Weight Loss For Men: Before You Start
Have a plan and a goal
When you start a weight loss plan, you need to have a start and an end. Whether you want to or not, step on the scale to see where you are currently. Once you know your current weight, you can create a realistic goal for yourself. Make sure the goal is realistic, because you don’t want to be disappointed if you can’t reach heroic-level aspirations. Do research to determine what a good goal for you would be. It’s a good idea to give yourself a timeline, but you want to be flexible and adjust that timeline as you progress.
Start a log
Start a daily log of your weight, what you ate, and what you did for exercise every single day. Stay committed until you reach your goal. If you accidentally miss a day, continue to keep the log. Don’t let one day discourage you from continuing. If you have a cheat day, record that too instead of simply skipping the day. Be honest in your log. If you notice a lack of progress, you can go through the log to see where you might be going wrong.
Sign up with a gym
If you don’t already belong to a gym, it’s a necessity for your weight loss plan. Sure, you can work out at home, but you won’t have access to the equipment you will get at an actual gym. If you have the resources, talk to a trainer about setting up sessions. Having a personal trainer’s help will educate you on what exercise to do and what foods to eat to get to your goal.
Recruit a buddy
Starting a diet and workout regiment can be difficult. It can sometimes be easier if you have someone to help you get through it. If you don’t have anyone in your family or at work who would want to join you on your journey, you may be able to find people at your gym or on online groups. Working out with someone can help keep you honest and motivated.
Have a positive attitude
If you go into this with negativity, you’re setting yourself up for failure. When the voices in your head tell you that you hate this experience, make sure your positive voice is even louder to drown them out. Stay positive and keep thinking about how good you will look once you reach your goal.
Say good-bye to fried foods
I’m going to admit that fried hot wings with ranch and a side of French fries was one of my favorite meals. As much as it may pain you, it’s time to say good-bye to all of the fried foods in your diet- at least for now. Try switching out your favorite fried foods for baked alternatives instead. It may not be quite the same, baked chicken gives you all the nutrients of chicken without it being cooked in fat and cholesterol.
Drive by the drive-thru
It’s not that you can’t find a healthy selection at fast food restaurants, you certainly can if you try. However, people generally don’t order the healthy options when they go to a fast food restaurant. Skip the drive-thru all together to eliminate the temptation, especially when you’re alone. Many men use the excuse that they don’t have the time to cook, but you can buy ready to eat meals or healthy snacks from the grocery store that provide way more nutrition and less calories. If you do go to a fast food restaurant with colleagues, friends, or family, do your best to order something healthy. Get a grilled chicken sandwich with a side salad, for example. Avoid the French fries!
Change the food you have in your pantry and fridge
As an adult, you have total control over what is in your kitchen. Put the right food in your house! If you’re single without a family, this is even easier for you. First, get rid of the junk food. Having it in your home will only tempt you. Of course, you don’t want an empty kitchen. Go on a mission to the grocery store for healthy food. Get chicken, fish, other lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Look for items you actually enjoy eating. When you pass by the fast food restaurant and get home, you’ll be forced to eat the healthy items you have at home, even if it’s one of those days when you want to cheat.
White bread, pasta, and other carbs turn into glucose (sugar). Sugar is obviously not great for the body. Try switching out white bread and white rice for whole grain bread and whole grain rice. You also want to limit the amount of carbs in your diet all together. Skip the breadsticks when you go out to eat. You should also consider ordering your sandwiches without bread.
Say no to dessert
It seems that the moment you start a diet, everyone wants to start bring around cookies and cake. Not every outing with friends for a birthday or just to meet up needs to count as a special occasion for dessert. Just say no and show some self control when they start cutting the cake.
Stop drinking beer
Many of us like to get home from work and relax with a nice, cold beer (or six). This habit can contribute to calories extremely quickly. If this is a regular habit, cutting out the beer will lower your calorie intake dramatically. If you are the type of man who enjoys a drink after work, try switching to a cocktail with low calories.
Drink more water
You would be surprised at exactly how many calories you get from the items you drink throughout the day. Cola and other sweet drinks are the biggest culprits. Even if you do enjoy a cola with your meal, drink more water to keep yourself hydrated and help flush all of the fat and processed foods out of your system.
Eat a lot!
Don’t starve yourself. It’s unhealthy to get through the day without enough nourishment. Do not for one second think that being on a diet means that you can’t eat. You just need to change what you eat. Have a plentiful stock of protein and acceptable snacks as well as several meals a day. The focus is not to prevent you from eating but to have you eating the right foods. Having plenty of food will prevent you from cheating on your diet, too. It’s better Having two meals of fish and vegetables than one and sneak off to get some junk food because you are still hungry.
Focus on the positive- not the negative
Diets are restrictive. It’s the nature of the beast. However, focusing on all of the things you can’t eat isn’t going to help reduce the cravings. Instead, think about all of the amazing things you CAN eat. Healthy food does not need to be disgusting. Find the items you like and focus on those things when you are hungry.
Using light weights may help tone muscles, but it’s not as intense of a workout. If you’re looking for results, you want to use heavy weights. It will contribute to increasing muscle while simultaneously burning more calories. With that being said, it’s important to know your limits. You don’t want to hurt yourself by using weights that are too heavy. If you are pushing yourself, it’s a good idea to have a buddy spot you.
Limit breaks in between exercises
The goal of exercising is to keep your heart rate as high as possible. If you take long breaks in between exercises, your heart will slow down more. Put the weights down, get a drink of water and rest for a minute, and then get back to it.
Focus on a different muscle every day
One of the most popular workout methods is to alternate working out different muscles on different days. One day, focus on your biceps, then focus on your legs the next day, then you triceps, shoulders, abs, etc… Another popular option is to alternate between upper body, lower body, and cardio. Pick a method and stick to it. You don’t want to be that guy that always skipped leg now and now looks disproportionate.
Do your steps
It may sound less intense than you want, but go out and get a Fitbit! It’s a great way to track your activity throughout the day. If you’re a competitive dude, it gives you the opportunity to connect with friends, family, and people at work to see who does the most steps every day. That’s a sure way to get you motivated.
Sign up for an exercise class
Classes at the gym are not only for women! Look for classes designed for men, such as CrossFit. Find a class for your experience level and sign up. Paying the money for the class is a sure way to get you up and exercising so you don’t lose your money.
Run at different paces
Even though you should focus on lifting, you still need to incorporate cardio into your exercise routine. If you do go for a run, it’s better to run at different paces than running at one pace the entire time. Bursts of speed combined with lower paces keep you moving as opposed to getting winded and stopping all together.
Have more sex
You don’t always have to workout at the gym. You can also workout at home in bed. Use your fitness goals as an excuse to increase activity in bed! Make sure you work in some positions that put you to work so you can burn those calories.
Find other little ways to increase activity
The bedroom isn’t the only place you can increase your activity throughout the day. There are plenty of little ways to get exercise even at work! Try walking to lunch instead of driving and take the stairs instead of the elevator. When you go these things every day, it can start to make a difference. You family can also help. If the kids want to go to the park, go with and play tag! You can also take the dog out for a walk every night. There’s nothing wrong with spending quality time with your children or pets and getting a work out at the same time.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is actually correlated to a healthy life and weight loss for men. It’s difficult to be active and burn calories if you’re tired because you haven’t gotten enough sleep. Set a regular schedule and turn all of the electronics off at bedtime to help you get the sleep you need. Try to avoid late nights when possible to keep you on the same schedule.
Allow yourself a cheat day
If you work hard on your fitness regiment six days a week, there’s nothing wrong with skipping the gym and having a couple of beers or pizza and some wings on Sunday. Of course, you don’t deserve a cheat day if you’ve been cheating throughout the week! Remember that this is a reward for your hard work!
Step away from the food table
Many people gather around the food table at parties, especially if they don’t know where else to go. This only makes it easier for you to pile on the snacks while you awkwardly look for the one person you know who isn’t there yet. Just step away and go talk to someone to keep you from cheating on your diet.
Be careful with what you put in your body
There are a lot of products out there designed to help you increase muscle or loss weight, but not all of these products are healthy. Be very careful with what you put into your body.
Don’t give up because of a mistake
Getting healthy means changing your entire lifestyle. This is an extremely difficult task, even for the most strong-willed of us. If you fall off of the train you were on, dust yourself off and get back on! As with most things, you will slip up from time to time. Remember that this is not simply a change in diet and exercise; it is a change of life. One or two days of not following your diet and exercise does not mean you have to give up. Find your motivation and try again. You owe it to yourself.
Don’t make excuses
The main thing to remember is that you have complete control over your diet and its success. You cannot make excuses about why you skipped the gym or why you got fast food for breakfast. It’s your responsibility, and you need to make the right decisions for you and your health. Leave the excuses in the garbage with the cookies and throw them in the dumpster on the way to the gym.
You’ve made a decision to lose weight. That’s fantastic! Now, it’s up to you to make that goal a reality. With enough drive and self-discipline, you will be able to shape your body into the best condition its ever been in. You won’t only look great, you’ll feel great, too. Get started today!