There’s a reason women are always complaining that men have it easy when it comes to weight loss. That reason: because they do! Men are blessed with ample amounts of testosterone, making it easier for them to maintain muscle and consequently lose fat. Women have a little bit of what is called the “male sex hormone” but the smaller amount is part of the reason girls don’t naturally bulk up like men when they weight train.
So, fat loss for men should be relatively easy right? Well, yes and no. Weight loss is a struggle for many people for a variety of reasons. If you’re the type of guy who doesn’t “run for the border” when you’re stressed or call Domino’s when you’re tired, you may find it easier. Emotional eating affects men just like it does women and this can often be the downfall to any weight loss plan. Paying attention to why you eat and making a conscious effort to eat for fuel rather than comfort or pleasure can make a huge difference.
With any fat loss plan there are two components, what you put in your mouth and what you burn off. While fat loss can happen with one or the other, the most maintainable and often the fastest weight loss comes from combining the two principles.
First, change your diet. Reign in your eating habits. There’s no trick to a healthy diet and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Cut out the fried and fast foods and add more lean protein and veggies. When out for dinner pick a sirloin instead of a t-bone and opt for a salad instead of fries. Small choices add up. Keep healthy foods convenient because what’s easy to grab is typically what you will eat. Fruit is a simple choice when it comes to snacking and even beef jerky is better than a bag of chips.
The second step involves putting on some muscle. Cardio is overrated. While it’s good for keeping your heart and lungs healthy, gaining muscle will burn more calories in the long run. You don’t have to become a gym rat if working out isn’t your thing. Start out with 30 minutes of strength training 4 times a week. Commit to it for a month and notice the changes. If you are making those 30 minutes work you will see some definite transformation in a 4 week period.
The reason strength training is great for fat loss is that it increases your metabolism. Think of muscle cells as hungry little tantrum throwers. They are demanding and they demand fuel! Fat cells on the other hand are cool just hanging out, sipping some fuel now and then, but mostly just laying around like your Dad after the Thanksgiving meal. Muscle requires more fuel to maintain itself. The more muscle you have, the faster your body burns calories (fuel). And the more calories you burn (while maintaining muscles through strength training), the more fat you lose.
By building muscles with regular weight training and fueling those new muscles with high quality nutrition, you are creating a well oiled machine. The natural chemistry of a man is designed to create a muscular physique with a lower body fat percentage. When we eat garbage and maintain sedentary lifestyles we are making it hard for our bodies to function properly. By giving the body what it needs it will naturally return to the healthy state it is predisposed to.