What is it?While women spend hours discussing their target weights and think nothing of comparing their daily calorie intakes, most men would rather die than admit to their mates they were on a diet. That's because men feel the need to preserve their manly image, according to natural health expert Michael van Straten. Because of this, if men want to lose weight, they should approach it differently from women.
How does it work?The trick, says Michael, is for men to adopt the 'Switch Method' instead. Instead of a complete diet overhaul, men should learn simple and discreet ways of swapping their high-fat, high-calorie favourites for healthier versions. That way, they'll lose weight without anyone even noticing they're on a diet.
Men who don't like admitting they care what they look like. Men who eat on the run a lot.
What are the drawbacks?Men will have to do their homework so they know how to choose healthier options. They need willpower.
What do you do?It's very simple - all men have to do is switch from their normal choice
to a healthier eating option. So instead of that fry-up, men should
grill their meat and add lots of veg instead of fried bread. Here are
Michael's tips for manly switching at breakfast, lunch and dinnertime.
Breakfast:An ever-growing number of men leave home without breakfast and stop off
on the way to work at the nearest greasy spoon. Now's the time to start
your day as you mean to carry on and make your first switch.
Switch: Instead of bacon, fried bread, sausage, fried egg and
chips, have two poached eggs on wholemeal toast with baked beans,
grilled tomatoes and mushrooms. It will give you half the fat and half
the calories of a normal fry-up. Add a glass of fresh orange juice and
you're on your way to losing your first couple of pounds.
What you choose depends on where you're eating but you can always make a
healthy-eating switch without anyone guessing that you're on a diet.
The sandwich shop: You may think that cheese and pickle sounds
pretty healthy but it's full of saturated fat, contains 60 per cent of
your safe intake of salt for the whole day and two teaspoons of sugar.
You'd have to go swimming for an hour to burn off the calories.
Switch: Go for a wholemeal pitta bread filled with houmous and
salad. It contains just two thirds of the calories of the cheese
sandwich, half the salt and one third of the fat. It also provides you
with lots of fibre and twice as much iron as the cheese and pickle.
The burger bar: Burgers, fries, apple pies and cola are all
disastrous for your diet. A meal like this will provide almost half your
calories for a whole day and would take you six hours of fast walking
to burn off. This meal also contains a whole day's safe amount of fat
Switch: Have a fish burger instead but hold the tartare sauce.
You can have a small portion of fries but add a piece of fresh fruit and
a cup of tea or coffee or mineral water instead of the fizzy drink.
This will give you less than half the calories and half the fat of the
burger meal as well as giving your body plenty of essential iodine and
The canteen: Shepherd's pie is a firm favourite with men but it contains lots of fat and usually a whole day's dose of salt in a portion.
Switch: Fish pie for the same amount of protein, three-quarters of the calories and only a third of the fat - none of it saturated.
Dinner:The restaurant: If you're out to lunch with colleagues and start
with pate, go on to steak and kidney pie and finish with bread and
butter pudding, you're heading into diet danger. This meal contains
twice as much fat as you should eat in a day, two thirds of your day's
calories, and enough salt to push your blood pressure through the roof.
You'd need two hours on the squash court to burn off this meal.
Switch: Start with smoked fish or melon then for main, go for a
lean grilled steak. Avoid the rich creamy sauce that comes with it and
order mashed potatoes instead of chips or roast potatoes. Say no to a
dessert and you'll end up with a meal containing just a third of the fat
and just over half the calories of the first fatty option.
Parties: Most of the finger food served at cocktail and office
parties tends to be very high in both fat and salt. Sausage rolls,
vol-au-vents filled with creamy sauces, salty nuts and nibbles, sausages
on sticks, fried chicken wings are all likely to expand your waistband.
It's amazing how quickly you can munch your way through a thousand or
more calories and massive amounts of fat which together pile on the
Switch: This is not always easy at this type of party, so the
best thing is to eat something healthy before you go. While you're
there, opt for unsalted nuts, olives, mini smoked salmon sandwiches and
prawns. If there's a choice of dips, go for tsatsiki (yohurt and
cucumber), houmous or guacamole rather than garlic mayo or cream cheese.
- For more information and ideas, visit www.michaelvanstraten.com.
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