It is Men’s Health Week 2018 from the 11th to 17th of June and this year the focus of the week for men’s health issues will be on diabetes.
Men are more likely to get diabetes, more likely to suffer complications, face amputation and are more likely to die from diabetes.
If we truly value the men in our lives more needs to be done to prevent this from happening. Don’t be afraid to think for them because, unfortunately, it’s quite common for men to still feel uncomfortable talking about issues regarding their health and we need to act now to change things.“More people than ever have diabetes and you are more at risk than ever before of getting Type 2 diabetes, if nothing changes at the current rate more than five million people will have diabetes in the UK by 2025.”Click To Tweet
What can you do to help prevent men’s health issues?
As this year we are focusing on diabetes here are 5 simple steps you (or your male friends/relatives) can take to avoid becoming another statistic.
1 – Reduce Belly fat
Men are more likely to be overweight than women and can develop diabetes even when they are relatively lean. However they are less likely to acknowledge that they are indeed overweight and therefore sign up for a weight loss programme. What they should be focusing on instead to prevent diabetes is reducing belly fat. It’s a problem because belly fat lurks not just beneath the skin but also gets down deep and surrounds your vital organs (visceral fat).
A large amount of visceral fat can increase the body’s resistance to the hormone insulin and this can lead to type 2 diabetes. This is because when it is being used as fuel visceral fat releases inflammatory compounds into the blood stream increasing the risk of metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, doesn’t pose as much of a health risk but it’s notoriously more stubborn to burn than visceral fat. Green Tea Extract (EGCG) can be helpful in persuading the body to burn stubborn subcutaneous fat, whereas Curcumin can help you counter some of the inflammatory effects from burning visceral fat.
2 – Exercise regularly most days of the week.
This helps you manage weight, reduce blood glucose levels and may also improve blood pressure and cholesterol. If you believe you may be at risk of developing diabetes and you have a fair amount of belly fat you want to prioritize short but intense exercise sessions over long steady cardio.
Always take into account your body type when creating an exercise programme to make the most of your metabolism. Make leisurely walking and sleeping important parts of your workout regime as they will both help you lower the hormone cortisol which contributes to increasing belly fat.
If exercise is not for you, or you can’t do it, make sure you spend a lot of time moving: puttering around the house or the garden for a couple of hours every day will be beneficial and so is choosing the staircase over the lift.
3 – Eat a balanced, healthy diet.
In a nutshell: reduce the amount of saturated and trans fats. Eat more fruit, vegetables and high-fibre foods. Cut back on salt and increase your water.
But also make sure you cut back on your starches and sugar and don’t make the fatal mistake of drinking your calories. Leave the bottle of cordial on the shelf and stick with the mineral water instead.
When planning your meals make sure to start with a good source of healthy protein to which you will add as many fresh vegetables as you can possibly handle. Be careful though that beans and potatoes are starches so don’t overdo it. The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain is a good place to start for understanding how food choices can have an impact of men’s health issues.
4 – Limit takeaway and processed foods.
Microwave and takeaway meals are usually high in salt, fat and kilojoules. It’s best to cook for yourself from scratch if possible and if you have most of your meals on the road try and reduce the amount of starches that you eat.
Love a burger? Swap the chips for a salad and throw away the bun. Fancy a Chinese? Avoid the sugary sauces and have your food steamed whenever possible. I am sure you get the picture…
Having said this don’t be afraid to go all out from time to time, just make sure you don’t have takeaways or convenience foods all the time.
5 – Limit your alcohol intake.
Too much alcohol can lead to weight gain and may increase your blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Men should have no more than two standard drinks a day and women should have no more than one. But a better choice would be 5 glasses of wine per week max.
Drinking too much alcohol places the liver under a lot of strain. This stress is likely to raise cortisol levels and cause you to gain belly fat, lose muscle and become at increased risk of developing a metabolic disorder like diabetes or experience a whole other lot of men’s health issues. Remember that too much alcohol can lower your T levels too!
What’s the best alcoholic drink to have to minimize the risk of experiencing men’s health issues? Beer and white wine. They both act as appetite suppressants and when consumed in low amounts don’t have too much of an impact on your metabolism. The best time to have a drink? Immediately after a weight lifting session.
What else can you do to prevent men’s health issues?
If you suspect your health may be a risk due to lifestyle factors like stress, lack of sleep, unhealthy diet and not enough exercise let me help you create a bespoke program that will address all of the above and help you re-establish a good balance. It all starts with a free, no obligation, breakthrough call.