So many weight-loss guides offer advice that’s geared toward for men, from caloric needs to cultural assumptions. But men have different perceptions about their bodies and face different challenges when it comes to the rough road of weight loss, managing issues that range from regulating portion sizes to curbing protein consumption. A few easy rules and substitutions can make this road a lot smoother. We spoke to Keri Gans, registered dietician and author of The Small Change Diet, about men’s special weight-loss needs, and found out which foods will help them lose weight quickly, healthily, and sustainably.
Often, what matters most isn’t what you eat, but how much. For men as well as women, weight loss is all about habit, according to Gans, and one of the most overlooked habits is portion control. Portion control is essential to an effective weight-loss regimen for men. Men tend to overestimate how much they need to eat, which leads to excess caloric intake and then to excess fat. A big part of a healthy weight-loss diet is finding portions you can stick to and foods you’re willing to eat more than once.
Don’t overestimate the need for protein in your diet — with the exception of bodybuilders and other professional athletes, “most men don’t actually need that much more protein than women,” and eating too much can lead to an overload of red meat and animal fat in your daily intake. Conversely, making sure not to neglect leafy greens and other vegetables is essential to a successful weight-loss program for a man.
Many of the healthiest weight-loss foods for men might already be in your fridge. You may be surprised to discover what you can still eat. Here’s a list of foods you can choose to help you shed the pounds painlessly and permanently.
Almond butter is packed with “healthy fats,” says Gans, that will help you store the right kind of nutrition. “Healthy fats, or monounsaturated fats, are linked with prevention of cardiovascular disease,” Gans continues. Try it on whole wheat or multigrain toast for a super healthy breakfast or midday snack!
You don’t have to sacrifice your favorite hamburger “as long as you do it the right way.” Keep the tomato, onion, and lettuce, but lose either the fries or the bun. Gans reminds us that “red meat is a good source of zinc, which is also important for keeping our immune system strong. Also, tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which may help reduce risk for prostate cancer.” Plus, healthy red meat is a great protein source that burns fat and fuels your workout.