Men feel low too when the scale tips too high

Turns out men and women have more in common than you might think when it comes to how they feel about their weight.

Both sexes would like to shed pounds for one thing. 

However, more women (57%) say they want to lose weight (an average of 18 pounds), compared with 47% of men who would like to lose an average of 13 pounds. This discrepancy can be attributed to the fact that women face more societal pressure than men to have a lower ideal weight.

But the seemingly inevitable weight gains of middle age creates feelings of despondency and low self-esteem in men and women alike.  

And since about 70% of North American adults are overweight or obese, that’s a whole lot of hard feelings to cope with.

A new study reported in Science Daily reveals that midlife men believe weight gain is simply an inevitable part of getting older. They blame family and career responsibilities for such things as preventing them from getting enough exercise and indulging in comfort eating.

The qualitative study of eight men between the ages of 35 and 58 also found  men had poor awareness of factors that cause weight gain, such as large portion sizes and the nutritional value of the foods they eat. 

“Many men would benefit from an education around food, such as food selection, integration of diet and sustainable weight management practices, in order to develop a more complete understanding of the relationships between food and lifestyle,” concluded the study’s lead author, Dr. Mark Cortnage of Anglia Ruskin University in England.

Even though many midlife men and women say they want to lose weight, this desire does not necessarily translate into doing anything to achieve this goal. While 51% of adults want to lose weight, barely half as many (25%) say they are seriously working toward trying to accomplish this, according to a report from Gallup

While more exercise and healthier eating are the cornerstones of any weight loss/management plan for both men and women, men are often at an advantage for losing weight. There are a few reasons for this:

•Men tend to have more muscle and less fat mass than women and since muscle burns more calories than fat, men have a faster metabolism.

•Men are not as big emotional eaters as women. Studies show that while men may turn to alcohol in an effort to relieve their stress, women turn to food.

•Because of their faster metabolisms, men’s bodies tend to respond more quickly to diets. One study found that men lost twice as much weight as women in the first two months of being on popular diets such as Weight Watchers. However, at six months, the weight loss between the sexes almost evened out, proving that consistency helps even the playing field.