Tue, 29 Oct 2013 05:00:00 GMT | By Hugh Wilson

The best weight loss diet for men

Diets are a drag and weight loss is tough, right? Not with these easy tips...

Man on scales [Getty Images] (© Getty Images)

Maybe you overindulged on holiday. Maybe you let it all hang out at the beach and there was a little more hanging out than you might have hoped.

Or maybe you’ve just got that end of summer feeling, when the carefree fun ends and the self-improvement starts.

Whatever the reason, if you’re determined to lose weight over the next few weeks and months, read on for the tips that will help you achieve your goal.

Men don’t diet

The best dieting tip for men may well be this: don’t go on a diet.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat smaller portions of healthier food, and complement it with increased physical activity, but experts believe the very concept of a diet can have many men running for the hills.

At the same time, many of the diet plans that you may read about in the media are focused on women, which means that men who attempt them are likely to fail. Men are generally bigger than women and require a larger calorie intake to stay healthy and active (2,500 per day compared to 2,000 for women). Our metabolisms are generally faster.

“A lot of weight loss diets are aimed at women and so may not appeal to men,” says Bridget Benelam, senior nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation.

“However, weight loss is a simple equation of burning off more calories than you consume so provided you reduce how many calories you take in from a healthy diet (and ideally burn more calories by being active too) you don’t need to follow a formal weight loss plan.”

So men shouldn’t follow diets designed for women, and perhaps they shouldn’t follow diets at all. But many of us do need to lose weight.

Belly fat is bad fat

One concern is that men who are carrying a few pounds too many often store extra fat in the abdomen. In the battle between apple shapes and pear shapes, many men are on the side of the apple.

And that’s bad news. Belly fat is particularly dangerous, because it not only lies under the skin, it’s often stored deep in the abdomen, surrounding major organs. According to Dr Michael D Jensen, a specialist at the Mayo Clinic in the US, “Regardless of your overall weight, having a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and sleep apnea.”

So even if your overall score on the scales isn’t too bad, having excess belly fat is bad news and it needs to be shifted.

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