Weight Loss For Men: It’s No Longer A Taboo Subject
Men and diets! Do those two words go together? Step back in time about 20 years and, for a man, the idea of a diet, or any other weight loss plan, was a taboo subject. A beer belly was almost a badge of honour – 15 pints a night and a greasy portion of chips was enough to finish off the night (and your heart)!
Before you click the back button, here are a few things to consider:
1. The levels of obesity in the UK are at an all time high. 63% of the male population of the UK is overweight.
2. The instances of weight-related health problems is growing: figures for heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, osteoarthritis and weight related cancers are all on the up.
3. More bad news for men: on average, you’re likely to die 5 years than a woman.
4. The average man weighs nearly a stone more than his 1980’s counterpart.
There is one more problem: Being the way we are, men are less likely than women to face the facts and accept that we are overweight. I know you work hard, it’s difficult to find healthy food that appeals to you. I know that, at the end of the working day, you want to let your hair down and have a couple of drinks. This doesn’t mean you have to go overboard.
Fortunately, times have changed. For a start, health awareness programmes have shown us the effects of a poor quality diet on the body. Fat covered internal organs and furred arteries go hand in hand with a visit from the grim reaper. Government statistics show a steadily rising number of deaths caused by coronary heart disease and other illnesses related to a poor diet. Many men have taken notice but are still a little too embarassed to sign on the dotted line and make the change to their dietary habits.
Here’s a little background on me. In my 20’s and 30’s I was incredibly active. I traveled the world, I skied, I ran, I climbed mountains. I was never overweight. Once I hit 40 the dreaded spare tyre made an appearance. I know this isn’t unusual but I couldn’t understand it. I still run an average of 5 miles per day. I still go the gym. How could I be putting on weight? I convinced myself that it was an age-related weight problem. WRONG!
I had a chat with Angela, who runs a new Slimming World forum to see what she thought. Within a few minutes she had highlighted quite a few bad habits. Snacking of fat packed foods, 3 sugars in my coffee (which is a problem when you guzzle 7 or 8 coffees a day) and a number of other areas where I could improve my diet.
Ok, you know it’s easy to find the cause of your weight problems. Do you have to resort to a life of munching on dry, tasteless crispbread? Fortunately, no. Personally, I couldn’t stomach the thought of not enjoying my food and this is where the plan starts to fall into place.
Think of it as more of a lifestyle change rather than ‘going on a diet’. The programme is based around the idea of Slimming World Syns (yes, naughty but nice is appropriate).
I’m not going to give you the full ins and outs of how Slimming World works but it’s ironic that any weight loss plan should encourage to eat until you’re no longer hungry! The basis for the plan is something called Food Optimising. Basically, it’s a way of eating as much as humanly possible but in a healthy fashion (my words, not Angela’s).
Ok, I’m starting to sound like I’m preaching. Some of the facts and figures in this article may have shocked but they’re meant to. Your health is paramount: unless you’re the Six Million Dollar Man, you only get one body so look after it.
Oh, if you’re interested, I lost four pounds of ‘excess’ weight in the first week.
P.S. Guys, if you don’t like the thought of going on a diet, call it a lifestyle change instead 🙂