Many of us around here have suffered the indignity of attempting weight loss at the same time as one of our male friends/lovers/spouses/whatevers and were quickly left–sweaty, hungry, and cranky–in the proverbial dust. Lucy Danziger, editor of Self magazine, recently offered her take on why most men lose weight faster than most women. My digest:
- Men eat real food. No 100-cal snack packs or “diet” foods in ManWorld.
- Men have a one-track mind. They pick one or two things and focus on those.
- Men lift weights, usually free weights. Only 17% of women in the gym pump iron.
- Men jump in and do. Women build plans.
- Men stroke their own egos. Among other things. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Women fret over small slip-ups.
- Men are oblivious to what others think of their bodies. Women worry.
- Men eat foods because they taste good. Women attach emotions or emotional support to foods.
Obviously, these are all sweeping generalizations and aren’t true for everyone, male or female. But when I look at this list of seven items, I see that five of them are similar to (or exactly) the shifts I made in my own thinking four years ago that freed me from the diet cycle and got me on the path to lasting (so far) weight loss.
- I dropped the low-cal, low-carb, low-fat, low-taste foods and began to focus more on nutrition. I confess to still buying the occasional new 100-calorie treat (purely for research purposes, you know), but it’s very rare.
- Instead of trying to overhaul my whole life in a week, I focused on accumulating gradual changes.
- I began strength training, and even when I wasn’t losing pounds, the inches were dropping faster than I could buy new clothes. Seriously!
- I focused on my actions, not my plan, nor my results–only what I had to do.
- I celebrated small successes, sometimes by treating myself to new downloads or other joys, sometimes with a simple and silly happy dance. But I celebrated! And the slip-ups? They’re yesterday’s news.
- I quit worrying about everyone else and made sure that I lived up to my expectations. Most of the time. I’m still working on this one, but I’m better than I was! *pause for happy dance*
So maybe Lucy Danziger is onto something. Maybe not. I do know that taking all the external factors (fashion/style magazines, targeted marketing, family & social influences, etc.) out of the equation and focusing on what I do and how I feel about what I do helped me stay true to myself and to my cause. I didn’t (and don’t) think of it as a male or female approach. Just a successful one.
And you? Recognize any of your own habits or patterns in the list, or any you’ve outgrown?