It’s no secret that the majority of weight loss products, diets and tools are marketed towards women. In Part 1, The Abs Diet, Jenny Craig and Men’s Health Diet were reviewed as programs that cater specifically to male users. Yet for men seeking to take control of their health, there are other options on the market still.
One of the oldest and most popular health programs is Weight Watchers. Modern-day followers tend to associate the approach with points – a calculation tool utilized to determine the health value and categorization of foods. This points system has been revamped in recent years, and Karen Miller-Kovach, WW’s Chief Science Officer describes the program as a complete makeover, saying “it is not a hybrid but an entirely new approach to safe, effective, and steady weight loss that takes advantage of cutting-edge weight loss science.” The core of the program still focuses on a caloric deficit (burning more calories than are consumed), but heightened emphasis has been placed on where those calories come from. The below “Power Foods” are strongly recommended to dieters as they provide the most nutritional value and help satisfy hunger and food cravings:
- Whole Grains
- Lean Meats
- Low-Fat Dairy
- Fresh Fruits
- Fresh, Non-Starchy Vegetables
In addition to a newer points system, Weight Watchers has begun to focus specifically on male users. Weight Watchers Online for Men and Weight Watchers eTools for Men provide online support tools for male dieters. Furthermore, the men-focused website offers a beer sheet that lists calorie counts for various brews, and it boasts that followers can eat anything they want (as long as they keep track through the points system), allowing the popular sports bar + wings + burger night if necessary.
The Paleo Diet
Commonly referred to as the “Caveman Diet”, Paleo or Paleolithic eating is one of the most male-touted diets currently on the market. This approach focuses on mimicking the hunter-gatherer eating habits of cavemen and allows the consumption of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, seafood and nuts, prohibiting dairy, grains, starchy vegetables and sweets. Despite its throwback to historical ways of eating, Paleo is one of the more controversial eating approaches. Eliminating grains – even simple carbohydrates, dairy and legumes has brought a great deal of scrutiny by many industry and health professionals. However, popularity of the Paleo Diet has increased significantly over the last several years, and many intensive workout programs (P90X, Insanity, CrossFit, etc.) recommend the Paleo Diet as the most effective eating plan to accompany the exercise programs.
It’s unfortunate that a staggering amount of men suffer from obesity, overweight, or simply need to shed a few pounds. But fortunately, the health and fitness industry has responded in a very positive way with male-focused programs that cater specifically to their bodies and lifestyles. Increasing awareness and providing more options will only encourage overweight individuals to take control of their health. Without a doubt, men and women gain and lose weight differently, but a collaborative approach to effective solutions will further empower people to manage their health effectively.