When it comes to dealing with the battle of the bulge, men over 40 are in a full-scale war that they are sadly losing.
When you think of weight loss, the male image may not even come to mind. It is women trying to lose weight, who talk about it constantly, who sweat it out in fitness classes, join Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Michelle Bridges? Do you think of any of these businesses and think of men? When did you see a Special K ad with a man kicking up his leg in red pants? We think the constant obsession with the almighty scales is front of mind for women only. After all, when was the last time you heard a man asking, “Does my bum look big in this?”.
The world has been turned upside down by COVID, however we’ve already been dealing with a pandemic. An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s report states that being overweight or obese is a health issue that now affects 71% of Australian men. Increasing age and socio-economic status raises the probably of a man being obese and if a man is 35 and has started gaining weight, they are unlikely to lose it.
Obesity is a risk factor for many physical diseases, chronic conditions, negatively impacts mental health and is associated with higher death rates.
So how can we help our men?
Talk about it. If you have a man in your life struggling with weight issues – talk about it. Ask him how his body is feeling? This may give him the opening to start solving his.
Redirect focus. Ask him what he wants to be doing in 5 years’ time? Taking a moment to look ahead can identify a future that excites him and requires a healthier waistline.
Play together. What physical activity can you do together? We are all more motivated to get off the couch if we’ve made a commitment to someone and made plans. Make it fun!
Keep it simple. Overhauling your pantry, joining a gym and over-committing is not realistic. The old saying ‘slow and steady wins the race’ applies here. Make small healthy lifestyle changes and slowly build from week to month.
Get support if you need to. Weight Management Practitioners are experts in their field and provide realistic and individualised advice.
The issue around male obesity is a complex one, so to help we need to get the conversation going.