Sunday, August 15, 2021

"My 600-lb Life" proves obesity-gender links and how weight loss can be harder for men

Weight loss is a big challenge, regardless of gender. I lost 100 pounds without gastric bypass, by calorie restricting. And it was no picnic (pun intended!) We tend to think that women struggle more with obesity than men. Women do have more reasons to get overweight, with menstruation, PMS, pregnancy and menopause. But men have some unique "predisposers" that are often overlooked. The reality TV show "My 600-lb Life" demonstrates why it often harder for men to lose weight than women. The video above features "My 600-lb Life" Sean Milliken who passed from obesity complications. 

1) Those things between your legs. I'm not trying to be prudish, avoiding the T-word and P-word. Blogger will slap me down if I print them ๐Ÿ˜’. They're considered obscene (!?) And yanno, that is part of the reason men struggle more with weight loss. They're shamed for talking about their bodies, except in jest. Like it's somehow dirty to have male body parts. When they try to lose weight, they may not have the support network women have among their own gender. 

2) Which came first, ED or obesity? We know that excess belly fat causes ED (erectile dysfunction). But I believe it works the other way too...that male reproductive system fail causes obesity. When the male reproductive system can't or doesn't do its job properly and routinely (I also can't label those two E-words๐Ÿ™„), it stalls metabolism and leads to erectile dysfunction and weight gain. Many of the male participants on "My 600-lb Life" struggle with erectile dysfunction along with obesity. Certainly being morbidly overweight is going to cause issues down the line. But it's important to keep the P-word and T-word in good working order, too. 

3) Gender-based stats. "My 600-lb Life" shows more women than men seeking gastric bypass. But that's because women are quicker to seek weight loss. And the odds are evenly stacked: about a 5% success rate. However deaths from obesity favor men (although women are catching up). The men begin more overweight than the women, many in the 700-900-lb range. Sean Milliken was the heaviest at over 900 pounds till a woman topped him at 940. 

4) Skewed gender expectations. Some men avoid dieting or talking about weight loss because they worry it's not manly. Even some diet foods are thought to be unmanly. Well, as outlined above, obesity kills "manhood" so, yeah. The good news is that men can and do lose weight if they work the calorie restricting 1200 calorie diet. Or any healthy diet. Keto, 5:2 diet, intermittent fasting, Atkins, South Beach, they all have weight loss success stories. 

5) Diet misconceptions. I've heard a lot of guys say they can't diet because they won't get full. This was Sean Milliken's problem, along with an enabling mother. At first, when you're overweight, you will struggle more with hunger because it takes more to satisfy a big stomach. But it gets easier as you stomach shrinks. And extreme calorie restricting does create hunger and stall metabolism. Many men like keto and a high protein1200 calorie diet. Keto is great for burning fat. And the 1200 calorie diet allows to you eat enough to feel comfortable. 

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