The problem that most guys have when it comes to shaving down that keg attached to your ab-muscles is that BBQ’s are too delicious, bartenders are too cute and there seems to always be a ‘beer in hand rule’.
It’s not that you don’t know what to do, it’s that it takes a friggin’ heart attack to make you realize that you better do something about it quick.
Well, for those of you who don’t want to make it to the heart attack phase of life in your 40’s, we have come up with ten tips that will keep your arteries functioning like the autobahn.
1. Don’t be like everyone else
You will have friends left and right trying to hand you a beer, ‘Ice’ you, ask why the hell you just ordered a salad – and they will probably rip on you for it.
But I can guarantee you that in their [tiny] brain of theirs they are feeling super self-conscious because you just reminded them that they are fat, out-of-shape and they think that now everyone around them thinks the same thing.
Go into a social environment with the plan of eating something with vegetables, not fried and minimal sauce on it; and limiting your alcoholic drinks to 1-3(ish).
Also, just know that if anyone starts ripping into you, they are secretly feeling inferior (trust me, I get it all the time). And if you can’t laugh off their jabs, or they are being particularly douchey, use these words of defense:
“Man, you’re a funny guy – but taking one good look at you makes me want to quit drinking forever and become a vegetarian. Good luck with your 40’s good sir.”
That should shut them up.
2. Drink way more water
The male body should be made up of about 60-65% water if it’s at a healthy weight, with a healthy percentage of fat. This is because virtually all of the bodies metabolism and transportation of nutrients, along with temperature regulation happen with water. The more fat you have, the less percentage of water your body carries.
Now if you’re carrying around 100 extra pounds of fat, your body is working way harder to operate. Because your percentage of water doesn’t increase, with your fat, your body is trying to do a significantly higher amount of work with the same amount of water.
It’s like trying to driving an 18-Wheeler with the amount of oil in the engine required by a Honda Civic – that shit just won’t do.
In our article, Water: The Greatest, Most Effective Supplement in the World, we talked about how 43% of Americans drink just 4 measuring cups of water per day, or 32 oz.
It’s just not enough to power your metabolism and other bodily functions.
Rule of thumb, drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water. And if the urinal you’re peeing into looks dark yellow – and it’s from you – chug some aguá, pronto!
Also, when you’re in hot weather or working out you sweat – this means you are losing water and must drink even more water to replace what you’re losing.
3. Try SodaStream®
I’m not a huge fan of soda – or pop for you midwesterners – but that’s because I wasn’t allowed to drink it growing up. Mom was a dental hygienist and didn’t want my teeth to rot out – thanks mom. But for those of you who have a sweet tooth and can’t drink just plain water, try SodaStream.
SodaStream® allows you to make carbonated water and your own flavors to it – and while many of you are thinking sweet, where’s the Jack? – try to keep you flavors to things like fresh squeezed lemon, orange, lime or some sort of berry juice. Stay away from the pre-mixed concentrated stuff though. It’s got tons of sugar.
4. Pack snacks every frickin’ day
One of the worst things that can happen to a healthy diet, is that the dieter (aka YOU) gets stuck with no food. If this happens guess where your taste buds will take you?
Yes, you are correct, you will blast through convenience store shelves or your own cupboards like you’re raiding a small village, and if you can’t find a bag of Doritos® or Chips A Hoy!®, then you will no doubt find and In-And-Out Burger or Five Guys. Then all hell breaks loose because you think you F’ed it all up.
Read our article on ‘How To Lose Weight Permanently’ to learn more about cleaning out your cupboards.
So in the words of Chris Tucker in Rush Hour, “never, ever, eva-eva-eva-eva” leave the house without a couple Zip-lock® bags of almonds, walnuts, low-sugar granola, and/or dried fruit. Or you could go for a low-sugar meal replacement bar like Onnit’s Warrior Bar.
5. Try Kefir instead of milk
Kefir is like milk’s older Herculean brother. It is high in protein due to the whey in it. It is low in lactose, which if you have lactose intolerance, you will appreciate the chance you won’t clear out a room after you drink it.
But the best part about Kefir is it’s 1 billion active live cultures that help keep your digestive and immune systems fighting like champions.
6. Use Parmesan-Reggiano on everything
Parmesan-Reggiano will be your saving grace, and if you’re anything like me you will probably sprinkle a little bit on everything you eat.
Yes, you can have cheese [thank God]. But it has to be Parmesan-Reggiano, because it’s low in fat, isn’t processed very much.
But be careful, most of the name brand Parmesan Cheeses are completely fake.
Read this Forbes article on the topic of Fake Parmesan Cheese
Just like everything else in life, go easy and don’t cover your food in a pile of ‘Parmesan’, it all adds up sooner or later.
7. Sriracha is the new ketchup
If you haven’t tried Sriracha yet, I am shedding tears for you right now. However, it’s not too late to “drink the [Kool-aid]”.
Sriracha is a tastier, spicier, asian-ier version of ketchup. It’s made with chili peppers and vinegar among other ingredients, and it has a uniquely pleasant taste – but it is hot, so watch out.
It can make the most bland dish dance in your mouth. And if whatever you’re about to devour is dry, try mixing Sriracha with a ¼-½ of an avocado and a little bit of water, and ‘Boom!’ you have a little healthy cream sauce to moisten it up.
8. Learn to cook like a man, not eat like one
Ok, unless you have a lady that will cook delicious, nutritious bites of goodness (he said in a super jealous voice), then this one is almost a must.
And no, Subway® doesn’t count. Sure it’s a decent replacement if your in a bind, but everything from the bread, to the lunch meat is not only shipped across the country to get to your mouth, it has loads of additives to make sure it doesn’t get rotten when it gets there.
So you’re best bet is to learn to cook, and the best resource that we know of to make mouth-watering man-meals is fitmencook.com. Kevin will show you how to make some of the most dynamite meals you’ve ever tasted – and they’re all healthy.
9. Use a grocery list every time
There are tons of healthy options on your local grocery store’s shelves, but you won’t buy any of it without a list.
A study in the Journal of Nutrition and Diabetes found that shoppers who went shopping with a grocery list lost about 1-½ pounds a month more tha n those that didn’t.
Don’t fool yourself, if you take a stroll down the aisles without a plan, you’re going to come out with a cart full of cheese doodles, pringles and 4 lbs of hamburger.
10. Think of what would scare the shit out of you
This will be the least fun thing on this list, but it will give you some perspective.
Has anyone passed in your life from heart attack, stroke or some type of heart disease? Does anyone in your life have diabetes?
Well it’s pretty widely known that lifestyle has a large impact on these diseases, especially if they already run in the family. The problem is that many of us don’t really imagine that it can happen to us. It’s not something we think about.
But the choices we make everyday about what to put in our mouth potentially have an impact on not only these common diseases, but also a host of other digestive disorders as well, many of them preventable.
So take a serious look into your future and imagine yourself in the unfortunate shoes of our ill elders. Obviously we all get age and get “old”; but if you had your choice of suffering through your later years or being a healthy, fit grandpa, what would you pick?
Eating healthy means something a little different to everyone. Everyone has different specific health and fitness goals, but eating a relatively healthy diet consisting of lean meats, tons of vegetables, some fruit, a little bit of whole grains and a stocked spice cabinet will make for a much happier, healthier life.