Just in time for National Men’s Health Week, June 14-20, and Father’s Day, June 20, TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, offers a variety of tips and ideas to help improve a man’s health and also can benefit the entire family.
Whether you’re a member of TOPS or simply a member of a family, employ the following information to begin a truly long-standing journey to wellness.
Simple, Healthy Ways to Honor Dad
• Time is a gift; give it to share it. Make a date for a regular activity, and support each other in your healthy lifestyle. Commit to doing yard work together every Saturday or taking regular walks every other evening after dinner.
• Does he like to cook? Give him a healthy cookbook for his collection.
Provide him with new grill accessories and encourage replacing unhealthy options with grilled fresh vegetables, fish, and seafood.
• Give him a surprise activity – a long bike ride, a day hike, doubles tennis with two other family members, or an afternoon of golf.
• A subscription to a health and fitness or sports magazine that matches his interests will be a gift that keeps on giving sound advice for his healthy lifestyle.
• A healthy brain is a happy brain. Give him books of puzzles and brain teasers. Play board games with him and the rest of the family.
• Gift him with a membership to TOPS to benefit from weight-loss support and wellness education. Visit www.tops.org for more information or to find a chapter near you.
TOPS “Losers” Share Their Success Secrets
“I used tricks I learned from TOPS, such as using smaller plates, to assist with portion control to help me reach my goal.” – Marcus Murphy; lost 59 pounds
“Exercise has become a part of my lifestyle. I go to the local fitness center five to six times a week.
“I take walks with my wife, and I even play senior softball three times a week.” – John Spinola; lost 118.5 pounds. “At first, I could barely walk five minutes on the treadmill, so I joined a group water aerobics class. My participation in water aerobics has paid off immeasurably.” – Tom Carano; lost 131 pounds
“I filled out a weight tracker for the year in advance, planning what I’d lose each week, to keep me focused and on track.
“I also biked 20 to 30 miles daily pulling a 450-pound trailer!” – John Teague; lost 115.5 pounds
Foods Just Right for Men
We hear a lot these days about how important it is for women to eat certain foods containing specific nutrients.
What about men? Are there foods men should eat for better overall health?
The answer is an unequivocal, “Yes.” In fact, there are several foods and nutrients men should consume most days of the week for optimum health, as outlined by Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen, authors of the “YOU” series of books.
1. Fiber – Men need to eat at least 25 grams of fiber each day. While that can be daunting, fiber is found in a number of sources, like grapefruit, soybeans, and whole grains.
If you’re looking for whole grain products, make sure the ingredients read: “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat.”
2. Folate – Men can significantly reduce their risks for some kinds of cancer by eating food rich in folate.
Take a supplement or add dark, leafy greens and orange juice to your diet. Men are advised to look for the words “folate” or “folic” on food labels and to get at least 800 mg each day.
3. Tomato sauce – It takes 165 raw tomatoes to equal ten tablespoons of tomato sauce. This juicy red fruit contains lycopene, which can help fight cancer.
Instead of eating all those tomatoes, enjoy ten tablespoons of tomato sauce per week and decrease the chances of arterial aging, heart disease, stroke, memory loss, and other conditions.
4. A handful of nuts – Men should eat walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts to get the powerful omega-3s, healthy fats with multiple benefits. It’s good practice to snack on some before eating foods like pasta or corn on the cob.
The fat in the nuts helps the stomach slow down and the body to more effectively process the sugar from the carbohydrates in those meals.
5. Fish – Men also should consider eating a serving of fish three times a week.
Tilapia, salmon, flounder, cod, and mahi-mahi are all good choices. They’re high in protein and low in fat and carry a low amount of mercury, a chemical that can increase the risk of heart disease and impaired memory.