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Lifehack Presents: A Mini-Guide for Weight Loss for Men

Lifehack Presents: A Mini-Guide for Weight Loss for Men

Weight loss for men

    (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or even a nutritionist. This information comes from my own personal quest to lose weight and the research that I have personally done. It’s also what has worked for me. Please consult a professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen.)

    I remember looking in the mirror in the middle of last year and being somewhat disgusted with the way that I looked and felt. I became quite overweight and unhealthy during my last few years of college. I had lost weight before and leaned out. Now it was time to do it again, but this time, make it stick.

    Below is a weight loss for men plan that any guy can follow to lose weight and keep it off for the long term.

    Diet

      Photo credit: Source

      I tend to hate the word “diet” because for most men it brings about thoughts of eating like a rabbit, eating too little, or eating things that don’t lack any taste whatsoever. This definitely isn’t the case though. You can definitely lose weight while eating a bunch of tasty food, you just need to change up your eating habits.

      When I was losing weight, I had a two-step plan for changing my eating habits. The first was to cut out refined carbs and sugars as much as possible, while eating lean meats, green leafy vegetables, and nuts and seeds. This is what the step-one diet for weight loss for men could look like in a typical day:

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      Breakfast

      • 3 Eggs light salt and pepper, scrambled
      • 2 cups cooked spinach w/ light salt and pepper
      • 1 cup of coffee, black

      Mid-morning snack

      • 1 handful of almonds
      • 1 small apple

      Lunch

      • 1 Large, seasoned chicken breast over 2 cups of mixed greens, assorted fresh vegetables (onions, red peppers, tomatos, etc.)
      • 1 serving of blue cheese dressing, vinegar and oil, or a vinaigrette

      Mid-afternoon snack

      • 1 small block of cheese (sort of like the string cheese sticks)

      Dinner

      • 2 servings of black beans or pinto beans (even refried beans, but not every day)
      • 8oz. steak, seasoned
      • Side salad or fresh broccoli w/ butter

      Dessert

      • mixed fruit or even a homemade fruit smoothie

      Doesn’t sound too bad, huh? Basically you are cutting out a ton of carbohydrates and sugars with the first phase. This will help you lose weight faster in the beginning, which is a good thing because if men do something and don’t see results somewhat immediately, we tend to give up.

      In the second step of the diet you can start to slowly add grains back into your eating habits as long as they are whole and as close to being unprocessed as possible. On my weight loss journey, I moved myself more inline with the Paleo side of eating instead of bringing back whole grains into my diet. That doesn’t mean that it is the only way of eating right, as I have seen many men go either way with great success.

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      For the second part of your diet just make sure to not relapse your eating back to that of refined sugars and grains. As we lose more and more weight the idea of “cheating” on our eating becomes easier and easier to do. We start to think, “well, one Oreo won’t hurt, right?”

      This is dangerous territory for a one time fat guy. If you love your sweets and bad eating, then maybe you need to give yourself a cheat day once or twice a month where anything goes. This could help you stay on the straight-and-narrow for most of the month.

      Exercise

        Photo credit: Source

        If you haven’t been exercising very much or at all, then you want to start off with something that won’t completely kill you. Below is a great starter exercise plan for men.

        Weight training

        3 days a week, with at least one day in between, do the following:

        • Body weight exercises rotating between pushups, squats, lunges, crunches, leg-lifts, and pullups.
        • To start, do 5 reps of each exercise and move onto the next with only 15 second breaks in between.
        • Keep the rotation going for a total of 20 minutes
        • If you can’t do full pushups, then you can do modified pushups off of the wall at an angle, or even on your knees. If you can’t do full pullups (most guys can’t at first) grab a chair to keep your feet on.
        • If you can’t finish the whole 20 minute set, just give yourself a break. Make sure as you move forward in the starter exercise plan, that you are continually improving on your workout.

        You can also do a mixture of exercises from one of my favorite sites, SimpleFit.

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        Cardio

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          5 days a week, do the following:

          • Walk for a total of 30 minutes. Use medium to high intensity on your walks. You don’t have to look like one of those crazy power walker types. Just keep your pace up while walking.
          • Remember you can split up your walking during the day, like a 15 minute break in the morning and afternoon, or a 15 minute walk during the morning and night.

          On your off days between your body-weight sets 3 days a week, do the following:

          • High intensity intervals for a total of 12–15 minutes. This consists of walking or light running for 1–2 minutes and then sprinting for 30–45 seconds. Follow the table below for a 15 minute high intensity interval plan:
          2.5 minutes Warmup, light walking to running
          45 seconds sprint
          1 minute light running
          45 seconds sprint
          1 minute light running
          45 seconds sprint
          1 minute light running
          45 seconds sprint
          1.5 minutes light running
          30 seconds sprint
          1.5 minutes light running
          30 seconds sprint
          2.5 minutes Cool down, light running to walking

          If you aren’t into the plan above, you can get some other great high intensity interval plans from Men’s Health here

          Basically, for this exercise plan, do the above exercises for a total of 3 weeks, then have one “light” week where all you do is your cardio. This will help you get over the dreaded “plateau” that we can face after a month or so as well as give your body a rest from the body weight exercises.

          As you move forward with your exercise and it becomes easier and easier, try to add more reps or even light dumbbells to your workouts. This will help keep your exercise plans interesting as well as help you continue to see results as you move forward.

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          If you want to try something different when it comes to exercise, check out the NerdFitness Guides.

          Bringing it together

          The key to weight loss for men is to ensure that your diet is one that is sustainable and tasty and that your exercise continues to be fun yet challenging. You could possibly lose weight by simply changing your diet or by only working out a little, but if you want to drastically lose weight, especially at first, follow the above weight loss for men plan to accomplish your goals.

          It isn’t unheard of to lose anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds of fat a month while using the above diet and exercise plan. When I first started, I lost a total of 30 pounds in three months. The trick is how you can keep the weight off as you move past the initial phase. As you get further and further way from your “fat days” you start to losen up on your diet and exercise regimen. Make sure to have someone keep you accountable, whether it be an exercise buddy or just a friend that knows what you are trying to do.

          It also helps to keep a health journal with your food and exercise in it. With this tool, it’s easier to spot when you are starting to backslide on your new way of life.

          Hopefully the above weight loss for men plan can help you reach your weight loss goals.

          (Photo credit: Human weight loss chart symbol via Shutterstock)

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          CM Smith

          A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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          Last Updated on August 13, 2020

          12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

          12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

          As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

          1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

          I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

          Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

          Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

          2. What is the purpose of meditation?

          The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

          It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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          Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

          In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

          You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

          This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

          The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

          Less Physical, More Psychological

          Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

          This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

          The First Benefit of Meditation

          The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

          1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
          2. Relaxation of the body

          Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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          Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

          That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

          When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

          When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

          Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

          Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

          This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

          Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

          Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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          This benefit takes you to the second one.

          The Second Benefit of Meditation

          While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

          1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
          2. Observance
          3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
          4. Patience

          Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

          You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

          This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

          1. Energy

          Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

          2. Observance

          The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

          3. Peacefulness

          Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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          4. Patience

          The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

          The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

          Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

          Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

          The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

          • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
          • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
          • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
          • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
          • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
          • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

          These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

          Final Thoughts

          Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

          Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

          Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

          More on Meditation

          Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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