How ‘Dude Food’ Risks Men’s Health

Real men don’t diet, do low-fat or count calories. Real men are invincible! But is this attitude turning them into ticking time bombs? Is our Aussie bloke at risk of becoming an endangered species? Possibly so, unless he starts developing some healthier habits.

According to the last major survey conducted by the National Heart Foundation of Australia, over five million Aussies are overweight or obese and 42 per cent of these are men over 18.

So when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining weight and wellbeing, it seems a lot of Aussie men need some help!

Even author (and 12WBT guest blogger) John Birmingham isn’t immune to the Australian man’s unhealthy lifestyle.

So at 12WBT we’ve put together a few suggestions about Dude Food – yes, all those fatty, junky treats that our guys love. We’re going to tell you how you can have your burger with the lot and eat it too! We’re even throwing in a free recipe to boot.

Also read: 10 Reasons You Can’t Stop Eating

Dude Food Swaps: The Healthy Way to a Man’s Heart

With a little know-how and some smart recipe ideas men can still eat the food they love, without risking their waistlines, hearts and overall health!

Our very own 12WBT fellas are proof of that. Check out how Jeff and Steve have confronted their health, with our Meal Plans and Exercise Plans.

There’s nothing like ordering a stack of pizzas oozing with plastic cheese and fatty meats, washed down with a few cold ones. If your bloke decided to scoff a whole Supreme while watching the Friday-night footy, he could be consuming up to a whopping 1800 calories in one meal – and that’s without any alcohol!

If he were to swap this delivered dietary disaster with a homemade version your man could cut nearly 1000 calories – or almost 1500 if he shared it with one of his mates! Our Prawn & Feta Pizza or Smokey Chicken Pizza will do the trick!

Nothing beats a burger and fries, and many Aussie men love hitting the drive-through or takeaway during a busy day at work or after a big night out.

But a burger with the lot, regular fries and a 600ml sugary soft drink to wash it down can have nearly 1500 calories, 60g of fat AND more than 63g of sugar.

Swap out fat-laden takeaway options for homemade lean mince or marinated grilled chicken burgers cooked on the BBQ to cut those calories. Top them with lots of fresh salad and trade in the high-fat fries with Chilli & Lime Sweet Potato Chips for a healthier alternative.

Tips for keeping his health on track

  • Try swapping soft drinks for calorie-free sparkling water and save the sugary stuff for special treats only
  • Trade a 300g fat-laden rib-eye, which has approximately 42g of fat and 600 calories per serve, for a 200g marinated sirloin top-side steak, which has only around 17g of fat and around 460 calories per serve
  • Replace frying with grilling
  • Trade heavy, creamy sauces for fresh salsas, grilled veggies or a big salad to turn it into a healthy alternative
  • Swap the creamy, butter-infused sauces for fresh tomato- or herb-based ones. Top with lean protein such as grilled chicken or tuna and swap the garlic bread for a large side salad

Get these recipes (and over 900 more!) when you sign up to our June Round – Pre-Season is now underway, so join your teammates now. 

Free Recipe: Meat Pie with Mushy Peas

Meat Pie with Mushy Peas

  •  4 Serves
  • 20 min prep time
  • 35 min cooking
  • 505 Cal / serve

Kangaroo mince is super lean and a great source of protein. If its gamey taste has deterred you in the past, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this guilt-free pie. Serve with mixed salad leaves drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar.


  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil (20g)
  • 1 Onion (89g), finely chopped
  • 1 Carrot (61g), finely chopped
  • 1 Celery stalk (40g), finely chopped
  • 1000g Kangaroo mince
  • 1 1/4 cups beef stock (310g)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (60g)
  • 1/2 cups Tomato sauce (125g)
  • 3 teaspoons Cornflour (7g)
  • 150g Frozen peas
  • 1 sheets Frozen puff pastry (170g)


1. Spray a large saucepan or deep frying pan with olive oil spray and heat over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until soft.
2. Add mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up lumps, for 4-5 minutes or until browned. Add stock, Worcestershire sauce and half the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer.
3. Dissolve cornflour in 2 tbs of water. Stir into mince mixture. Simmer for 12-15 minutes or until thickened. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to cool slightly. Place in fridge to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, cook peas following packet directions. Using a stick blender or small food processor, blend peas to a coarse puree.
5. Preheat oven to 220C. Divide mince mixture evenly among 4 × 250ml (1-cup) capacity ramekins.
6. Cut pastry into 4 squares. Place squares on top of ramekins and press edges with the back of a fork. Cut a small cross in centre of each pastry top. Place ramekins on a baking tray in oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
7. Top with mushy peas and remaining tomato sauce to serve.

Mish Tip
Kangaroo mince is widely available in supermarkets these days, however it is not often located with the other mince varieties. It is usually found wherever the speciality meats are located. If kangaroo mince isn’t available, simply replace with lean beef mince.

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