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Easy to follow diet plans for men

Man cooking in his kitchen at home
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It’s often said that men have a much easier time losing weight than women, because of differences in body type and metabolism. The truth is that everybody is different, and what works for a male friend or family member may not work for you.

If you’re a man looking to lose some weight, the best place to start is by assessing your diet and calorie intake. By lowering the amount of calories you consume each day, you should be able to lose some weight – especially if you start doing regular exercise as well.

Of course, sticking to a lower calorie diet and a regular exercise plan is often easier said than done! That’s why there are plenty of plans out there to help you with the process. To inspire you, we’ve listed a few of the best diets for men looking to lose weight.

Just remember: it’s a good idea to speak to your GP before you embark on any new diet, especially one that involves fasting or cutting out whole food groups.

The NHS weight loss plan

A really good place to start if you’re trying to lose weight is with the NHS. They offer a free 12-week weight loss plan which incorporates diet and exercise. You can access the plan through an app on your mobile, or by printing off PDFs.

This plan is designed to help you lose weight in a safe, gradual and sustainable way. Each week you’ll work towards different weight loss and exercise goals, using the supplied guidance. You’ll receive tips on how to prepare food in a healthier way, curb cravings, and stay active.

For men, the daily calorie allowance in this weight loss plan is 1,900 – this is 600 calories fewer than the standard calorie allowance for men. By sticking to this (along with regular exercise) you should end up losing 0.5-1kg (1-2 pounds) each week.

As an idea, 1,900 calories across the day gives you:

  • 380 calories for breakfast
  • 570 calories for lunch
  • 570 calories for dinner
  • 380 for snacks and drinks

Which foods do I have to cut out for the NHS weight loss plan?

The NHS weight loss plan isn’t based on a restrictive diet where you cut out whole food groups. However, you will probably need to cut out junk food, as the plan requires you to eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet low in salt, sugar, and fat.

Because the diet is based on lowering your daily calories, you may need to swap out your favourite sugary and fatty foods for lower calorie alternatives. For example, have a dollop of low-fat yoghurt with your strawberries instead of full-fat cream.

The keto diet

A ketogenic, or “keto” diet, can be a good diet plan for men – especially those who don’t have a sweet tooth.

This is a diet low in carbohydrates (sugar, starch, and fibre) and high in fat. It’s designed to keep blood sugar at a low but healthy level, and to encourage a process known as ketosis, where the body burns fat for energy. There’s evidence to suggest that the keto diet is helpful for people who have type 2 diabetes, or for people who are at risk of developing diabetes.

To stick to the keto diet you’ll need to seriously reduce the amount of carbohydrates you’re consuming, while increasing the amount of fat. This isn’t always easy, as carbohydrates are found in many different foods. There’s also a risk that you’ll miss out on key nutrients, so you should speak to your GP first before trying it.

Which foods do I have to cut out for the keto diet?

You don’t have to eliminate whole food groups for the keto diet, but you do need to significantly reduce your intake of carbohydrates.

Diabetes.co.uk recommends eating no more than 50g of carbohydrates a day – some versions of the keto diet recommend an upper limit of 30g. To give you an idea of how much that is, one slice of brown bread contains about 20g of carbohydrates.

You’ll need to be very careful about your consumption of bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, and cereals, as well as fruit, fruit juices, and sugary treats. Additionally, you’ll need to watch what kinds of vegetables you’re eating, especially if they’re starchy and high in carbs e.g. sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, and parsnips.

By contrast, you’ll want to up your intake of fat. On the keto diet, it’s fine to eat fatty cuts of meat, poultry with the skin on, and butter and cream.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is where you fast or eat a very low-calorie diet for set portions of the day or week. This can be a good diet for men who don’t want to restrict their eating habits e.g. by cutting down on carbs.

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help with weight loss, and can be especially helpful people for people at risk of diabetes. It may also help to reduce inflammation, and improve sleep and gut health.

Two popular types of intermittent fasting are 5:2 and 16:8:

  • 5:2 involves taking two non-consecutive days a week where you eat only 600 calories (women should only eat 500)
  • 16:8 involves fasting for 16 hours a day and only eating within the remaining eight-hour window e.g. you only eat between 12pm and 8pm

When you’re not fasting you should be eating a healthy, balanced diet. This type of diet doesn't give you the green light to eat as much unhealthy food as you want once you’re finished a fasting period.

Which foods do I have to cut out for intermittent fasting?

None! However – as with the NHS weight loss plan – the idea is to pursue a healthy, varied and balanced diet that is light on foods high in fat, salt, and sugar.

If you’re doing 5:2, you’ll have to set aside two days of the week where you only eat 600 calories, which can be really tricky and may leave you feeling hungry.

The LloydsPharmacy weight loss service

If you’re struggling to lose weight using diet and exercise, you may be eligible for treatment with LloydsPharmacy. Our weight loss service is designed for people with a BMI over 30, or for people with a BMI over 27 who have a condition affected by weight gain.

Weight loss service

References

www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/start-the-nhs-weight-loss-plan
https://assets.nhs.uk/tools/download-panels/data/weight-loss/pdf/wlp1.pdf
www.diabetes.co.uk/keto
www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/257964778
www.diabetes.co.uk/keto/foods-to-eat-on-a-ketogenic-diet.html
www.bupa.co.uk/newsroom/ourviews/intermittent-fasting