Secrets to successful weight loss among men

Reduce portion size and limit fat intake.

Following strict dietary recommendations isn’t necessary, based on data presented during the American College of Sports Medicine 57th Annual Meeting by researchers from the University of Newcastle, in Australia.

First, the details.

  • SHED-IT (Self-Help, Exercise, and Diet Using Information Technology) is an Internet-based weight loss program in which participants have access to a study website to self-monitor diet and activity.
  • Feedback is provided to participants’ online entries.
  • 65 overweight/obese adult men with an average mean body mass index (BMI) of 31 kg/m2 participated.
  • Dietary intake was reassessed at 6 months by recording respondents’ usual consumption of 74 foods and 6 alcoholic beverages.

And, the results.

  • All of the men lost weight.
  • 21 men were the most successful and lost more than 5% of their total body weight at 6 months.
  • The most successful participants had the following characteristics.
    • Ate smaller portions
    • Reduced fat intake 40%
    • Reduced sugary drink intake 55%
    • They ate the same amount of carbohydrates and protein as the other participants
  • None of the men increased their fruit and vegetable intake to meet the guidelines.
  • And fiber intake remained well below recommended levels throughout the study.

The bottom line?

There are certain aspects of dieting that men will accept and others where resistance is high. This study is valuable because it documents the aspects of dieting that men are likely to accept. Success is possible without insisting that men to do things they’d rather not.

Portion control, and lowering the intake of fat and sugary drinks are the low hanging fruit of weight control recommendations (Oops, is that a pun?).

6/7/10 19:18 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.