Weight Loss Tips for Men: Nutrition
Losing weight may seem easier for men than women. Men have the advantage of having more lean body mass than women and can build muscle quicker, revving their metabolism. In addition, men are less likely to be emotional eaters. However, even for men, losing weight successfully and permanently requires discipline, hard work, as well as some planning. The overall weight loss mantra for men is the same as for women: cut down on calories (count calories), choose filling, low-calorie foods more often, exercise more and make healthier lifestyle choices. Most experts recommend that everyone lose weight gradually, about 2 pounds per week. Weight loss tips and suggestions can provide you with ideas to take some of the guess work out of weight loss. Try a new tip each day to stay motivated!
Basic Essentials: Structuring your meals and snacks
- In addition to your three meals, include 1 to 2 snacks. In general, men should strive to consume meals that provide about 400-600 calories. Limit ‘snack’ calories to about 200 calories each.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, men require at least 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits. Choose whole over processed and select from each of the 5 veggie subgroups: dark green, beans and peas, starchy, red and orange, and ‘others.’
- Eat a protein-rich breakfast every day. Breakfast skippers struggle with weight loss and weight maintenance. Try peanut butter on wheat toast, oatmeal with fruit and nuts or a protein shake.
- For weight loss, consider dividing your calories as follows: 45% from carbohydrate, 30% from protein (lean choices) and about 25% from healthy fats. Minimize alcohol beverages.
Shopping, Food Selection and Planning
- Choose whole grains over white flour products. Look for sliced breads that offer 3 g of dietary fiber per slice and cereals with 4 to 5 g of dietary fiber and less than or equal to 6 g of sugar (1.5 tsp) per serving. Always check that the first ingredient is whole wheat or a whole grain.
- To keep your budget in check, plan your meals for the week and skip the fancy pre-packaged items. Choose produce that is on-sale/‘in-season,’ skipping the ‘washed.’ Buy generic and keep in mind that bagged apples, oranges and potatoes are often a better value for money than single items.
- Shop the perimeter of the store first as that is where you’ll find healthy staples. Steer clear of packaged foods whenever possible. Choose lean protein foods, such as eggs, poultry and fish, legumes and beans (canned are okay), fresh and/or frozen fruits and vegetables and low- or non-fat dairy products, such as skim milk and yogurt.
- Avoid chips, pretzels and other nutrient-void snacks. Instead, pair a carbohydrate-rich food with lean protein to keep your hunger under control. Try a small sandwich: whole-grain bread, 2 oz. lean meat, lettuce and tomato and mustard; a piece of fresh fruit with 1 oz nuts or a light smoothie.
- Select from healthy cooking methods: grilling, broiling, baking, steaming, microwaving, etc. Avoid frying and adding fats while cooking. Stick with low-calorie, low-fat seasonings and condiments.
- Prepare two vegetables to serve with dinner instead of just one (not a white potato every time!)
- The occasional frozen meal is acceptable. Choose healthier brands such as Amy’s Organics or Organic Bistro which contain nutritious ingredients and are more wholesome. Select those that provide: 500 to 600 calories, 15 to 18 g of fat or less including 5 g of saturated fat or less, at least 25 g of protein, 45 g of carbohydrates, 8 g or more of dietary fiber and 800 mg or less of sodium.
- Prepare meats by trimming visible fat before cooking. If you choose ground meat, drain and rinse it to remove fat after cooking. Remove skin from poultry after cooking to keep it moist.
- Drummond, K.E. & Brefer, L.M.: Nutrition for Foodservice & Culinary Professionals, 7th ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, New York, 2010.