Jase can you tell our readers about yourself and your Men’s Health Mentoring?
Sure, thanks for having me. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to talk to your readers. I absolutely love your brand and what it stands for. When I graduated university with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, I soon realised how poorly men represented themselves in health terms. For example did you know?
- Male death rates outnumber females across every age group until retirement
- 32% of men over 25 years have high blood pressure.
- Two thirds of men are classed as clinically overweight or obese.
- The life expectancy of a male born today is 79.4 years, 4.5 years lower than woman.
The aim of my project is to educate men and show them it doesn’t have to be this way. Blokes don’t have to go down an avenue of lifelong poor health and disease. My approach is incredibly simple. I ditch the concept of dieting and encourage moderate, sustainable changes. We’re not trying to create athletes we’re just aiming to empower men to take back a little bit of control.
You started the Men’s Health Mentoring program 2 years ago. What gave you the inspiration for this adventure?
My first role out of university involved running health programs at mining sites. Most often, it was male attendees coming along because they got paid to do so. I saw firsthand the real challenges of an underground miner. These gents were the perfect candidates for lifestyle diseases. Their diets, inactivity, stress and poor sleep were a perfect concoction for weight gain that serves as a precursor to somewhat preventable conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
My inspiration came from the challenge of having to enter their space and win their trust in order to assist them making some positive health changes. Within a 6 week, once per week program, we’d usually attain a weight loss of 5-8 kilograms. Such weight loss, if sustained long-term, can have a massive impact on future health outcomes. This was the kindling of my absolute passion for helping guys just feel better.
What do you think is the best service you can provide to your readers?
I believe the best service I can provide is that which is free. I run a blog at jasestuart.com, which is in its infancy, but will soon explode with really simple, relevant content. One of my favourite things to do is to take a standard food recipe and ‘health-ify’ it.
I hate the concept amongst men that ‘healthy food is boring’. Well, not in my world and subscribing to my blog is an easy way to receive handy tips and healthy meal ideas. My belief is when you expose yourself to the right information and environment; you are improving your chances of soaking up some of the good stuff. Once you have a taste for it, I can then assist on a more structured level through exercise and nutrition coaching. But as a first step upon subscribing, I’ll send you a free eBook ‘The 14 Non-Diet Fat Loss Hacks’. These are the simple ways I keep my weight in check!
What advice can you give to people wanting to live a healthier lifestyle?
One of the biggest issues with health is the amount of poor quality, unreliable information being thrown into the public sphere. In our rushed, fast paced lives, we’re looking for quick fixes and silver bullets. We’re setting ourselves up for failure. A healthy lifestyle is the one that you can maintain permanently. It is one that builds in indulgence and follows the ‘80/20 Rule’ – if 80% of your week is a healthy, balanced, life-promoting one, then you’re on track.
Awareness is the first step. Being aware that small changes can have a massive impact. You need to take responsibility for your own health because when you are an old man or woman taking 15 different tablets to treat your diabetes and high blood pressure, you’re going to wish you could turn back time to when you actually had a choice to choose a healthier lifestyle.
What are your tips on overcoming the difficulty of eating healthy when on the road?
This is a major challenge for everyone from truck drivers to account managers. If you let your environment dictate your choices, you’ve lost control and your actions will be reactive.
Preparation is key and one of the best things I ever did was invest in awesome Tupperware that would allow me to carry healthy food with me. I prepare food on two occasions per week. By spending 10-15 minutes at night prepping food for the next three days, I am totally in control of what I eat. My ‘go to’ lunch option is a simple rocket, tomato and avocado salad, with a splash of olive oil and a lean protein food like chicken or tuna.
If you are CHOOSING to eat McDonalds on the road because that’s what you feel like, then fine! But if you are REACTIVELY eating McDonalds because you have no other option, then you’ve let your day take control over you, and that’s a problem.
Eating Healthy is still a thing that’s “joked” about between Men. How do you handle peer pressure and stand above the awkward eye and say “I’m a bloke that can cook and eat healthy!”
So let’s pop the bubble on how ridiculous this attitude really is and thank goodness it’s changing! The fact is the very premise of this gender judgment is rooted in naivety and stubbornness. It’s this challenge of breaking the stereotype that keeps me excited to work amongst gents. My experience is that when you scratch the surface with men and break down the initial bravado, every man would love to have the opportunity to improve their health.
When I ran corporate health programs, I needed a way to earn the trust of these mining blokes quickly. I needed to demonstrate to them that I was not “just a suit from the city coming here to tell us to stop drinking beer”. So on the very first day of my 6-week program, my opening line was “Good morning gents! Who here can no longer see their penis due to their beer gut?”
I’d get an immediate silence, followed by laughter, followed by some banter amongst the guys. I’d follow up by explaining that I wasn’t there to stop them drinking, but for those that wanted to chip off 4-5 kilograms, that I could help them. Using humour for me is a way to slice through the silly gender-typing!
If you are a bloke, or the partner or a bloke who is thinking about a lifestyle overhaul, I encourage you to get the support of a professional. Dietitians and personal trainers are the experts in the challenge of weight management and if you are serious about redefining YOU, make sure you recruit the right team.
Weight management is actually very simple, but it’s not easy. Yet when you change yourself from the outside, the improvement to your mentality, self-esteem and confidence skyrockets. Physical health benefits aside that in itself is worth the time investment.
Thank you for your time Jase,
Your team at Absolute Organic.