Time to talk food
It would be nice for men to have a hormonal problem to blame for their getting thicker around the middle or developing a belly or beer gut when they get older but that is not the case. Read about men and their attitude to dieting.
Some men know more about nutrition and diet than other, so it would be wrong to generalise that men are not as aware of the nutrition as women. But culturally, men are less inclined to be involved in food choice and food preparation than women. It is very important for anybody that is interested in their health that they know as much as they can about diet and nutrition and lifestyle so that you can put those into action in your own life. Men who are not aware of the nutritional value of food can learn and become more skillful in choosing foods that are good for them.
Some men care very much about being overweight. That might come done to attractiveness, or their own sense of well-being or fear of illness or disability. Others do not care about being overweight until there is a health crisis and that crises might be their own or someone else's; it could be a relative or a close friend who has a heart attack, develops diabetes or cancer. Suddenly he become very aware of his own health and mortality. Thoughts like 'I really should start looking after myself' are not unusual and that can be a catalyst to start being aware of weight and broader lifestyle issues like exercise, smoking, alcohol and stress management.
There are also other men who are very keen on having a healthy body shape and may have been very fit when they were younger but have let things go a bit. They let their gut grow and might be surrounded by a majority of their friends or men who have got beer bellies or a bit of a gut and they think 'Oh that is just normal as you get older'. Fact: It is actually not normal to have a gut, as you get older. It is very important that men see that as a health risk and not just a badge of age.
It would be nice for men to have a hormonal problem to blame for their getting thicker around the middle or developing a belly or beer gut when they get older but that is not the case. The truth of it is that generally being thick around the middle means that you are probably drinking too much alcohol, eat too much food and not exercise enough. and the expanding waistline starts a long way before middle age.
Findings about men & dieting
- Almost half (47%) of Aussie men who want to lose weight have not actually tried dieting in the past three years.
- Of those who have dieted in the past three years, the majority (52%) favoured a 'Do It Yourself' (DIY) approach rather than following a set regime diet. Forty percent of men who attempted to lose weight by going on a diet did so by eating better food (40%), while 20% simply eat less.
- Two thirds of men who tried to lose weight did not reach their goal. Those who did typically did not maintain it. Only 4% reached their goal weight and kept weight off. In spite of this, the men remained optimistic; the research findings indicating that despite the high diet failure rate, almost all (95%) believe they could successfully lose weight if they really put their mind to it.
- Almost every Australian bride wants to lose weight for her wedding day, but, of the 800 Australian adults males aged 18-65 surveyed, a tiny 1.5% said they wanted to lose weight for their big day.
- The study shows that 35.7% of males admit that they need to lose between 6–10kg and 32% between 11-20kg.
Source: Independent online survey of 800 Australian males between the ages of 18 and 65 who wanted to lose weight, undertaken for Jenny Craig in 2008.
Myths about your diet  Expand All
- Myth: I shouldn't eat any fat.
Fact: Fat serves many important functions, such as storing energy, transporting certain vitamins and providing flavour and texture to foods. When it comes to weight loss, kilojoules are the bottom line. Reduced-fat foods often have reduced kilojoules compared to their full-fat counterparts. But, be sure to check the label, as some reduced-fat or fat-free foods have added sugar to maintain their flavour, which increases the kilojoules. When it comes to health, the best type of fat to include in our diets are polyunsaturated such as omega-3’s and omega-6’s or mono unsaturated such as the omega 9’s. This means including oily fish, nuts and seeds, healthy oils like olive and canola.
- Myth: Certain foods can help burn fat.
Fact: There are no foods with magic fat-burning ingredients. Some foods with caffeine temporarily speed up your metabolism, but probably not enough to lead to weight loss.The same can be said for spicy foods like the capsaicin in chilli. However, there is some exciting emerging research looking at components in green tea assisting with fat loss.
- Myth: Cutting out carbohydrates is the best way to lose weight.
Fact: A very low carbohydrate menu is not a healthy way to lose weight! It may stress your kidneys and cause headaches, dehydration and bad breath. It can also make you feel tired, weak, dizzy and nauseated. Although initial weight loss may be rapid, studies show that loss is mostly water and, over time, the total weight lost is no greater than with a more moderate eating plan. It is also difficult to follow such a restrictive diet over the long-term. Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, beans and other starches are not only rich in carbohydrates, they also provide dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals as well as other antioxidants. Eliminating these foods may reduce nutrients that are important to help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and certain cancers. By following a nutritionally balanced menu like Jenny Craig's, you may both lose weight and reduce disease risk.
- Myth: Eating after 8.00 pm leads to weight gain.
- Fact: Your body burns food the same way no matter what time it is. What matters is: what you eat, how much you eat and how active you are. No matter when you eat, excess kilojoules will be stored as fat. If you are eating high kilojoule and high fat foods while watching late night television, you may gain weight because of your food choices, not due to the time of day. Also, snacking while doing other things like watching television can easily lead to overeating, because distractions may cause you to lose track of how much you are eating.
- Myth: I can only lose weight if I eat less than 4000 kilojoules per day.
Fact: Consuming too few kilojoules can send your body into "starvation mode." Your metabolism slows down, putting your body into a state of survival in which it conserves more of the kilojoules you eat, making it more difficult for you to lose weight.