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Men and Women Look Differently at Weight Loss Motivation

January 10, 2011

(Article first published as Men and Women Have Different Weight Loss Motivation and Strategy on Technorati.)

The Sexes View Weight Loss Motivation and Strategy Differently

The Sexes View Weight Loss Motivation and Strategy Differently

It may come as no surprise that men and women have different ideas when it comes to how they approach weight loss, and the trigger that prompts them to begin their journey to improved health and body image. Men and women appear to use a different rationalization for the need to begin a weight loss regimen.

Women are highly motivated to drop excess pounds based on their appearance, while men are more in tune with their health and the way they feel with extra body weight. Regardless of their underlying reasons, it’s important to make the decision to lose weight to dramatically lower the risk from chronic disease.

Survey Examines Weight Loss Strategies Between the Sexes

Women Choose Healthy Diet to Lose Weight

Women Choose Healthy Diet to Lose Weight

The result of a survey including 1,000 adults shows that men and women have very different reasons to consider a weight loss program. 40% of women indicated that their physical appearance was the most important determinant to lose weight. 27% of men cited ‘not feeling healthy’ as the primary motivation for weight loss, although looks were an important consideration.

While overweight and obesity prevalence is similar between men and women, women become dissatisfied with their weight much sooner than men. A gain of just 5 pounds was sufficient for most women to consider a dietary or lifestyle change to drop weight. Men typically required a gain of 20 pounds or more before they become motivated to lose weight. For both sexes, a gain of 10 pounds was considered a weight loss trigger.

Weight Loss Mechanism Differs for Men and Women

Exercise is the Method Men Use to Drop Unwanted Pounds

Exercise is the Method Men Use to Drop Unwanted Pounds

Both men and women were in agreement that food portion control was an important factor when beginning a weight loss program. Men were more likely to choose vigorous physical activity such as jogging or resistance training as their preferred weight loss method. Women tended to choose healthy diet as a means to lower calories, opting for leafy greens and vegetables as part of their weight loss plan.

Men May Learn From the Women
The survey authors noted that men may benefit by observing the weight loss motivation observed by many women respondents. Men would be much better served by altering diet and lifestyle when they notice a small 5 pound weight gain, rather than waiting until they tip the scales with 20 pounds or more. Also, making healthier, reduced calorie food choices is better for long term success than a plan based on increased activity levels.

Men and women have different strategies and motivation to determine the need to begin a weight loss program.  While the end result may be the same, women tend to focus on outward appearance as their motivation, while men are more concerned about how they feel when overweight or obese. Regardless of method or reason, starting a weight loss program that you can live with will result in improved health and quality of life.

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