Men Today

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Dieting advice all men can heed

Few men jump at the chance to go on a diet. Eating smaller portions while saying "goodbye" to some of your favorite foods is never easy, especially for men who find it hard to resist a bucket of chicken wings or a juicy hamburger.

Though sacrifice is a part of any successful diet, there's more than one way for men to lose weight and keep the weight off once it's gone. The following are a few simple dieting tips for men who want to start eating healthier without making drastic changes to their diets.

* Don't eat after dinner. It might sound simple, but many men eat mindlessly even when they aren't hungry, and this eating frequently occurs after dinner. This can contribute to weight gain, especially if you're snacking on unhealthy fare like potato chips or cookies. When eating anything that is high in carbs late at night, your body might have a hard time breaking that down into energy before you go to bed. If it does, your body will then store it as fat. So if you must eat after dinner, avoid carbs in favor of a low-calorie snack.

* Don't mistake dehydration for hunger. The symptoms of dehydration are similar to those of hunger, so it's easy to mistake thirst for hunger. If you find yourself feeling some hunger pangs even if you just ate, pour yourself a glass of water instead of reaching for a snack. You'll avoid consuming unnecessary calories when you might just need to rehydrate.

* Don't forget a diet is not just about subtraction. Many men feel a diet is all about subtracting foods, but you can also add healthier fare. Add more fruits and vegetables, which can boost your immune system, making you less susceptible to colds and other ailments. If you aren't a fan of vegetables on their own, incorporate them into your recipes rather than serving them as a side dish. Vegetables can add flavor to a host of dishes, including pasta, stir fry and even sandwiches.

* Divide and conquer your calories. Dividing your calorie consumption into several smaller meals as opposed to three meals per day is another way to control appetite and weight. Often referred to as "grazing," this approach to eating involves eating five or six smaller, healthy meals each day in an effort to keep the body's metabolism going all day. This helps men burn more calories and get them used to eating smaller portions. Though the efficacy of grazing has been questioned, many men and women stand by it as an effective way to lose weight and keep the weight off once it's gone.

* Pack in the protein. Research has shown that, when combined with exercise, a diet that is high in protein and moderate in carbohydrates can make it easier to lose weight. Healthy protein sources like yogurt, beans and nuts make the body feel full while encouraging it to burn fat. In addition, protein helps preserve muscle mass and can aid in muscle recovery, which makes for an added benefit for men who are dieting and exercising.

* Drink water. Water can be a dieter's best friend, especially if that dieter has traditionally been fond of high-calorie beverages like soda. Such beverages can pack on the pounds and are often less effective at quenching thirst than a simple glass of water. If water is too bland for you, add a drop of lemon or lime juice.