5 Healthy New Year's Resolutions for Men
Experts share their thoughts on the top 5 things men can do to get healthy in the new year
New Year's Resolution No. 1: Get Fit continued...
To get rid of the flab and pounds, Jean Bonhomme, MD, MPH, a member of the
board of directors for the Men's Health Network, suggests choosing an enjoyable
physical activity, even if it is not a traditional workout.
The idea is to move the body, doing anything from running, hiking, walking,
or martial arts.
With any new or renewed activity, it is important to start slowly, gradually
raising intensity. Starting out at a level that is too aggressive could cause
pain, injury, and a sense of dejection.
New Year's Resolution No. 2: Watch What You Eat
Meat and potatoes have somehow been associated with manly men. "For some
men, it's a macho thing to eat a lot of red meat," says Bonhomme.
"We're supposed to be the hunters, and we bring home the deer and the
There is certainly nothing wrong with a juicy piece of steak, but
overindulgence can be a problem, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, a spokeswoman for
the American Dietetic Association. "Diets that promote large amounts of
protein and fat, like the low-carb diets, are really not the way to go. Men
have a tendency to do that more," she says.
Low-carbohydrate and high-protein diets limit intake of particular grains,
rice, potatoes, pastas, fruits, and starchy vegetables. They sometimes
encourage meat and fat consumption to promote weight loss.
Studies show low-carb diets do help people lose weight in the short term.
After a year, however, researchers found no difference in weight loss between
the low-carb diet and the standard low-calorie diet.
Experts are still waiting for long-term data on low-carb diets. Critics fear
the diets will have negative effects on the heart, particularly since fatty
foods have been shown to raise risk of heart disease. Many of the restricted
foods on the low-carb diet, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, have
also been shown to prevent cancer, and lower risk of heart disease.
To lose weight, Taub-Dix recommends a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on
whole grains, fruits and vegetables. She says three servings of low-fat dairy
can also be beneficial. Besides improving bone health, some studies show
calcium may make it easier to shed pounds.