Your 20s are a brilliant time to set the foundations for a healthy weight for life. Here’s the three easiest things men can do to make weight loss – or maintenance – simple.
Learn to cook
Resist the temptation to subsist on takeaway and oven baked chicken nuggets when you first move out of home. As much as having your own digs can feel like you finally have the chance to indulge your inner child’s food wishes, it’s really important that you put healthy habits in place from the moment you assemble your first piece of Ikea flat-pack furniture.
Whether you book in for some cooking lessons, have a go at some easy online recipes or get your mum or Nana to give you some kitchen pointers, it’s worth learning how to chop some vegetables and grill some meat, fish or tofu, given research shows that people who frequently eat at home have better diet quality and lower body fat levels.
You can even start by using some of the Jenny Craig recipes. They are simple, use every day ingredients (who wants to drive all over town to find rare ingredients) and will help you stay on track.
Men’s metabolism starts to slow down in your late 20s, which means any excess kilojoules/calories you consume that your body doesn’t need for energy are more likely to sit on your waistline than ever before.
One of the best ways to counteract this is with a good strength training program because the more lean muscle mass you have as you age, the more kilojoules/calories your body burns going about its daily tasks, meaning you’re more likely to lose weight and maintain it long-term.
Go to bed earlier
Your 20s can feel like a period when you have true autonomy over your time – and if you want to stay up until the wee hours partying or Netflixing, then nobody is going to stop you.
But given it’s now well established that insufficient sleep makes us hungrier (and likely to consume up to 2000 kilojoules extra per day), decreases our metabolic rate, reduces our fat burning efficiency and lowers our motivation for exercise, it’s actually important that you listen to your body’s sleep cues and keep well rested if you want weight loss or healthy weight maintenance.