Don’t Let Your New Year’s Resolution Wreck Your Image


With the start of the new year, there are going to be a number of resolutions made to “get in shape.” For some, this means losing a few pounds. For others, they might want to build muscle. One area of concern for guys is the tendency to over-compensate for a “skinny” body image by deciding to do some “body building.” This often creates eating issues of its own. To add muscle fast, you attempt to take in more calories than you burn. (To make this sound cool, we call it “bulking.”) That might be the exact same behavior you just worked so hard to change!

I’m a strong advocate of adding resistance training to any weight loss program but particularly for men. If you have anxiety about the gym, now’s as good a time as any to work through it. Lean mass helps you burn fat. It also has a huge impact on a man’s body image. When a guy loses a lot of weight but hasn’t built much muscle, there’s a chance that they still won’t be satisfied with their appearance. They’ll want to “bulk up” and they end up putting on a lot of unhealthy weight again. When weight training is added to weight loss, the final result is a trim, fit and athletic build.

What’s a bit ironic is that being bulky isn’t even the preferred look any longer. According to a CNN article on the new ideal physique for men, cultural preferences are trending towards lean and athletic. Looking naturally fit and healthy without having spent your life in the gym or wasted money on countless supplements is what’s favored in the media and fitness magazines. It’s also being popularized by fitness trends like MoveNat. It’s a look that many men can actually achieve and maintain.

If you think you’re too skinny now, pick up some weights before you pick up that extra meal. A man with moderate muscle mass but low body fat can look a lot more “buff” than a bulky guy with no definition. You’ll be healthier and you’ll prevent yourself from entering a cycle of yo-yo dieting that can do more harm than good.

Photo credit: alphadesigner / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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