Men’s Health – “Skinny Habits”, part 1

Yeah I wouldn’t recommend Men’s Health as a good guide to, well, men’s health.

I’m going to do a review of a whopping 20 point checklist they have for getting or staying skinny (first up, why would a man want to be skinng? Lean i.e. low body fat, yes; skinny, no).

There’s a lot of stuff in here, so I’ll be splitting it up into a number of posts:

Skinny Habit #1: Eat an early dinner

Experts have gone back and forth on whether eating late leads to weight gain, but a recent study published in the journal Obesity found a solid link. Northwestern University researchers looked at the eating and sleeping patterns of 52 adults and found that those who regularly ate after 8 p.m. ingested the most calories and carried the most body fat. An easy-to-follow rule of thumb: Stop eating three hours before you hit the sack. Then, while you sleep, your body is better primed to burn fat instead of creating more.

Yeah, this is not bad advice for girls, but for guys who don’t want to lose muscle I would recommend a serving of at least whey protein isolate before bed (and maybe some cod liver oil) to provide your muscles slow burning energy for the duration of the night.

I’m guessing the above guideline is made assuming a fairly normal diet i.e. a carby diet. So definately, if your dinner involves pasta/potato/bread etc, not eating these things within 3 hours of bedtime will make a difference. I know people who, although they don’t ban all carbs, will ban them past 4pm. And this can work very well.

However if you are keeping to a slow carb/fat/protein only diet (as you should be if you goal is leanness), then eating closer to bedtime shouldn’t matter too much, and is recommended if adding muscle is also a goal.

Skinny Habit #2: Weigh yourself daily

Stepping on the scale can be disheartening, particularly after an indulgent weekend (“I gained five pounds since Friday?!”). But it’s best to face your fears, because as it turns out, weighing yourself regularly can actually help you stay slim. Scientists at the University of Minnesota discovered that people who got on the scale every day lost twice as much weight as those who weighed themselves less often. The assumption: Monitoring your weight keeps your mind on your health and prevents weight denial.

That’s fair enough. I weigh myself everyday. Keep in mind you must weigh yourself at the same time each day, and on the same scales, to be able to properly keep track of you weight gain/loss.

However what would be better than weighing yourself, is to get a body fat percentage test done regularly. Losing weight isn’t the be-all and end-all; its fat loss that counts. If you lose 5kgs, but the loss was primarily muscle, you’ll still look fat and will find it harder to lose the fat (as muscle burns through more energy than fat does).

Keep in mind that muscle is far denser than fat:

So you need to know what your losing, not just that you’re losing.

To be continued…

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This entry was posted in Diet, Fatness, Review, Skinniness, Working out and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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