As promised, the last instalment of this mini-series on fitness for 30-something men focuses on nutrition.
It’s fitting to save the tough topic until last because this is the one area that derails most of our progress in the gym. Put simply, it’s easy to push weights or follow a fitness routine, drench yourself in sweat doing cardio, but to follow all that up with good nutrition is extraordinarily difficult for the average guy.
Fad diets are a major part of the problem — don’t eat carbohydrates, don’t eat fat, eat as many carbs as you want, eat as much fat as you want, don’t eat anything at all — the diet gimmicks and promises are endless.
But as Extreme Fitness nutritionist Lora Jordan points out, quick-fix promises are almost always a waste of time and money.
An even bigger dilemma for men in their 30s, Jordan finds, revolves around poor eating habits, especially in social situations.
“A lot of males in their early 30s are corporate and go to a lot of business lunches at restaurants and the food they have to work with, even though it seems like a healthy choice, can have a lot of hidden sauces and oils in how they cooked the meat or the vegetables,” she explains.
Then there’s that tricky beer problem. Men like it, it’s full of carbohydrates and calories, and we tend to drink too much of it. Couple beer or other sugary drinks with poor food choices and you have the reason why many of us sport spare tires.
“That’s one of the biggest challenges I have is working with people to try and integrate cooking and eating healthier into their daily routine,” she says. “Generally men tend to be fixed on their habits and can be hard to change.”
On the bright side, this nutritional dilemma is fairly easily solved — at least in theory.
- Trade carbohydrates such as white rice and potatoes for non-starchy vegetables and avoid overeating carbs right before bedtime.
- Eat several small meals through the day to kick-start your metabolism and avoid binge eating. Jordan recommends preparing meals in advance.