Do you feel like you’ve tried every diet, pill, shake, and potion available with minimal success? Or maybe you lost weight initially, but it always finds a way back, and you’re left searching for the next latest, greatest method for quick, easy weight loss. If so, you’re not alone.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet when it comes to losing weight. But if weight loss is one of your goals, there are scientifically proven lifestyle changes you can make that will help you shed those stubborn pounds for good.
Being mindful of what and when you eat, getting enough exercise, and making sure to get enough sleep can help you achieve your goals and get you off the diet roller coaster.
The Science of Weight Loss
If you try new diets and lose weight, only to gain it back again, it’s called yo-yo dieting. Yo-yo dieting can increase your set point weight. When you severely restrict your calories, your body will preserve energy in case of a famine. When you do eat, you’ll have a slower metabolism and your body will store more of the calories you eat as fat. So, a healthy lifestyle and eating plan is far more effective than any diet.
Do Men Lose Weight Faster than Women?
If you’re male, chances are it will be easier for you to lose weight. Men typically have more lean muscle mass which is more metabolically active than fat. Your muscle mass uses more energy and contains insulin receptors that work to metabolize the glucose in your bloodstream. You’ll burn more calories than a woman typically would, even while you rest.
Hormones are another reason why men can lose weight faster than women. Women have estrogen, which causes them to have a higher body fat percentage. On average, women have a higher body fat percentage than men, even though they typically take in proportionately fewer calories.
Aging and Weight Loss for Men
No doubt you already know you’ll experience many metabolic and hormonal changes as you age, which will ultimately impact your ability to lose fat or maintain a healthy weight. In your thirties and forties, your testosterone production will begin to dwindle, which can cause your body fat to increase and your muscle to shrink. Fortunately, strength-training and other resistance forms of exercise can help reverse the adverse effects of muscle loss that will naturally occur as you age, such as muscular weakness and deconditioning and decreased coordination. And it promotes weight loss and can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Weight Loss Tips for Men
Luckily, there are specific lifestyle changes you can take to help you achieve your weight loss goals:
- Exercise. Exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. If exercise isn’t already a part of your routine, ease into it. Perhaps you could take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park further away. Or you could ride your bike or walk whenever possible. General guidelines say you need a minimum of 30 minutes of heart-pumping activity five times a week.
- Intermittent Fasting (IF). Intermittent fasting isn’t a fad diet; it’s a lifestyle adjustment that can significantly impact health in a beneficial way and help men lose weight. Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to burn fat and help you reduce your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and coronary heart disease. Just ask Hugh Jackman or Terry Crews about the benefits they have seen from intermittent fasting!
- Meal Prep. Preparing your meals in advance can be an effective weapon in your weight loss arsenal. You’ll be less tempted to hit a drive-through on the way home because you have a healthy, delicious, convenient meal waiting in your fridge. After a long day, the last thing you probably want to do is cook, so you’ll feel less stressed. And you’ll have more control over what you put in your body. Often, restaurant foods are chock-full of salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
- Beverage Choice. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, sugary drinks can be the most significant source of calories and added sugar in your diet. Research shows sugary beverages lead to increased weight because they often contain as many calories as a meal. But you won’t feel full, so it’s likely you’ll still need to eat. Try fruit-infused water or mineral water instead of soda or other sweetened beverages.
- Sleep. Sleep is crucial for your health and wellness. When you sleep, your body repairs cellular damage and replenishes your energy levels. And research shows a lack of sleep can undermine your efforts to lose weight and even cause you to gain weight. Even if you follow a healthy lifestyle, inadequate sleep can affect changes to your metabolism that promote fat retention. Experts say you need 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
If weight loss is one of your goals, it’s essential you understand the impact unhealthy choices have. If you’ve been on the diet roller coaster, it may be time to focus on healthy lifestyle choices. Incorporating exercise, fasting, and meal planning can all help you achieve your goals; just be sure to set realistic healthy goals so you don’t become overwhelmed by too many changes.