Healthy Weight Loss for Men: Managing Blood Sugar

Unlock the scientific secrets and best strategies for weight loss for men as you strive to find a leaner, healthier version of yourself.

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by
Sarah Zimmer, PT, DPT
— Signos
PT, DPT
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Updated by

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Science-based and reviewed

Published:
February 29, 2024
January 18, 2024
— Updated:

Table of Contents

Losing weight is a journey many individuals embark on, each facing their own challenges and triumphs. The 20th century saw a huge shift in the focus on weight loss due to the growing obsession with beauty and body image, as well as the increasing incidence of chronic disease and unhealthy lifestyles. Physicians and scientists quickly turned their research attention to nutrition and exercise, leading to the development of structured weight loss programs and a boom in the fitness industry.

However, the narrative on weight loss and striving towards a certain body image has been largely tailored to women despite similar struggles and needs for weight loss in men. A survey performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2018 found a slightly higher prevalence of obesity in adult men ages 20 and order than their female counterparts.1

Men grapple with similar challenges of shedding pounds as their bodies evolve with age. This is largely due to changes in metabolism and testosterone levels, which create a slow build of body fat and a reduction of muscle tissue. The battle against the belly bulge poses not just cosmetic concerns but potential health risks, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and strokes. 

In this article, we delve into the nuanced struggle that men face as they endeavor to maintain a healthy weight. The focus will be on the challenges unique to men, exploring the factors contributing to the accumulation of belly fat and unveiling the best strategies for men to overcome these obstacles on their path to weight loss. From the intricacies of metabolism to the impact of hormonal changes, this article aims to provide valuable insights into why men face weight loss struggles and how they can finally navigate this journey successfully.

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Is It Easier for Men to Lose Weight?

In the intricate story of weight loss, a question often emerges: does gender play a role in the ease or difficulty of shedding pounds or the ability to add on muscle mass? As we delve into this very topic, it becomes imperative to explore whether some inherent advantages or challenges make the journey more nuanced for men compared to women.  

One of the inherent advantages that men carry in the realm of weight loss is their unique physiological makeup, specifically the more robust levels of testosterone (the primary male sex hormone). Testosterone plays a pivotal role in promoting the development and maintenance of muscle mass in men. The key mechanism behind this lies in the impact of testosterone on protein synthesis and the regulation of muscle growth. Protein synthesis is the process through which the body builds new proteins, including those that make up muscle fibers. 

As a result, higher testosterone levels enhance protein synthesis in muscle cells, leading to increased muscle mass. Additionally, testosterone aids in the regulation of muscle protein breakdown. By reducing the rate at which muscle proteins are broken down, testosterone helps preserve existing muscle mass and ensure that any weight loss occurs is actual fat loss, not muscle loss.2

Men's ability to obtain higher muscle mass is crucial for various reasons in the pursuit of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Muscle mass elevates basal metabolic rate (BMR) since muscle is more metabolically active than other tissues, allowing more calorie burning at rest. A higher proportion of muscle tissue also improves insulin sensitivity and prevents excess glucose from being stored as fat. In short, having more muscle mass elevates the body's calorie-burning capacity, aids in preserving lean body mass, and contributes to a healthier and more efficient metabolism during the weight loss journey.

While these physiological advantages set a favorable stage, the key for men to unlock successful weight loss lies in being consistent. Consistency is crucial to turning your sporadic exercise efforts into sustainable lifestyle changes. It involves not just periodic bouts of intense exercise or crash diets but a lifelong commitment to healthier choices day in and day out.

<p class="pro-tip"><strong>Learn More: </strong><a href="diabetes-weight-loss">Explaining the Correlation Between Diabetes and Weight Loss</a>.</p>

15 Best Ways to Lose Weight for Men

man stretching pre run

So you’re ready to start shedding pounds; where do you start? What is the best strategy for you to lose weight? Embarking on the complex voyage of weight loss demands an informed approach, especially as men face the challenges of accumulating weight with a slower metabolism at an older age.  

Let’s dive into the many effective weight loss strategies for men, including diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits anyone can start today. Resistance training, high-intensity interval (HIIT) workouts, protein-rich diets, and the paramount importance of consistency are all important components to consider when aiming for weight loss. 

Check out these 15 ways that are sure to help men lose weight, gain muscle mass, and reduce the risk of serious health diseases as soon as possible. 

  1. Increase Your Protein Intake: The National Academy of Sports Medicine recommends that men attempting to lose weight should aim for about 0.73 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. If you are an athlete or exercise for long durations at higher intensities, then consider increasing this to 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.3, 4  
  2. Stay Hydrated: Drinking water and increasing water intake throughout the day supports overall health, curbs false hunger signals, and helps control appetite levels, which may lead to less calorie intake when trying to hit calorie-deficit goals.5
  3. Exercise for at Least 30 Minutes a Day: Current physical activity recommendations include at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. However, research continues to find this amount to be inadequate for obtaining weight loss goals. Incorporating at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercises like jogging, cycling, or swimming exceeds the recommended amount and may help you shed pounds faster.6 
  4. Focus On Muscle Mass: Prioritize resistance and strength-based exercises to build muscle mass, boost metabolism, and enhance calorie burn both during exercise and while at rest. Ideally, these exercises incorporate full-body movements that target every muscle of the body. 
  5. Track Your Macronutrients: Maintain a well-balanced intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats that help target fat loss, support energy levels, enhance muscle function, and boost overall metabolic health.
  6. Sleep 7 to 9 Hours Daily: Ensure you get high-quality sleep every night to help regulate hormones, reduce sugar cravings, and promote overall well-being during weight loss. Sleep is also important for faster recovery between workouts, allowing for less post-exercise muscle soreness and reducing the risk of injury or burnout.7
  7. Avoid Processed Meals: Current scientific research shows that diets filled with processed foods high in sugars, unhealthy fats, and additives contribute to excess calorie intake and weight gain. Choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains for essential nutrients and fiber, contributing to a balanced and health-centric diet.8
  8. Limit Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol contains roughly 7 calories per gram, making a standard 12 oz beer at 5% ABV, roughly 150 calories. Add sugary sodas and other alcohols to your nightly cocktail, and you may find a single alcoholic beverage can reach nearly 300 to 400 calories. Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption can help your consume fewer calories and assist your weight loss efforts. 
  9. Consider Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting is when someone consumes very little or no calories for specific periods, typically overnight and into the next morning. This approach focuses more on when you eat, not what you eat, which can be more helpful for those attempting to make changes to their diet initially. Research also shows intermittent fasting for 12 or more hours may help encourage fat burning and improve blood sugar management.9 
  10. Plan Reward Meals and Celebrate the Small Victories: Losing weight can have ups and downs, but non-scale victories are as important in this journey as the number on the scale. Plan a fun dinner out with friends or treat yourself to something special when you’ve hit a goal, such as increasing the weight of your squats or having more energy throughout the day.
  11. Choose Fiber-Rich Foods: The recommended daily amount of fiber for men is approximately 38 grams daily. Fiber has been shown to assist in weight loss efforts through the ability to help control blood sugar levels throughout the day.10 Increase fiber intake through whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to promote satiety, regulate digestion, and support overall weight management.
  12. Try Low-Carb Diets: Explore the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet, which can help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce cravings, and facilitate weight loss. You can find a lot of great low-carb food ideas in the Signos blog.  
  13. Track Your Foods and Calorie Intake: Maintain a food diary or use a calorie-tracking app to monitor daily caloric intake, fostering awareness and accountability in the weight loss journey.
  14. Control Your Portions:  Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent excessive calorie intake and promote a healthier balance between energy consumption and expenditure.
  15. Manage Your Stress: Higher levels of stress via increased cortisol levels have been shown to negatively impact weight loss, obesity, and food intake patterns.11 Implement stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to mitigate the impact of stress hormones on weight. 

In the intricate journey of weight loss, the strategies outlined above serve as a compass, guiding men through the multifaceted expedition of shedding pounds and embracing a healthier lifestyle. Combining strength training, high-intensity interval training workouts, and a protein-rich diet leverages men's physiological advantages, harnessing the power of lean muscle mass and testosterone to optimize their metabolism. Mindful eating practices, adequate hydration, and sufficient sleep encourage a holistic approach and foster an environment conducive to successful weight loss in the long term.

Again, the importance of consistency cannot be overstated. It is the unwavering commitment to healthier choices, be it in nutrition or exercise, that transforms aspirations into tangible, lasting results. By limiting processed foods, incorporating regular cardiovascular exercise, and seeking social support, men can fortify their journey with resilience and a sense of community. Remember to tailor these strategies to any individual needs and preferences. 

Weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, and recognizing the uniqueness of one's own body and lifestyle is paramount. The path may be challenging, but with dedication, mindfulness, and a steadfast commitment to health, men can navigate the complexities of weight loss and emerge on the other side with not just a lighter physique but a foundation for lifelong well-being and happiness.

Learn More About Fitness and Healthy Habits With Signos’ Expert Advice

If you have more questions on improving your health, fitness, and nutrition, seek the expert advice of the Signos continuous glucose monitor and Signos team. A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can give you the insights to make smarter nutrition and exercise choices. The Signos app provides a unique, personalized program to help you lose weight and reach your health goals. Take this quiz to see if Signos is a good fit for you and reach your goals faster than ever before.

<p class="pro-tip"><strong>Also Read: </strong><a href="weight-loss-myths">Weight Loss Myths Debunked</a>.</p>

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References

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  2. Mangine, G. T., Hoffman, J. R., Gonzalez, A. M., Townsend, J. R., Wells, A. J., Jajtner, A. R., ... & Stout, J. R. (2017). Exercise-induced hormone elevations are related to muscle growth. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 31(1), 45-53.
  3. Evans, E. M., Mojtahedi, M. C., Thorpe, M. P., Valentine, R. J., Kris-Etherton, P. M., & Layman, D. K. (2012). Effects of protein intake and gender on body composition changes: a randomized clinical weight loss trial. Nutrition & metabolism, 9(1), 1-9.
  4. Brad Dieter. “Protein and Weight Loss: How Much Protein Do You Need to Eat Per Day?” National Academy of Sports Medicine. Retrieved from: https://blog.nasm.org/nutrition/how-much-protein-should-you-eat-per-day-for-weight-loss?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=organic&utm_content=safeandhealthyweightloss#:~:text=Nutritional%20Guidelines%20suggest%20a%20daily,if%20aiming%20for%20weight%20loss.
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  6. Swift, D. L., McGee, J. E., Earnest, C. P., Carlisle, E., Nygard, M., & Johannsen, N. M. (2018). The effects of exercise and physical activity on weight loss and maintenance. Progress in cardiovascular diseases, 61(2), 206-213.
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  10. Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group Sylvetsky Allison C Edelstein Sharon L Walford Geoffrey Boyko Edward J Horton Edward S Ibebuogu Uzoma N Knowler William C Montez Maria G Temprosa Marinella Hoskin Mary Rother Kristina I Delahanty Linda M. (2017). A high-carbohydrate, high-fiber, low-fat diet results in weight loss among adults at high risk of type 2 diabetes. The Journal of nutrition, 147(11), 2060-2066.
  11. Geiker, N. R. W., Astrup, A., Hjorth, M. F., Sjödin, A., Pijls, L., & Markus, C. R. (2018). Does stress influence sleep patterns, food intake, weight gain, abdominal obesity and weight loss interventions and vice versa?. Obesity reviews, 19(1), 81-97.

About the author

Sarah is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, graduating from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2017.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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