Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 4th 2015 Contents A28
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, February 4, 2015
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
Jay Rishel, 34, still dreams of tater tots. But that s
about all the computer systems administrator in
York, Pennsylvania, misses about his old, carb-heavy
Since going on a ketogenic diet last July---trading
his potatoes for bacon---he s lost more than 30 pounds
and rarely feels hungry. "It kind of changes your whole
relationship with food," he says.
His wife has a different story. A few months after
adopting a less restrictive version of her husband s
diet, she experienced stomach pain so severe she wound
up in the emergency room. Doctors suspected gallstones,
which can be triggered by dieting.
Needless to say, "it seemed that my high-fat diet
wasn t working well for her," Rishel says. The pair now
eats leaner meats that Rishel tops with cream or another
high-fat sauce, and his wife s stomach pain has lessened.
His words of wisdom for other couples considering
the same diet plan? "The advice might be don t," Rishel
While experts say the central components of a healthy
diet---high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean
protein and low-fat dairy---are gender-neutral, there
are both biological and behavioural differences between
men and women that may make some types of diets
more effective, or at least more appealing, to each sex.
As for the Rishels, their experience demonstrates
just how much diets can affect people differently,
regardless of gender, says Elisabetta Politi, the nutrition
director of Duke University s Diet & Fitness Center
and one of US News expert panelists for the Best Diets
"I don t sit down with a client so much thinking
of the gender," Politi says, "but from the conversation
I have with them, (we come) up with what is a sus-
Here s a fact of life that many women resent: Men
lose more weight and faster. They re bigger and have
more muscle mass in general, which means that they
burn more calories--whether at rest or at play. "They
wake up every morning with a bonus that women
don t have," Politi says.
Melissa Musiker, a registered dietitian in the District
of Columbia who works in public relations, knows that
firsthand. When her husband decided to try Weight
Watchers with her in 2013, "weight would just melt
off of him in the most obnoxious way," she says. "For
me, it was a struggle."
Men s brains might also give them a leg up when
it comes to resisting temptation.
In a 2009 study in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences, researchers measured the brain
activity of 23 hungry men and women while tempting
them with their favourite foods. (Among their choices:
a cheeseburger, ribs, chocolate cake and a bacon, egg
and cheese sandwich.) While both men and women
reported to be less hungry when told to resist the treats,
only men s brains actually mirrored that.
The results support what Musiker has seen with
her husband: Women have a tougher time controlling
cravings. "He d say, I just don t eat that anymore,
whereas I d be sitting there measuring out how much
cheesecake I could eat for three points," she says.
But there s a silver lining for the ladies, Politi says.
Just because a man sheds pounds faster, doesn t mean
he ll sustain the weight loss longer. "How fast you lose
weight is not a predictor of how well you re going to
keep it off," she says. "Some lose very well and regain
Choosing a Diet
In US News Best Diets rankings, the results apply
to both men and women: The Dash Diet and TLC Diet
ranked in first and second place, respectively, while
the Mayo Clinic Diet, Mediterranean diet and Weight
Watchers tied for third.
"I would group men and women together when
discussing a best fit diet, simply because--aside
from differences in energy and nutrient needs based
on body size and muscle mass--the fundamental
needs are very similar," says Lawrence Cheskin,
director of Johns Hopkins Weight Management
Center and a US News Best Diets panelist.
Still, components of some diets might appeal more
to one gender than the other--an important consid-
eration since it s really the diet that you ll stick with
that will work the best, says Musiker, chair of the
District of Columbia Board of Dietetics and Nutrition.
"Any diet can make you lose weight because you eat
less," she says. "What s really critical is that maintenance
phase and figuring out what s going to empower you
to maintain it--not just help you lose it." (yahoo.com)
What's the best diet for men vs women?
diets like the
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