Get rid of that beer belly
Men, do you want to lose weight, but can’t stomach the idea of eating salads to reach your goal?
Jamie Portnoy, a registered dietitian at Advocate Weight Management in Libertyville, Ill., says men have more leverage in terms of quantity and types of food they can eat to drop pounds.
“Since men are generally bigger than women, they need more calories to maintain their weight, which also means they can lose weight on higher caloric intakes,” says Portnoy, who see patients from Advocate Condell Medical Center. “Men also tend to have a higher proportion of muscle than women, which means their metabolic rate is faster and they burn more calories while at rest.”
For many men, extra weight is often stored around the stomach, commonly referred to as the beer belly. This stomach fat is related to health problems such as insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
To make your beer belly a thing of the past, Portnoy suggests men set realistic short- and long-term goals, including:
- Start with an initial goal weight. Once you achieve that, then keep going to your long-term goal weight.
- Start with at least 10 minutes of exercise each day. Just a few minutes of exercise is important, but the ultimate goal is working out five to seven days for 30 to 60 minutes to achieve long-term weight management.
- Hydrate: Drink half your body weight in ounces of water, but no more than a gallon.
- Follow a meal plan: A meal plan should be individualized. Keep accurate food records. Research shows if you log what you are eating, you are less likely to eat foods that are not good for you. This helps you stay accountable.
- As part of this meal plan, follow these basic steps:
- Eat small frequent meals and snacks every three to four hours.
- Eat a complete lean protein with every meal.
- Aim to eat vegetables with most of your meals.
- Eat healthy fats daily.
- Don’t drink beverages with more than zero calories.
- Eat whole foods whenever possible.
- Plan and prepare food in advance.
- Eat everything in moderation.
- Identify fullness.
To learn more about men’s health, visit ManUpAtAdvocate.com. On the site, men can make same-day appointments, find helpful tips and screening information, and also find a doctor.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.