Vegetarian Diet for Weight Loss
Plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, are abundant in weight loss friendly compounds. These meals are high in beneficial nutrients while low in calories and fat. Therefore, the diet is related to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, tumours, diabetes, and high blood pressure because it prioritises nutrient-rich foods. Furthermore, the advantages of vegetarianism are primarily dependent on the items you consume and your general eating habits.
As per studies, vegetarian diets, incredibly rich in healthier plant foods, cause less weight gain over a couple of years. In addition, these diets avoid unhealthy foods like sugary sweets, sweetened drinks, and fried meals.
Foods to Eat
For a balanced meal plan, you can eat bell pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, parsley, citrus-based fruits, peas, and corn. Vegetarian diets can also include brown rice and multigrain chapati instead of different forms of white bread.
You may eat unnecessary calories and harmful additives if you skip or misunderstand the information present on the food label. Instead, check the list of ingredients and nutrition facts label on the packaging to receive the most accurate information about your meal. While low-carb and ketogenic meals assist in lessening appetite and calorie intake, including excessive fat or net calories can hinder or prohibit weight reduction.
Obesity is a worldwide concern, resulting in higher BMI levels amongst men of all age groups. Increased BMI levels are directly proportional to the increased risk of diseases, shorter lifespan and an overall lipid profile. Therefore, it prompts men to exercise intensely. However, excessive exercise is neither desirable nor beneficial, resulting in severe muscle stress.
Even with a healthy lifestyle, you may feel that your body is not losing enough weight. However, the weight scale is only one indicator of weight loss. Several factors impact weight, such as fluid changes and the quantity of food left in the system. Therefore, it’s essential to set targets and regularly track your progress against them. However, set realistic targets; otherwise, it can get demotivating and work against you.
We also need to consider the dietary differences between men and women when deciding the meals and plating. It occurs due to the difference in their body’s nutritional needs. There is a clear need for a different dietary invention system for men and women for weight loss. Divide your plate into veggies, protein foods, and starches. Because men need more calories, they require a higher total intake of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Increased awareness about calories, macronutrients, and other nutritional value of foods will empower men to make smarter diet choices and move a few steps closer to their ideal weight.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What should a male eat to lose weight?
A. Since men have more weight and muscles, they need more protein. For example, it’s healthy to eat lean protein food regularly like fish and chicken breast. To prevent excess fat consumption, grill or steam the food rather than frying. Also, add extra vegetable proteins to the diet, like kidney beans, almonds, seeds, and tofu.
Q. What foods help burn belly fat for men?
A. Reduce your carbohydrate consumption while enhancing your protein and fibre intake. Have lots of good healthy fats and gut-friendly meals. Men should consume apple cider vinegar and plenty of green tea. Changing your diet does not always imply losing weight. Weight reduction can be aided by consuming particular meals and keeping to a regular activity plan.
Q. How can a man lose 10 pounds in a week?
A. Restrict your diet to small quantities of nutritional but low-calorie meals and substantially increase your cardiovascular exercise involving interval training, sports, and other intense workouts. Walking is a low-cost and helpful weight-loss activity. Do it with dietary adjustments. Begin with 10 to 15 minutes of brisk walking every day and gradually increase to 30 to 60 minutes.
Q. What food makes you lose weight most?
A. Consumption of high protein food, especially for men, is essential for weight loss. Protein-rich diet gives the feeling of being full for a long time and helps control excessive eating. Protein-rich diet includes legumes, nuts, eggs and meat. Low carb food is also suitable for weight loss. Additionally, try consuming high fibre food like vegetables and fruits. They help and improve the metabolism and digestion of the body.
Q. Why do men get big bellies?
A. You’re more likely to gain weight, particularly belly fat, due to overeating and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Growing older also has an impact. With age, it’s common to lose muscle mass. It happens especially amongst men with low physical activity. Therefore, it’s essential to have regular movements even while working in the office.
Q. How can I reduce my stomach fat?
A. There are a lot of factors involved when it comes to losing stomach fat. The most important thing is exercising. Exercise daily to burn fat. Additionally, restrict the intake of food items like sugary beverages, highly processed food, food with trans fat, high carb diet etc. Moreover, avoid stressful situations and get plenty of sleep.
Q. Do eggs burn belly fat?
A. Since eggs are low in calories, they aid in weight reduction. A medium-sized egg has just 60-65 calories in it. Eggs enhance fat burning rate by speeding up the body’s metabolism. Additionally, eggs contain high levels of protein and healthy fats. They keep the body satiated for longer between meals, preventing munching on empty calories.
Q. What is a military diet?
A. The military diet refers to a fad diet unrelated to the military. However, it is widely promoted on social media to lose weight rapidly, up to 4.5 kg in a week. It claims to kick-start the metabolism by three days of calorie reduction and then eating a regular diet for the next four days.
Q. Does the 3-day military diet work?
A. Yes, for many people, the three-day military diet is adequate. It contains low calories and is a sort of intermittent fasting. In addition, the military diet focuses on maximising weight reduction. These components separately help burn fat and naturally raise your metabolic rate, but they accelerate the process when combined.
Q. Which exercises lose weight fastest?
A. Cardio and aerobic exercises are best for losing weight fast. You can start with jogging and brisk walking. Other options are cycling, swimming, weight lifting, and high-intensity workouts.