By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
“One of the biggest diet mistakes is that a lot of people have been taught to stay away from fat. Other than trans fats, which are horrible, Omega 3 fats are good for the body. People can be counter-productive. Omega 3 is part of the brain’s building blocks and they’re anti-inflammatory.
“When people go to low-fat diets, they’re still eating sugar and that’s a main culprit behind losing weight. Depending upon the person, some people go for something quick and just count the calories and don’t pay attention to the fact that there’s additives in there. The packaged foods can be detrimental to your health if eaten regularly.
“If someone’s going to just count calories, a calorie of protein and sugar do very different things. Your body needs protein, essential fatty acids, but it doesn’t necessarily need carbohydrates. It can make it on its own in the liver. If people still are eating sugar, they’ll get to a place where they can no longer lose weight.
“Guys tend to think they need protein, protein, protein and tend to overeat protein. It throws your portion sizes off. If you’re going for a low carb diet, too much protein can convert into glucose.
“Men tend to focus only on weights without cardio. Cardio helps burn the fat, so do both of those. A lot of guys like to go run. If you do have to go inside, do a machine. Find something you like to do. Machines can be daunting for people to do 35 or 45 minutes. We tell clients to do light intervals, where you do faster for one minute and then, to recover, a minute where’s it’s lighter. Boot camp classes and spin class are other ways to get your cardio in to find a way you may enjoy.
“Guys tend to not be as detailed. Just saying ‘I’m going to cut down on what I eat’ and not being detailed won’t work.
“Guys who are married should have their wives come in to learn about the diet because they’re a big support. Get your significant other involved or lean on others for support.
“Reaching out for helps is a big.”
— Jill Murphy, certified personal trainer and co-owner Mission Fitness in East Syracuse
“Not a lot of them eat regularly. Their dietary patterns are to eat when they can. They think they need protein shakes and do tons of weight lifting, but not eating often enough slows the metabolism.
“A lot of guys are still learning about how to cook healthfully. It’s still something they’re not very comfortable with.
“Alcohol is something a lot of people still enjoy to relax, but a couple of beers at the end of the day or glasses of wine are not conducive to weight loss.
“As our metabolism slows down as we age, a lot of fat storage is in the midsection. That is a big concern for men.
“It’s about making sure you’re persistent but self-compassionate. It’s not all or nothing.
“There’s no magic diet. The more you go to one extreme to eliminate things, the more likely you will be to not be able to stick with it. Extreme diets can jumpstart your diet, but it’s not sustainable.
“It’s the same with exercise. Find something you’ll stick with.”
— Physician Joanne Wu, certified yoga instructor and integrative wellness coach, board certified in rehabilitation medicine and holistic medicine specializing in wellness, in Syracuse and other cities in Upstate New York.