masculinity, men, taste, wisdom, writing

Diet

Most of what we buy and eat is crap.

It is killing us, to exercise the choice of a world’s worth of processed cuisine. All of it available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There will never be a fat acceptance movement for men.

There are people out there who are proud they cannot cook.

If you can’t see your genitals when you stand up for a piss, if you get out of breath climbing a flight of stairs then how are you supposed to defend yourself?

Defend someone else?

Roll on them.

I’ve been fat. It was easy to get into and I knew what I was eating, dealt with the implications of having a 40 inch waist, and wearing a uniform which required belt and braces. I had stomach issues which were painful and embarrassing. A litany of excuses kept me eating and uncomfortable.

This is where I talk about some embarrassing or life-threatening experience which prompted me to change.

It got too much to live as a fat person.

There was no reason to stay fat. It impacted my health because of my weight, not the other way around and I needed to do something about it.

I don’t have a six-pack but I can take my shirt off and feel good about myself. Food is fuel but with it, an appreciation for taste and texture which makes for interesting experiences and adventures because there is life beyond burgers.

We don’t teach nutrition. I’m not a nutritionist, but much like everything else in this book, we work with principles.

There is a massive amount of misinformation about food.

News reports are scaremongering.

The internet is like drinking from a fire hose in terms of what you should eat.

You should eat according to your goals.

Basic

How often do you eat?

What do you eat?

Do you eat because you’re hungry?

Ask yourself these questions. Apply the answers to your problem.

If you are overweight, then it is a question of where you want to get to to lose fat.

Not weight. If it is all you have as a measurement, then it is fine but your approach should be to lose fat and/or build muscle.

In terms of fat loss, here are the things you can do. Keep to them for thirty days.

Keep it simple.

Meat and vegetables. Find the things you like, learn to cook them. Have a few staples which you return to when it is just you.

Beef

Pork

Lamb

Chicken/Turkey

Venison/Game Meats.

Fish/shellfish

Cabbage

Spinach/kale

Cauliflower

Broccoli

Pulses

Legumes

Root vegetables.

No fruit. Yes, no fruit. It has natural sugars in it, which taste great but get turned into fat by the liver. Fruit is not essential so just lose it as a regular part of your diet. It isn’t in mine.

No calories in drinks. Alcohol has lots of calories, so look at whether the buzz is worth waddling around with a massive belly. Drink water, black tea or coffee. Diet drinks will derail your fat loss above 500mls of aspartame, so you’re better off without them.

Good fats.

Conventional wisdom has it fat is a bad thing. Most dietary advice contained this idea.

There are good and bad fats. You want more of the former and less of the latter.

Fatty cuts of meat. The fat in meat provides flavour which is important because changing how you eat and your body looks is not a chore. Take pleasure where you can and see this as changing your approach to food.

Water.

It quenches your thirst. It has no calories and you are composed of it.

Drink more water than anything else. Rehydration resolves a lot of temporary signals from the brain which get misconstrued as hunger. It keeps your thought processes clear, makes your skin clearer and fuels your body. Ignore drinks with added flavours, as it adds to the amount of hidden sugars in your diet, which will derail any progress you make with changing your habits and physique.

You should weigh yourself and aim for a gram of protein per lb of weight. These proteins should come from whole foods, meat and fish are ideal sources of protein but for my preference, meat is best.

Steak has value. It is easy to prepare and serve, tastes good with little to no additions and is a good meal.

There are carnivore diets available. It is austere, riddled with points and counterpoints but there are lots of people who share their subjective experience and the benefits. Again, as I am not a dietician, it is important to share you must eat and consider your own body. What you respond to, in terms of food, are not the same things my body will.

Eat for Testosterone.

There is a trend with men having low levels of testosterone compared to the previous generation. Testosterone Replacement Therapy is available, but attention paid to your diet and lifestyle can offset this depletion.

Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli offer vegetable sources of male-friendly hormones. Eat these alongside a good steak and it is a good, clean meal which will make you feel better and stronger for eating it.

Intermittent Fasting.

How do you eat?

Are you grazing on high sugar and carb snacks throughout the day?

Are you eating because you are hungry?

Genuine hunger is rare in the lives of most people, in the west. Seeking it out might be an affectation but there is a strong case for the health benefits of fasting and eating within a window of time.

I practice this as a way to keep things in check. I don’t eat through the day, aside from coffee with a dash of coconut oil as a source of energy. I wait and have one large meal – high protein and fats, such as steak and eggs in the evening. There is no suffering involved once pat the initial response to sustained fasting.

Much like any outlier, there is a lot of information available about the health benefits and practices involved.

Rather than set yourself up to fail, take a day off each week where you indulge all the temptations which crept into your consciousness during the week. The chocolate, pizza and ice cream orgy is a once a week event. It will spike your metabolism so you don’t hit a plateau and also keep you motivated.

One thing I’ve found is that by the end of the day off, I am craving whole foods again. Detach yourself to see the flaws in your diet, and when you experience the sluggishness of a high-sugar diet, you will remain motivated to pursue your goals even harder.

As with any dietary information, do your homework. Seek medical advice where appropriate, but also understand you know your body and lifestyle better than anyone else. Go with whatever works for you and your goals. Take responsibility for yourself.

I do not base these practices on the conventional wisdom of the crowd. If you become an advocate for something unusual because it works for you, expect criticism from those who are unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.

Let them. You are not in competition with anyone but the person you were yesterday. He didn’t have the knowledge you have now, so beating him should be easy and he’s a good sport.

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