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How to Lose Weight for Men (15 Proven Ways to Get Abs Fast)

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan | Updated on 24 January 2022

As a man who wants to look their best, you might be wondering how to lose weight fast and what’s the best way to get results. Whether you want to cut down that beer belly by summer time, or simply cut before the next bulk, we have you covered. 

Though men can lose weight much the same way as women, some biological differences warrant unique advice. No matter if you want to lose weight from the comfort of your home or you’re eager to hit the gym, these 15 proven ways will help you get fit in not time.

Proven Ways for Men to Lose Fat Faster

Now that you know where you stand on the weight loss playing field, it’s time to plan and start shedding some pounds! With no further ado, here’s 15 proven ways how men can lose weight fast and get pronounced abs in the process: 

1. Set Goals & Figure Out Calorie Needs

The first thing you need to do is figure out how much you should eat each day to achieve weight loss. Since a deficit of 3,500 calories means losing a pound of fat, it’s generally safe to eat 500 calories below maintenance. However, if you’re very overweight or obese, you can eat 1,000 calories below maintenance too.

Use an online calculator to see how many calories your body needs every day to maintain weight, then subtract 500 from this number. This amount is the maximum you should eat for fast weight loss.

Of course, if you exercise more, you can eat more calories and still lose weight. If you’re sedentary, you’ll have to create a calorie deficit of 1,000 or more if you want to lose 2 pounds a week, which may not be possible for many people.

Set a realistic, achievable goal and stick to it. If you follow a calorie deficit of 500 for six months, you will have lost 24 pounds, while you’ll lose 48 with a deficit of 1,000! Don’t go below 1,200 calories, though, as extreme low-calorie diets might cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, hair fall, brittle nails, and general health issues, lowering your self-confidence and not leaving any energy for exercise [5].

2. Start Lifting Heavy

Guys build muscle faster than women, so use that to your advantage! Muscle mass is a long-term investment since a pound of muscle takes more calories to burn off than a pound of fat. Just ten weeks of lifting can increase calories burnt at rest by 7%, meaning you can eat more and still lose weight [6].

Lifting weight, also known as strength training or resistance training, efficiently reduces visceral fat [7]. A combination of weightlifting and aerobic exercise or cardio is the fastest way to burn fat compared to cardio alone [8].

Besides, lifting weights brings you closer to your dream body. You can’t achieve a muscular physique without some sort of strength training. You can strength train without weights, too, with bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, etc., or check out some beginner’s strength training programs we’ve compilated.

If you have heart issues or another medical problem that prevents you from lifting heavy weights, light weights are still effective at toning your body.

3. Do Cardio After Weights

While we are proponents of strength training, you shouldn’t ignore the utility of aerobic exercise or cardio. This type of exercise may include walking, running, swimming, jumping rope, jogging, dancing, or anything else which moves your body fast and vigorously.

Looking for chiseled abs? A review of 16 studies found that more cardio = more fat loss [9]. Cardio also decreases body fat in general while increasing stamina and helping you exercise for more extended periods at once, which in turn promotes weight loss.

Most research says you should squeeze in at least 150-300 minutes of moderate or vigorous-intensity exercise every week [10]. This time equates to about 30-60 minutes of exercise, five days a week.

If you’re looking to lose weight fast, you’ll want to burn at least 500 extra calories through exercise. Get a FitBit or use online calculators to figure out how many calories an hour of any exercise burns for you. For example, a 160-pound man can burn about 600 calories with just an hour of running [11].

By doing cardio after lifting weight, you increase your efficiency at the same intensity, meaning you burn more fat and less muscle than you would otherwise, according to Cameron McGarr, a USA Weightlifting-certified strength coach.

4. Eat a Variety of Lean Protein

If you want to lean down but keep your existing muscularity, you must ensure protein intake is sufficient. 

A diet full of lean protein, like chicken breast, salmon, tuna, pulses, and eggs, means a lower risk of developing excess fat [12]. A high-protein diet also preserves muscle mass and keeps your metabolism in check during weight loss so you lose fat and get muscular instead of skinny-fat [13].

Protein also keeps you full for longer by reducing ghrelin levels, the hunger hormone. People who up their protein intake also end up consuming 441 fewer calories on average, so make sure to get a gram of protein for every 2 pounds of weight [14].

Studies and various athletes will argue on the exact amount for building muscle and or weight loss, but in general, you should consume .7-1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. So if you’re 200 pounds, try to eat 150-200 grams of protein daily.

5.Try the Keto Diet

The keto diet is a high-protein diet specifically for fat loss, but if you’re anti-keto just jump to the next point for a different approach. 

Followers of keto eat 80% of their calories in protein and consume less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, putting their bodies into a state of ketogenesis.

When your body is in ketogenesis, it burns fat instead of carbs for energy, turning it into compounds called ketones which it utilizes for fuel. Keto diets can decrease insulin resistance and reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol [15].

Most would be surprised on how much weight you can lose on keto, but it’s not for everyone. 

Of course, this is an extremely low-carb diet, so you may feel out-of-sorts for the first few days. Some symptoms of “keto flu” can include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Soreness
  • Bad breath

If these symptoms persist, the keto diet is probably not for you. Consult your doctor before beginning any weight loss diet if you have a medical condition, like diabetes, since it can alter your gut bacteria and cause sugar and carbohydrate withdrawal.

Or if you’re in ketosis and still not losing weight, you may want to check why with a healthcare professional.

6. Replace Refined Carbs with Complex Carbs

Refined carbs, like flour tortillas, white bread, traditional pizza, etc., are empty calories. Manufacturers strip the grains of their bran and germ – the bran is the outer shell of a grain which is a rich source of fiber, trace minerals, and B vitamins, while the germ is the inner nourishing part containing antioxidants, B vitamins, and vitamin E.

The result is low in fiber and doesn’t keep you full for any considerable amount of time. Refined carbs also generally have a higher glycemic index, which measures how fast any food makes your blood sugar rise. A high glycemic index causes abrupt spikes in blood sugar and hunger pangs, inhibiting weight loss.

Replacing refined carbs with whole grain or complex carbs allows you to reap the benefits of carbohydrates. Whole grains are higher in fiber and beneficial nutrients as their germ and bran are intact, keeping you full for longer.

In a study of more than 2,500 people, people with a diet of more refined grains had a higher level of dangerous belly fat, while those who consumed more whole grains tended towards a lower level of belly fat [16]. Pair whole-grain bread and pasta, brown rice, whole oats, and other whole grains with portions of lean meat or plant-based protein for a healthy and filling meal.

7. High-Intensity Interval Training

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) combines short bursts of intense activity with rest periods (long or short) to keep your heart rate up and increase fat burn. One study found that men who performed HIIT for 20 minutes 3 days a week lost 4.4 pounds of body fat without any other lifestyle or diet adjustments, along with a 17% loss of belly fat [17].

People who perform HIIT burn up to 30% more calories than those who do regular moderate-intensity exercise [18]. HIIT workouts are generally shorter and more intense – perfect if you’re a busy student or have a hectic job and can’t spend too much time at the gym.

How Can I Start HIIT? You can begin jogging at your usual pace for 1 minute, then sprint for 30 seconds to start HIIT. Alternate these 1 minute and 30-second intervals for an easy HIIT workout. You can do the same with any form of exercise or a combination of movements, like push-ups, burpees, high-knees, rows, etc. Just make sure that you’re pushing yourself hard during active periods.

Don’t try HIIT if you have a heart condition, as intense activity can cause too much strain on your heart. Moderate-intensity exercise is much better than nothing and consistency is key when it comes to how to lose weight fast for men!

8. Replace Soda, Alcohol, and Juice with Water

Soda is high in both sugar and calories so it’s best to avoid it when possible. You might think that fruit juices are a healthier alternative, but they’re just as high in sugar and making fruit juice at home deprives you of the fiber present in the fruit.

Adequate H2O consumption can make you feel full and reduce hunger pangs and boredom eating. People who drink at least half a liter of water about 30 minutes before a meal also lose 44% more weight than their dehydrated counterparts [19].

Instead of going cold turkey, you can first replace sugar-sweetened soda with its diet version, like a Diet Coke instead of regular Coke. Then, slowly reduce how much Coke you drink in a day and up your water intake since diet drinks can also make you crave sweet things [20].

On the same note, put down the beer and pick up a glass of seltzer or flavored water instead. Both alcohol and sugar-sweetened drinks can increase your risk of developing dangerous abdominal fat, so minimizing their intake will keep your waistline in check [21].

Don’t get us wrong, you can find ways to lose weight gained from alcohol while having a drink here and there, but limiting the amount of drinks you have on any given can make all the difference. 

9. Feast on Healthy Fats

Healthy fats make you feel more satiated and keep you content for longer. These fats aren’t common in fast food and take longer to digest, reducing your appetite and hunger pangs [22].

A Mediterranean diet, high in healthy fats, reduces the risk of weight gain overall than a low-fat diet. People who eat just two tablespoons of coconut oil each day also lose belly fat quicker than those who consume the same amount of soybean oil, emphasizing the benefits of healthy fats [23].

Regardless of their benefits and like anything else, healthy fats should be used in moderation. 

10. Up Your Fiber Intake

Like healthy fats, fiber also keeps you full for longer. Soluble fiber, abundant in most fruits and vegetables, takes a long time to digest, reducing hunger pangs [24]. Fruits and vegetables also contain various minerals and vitamins so it’s always a good idea to have your favorite grilled or steamed veggies as sides.

In a study of over 1,114 adults, people who increased their soluble fiber intake by just 14 grams per day lost about 4.4 pounds of weight over four months since it correlates with a 10% decrease in calorie intake [25].

Other sources of fiber include nuts, legumes, and whole grains, so you can easily pair a fibrous side like brown rice with a protein-heavy meal and reduce snack cravings throughout the day. Avoid empty calories – fill up on fiber instead!

11. Stress Less, Sleep More

Chronic stress significantly inhibits weight loss. When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol and while this hormone reduces appetite, it also causes hunger pangs or cravings when it remains in the bloodstream for a prolonged time [26].

Stress eating is another factor that comes into play because some people subconsciously view food as a coping mechanism, and this dopamine hit makes them crave and stress-eat. Similarly, chronic sleep deprivation reduces the number of calories you burn overall. Your body is always working, taking care of essential functions like heart pumping and breathing, and it needs calories to work.

When you sleep, you go through many cycles of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. The more cycles of REM you go through in a night, the more calories you burn, but REM cycles only occur during deep sleep. If you get poor-quality sleep, you’ll burn fewer calories.

People who get 7+ hours of sleep per night are 33% more likely to lose weight, and lack of sleep imbalances the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin, increasing your risk of obesity [27] [28].

So, ensure 7-8 hours of sleep every night and try a stress management program – they’re effective in reducing BMI for both children and adolescents [29]. If nothing else, get a meditation app, like Waking Up, and try to relax at least once a day.

12. See if Intermittent Fasting Works For You

Intermittent fasting is eating within a set few hours of the day while fasting during the rest. The 16:8 method is the most prevalent, and most intermittent fasters follow it – eating within 8 hours and fasting for 16.

A study has shown that the 16:8 method can help decrease fat mass while conserving muscle mass combined with strength training. Another technique where dieters fast for alternate days reduced body weight by up to 7% and fat by 12 pounds within 3-12 weeks [30].

Intermittent fasting may also help you control your cravings as you don’t permit yourself to eat within a set time of the day. Don’t gorge on fast food during your feeding time, though! Eat as healthily as you would without fasting.

If you end up gorging on unhealthy food at the end of the day or are troubled by uncontrollable hunger pangs, quit intermittent fasting. Also, don’t try it out without consulting your doctor if you have any medical conditions like diabetes.

13. Avoid Sweetened Coffee and Substitute With Green Tea

If you’re an office-goer or frequently pull all-nighters, you might be used to drinking a lot of sweetened coffee. Many brew a cup of coffee in the morning or during their lunch break but they don’t realize that this coffee is full of more sugar than caffeine and extremely high in calories.

On the other hand, green tea is rich in antioxidants, like catechin, which boost metabolism and improve exercise performance [31]. It also has theanine, an amino acid that soothes your mind, potentially getting rid of some stress [32].

Not only does green tea increase fat burning and promote weight loss, but it also contains the caffeine necessary to wake you up in the morning so you don’t miss your coffee. Though it can be pretty bitter by itself, you can add some honey to sweeten it and pour yourself a refreshing, beneficial drink.

But I Can’t Wake Up Without Coffee! If you just can’t do without the coffee, switch to black coffee instead. This switch gets rid of excess calories and the caffeine in coffee does suppress your appetite and increase metabolism by aiding in the breakdown of fatty acids [33]. Some studies also show that having coffee correlates with a higher rate of successful weight loss, meaning sugar-free coffee might be a good option in the long run [34]!

14. Have Some Vinegar and Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria naturally found in your gut and they discourage the production of gas while helping with digestion, reducing unnecessary bloating.

People who take probiotics also experience significantly more weight loss and fat loss than those who don’t [35] and they even prevent fat gain on a high-fat and high-calorie diet to some extent [36]. Eating yogurt with the Lactobacillus ferventum and Lactobacillus amylovorus bacteria can also reduce body fat by 3-4% [37].

If you don’t want to take supplements, add some probiotic-rich food like yogurt, tempeh, kombucha, kimchi, or sauerkraut to your diet.

15. Track Your Progress

Take a “before” picture before you begin losing weight and keep taking progress photos every week (or every other week, if you prefer). Make sure to step on the scale weekly, too, so you can track how many calories you need to eat and celebrate the weight you’ve lost.

Every pound lost is an achievement. Make sure to treat yourself in moderation every once in a while (not more than once a week, though). Tracking your progress will keep you motivated through the tough stretches and boost your willpower.

FAQ

  • Why Should Men Try to Lose Weight?

Obesity will take a toll on your health in the long run and looking your best can help your mental state as well? Looking good and feeling good are two halves to most peoples desires to get fit while mental and physical health are imperative to thrive. 

Men already have shorter lives than women in general, and according to the CDC, heart disease is the foremost killer of men in the US [1]! This high death rate emphasizes the importance of figuring out how to lose weight fast for men, so you can guard against these complications and live a fulfilled, happy life.

  • What Are The Risks of Obesity & Visceral Fat

Obesity means that you have a high level of visceral fat – fat that surrounds your stomach, liver, and intestines. This fat is the most dangerous type as it can build up in the arteries and cause fatty liver syndrome, which is fatal if not treated early.

Not to mention, obesity correlates with a higher risk of:

  1. Heart disease and strokes
  2. Type 2 diabetes
  3. Certain cancers, including prostate cancer
  4. Digestive problems
  5. Sleep apnea
  6. Osteoarthritis
  7. Severe COVID-19 symptoms [2]
  • Is Weight Loss Easier for a Man Than a Woman?

Though it depends on the individual, it’s easier for a man to lose weight than a woman of similar height, weight, and age. This discrepancy arises because men naturally have more muscle mass than women which means they need more calories to maintain their current weight [3]. Which goes to say, men lose weight quicker at the same calorie deficit.

For example, a 25-year-old, 5’10”, 160-pound man who’s not active will maintain his weight at 2,060 calories, while a woman with the measurements will need 1,860 calories. Though a 200-calorie difference may not seem like much, it can add up when trying to lean down.

For weight loss, nutritionists recommend that you eat about 500 calories less than you need per day, creating a deficit of 3,500 pounds every week. This deficit makes you lose a pound of fat per week. So the man will need to eat 1,560 calories, while the woman will eat 1,360. 

However, men do need to lose more to look as fit as women at a higher fat percentage. Women have more essential fat than men and are classified as athletic at 16-23% body fat, while men have to go down to 5-10% to classify as such [4].

The Bottom Line

Though it might seem challenging at first, these weight loss tips aim to simplify your weight loss journey. The only condition is – once you get started, just trust in the process. Weight loss takes time and you just might fail the first attempt. However, you’ve only lose the battle when you stop trying. So even if you let yourself go for a week, a month, or even years, just take tiny steps in the right direction and you’ll be at your desired weight in time. 

So if you’re seeking a cut body and supreme self-confidence, now you know how to lose weight fast for men and remember, consistency is key.

References

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About the Author

Nathan

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.