As men reach their 40s, maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes increasingly important. Intermittent fasting has gained significant popularity as an effective approach to not only shed excess weight but also improve overall well-being. Intermittent fasting involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating, allowing the body to enter a state of metabolic flexibility and reap a range of health benefits.
Is intermittent fasting right for you?
Let’s start by talking about for who it isn’t. It’s not for people who want to lose weight by starving themselves or for people who want to eat whatever and whenever they want.
But intermittent fasting may be the perfect match for you if you don’t like feeling hungry, want to get healthier, and want to lose weight without giving up essential foods.
What Is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a way of losing weight without extreme dieting. During an intermittent fast, you don’t focus so much on what foods you should or shouldn’t eat. Instead, you stop eating for some time. Basically, you are creating eating windows and fasting windows.
You shouldn’t feel like you’re starving yourself when you fast. Many people report feeling more energized during the fast, and many people also say they experience less hunger.
An intermittent fasting diet for men is an excellent tool for those trying to maintain healthy habits. You can add a fast to your current lifestyle and see if it works. A typical fast lasts anywhere from 12 hours to 24 hours.
Some people fast for more extended periods, and others prefer shorter ones. People who fast for extended periods tend to lose more weight.
How much weight you lose depends on age, gender, and activity level. Everyone is different. Some people find they can lose 5 pounds of fat per week by fasting for 18 hours. Others lose 3 pounds per week after only fasting for 12 hours.
As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new workout routine or diet plan. Make sure they know you’re planning to start intermittent fasting.
Who Is Intermittent Fasting Not For?
1- People who have struggled with disordered eating or eating issues.
Disordered eating is a descriptor for those who have eating disorders. These people include those preoccupied with food, exercise, weight, shape, and size and engaging in extreme dietary restraint and purging behaviors.
People with eating disorders may also show signs of other mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and personality disorders.
Anyone with an eating disorder should know that any strategy that encourages restriction can lead to a disordered pattern. For anyone, but especially someone with this history, it’s essential to pay attention to what supports you physically and emotionally. Restricting your eating window might not be the right fit for you.
2- People who have an extremely intensive training routine or/and are in their bulking phase
If you are engaging in highly intense training, you might reconsider if intermittent fasting is the way to go for you. Eating something before your intense workout is essential to give you power.
Your body needs protein to repair muscles. And recovery meals should be eaten at least 2 hours after you finish working out. You may also need to eat more often during that time if you are trying to gain weight.
If you skip a recovery meal, you may need more protein to repair your muscles properly. Skipping a recovery meal could prolong your recovery.
On par with muscle building, consuming protein during the whole day is essential, and restricting your eating window to eight hours counteracts this approach.
3- People who have diabetes
Fasting is not recommended as a treatment option for diabetes because it does nothing to help manage blood sugars, instead causing them to increase when you start eating again.
People with diabetes already experience high blood sugar levels throughout the day, so fasting is not an appropriate choice for managing their condition.
If you have diabetes and are currently taking medication for your condition, you should not go on an intermittent fasting plan without talking to a medical professional and getting approval. Fasting can affect blood sugar levels, leading to severe complications if left unchecked.
That said, I know a lot of guys with diabetes who successfully follow an intermittent fasting regimen.
4- People with sleeping problems
Sleep is an essential component of physical, mental, and emotional health. A lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, poor decision-making, reduced productivity and decreased immunity.
When you go to bed hungry, your brain becomes alert, and your body starts to feel restless. As a result, your body doesn’t get enough rest, which can cause problems when falling asleep at night.
Lack of sleep may lead to weight gain, depression, anxiety, and even heart disease.
5- People with digestion problems
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) is a condition that causes abdominal pain and discomfort. If you already suffer from it, then going on an intermittent fasting diet may intensify the problem.
Intermittent fasting (IF) can worsen digestive issues because it causes your body to undergo many changes. Your stomach will start to empty itself, and you’ll feel less hungry. You may also experience constipation and bloating.
6- People who can’t organize the eating hours
Your work schedule can affect whether you can follow an IF regimen successfully.
For example, if your job requires you to work at night and you need to sleep during the day, but one of your eating times falls during the daytime, what do you do?
Or worse, what happens if most of your fasts occur when you’re working?
Or, what if instead of working the same shift every day, you worked different shifts each day and had no consistent schedule?
Then it would be just a lot of hassle and will cause you to be less productive in your work.
7- People who are on medication
We must take most medications with food. If we take these same medications without food, we may suffer side effects like nausea or headaches.
8- People who have a weak immune system
Those who have recently experienced a serious health issue or are currently dealing with one should consult their physician before starting an IF plan.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting Diet For Men Over 40
1- Weight loss and visceral fat loss
Many people who try IF are trying it to lose weight. Intermittent fasting usually makes you eat fewer meals, and unless you compensate by consuming fewer calories at the other meals, you’ll consume fewer calories overall.
Intermittent fasting helps enhance hormone function to facilitate weight loss.
Lowering insulin levels increases the breakdown of body fat into usable energy.
Higher HGH levels increase the breakdown of body fat into usable energy. Increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenalin) increase the breakdown of body fats into usable energy.
IF works on both sides — calories consumed and calories burned. It increases your metabolic rate and decreases the amount of food you consume. Because of this, short-term fasting increases your metabolism, which helps you burn even more calories.
Let me quote some studies done on the subject.
- According to a 2014 scientific literature study, (IF) can cause weight loss of up to 8 percent over three to 24 weeks. The same study showed that you could lose 3-6% visceral fat in that same time window.
- A 2011 study found that IF causes less muscle loss than continuous caloric restriction.
- A study published in 2020 found that people who followed the 16-8 method could lose weight and keep it off for longer than those who followed other methods.
People who fasted did not lose significantly more weight than those who ate three meals daily. After testing, the researchers found that the people who ate less than 80% of their regular calorie intake lost significant lean muscle mass.
Further studies are needed to determine whether fasting impacts muscle mass. Intermittent fasting has the potential to be a potent weight-loss tool.
2- It helps to reduce inflammation
IF reduces inflammation throughout the body. IF has been shown to reduce the number of pro-inflammatory immune cells called “monocyte” in the bloodstream.
Monocytes are responsible for producing cytokines, which are chemicals that promote inflammation. Studies showed that IF reduced the production of interleukin 6, an important cytokine that promotes inflammation.
3- It is good for the brain
IF will increase cellular repair, which means your brain will function at its best.
IF increases levels of a brain hormone called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which helps keep your mood balanced.
Low levels of BDNF are linked to depression.
4- It is good for heart health
IF improves health and reduces risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. It lowers blood glucose levels, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol.
The 3 Most Popular Types Of Intermittent Fasting
1- 5:2 Fasting
The best-selling book The Fast Diet introduced it to the mainstream, outlining everything you need to know. It’s one of the most popular IF methods. The idea is to follow a typical eating pattern for five days; then, on the other two, eat 500 or 600 calories daily. You may choose any two days of the week for fasting.
The idea is that intermittent fasting keeps you compliant; if you’re hungry on a fasting day (or even on a non-fasting day), you have to look ahead to the next day, when you can “feast” again.
Some say, “I can do anything for two days, but it’s too much to cut back from what I eat all seven days.” For those who want to lose weight quickly, a 5:2 diet may be better than a calorie-restricted diet.
The authors of The Fast Diet advise against fasting on days that involve a lot of endurance exercise. If you’re planning to run a marathon or participate in a triathlon event, consider whether intermittent fasting will work with your current training schedule. Speak with a sports nutritionist if you want to know more.
2- Time-restricted fasting (16:8)
The 16:8 method is the best way to eat to feel good and look great. Throughout my life, I’ve tried lots of different diets, but intermittent fasting has been the one I’ve loved the most. It’s easy to implement and maintain.
With this type of IF, you choose a daily eating window, which should leave you with a 16-hour fasting period.
It may be helpful to increase fat cell metabolism and optimize blood sugar levels by doing this.
You set your eating window from nine a.m. to five p.m., for example. It can be handy for people with families who eat their early dinners already.
So much of the time spent fasting is sleep, anyway. However, this depends on how consistent you can stay. If your schedule is often changing or you need or want the flexibility to eat at different times, daily periods of fasting might not be for you.
3- Overnight fasting
This method is the simplest and involves daily fasting from midnight to noon. Overnight fasting is a good beginner intermittent fasting schedule because it’s easy to integrate into your schedule.
For example, choose to stop eating after dinner at 7 pm. Then, resume eating at 7 am the following day with breakfast.
One of the benefits of this method is that implementing it is easy. You don’t have to skip meals; instead, you’re eliminating a bedtime snack. However, this method doesn’t maximize the benefits of fasting.
If you’re fasting for weight loss, having a shorter fast means you have more time to eat, which may not help you lose weight.
Rules Of Healthy Fasting
1- Get enough sleep
It’s always important to get enough rest. But getting more sleep may mean you need to reduce your daily calorie intake if you’re trying to lose weight.
Getting more sleep means you’ll be awake fewer hours at night, which could reduce your ability to resist the temptation to grab a snack when you wake up. And since you’ll be awake less, you might like eating less often.
For example, if you go to bed at midnight and wake up at 6 am, you will still have to fight the temptation to eat a midnight snack.
2- Choose a diet you can stick to
If you decide to fast for 16 hours every other day, but then your workout schedule gets in the way, and you find yourself struggling to resist food at an impossible time (say, after dinner), you might want to change it up so that you’re working out when you’re not fasting.
Intermittent fasting can be an excellent strategy for increasing the likelihood of weight loss, but sticking to the plan will help you lose weight.
To optimize the rate at which you lose weight; you’ll need to develop a schedule that works for you.
It would be best if you always tried to follow a healthy diet. Still, if you want to lose weight, you’ll need to consider the amount of weight you want to lose, the number of calories you consume, how much exercise you get, and any other factors specific to your situation.
Extra Tips To Increase Fasting Results
Intermittent fasting for men over 40 has become one of the most popular weight-loss trends in recent years.
Weight loss enthusiasts are embracing this healthy eating plan because it helps them lose weight quickly.
If you’re thinking about trying intermittent fasting for weight loss, here are some hacks you should know to improve its effectiveness.
– Try to increase the fasting hours
Many people want to lose weight fast by restricting their food intake to only 12-14 hours per day.
If you restrict your eating time to 16 hours, you’ll be able to lose weight faster.
Don’t eat after 8 pm, and most of your non–eating hours will occur when you sleep.
– You should follow a calorie-restricted diet
It’s easy to see why this one is so important. Eat healthy during your eating hours. Eat plenty of whole grains, lean proteins, and lots of vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that fasting is enough. And they start eating unhealthy during their eating periods.
However, you should eat healthy foods that increase satiety, including eggs, fish, apples (which are high in fiber), nuts, and most vegetables.
– Start your eating period with protein
After your fasting period ends, focus on eating foods rich in protein.
After 16 hours of fasting, wait to consume carbohydrates. Instead, eat protein-rich meals like chicken, tuna, or turkey.
It keeps your body in fat-burning mode for a longer time and provides it with the necessary protein.
– Choose your Carbohydrates wisely
Even though you’re using time-restriction dieting to lose weight by eating fewer calories than you usually would, that doesn’t mean you should eat high-carbohydrate or sugary foods when you’re not fasting.
Instead of eating high-carbohydrate foods (like pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, etc.), eat low-glycemic carbohydrates (like fruits and vegetables)
Carbs are necessary for
Can I drink coffee during intermittent fasting?
Drinking coffee won’t break your fast. Make sure that it’s black coffee, though. Adding cream, milk, or sugar is not okay.
How long does it take to see results from intermittent fasting?
It depends, but you will definitely begin to see results after the first week of fasting. If you eat clean during your eating window and follow an active fitness plan during your fasting, you will burn fat and lose weight fast.
These were some of the best intermittent fasting tips for weight loss to keep in mind for men over 40.
Time-restricted dieting is effective for me and can be for you as well.
Over time, focus on healthy eating and exercise routines instead of just trying to lose weight quickly, and you, too, can be a successful intermittent fasting success story.
The 16:8 fasting method works great. It helped me lose weight and keep it off. It has been working well for me for over a year, and there have been no issues or problems.
Combine it with a healthy fitness routine, and you’ll be well on your way toward reaching your goals.
Are you already practicing intermittent fasting?
Please let me know in the comment section below.