Battle of the Diets: Men vs. Women

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Diets: Men vs. Women

"I want to get to a certain level and I always had a belly so I'm tired of having it, admits Taylor McCain. Kelly Dicksen, who is also trying to lose weight, adds, "I always liked to be active but wasn't so worried about the weight until the last couple of years and then I really tried to hit it hard."

McCain and Dicksen work out at Scott's Training Systems in Tempe. McCain says, "It makes me feel good is one of the main things." He has been working out with trainer Scott Keppel for four months exercising six times a week and he is cleaning up his eating habits. His hard work and persistence has paid off. He has dropped 25 pounds and says, "I finally realized that cheating three or four times a week isn't going to get me anywhere so I just buckled down and do it."

Dicksen's on the same program. She is more consistent with her workouts and she gave her fridge a healthy makeover but she has lost only 10 pounds since December. She says, "Gone down dress sizes when I would walk in and just grab an extra large and walk out of the store and now I sometimes get lower than that which is nice."

So why did McCain lose more weight? A recent article in Newsweek magazine may have the answer, which is that men and women diet differently.

One thing the article sites is that it is easier for guys to say no to problem foods. Keppel says he agrees and feels many women turn to comfort foods during emotional times.

"A lot of it goes with your childhood, you know, if your parents gave you food when you're upset whether you're male or female that sticks with you. Guess whatwhen you're older you're going to want to turn to a sweet."

Other reason men have an easier time beating the battle of the bulge is that they compete to lose. According to the article, men lose weight like it is a sport while women turn to friends or support groups.

Keppel explains, "I've seen that women tend to want more support. You know that they want support from either a friend or a Weight Watcher or Jenny Craig, anyone of those programs where men tend to be more competitive. They say to a friend, 'Hey, we have something coming up and I bet I lose 10 pounds before you do'."

There is also a physiological reason why guys tend to lose more weight faster than women given equal workout routines. Keppel says, "The reason a male will lose more than a female, men produce testosterone which helps build muscle mass. The more muscle you have the more calories you're going to burn and the more fat you're going to burn." He adds, "Women produce estrogen and estrogen tends to want to have the body store fat so women are already in an uphill battle so in general women will lose slower than men."

Keppel also says don't worry ladies, the weight will eventually come off. He says you should be consistent with your exercise and diet and compete against yourself. This can include making short and long term goals. Dicksen explains, "I would start small and don't look at the big picture. Look at the smaller picture and that something is achievable."

Some other differences are that women tend to diet because of image while men do it for health reasons.

For more information on Scott's Training Systems, call (480) 820-0835 or .