Men are increasingly likely to start using an extreme diet to try to achieve the body they want. This can include any combination of harmful eating habits and excessive exercising. I get it. We’d all like to have the kind of body we see on fitness or men’s magazines.
Women aren’t the only ones with body image issues. Men are affected, too. We’re continually seeing images of men with so many muscles that their muscles have muscles. These are guys with no more than ten percent body fat. I’m doing great with my fitness efforts at the moment, but I’m not immune. I look in the mirror or see pictures of myself, and it’s the flaws that stand out.
Is a Man’s Likelihood to Extreme Diet a Mental Health Issue?
We don’t tend to talk about body image among men like we do among women. It may not be for the same shape and same details, but it’s the same problem. It’s hurting men, too. Because of the way men deal with their problems, it means a lot of us are putting ourselves in some pretty dangerous situations.
Men who want huge biceps and those six pack abs badly enough are willing to take some extreme measures to get there. This is another form of extreme dieting and it can put people at risk of health problems or even death.
Wait, Joe, Aren’t You a Fitness Guy?
Why, thank you! Yes, fitness plays an important role in my life. But I do it the healthy way – no extreme diet. Bree and I watch out for each other. It’s easy to let things go when you’re feeling lazy, but it’s also easy to overdo it when you’re feeling driven enough. One of those driving forces is the effect of pop culture on what we see and on our feelings of inadequacy when we strive for and fail to reach those unattainable physiques.
I’ve read up on this problem. It’s a big one. A lot of other countries are starting to call attention to it. In Australia – where I was born – the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences’ Dr. Scott Griffiths has started doing a lot of research and awareness efforts about the impact of body image on boys and men. It’s not talked about nearly enough, but it’s a big deal, especially when an extreme diet begins.
More than Muscle
Dr. Griffiths points out that it’s not just about muscle. That’s a factor and it’s one boys see from when they’re pretty young, but it goes beyond that. The images in the media are getting more extreme. This is causing guys to be insecure about a growing number of parts of their body image.
So boys, men, it’s time to take a step back. Forget the extreme diet. Whether your concern is muscle, weight, hair, teeth, or anything else, your health comes first. Talk to your doctor to find out how to get yourself in the best shape. Talk to a trustworthy physical trainer for fitness guidance. Talk to mental health experts – they are out there and available to you – if you need help. Come back here if you want to see regular updates on fitness and weight through a healthy perspective. No extremes necessary.