How To Lose Body Fat For Men: 5 Best Ways To Reduce Body Fat In 2024

how to lose body fat men
Men, read below to learn how to lose body fat. Photo: New Africa/Shutterstock

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The prevalence of overweight and obesity conditions has increased over the past 20 years. As of March 2020 the Centers For Disease Control, CDC, reports the adult obesity rate in the United States increased from 30.5% to 41.9%.[1]

The numbers are concerning especially because of the chronic health conditions[2] associated with obesity. Modern life seems to make it more difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, lifestyle changes are necessary to lose weight.

Compared to women, men may have a slight advantage since they have less fat[3] overall, more lean muscle mass, and therefore a lower body fat percentage.

If you are wondering about how to lose body fat and you would like some assistance, continue reading to learn the best ways to lose weight for men. Check out our list of proven methods below to help with weight loss.

How To Lose Body Fat Fast For Men

  1. Create a calorie deficit.
  2. Do resistance training.
  3. Add high-intensity interval training.
  4. Eat more plant-based foods.
  5. Limit processed foods and refined sugar.

Other tips to try include:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Limit alcohol since it increases caloric intake.
  • Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Manage your stress levels.
  • Walk more places and move more during the day.
  • Try meal planning to ensure you don’t reach for junk foods.
  • Consider using nutritional supplements.

Proven Ways For Men To Lose Body Fat

Men may chase after the coveted six-pack abs, but losing body fat is a good idea for more than aesthetic reasons. Men tend to gain weight in the abdomen,[3] whereas women accumulate fat in the hip and thigh areas. Abdominal fat indicates a higher amount of visceral fat which is associated with conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.[2]

Implementing a weight loss plan requires a multifaceted approach and persistence. Lifestyle changes and creating new healthy habits are essential for sustained weight loss and management.

Weight loss occurs over the entire body. While many men want to lose excess belly fat, you cannot target fat loss to a specific area, such as your beer belly. Let’s look at the proven weight loss methods for men to learn how to lose fat.

Create A Calorie Deficit

Create A Calorie Deficit
Create a calorie deficit to lose body fat. Photo: Kamil Zajaczkowski/Shutterstock

A healthy low-calorie diet is effective for weight loss. A low-calorie diet involves eating a range of 1,000 to 1,500 calories[4] per day. Using a calorie counter app or body weight planner[5] may help determine your specific needs.

Research shows that creating a calorie deficit in your daily food intake results in weight loss. In order to lose one to two pounds a week, the NIH recommends a caloric deficit of 500 to 1,000[6] calories per day.

Interestingly, men respond faster to weight loss programs than women. Following an eight-week rapid weight loss study, men lost significantly more body weight than women on a low-calorie diet[7] and had larger reductions in fat mass.

Do Resistance Training 

Resistance training is proven to support weight loss without losing lean muscle mass. A systematic review and meta-analysis showed resistance training combined[8] with a calorie-restricted diet resulted in both visceral and subcutaneous fat loss. Body composition improves due to building lean muscle mass and burning fat.

Strength training may involve weight training, using resistance bands, or even using your body weight for added resistance. When paired with aerobic exercise,[8] strength training significantly reduces belly fat. This leads us to discuss the best aerobic exercises next.

Add High-Intensity Interval Training

Add High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training is effective in losing body fat. Photo: Gorodenkoff/Shutterstock

When it comes to aerobic or cardio exercises, high-intensity interval training, HIIT, is the most time-efficient choice. It also promotes a reduction in total fat mass. Moderate-intensity continuous[9] exercise has similar effects when it comes to burning belly fat in men, but it requires more time.

Results from a 12-week study of HIIT[10] demonstrate fat loss, reduced waist circumference, increased muscle mass, and improved body composition with no significant body weight reduction. Therefore HITT is an effective practice for those who want to know how to get rid of belly fat and build muscle.

An overview of systematic studies and reviews indicates that regarding weight loss and visceral fat loss aerobic exercise alone[11] versus resistance training alone was more effective for weight loss.

Eat More Plant-Based Foods

Plant-based foods such as whole grains, fresh fruits, beans, and vegetables offer daily essential nutrients with a lower calorie intake. Focusing on more whole foods will support your plan for a calorie deficit versus processed or convenience foods[12] which tend to be high calorie.

The water content of most fruits and veggies makes them more filling with fewer calories[13] than the same amount of non-plant-based food. Whole grains, some vegetables, and beans contain starch and water which increases their satiety. Whole-grain foods contribute to your fiber intake and are associated with a sense of fullness[14] as compared to refined grains.

Research shows eating a mostly plant-based whole-food diet resulted in weight loss after three months[13] compared to the control group who did not lose weight. Continued weight reduction at six months and further sustainable weight loss was noted at one year past the study. The study reported a whole-food plant-based diet helped reduce or reverse heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Healthy Fats

Consuming healthy fats, like olive oil and avocado, provides essential fatty acids and is associated with health benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease.[15] A healthy diet should include more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats than saturated. Studies in which saturated fat was switched out for monounsaturated fats[16] indicated that may promote weight loss.

The Mediterranean Diet consists of mostly plants, healthy fats, fish, and little to no meat. Evidence shows it supports sustainable weight loss, and fights against cardiovascular disease and addition to waist circumference.[17]

Limit Processed Foods And Refined Sugar

Processed foods contain unhealthy fats, like trans fats, and refined sugar, and are high in sodium and calories. Limiting these foods improves the quality of your diet and supports your overall health.

The World Health Organization recommends a healthy diet should contain 1% or less intake of trans-fatty acids from both manufactured and animal sources.[18]

This is because processed food consumption is associated with an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of obesity[19] and cardiometabolic disease however further research is required.

What’s A Healthy Body Fat Percentage For Men?

Many men are wondering how to lose body fat, but did you know a certain amount of body fat is essential for normal body function? Men generally have less fat and more muscle mass than women due to physiology.

Body fat percentage is a measurement used to determine body composition. It measures the ratio of lean mass to fat mass and is an indicator of health status. One study assessing the lean body fat ranges[20] for college-aged men that active men have between 14% to 17% body fat while inactive men have 18% to 24%.

Healthcare providers currently use the body mass index,[21] BMI, chart to determine healthy weight. The BMI chart uses height and weight but does not consider muscle mass. Waist circumference measurement is another healthy marker indicating your risk of cardiometabolic disease.

How Long Does It Take For A Man To Lose Body Fat?

Every person is different regarding weight loss. An effective strategy involving calorie restriction and regular exercise may result in losing one to two pounds per week. The CDC recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity[22] physical activity per week, including at least two sessions of resistance training.

Achieving a moderate activity level requires learning how to determine your target heart rate.[23] This simple formula of 220 – your age equals your maximum heart rate. Then multiply that number by 64% and 76%, to determine the range for a moderate-intensity workout.

Using a heart rate monitor or phone app may be helpful to track your intensity levels during exercise.

A Few Other Tips To Aid Weight Loss

There are a few other tasks to add to your daily routine that may help you lose weight

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Limit alcohol since it increases caloric intake.
  • Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Manage your stress levels.
  • Walk more places and move more during the day.
  • Try meal planning to ensure you don’t reach for junk foods.
  • Consider using nutritional supplements that support fat-burning and boost metabolism.

Conclusion

This article intends to provide the knowledge and tools to help you take the necessary action for better health. Lifestyle changes to improve health and support your weight loss plan are possible. How to lose weight fast for men is not the purpose of this piece.

Weight loss takes time, commitment, and persistence. Creating new habits or refreshing some current ones will help you on your weight loss journey.  

To sum up, combining a low-calorie healthy diet, resistance training, and high-intensity interval training seems the best way for men to lose weight and help them determine how to get rid of belly fat. A healthy diet consisting of nutritious foods that provide health benefits is the best way to look and feel better.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What burns the most body fat?

Cardiovascular exercise burns the most body fat alone. However, cardio combined with resistance training burns more fat.

Is it easier for men to lose fat?

Men have a slight edge when losing weight because they have more lean body mass compared to women.

Why do men accumulate abdominal visceral fat?

Men tend to gain more belly and visceral fat due to physiology, mainly hormonal differences[3] compared to women.

What causes high body fat in men?

Poor diet quality and physical inactivity cause higher body fat accumulation.

+ 23 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gina Vitale is a freelance health and wellness content writer and healthcare professional. A licensed physical therapist assistant for nearly 3 decades, she has acquired vast knowledge regarding treating and preventing numerous musculoskeletal problems. Her background… See More