Weight Loss Strategies Utilized in a Men’s Weight Loss Intervention

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Abstract

Men are underrepresented in weight loss programs and little is currently known about the weight loss strategies men prefer. This study describes the weight loss strategies used by men during a men-only weight loss program. At baseline, 3 months, and 6 months, participants reported how frequently they used 45 weight loss strategies including strategies frequently recommended by the program (i.e., mentioned during every intervention contact; e.g., daily self-weighing), strategies occasionally recommended by the program (i.e., mentioned at least once during the program; e.g., reduce calories from beverages), and strategies not included in the program (e.g., increase daily steps). At baseline participants (N = 107, 44.2 years, body mass index = 31.4 kg/m2, 76.6% White) reported regularly using 7.3 ± 6.6 (M ± SD) strategies. The intervention group increased the number of strategies used to 19.1 ± 8.3 at 3 months and 17.1 ± 8.4 at 6 months with no changes in the waitlist group. The intervention group reported increased use of most of the strategies frequently recommended by the program (4 of 5), nearly half of the strategies occasionally recommended by the program (10 of 24), and one strategy not included in the program (of 16) at 6 months. The intervention effect at 6 months was significantly mediated by the number of strategies used at 3 months. This study adds to what is known about men’s use of weight loss strategies prior to and during a formal weight loss program and will help future program developers create programs that are tailored to men.

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