Have you ever labored for weeks to lose weight—cutting out wine, nibbling on grain crackers, generally starving—only to have a male friend or significant other be like "I just dropped five pounds because I didn't eat cheese for a week!" . . . then silently curse yet another great injustice of being female?
A new diet promises to share the secrets for why this happens. Yes, ladies, it's time to look great by "dieting like a man"!
This actually isn't such a bad idea, and we give props to whoever decided to tap into latent female outrage over the ease with which men seem to shed pounds. And to be fair, many of the diet's dictums are pretty sound—cut out one unhealthy food rather than a bunch, exercise, etc. But we're here to slam, not celebrate, so let's dive into some of this diet's more questionable facets, starting with . . .
Unfairness To Men
Is it really that easy for guys to lose weight? Not precisely. Because men have more lean muscle tissue, they tend to lose weight quicker than women who cut out the same number of calories over the short term (fist shake!). But over a longer period of time, the weight loss evens out among the genders (sweet justice!). So, it's not really fair or accurate to pitch a diet on the premise that "men lose weight faster than ladies." And frankly, if I were a guy, I would be kind of pissed off by the suggestion that getting fit wasn't the result of hard work, but some magical gift bestowed upon me by the gods of hotness.
Unfairness To Ladies
Surprise! Some of the diet's suggestions about women are more than a little sexist. One of the maxims is for women to become more competitive, tapping into the long-held stereotype that guys are more lusty for competitive conquest (according to a Fox News story about the diet, this is because "men are raised in a gladiatorial culture." Grunt!).
Well lo and behold, this isn't really true. While men do tend to exhibit more of a penchant for competition, this has more to do with circumstance that some innate desire, or for that matter, a history of battling in gladiator rings. Research has found, for example, that girls in same-sex schools are more likely to be competitive than those in mixed-gender schools because they're not as pressured to abide by prescribed gender rules. Similarly, women in matrilineal societies are not only more competitive than those in patriarchal societies, they're actually more competitive than the men in those same social structures.
There's also the issue of how competition manifests—women may simply exhibit competitive nature in less obvious, but no less powerful, ways. In fact, I would argue that competition to look better than other women is one of the driving and most exploited forces of the multibillion-dollar dieting industry (and yes, this is perhaps a little sexist, too. But is it untrue?)
Unfairness To The Body
One of the "man moves" (their wording, not ours) is to "chug your calories" by replacing a solid meal with a liquid meal. We've said it before and we'll say it again: replacing nutritious solid meals with anything else, including liquid, will likely lead to hunger and a diet break-up.
Bottom line: Eat your meals. Make them healthy. Splurge sometimes. Work out. And this applies to both genders.