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Do Diets for Men Differ from Diets for Women?

Dec 27, 2010

Diets for men do differ slightly from diets for women. This is due to the fundamental physical differences between the sexes. Some also might argue that the difference in emotional make-up between men and women results in a need for different approaches to dieting. Varying gender roles might present different dieting challenges for men versus women.

Caloric Intake for Men and Women

If you look at the daily recommendations for caloric intake for men and women, you will instantly notice a difference. On average, men tend to be taller and possess more muscle than women. A fairly active woman who weighs 120 pounds needs about 2,000 calories per day. A man in the same age group and similar activity level who weighs 170 pounds will need closer to 2,800 calories each day. Supposing the man and woman are married and they sit down for dinner, to maintain adequate health, they will have to eat portion sizes according to their varied needs.

Different Nutrient Needs of Men and Women

On the whole, men and women are prone to different health issues. Based on this, diets for men cannot be identical to that of women. Women need more iron than men because of iron loss during menstruation. Men need more fiber than women to decrease the incidence of rectal cancers. Calcium is more important for women than men, due to risks for osteoporosis in women.

Diets for men need to take protein consumption into consideration. If you are a man, you need to consume about 15 percent of your daily calories in protein. For a diet of 2,800 calories, that comes to 420 calories from protein. For a woman eating a daily diet of 2,000 calories, the recommended protein intake comes to 300 calories.

The recommendation for fat intake is to keep it below 30 percent of your daily calories. For a man who needs to consume 2,800 calories, less than 840 of those calories should be from fat. For a woman on a 2,000-calorie diet, fat calories should be limited to less than 600 per day.

Differences in Emotional Make-Up and Lifestyle

Experts often find that when men learn more about nutrition, they tend to lose weight more easily than women do, through a simple adjustment of their eating habits. The implication is that knowledge translates into action more easily with regards to weight loss in men. For women, weight loss can be a greater emotional challenge. The importance of appearance and media pressures to look a certain way often complicate weight loss efforts for women.

Diets for men are also helped in part by lifestyle. In many households, women do the grocery shopping and cooking. Planning out what the family should eat, thinking about food, cooking it and being around it all of the time make it that much more difficult to resist temptation and lower caloric intake on a regular basis.

In short, diets for men do differ from ideal weight loss plans for women. The difference is in the amounts of calories and nutrients consumed. Emotional and lifestyle differences also come into play, potentially demanding slightly different approaches to dieting for the two sexes.

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