6 things that make men gain weight

Wondering why the numbers on the scale seem to keep going up? Here are six reasons why you may be carrying around a little extra weight

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restaurant

Overindulging on weekends

Researchers have found that people don't realize they eat markedly more on weekends, particularly on Saturdays, when they tend to consume more fat. Those extra calories can add up quickly.

Solution: To combat overindulging on Saturday and Sunday, pay attention to portion size, weigh yourself daily (or on Fridays and Mondays only) and watch your alcohol intake, which provides empty calories and lowers your food inhibition

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buffet

Overindulging on weekends

Researchers have found that people don't realize they eat markedly more on weekends, particularly on Saturdays, when they tend to consume more fat. Those extra calories can add up quickly.

Solution: To combat overindulging on Saturday and Sunday, pay attention to portion size, weigh yourself daily (or on Fridays and Mondays only) and watch your alcohol intake, which provides empty calories and lowers your food inhibition

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fast food meal

Fast Food

Maybe you're hitting the road with friends and a mid-road trip McDonald's craving hits. Or you are swamped at work and need something quick. Should you splurge and get that Double Big Mac? Wouldn't tucking into a Blizzard just taste so yummy right about now?

Of course it would. But these dishes come at a hefty price-namely a high-calorie, high-fat, high-everything price tag.

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best foods for men broccoli

Not eating a balanced diet, six times a day

You've heard this time and time again, but it works-eating a balanced diet based on the recommended food groups is the only way to not get fat. Dr. Richard Klein, a family doctor at Toronto's Briar Hill Medical Centre,  says to stick to foods that are low in fat and sugar and high in complex carbohydrates. Legumes,beans and whole-grain breads are a good place to start. You'll also want to eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and lean proteins, such as grilled chicken breast.

Guys should also eat lightly, six times a day instead of three hearty meals.  Jay Tabac, a Toronto-based personal trainer and owner of Commit Fitness Inc. explains that eating about 2,000 calories a day in 350 calorie portions is better than 650 calorie portions. It takes energy to eat, so if your metabolic rate is even throughout the day, you'll absorb more nutrients. "Eating more is like keeping a furnace going in your body all day," he says.

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Exercise class

Not working out

But it's not enough just to eat well, says Tabac. Men have to hit the gym, too. When it comes to the cardio portion of your workout, the personal trainer suggests running three times a week for 30 minutes. And when he says "run," he means it: "You need get on shoes and shorts, and sweat," he says. It's proven that working out at least that much will improve the heart's ability to pump and transport oxygen. Not to mention that you'll also expend more calories.

Cardio alone won't keep you thin though. "Run three days a week for 30 minutes and you won't burn a third of a pound," says Tabac. Lifting weights sheds more calories; and if you exercise enough you'll even burn calories in your sleep. Like cardio, strength training three days a week for 30 minutes works best.

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cookies

Packaged cookies, cakes and chips

"Processed foods are dangerous for your health," says Richard Béliveau, author of Eating Well, Living Well. That's partly because many industrially produced products contain trans fats-fatty acids that are produced when manufacturers use a chemical process to turn liquid oil into solids.

This process, called partial hydrogenation, gives manufactured foods a longer shelf life, but it also makes them some of the worst foods you can eat. Trans fats raise your LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower your HDL (good cholesterol) levels and, according to Health Canada, is associated with a higher risk for heart disease.

Look at a product's ingredient list before deciding to purchase it. Products that list hydrogenated oil, salt, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup as the first ingredients are all negative for your health, says Béliveau.

 

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salt

Salt

Salt can make you thirsty for high-calorie drinks. (Chips and pop, anyone?) Research by Graham MacGregor, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at St. George's, University of London (U.K.) has shown that children who halve their salt intake drink two fewer sugary soft drinks per week, stripping more than 230 calories from their diets. "The same effect is seen in adults," he says. 

 

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