Health and Fitness

Health Coach, CPT & FNS 

Health Coach, B.S. Dietetics

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What Diet Is Best For Men?

Oh the modern man, how life as humans has changed ever so much over the last century. With modern technology, most of the jobs are spent sitting, food is literally at the touch of our fingertips, and because of that, our health is something that we should be constantly monitoring. Men do have quite a few advantages when it comes to health, but you guys aren’t completely out of the dog house. What you eat and how you eat will affect every bit of your life. So today I’m here to help you guys pick the best diet for all your manly needs and goals!

Caloric Intake, Does It Matter?

Most men we have coached fall guilty to thinking they need way more calories a day than they really do. Believe It or not men and women are 98.5% identical in their DNA, and their nutritional needs are more similar than different. That’s certainly true for calories as well, as said in the Harvard Health Publishing, “men act just like big women.” Your caloric intake requirements depend on size and physical activity. A rough way to estimate your daily calories is, sedentary individuals will keep their weight stable by taking in about 13 calories per pound of body weight each day. Moderate activity requires about 16 calories per pound of body weight, and intense exercise calls for 18 calories per pound. Physical activity is a hard one to judge, but here are a few questions and facts to help you decipher where your activity levels are really at.

1.) Low Activity or Close To Sedentary

  • Only exercises maybe once or twice a week
  • Walks less than 8,000 steps a day
  • Sits at work all day
  • Comes home and sits down most of evening

2.) Moderate Activity

  • Exercises 3xs a week 45 minutes to an hour
  • Walks around 8,000 steps a day
  • Moves somewhat at work
  • Comes home and frequently does chores on regular basis (whether its playing with the kids, yard work, sweeping, mopping, etc)

3.) High/Intense Activity

  • Exercises 4+ times a week, hour or longer
  • Walks 10,000 steps a day
  • Has movement throughout the entire day
  • Comes home and hardly sits down until dinner and bedtime

Crazy right? We may not really be as active as we think we are. It is no easy feat anymore, it requires a good amount of planning and action to meet our goals. Some easy ways to add more movement without having to plan could include things like parking further, doing chores consistently, micro workouts through out the day, taking an evening walk, participating in activities with the kids.

What You Eat Matters, And Can Affect Your Most Precious Hormone…

Sure men do typically have higher caloric needs especially if they are active, but my friends, what you eat does matter and can greatly affect your health. Most men tend to think just because they require more calories, that it doesn’t matter where they come from. This way of thinking typically leads to you guys downing a whole bag of chips, smashing loaves of bread, and/or eating just flat out “empty” calories. What do I mean by empty? I mean they have little to no nutritional value and are not packed with any micronutrients or macronutrients (aka good carbs, fats, or protein). This type of eating is what gets you into trouble when it comes to fat loss or gaining muscle. They can also lead to adverse health affects, which in turn forces the body to constantly be in a healing state, and will not be able to prioritize weight loss, muscle gain, and other important functions. On that note, we have to talk about how what you consume affects your testosterone. Testosterone relates your sex drive, bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass, strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm. Pretty important stuff, so knowing what to avoid in your diet is vital. So many foods can lower your testosterone, so it’s important to know what to avoid. Some of the most common foods/contributors that lower testosterone are: soy products, mint, licorice root, flaxseed, alcohol, nuts, some dairy products, bread, pastries, desserts, too many omega-6 fatty acids, tobacco use, marijuana use, and obesity. Another illusion that we need to be aware of is that just because we look good on the outside, does not mean that our insides are tip top. Bad eating habits can greatly affect you internally. This can make it extremely difficult to lose weight or gain more lean muscle mass in a sustainable fashion.

So, Which Diet Is Really Best?

Well fellas I hate to break it to you, but you guys are just like us ladies, and need to watch what you consume. It may be beneficial to stick to a more natural approach when it comes to dieting. Gas, belching, bloating, diarrhea aren’t just normal manly symptoms, they are indicators that you need change, or that you may have intolerances. They are also great clues that may let you know the diet you are on isn’t working. When looking to lose weight it’s simple, whole foods, adequate activity, and a diet that suits your microbiome is what works best. 

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