Weight-loss expert Andrew Dickson has advice for blokes who think of themselves as 'naturally big'.
I'm going to talk about the reality and fantasy of 'big men'. I'm not talking about the Jonah Lomus of the world, but average men who think of themselves as 'naturally big' when really, they just 'eat big'. I was one of them.
I spent many years eating huge quantities of food, while my wife Anna looked on with amazement and concern. When she remarked on the quantity, I would say, "But I'm a big bloke. I need to eat this much." I ate what I thought I needed to – hunger and satiation were largely irrelevant.
One weekend, Anna and I were staying with my brother Mark and his wife. Anna suggested that for the entire day, I should try and eat exactly the same as Mark, who is about the same height as me and has always been in the normal weight range. I agreed to give this a go and although I was intensely anxious that I would starve, I didn't. This was a turning point. I realised I was eating for what I thought I was, not for what I am – a normal-sized bloke.
Today, Mark weighs about 76-82kg and I weigh about 89-94kg, so at times I can still be 18kg heavier than him, and our BMIs can be fairly different. However, we are both active, healthy blokes. The interesting bit is that today Mark and I eat a similar amount, even though I am still physically bigger than him – the key is to realise our size difference does not mean I necessarily need to eat a lot more.
If you think you might be eating for the body you think you are rather than the body you truly are, check out the following tips for some tricks to put your perception of yourself to the test.
Tips to challenge your inner big bloke
Try out these strategies – you may actually find you are a normal-sized guy.
- Con one of your mates into doing the 'eat what he eats' day. Pick a mate who you think of as a 'normal-sized bloke', and who is about the same height as you. Don't ask Ma'a Nonu!
- When you're at a restaurant, order the same meal as the smallest adult at the table. See how you feel an hour after you have finished eating.
- During your next café breakfast or brunch, order the vegetarian or cereal option instead of the 'big breakfast' – then take note of how you feel for the rest of the day.