For many men, starting a weight loss regimen may seem unnecessary and cumbersome. If you're like a lot of guys, you may be thinking that losing weight is a matter of staying active, and watching what you eat is more work than it's worth.
While men might think that weight loss plans are something better suited for women, the statistics show men are more likely to be overweight than their female counterparts. Where 72 percent of American males are overweight, 64 percent of women can be considered overweight, according to the most recent prevalence and trends report on obesity published in a 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Seeing the need to provide men with a no-nonsense approach to losing weight, Weight Watchers recently launched its first national advertising campaign targeted directly at men. If you're a man who would like to shed a few pounds, but has previously been averse to trying a weight loss plan, it may not be as bad as you might think. Here are a few myths about male weight loss that may cause men to avoid eating healthier and the truth behind them.
Myth: Men only need to exercise to lose weight.
Reality: Unless you are working out for hours each day, simply working out and not worrying how many calories you consume is not a good plan for shedding pounds. The fact is, burning calories through exercise takes a lot longer than it does to consume them. A 200-pound man will burn about 450 calories during a three-mile run, according to Runner's World. An average hamburger or piece of cake contains about the same amount of calories.
Myth 2: Low-fat or low-carb automatically means healthier.
Reality: While overloading on fats and carbohydrates will likely lead to weight gain, both play an important role in healthy eating. Fats and carbohydrates are also not created equal - for instance, trans and saturated fats can increase your cholesterol while unsaturated fats can have the opposite effect. The key to healthy eating is getting the right balance of both.
Myth 3: Losing weight means you have to eliminate alcohol.
Reality: It's true that consuming too many alcoholic beverages can lead to weight gain, but consuming in moderation can be part of a healthy diet, as long as you count those calories along with what you are eating.
Myth 4: Watching what you eat means you have to give up red meat.
Reality: Some cuts of meat may contain a lot of fat, but there are also a lot of lean red meat options, which contain beneficial protein, iron, zinc and vitamins.
Myth 5: Weight loss works the same for everyone.
Reality: Your ability to lose weight depends on many factors, and every person's metabolism is unique. Men generally tend to lose weight faster than women due to their body composition and men also tend to be more physically active, therefore burning more calories.
While you might think that following a weight loss plan is a lot of work, it's never been easier, as a plan like Weight Watchers Online For Men allows men to follow the Weight Watchers PointsPlus program entirely online and offers mobile applications that can help you keep track of what you are eating when you are on the go. To learn more about the men's plan, visit www.weightwatchers.com/men.
Losing weight doesn't have to mean giving up the foods you like for the latest fad diet, but simply being more aware of what you are putting into your body. Finding a plan that can more easily help you track your progress can make your weight loss goals achievable.