Scenes from a His-and-Hers Diet

Diets tank for a million different reasons — boredom, difficulty, Thanksgiving stuffing — but simply choosing the wrong one shouldn’t be among them. We combed the city to find the best diets for men and women, then recruited soon-to-be-wed staffer Brittany Jasnoff and her fiancé, Brad Yaylaian, to try them out. Their loss is your gain:

Her Diet: Macro-Mediterranean
I am a steak aficionado. So why choose a meatless diet? Convenience, and an anti-temptation strategy I call ‘see no evil.’ With its Balanced Weight Loss plan, Boston-based Macro-Mediterranean delivered enough nutritious meals for six lunches and six dinners right to my house. That way, I wouldn’t be seduced by the ease of takeout or the smell of cupcakes.

Goal: 8 lbs.
Cost: $99 per week
Building Blocks: Whole grains, vegetables and beans, tofu

Sample Dish: Nut Pilaf (shown right) — This combo of whole-grain rice, carrots, cabbage, and cashews was one of the more satisfying (and tasty) items on my Week Three menu — but it still needed a splash of hot sauce.
Cheat Day: I sank my teeth into red meat the first chance I got: rib-eye steak with French fries and a side of truffled mac ’n’ cheese.
Result: My ‘see no evil’ strategy worked. Overall, the diet was a great way to shed pounds fast and without fuss—just what I was looking for. But I’m not ready to go vegetarian full time.

Total Lost: -7.4 lbs.

His Diet: Boston University Medical Center
Like many guys, I wanted to lose weight without feeling like I was sacrificing. So I called Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center, for advice. “Anecdotally,” she said, “men love diets that you can eat all the steak you can.” I committed to her recommendation of controlled portions of lean meats, veggies, and a few carbs.

Goal: 10 lbs
Cost: $60 per week
Building Blocks: Lean meat, fibrous vegetables, fat-free dairy

Sample Dish: Spaghetti Bolognese (shown left) — A small serving of whole-wheat pasta, paired with half a cup of tomato sauce, four ounces of browned ground turkey, and a heaping side of broccoli, was just as good as the non-diet version.
Cheat Day: An enormous steak and cheese sub and enough barbecue chips to keep me couched for the rest of the night.
Results: Success! This barely felt like a diet — filet mignon and a baked potato sound good anytime — but I crushed my goal, even though I took the weekends off.

Total Lost: -13.6 lbs.

Photos by Scott M. Lacey