A key decision that both men and women face after making a commitment to lose weight is the approach a structured eating plan, an exercise regimen.
Many women have a tendency to be bottom-up thinkers, which means that they want to understand all the details about a weight-loss plan before getting started that way they can put all the pieces together and see the bigger picture. Men, however, are more likely to be top-down thinkers and prefer to view the big picture first and be briefed on the details later. In other words, when selecting a weight-loss program, women are more likely to want to know the whole story and read the full report, whereas men want to begin with the summary. Why do most women opt to know all the details before undertaking a weight-loss effort?
Part of the answer may lie in the fact that the typical woman has a fair amount of weight-loss experience. Because she’s already tried a variety of approaches, a woman may have a greater desire to know the nitty-gritty nuances of a weight-loss method. Armed with that knowledge, she will feel better informed and more confident about making the right choice. Among the details women are interested in are how many calories the weight-loss plan allows, how much and how quickly weight will be lost, whether specific foods must be eaten or avoided, and whether the eating plan or the exercise plan will have any adverse effects on the body (diarrhea, constipation, low blood sugar, sore muscles, and so on). If a weightloss plan meets with a woman’s approval, she will proceed with caution. Only after a woman has experienced some success will she be willing to let go some of the details; at that point she trusts that what she is doing is working.
The level of detail that most women seek before starting a weightloss plan can be a turnoff for many men.That’s because once guys have made the decision to lose weight, they want to get started and all they need are the basics; theirs is a “just tell me what to do”approach. In a Weight Watchers study looking at approaches to weight loss, 79 percent of the men surveyed said that they simply wanted practical weight-loss information (“just give me the facts”). However, as men begin to follow a weight-loss plan and are successful at losing weight, their interest in knowing more of the details is piqued. The following breakfast conversation illustrates how a woman and a man on a structured eating plan might communicate using their details versus facts perspectives.
He says: “Breakfast I’m starved! Yes or no: Can I have eggs?”
She says: “Yes, you can have eggs. In fact, you can have them poached, hard-boiled, scrambled with fat-free milk, or fried with no more than one-half teaspoon of oil.”
He says: “I think I’ll make a poached egg.Would you like one? And by the way, can I have a piece of toast?”
She says: “No, thanks, on the egg. I think I’ll have a six-ounce carton of fat-free yogurt instead, so that I can get a start on my daily calcium recommendation. And yes, you can have toast, but it has to be whole wheat, and you can put one teaspoon of sugar-free jam on top.”
He says: “I am so glad you know all of this. It’s a lot of information to keep straight.
She says: “Don’t worry.You’ll get used to it.”
You probably noticed that the woman seemed to be totally into the plan, while the man seemed more hesitant because of all the details. Despite the fact that both men and women want to lose weight, they may need to use different approaches in order to meet with weightloss success. A woman may want to choose an approach that provides details about what, when, and how things should be done. Many men may be better off with an approach that focuses on fewer details while still getting the job done