International Men’s Health Week this year is June 12-18th. This year it is all about the health risks of being overweight. Though both men are women are getting heavier, men are more likely to be overweight. In fact 67% of men have a BMI over 25. What’s more, overweight men are more likely to carry fat around their middle. Belly fat is dangerous, accumulating around vital organs, increasing the risk of disease.
Get out your tape measure!
Men, take your waist measurement to find out if you have too much belly fat. Take the measurement around the stomach at the level of the belly button. A waist measurement over 37 inches (94cm) increases your risk of ill health.
Weight loss programmes for men
The National Institute for Health Research funded a review on weight loss programmes for men. It found that men are much less likely to take part than women.
Yet certain factors were likely to motivate men to join up:
- Men do better with weight loss programmes that include an exercise component
- Gadgets such as pedometers or fitness apps such as online calorie trackers can help
- Improving fitness and changing to a healthier lifestyle is a bigger motivator than weight loss
- Losing weight and belly fat increases the possibility of reducing medications. With doctors consent of course.
The review also found that if men joined a fitness programme they were more likely than women to stick with it. They also maintained their healthy weight better than women.
Want to lose weight but don’t know how?
You could kick start your weight loss plan with my reset diet. Eating no more than 50g carbohydrate per day. Generally for weight loss it is better to limit fruit and starchy vegetables. Though people with higher activity levels can increase carbohydrates to meet energy needs.
Some strategies for weight loss
Keep food simple
Simple foods means less ingredients, flavourings and seasonings. Highly palatable foods are easier to overeat. So eat plain and simple foods to regulate your appetite, intake and metabolism. Increasing protein to keep you satisfied.
Being too strict can lower your metabolic rate and increase fat storage. Eat enough that you can lose weight gradually without feeling fatigued or unwell.
Choose a carbohydrate intake to match activity levels
Low-carb diets can be a great weight loss tool but they are not for everyone. Generally if you are more physically active you can eat more carbohydrates. For sedentary people a low-carb diet can aid weight loss efforts. Seek help if you’re not sure of the level of carbohydrates you should be eating.
Move throughout the day
Sitting is the new smoking! Research shows that you can’t mitigate the effects of sitting all day by going to the gym after work.
Include lifestyle changes
There is more to a good weight loss programme than diet and exercise. Getting adequate sleep, managing stress and social support are also important for losing weight and keeping it off.
Consider tracking your food intake
If your weight loss stalls you might be eating more calories than you think. Even just a few days tracking calories can help you see where you might be be able to make adjustments.
Though this post was written for Men’s Health Week these recommendations may also be used by women. Using these strategies it is possible to lose weight gradually. Generally one pound or 0.5kg per week is a good rate of weight loss.
If you have difficulty with food cravings on a weight loss plan I have found that acupuncture may help.
You can read more about Men’s Health Week 2017 at the Mens Health Forum.
Do you have any tips for weight loss? Share your success stories by leaving me a comment.