Men have special challenges when they try to lose weight. For one thing, much of the weight loss advice that you find in magazines and online is geared to women. This can make it hard when guys look for tips and advice to address their unique needs.
I recently interviewed a panel of experts – all men – who talked to me about the special challenges that guys face when they try to slim down and get in shape. My experts included weight loss experts, book authors, personal trainers, a Hollywood stuntman and a winner on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. You’ll find the entire Men’s Guide to Weight Loss at About.com. But these were the three most common problems that they addressed and their suggestions for the best solutions.
- Going it alone. Men don’t like to ask for help, according to my experts. But social support has been identified as a key factor in predicting the success of weight loss programs. If you want to lose weight and keep it off, ask family or friends for support on your journey. Be specific about ways that they might help you along the way. You might want a workout buddy for example, or help learning how to cook.
- Doing too much too soon. My fitness experts who work in gyms and health clubs said that the most common workout mistake that they see men make at the gym is doing too much too soon. That might mean lifting too much weight, running too fast on the treadmill or spending more time than necessary at the gym in the very early stages of a workout program. Remember, if you’re in it for the long haul, a slow and steady pace is essential if you want to build a solid fitness foundation.
- Underestimating your diet. There’s a saying that ‘fitness happens in the gym but weight loss happens in the kitchen.’ In many ways that saying is true. It’s easy to justify bad eating habits when you exercise. But the calories you burn at the gym rarely balance out the extra treats we consume with that rationale. If you want to lose weight, honor your good exercise habits with a clean, balanced diet. Meet with a registered dietitian to get an eating plan that provides the right amount of food to fuel your workouts, but not so much that you won’t lose weight.
You’ll also find plenty of resources about foods to eat and foods to avoid, exercise advice and healthy eating strategies at North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss. Check it out or join the weight loss community on Facebook and Twitter.