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Wellness

Why Do Men Eat So Much? A Guide For Men

We get to talk about men’s diet. But, we get to talk about women’s diet a lot, too.

Men eat too much in many ways, and a man’s diet isn’t all about him. There are women who eat a lot, too. In fact, you would be surprised how many women (men and women) will tell you why they choose to eat a certain way, and why I recommend women do so, too.

The best way to understand what it means to eat well is to think of eating for health as a kind of social contract. It’s about acknowledging that the way you eat is part of how it is that your body is functioning, and doing something about it, even if it’s not something you personally feel is healthy and appropriate. As women and children, we are expected to eat in an appropriate way. We are expected to eat certain types of foods. We are expected to have certain types of eating styles. When it comes to food, we are expected to know how to cook it (and we are expected to know how to eat the foods in our home, especially food from the pantry). We are expected to know how to prepare it. We are also expected to have certain thoughts and attitudes about our body—it is a work of art. We are expected to be self-respecting. We are expected to put the right things in our bodies. It is only by participating in a social contract that we can make these choices and maintain health as a result.

There are many things we do as women. We put a lot of thought, effort and energy into our appearance. We tend to dress in ways that fit in with what society considers desirable—you don’t get the freedom to eat however you want if you go to school or work in a male-dominated world. And our diets are also dictated by our jobs—we work in a lot of white-collar jobs, in fields like computer science and finance, and this means we’re expected to eat healthy. We get paid for working, so we have to be able to buy healthy food too. So we have diets. They often involve a lot of processed foods, and it’s not something women necessarily want to do. What the men in our lives do, however, is eat a lot of processed foods. They eat a lot of foods that they perceive to be healthy. We think that eating well is about healthy eating, but is it really? And is buying into that sort of lifestyle, and doing it for long periods of time, healthy? It’s certainly not healthy, because it can make your body less responsive to the foods you eat. It puts excess energy into your bloodstream and puts that into your brain, which can lead to everything from mood disturbances to diabetes.

We are expected to be responsible and make our own decisions. And most of the time I think we fail, unless we have the support of a very close partner. That means my husband, of course. I’ve watched him struggle with weight and health issues all his adult life. He eats lots and he exercises a lot. We get along well. I don’t see him in the grocery store. But he likes to put stuff in his cart that is just out of line for me. There are things in his fridge that I consider junk. We have a lot of discussions about food. And in general, what he does is that he puts his food in a very large bowl to hold it all—he eats and he eats very fast. That seems safe to me because it makes all of my job much easier, but it’s clearly not safe for a man’s health overall.