If diet and weight are as important to health and well being as experts believe, us men need to make changes to what they eat and how often we exercise. You see, many are too overweight and suffer years of ill-health.
First, an estimated 27.7 percent of American and British males aged 20-74 years are obese. By comparison, obesity affects 19 percent of Australian men, 12 percent of French men and only 3.6 percent of Japanese. Second, the average lifespan of American and British men is 74.9 years, (Japan 77.8) of which an estimated 8 years are lived in ill-health (compared to Japans 6.5).
Abdominal Obesity Even More Dangerous
While obesity in general is a major predictor of serious ill-health in men, abdominal obesity - excess fat around the stomach - is an added health risk, which is bad news for men as they typically store fat around their middle. Men under stress are doubly at risk as stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol which appears to stimulate fat storage around the stomach and abdomen.
So, enough of the fear factor!! What can you do to lose weight then?
Diet Advice For Men
A nutritious diet is the foundation for lasting weight loss. And don't worry about cutting down on junk food. In my experience, a person's appetite for high-fat or high-sugar foods falls dramatically within a couple of weeks of healthy eating. So if you want to lose weight but can't enjoy a meal without a huge slab of fatty red meat, a large helping of mayo, or a bag of tortilla chips, try switching to a healthier diet for 2 weeks and see what a difference it makes to your taste buds.
Personalise Your Eating Plan
There is no single diet plan that fits every man. Moreover, eliminating all your favourite foods is not a winning weight loss strategy. As long as your regular daily diet is calorie-controlled and contains enough healthy foods, you should be able to include a few treats without interfering with your weight reduction. Contact me for personal diet and nutrition plans to suit you and your life.
Healthy Eating Guidelines For Men
As a general guide, choose foods which are low in fat - especially saturated or trans-fats - low in sodium, and less refined. To be more specific, eat at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables - more is better. Also, eat a wide variety of both, because different fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients. Eat whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread rather than white rice and white bread. Whole grain foods are richer in nutrients and higher in both soluble and insoluble fiber compared to more processed products. Their extra fiber content means they help to maintain healthy blood glucose levels, which reduces the risk of appetite swings and cravings. Go easy on fat. Enjoy low fat dairy products - remember, full-fat cheese is a huge source of saturated fat - and don't add extra fat to food in the form of mayo or sour cream. Stay away from chips and other high-fat, high sodium snack foods.
Men Who Enjoy Red Meat
Red meat, like beef, lamb and pork, is highly nutritious. Unfortunately, it's also one of the main sources of saturated fat - the type implicated in atherosclerotic heart disease. If you enjoy red meat, make sure you remove all visible fat before eating, and limit your intake to 3-4 3-ounce servings per week. Fish is a healthy alternative protein source, especially oily fish like mackerel, herring and salmon, as is skinless chicken and turkey.
Men Who Enjoy Alcohol
For many men, giving up alcohol is a complete No-No!! So let me give you some facts and you can choose accordingly. To begin with, alcohol contains zero nutrition. In addition, its calorie content is quite high - about 7 calories per gram. Drinking one regular Martini per day adds up to about 58,400 calories per year - the equivalent of about 16.5 pounds of body fat. One beer a day amounts to nearly as much. A better option is one 4oz glass of wine a day, which contains about half the calories of a Martini. Another problem to consider if you are male, is the contribution that alcohol makes to your fat around your stomach. In my experience, overweight drinkers who give up alcohol experience an immediate reduction in their stomach size, which is very good news for their health.
Weight Reduction Exercise For Men
Men typically do not find it easy to incorporate regular physical exercise into their daily schedule. We're busy after all! More than 50 percent of UK men do not take enough physical activity. Keeping active is one of the most effective methods of protecting ourselves against serious disease, and maintaining a good quality of life. This is particularly true for men over 40. For men who are new to exercise it;s best to start small and then gradually increase the duration and intensity of your training program up to 60 minutes a day. The best way to avoid overstrain is to loosen up with stretches at the beginning of each exercise session, and wind down with stretches afterwards. For a personalised exercise plan or training sessions contact me.
Improved Lifestyle For Men
Quitting smoking is the top priority for any man with weight-related health problems. Another essential improvement is stress reduction or at least better stress management. This is because any stress which leads to a feeling that life is out of control, is a major contributor to disordered eating, excessive alcohol intake and disease, as well as family problems. Moving to a less stressful job, reducing your work schedule, or taking regular physical exercise are useful ways to reduce stress, and will definitely assist weight loss and general health. Spending more time with your family is also a great stress reliever.
Good luck with your weight loss. Remember though, it's not about losing weight, but it's more about gaining happiness and a better lifestyle for the long term.