Jonathan Crocker

Editorial Director | Journalist

Health: Have You Seen This Man?

Posted by Jonathan On January - 1 - 2010

homer_simpson_beer_duffHe’s eats too much, doesn’t exercise enough and feels stressed all the time. Sound familiar? Here’s how Homer Simpson can turn his whole life around – and you can too…

1. “All my life, I’ve been an obese man trapped in a man fat’s body.”

D’OH! “At  239lbs, Homer is about 54lbs overweight and has a BMI of 32,” says boot-camp personal trainer Gavin Walsh. “This puts you in the obese category. Men carry excess weight around the stomach, close to the vital organs, which places a huge stress on your heart. Homer is only 38 years old – if he doesn’t focus on his health soon, he’ll find himself in an early grave.”
WOO-HOO! “By weight training, you can add muscle definition and burn more calories whilst sitting at your desk at work,” says Walsh. “Muscle burns calories and compound multi-joint exercises (squats, lunges, bench press) sky-rocket your metabolism for several hours after your workout. Two 20-30 minute workouts are better than a one-hour workout, especially for someone who’s de-conditioned like Homer.” That’s right. Not lazy, de-conditioned.


homer_drink2. “To alcohol! The cause of – and solution to – all of life’s problems!

D’OH! Sure, the skin may be genetic. The taste for booze isn’t. “Alcohol is a big factor,” says nutritionist Emma Wells. “A yellow tinge to your skin may mean the liver is struggling to clear out toxins in your body.” You’re not a cartoon character – so no excuse. “Old wives associate a toxic liver with anger and dissatisfaction,” she adds. “Guys like Homer should take note.”

WOO-HOO! Of course, you’re not going to quit the bottle. But you can give your liver a hand. “To begin supporting your liver, try dandelion coffee or even using half dandelion in your normal coffee would help,” advises Wells. Plus, if you’re eating in the pub, try add some rocket and watercress salad to your burger baps. “Along with extra onion and tomato, all are beneficial to your liver,” says Wells.



3. “It’s true, I’m a rage-a-holic. I just can’t live without rage-ahol!”

D’OH! It’s been proven that Homer’s baldness is stress-related: he copes badly with family drama and work pressure. Can’t blame him for hitting the bottle again. “But booze depletes B vitamins, important to help deal with stress,” adds Wells. “Ironically, beer is rich in B vits but the alcohol impairs your body’s ability to use them.”

WOO-HOO! Soak it up. “Wholegrain bread will hep to replace lost B-vits as well as eating more potatoes, bananas and turkey,” says Wells. And next time you walk to the pub – try to keeping on walking. “A 10-15 minute brisk walk can reduce your stress,” says Walsh. “And a reduction in stress will also cause a reduction in the hormone cortisol, known to add to the waistline weight.”


doughnut4. “I discovered a meal between breakfast and brunch…”

D’OH! Homer is often found with his face in the fridge. Even at 3am in the morning, when he’s woken from another restless night’s kip. Sugary foods like donuts are a fave. “Sugary snacks lead to fluctuations in energy, mood and weight,” says Wells. “A bad snack before bed means blood-sugar levels plummet during the night and lead to night time sweating and waking.”

WOO-HOO! “Eat a small snack, rich in the sleepy magnesium foods,” advises Wells. “Pumpkin seeds, tuna or a chicken wholegrain sandwich should lead to a good night’s sleep. If you want something sweet, bananas contain tryptophan and tyrosine – to make chemical messages that lift mood and motivation. If you do wake in the night, keep a couple of oat cakes with peanut butter by your bed and have a quick munch on them.” Don’t mistake them for the alarm clock in the morning. Messy.



5. “It’s not easy to juggle a pregnant wife and a troubled child but, somehow, I manage to squeeze in eight hours of TV a day.”

D’OH! “A gut places huge stress on your lower back and being slumped in front of a TV or a control panel has done little to help,” says Walsh. “Homer has developed the typical kyphotic posture of rounded shoulders and a forward curvature of the spine that so many office-bound people inherit with the job.”

WOO-HOO! “To improve a kyphotic posture,” advises Walsh, “perform more upper back exercises than chest, such as the seated row, to strengthen and tighten the back muscles as you stretch your chest. You should also use core exercises on a swiss ball. This not only improves your stability, but strengthens your inner abs that protect your lower back.” Perform them in front of the TV. Maybe not in a board meeting.


homer-simpson-brain6. “Alright brain. You don’t like me and I don’t like you, but let’s just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.”

D’OH! “Alcohol makes us feel good – for a while,” says Wells. “But long term, it leads to a smaller, lighter, shrunken brain. Booze damages the nerve endings responsible for sending nerve signals and the ‘grey matter’ needed for complex mental activities.” Like thinking while talking.

WOO-HOO! “Reducing alcohol really is a must if your cognitive function is suffering,” she says. “Lower alcohol beers are a good place to start. To help your flagging memory, take the smart-nutrient phosphatidylserine, found in eggs, fish and lecithin.” Add 1tbs of tasteless lecithin granules to meals or smoothies once a day and you’ll never forget another… um, what were we saying?

Publication: Men’s Health

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About Me

Jonathan is a London-based journalist, critic and editor. He currently works for data visualisation agency Beyond Words.



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