Men are better at dieting than women, a new survey says. Try these habits to lose weight like a guy
When it comes to weight loss, the battle of the sexes is just not fair: Men are better at dieting than women and have more willpower when it comes to fighting the battle of the bulge, according to a new survey by British retailer Marks & Spencer. Women, though, actually have a lot healthier habits: We are more likely to get our daily servings of fruits and vegetables, more likely to combine exercise with a healthy diet, and establish more realistic weight-loss goals. But men looking to slim down still shed pounds faster than women. What gives? There are a whole lot of physiological reasons (their greater muscle mass means they naturally burn more calories, for example), but it also comes down to habits: All those great habits of ours also mean we may be a little too methodical about weight loss. So let’s try stealing a few of their tricks! Check out these five tips for dieting like a guy, losing weight faster, and still staying healthy.
Women are more likely to join a weight-loss program, but men who make the commitment are more likely to stick with it, reports a study analysis in Health Technology Assessment. Why? It could be because guys are more welcome to the moral support of other men and respond well to the use of simple “business-like” language often used in programs. Once you sign up for a program, see it through. (Need help choosing? Try one of The 10 Best Diet Programs.)
This may be the one thing we both can’t live without: Men were actually just as reluctant to bid booze goodbye for the sake of weight loss. They shed pounds without swearing off happy hours, so you can too! But you have to be smart about it: Ask the Diet Doctor: Can You Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Weight?
The survey found women were more likely to tackle weight loss with a plan for both diet and exercise, whereas men focused on one or the other. While both are important to getting healthy, focusing on food may be better: People who think diet is the most important factor in weight maintenance tend to have a lower BMI than those who believe exercise is they key, according to a handful of 2013 studies in the journal Psychological Science. Weird, huh? If you think exercise is the key, you might move more but you focus less on what goes in your mouth, and therefore end up eating more. Case in point: In two of these studies, researchers offered unlimited chocolate to participants, and those who said they think staying active is key to maintaining a healthy weight ate more. (Want to steal their food too? Why Eating Like a Man May Be Best for Women's Health.)
The survey showed men are better at losing weight both in the short term, but also over time: If men do put a few pounds back on after reaching their target weight, they do so more slowly than women. That’s probably because they ditch the idea of a “diet”: Changes in lifestyle, not diet types, are the best way to prevent weight gain and disease, reports a 2013 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).Try one of The Best Non-Diet Diets.
We all know shoveling chips in our mouth when we’re on a deadline isn’t good for our waistlines, but it actually adds an average of 11 extra pounds a year, according to a study in Biological Psychiatry. And, of course, the fairer sex is more susceptible: Research shows women are more likely to turn to food (although men cope with booze or cigarettes) in frantic times. Check out these tips for how to Stop Emotional Eating.