If you are male, you have surely heard things like this throughout your life, either directed at you, directed at somebody else or possibly even spoken by you. It seems like if you are not putting unhealthy things in your body, you are not viewed as being tough. You are not man enough if you cannot drink incredible amounts of alcohol. And don’t get me started on vegetarianism. Eating no or little meat is the complete antithesis of manliness. Isn’t it?
However, the healthier you are, the manlier you will be in the long run. A healthier man will be stronger, will have more endurance, will think better and will be happier making his relationships happier.
The Alcohol Truth
Yes, it’s true. Drinking less alcohol and more water will lengthen your life and the quality of it. Men on average drink far more alcohol than women, and it’s time to cutback. Alcohol makes you depressed, not happy, overweight, and it’s time we recognize that.
Depressed people are more likely to have bad relationships, and yes, shorter lives. Is this what we’re going for? Is this our main purpose? Is this what we define as manly? If so the problems most men face in our society will continue to exist and will most likely get worse, so it’s time to redefine manly.
Long-term effects of alcohol use include permanent damage to the brain, high blood pressure and nerve and sexual problems. That latter effect is one that anybody who wants to be “manly” should take note of as being able to perform in the bedroom is a higher definition of manliness than how much you can drink. One other point that you should take note of is this: although drinking may relax you while you are in the act, it causes the times of day that you are not drinking to be much more stressful. This is the vicious cycle that helps cause alcoholism in those that suffer from it.
By all means unwind with your friends after a hard days work. But keep the quantity of alcohol you drink in check. After all, most guys who teach men to be more confident, charismatic and be better at meeting women typically abstain from alcohol 100%. Maybe they know something you don’t?
Other Bad Manly Habits
Eating less meat, especially red meat, and more vegetables will help do the same in addition to making your time at the gym much more effective than it may have been in the past. It is clear that red meat is filled with dietary protein, but it also contributes to giving you heart disease. It may not be a reality yet if you’re in your young age, but heart disease is the number one leading cause of death. Alcohol, fried foods, and bad meats will all contribute to heart failure. It should be the new manly to fight this.
In fact, a recent study reported that those who ate large amounts of red and processed meat died at an earlier age than those who ate smaller amounts. Specifically, people who ate four ounces of red meat a day died at higher levels than those who ate an eighth of that in an average day. Is dying sooner how we want to define manly? Maybe we should keep this habit if it is.
Other Bad Habits
Even drinking soda has started to become known as a manly activity. In fact, the Dr. Pepper TEN, which was released in 2011, was advertised with the tagline, “It’s not for women.” However, the amount of sugar that is in these products is obscene and not at all conducive for living a longer, healthier life. For example, a can of coke contains about 10 sugar cubes worth of sugar. This is the limit of how much sugar the USDA recommends that you consume in an entire day.
Your career can also take a hit when you drink soda as binging on it is reported to weaken your ability to remember things and communicate with others. Massive sugar intakes also tend to make us fatter and become more susceptible to falling victim to diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Unfortunately, advertisements have helped spread this message of unhealthy eating and drinking equaling manliness.
When the BK Stacker was introduced by Burger King, the company’s advertisements emphasized the sandwich’s lack of vegetables, even going as far as having a boss yell at an employee in one of them for attempting to add a tomato to his BK Stacker. In other words, the unhealthiness of this sandwich was promoted as being manly, even though eating food items such as these on a regular basis result in very unmanly effects. Additionally, the same company also had a commercial for the Texas Double Whopper in which men rioted in the streets as they celebrated no longer eating “chick food” and screaming, “I am man!” A Dairy Queen commercial even stated that eating one of its hamburgers will “make a man out of you.” The marketing in our culture believes that manly is unhealthy and it’s time for change.
Unfortunately, messages such as these have been taken to heart by way too many men when the truth is that engaging in these very unhealthy habits will actually make you less of one.
Keep Up the Work Outs
Not everything the traditional manly defined is bad. Working out has always been a manly thing. This should not be thrown out. It’s a step in the right direct. Weight lifting and cardio workouts work miracles for the body and it should be encouraged for all men to work out frequently.
This is a serious issue that needs to change in the culture of men. It makes no sense that doing things that shorten our lives and cause us to be in worse shape than would otherwise be the case are heralded as something to be proud of and a sign of our toughness.
Time for More Water, Fruit, and Veggies
One other important thing to consider is that the sexual and life expectancy benefits of eating and drinking in a healthy manner will also impact your career as these habits improve the ability of your brain to work at a high level. For example, blueberries, a food that few would define as manly, help protect it from stress and the possibility that you will suffer from diseases such as dementia later in life. Studies have also shown that blueberries help improve the ability to learn and perform motor skills.
The best athletes in the world eat healthy and don’t drink that much alcohol. Kobe Bryant for example hasn’t had a drink in a long time. His diet is focused around chicken and broccoli.
Cut Some Carbs
Lebron James recently cut out some carbs and lost 15 pounds. Carbs aren’t as bad as alcohol and some processed meats but they can make you heavier. One thing to understand about bad carbs is they aren’t rich in antioxidants, in fact they can reduce the amount of antioxidants in the body. Diets like the south beach diet, the atkins diet, and the TR90 diet are low in carbs that’s why they generally work and people do believe in them. Cutting carbs will make you manly by making you slimmer where it’s needed.
If you change and become healthier, your friends most likely will not. Don’t let peer pressure suck you into a false sense of manliness. Be the change in the world that you would like to see. Being healthier will make you happier, stronger, and better as a human, and that’s all that really matters.