Other than Jared the Subway guy I haven’t read much about weight loss programs for men, until David Sirota (The Wall Street Journal: Monday, May 2, 2011) did a write-up on “the fat guy.” Boys grow up actively engaged in sporting activities and they have always eaten accordingly. Lifestyles tend to change but self image often doesn’t. They don’t become weight conscious until hypertension, diabetes and other chronic health issues set in. No sports, no workouts, and still eating like a teenage boy and not so suddenly, just like with women, the ring of gut fat appears. It wasn’t until recently that the Weight Loss industry giants such as NutriSystem and Weight Watchers started marketing new programs for men, and it is about time. Yes, men can certainly use a helping hand when it comes to losing weight, although most men admit that on a typical mans radar screen weight loss is barely a blip. Anyone can lose weight with any number of fad diets, pills, powders and potions, but keeping it off is the big secret and it comes through realistic lifestyle changes.
Men get fat too. They don’t talk about it, join support groups, or obsess about being thin, but you may have noticed that there are quite a few big guys out there. According to the statistics sited almost 70% of men are overweight, as compared to 52% of women. Culturally speaking, there is the good old “double standard.” Our culture has long demanded physical perfection in women while seeming to celebrate male corpulence. A lot of men eat because they are hungry (Chi Tranter: Townsville Bulletin-Townsville, Qld. May 19, 2011) or eat just because food is there. They don’t pay a lot of attention to the difference between a large hamburger with bacon and cheese and a tuna salad. They tend not to over think everything so they don’t feel that they need to discuss reasons why they eat, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested.
Men tend to want to tackle weight loss on their own. They are much less likely to join groups or seek counseling. The weight loss industry has traditionally catered to women, and they haven’t been addressing the issue that men are exhibiting health problems related to obesity too. Men and women seem to have different needs when it comes to losing weight. Men are slow to come to the realization that they need help with weight loss, but when they do decide they tend to be more successful than women, not only in terms of dropping pounds but in keeping weight off. And yet, most men admit that they do not participate in any weight loss program at all. Hopefully it won’t take the threat of a triple by-pass surgery to motivate more men to get take care of themselves. Moms, wives and girlfriends can help too by encourage a modest diet plan without being confrontational.