I’m all for equality but when it comes to weight loss for men, men can often face different challenges and indeed many have a different approach. Most men tend to be black and white; all or nothing. Indeed, this can be a positive trait and with many of my male clients, I can rely on excellent adherence and therefore results. “If this is what I’m told to do, then this is what I’ll do” ….and it works! They’re happy and I’m happy!
However, I also come across an unrealistic scenario of wanting ultimate results, without making any diet or lifestyle adjustments. Many men, despite leading a sedentary lifestyle, can still be eating the quantities and types of food they ate as an active teenager.
Whilst we know that weight loss for men (and women) is ultimately down to calories in vs calories out, unless you’re aware of what’s actually in your food and of food groups in general, it’s very difficult to make a judgement in terms of calorie content and the right foods to eat. It’s this awareness that can make all the differences..as well as, of course, acknowledging that there is a need to lose weight in the first place! According to a 2016 study, one of the biggest issues in weight loss for men is that men are not likely to announce their intention to lose weight or indeed that they are attempting to lose weight.
So, if you’re wondering why you (or the man in your life) is not losing weight, here’s 7 simple strategies that will help any weight loss efforts:
1. Become aware
As you begin your weight loss journey, it is important to be aware of what you’re eating. You’d be surprised how many snacks, little nibbles or extra portions are creeping into your daily intake. Write it down in a food diary and when it’s there in writing, it’s much easier to be more aware of where you’re currently at right now. You don’t have to do this on an ongoing basis going forward, but 1-2 weeks at the outset will help enormously.
2. Don’t ignore your liquid calories
Ok, guys, I’m talking alcohol here! Meeting up for a few drinks, either at the pub or over a casual lunch/dinner at home can send your calorie intake souring. Not only are alcoholic drinks very high in calories, but you are also likely to drink more of these than the non-alcoholic alternatives. Wine, beer or spirits; it all adds up…to a lot!
If you are opting for something without alcohol, don’t choose a sugary drink instead. Whilst they’re refreshing and more interesting than water, the calorie count can add up very easily and you’re likely to end up no better off, calorie-wise
My advice; stick with water! (Sorry!)
3. Know your BMI
Whilst BMI is not definitive, knowing where you stand on this scale will help you be more aware of the need to lose weight. If you’re in the overweight or obese range, then it’s time to do something about it. Your long term health is important and the quality of life you can expect in later years is down to you and the action you take now.
4. Move Move, Move!
I cannot stress enough how important exercise and general activity is and it is a lack of activity that is a significant culprit in gaining weight in the first place. It doesn’t have to be a gruelling session at the gym or a long distance bicycle ride; it’s simply a case of not spending too many hours sitting and using everyday activities to be more active. So, it’s time to switch up from Netflix or endless sporting events on the TV and consider more gardening, DIY jobs or dare I say it, housework! Of course, you can also plan a long walk or sign up to your first 5k; but the main thing is that your lifestyle switches from a sedentary to an active one.
Not only will you feel incredible (honestly, you’ll be amazed!), but your body will also thank you for the extra help you are giving it to help get everything moving, processed and eliminated.
5. Ditch a meal
I’m a huge fan of intermittent fasting, the 16:8 in particular. This means that you limit your food intake to 8 hours in the day and fast for 16 hours. When your body is in a fasted state, it will need to resort to fat stores for energy; in other words, your body will release fat to convert to energy and you will lose weight. So, consider whether you really need to eat breakfast and if not, you can fast all the way until lunchtime and secure that 16 hours of fast. READ MORE
6. Aim for 10-a-day
That’s 10 vegetables or fruits per day…7 veggies and max 3 fruits! These are the foods you should be eating in abundance and if you are, then your calorie intake will be kept in check, effortlessly. Of course, you’ll also be ensuring the variety of vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal health. The good news is that beans and pulses, as well as nuts, also count towards your 10-a-day, so it’s a question of making the right choices that keep you full and satiated rather than quick fixes, that don’t satisfy.
7. Scan a menu
Ideally, you’re shopping and cooking from scratch at home the majority of the time but if you’re relying on take outs, it’s very important to scan the menu carefully and make wise choices. Start with your protein choice and consider how it’s cooked. Is it in a sugary or fat-laden sauce? Grilled options are far more preferable and equally tasty. A good quality grilled burger or tandoori/tikka chicken or salmon, for example, can certainly feel like treat whilst also being a healthier choice. Don’t ignore the veggies; order more varieties, in favour of any bread, rice or potato sides.