Archive for January, 2010

The Truth About Eating More Frequently

This is the final article in this five part series on male weight loss basics. This topic is dedicated to answering the question about whether eating more frequently can help you lose fat. Let’s start with a statement of the myth.

The Myth

I’m not sure about you, but I have been told many times that if one eats smaller “meals” and more frequently, this favors quicker weight loss. The reason (as heard on the street) behind this is that eating smaller meals initiates and maintains a high metabolism rate. I was told that this metabolism rate is dependent on a higher blood sugar level, provided by the smaller and more frequent meals.

The Truth

Well, the truth is that your metabolism rate (basal metabolism rate as measured in food calories per day) isn’t dependent upon your blood sugar level at all. It’s dependent on at least six other things based on research started many years ago:

1.Height
2.Weight
3.Age
4.Gender
5.Lean body mass
your lean body mass (how much does your “skinnied-down self” weigh). If you’ve got a large % of body fat, your lean body mass is much lower than your overall body mass (your weight on earth)
6.Activity level

However, when your body is digesting food more frequently, there are additional calories burned from the very process of digesting food (called thermogenesis). This might sound like a lot of unnecessary clarification, but there are two important things to remember from this:

1.Metabolism rate does not change with food ingested
2.You can increase calories used if your body is in digestive process more often

These two things take together intimately can change things for you. So, although eating more frequently doesn’t change your ongoing metabolism rate, it does increase calories used simply due to the work of digestion your body needs to do for what you just ate.  To favor fat weight loss, when you eat more frequently, your overall daily calorie intake can’t exceed what your body will use in one day.

According to Wikipedia, about 70% of our total energy expenditure is due to basic processes of the organs within the body. About 20% of one’s energy expenditure comes from physical activity and another 10% from thermogenesis (or digestion of food).

When you eat more often, though, that DOES mean that your blood sugar level is higher more often. That’s a problem if you are trying to lose the fat. Because, when your body uses up calories, it will use the energy available through this enriched blood sugar level, rather than body fat. This means that you aren’t going to be using up body fat.

You’re probably wondering now, OK, then how do I lose body fat? Well the answer is that if you increase energy usage by eating more frequently AND you limit your daytime food intake to less than what you use, you will induce fat loss. Another thing, don’t exercise after you have eaten because the calories that your burn will be blood sugar calories. You want to burn fat calories, so eat after you go to the gym.

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Fat Loss Basics – Your Activity Level

It is the weekend now, where I live. Many people use the weekend to relax and take it easy after a busy week. It is nice to get up at 9 or 10 am and have a slow day. You probably get even less activity on the weekend than during the weekdays. You know what I mean….football games, movies, TV, and elbows on the table (know what I mean?). Weight loss is a 7 day per week event and you need to watch what you do on the weekend also. You may not be surprised to hear the fact that in 2002, 25 percent of adult Americans did not participate in any leisure time physical activities in the past month (see source below).

Normally, I get in about 4 trips to the gymn per week. While I am at the gymn, my routine consists of three unique types of activities:

  1. Mild stretching (touch the toes, calf stretch)
  2. 1 hour walk on treadmill at 3.7 mph (with cool down period of 5 minutes, a total of 4 miles walking)
  3. 35 minutes of weights.

I am pretty happy with this routine. I have been doing this routine since my arthroscopic surgey in September 2009. Prior to that, I used to run 4 miles instead of walking. For now, the running is out of the question, because of the damage it has done to me left knee. But I am OK with walking.

I used to be a pretty intense individual and ran 5 miles per day, 5 times a week from 1978 until about 1995. I used to run with colleagues at work at lunch. After I started doing weights again in 1995 regularly, I dropped back to 4 miles in addition to the weight program. Walking on the treadmill is not as exciting or spirited as running with the guys, but I don’t mind.

For weights, I alternate two separate routines so that I am not working the same muscle groups day upon day. Here are my two routines. I work these exercises in a circuit – meaning, I do one of each of these exercises on the list and then go back and do two more sets (a total of 3 sets):

Weight Routine #1 - Triceps, Back, Forearms & Core (3 Sets)

ExerciseRepsWeight
Crunches on Exercise Ball30NA
Lat Pulldown - machine15130 lbs
Tricep Pulldown - machine1570 to 80 lbs
Seated Row - machine1595
Forearm Curls - barbells1590
Torso Rotation - machine15110
Side Crunches - back hyperextension thingy15NA

Weight Routine #2 - Chest, biceps, shoulders, core and traps (3 sets)

ExerciseRepsWeight
Chest Press - machine15130lbs
Bicep Curl - machine1595 to 105 lbs
Shoulder Press - machine1565 lbs
Incline Press - dumbells at 45 degrees1545 lbs
Shoulder Shrugs - dumbbells1595 lbs/arm
Chest Flies - dumbbells1550 lbs/arm
Roman Chair20 raisesNA

Just now, after I began writing this article, I got excited about working out, and so I went to the gymn, did my schtick and just got home.  I like the feeling of having the power and peace in my bones and muscles after I workout. I did routine #1. I realized while I was there, that there are few other details that I always follow with the above routines.

My rules for myself:

  1. Before each exercise, I take 10 DEEP breaths. These are not the kind of breaths that your brain tells you about. These are the deep breaths that your lungs and body need. If while taking one of these breaths, I feel a little faint or winded, I am breathing way too fast. Let your lungs tell you how long your breaths need to be. Turn your brain off.  Be nice to yourself – you only get one body per person.
  2. After doing each exercize, I immediately walk to the next station on the circuit. There, I take the above breaths before the next thing I do.
  3. If I need to stop in the middle of a set of weights for any reason, that means I add one extra repetition to that set of weights, for each hesitation.  No exceptions. You need to have firm, but supporting  rules for yourself.

I am feeling good now. How about you? Are you getting any exercise? As a reminder, I am not talking about making any changes. I have some weight to lose also.  The above routines are what I really do, at least four times per week. Take a look at what you do. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in their publication “Dietary Guidelines for Americans -2005″, recommends that you need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily (that means 7 days),  beyond what is part of your normal daily routines (driving, walking around at work,  housework, brushing your teeth, etc..).

Don’t change anything yet. Why? Because, when you start making daily changes based upon things you hear or read or listen to (including this and my other articles in this series), you make half-hearted changes that don’t last.  New Years resolutions are the perfect example of empty promises.  Listen to the whole story and make small and lasting changes. Next time I will talk to you about making changes.

Source – Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Surveillance for Certain Health Behaviors Among Selected Local Areas—United States, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2002, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), 53, No SS-05. http://www.cdc.gov/brfss/.

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Fat Loss – This Is Really Simple

Over the last week, I have had my eyes opened as to how much I really eat. It’s not that I eat huge meals or overindulge in sweets, alcohol or fast food (at least not regularly – meaning not weekly). I have a couple of personal male weight loss stories from earlier points in my life, but this time, it is a little bit different. This time, it is a matter of my age asking me to eat less food.   The first two articles in this series were exactly what I learned from just simply listing what I ate this week- as best I can remember. This article is about looking at the numbers a little closer.

Since this whole weight gain thing has really gotten my attention, I decided to pay a lot of attention to each specific thing I eat. I mean down to the smallest detail  – pat of butter, a splash of half & half in my coffee, and whether I had one or two beers last night.

Remember, at this point, we are not talking about changing anything. We are just watching what I eat. Don’t change anything about yourselves yet!  That comes later. I know you’ll want to make changes based on what you read here. But try to resist the temptation. I HAVE made some changes. I can make changes, because I already have my weight management program in play. You don’t,  So don’t start it yet. Not today at least.  I have good reasons for telling you this. Keep reading.

I have seen a couple pounds come off, in a few days. In addition to giving you the real truth about how this works for me, I am also going to give you the layout of the chart I use to add up my calories. Sound too simple? It is.

OK, so here goes…..

Let me make one confession. I have never counted calories in my whole life. I never had to. Although I had a couple spells where I got chubby – in college (from eating too much dorm food) and after my 3 sons were born, I still never counted calories! I thought that that was very middle- aged-woman-ish.  Ooops, OK there I said it.  So this whole thing I am doing this week, is something I thought I would never have to resort too.  Today, I am OK with it.  I realize now that this is going to be a simple math game….I just need to eat less calories than I use.

Here is an excerpt from the last 5 days including my meal from this evening.  Alright, so it’s Saturday evening and I’m counting calories, so what.

Male Weight Loss the easy way....do the math

Male weight loss made simple...just do the math

A couple of notes to make before I go further. As I mentioned earlier in this column, I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee, in the early autumn of 2009,  after a lifetime of jogging. However on Sunday night this week,  I was celebrating my sister’s birthday at her house, and, my brother-in-law and I (acting like knuckleheads), were rocking-out in the living room and I wrenched my knee. So, no exercising for me this week….no walking, at least. This means, that I have spent the last week in a sort of a “sedentary state” (meaning…… bump on a log). That means I am probably only using about 2,000 calories per day.  My observations from this:

  1. The fat loss formula says that I am over consuming calories – more than my 2,000 calories usage. On a daily basis, I may add.
  2. Notice how “little things” can add a lot of calories:
    • Half and Half – 20 calories per “splash” in my coffee – OUCH! I thought this stuff was calorie-free!
    • 1 Slice of provolone cheese – 200 calories. I used to consume these by the sheet!
    • Clam chowder in a bread bowl (at Panera cafe) is a delicacy. Unfortunately it is 890 freakin’ calories! That is probably enough to run your lawn mower for an hour (just kidding).

Don’t change anything you eat yet. Look at just the few things that I am changing. I have already managed a couple pounds even though I was not very active. You can do it too.Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

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How Much Food Do You Really Need?

Let me guess. Weight loss is on your mind all of the time. Because of your weight condition, you are constantly aware that you are probably eating too much or the wrong type of foods, right? It is a never ending reminder.

In the first article in this series I talked about how much you are eating now. In this article, I am going to talk about how many food calories you actually need.

As you might guess, the amount of food that you need is based on both calories and nutritional content. In this article, I am only going to be talking about calorie content. For today, let’s just forget about the idea that you need a well-balanced diet. We all already know that we need to eat the right amounts of all different kinds of foods. Let’s take this one thing at a time. This article is about calories only.

You can also imagine that the number of calories that you need is determined by how active you are. If you do nothing but watch TV and go to work everyday, you are not going to need as many calories as someone that is also running 4 miles and lifting a set of weights everyday.

Below is a table that shows the minimum food intake (quantity of food in calories) for people of each of three particular activity levels. Here is a quick explanation of the three activity levels:

  • Sedentary - lifestyle that includes only the light physical activity associated with typical day to day life.
  • Moderately active - lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking about 1.5 to 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day to day life.
  • Active - lifestyle that includes physical activity equivalent to walking more than 3 miles per day at 3 to 4 miles per hour, in addition to the light physical activity associated with typical day to day life.

The numbers in the table are estimated amounts of calories needed to maintain energy balance for various gender and age groups at three different levels of physical activity. By the way, energy balance means using all the calories you ingest in daily activity (or inactivity). The estimates are rounded to the nearest 200 calories and were determined using the Institute of Medicine equation.

Male Calorie Requirements by Activity Level

AgeSedentaryModerately ActiveActive
4 - 8
14001400 - 18001,600–2,000
9 - 1318001,800–2,200 2,000–2,600
14 - 1822002,400–2,800 2,800–3,200
19 - 3024002,600–2,800 3,000
31 - 5022002,400–2,600 2,800–3,000
50+20002,200–2,4002,400–2,800

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. 6th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, January 2005 -  Written Reprint permission request pending.

So you may ask, so what? For many years, I could care less if someone gave me the above information. The difference is that this time, YOU have a weight problem. You need to estimate how much you are eating on a daily basis and find out how it compares with the above.

In the last article of this series, I figured out that on a daily basis, that I ate about 1,866 calories per day. Looking at the table above, a guy my age (53) and level of activity (moderate) I should only be consuming 2,200 calories per day. So, in my daily program, I should be experiencing weight loss because I am using 234 more calories than I eat.

So what is the problem? Well the problem is that I did not include all of the truth of my daily diet. I forgot to include the extra slices of cheese and ham on my sandwich, frito’s, and the occasional sweets.

OK, so let’s say that the real extra stuff I eat on a daily basis are:

Extra Stuff Frank Eats - Weekdays

Food ItemCalories
Extra slice of provolone cheese200
Extra slide of ham50
1 Bag of tortilla chips234
2 Cookies (store bought)100
Total584
So, NOW, I have a better idea of what I am REALLY eating. It happens this way. Often times, you do not count all of the things you actually eat. Now my Fat Formula comes out a bit differently. Apparently I am eating 350 more calories than I am using 5 times per week. Now this is getting really interesting.  Don’t you think?

I know you are very serious about losing weight. If so, you need to do the math. Only when you know the facts, YOUR FACTS, can you know what to do next. Remember, at this point, you are not talking about changing anything……. either eating or activity. But you need to figure out how many calories going through your belly every day.

When you get your calorie numbers together, the whole story begins to take real shape. Stick with me, but do not make any changes in your life yet. Come back for article #3 – Calorie Quality.

Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

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The Fat Loss Formula

You struggle with weight loss. It is a male war that does not end. It is like the friggin’ 100 years war. You keep talking about losing weight and yet it becomes more and more an unaccomplished feat. Really  irritating, believe me, I know.

Yet the black magic of weight loss is very simple in concept. It is only in practice that it becomes hell. In this article I am going to start a 5 article series about the basics of weight loss. In today’s article I am going to give you the basic formula that determines whether you are a winner or loser in this war. I must warn you – it is very simple!  There is nothing to misunderstand here. It is called the Fat Loss Formula. Here it is:

Fat Loss Formula = Energy In – Energy Out

The male machine operates on energy. “Energy In” is what we put into our bodies in the form of energy measured in calories, grown into food. “Energy Out” is the usage of energy in our bodies.  I am going to write much more about “Energy Out” in part 2  of this article series. I am concentrating on the “Energy In” in this article.

We need this food as a car needs gas. If you need to get somewhere, you need enough gas to get you there. The only difference between us and the car analogy, is that if you do not use the gas, it stays in the tank. With us guys, you store the unused “fuel” as fat. We store the excess fat in our gut usually. Notice that this is a natural function of the body to store fat for our benefit in the event you need this energy. There is nothing wrong with that.

On a daily basis, if you use more energy than you consume, then weight loss is on your side. If you consume more than you use, you will likely gain weight. To make it easy for you, I decided to figure out how many calories per day I usually eat. So here is a layout of my daily calorie intake. On weekdays, I normally do not drink alcohol, but I do on the weekend days. So I have created two separate intake schedules – one for the weekdays and one for the weekend.

Weekday Intake* (Food Calories = 1 kilo calorie)

Frank's Weekday Calorie Intake

Weekday MorningCalories
Coffee18
Half and Half120
Oatmeal225
Brown Sugar90
Total Morning453
Afternoon
Soup534
Saltines51
Apple72
Total Afternoon657
Evening
Ham and Cheese Sandwich410
Plate of Green Beans88
Milk258
Total Evening756
Total Day1,866 Calories


Weekend Intake

Frank's Weekend Calorie Intake

WeekendFoodCalories
Morning
Coffee9
Milk129
German Pancake635
Syrup94
Total Morning867
Afternoon
Nothing
Evening
Pizza630
Beer732
Total Evening1,362
Total Day2,229 Calories

So you can see that I am taking in about 1,865 calories during the week and about 2,230 calories on the weekend. If you want to get your weight under control, you will want to figure out your daily intake, as I have done. As you will find out in part 2 of this series, a guy like me, who has 50+ years and moderately active, I need about 2,200 to 2,400 calories per day. Take a look at my weekday and weekend formulas below. So since my fat formula result is negative, I am dialed into a activity-food program that slightly favors weight loss. Notice that if the result of this formula is positive that means weight gain.

Weekday Formula

Fat Loss Formula= 1,865 calories – 2,200 calories = – 135 Calories

Weekend Formula

Fat Loss Formula = 2,230 calories – Energy Out 2,200 calories = + 30 Calories


Notice that we are not talking about making any changes yet. You and I are only figuring out how much we eat every day. There is no reason to get upset over how much you eat. It is what it is. We are only talking facts so far.

In the next article in the series I am going to be talking about how many calories that you and I need in our typical everyday lives. This will give you the total picture of where you are at in your nutrition sources and uses.  Look for it in the next few days.

* – These  calorie numbers come from food product packages  and the  website of  Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods from Health Canada.

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Why Are You So Freakin’ Fat?

Male Weight Loss CandidateI want to warn you that what you are about to read is very direct and you may not feel better after reading it. This article is intended to get in your face. It is not intended to hurt your feelings, but to wake you up. Face it, you are your habits. You create yourself by what you do all day, every day. Your habits have earned you a big fat sweating belly. Carrying around a big flabby gut is only the lesser of two problems. The bigger problem is in your head. Don’t you just want to yell “why am I so f***ing fat? Can’t you just hear that question as you suffer through these things:

  • Looking in the mirror
  • Lack of energy. Even hard to get off the couch
  • You hand is already in the bag grabbing another handful of chips
  • Failing to get a date with any woman
  • Your wife not wanting to have sex again
  • Buying yet another larger size of pants than last month
  • Wearing your shirt over your pants because you have to

Regarding weight loss, I believe that the hell that the male goes through is self-imposed. The fact is that it isn’t really your fault. It is about the high quality of life that you are living. You are living better than anyone has ever lived in history and you are getting your needs met like never before. Even though you may not feel very satisfied, the paradox of the situation, is that it is because you have become accustomed to being satisfied, is the reason why you are unsatisfied. If that doesn’t make sense to you, here are five things that you are asking into your live (from which you get a lot of satisfaction), yet they all lead to our obesity.

  1. Video - this may seem strange to you, but look at all of the video in your life – TV, cable, DVD, video games, You Tube, sports,  movie theaters, iPhone video,  all other internet video. When you are watching videos of any kind, you are sitting and not burning many calories. Period. It is like you are a car idling in neutral…you are not using much gas. We love to watch things, but these things are costing us our waistline. Believe it.
  2. Less Active – beyond video you just do not move around much at all. You do “thinking work” for a living and although thinking burns calories, you aren’t exactly a lumberjack either. Dancing used to be something that many many people did for entertainment. When was the last time that you danced?
  3. Easy Food - I do not only mean fast food, but the fact is that food is immediately available in an edible form . 40 years ago, many types of food that people kept in their house, had to be prepared before being eaten. It wasn’t so easy back then to grab Doritos or cheese sticks.  But look at grocery store shelves now, there is ready-to-eat food in every aisle. You can now go to your kitchen cabinet right now and in a half a minute be eating anything you want. Also this food tends to be empty calories
  4. Wealth - we may be in the “great recession” now, but you would not know it if you looked around. People hanging out at Starbucks,  you can buy anything you want 24 hours a day on the internet, 1,000’s of porno sites on the internet, credit cards are still easy to obtain. You may not want to believe this, but you are living high on the hog. Still don’t believe me? Look at the pictures of the starving, emaciated faces of the people during the Great Depression….there were not many fat ones.
  5. Denial – human beings are the most social animal on the earth. You look around at other people  and see what others are doing to ensure that you are doing the right things. Just because other people are over-consuming, it does not mean that you should. Look first, but think second. You should not do what other people do, just because you want to be accepted.

You may not be feeling any better after reading all of this. My intention is not to make you feel any worse. My intention is for you to start gathering your wits, and realize that you are making decisions that are costing you your well-being. We as a society asked for all of the above things. Now you need to become aware of your need to become more moderate in their usage.

There is a line from Elton John’s 1974 hit song “The Bitch Is Back,”  that states “…the times are changing now the poor get fat.” Well I would like  to update that line to state “…the times are changing now both the poor and the rich get fat.”

Wake up! The longer you carry the weight, the more likely that you will carry it for the rest of your life. Don’t be just upset, be aware of what you do. It does not have to be this way.

Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

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Is Male Fitness Effective?

Female Weight Loss

Weight Loss Easily

As time goes by, I am becoming increasingly skeptical of PURE physical fitness programs for male weight loss. You may think that this is pure lunacity. Maybe it  is equally valid for both the male and female, but most easily overlooked for us guys. Honestly, beating yourself to death at the gymn needs to be balanced by your powerful inner conditions.  I recently saw a useful article by Jody Page of  Pacific Weight Loss “Male Fitness – Effective or Not.”

In this piece, Jody mentions the need for fitness, and being fit, is naturally an important part of living a longer life. But you already knew that. But perhaps what you do not know, is that your health, in general, is determined heavily by your inner strength.  By inner strength, I refer to the quality of your emotional state. In other words, are you emotionally feeling good? Can you easily correct bad moods? Are you more likely to be optimistic than pessimistic? Can you keep you mind from wondering into worry, anger or fear? Over a lifetime, negative feelings will drain you of energy that your body needs to live a longer life.

This same type of thinking can improve your fitness incredibly. When you are doing any type of fitness, clear your mind of any negative feelings. ANY amount of negative emotional energy you carry into your fitness program, the less you can focus on looking and feeling better physically. Believe it. Keep your emotional house clean and your progress will explode.

Jody mentions using yoga or meditation to manage your personal state. My experience says that one of the side benefits of exercising is better emotion control. Many years ago, I used to work as a field engineer at a construction site for a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. This was in the post-Three Mile Island-era when the nuclear industry was in a “melt-down.” There was always a lot of pressure in maintaining the construction schedule and maintaining quality. To manage my attitude, I used to exercise before I got to the job site each morning.  I was smooth all day as a result of my fitness regime. So it works, as long as you do it.

So, long story short,  you can see that it is sort of a “Catch 22″ situation: more exercise lowers stress, but you need to lower your stress to have enough energy to make fitness effective.  But the only thing you need to remember from this, is just do a little bit every day in managing your emotion and fitness. Every little bit not only helps, but works.

Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

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Weight Loss After Health Problem

Fat Man Chiseled In Stone

Fat Is Not Chiseled In Stone

Jack is an 18 wheel flatbed truck driver in Chicago. He works out 4 times per week at my gymn – an hour walking on the treadmill and and then a half hour of weights. He is a tough-talking bald male with a large skull tattoo on his left forearm. He has a very muscular physique, yet now, very rounded. I caught him staring into a vending machine of three and a half dollar weight loss and fitness drinks. I asked him if those drinks work for him. He said, “hell no,” “if I am going to lose weight, I need to do the work myself. The water fountain is free.”

Jack continued to tell me trucker horror stories and how he makes money free-lancing by washing commercial store fronts and tractor trailer rigs. He is a very proud guy that is full of great advice for covering your ass in traffic accidents. He ran into health problems that kept him on his back for several weeks and he gained back all the weight that he had worked so hard to keep off. Looking at his muscular calfs, I see all the evidence of a guy that quite literally “walks his talk.”

At this point, perhaps you are asking yourself “what would happen to me if I became disabled or just old?” This is something that I have had to deal with also. In the last two years, I have carried about 25 extra pounds for no apparent reason. And this is precisely the reason why I write this blog…….I have been an avid fitness guy- I ran 4 miles and lifted weights 4 to 5 times per week. To me, this fitness program is more than sufficient to look and feel great. It has worked for me for the last 30 years. Unfortunately, this program stopped being effective. Additionally, I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee this past autumn. The fitness program (and my life’s program in general) that I can resume now is completely different.

My weight is starting to come off one pound at a time for several reasons – my attitude and emotions, eating what I want (including the beer I like), and doing the type of exercise that I enjoy. I would like to tell you more about this.

See Male Weight Loss Now

Belly Fat Male Weight Loss


Female Weight Loss, too

I was at the gymn today and I began speaking with a woman that I had seen there a few times. I did not know her, but it is rather easy for me to start this type of conversation at the gymn, since I am a regular. So, I just said “hello.” It is amazing what new things you can learn just  by reaching out to others.  Anyhow,  I will use the name Rosa in referring to her, to conceal her identity. As I mentioned earlier, I had seen Rosa on several occasions at the gymn and there is no question in my mind that she works hard at staying in shape. In short, she is a striking woman, that carries a little more than her share.  But I was intrigued why she was there.

Female and Male Weight Loss

Hamster Wheel for People

At this point, you might be wondering why I am telling you about Rosa? This is a blog for men, after all, right? Well, as it appears in my conversation with Rosa, that working hard to lose weight is not just a problem for men. Intelligent weight loss is not only a challenge for the male in gender. We think we are lazy. Well, we are not. Human beings are working much harder than any other species on the planet. Working hard is not the answer.

After asking Rosa how many times she comes to the gymn, she says four times per week,  for 2-1/2 hours each time!  She told me that she is also participating in kick boxing classes two evenings per week and weight training classes two other times per week. Wow! She then sheepishly told me that “she needs to lose some weight.” Additionally, without having yet reached her goal of losing weight, she was now concerned about getting too muscular. I can’t tell you how much compassion I felt for her at that moment. While talking with her, I noticed that she was feeling a little relieved to be able to tell someone her frustration in meeting her goal. I think she also felt complimented that she was noticed by a guy at the gymn.

Here is the point. We choose to put ourselves on a hamster wheel to lose weight. It does not need to be this way. Both women and men are doing this because they know of no other option except work, pills, unreasonable diets and expensive drinks and supplements. Although you may be embarassed to show your gut at the gymn, you can be quite sure that the women there know exactly how you feel. It’s OK.  At this very moment, be confident that punishing yourself to lose weight is doomed to fail. I will show you a better way. Stay tuned.

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Weight Loss in The New Year

Fat Man Tight Pants

These Pants Fit Last Time

Happy New Year guys. Congratulations on making it through the holidays…….I mean that sincerely.  Have you ever thought about what a paradox it is to even  think about losing weight on the very first day of the year? We just finished some of the biggest celebrations of the whole year, and now we are left thinking about how bad we look. The BIGGER paradox is, why we should feel bad about ourselves, in order to improve our appearance. But we do. We male of the species, are LARGELY (pun intended), all in this together. This picture to the right is a blunt reminder of what we experience.

But this blog is about us men, looking and feeling better, intelligently. Working HARD to lose weight, is stupid. You have come too far in this life to consider that.  I wouldn’t do that and I wouldn’t recommend you doing that either. Yet this blog is also, not about “go nowhere” diets, berries, slim drinks, or pills. Let’s be honest, if taking “stuff” would solve the problem, you would’ve already done that, right? It isn’t about working hard, taking more “stuff” or restrictive diets. It is about living and enjoying in a healthy, intelligent way. And we are intelligent.

At the fitness center (the “gymn”),  of which I am a member, I see a boat load of guys joining every year, immediately after the new year.  They are embarrassed to be seen in such bloated shape, especially in mixed company. They have hope in their eyes, yet avoid mirrors. They wear long draping sweat shirts and sweat pants to cover themselves.  Honestly, they know they are “fighting” a losing battle. They eventually stop coming in because the hard work is punishing and pointless to them.

Last Tuesday, I ran into one of the guys I know at the gymn. He is a garbage man and for our purposes here, I’ll call him Fred. He is thick in the waist and attends the gymn regularly. He fills a garbage hopper all day long, in all sorts of weather conditions, AND THEN, comes to the gymn and does his schtik. During the current holidays, he told me that he had been doing 12 hour days on the job.  On this occasion, he was on the treadmill next to me. He ran for one hour solid – about 5-1/2 miles in total! I was so impressed. After Fred finished, he shut off the machine and turned to me immediately and said “how much longer can I continue to run like this and still have such a huge gut?”  That of course is the question.

If any of this sounds familiar, then you are not alone. If we put men on the moon, built pipe organs, split atoms….then we surely can gain back the handsome male in ourselves.  Are you coming along?

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