I’ve spoken to a lot of guys recently, particularly “older guys”, and the primary concern amongst them apart from family issues, seems to be fitness related. The number one problem within fitness appears to be body fat. Obviously, excessive levels of body fat are a real issue, both from a health standpoint and a fitness standpoint. We all want to look good, right? We all want to live long lives full of energy and vitality, don’t we? It’s safe to say that it’s time to lose the blubber.
Losing weight is a skill, and one that becomes increasingly important as we age, particularly for Men Over 40. Younger guys simply don’t have to pay the same level of attention to this skillset that older men have to. Men Over 40 now have a full-time job on their hands maintaining their appearance, so, without further ado, let’s get to the six steps that will make you get better at this skill, starting from the beginning:
Number 1 – Pause All Other Goals
Feel free to maintain your performance in other areas, but don’t attempt to get any better at anything else, for the time being. Don’t attempt to increase your income, work more hours than you currently do, or go on a dating spree, or go traveling to South East Asia, or anything like that.
You can go back to all that stuff later. Temporarily pause it for now. Your focus needs to be on nutritional and training success. This requires time and energy, like anything else.
Number 2 – Start Tracking Your Daily Calories
You don’t have to be super strict about this, but you need to have a fairly accurate number of what’s going into your mouth every day. If you want the best results possible; superior to all other guys, you’re going to want to track this stuff. You can stop tracking later when you can instinctively eyeball calorie figures for meals. For now, you need to track.
Always remember, what gets tracked gets done. Even the simple act of tracking means that you’re paying attention to the crucial areas required for fitness success, which automatically means you will become better in this specific area.
Number 3 – Track Your Bodyweight
Now we have a good idea of the energy coming in, we also need to know how this is impacting your bodyweight. We’re going to need to track this every day for at least a week. This can account for any fluctuations due to weekend craziness, off-weeks, changes in training, and other stresses. It will give a really good idea of what your maintenance calories are, rather than relying on some arbitrary online calculators which essentially pull numbers out of their creators’ asses.
These calculators can be useful for very broad generalities, but how useful are they going to be for YOU, specifically on YOUR fat-loss journey? Not very. Hence, we need to track this shit.
Number 4 – Adjust Calories Accordingly
You need to have a long-term fat loss goal. One that has a very realistic timeline, especially incorporating the fact that if you have a lot of weight to lose, you’re likely going to need periods of maintenance calories to sustain this.
These periods are not wastes of time and are crucial in allowing your body to adapt both physiologically and psychologically to your new body weight.
Hence, your long-term goals will probably take longer than you think. Reduce calories slowly, sensibly, and with the correct expectations. This is definitely a skill that will take a while to get good at. I can give you more specific tips, but a lot of this will be down to you and knowing when to back off and when to put your foot on the gas.
Changing anything too quickly always results in wheel-spinning further down the road. For example, as popular as it may be, removing an entire macronutrient (for the past decade it’s been carbs that have been labelled as “evil”), is totally unsustainable for 99% of dieters. Are you going to consume zero carbs for the rest of your life? No. It’s not going to last. Reduce them, sure, but don’t eliminate.
Number 5 – Set A Sustainable Training Plan
This is where a lot of Men Over 40 mess up. They’re busy, but attempt to go to the gym too frequently. Three times per week is perfect for guys whose primary goal is to lose weight. Gaining muscle is a little different, and if you’re an intermediate or beyond, you will need more frequency and time spent in the gym.
But we’re talking about within the context of fat loss here. You’re aiming to maintain your muscle. Your time and energy is better spent on daily activity and cardio – crucial for diet adherence. You don’t need endless piles of volume to simply maintain your muscle. What’s more? Most of you don’t have the time to even do this in the first place.
This is a skill that heavily ties into time management, especially for busy Men Over 40. You only have so much time to allocate per week into training. A lot of your focus when on a cut needs to be on burning more calories. Use your time wisely.
Set a realistic training plan. One that you’ll stick to.
Number 6 – Take Aggressive Action
And do this until you hit your goal. During periods of maintenance, you can temporarily look at increasing your income, traveling etc. But until you hit your fitness goal, you need to aim to maintain these, as fitness is the focus for now. Once you’ve got your fitness area under control and you’re happy with it, you can focus on other things.
Really, I see fitness as an itch to scratch. I know it sounds weird, but I just never really felt “right” until I got it sorted. It will always pain you and frustrate you until you hit these fat loss goals. You will never feel complete unless this area of life is satisfactory to you, which is subjective. It’s up to you to make sure that you lose the amount of weight you need to feel happy.
This is definitely a skill, specifically, over-powering your biological instincts for a period of time. Your body hates losing weight, and any organism that attempts to override its’ internal systems will inevitably face challenges, but we’re all capable of overcoming these. At least if you want it badly enough.
Good luck 🙂