Dudes on Diets

We’ve been working on a diet project http://www.ourhealthissues.com and we were brainstorming about guys we know who have taken off weight. We came up with five friends (and two enemies 🙂 ) who met the criteria, so we analyzed our friends’ approaches behind their backs – they still don’t know (Hi, Bill!).

Three of the friends have been on long term extremely restrictive diets. All of them have high degrees of self-control and have each lost over 40 pounds and kept it off. The other two guys cut out some foods but were not as restrictive. All of them have lost weight, some with the long term loss of foods they love and others with short term abstinence.

I’m not sure if men dieting are different from women, but few of my male friends have ever publicly pronounced that they’re on Weight Watchers, South Beach or some other popular diet. As we mention, the ones we know have been taking the path of basically giving up foods they love. There does seem to be some machismo in male dieting, registered dietician and exercise physiologist Samantha Heller has noted: “[Men are] more comfortable with [Atkins’] all-or-nothing things for some reason. And a steak is more masculine than a chicken salad”.

For dudes and dudettes alike, is there a better way to achieve a healthier lifestyle without abstinence and labeling whole categories of food as the enemy?