Helping Men Lose Weight: 10 Year Review

Topics: Obesity and Weight Loss, Wellness and Health

I’ve been looking at my patient records from Chef Clinic over the last 10 years (yes, I’ve kept them all, in all their manila folder glory). Especially interesting are the men.

In a weight loss practice, most patients are women. Women have more societal pressure to achieve a healthy weight than men, often have tried many different diet programs, and want to work through why they’re overweight.

But few diet programs exist for men. Those that do seem to rely either on powerful physical programs (P90X, Insanity) where the food is not the focus; or hormone prescriptions (testosterone and growth hormone help men build muscle, especially supplemental hormones, but they can have nasty side effects if men are not truly deficient…i.e., 97% of men).

But what does appeal to men, at least in my practice, are simple, clear rules; specific planning and cooking skills; environmental control; hormonal enhancement with diet and food timing not drugs; and a minimum of discussion and process.

I think this sort of approach may also appeal to some women. In fact, I know it does. But for men who are ready to lose the gut, it rings true in a whole new way.

Last night told a female colleague I was working on this idea, and she said: “About time.” I hope so. It seems like it to me.

  • As a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist, and Certified Diabetes Educator with over 20 years of experience, I approach each client as an individual, not as a man or woman. Some people who are numbers oriented, such as engineers, want specifics on gram recommendations for the macronutrients, and ask questions about current research and outcomes before we even get started working on a meal plan. They have read nutrition information in the media, and are looking for specific answers. Some people just want to be told what to eat and what not to eat-these are the people who want sample menus and want to keep it simple. Other people dive in to their new diet and lifestyle, and start collecting healthy recipes, seeking out restaurant nutrition information, and like to talk about the changes that they are making. The one thing that does seem to be more important for men working on weight managment is being able to work their favorite foods and beverages (such as beer) into the meal plan. Women, more often then men, are willing to give up favorite foods and eat lower calorie foods while working on their weight loss. Approaching each person as an individual, looking at lifestyle, business travel, activity level, health issues etc. and creating an individualized plan is the key to creating a meal plan for weight loss success.