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You can create an energy, or calorie, deficit when you take in fewer calories than you use through your daily activity.
When a person takes in less energy than they use, the body fulfills its remaining energy demands by metabolizing energy from the body’s own stores in its tissues, rather than food. This results in lost tissue mass, also known as weight loss or BMI reduction.
While energy deficits are relevant to maintaining a moderate weight for all sexes, males may lose weight differently in that they may:
Conversely, males may see smaller reductions in cholesterol and pulse pressure.
This article discusses how to reduce BMI effectively, safely, and sustainably, as well as how to maintain a moderate weight. It also includes diet and exercise tips for males.
Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male” and “men” when discussing people assigned male at birth to reflect language that appears in source materials.
Learn more about the differences between sex and gender here.
Diet plays a significant role in maintaining a moderate weight. The following advice may help you naturally reach or sustain a moderate BMI.
Read more about BMI here.
Creating an energy deficit will help you reduce your weight. You can create an energy deficit by calculating your energy expenditure and eating less than that level of calories.
However, it is important to remember that eating a good amount of calories is essential, as they represent the delivery of necessary energy and nutrients from food.
Contact a doctor or registered nutrition professional for help with diet changes and to understand what energy intake is appropriate for you to reduce your BMI.
You can also use a calculator to help you estimate a safe calorie intake for BMI reduction based on your age, size, and activity levels.
Although having a large energy deficit can cause body mass reduction, it is important to prioritize healthy habits that are sustainable.
This is because severe energy or calorie restriction may lead to negative effects on mental and physical health, and it may increase a person’s BMI again. This can happen because large energy deficits may eventually cause an increased appetite or reduced energy expenditure.
The researchers behind a 2018 study note that experiencing weight increases after BMI reduction is very common.
If your goal is achievable by making manageable daily changes that do not affect your physical or mental health negatively, you may be more likely to progress or improve your overall health.
Try planning meals in advance to ensure that you take in an appropriate amount of energy and nutrients to support a healthy weight. This can include shopping in advance, making a weekly shopping list, and planning meals and healthy snacks.
Additionally, reducing your food intake from restaurants and fast-food outlets may help you maintain a moderate weight long term.
Some restrictive diets are popular for reducing body mass. These include time-restricted diets, such as intermittent fasting, or diets that eliminate certain food sources, such as vegan diets or keto diets.
Any of these diets may help maintain a moderate weight when combined with an energy deficit. However, just following any of these diets without reducing your energy intake will not automatically cause body mass reduction.
Additionally, restricting natural food groups or fasting can be unsafe — especially if you have an underlying health condition.
Always contact a doctor for advice before starting a restrictive diet.
Eating at regular times throughout the day may help metabolize calories faster and, therefore, contribute to an energy deficit.
The researchers behind a 2018 study also associate smaller, more frequent meals and snacks with long-term successful weight maintenance.
Eating a healthy diet can help you maintain a moderate BMI. To eat a healthy diet, you can try the following diet tips.
Learn more about high fiber foods here.
Banning your favorite foods from your diet may be counterproductive, even if they are not as nutritious as other options. This is because strictly denying yourself foods that you enjoy may make you fixate on them more, which may affect your mental health.
Instead, try reducing the amounts instead of completely avoiding them. It is possible to eat these foods occasionally while maintaining a moderate weight.
Exercise may also help you maintain a moderate weight. Among other things, this is because exercising may help you increase your energy expenditure.
Below are some tips regarding exercise.
If you are trying to increase the amount of exercise you do but are not used to such high activity levels, try to find ways to incorporate your exercise into your daily life.
Adults under the age of 64 years should aim to spend at least 150 minutes per week doing exercise of moderate intensity or at least 75 minutes per week doing exercise of vigorous intensity. This should be spread evenly throughout the week. This means that you can get your exercise in a way that suits you and your routine.
Moderate activity refers to any activity that raises your heart rate or makes you breathe faster. Vigorous activity refers to any activity that makes you breathe faster and more intensely. For example, you may not be able to speak more than a few words while exercising at a vigorous level.
Finding an exercise you enjoy may also mean that you are more likely to continue and maintain a moderate weight.
Building muscle by strength training may help increase your metabolism and the amount of energy you burn.
Strength training refers to exercise that causes the muscles to work against force. This can include bodyweight exercises such as Pilates, weightlifting, and resistance band exercises.
A 2022 meta-analysis suggests that resistance training can reduce the percentage of fat in the body, body fat mass, and visceral fat, which surrounds the organs.
The researchers behind a 2014 study note that weight loss managed by exercise alone is often less than people expect it to be. This is because the body may, in some cases, compensate for energy expenditure. In other words, the amount of exercise you do does not directly relate to the amount of body mass you reduce.
So, make sure to exercise at levels that are manageable for you, and remember to take your nutrition into consideration.
The manufacturers of weight loss supplements claim that supplements may help reduce BMI. However, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, there is not much scientific evidence to suggest that weight loss pills and supplements are effective.
Additionally, weight loss supplements can be expensive, and they may even be harmful. For example, they may have negative interactions with other medications and cause side effects. It is also important to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate or approve dietary supplements.
If you need help with reducing your BMI, contact a doctor or registered nutrition professional for advice.
Here are some frequently asked questions about weight loss for males.
A quick reduction in BMI may occur when following a low calorie diet.
However, losing weight quickly can be unsafe. For most people, reducing body weight at a rate of 1–2 pounds per week is safe.
Losing body mass faster than this due to an inadequate energy intake can cause nutritional deficiencies that lead to further health conditions, changes to the metabolism, and other side effects, such as gallstones.
Reducing your BMI includes eating a healthy diet. However, there is no one diet change or food that will cause BMI reduction.
To reduce body mass effectively, focus on making manageable improvements to diet and creating a mild, sustainable energy deficit.
Swap highly processed foods high in saturated fats and sugar for more nutritious, lower calorie energy sources. These options include lean proteins, whole grain carbohydrates, and sources of fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
Weight loss occurs when a person takes in less energy through food than they use during daily life and any activity.
Changes that can help males reduce their energy intake and maintain a moderate weight long term include:
Exercise may also help you increase energy expenditure and maintain a moderate weight.
Contact a doctor or registered nutrition professional for help reducing your BMI and maintaining a moderate weight healthily and sustainably.
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