Before I let you in on the tips for weight loss that I have gathered from closely observing a male's food consumption over the last week, let me show you the kinds of things that he eats. They're not exactly your typical weight loss foods: almost all of his meals revolve around beef or pizza. As someone who lives off of foods like fruit, salad, oatmeal, yogurt, and bread, I find this not only strange, but actually kind of gross. Don't get me wrong, I'm definately a meat eater; but chicken thighs for breakfast? No thank you.
A Week in the (Food) Life of Eric
A warning to all you vegetarians: You may want to skip through these pictures.
Breakfast and lunch: frozen pepperoni pizza
Dinner: fried chicken and butter noodles
Breakfast: leftover fried chicken
Lunch: two hot dogs
Um, cancer anyone?
Dinner: Three beef patties that he rolled up into a tortilla with cheese, mayo, ketchup and some lettuce (veggies? What are those?!)
Breakfast: South Beach bar (he was stressed about the final we had that day, and he doesn't eat when he's stressed)
Lunch: leftover beef patties with some sort of sauce
Yes, he ate those plain.
Dinner: More frozen pizza
Later, he also had two bowls of popcorn (extra butter) when he got home from his Bible study that night, plus three of my cookies that I made.
(No, I don't know why he used two smaller bowls instead of one large bowl, but that's a guy for ya. If anyone else has a clue as to how their mind works, feel free to let me in.)
Breakfast: Another South Beach bar? Can't remember!
Lunch: Leftover frozen pizza
Dinner: Best pizza ever!!!
Breakfast: Leftover Pizza Hut breadsticks
Lunch: A steak bigger than my head, literally.
Please excuse my lack of hairbrushing in that picture...
While that may be quite possibly the largest hunk of meat I've ever seen (that's what she said!), it did manage to last him three meals.
Dinner: Leftover steak
Breakfast: Protein shake after the gym and some bread while he was getting ready for work.
Lunch: The rest of the leftover steak
Dinner: Surprise, surprise, more steak!
Breakfast: A bunch of chicken thighs, check out that huge bowl!!
Lunch: McDonalds (burger and small fry)
Dinner: Leftover chicken thighs
Phew, that was a lot of meat (that's what she said again!). You may have noticed a supreme lack of fruits and vegetables in his diet, and I actually asked him about this since we all know how important vitamins and minerals are and he's certainly not getting many of those from his 22 lbs of steak a week. His solution: supplement, supplement, supplement.
He not only takes a multi-vitamin every day, but he also supplements with things like creatine, beta-alanine, glutamine, and BCAA (branch-chained amino acids) before (and/or after?) his work-outs to help build muscle.
I know that I personally would not enjoy swallowing a handful of pills every day, but different strokes for different folks!
Weight Loss Tips.
Alright, so let's get to the main point of this post: how eating like a guy can help you lose weight. While we may not eat the same kinds of foods as them (I get grossed out just thinking about eating that much meat), I think that a lot of guys follow the some basic principles when it comes to eating and they don't even realize it. What is really interesting to me is that a lot of them eat "junk" (like pizza and buttery popcorn) but have no problem keeping their weight in check. However, the difference between guys who maintain a healthy weight and guys who carry around a few extra pounds, even though they may both eat the same kinds foods, is how they eat. Here are a few basic tips that I picked up from watching Eric's eating habits for a week, and I'm definitely going to be keeping them in mind as I start my summer weight loss.
- Only eat when you're hungry. Eric's meal choices may not exactly be low calorie, but since he only eats when he's actually hungry, he still averages a normal-to-low daily caloric intake. In fact, I'm pretty sure that a lot of days over the last couple of weeks he has eaten less calories than I have, despite the fact that I eat foods like oatmeal, salad and granola bars and he eats pizza and beef.
- Stop eating when you're full. I'm going to use the End of the World party here for an example. Remember how we ate that delicious Pizza Hut pizza? We each had three slices for dinner and then stopped, both acknowledging how full we were. However, not even an hour later I was snacking on cookies. Shortly after that, I was helping myself to the meat and cheese tray. Then I started thinking about the leftover pizza and how badly I wanted to eat it. Eric on the other hand didn't touch the snack table once the entire night. He was full, so he didn't eat. Not rocket science, right? I would also like to point out the fact that most of snacks that night were eaten by girls. The guys seemed more interested in playing fooseball and goofing off than eating; what's up with that?
snackgraze all day. This kind of goes along with the whole only eating when you're hungry thing. I believe that weight loss is most successful by following one of two meal plans: either three larger meals per day or six smaller meals per day, but nothing else. Snacking here and there (or in my case, whenever you walk by the kitchen) can add on hundreds of extra calories, so it's important not to nibble all day and stick to your meal plan. Eric typically rolls with three meals a day, but sometimes it's only two if he's not hungry. I know that I personally prefer multiple smaller meals, but the thing that I need to work on is only eating at designated meal/snack times and that's it.
- Lift weights. I know that everyone says guys just have faster metabolisms than girls, but I honestly think that physical activity has a lot more to do with it than people may think. Most guys who go to the gym lift weights, regardless of whether or not they do much cardio. We all know that strength training is important, but it's still easy to just skip it and jump on the ellipitical instead. Lifting weights boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories all day long, since muscle burns more calories than fat. I recently started lifiting again myself, and it feels good!
- Eat more protein. I threw this last one in here because I think I speak for a lot of us girls when I say that we could live off of carbs, and carbs alone. I am certainly not a vegetarian, but if I could eat nothing but bread, pasta, oatmeal and pizza for the rest of my life and still be healthy I'd be a happy camper. However, maintaining a balanced diet and a nice macronutrient ratio (carbs/fat/protein should be about 40%/30%/30%) is also important when losing weight. Your body needs protein to properly function and repair cells, and it also helps fuel those muscles that you're building from all that weight lifting ;)
I hope this post was somewhat interesting and even a little helpful. I'm sure that you have heard all of these things before (as I know I have at some point) but it's different when you actually witness someone who follows these "rules" and then reaps the benefits. It certainly helps motivate me!
What kinds of eating habits do the guys in your life have? Do they eat similarly to Eric? Any other tips you have?