The mid section of a man is always the focus of attention – the gut. How ripped or shredded is his stomach or how good does the torso look. What if we looked at the whole picture, the whole man from inside out? How can we nourish him? What does his body need to thrive to survive and look good of course? Men, if you are reading this – it’s time for you to start taking your body, namely your gut health very seriously.
It’s often too easy to just “be a guy” and eat what you want, workout moderately and carry a little extra weight without it bothering you all that much. Until of course it comes time to take off your shirt or you just want to feel good in your own skin – as we all do time to time. If you are super intuitive, you may even start to pay attention that you may not even feel all that great all the time, that you are bloated, distended or just uncomfortable in the belly region more days then not. That’s when you may start to actually make changes. However between you and me, we both know you are just focusing on how to get that belly ripped.
So let’s start there, with vanity, as that is what is going to get your attention anyways – I may as well meet you where you are. There are many ways to help you get your gut in shape, you just actually have to do them and be persistent.
Here are some tips on how to tighten up, tone up and tuck that tummy back in.
- Make more homemade meals (eat out less, brown bag it). You will start to cut out the excess by eating real food and not take out meals. It will be drastic the changes you will notice in a short period of time.
- Move your body, change it up (yoga, kickbox, boot camp, HIIT, walking, etc.) – at least 30 minutes/day and include a mix of cardio/strength training throughout the week and make it a whole body approach rather than focusing on specific parts of the body. If you do this consistent the extra fat on your body will literally just start to melt away.
- Stress is factor in excess weight around the gut – reduce stress levels – gut health and brain health are connected via neurotransmitters therefore stress will cause weight gain, specifically around your abdomen.
- Don’t just focus on the macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) – get in those vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and superfoods. These micronutrients help to metabolize the macros and feed your tissues in ways nothing else can.
- Get enough sleep – 8 hours per night. Sleep is now known to be one of the most critical aspects to helping you to reach your weight loss goals. So don’t stay up late just to be a champ. Get your zzz’s and your body will tone up while you are sleeping!
- Avoid refined sugar in all forms including pop and soda, have water with fresh lemon instead. In general make sure you are well hydrated!
- Cut out excess “empty” calories from processed foods, eat real whole foods
- Eat: nuts, seeds, whole grains, berries, oats, cruciferous veggies, beans, dark chocolate
- Choose healthy fats – chia seeds, walnuts, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, etc
- Eat wide variety of veggies, namely green ones. They provide fibre and a serious amount of vitamins and minerals that will help you to feel full.
- Get your ferments on, not beer or alcohol. Real fermented foods that actually heal the body from the inside out.
Got all that? Now let’s take things inside – in order for your body to actually respond and transform, you have to think about what on the inside of those ab walls. The foundation of your health is all in the gut. In fact, 80% of your immune system is in the gut. If we don’t nourish it with what’s outlined above and feed it the good guys (healthy bacteria) you are doing yourself damage. You may find that you are eating all the right foods, working hard at the gym but you are still bloated, distended and not getting the results you are looking for. This is where you need to dig deep and go inside.
Fermented Foods and Gut Health
Your gut consists of hundreds of different bacteria that must have a proper balance to remain healthy. You need to add in fermented foods, lots of them and they add beneficial probiotics to maintain gut flora (sauerkraut, miso, coconut yogurt, tamari, tempeh, kombucha, water kefir). Buy them on the go or make them at home. Whatever you have to do to get them into your body!
Superfoods/Other Health Foods for Men:
- Chlorella – promotes healthy pH levels in the gut which help good bacteria thrive, rich in fibre
- Moringa – high in fibre and has anti-bacterial properties to help rid of digestive disorders/illnesses
- Chia seeds – anti-inflammatory, soothe digestive distress and high in fibre to move things along.
- Include cinnamon into the diet via smoothies and snacks (apples sprinkled with cinnamon and almond butter). Balances blood sugar and reduces cravings for sweets
- Cayenne – improves fat burning abilities and metabolism
- Bananas – stabilizes gut bacteria and reduces inflammation/reduces bloat
GET EVEN MORE!