Weight loss for men is often assumed an easier feat than for women. And many times, that’s true. But I’ve known plenty of men who have struggled to meet weight loss goals and wonder why they are having difficulty. Maybe going full Keto is not the answer. Or perhaps those crazy juices cleanse only work for so long. Often, the solution is not to make dramatic changes. Instead, it’s making and then sticking to small but meaningful changes resulting in long-term weight loss. That should always be your goal and what your focus should be inclined to do.
It boils down to what I call ‘healthy tweaks’ practiced daily that increase weight loss success and create a big boost for your overall health too.
Choose one or two healthy tweaks to work on initially and gradually add on more overtime:
1. Refrain from eating ultra-processed foods
Defining ultra-processed depends on who you ask. The word ‘processed’ refers to a food altered from its original form. Forms of processing include heating, pasteurizing, canning, and drying. However, many ‘processed foods’ can still be part of a nutritious diet. For example, canned fruits and vegetables or pasteurized milk are considered processed foods. But ultra-processed usually involves multiple ingredients (often excess salt, sugar, or fat for flavor and preservation), turning a food product into a man-made concoction that does little for our health. Examples of ultra-processed foods include store-bought cookies, French fries, soft drinks, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and Ramen noodles, to name a few. Make at least 90% of foods you choose in as natural of form as possible.
2. Weigh yourself daily
Unless you have a phobia of stepping on a weight scale, I highly recommend weighing yourself every day. Studies back this up. Daily weighing is associated with more significant weight loss and less weight regain than weighing yourself less frequently. The best time of day to weigh is first thing in the morning, before eating breakfast, and with little to no clothes on. Place your scale on a flat surface (not on carpet or a rug) to get the most accurate reading.
3. Size (Portion) does matter
Whether at a buffet, sit-down restaurant, fast food, or eating a home-cooked meal, pay attention to your portions sizes. How much are you eating? When you understand correct portion sizes, you can lose weight and stop dieting, no matter what you eat. So, instead of giving up foods you love, learn to smart size them by limiting your portion size.
4. Cut back 100 calories a day
Just a 100 calorie deficit a day, with no other changes, can lead to a 12-pound weight loss in one year. One pound equals 3500 calories, which is a very doable habit to embrace. Put this in practice by using smaller bowls and plates, helping make less food seem like more.
5. Walk or bike most of the time
Move your body often throughout the day. No time to exercise? Then consider biking to work or walking to do errands. These are perfect ways to get outdoors, breathe in the fresh air, good for circulation and burning off excess pounds.
6. Pump iron
Successful weight loss heavily relies on lifting weights. Consider using dumbbells, resistance bands, or your body weight (push-ups, pull-ups) to build the muscle mass necessary for burning calories. Work with a certified trainer to achieve the correct form to avoid injury.
7. Sweat it out with high-intensity interval training
Simple but effective, high-intensity interval training is efficient for torching calories and breaking a sweat. The structure is simple – for one minute, run all-out either on a treadmill or outdoors. Then after the run, walk around to catch your breath for one minute, then hit it hard again, giving it your all running. Switch back and forth between running and resting 10 times.
8. Don’t grocery shop when hungry
Shopping in a store filled with more than 25,000 food items when hungry likely won’t end well. It’ll be hard to stick to your list, and you’ll walk out with ultra-processed foods that are no friend to your waistline. Only go grocery shopping when you are pleasantly full (not stuffed) to avoid sabotaging your weight loss efforts.
9. Vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables
Skip the fries, ditch the chips. Vegetables are in and what you want to fill at least half your plate with. Plant-based foods are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins, helping satisfy your hunger without heartburn. Ask for a vegetable side dish instead of greasy fries or fried rice when eating out. Even if it’s not part of the item you’re ordering, most restaurants will abide by your request.
10. Plan 30/10 meals
Here’s an excellent concept for reaching a healthy body weight; at every meal, aim to eat about 25-30 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber. Adequate protein promotes the maintenance of muscle mass, and ten grams of fiber creates a feeling of fullness, lasting until your next meal or snack. In addition, muscle burns more calories at rest than fat mass while feeling satiated after every meal quiets between-meal hunger pangs.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911.