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Surprising facts about dieting, exercise, and weight loss for men

Surprising Facts About Dieting, Exercise, and Weight Loss for Men

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Recently, new figures released have revealed that worldwide obesity levels are now the highest that they’ve ever been since we began keeping records. Our waistlines are expanding, our cholesterol and blood pressure are rising, as are our chances of suffering a heart attack, heart disease, stroke, or various forms of cancer. In fact, the only things that do seem to be decreasing are our life expectancies, our fitness levels, and our self confidence levels.

 

doctor

A doctor recommending a specific diet to his obese patient’s servant. Wood engraving by G. Browne, 1899.

 

Men in particular are really struggling with their weight, and the causes are quite simply due to the fact that many of them are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles, they aren’t getting enough exercise, and they’re eating and drinking far too much junk.

The good news is that more and more men are finally deciding to try to do something about their weight, but the problem is that many of them are not quite sure about what they should and should not be doing – and consuming, for that matter.

 

To help clear things up, here’s a look at a few surprising facts regarding diet, exercise, and weight loss for men.

 

Surprising facts about dieting, exercise, and weight loss for men

Treadmills Photo Wikimedia commons: U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt Araceli Alarcon, adapted by Power Up Your Health!

 

 

Cardio does NOT burn muscle

Unlike women, most men appear to want to increase their lean muscle mass and add some good quality muscle to their frames, and for that reason many of them tend to avoid doing cardio. Cardiovascular exercise is incredibly beneficial and is virtually essential for burning body fat. Whether it’s performed on cardio equipment in the gym, on the running track or sports field, on a cycle, in a swimming pool, or anywhere else, experts recommend at least three hour’s worth of cardio each week for optimal health and weight loss results.

Men however, tend to avoid it because some people believe that cardio burns muscle.

This is not true.

The only way that cardio would burn muscle would be if all of its body fat stores were completed depleted and it literally had no other energy source. Even then, if the cardio was performed steady state at around 60 – 70% max heart rate, you would still be in the optimal “fat burning zone” and would still burn whatever body fat remained on your physique. Cardio burns fat, it’s incredibly beneficial, and it will not burn muscle.

 

Cycling is great cardio

Wikimedia Commons: David Brandt

 

There is such a thing as too much protein

Protein is vital for the growth and repair of muscle tissue and as it is commonly found in meat and fish, both of which men tend to love; with this recommendation, men are really in their element. The problem is that some men will simply consume too much protein, in each meal, and over each day  – which has negative effects on the body.

Too much protein can lead to renal failure and liver issues, and can raise harmful LDL cholesterol levels.

Besides which, the body can only absorb so much protein in one go, which is usually around 40 – 50g, so a meal containing around 90g of protein would be unnecessary and would go partly to waste.

 

Protein rich foods

Protein-rich foods. Wikimedia Commons: Smastronardo

 

Rest days are vital

When it comes to losing weight, building muscle, and generally boosting health and fitness, as well as exercising regularly, making sure you get enough rest is also vital. 4 or 5 days worth of exercise each week is ideal; make sure to split them up if possible.

If you work too hard, you will be overtraining, which simply won’t give your body enough time to recover between workouts.

That means that you won’t build muscle, and you won’t lose fat either, because the body will quite literally be damaged and unable to repair itself.

Providing you eat right and make healthy choices on your off days from training, you will make fantastic progress and when it is time to work out again, your strength and energy levels will be through the roof.

 

784px-Skeletal_muscle

The anatomy of a muscle

Photo montage created by Raul654, Wikimedia Commons

 

 

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