Strategies for Weight Management
Weight management can be a challenge for both men and women alike. However, men may be more likely to carry excess weight in their belly area, putting them at increased risk for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and sleep apnea. Consider the strategies below for reducing unwanted weight and improving your health.
Watch your waist. Aim for a waist circumference of less than 40 inches (less than 35 inches for women). To measure your waist circumference, wrap a soft measuring tape around your middle. Make sure the tape is level, and the height should be even with the inner crease of your elbow when your arm is hanging at your side (just above your hip bones). Note that this number is usually different from the waist size of your pants.
Pile on the produce. Losing weight does not mean you should resort to salads for every meal, but it might help to include them in your meals! Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber and important nutrients. Choosing them for half your plate at meals (and some of your snacks) will fill you up and help you meet your weight loss goals.
Keep portions in check. All foods can be included in a healthy diet, but too much of any food can contribute to weight gain. Try cutting back on your usual portions, then waiting to see if you actually are still hungry for more. Same goes for snacks. After a while, you will get used to smaller portions, and it will be easier to determine when you are hungry and when you are eating for other reasons.
Exercise. This may seem obvious, but research continues to confirm the importance of exercise in both weight loss and disease prevention. Studies also support the need for both strength training and aerobic activities, so make sure to vary your workouts.
Make it a competition. Many men find powerful motivation in competing with others or feeling responsible to a team. Find a buddy or a group of people with similar goals and create a program. Choose a desired length of time, and pick a motivating prize to be awarded to the person or team with the best percentage of weight loss, percentage of fat loss, step count, exercise minutes, or even fruit and vegetable consumption. You may also want to check with your employer or insurance provider about program opportunities and funding for health and wellness.
If you are specifically looking to gain weight and increase muscle mass, check out 5 Ways to Support Strength Training.