Men are getting fatter and fatter, but we don’t seem to care much about it. Is it because the diet is still seen as a feminine thing?

The best study on diets was published a few years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, and came to a conclusion that we all already knew: the best diet is to close your mouth. It took academic work to end this outcome, but the truth is that, since it is a rigorous scientific study (or it would not even be published in that respectable organ), it did not leave any “trendy ” diet in good sheets.

However, we are at the beginning of a new year and those who are overweight may – and well – have taken the decision to lose it in 2020. According to a report by the SNS, being overweight is a disease that affects almost half of Portuguese men ( 45%) and one of the most serious public health causes for the coming years.

On the other hand, who also has a woman in the same situation will have already realized how the same resolution can take on such different outlines. You probably thought ‘I have to eat less and eat healthier and exercise more ‘, but your love has outlined a plan with detailed menus for the next few weeks, taken from ‘the book of the one who went to Cristina’s program’, even before enroll in the weight loss clinic ‘that worked so well with Cláudia’. That and the creation of a WhatsApp group with the other friends on a diet , to “encourage each other”, even because in the end they already agreed to go ‘all together shopping’.

Men and women definitely do not view diets the same way. But neither does society – being clearly milder and more understanding with overweight men, who can still grab the “tire” and say things like ‘there’s a lot of money invested here’ and start laughing. A lady doing it and the answer would be more like Shock & Horror!

That is why women are much more inclined to go on diets for reasons purely related to appearance, while men are generally pushed for health reasons. Furthermore, a man would never remember to create a diet support group – at most it would be a competition group, to see who lost weight faster, just as they don’t sign up for weight loss clinics either – it’s no accident that these clinics (almost) exclusively advertise to women. For many it is a ‘too feminine’ or ‘ too vain ‘ step and neither seems to be a valid alternative.

Physically we are not the same either (it is true …) and, in this case, it is important to remember that women have (generally) more fat to slaughter and you (in principle) have more muscle mass and a higher metabolism. It follows from these two factors that the male half of humanity is able to lose weight more quickly right from the start. It won’t be like that in the long run, but it’s an excellent incentive to start with. In addition, it seems that we also “lack” the part of the brain responsible for salivating for food: that is, we can say no to a chocolate, without thinking about it any more, unlike women, where this decision is haunted by a desire that extends well beyond the moment. After all, never thinking about anything always has an advantage …

Sometimes … or rarely … because if we thought a little we realized that we could be machines on a diet and we are not. Perhaps because men do not suffer pressure from society . In any case, when it finally touches us to have to diet for health reasons (hit the wood), we realize how much easier it would have never been to grow that investment bubble called tire. Because taking out takes a lot more work and requires a lot more effort than preventing it.

Which brings us back to the New England Journal of Medicine study, in which the authors then came to the conclusion that we could forget the fad diets, the ‘rich’ and the ‘poor’ in carbohydrates, the ‘alkaline’ and the ‘paleolithic’ and all the others. It’s because? Because “it was not possible to establish the advantages of a diet that emphasizes proteins, fats or carbohydrates” over others. That is, “reducing the calories ingested (aka closing your mouth) results in significant weight loss, regardless of the macronutrients that are emphasized.” From here the study moves to another important conclusion – and that is why we said it was the best study ever: if the nutrient chosen is basically indifferent to the result, then diets can easily adapt to the personal or cultural preferences of each individual.