It has long been debated if men have a sort of “male menopause” during their mid-life. The original meaning of menopause was a description of the metabolic, emotional and hormonal changes that happen to a woman when she stops being fertile.
The truth is surprising: men also suffer from physical and emotional changes at their midlife. The difference is that it is hard to pinpoint when the male menopause starts. After men reach 40 years old their fertility and testosterone levels start nosediving. Sexually, the changes happen around 45 to 60. These changes include a libido loss and the inability to achieve erections (1).
Causes of the middle-age spread
A few things that affect this process include nutrition and how often you exercise. Other health problems may be an issue. The decisions we make around this time can have a severe impact on how our bodies react to the changes. For example: eating unhealthy foods and not exercising frequently.
Taking all of this into account, it is easy to see why weight gain, also known as the middle-age spread, happens to men during this time of their lives.
The most common period of time for men to gain weight is from around 55 to early 60's.
Tufts University studied middle aged men and women and found that they both have a average muscle loss of half a pound a year. They also gain half a pound a year in body fat which has a double impact. Men typically lose more muscle mass than women at this time (2), but is it a case of losing muscle causing a lack of strength which leads to less activity? Or is it the other way around?
Men may be tempted to severely cut the number of calories they eat or go on a fad diet to slash the carbohydrate levels in the food they eat, for example. The problem with this approach is that a major reduction in calories can cause a metabolism slowdown meaning weight is lost slower and weight gain when the diet stops can be huge.
Diet and Weight Training
Using common sense by eating plenty of grains, protein, fruit and vegetables and moderating saturated fats can lead to an achievement of weight loss for men without affecting the metabolism.
It my be a good idea to start strength training. Again, don't go overboard. Your body needs 2 days between workouts to allow muscle fibers to repair and build new muscle mass. This means working out with weights 2-3 times a week.
It really helps to give your metabolism a boost and counteract the muscle loss that is common at this time. Having more muscle means you will burn more calories even when resting. A pound of muscle burns 35-50 calories a day even while resting, whilst a pound of fat only burns 7-10 calories a day.
Eat more frequently
You might want to try getting a natural metabolism boost by eating every 3-4 hours during the day. Most of us are used to eating 3 large meals per day but if you switch to eating smaller regular meals you will see a metabolism boost. Your body burns calories when digesting food!
This is because so many organs are involved in the digestion process, and all of these organs need energy in order to function.
Try a Safe Supplement
You may be considering adding a safe and effective supplement to the above diet and exercise tips, and that would be a good idea if you really want to melt that middle-age spread quickly. The one I would personally suggest for men who are looking to start strength training or a healthier diet is called PhenQ.
PhenQ is a fat burner diet pill that is also known to give people a lot of energy, which is great if you aren't used to training at the gym for example.
It works by boosting your metabolism to help you burn off more calories. Couple this with a sensible diet to really supercharge your fat burning ability and regain your younger looking and feeling body.
In summary, mid-life weight gain affects most men but there is no need to put up with it. Start with cleaning up your diet and add in moderate weight training to counteract the effects of losing muscle mass and facing a metabolism slowdown.
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