Diet Doctor: Body Image

A study was released recently that found that 48% of gay men would sacrifice a year or more of their lives in exchange for a perfect body (and that 10% of gay men would agree to die more than 11 years earlier if they could have their ideal body now).

While it’s no surprise that gay men are body conscious, and it is obviously a bit disturbing that men would consider shortening their lives to change their personal appearance. What is possibly more alarming about this research is that it indicates a fundamental misunderstanding about how to change your body shape to achieve the physique generally promoted as the “gay ideal”.

At it’s most basic, the aspirational body shape for most gay men is to be lean and strong. Sure you can try drastic surgery to achieve this but that’s not really sustainable. In order to work towards a lean and strong physique you need to follow a controlled diet of high quality food, actively exercise (with a focus on resistance and interval training) and adjust your programme as your body develops. Do this and there is plenty of research that demonstrates you will actually extend your life-span, not shorten it.

So the good news for the gays is that you can have your (figurative) cake and eat it to. Get the body you want and live longer!

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