Obesity is a major health concern when it comes to heart health, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, sleep disorders, cancer and joint problems, among others.
Combine that with the fact men are less likely to visit their GP, and more likely to pack on weight around the tummy – indicative of fat encasing your vital organs – it leaves them at a higher risk of developing the conditions listed above.
If you’re concerned about your husband or partner’s weight, Dr Sally Norton, NHS weight loss consultant and UK health expert, recommends you, “check out his waist measurement as it often seems to correlate better with health risks than weight measurement”.
Measure his waist to hip ratio, and if it is over 1, he needs to try to reduce his waist circumference.
“You know that diets don’t work – and men often don’t buy into them anyway.
Instead, encourage him to make a few small, but sustainable changes to his everyday eating and behaviour that he will barely notice,” says Sally.
Here’s how to help him cut the fat:
1. Serve smaller portions
We are increasingly used to over-sized meals and all-you-can eat buffets, but subtly serving smaller portions will help reduce the amount you and your husband or partner eat – using smaller plates makes this easier, and less obvious.
2. Cut out fizzy drinks
“At 10 teaspoons of sugar per can, these are calories we just don’t need,” says Sally.
3. Watch the booze
“A pint of beer can contain about 200 calories a pint – which can soon add up on a night out,” Sally points out.
4. Avoid buying processed food
Cook from scratch, that way you’ll know exactly how much sugar, salt and fat you’re putting in your bodies, and will automatically cut out chemicals and trans-fats.
5. Don’t order takeout
Oily, greasy, fatty and sugary, a takeout can amount to a full day’s worth of calories in just one meal.
6. Keep moving
“Suggest he builds more activity into his day rather than joining a gym and then giving up after a week,” says Sally. “Get him to use the stairs rather than a lift or escalator, leave the car at home and try wherever possible not to save energy.”
7. Increase aerobic exercise
Likewise: “It’s effective at reducing central obesity and liver fat – so send him off for a game of five-a-side with the guys from the office, as long as he promises not to finish the evening off with several beers and a kebab.”
8. Get more sleep
“Science shows that a good night’s sleep improves your chances of making healthier choices the next day and helps weight-loss. If you are worried he may have sleep apnoea, send him off to the GP for treatment for both of your sakes,” says Sally. “He may well be able to stop treatment when he loses weight.”
The stress hormone ‘cortisol’ can increase the unhealthy storage of fat around your middle, and when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to reach for a packet of biscuits than an apple.
Does your husband struggle with his weight? How do you help him? Tell us about it in the comments box below.