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Why You Need Strength Training To Lose Weight

male lionI don’t know about you, but I was born lazy. I don’t like to work any more than I need to. That includes exercise. So if you think this article is about working out or exercising hard, you’re in the wrong place ! BUT, if you want to lose weight without working out hard, you need to read this article completely.

I think we need to be more like animals in nature. I like watching those nature programs. The BBC created a documentary called “Planet Earth” that I recently watched in its entirety.  I particularly appreciate those male lions lying out there on the Savannah. That is the way we need to be. This is purely natural for these powerful animals. It’s also natural for us.

In order to lose weight, exercise is necessary only as much, as your body naturally loses its own weight. If you look at ads for weight loss, you see a lot of glissening bodies of muscular male and female models working out.  I can tell you that I look great too, but I only spend 35 minutes in the gym 4 times per week.

Here are the scientific facts of how your body really loses weight on your behalf:

1. Resting Metabolism Rate - this is the number of calories your body burns per day while you are doing absolutely nothing…watching TV, sleeping,  arranging your little animals in Farmville. It is roughly approximated by the Harris-Benedict equation. This formula is the result of scientific studies and estimates your calorie burn rate (calories per day) based on age, gender, weight and height. If you are already eating less than this amount, you are already losing weight and  would most likely not even be reading this article. If not, read on…

2. Basal Metabolism Rate – Depending on your activity level, you can actually find out how many calories you will burn per day. This applies a factor to the calorie amount in Step #1 above based on your activity level. To lose weight, you need to eat less calories than this resulting number. This activity level elevates your metabolism both during activity and for a few hours after your activity. The problem is that for guys that need to lose a lot of weight, getting the cardio ramped up to a level where it really starts to burn significant calories is just not going to happen early on in the program. That is why the big burn comes from strength training.

3.Strength Training – This is the BIG BURN. When you build muscle mass, you are increasing the calorie burn all day long. You heard that right…..When you have increased your lean body mass with strength training,  you’re burning calories all day, not only while you exercise like aerobic activity. This is because when you do strength training, you are tearing down your muscles. When you tear muscles, the body repairs them with calories, nutrients and vitamins that you eat.  When muscles are torn, they repair WAY stronger than before. So your body is using up calories to build your muscles.

Here’s What To Do

From an interesting article on Strength Training and Weight Loss, it’s necessary to do about 30 minutes of strength training 2 to 3 times per week in order for your body to lose its own weight. Strength training for weight loss is the use of external resistance of exercise motion, against your normal muscular contraction to build muscle.

If you look at my strength training program, you’ll see that I utilize two separate workouts so that I don’t do the same workout, 2 days in a row. This is because muscles need some time to repair and I don’t want to work these muscles in two consecutive days.

1. Create a list of strength training exercises that you will do today. You need to work all the major muscle groups – chest, back, shoulder, triceps, biceps, abdomen, calfs, quadriceps, hamstrings. For today, choose only four of these – maybe work on chest, biceps, shoulders and quads.

2. Create a second list of strength training exercises that you will do tomorrow. Remember to include work on the abdomen muscles. Note that you cannot “spot remove” belly fat or love handles (or anywhere else either) by doing any type of strength training. Weight loss can only happen by reducing body fat evenly over the body.

3. Perform #1 and #2 alternatively throughout the week. At least two times per week. It is not necessary to do a total of more than 5 total workouts per week.

So, now you have 2 lists of exercises that you need to do to accomplish your weight loss goals. The best thing is to start right now. Notice, I didn’t say that you have to do these in a gym. For instance for chest, you can just do push-ups on your living room floor. So start now, with 15 push-ups.

Stay tuned. Due to the fact that strength training has such a profound impact on male weight loss, I will be writing in much more detail for your benefit.  Let me know what kinds of questions that you have by writing in the comments area. Thanks for stopping by.


Why Belly Fat Is Killing Your Sex Life

Couple eating a appleSex is the single most avoided subject between male and female. If you have experienced a decrease in your sexual appetite, you already know why you do not want to talk about it. When you are overweight, the subject is even usually a bit more dicey…….because you are not the only one involved.

She “may also” not be very happy about the weight you need to lose.When she has stopped being “grabby” in the bedroom, you know that you need to get “saddled up” and do something about this problem.  But first, here are the straight facts as to why your belly fat is costing you good lovin’.

The good news is, that is not your fault. There is some medical science behind why you just do not have it in you. The culprit is the belly fat. Not you. Have you ever  noticed that Viagra is one of the top rated drugs on the market?  Well, while Viagra is topping the charts, it is no coincidence that obesity, as a disease, has never been so prevalent in all of human history.  From an article by Truestar Health there are  a number of factors working against your mojo:

  1. Higher estrogen level – belly fat actually increases the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.  That means that you are actually getting more of the female hormone estrogen than the testosterone that you need to drive your prowess in the bedroom. And the more estrogen, the more abdominal fat will accumulate…the snow ball effect ensues.
  2. Lower testosterone level – leads to increases of the pot belly and other body fat, such as love handles. Of course, the lower the testosterone, the lower the love drive.
  3. Stress - causes high cortisol levels which in turn causes loss of muscle mass, decreases bone density and drives libido way down.

What To Do About Your Sex

OK, so at least now you know now, why Mr. D has not been showing up lately. Like I said, it isn’t your fault. But now, though, it’s simply a matter of caring better for yourself. Let me tell you what to do about this.

Start a strength training program. Pec’s, triceps, biceps, shoulders, abdomen, and back. The beauty of strength training is that it is the engine that drives weight loss. Why? When you work major muscle groups in weight training, your body is burning calories for you while you sleep.

Remember that when you lift, you are tearing down muscles. The calories in your body are in turn used to repair these muscles. Thus more calories are being burned continuously on your behalf. This repair work goes on around the clock.  The immediate benefit though is that strength training reduces stress and thus cortisol. This helps build libido straight away.

Once the cortisol level is managed you are on the path to reducing belly fat and correcting your hormones. The whole process starts immediately when you start your strength training. If you do not have the cash or time to go to a gymn, start doing push-ups, sit-ups leg lifts right now. If you want your sex back enough, you will get very creative. So start today.


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

Get your free E-Book on how to lose belly fat now – Click the book image to your left – provide your name and e-mail address and you will be reading this book in minutes – FREE.


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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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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Belly Fat Male Weight Loss

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