What inspires women to lose weight? Swimsuit season, weddings, family and class reunions, holiday parties and other events that put her in the spotlight. For men, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated blood lipids, sleep apnea and back or joint pain inspire the need to "get in shape."
Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer for Weight Watchers International, is author of a new book", She Loses, He Loses" that looks at the differences in how the sexes approach diet and exercise.
"Men generally turn to exercise first, which can be a problem because it takes a phenomenal amount of exercise to lose weight with exercise alone. They go to the gym, and when the weight doesn't melt right off, they are surprised and get discouraged," Miller-Kovach says.
Here, a quick chart that shows her findings.
WEIGHT LOSS FACTORS:
ACCURACY ESTIMATING WEIGHT STATUS
WOMEN: Quick to realize she's overweight
MEN: Usually underestimates amount of weight he needs to lose
MEN: "Get in shape"
HISTORY OF DIETING
WOMEN: Lots, a variety of approaches and failures
MEN: Not much, so more confident of success
KNOWLEDGE ABOUT DIETING
WOMEN: Generally knowledgeable about nutrition; attuned to diet and weight-loss news
MEN: Lacks basic knowledge about science of food and weight loss
WOMEN: Beneficial to weight loss, but avoidable
MEN: Expected component of weight-loss success
OVERALL APPROACH TO WEIGHT LOSS
WOMEN: Quick to initiate, but prone to stop and start
MEN: Serious, disciplined, structured
"She Loses, He Loses: The Truth About Men, Women, and Weight Loss" by by Karen Miller-Kovach; John Wiley & Sons, $22.95
For more information, go to www.WeightWatchers.com or call 1-800-651-6000.