3 Ways Men Over 40 Can Avoid Losing Muscle On A Diet
Is there any greater fear among men? Especially Men Over 40. Losing muscle is a very, very real threat when on a diet, for men of any age. But as the ageing process becomes more pronounced, the risk catapults through the roof.
The last thing you want on a diet is to lose all of the muscle you worked so hard for. The blood and sweat you gave up in the gym, pounding on the weights, day in, day out.
All for nothing.
If you allow it.
How To Maintain Muscle For Men Over 40
Men Over 40 will have a difficult time with this, especially if they aren’t on TRT. But there are certain guidelines to follow that will minimise the risk of muscle loss on a diet. Here we go:
Keep Your Carbs As High As Possible
Yes carbs, not protein. Even more reason not to do Keto. Carbs are incredibly muscle-sparing, and ideally they shouldn’t ever go below 100g or so. But I concede that this depends on your overall bodyweight and activity level, so it’s very difficult to give hard and fast numbers.
And to clarify, I’m talking clean carbs here. Potatoes, brown rice, wholewheat pasta, fruit & veg etc. Not sugar. Eliminating sugar is a very smart idea.
The reason I’m emphasising keeping carbs as high as possible is because the fitness world is currently in a phase of “carbs are evil, protein is life” within the fitness “cycle” – these trends come and go.
Everyone already eats enough protein. Going low-carb is what will make you lose muscle.
Lift Heavy Weights
I’ve seen a lot of Men Over 40 puss out when it comes to heavy weights, as they’re afraid of being injured. It’s a legitimate concern, and therefore you should always prioritise warming up and also perfecting your form.
Once you’ve done this however, you’re still at a greater risk of those niggling pains and joint aches from turning into major injuries, which a younger man simply doesn’t have to worry about as much. Two solutions:
- Continue to lift heavy weights, just less frequently.
- Take regular deloads.
I always take deloads every 4-6 weeks – they’re awesome for injury prevention and general recovery purposes. In terms of heavy lifting, perhaps you used to lift heavily every week. Make it every other week now. Cut down on the frequency to allow for better joint health and recovery.
But the answer is not to stop lifting heavy weights, as that’s guaranteed muscle loss. Allow for greater recovery, yes. Quit heavy lifting altogether? Absolutely not.
Schedule Daily Walks
This is if you’re the typical, busy older guy. And this is on top of your normal cardio. The goal of daily walks is to counter-act against sedentarianism. Nothing is more catabolic than sitting on your arse all day, with minimal movement.
Counter-balance this by going for a brisk walk every morning.
I’ve mentioned before that Men Over 40 have somewhat of a tightrope when dieting. Both training being harder to recover from, and also fat being harder to lose for any given energy deficit (muscle being more likely to be attacked).
Because of this, we have to take extra measures against muscle loss, and attack this threat head on. The best ways to do this are to keep carbs high, weights heavy, and stay active. Carbs high meaning relatively high, compared to Keto and other fad diets.
Good luck, and happy shredding 🙂
If you enjoyed this article and are motivated to lose weight, feel free to check out my coaching services here. Also, sign up to weekly exclusive content by email – the form is in the top right of the screen (if you’re on a computer), or at the bottom (if you’re on your phone). Thanks, I appreciate it.