Looking good on the outside is not possible if you are not feeling good on the inside as well. This is how you can achieve a healthy diet for men.
A healthy diet will depend on a lot of factors that might change from men to men. For example, age, size, weight, genetic conditions and even your lifestyle can influence what you eat. You can imagine that a healthy diet for a guy who’s in constant activity won’t be the same as that for one that’s sitting at his desk all day.
Nonetheless, there are still some general rules that we can all follow, no matter our individual necessities.
Moreover 一and contrary to the general belief一 it doesn’t mean you have to quit meat and fuel yourself only with salads. It’s all about keeping a balanced, nutritious diet.
Let’s talk calories
As we just said, how much you eat and what you feed yourself with will depend on many factors. Still and all, calories are an important part of a diet for every single person. But the question is: how many should you eat?
The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association recommended that men between the age of 19-30 should eat 2,400 calories per day if sedentary. If you have an active routine, then you should limit your daily calories between 2,600 and 3,000.
Sedentary guys between 31 and 50 years old should consume 2,200 calories, while active men with the same age should eat 2,400 and 2,800.
Men of age 51 and older should eat 2,000 on a daily basis if sedentary, but raise it to 2,200-2,400 if they have an active day. These recommended guidelines can help you either lose or maintain your weight, which will depend on your goals and, of course, on your individual conditions.
What goes into a healthy diet?
Fruits and vegetables
As we said at the beginning, a healthy diet doesn’t come down to salads, but we can all agree they are still a key component and it is absolutely necessary that we incorporate them in our meals.
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are beneficial for our bodies, and especially for our digestion.
Replace refined grains with whole grains, such as brown rice, oats and quinoa, which are high in carbohydrates and fibers.
Eating a nutritious diet is not only about maintaining your weight, being healthy or looking good. There are actually certain foods that work as disease preventers and can help reduce the risk of contracting them.
In this case, fibers can help prevent certain types of cancer (like colon and prostate). They also provide the feeling of fullness, which is a great solution if you get hungry and snacky all the time.
Nutritious, heart-healthy fats are the source of energy that will boost you throughout the day. They also act as protectors of your organs and help with cell functions. We are talking about nuts, milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, avocado, olive and canola oil, and fish, among others.
Unsaturated fats work as a replacement for saturated fats: that is full-fat dairy foods, high fat meats, butter and high-fat sweets.
Similarly to beneficial fats, proteins are also good for your muscles and they will provide you with energy. Meals that include proteins are: different kinds of meat (like pork, chicken, salmon, tuna and turkey), legumes (such as beans), eggs, nuts, soy products, milk, cottage cheese and yogurt too.
Foods you need to avoid
Just like there are foods you should include in your diet, there are also ones you need to stay away from. A healthy diet is not about cutting down, though it is important that you understand that these foods won’t be doing any good for you.
Anything that comes with added sugar, like candy or baked goods, is like poison. Same happens with trans and saturated fats, which are usually found on fried food and conventional butter. For instance, instead of traditional butter it’s best that you opt for alternative ones that are much healthier, like nut butters.
Refined grains (like cereal or white bread), fast and junk food are a no-go. They might look tempting and delicious at that moment, but you need to know that in the long-term they will catch up with you.
Create healthy habits
A healthy diet comes down to nothing if you don’t incorporate exercising to your daily routine.
Exercising regularly is not just important for creating a calorie deficit, but it’s also positive for your physical and mental health. Whether you choose to go to the gym, play a sport or go for a run, all efforts are welcome.
Even a 15 minute walk around the park can be a game-changer. A little progress each day adds up to big results! To get you inspired, here are a few daily exercises to keep fit.
In addition, you can also work side by side with a dietitian nutritionist, which can give more insights regarding your routine. Working on your diet alongside a professional is very useful, especially for those men who struggle when prepping their meals or don’t have a full understanding of what foods they need in relation to their lifestyle.
Annual health checkups
Once a year, you should try to make an appointment with your doctor to check everything is running well. As the saying goes, it’s better to prevent than cure. An annual check up is an opportunity to understand what you are doing well and how you can continue to improve your lifestyle.
It’s the moment when you can look back and see how much you have accomplished, acknowledge what areas of your diet (and exercising) you are still struggling with, and learn what you can do for yourself in the future as well.
We can assure you that once you incorporate and develop healthy habits, they will last a lifetime.