My husband and I have this on-going joke whenever I pester him about taking better care of himself. I slap the fifth cookie or second handful of Hersey’s kisses out of his hand and remind him that men who are married live longer. The reason is simple: their spouses force them to mind their health.
“Yeah,” he says, “but with a nagging spouse, do we want to live longer?”
It never gets old, but my husband, like many men out there, is getting older. He turned 40 a few years ago and often, still lives like an 18 year old. He doesn’t go to bed when he’s tired. He’ll eat tons of treats with the kids. He’ll jump into physical activity without warming up and then hurt for days after. And, like a fair number of 18 year olds, he won’t listen to authority. Namely, me.
(Who am I ? Your friendly community Content Manager/writer/personal trainer/nutrition coach. I introduced myself a while ago but you can learn a bit more about me here. Today, it’s all about the guys, and I want to move on.)
FATHER’S DAY PSA: YOU MATTER, TOO
Seeing as it’s Father’s Day, we here at BodyRock would like to take this opportunity to remind men that Peter Pan syndrome and jokes aside, they matter.
Just like one pair of shoes won't fit you from childhood to adulthood, neither will one diet. You change. Men go through hormonal changes, just like women — granted, not as many as women. As you get older, usually around 40 years old, your testosterone decreases, which can lead to fat gain (particularly around the middle), difficulty gaining lean muscle mass, decreased sex drive, as well as depression. The decrease of this hormone is also linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and osteoporosis. Colloquially known as MENopause, this change happens to men as they crest the hill of 40 and can be depressing, and for some, devastating.
The brunt of societal aesthetic ideals definitely fall harder on women, but this doesn’t mean men are exempt from expectations. Developing a gut at 40, seemingly out of nowhere, can take the ploom out of even the most proud peacock.
Fight Back: How to Take Your Body Back from MENopause
Don’t get discouraged guys, there’s lots you can do about the trials and weighty tribulations of your change of life — but you’re going to need to evolve. The truth is MENopause is going to happen, no matter what you do, but you can mitigate the effects it has on your mind and body by adopting these strategies.
- Try Intermittent Fasting (IF). Employ the power of IF, you help to balance the amount of the hormone leptin (the hormone associated with feelings of fullness) produced by your body, which has been shown to regulate fat storage and increase the production of testosterone. Combine this with the fact that IF increases your human growth hormone (making muscle gains easier) and regulates your insulin (making fat loss easier) and you’ve got a lifestyle that works when traditional diets don’t (of course, there are also lifestyle factors that can impact hormonal imbalances, like not sleeping enough, drinking/drug use and excessive stress so make sure you’re exercising self-care and good judgement).
Ultimately, intermittent fasting can help balance hormonal disruptions and a healthy hormone balance has been shown to improve quality of sleep, bolster mood, and even enhance sex drive and sexual pleasure.
- Eat More Plants. Studies show that vegan men have more testosterone than meat-eaters. Don’t panic: no one is saying you have to forsake your steak, but simply, you should consider eating more plants and less meat. Think red meat once a week, and fish and/or chicken once or twice a week. If you’re feeling skeptical about being able to find tasty and healthy vegan and vegetarian meals, check out our new Fast & Furiously Fit ebook. It was 40+ mouthwatering meals, snacks and desserts, many of which are plant-based, that can help you embrace that #greenlife. (And there are meat-based meals in there too, including a delicious slow-cooker rib recipe.)
Here’s one of the incredible plant-based recipes from the book. Healthy and hearty, it’s bound to hit the spot.
(makes three servings)
- ¾ cup green lentils, rinsed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1, 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 glass red wine
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp fine grain salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 cups whole grain pasta (cooked)
- In a large saucepan, bring lentils and 2 cups of water to a rapid boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
- Drain lentils and add to a food processor. Pulse a few times to create a coarse puree. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in large saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots and sauté for 8-10 minutes, or until onions are tender.
- Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add red wine and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add pureed lentil, stir, and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add remaining olive oil and oregano.
- Serve over your favourite pasta.
- Lift, HARD & HEAVY. Let’s talk exercise. While cardio is great for you, post-40, you’re going to want to lift hard and heavy to help boost your testosterone levels. Hitting each muscle group twice a week is enough to see noticeable results, like a leaner, healthier, happier body.
Because it’s Father’s Day, we’re going to make these lean, testosterone boosting gains come easier (or at least more affordably) for our best guys. When you buy our Sculpt Bar, you can score the intermittent fasting ebook, A weighted black vest and A black thing for FREE. This is a great gift to give yourself, or bestow upon your boo. With a capacity for up to 90lbs of weight, the Sculpt Bar can build muscle on every inch of your body, and the IF ebook provides expert guidance for optimal results. Just add this bundle to your cart and use code 'STRONGDAD' during checkout. The price of FREE gear will be deducted automatically.
- Lay off the Sauce. I know, what a party pooper, right? But as men (or anyone, really) gets older, our bodies get less efficient at processing alcohol. This means it’s not in and out of your system as quickly, which means your fat burning abilities are stalled out for longer while your body struggles to rid your system of the toxin (ethanol). What’s more alcohol slows testosterone production, which again, leads to that smorseborg of issues, most visibly notable: the beer belly.
You don’t have to abstain entirely if you don’t want to, put if you want to lose the gut, you’re gonna have to cut back. Time to trade in the 24 for a 6-pack, fellas.
- Get Enough Sleep. This goes for any stage of your life, really, but especially as you get older. Make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep on the regular to properly support cellular regeneration and hormonal health.
So guys, just remember, today and every day (and whether you’re a father or not), you matter. Take good care of yourself!Buy the Sculpt Bar & get FREE Fast & Furiously Fit eBook, Black Vest and A Black Thing now! Simply add this bundle to your cart and use code 'STRONGDAD' during checkout to get the FREE gifts.