Men and women have opposing views on a lot of things, so it's no surprise that they have different attitudes about losing weight. Dr. Oz and Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer for Weight Watchers International, discuss men, women and weight loss.
While writing her book, She Loses, He Loses
, Karen says she discovered several areas where the genders differ in their views on weight:
- Men and women have a different perception of being fat. While women are always thinking about their weight, the typical man almost has to be obese before he feels he needs to lose a few pounds, Karen says. Men aren't seen as "fat" when they're carrying extra weight—rather, they're usually considered "big," she says.
- Both genders are emotional eaters, but the emotions are different. Women are more likely to overeat as a result of negative emotions, while men tend to overeat for more positive emotions, such as celebrating with their friends.
- Women worry more than men do about being judged for their weight. For women, their appearance is a key factor in how they are judged in public, and their weight is a major part of their appearance, Karen says. According to Karen, men believe that they are judged more on external success attributes, like what they do or where they live.
- Men and women approach weight loss differently. Losing weight is usually important to women, but they don't always have the confidence that they can do it. For men, the opposite is usually true. To inspire men to lose weight, Karen recommends presenting the issue as a problem they need to solve. "If they don't see their weight as a problem, they're not going to do anything," she explains. To boost women's confidence, support groups can be a big help. "Success builds on success," Karen says. "If [someone] loses in the first few weeks, the motivation and confidence builds."