>> Oct 1, 2016
It is not enough to be medically healthy. Many men worry about looking healthy and fit. Some of the dilemmas men face today revolve around:
-Increasing body weight and body fat
-Body shape concerns
-Lack of exercise
-Weight prejudice in work and social situations
-Confusion about health and nutrition
Studies have shown that men on the whole are as dissatisfied with their body weight as women, but are dissatisfied in different ways. Forty percent of men would like to increase weight, while an equal number would like to decrease weight. Likewise, 70-80 percent of women are usually dissatisfied with their weight; however, they almost always want to weigh less.
Just as women have impossible ideals for thinness, so do men have impossible, culturally-based norms placed upon them. Few men meet the ideal images that are hurled from ads, television shows, movies, and even seemingly scientific-sounding articles. Unfortunately, these norms keep worsening the gap between where men are and where they would like to be.
Healthy eating and diet
At every age, everyone has a natural weight range that is right for them. Your best weight is predominantly decided by your genes. Our bodies fight to maintain a "set point" range that is correct for each of us. We are at our healthiest within five to 10 pounds of this set point. Weight fluctuations are normal within that range. If someone diets below their set point, calories are preserved because the body conserves them due to "famine" conditions. This is the reason that dieters easily lose weight at the beginning of their diets, then the weight loss stops. Their bodies start to burn calories more slowly to maintain the set point. The dieter gets frustrated, gives up on the diet, and gains the weight back and often more. He clearly would be much better off not going on diets--period.
Although others might have different opinions, we seldom endorse the idea of dieting or weight loss. Restrictive dieting for severe obesity, under a physician's guidance, may have its place; but, for the vast majority of men who want to lose weight, choosing a healthy nutritional program and increased fitness does the job much better. Most weight loss by dieting will be restored within 12 months after stopping the diet, perhaps to a higher weight.
The skinny on fats
Nutritional lipids the kinds of fats we eat are as different from each other as a pussycat is from a tiger. Saturated fats (the bad fats) are found in animal fats, full-fat dairy products, margarine, palm oil, and coconut oil. These tasty bad fats are used widely in commercially-baked products. Rates of bowel and prostate cancers, as well as coronary disease, increase in proportion to the amount of saturated fat in an individual's diet. Polyunsaturated fats (the neutrals) include many of the vegetable oils (safflower, corn, and soy) used in salad dressings. They are certainly better than saturated fats and reduce cholesterol, but they also reduce the HDL's that take bad fats out of the body the fat burning kitchen program helps to burn fat without any side effect. Monounsaturated fats (the good fats) include olive oil, olives, nuts, fish, avocados, and canola oil. A diet of moderate monounsaturated fats is associated with decreased weight, improved blood lipids, and decreased risk of coronary disease and cancer.
Most men, with the exception of some who have had heart attacks or genetically high levels of blood lipids, should safely consume 20 to 30 percent of their calories in fat, preferably monounsaturated.
The carbohydrate connection
Carbohydrates are referred to as high-glycemic, or "simple," and low-glycemic, or "complex." Sugar is a natural food and does not harm you. That said, there is not much value to eating high-glycemic carbohydrates. High sugar tends to produce empty calories without vitamins and the calories are burned too quickly to be of great value in most situations. Less-refined carbohydrates and protein burn much more evenly.
Complex carbohydrates should comprise the largest share of your daily caloric intake. These calories burn more evenly because they are polymers of many simple sugars, and are available in two types of food starch and fiber. Grains (cereal, bread, pasta, rice, etc.), legumes, vegetables, and fruits are good sources of carbohydrates. Also, there is more nutritional value to foods which have been processed less, such as "whole grain" rather than "white" bread. Generally speaking, you should consume at least 40 percent of your diet as carbohydrate, and choose the lower-glycemic, complex carbohydrates as the bulk.