As new figures show a third of UK men are so overweight they are unable to see their genitals due to belly overhang, medics are encouraging men to make one potentially lifesaving resolution and weigh up their health risks.
The shocking new research indicates that 33% of men in Britain aged between 35 and 60 years are unable to see their manhood when standing upright and looking downwards due to a protruding belly; increasing to 44% in men aged 51-60 years.
These figures highlight that more than 5.6 million men in Britain are potentially dangerously overweight, are at risk of knocking up to 9 years off their lifespan and of suffering from a life threatening weight related illness such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
A weight-loss goal should be challenging and require you to make an effort, but not be an impossible mission. Over ambitious targets can be easily broken! But by setting smaller goals, you have a real chance of reaching your wedding weight loss goal and boosting your confidence in your abilities to keep on track until you arrive at your destination. Aim to lose about five to ten per cent of your initial body weight over a 3-6 month period. Once you've reached your goal, treat yourself and your bridesmaids to celebrate your success and set another weight loss target.
Be prepared for the inevitable good and bad days. Don't get discouraged by the occasional set back. When days don't go according to plan, don't give up. As long as you are eating well most of the time, you can be less strict with yourself some of the time. Think positively, focus on your overall goals and get back on track -- tomorrow is a new (healthier) day. If you feel you are lacking motivation or hitting a slump, call on your bridesmaids or husband to be to help keep you on track.
Keep a food and mood diary. Most of us literally don't know what we are eating, or how all the things we unconsciously eat are adding up - finishing of your child's fish fingers, testing wedding cake or nibbling on canapés during engagement celebrations! For long term weight loss you need to identify problem foods and 'areas of weaknesses' in your day. By keeping a food diary, you will become more aware of your eating patterns and the changes you need to make. Carry a small notebook with you and write down all the things you eat and drink on a typical day, along with any associated feelings. You can also keep your wedding to do list in here so everything is in one place. According to research in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine 'dieters' who jot down everything they eat and drink lose twice as much weight as those that don't.
There are lots of simple things you can do to kick start your wedding weight loss diet. You don't need to make big changes, just a few small steps can make a real difference to reaching your goal, whether it's looking at food labels to taking dance classes in preparation for your first dance, making sure you always start off the day with a healthy breakfast or signing yourself and your bridesmaids up to take part in a 5km charity race. As the Old Chinese Proverb said, it is better to take many small steps in the right direction than one great leap forward only to stumble backward.
Focus on all the wonderful delicious, nutritious and seasonal foods that you can enjoy as part of your meals and for snacks, rather than all of the ones you need to cut back on. Eating is meant to be enjoyed and all foods have a place in a balanced diet. There is no such thing as good or bad foods, only good or bad eating habits -- save 'comfort foods' for an occasional treat with your fiancé or bridesmaids, not an everyday snack.
In light of the new findings, and with men renowned for ignoring matters to do with their health, a new online men’s health resource – We Love Our Health – is launching the ‘Big Check’ Campaign. The initiative, backed by leading medical professionals, hopes to encourage men to make one simple, yet potentially lifesaving health check – by asking “Can you see your penis?”
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Dr Johan du Plessis, comments: “This new research is really worrying and men must be encouraged to wake up to the potential life threatening risks of being overweight and to make this vital check. An obese man who can’t see his penis is five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, three times more likely to develop cancer of the colon and more than two and a half times more likely to develop high blood pressure – a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.”
For a simple guide to taking a quick DIY health measurement, follow the Big Check instructions at WeLoveOurHealth.co.uk. Dependent on the results, the site’s Health Risk Calculator will highlight areas of concern and will offer advice, support and suggestions to improve lifestyle and overall health.