Weight Loss for Men Over 40: Tips and Advice

Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
7th January 2022

In 30 seconds

Weight loss at any time can be a tough challenge. But weight loss for men over 40 can feel particularly daunting. Metabolism slows, sleep tends to become less regular, and a busy lifestyle can get in the way of physical activity. So, how can older men lose weight? It’s the same advice as for everyone else. Try to improve your sleep, cut down on alcohol, processed foods, and red meat, and stay active.

Staying Fit into Middle Age

It’s a harsh truth to face, but you’re no longer the young man who could eat whatever you wanted and stay up all night without feeling any effects. Those days are sadly gone.

By the age of 40, our bodies and lives are changing. And that can mean that it’s easier to put on weight — and more difficult to shed it.

So, what can you do to stay fit and in shape into your middle age? Here, we’re sharing 14 tips for weight loss for men over 40.

Note: When it comes to health and wellbeing – both physical and mental – losing body weight is not the only thing that matters. Staying active and eating well is much more crucial than simply weighing less. Bear this in mind throughout your fitness journey.

Why Does Your Body Change as You Get Older?

Naturally, as you get older, the male body changes, and you tend to put on weight, lose muscle, and change shape. For many men, alongside hair loss and erectile dysfunction, this can be a difficult thing to experience.

By the way, these changes are something completely natural and incredibly common. But, most importantly, there are some easy things to do to stay happy with your changing body.

So, why does your body change as you get older? Here are some important reasons.

  • Your metabolism slows: The rate at which your body burns energy slows as you age, which means more of what you eat is stored as fat. While this seems to happen slightly later than previously thought, according to a recent study, you need much fewer calories by the age of 60 than you would have needed at a younger age.
  • You lose muscle: Studies suggest that muscle mass decreases by 3-8% per decade after the age of 30, and this is particularly true for people who do not live an active lifestyle. Age-related muscle loss is known as sarcopenia – and it is entirely normal.

    The trouble is that muscle uses more energy than fat. If you lose that muscle, it can be harder to lose weight.
  • You’re probably less active: While it’s only a general rule, people over 40 tend to be less active than those younger. Usually, this is down to your lifestyle, with work commitments or children taking up a lot of your time.
  • Your hormones change: Testosterone is an essential male hormone that plays a significant role in regulating muscle mass in men. After 40, it tends to decrease by about 1% each year, making it easier to put on weight.

Find out more: Normal Testosterone Levels by Age

  • Sleep can become more difficult: Science suggests that it’s a myth people need less sleep as they age. But there is plenty of evidence to say that it’s harder to get the quality of sleep you need. Unfortunately, that can have a big impact on your energy levels, food choices, and how your body stores fat as you get older.

Weight Loss for Men Over 40: 14 Tips

So, how can you fight weight gain in the second half of life? Here are our weight loss tips for men over 40.

Fix Your Sleep

Healthy sleeping habits need to be at the centre of any healthy lifestyle — and this is particularly important if you are trying to lose weight. That’s because poor sleep makes it more likely that you’ll consume more calories (particularly from unhealthy food sources) and exercise less.

Doctors say you should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night. So, how can you get better sleep?

  • Practise good sleep hygiene: That means creating an environment in which you sleep the best. Keep your bedroom dark, cool, and device-free.
  • Find ways to destress: Easier said than done, we know. But finding ways to reduce anxiety will help your sleep schedule. Meditation, mindfulness, exercise, or doing something you love can all help.
  • Try sleep supplements: Sleep supplements containing natural ingredients like chamomile have been shown to have a meaningful impact on your sleep quality.

Browse our selection of science-backed sleep supplements.

  • Exercise: Physical activity can make sleep come easier. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.

Follow a Healthy Diet

Eating well becomes more important as you get older. That means a balanced diet with moderate portion sizes. Let’s look in detail at how you can change your eating habits.

  • Don’t skip breakfast: Missing the most important meal of the day makes it more likely that you’ll consume more calories throughout the rest of the day. Try something substantial like a lean or plant-based protein for breakfast.
  • Cut back on alcohol: Alcohol makes it more difficult to sleep, and it stops your body from breaking down fat. Reducing your alcohol levels will make weight loss in your 40s considerably easier.
  • Reduce portion sizes: As your metabolic rate slows, you need fewer calories. Simply eating less makes a big difference.
  • Lead with natural fibres and proteins: Healthy foods like proteins and fibres are great for you. Yet, most men get their protein from fatty meats. Changing your protein source from meat to vegetables – such as legumes – and choosing complex carbs like whole grains can help weight loss while ensuring you get all the goodness you need.
  • Drink water: People who drink enough water tend to feel less hungry and consume fewer calories.

Stay Active

Your metabolism is slowing, muscle mass is reducing, and your sleep is suffering. Exercise can help them all — while helping you also lose weight. But what’s the best way to exercise after the age of 40?

  • Start small: No one is asking you to go and run a 10k tomorrow. Starting with something manageable and gradually building up your activity is a much better, more sustainable strategy for weight loss.

    Aim for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. This will help you build muscle, reduce your body fat, and cut the chance of heart disease and high blood pressure.
  • Try strength training: Rather than cardio activities like jogging or walking, you might prefer to focus on muscle building. This can help make it easier to reduce belly fat and achieve a healthy weight in the long term.
  • Put time aside in your routine: It can feel like you’re too busy to exercise. But there is enough time for everyone to be more active. Can you walk or cycle to work? Is there time at your lunch break to go to the gym? Finding a workout plan that actually works for you will make it easier to stick to your changes.
  • Make exercise social: Exercise doesn’t always feel appealing — if it’s raining, you’re tired, or you just can’t be bothered, you might put it off. Doing it with someone else can motivate you to go out there and do it nonetheless.

Find a Weight Loss Method You Enjoy

Ultimately, to make lifestyle changes stick, it’s best to find something you enjoy. If you prefer interval training to weight-lifting, or eating curries to eating salads, that’s great! But finding something that makes the process a pleasure is a must.

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Key Takeaways

From sleep to healthy eating, there are many methods to help weight loss for men over 40. But the key element is simple: exercise and eat in the way you enjoy. That’s the only way to make your fat-loss plan sustainable in the long term.


How Can I Speed Up My Metabolism After 40?

You can speed up your metabolism by exercising, sleeping well, and eating a substantial breakfast.

Your metabolism is one of the most important contributors to your overall body weight.

How Can I Lose Weight if I Work from Home?

If you work from home, there’s a risk you’re less active than people that walk or cycle to work. But there are benefits. You can choose when you exercise and have more time to do it, seeing as you don’t need to commute.

  • Schedule time every day for a walk or other physical activity. This will help make sure there’s enough time for exercise. 
  • Keep snacks out of the house. It will reduce the temptation to nibble during the day.

Connect with other people and exercise with them. According to studies, social exercise can encourage you to exercise more.


  1. Herman Pontzer, Yosuke Yamada, Hiroyuki Sagayama, Philip Ainslie, Lene Andersen, Liam Anderson, Lenore Arab, Issaad Baddou, Kweku Bedu-Addo,
    Ellen Blaak, et al. (2021). Daily energy expenditure through the human life course – https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abe5017

  2. Elena Volpi, Reza Nazemi, and Satoshi Fujita (2010). Muscle tissue changes with aging – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804956/

  3. Harvard Health Publishing – Testosterone, aging, and the mind – https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/testosterone_aging_and_the_mind

  4. NIH – 10 Myths About Aging – https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/10-myths-about-aging

  5. Stephanie M. Greer, Andrea N. Goldstein, and Matthew P. Walker (2013). The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3763921/

  6. Science Daily – Social networks can motivate people to exercise more – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151007110738.htm

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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