With so many diets available to choose from, we’ve spoken to the experts to discover the best diet methods for men. Without wasting any more time on finding the perfect diet for you, let’s get straight into the top three so you can be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself ASAP.
The Low-Carb Diet
What Is a Low-Carb Diet?
“Nutrition is made up of three macronutrients; proteins, fats, and carbohydrates,” says Brianna Bernard, Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer, and Isopure Athlete. “Low carbohydrate diets restrict carb consumption compared to the average diet and replace carbs with foods high in protein and fat.”
But low carb shouldn’t be confused with no carbs. She explains that you shouldn’t ever completely eliminate a macronutrient from your diet. However, decreasing simple, processed carbs promotes a higher consumption of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, which can support weight loss and promote the growth of lean muscle when coincided with a strength training program. So if you’re looking to bulk up, a low-carb diet could be the one for you.
How Does a Low-Carb Diet Work?
“Low-carb diets work because instead of filling up on breads, pastas, and other highly processed grains, which most individuals tend to overeat, dieters replace former carbohydrates with high protein and high-fat foods,” says Bernard. Proteins and fats keep us feeling fuller longer than simple carbs, which is why the low-carb foods you eat with this diet tend to be complex carbohydrates as they’re nutrient-rich and slow-digesting (meaning they keep you feeling fuller longer).
Why Is a Low-Carb Diet One of the Best Diets Men Could Go On?
“Well, for starters, have you ever heard anyone brag about losing weight on a high-carb diet? Me neither,” says Bernard. “When you replace the majority of carbs from your diet with high protein foods like chicken breast, ground turkey, eggs, fish, and high-fat foods like avocado, raw nuts, and olive oil, you will be left feeling fuller for much longer than if you ate a piece of bread or a bowl of cereal.” Plus, carbs tend to contain a lot of sugar, and reducing your carb percentage and grams of sugar per day can contribute to a calorie deficit promoting weight loss.
Top 3 Benefits of the Low-Cab Diet
1. Low carb diets promote weight loss: In addition to helping the body rid itself of retained water weight, low carb diets help individuals lose weight up to three times faster than other diet programs – and without feeling hungry.
2. Low carb diets reduce your appetite: Studies have shown that low carb diets tend to produce higher protein and higher fat diets, which curb hunger and tend to lead to lower calorie consumption.
3. Reduce belly fat: Low-fat diets help reduce belly fat, which is highly attributed to heart attacks and type 2 diabetes.
Is a Low-Carb Diet Safe To be on Long-Term?
According to Bernard, the low-carb diet is safe to be on the majority of the time as it’s hard to lack the number of carbs we need. “I have yet to find someone who has struggled to eat enough carbs in their diet,” she says. Most of us struggle with getting enough grams of protein, healthy fats, or fruits and vegetables in our day, and carbs tend to be the thing we overeat because of the addictive sugars in carbohydrates.
Who Would You Recommend/Not Recommend Going on a Low-Carb Diet?
Bernard recommends a low-carb diet to anyone interested in losing weight and building lean muscle. The main reason for her advising clients against it would be if they feel it’s not sustainable for their lifestyle. “If the client is simply going to eat low carb for two or three months and then go right back to their old eating habits, they’re just going to gain the weight right back,” she says. Instead, it would be more beneficial to choose a diet they felt they could sustain long-term so they could keep the weight off for good.
Bernard’s Top 3 Tips for Newbies
1. Prepare your meals: Meal prep in advance and portion your food into containers in your fridge and freezer so you’re never more than a 2-minute microwave session away from eating a healthy meal.
2. Watch your serving sizes: Too much of a good thing can sometimes be a bad thing. When measuring protein, use the size and thickness of your palm to measure a serving, a fist to measure vegetables, one cupped handful to measure fruit, grains, and beans, and a thumb to measure healthy fats.
3. Drink water in between meals: I recommend a minimum of 100 oz of water per day to help curb hunger in between meals. In addition, proper hydration helps your metabolism function at a higher fat-burning capacity.
A Meal Plan for an Entire Day on the Low-Carb Diet
- Breakfast: 1 cup old-fashioned oats, 1 scoop ISOPURE® Zero/Low Carb – Dutch Chocolate protein powder, 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter.
- Morning snack: 1 cup blueberries, ¼ cup raw almonds
- Lunch: 6 to 8 oz grilled chicken breast, 1 to 2 cups garlic roasted broccoli
- Afternoon snack: 6 to 8 oz grilled turkey burger, 1 to 2 cups balsamic roasted brussels sprouts
- Dinner: 6 to 8 oz grilled salmon, 1 to 2 cups roasted asparagus
- Evening snack: 2 to 4 hardboiled eggs, 1 to 2 cups sugar snap peas
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The Low Sugar Diet
What Is a Low Sugar Diet?
“A low sugar diet is not about deprivation, but instead, adding in the foods that are lower in sugar that strengthen your body, your cells, and your energy,” says Dr. Daryl Gioffre, Certified Celebrity Nutritionist, Founder of Alkamind, and Author of Get Off Your Sugar.
How Does a Low Sugar Diet Work?
It’s about giving your body what it needs to break free from the addiction to sugar such as dark green leafy vegetables that are loaded with minerals to stay clear of cravings, healthy fats to encourage the switch to fat-burning so the drive to replenish glucose is lessened, and the right proteins to provide long-lasting energy.
“It’s not like flipping a switch; it’s a slow build where you add more of the good things so that the unhealthy things you’ve been eating naturally start to fall away,” says Gioffre.
Why Is a Low Sugar Diet One of the Best Diets Men Could Go On?
Many diets are super restrictive but the low sugar diet isn’t about deprivation, it’s about moderation. “I want you to enjoy your life – I’m not asking you to give up absolutely every guilty pleasure,” says Gioffre. Just make your indulgences the best you can make them – if you’re going to have chocolate, make it 100% dark chocolate with no added sugar.
If you’re going to have wine, make it red wine (due to its higher levels of antioxidants) and make it organic and low sulfite. “When you focus on making every food you eat the best possible version of that food, you can become the best version of yourself.”
The Top 3 Benefits of the Low Sugar Diet
1. Boost immune function: Our immune function slows down for hours after eating sugar, so imagine how much it decreases if you’re regularly eating sugar…
2. Strengthens your energy: As blood sugar levels quickly rise, you’ll feel a burst of energy, but because they increased so rapidly, they’ll also quickly crash shortly afterward
3. Lowers inflammation: Eating high levels of sugar increases the chances of chronic inflammation which can lead to serious diseases such as cancer, so dramatically cutting them down will majorly lower your chances
Is the Low Sugar Diet Safe To be on Long-Term?
“Sugar is not an essential fuel like protein and fat, and the body does not require sugar to function,” explains Gioffre. So eat your low sugar heart out for as long as you like.
Who Would You Recommend/Not Recommend Going on the Low Sugar Diet?
“The more sugar you eat, the less longevity you will have. Therefore, a low sugar diet is the preferred source of fuel and energy for all ages alike,” says Gioffre.
Running on sugar is like being a car with an engine that makes a lot of noise, never seems to shift into a higher gear, and leaves a cloud of dirty exhaust behind, whereas burning fat is more like being an efficient electric car that can recharge itself as it goes and leaves no emissions. Gioffre says “you have to ask yourself, do you want to run like a Model T or a Tesla?”
A Meal Plan for an Entire Day on the Low Sugar Diet
Chocolate Chia Pudding
- 2 cups coconut water or filtered water
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 medium-size dates, pitted
- 1∕8 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons chia seeds
Directions: Place all the ingredients, except the chia seeds for the garnish, in a blender and blend until thoroughly mixed for about one minute. Then, on the lowest variable speed, add the chia seeds and blend for one minute to mix.
Avocado Keto Wrap-Ups
- 2 romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced, or 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of hummus
- Smashed adzuki beans for more protein and added delicious flavor
- 4 large fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon red onion, diced
- A handful of sprouts or microgreens
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Directions: Set out each romaine leaf and smear half of the avocado or hummus into the romaine leaves and add a spoonful of smashed adzuki beans, top with the rest of the diced avocado or hummus, then the cilantro, onion, and sprouts, or microgreens. Drizzle the lime juice on top, and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Roll the leaves to form a wrap or burrito shape and enjoy right away.
Citrus-Herb Roasted Salmon With Asparagus
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil 4 (6 oz) Pacific wild-caught salmon fillets
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or thyme
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
Directions: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Coat a roasting pan with some of the coconut oil and place the salmon, skin side down, in the pan. Use the remaining coconut oil to coat the asparagus and spread it out on the roasting pan. Sprinkle the whole pan with the seasonings, transfer to the oven, and roast for eight to 12 minutes, depending on the desired doneness. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the salmon with parsley or thyme leaves and a squeeze of lemon, and serve on a plate.
Raw Vegan Brownies
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 1/4 cup warm filtered water
- 2⁄ 3 cup raw cashew butter
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
Directions: Place the dates in a food processor and pulse until chopped into small pieces. Add up to 1/4 cup of the warm water and process until the dates become paste-like, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed.
Add the cashew butter, cacao powder, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. With the processor running, add the coconut oil and process until the mixture has a consistent texture (about one minute). Spread in a small, flat, airtight container and refrigerate for at least two hours, then cut into brownie squares.
Gioffre’s Top 3 Tips for Newbies
1. Add magnesium: Have a daily shot of my Alkamind Acid-Kicking Minerals before going to sleep. Mineral depletion, especially magnesium, is one of the biggest reasons for craving sugar. This is why most of us crave chocolate as it’s a natural source of magnesium, a micronutrient that most of us are lacking. When we crave chocolate, our body is really asking for more magnesium.
2. Lay off sugary fruit juices: Eat fruit, but don’t drink it (OJ has more fructose than a can of soda, calorie for calorie).
3. Up your fiber intake: Adding fiber helps beat cravings before they begin (every day, take 1 tbsp of chia and flax seeds, ground, and added to water, then drink).
The High-Fiber, Plant-Based Whole Foods Diet
What Is a High-Fiber, Plant-Based Whole Foods Diet?
This diet is simple, just add more plants and fiber from whole foods. “I am not saying that men need to completely cut out all meat products, rather this diet looks at adding more protein, more nutrients, and more essential vitamins,” says Mckenzie Hathaway, Mindbody Nutrition Expert.
How Does a High-Fiber, Plant-Based Whole Foods Diet Work?
The goal is to have a variety of different fruits and vegetables. Many men, especially those that are focused on physical physic are extremely detailed on having vegetables alongside their rice and plain chicken. “Which is fine. I am not knocking that- however, this diet works because it makes your otherwise boring meals exciting while transforming your gut, which in turn is transforming your physical body,” says Hathaway.
Why Is a High-Fiber, Plant-Based Whole Foods Diet One of the Best Diets Men Could Go On?
“I would recommend this diet for a multitude of reasons because I have seen first hand how effective this is for men,” says Hathaway. “And second because it is backed extensively by science” for building a stronger immune system. It’ll also positively impact men’s weight and brain health.
Hathaway recommends the high-fiber, plant-based whole foods diet as it can easily fit into any lifestyle and you men will see dramatic results. “I am not just talking about physical bodies performing better, no, I have seen extreme improvement in men’s focus, libido, and overall mental health,” she says. It’s not just about physicality and feeling great when it comes to a diet, it’s about longevity.
Weight loss and extreme bodybuilding can look great on the outside, while one’s inside are completely decaying. “When men incorporate more fiber-filled foods and fermented foods into their daily diet their lives become easier as they will start to notice they feel more energized, more attentive. This is because their body is finally getting the diversity of nutrients it has been lacking.”
The Top 3 Benefits of a High-Fiber, Plant-Based Whole Foods Diet
1. Performance: When you are not filling your body with all the fillers, artificial colors/sweeteners, and unnecessary fats, your performance levels will significantly increase. The energy you had after three cups of coffee will be what you have after just one
2. Healthy gut: Let’s be honest, it all comes down to the gut. When you increase the number of plants your microbes dance with joy you will directly support your dysbiosis that is happening in your gut. When your gut is healthy it’s able to process everything more efficiently, repress the pathogenic bacteria that are recking havoc in your body.
3. Strong immune system: 70% of our immune system is in our gut. That means we need to make sure our gut is healthy and thriving so our immune system can support the rest of our body and how do we do that? By giving it the right care it needs- that care being a variety of plants.
Is This Diet Safe To be on Long-Term?
“I personally do not believe in short-term dieting or fad dieting- for quantitive and qualitative reasoning,” says Hathaway. “Adding more fiber and fermented food into a man’s diet is a lifestyle change, not a 90-day extreme shread or weight loss fad.” Putting any timeline on this diet isn’t the goal.
Who Would You Recommend/Not Recommend Going on This Diet?
Because this diet isn’t restrictive, Hathaway says anyone could benefit from this diet. Men who are dealing specifically with extreme gut sensitivities, inflammation, weight gain, and heart issues thrive off of this diet. “I always recommend my clients consult with their primary care doctor as this is a drastic lifestyle change for some and their medication might eventually be altered for the better,” she says.
A meal plan for an entire day on the high-fiber, plant-based whole foods diet:
Breakfast Smoothie: ½ cup ice, 2 frozen bananas, 2 cups spinach (it sounds like a lot it isn’t) 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 dates or 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
Salmon Salad: The more different types of fresh veggies you can get the better. 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce, arugula, broccoli sprouts, bell peppers, and avocado. For a dressing mix tahini, lemon, and water with garlic powder for an easy and tangy dressing that pairs well with the cooked salmon you throw on top.
Cannellini Bean and Fontina Whole Wheat Pasta: 1 can of cannellini beans you can easily cook with garlic, olive oil, and herbs. Add asparagus, paprika, and a dash of soy milk for a creamy white sauce for your whole-wheat pasta.
When it comes to snacks I recommend clients to reach for the veggies first. Have fresh cucumber with hummus. Carrots and some mashed avocados to make guacamole. Trail mix is also a go-to for my boyfriend. I make sure we always have a protein-packed mix handy, filled with walnuts, cacao nibs, dried cherries, cashews, and almonds.
Hathaway’s Top 3 Tips for Newbies
1. Start slow: You don’t need to go instant vegan to see results with a high fiber diet. Just slowly start adding three to four different types of fruits and vegetables into your day. It’s easy to hide them if you currently disdain the taste of greens.
2. Hold your own: In life, when we go against the mainstream there is always pushback. When a man decides to cut back on his procced meats and add more raspberries to his smoothie and kimchi at night it could feel like he is starting a revolution in his friend group. You may get eye rolls and lots of questions and disgust. You’re not changing your diet for them, but for your heart health, your longevity, the future of your kids, and how you want to feel in your 80s
3. Make it fun: There are thousands of recipes that are fun, tasty, and fiber-filled that can make an exciting date night for you and your partner. Get your whole family involved. Your lifestyle should not be secret or exclusive to you, having your kids try your chia pudding you made or the salon and cauliflower will be an empowering way to succeed in your new lifestyle.
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