Tips on Male Healthy Weight
On interesting facts about men and their waist size:
- Significantly more men than women have a weight problem. The
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that 60% of males are
either obese (19%) or overweight (41%). Among females, 42% of
either obese (17%) or overweight (25%). Approximately 58% of men report
insufficient activity levels, 51% report insufficient fruit intake; and 70%
report insufficient vegetable intake.
- Men lose weight faster than women – they have
a higher resting metabolism and burn more calories during activity because
they have relatively more muscle mass and heavier bones than women. Men are
more likely to increase physical activity than change diet and are more likely
to adopt a healthier lifestyle in response to a medical event.
- The really good news is that by losing a small amount of weight
you can experience significant health and wellbeing benefits! And
of course, there are also tangible benefits to adopting a healthier lifestyle
even if you don’t have a weight problem.
- Overweight men have greater overall health risks than overweight women, particularly during middle age. Men are more likely to carry excess weight around their abdomen which is riskier than weight around the hips and thighs. Overweight men tend to have more visceral fat (ie fat that surrounds the internal organs) which increases the risk of heart attack, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Ischaemic heart disease is the leading cause of premature death among males (11.1% of potential life years lost).
- Large waist size is linked to erectile dysfunction and low testosterone levels which can lead to other problems including fatigue, mood changes, muscle changes and weaker bones.
On benefits derived from adopting a healthier lifestyle:
- Prevent or improve serious health conditions – Adopting
a healthier lifestyle is the natural and effective way of preventing or treating
chronic disease. Reducing your waist size reduces your chance of a heart
attack or stroke, lowers your blood pressure, reduces bad blood fats (cholesterol)
and prevents or improves diabetes and associated complications. In some cases,
diabetes can be cured through lifestyle change.
- Better mental health – Regular physical activity and health eating improves mental health by alleviating stress, reducing anxiety and depression, and improving your sleep.
- More energy - more mobility – When you carry less weight around, you breathe better and improve circulation – you will be able to do things easily like play with your kids, or play sport with your mates.
- Preserve your independence - By carrying less weight and increasing general fitness, you can look and feel more youthful, protect and build muscles and bone, prevent falls and fractures, and prevent dementia.
- Better sleep – Reduced waist size will improve your sleep because you will breathe better, snore less, and sleep more deeply. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, it could mean dumping your air pumps and mask!
- Better sex – The really good news is that reduced waist size may improve sexual function.
- Better work performance – A healthier lifestyle
will improve sleep, reduce fatigue, improve oxygen circulation to the brain,
and improve concentration and memory.
- Greater confidence – When you adopt a healthier lifestyle you empower yourself and improve your self image because you look better, sweat less and have more energy.
On increasing physical activity:
- Accumulated short bouts of moderate intensity activity are just
as good as longer bouts - aim to put together at least 30 minutes
of moderate activity on most, preferably all days. Moderate intensity will
slightly, but noticeably, increase your breathing and heart rate, for example
brisk walking. Also enjoy some regular vigorous activity - huffing and puffing
- for extra health and fits.
- Resistance exercise (weight lifting and other actions causing muscle contractions) is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Resistant exercises make your muscles stronger and more efficient, makes it easier to lose weight, lowers blood pressure, prevents and improves diabetes, decrease joint pain, builds bone mass, and reduces falls and fractures.
- Changing habits can be hard, so break it down into achievable
bits - set a date to start, 1-2 achievable goals, and give yourself
a bit of time before checking progress. Use a pedometer to help monitor progress.
- Ask someone to join you in physical activity – you are more likely to keep active if it is fun and you have people to enjoy it with. For example, play actively with your kids, start a lunchtime walking group at work. Instead of sitting in front of the TV, how about going for a walk with your partner in the evening. It makes her heart grow fonder and your penis stronger.
On healthy eating habits:
- Aim to have 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables a day.
- Reduce meal portion sizes by putting less on the plate, using a smaller plate for the evening meal, and avoid second helpings.
- Learn to cook smart - baking, grilling and lightly stir-frying
are best. Use herbs and spices instead of fat and oil based dressings to
- Use small amounts of canola, sunflower or olive oil for cooking.
- Avoid snacking altogether or chose lower energy snacks e.g. a small piece of fruit or carrot sticks.
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For further information on healthy eating and physical activity, visit the Measure Up Campaign website, part of the Australian Better Health Initiative coordinated by the Australian and state and territory governments.