The best diet plans for men are those that fuel you with healthy nutrients and leave you feeling satisfied. If you’re looking to lose weight and burn fat, then you’ll need to consume the right foods in the ideal proportions. You probably know that diet is a crucial component of weight loss but there’s so much conflicting information online. Which approach is best for your goals and will it work long-term? In this article, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about the most effective diet plans for men so that you can find the best one for your lifestyle.
- Essential Foods & Nutrients for Men
- How To Build Your Diet
- Which Popular Diet Plans Are the Best for Men?
- Healthy Snack Options for Men
- Additional Tips That Will Help You Lose Weight
Essential Foods & Nutrients for Men
The best diets for men are those that provide you with a balanced range of key nutrients. This fuels your body with the energy, vitamins, and minerals it needs to function at its very best. If you’re trying to lose weight, then this balanced approach gives you the best chance of doing it. When evaluating diet plans for men, look for options that deliver in three key areas…
- Lean protein
- Healthy fats
- Unprocessed carbohydrates
Let’s dive into each of these food groups in more detail…
Men tend to have a higher ratio of muscle mass than women. This means that you need to consume enough protein to support muscle development and maintain your lean mass. Protein is also used in the production of testosterone so it’s vital to get adequate intake. Somewhere between 0.8-1g of protein per kilogram of body weight is a good rule of thumb daily. But if you’re working out regularly then aim for slightly more. Chicken, turkey, tofu, tempeh, eggs, beans, and pulses are all good sources.
Fats were demonized for many years but researchers now agree that they’re essential to our health. Even cholesterol is no longer considered the ‘bad’ fat that it once was. Fats are involved in the production of most types of cell in the body making them crucial to overall wellness. For men, in particular, fat forms one of the building block of testosterone (along with protein). However, it’s important to be selective with the types of fat you consume. Transfats which come from heavily processed and fried foods aren’t found in nature and don’t do good things to our bodies. But mono, poly, and plant-based saturated fats can all contribute to our health. Dairy, nuts, seeds, avocadoes, and oily fish are all good options.
According to the CDC, most men don’t eat enough fruit and veg (along with younger people and those living in poverty). This means that they are missing out on crucial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fresh produce is also a great source of fiber which keeps the digestive system functioning well and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Men often look to rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread as their source of carbs. But filling up on more fresh fruit and vegetables is a healthier and more satisfying option (especially if you’re looking to lose weight).
How To Build Your Diet
Now you know which nutrients you should be including, it’s time to build your diet. An effective diet plan for men is one that combines all three of these food groups in the right proportions. If you eat too many carbs or fats, then you won’t be able to burn them off and they’ll get stored as excess weight. Not eating enough protein will make it harder to build and maintain lean muscle, which is central to any weight loss efforts.
When it comes to healthy meals, experts agree that half your plate should be made up of vegetables. Ideally, these should be in a range of different colors to maximize your nutrient intake. A quarter of it should consist of lean protein (plant or animal) and healthy fats. The remaining quarter should be unrefined grains like rice or starchy veggies like potatoes. Building your meals in this way will ensure you get the right balance of nutrients.
Which Popular Diet Plans Are the Best for Men?
You might be wondering if there are any specific diets that work particularly well for men. There’s no shortage of workout regimes and nutrition plans available online but are any of them actually effective? Some may help you shed the pounds short-term but are harder to stick with long-term. Others get results through restrictive eating rules but this can be at the expense of your health. In this section, we evaluate the keto, paleo, and South Beach approaches to identify the diets that work for men.
The keto diet is an ultra-low-carb approach to meal planning. By reducing your carbohydrate intake to zero, you force your body to burn other sources of fuel. Once it’s depleted your carb stores, it’ll switch to fat which is where it can really help with weight loss.
The key benefit of the keto diet is the speed at which people see results. It’s common for people to lose weight rapidly during the first two weeks of keto. Because it focuses on eating foods that are rich in protein and fat, it’s also one of the more enjoyable diets to follow. Research has also shown that it’s more effective for weight loss than low-fat eating plans.
However, cutting out an entire food group isn’t a healthy option long-term. It deprives your body of key nutrients needed to feel and look your best. Much of the initial weight loss is actually water so once you start eating carbs again the scales can go back up. This makes it an effective weight loss diet plan for men in the short-term but less viable long-term.
The paleo diet is supposedly based on foods that cavemen would have eaten. It’s built on the premise that our bodies haven’t adapted to eat modern, processed foods like cereals and dairy. Fans suggest that by eating a more primitive diet, you can fuel yourself with the nutrients you need to function optimally. This means eating a strict diet of meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
The advantage of the paleo diet is that it removes processed foods from the menu. You can’t eat pasta, chips, cake, chocolate, bread, or anything similar. It’s common for people to overeat these foods without realizing it so paleo can help to cut this dramatically. This approach to eating also emphasizes protein consumption which ensures you feel satisfied and full after meals.
However, like all diet plans for men, it does have some drawbacks. The diet is a pretty low-carb affair which can mean that your energy and nutrient levels suffer. For men who are particularly active, this can affect performance and leave you feeling drained. It’s also a tricky one for vegetarians and vegans to follow. Because it doesn’t allow the consumption of beans, it’s tough to get adequate protein unless you eat meat.
South Beach diet
The South Beach diet is another low-carb option but involves having meals delivered to your door. There’s no thinking or planning required as all of the meals are designed by nutritionists to meet the diet’s guidelines. This can make it a hassle-free option for people who are busy or those who don’t want to spend time shopping for healthy ingredients.
The advantage of the South Beach diet is that it’s easy to follow since everything is prepared for you. There’s no temptation to eat snacks or stray at the supermarket because you just have the 3 meals a day that they provide. However, the initial phase of the diet involves restricting foods which can be quite off-putting at the start. It also doesn’t teach you the healthy habits needed to make long-term lifestyle changes since everything is simply given to you. But men do see decent weight loss results if they stick with the program.
Healthy Snack Options for Men
If you find yourself feeling hungry between meals, then reach for healthy snacks. Foods that are high in protein and low in calories will leave you satisfied without derailing your weight loss efforts. Here are some healthy snack options that are both nutritious and delicious…
- Hummus and vegetables – fresh carrot sticks, celery, peppers, or cucumber with chickpea hummus provide a satisfying mix of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Beef jerky – is another source of lean protein that tastes amazing with the right mix of seasoning.
- Nut butter and apple wedges – dip slices of apple into peanut or almond butter for a tasty mid-afternoon treat (just make sure the nut butter is sugar-free).
- Homemade guacamole – mash some fresh avocado with diced tomato, coriander, and lime juice for a tasty dose of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins.
Snacking on these tasty treats will leave you feeling satisfied and make it easier to stick with your diet plan. If you still find yourself feeling hungry between meals, then an appetite suppressant like PhenQ can help. It’ll reduce your cravings for food and speed up your metabolism too so that you burn more calories without lifting a finger.
Additional Tips That Will Help You Lose Weight
The most effective diets for men are those that also incorporate healthy habits. These are small changes that can have dramatic effects on our energy levels, appearance, and waistline. Whichever diet plan you go with, there are three fundamental habits that will help you to look and feel your best. These are:
- Drink lots of water – being fully hydrated enables your body to perform all the tiny chemical reactions needed to process energy and burn fat stores.
- Aim for 5-a-day – so that you’re fuelled with plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and energy-rich carbohydrate.
- Limit your sugar intake – as this spikes your blood glucose levels and leaves you feeling hungry 30 minutes later, which messes with your appetite and can lead to insulin resistance long-term.
Following these tips in addition to your diet plan will ensure that you get the best possible results.
The most effective diet plans for men will combine lean protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed carbohydrates. Aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with lean protein and healthy fats, and the remaining quarter with unrefined carbohydrates. Popular eating plans like the keto, paleo, and South Beach diet can make it easier to plan meals and achieve your weight loss goals. But they all involve limiting your carbohydrate intake which isn’t ideal long-term so go for a balanced approach. Snacking on the right foods and developing healthy lifestyle habits will also help.
Want to explore more extreme options? Check our artile about 800 calorie diet plan.