Proven benefits of SHED-IT
SHED-IT is easy to use and has delivered outstanding, sustained weight-loss results in rigorous randomised controlled trial testing, with men who use the program as recommended losing almost 10kgs throughout the 12 week program (4-5kg on average). These results are comparable with intensive weight loss programs that require multiple face-to-face sessions.
Additional proven health benefits
- Reduced waist circumference, blood pressure, percent body fat and visceral fat area
- Improved resting heart rate
- Increased physical activity
- Improved depressive symptoms and quality of life (physical and mental)
- Reduced risky alcohol behavior
- Improvements in erectile dysfunction
- Reduced meal portion size
Sustained weight loss results
A recent study looked at the long term success of men who had lost weight using the SHED-IT Program. On average, the men lost 7.4 kg in the first 3 months. Three years later, the men had retained 60% of this weight loss, even though they received no additional support!
To put this in perspective, these results are significantly better than most scientifically evaluated weight loss programs (Dombrowski,, 2014) and comparable to intensive programs including a recent U.S. study, where participants received 20 face-to-face sessions during weight loss and 12 follow-up consultations after the program had finished (Svetkey, 2008).
What does the academic literature say about SHED-IT?
The unique approach of SHED-IT has been commended by international researchers as “A momentous step toward addressing the long overlooked need to develop behavioural weight control programs that appeal predominantly to men and have wide reaching potential to impact obesity among the male half of our population”
Befort (2013). Bridging the gender gap in Behavioural Obesity Intervention: a Comment on Morgan et al. Annals of Behavioural Medicine, 45(2), 133-134.
- Young, MD et al (2017). Efficacy of a Gender-Tailored Intervention to Prevent Weight Regain in Men over 3 Years: A Weight Loss Maintenance RCT, Obesity, 25 (1), 56-65.
- Young MD et al (2015) Test of Social Cognitive Theory to Explain Men’s Physical Activity During a Gender-Tailored Weight Loss Program. American Journal of Men's Health, accepted July 2015
- Young MD et al (2015). Behavioral mediators of weight loss in the SHED-IT community randomized controlled trial for overweight and obese men, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 49(2), 286-92.
- Morgan PJ et al (2014). Associations between program outcomes and adherence to Social Cognitive Theory tasks: Process evaluation of the SHED-IT community weight loss trial for men, International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11:89.
- Blomfield RL et al (2014). Impact of Self-help Weight Loss Resources With or Without Online Support on the Dietary Intake of Overweight and Obese Men: The SHED-IT randomised controlled trial, Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, 8(5), e476-87.
- Collins CE et al(2013). Improvement in erectile function following weight loss in obese men: The SHED-IT randomized controlled trial, Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, 7 (6), e450-e454.
- Morgan PJ et al (2013). The SHED-IT community trial: a randomized controlled trial of Internet- and paper-based weight loss programs tailored for overweight and obese men. Annals of Behavioural Medicine, 45(2), 139-152.
- Morgan PJ et al (2011). Engaging men in weight loss: Experiences of men who participated in the male only SHED-IT pilot study. Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, 5(3), e239-e248.
- Collins CE et al (2011). Men participating in a weight loss intervention are able to implement key dietary messages, but not those relating to vegetables or alcohol: The Self-Help, Exercise and Diet using Internet Technology (SHED-IT) study. Public Health Nutrition. 14(1), 168-175.
- Morgan PJ et al (2011). 12-month outcomes and process evaluation of the SHED-IT RCT: An internet-based weight loss program targeting men. Obesity, 19(1), 142-151.
- Morgan PJ et al (2010). The SHED-IT community trial study protocol: a randomized controlled trial of weight loss programs for overweight and obese men. BMC Public Health, 10, 701.
- Morgan PJ et al (2009). SHED-IT randomized controlled trial: Evaluation of an internet-based weight-loss program for men. Obesity, 17(11), 2025-2032.
The SHED-IT Research Team
Lead Investigator and Founder - Dr. Philip Morgan (BEd (HPE) (Hons), PhD)
Phil is a Professor in Education at the University of Newcastle. He is regarded as an international expert in understanding and promoting healthy lifestyles in men. Phil has won numerous national and international awards for his research into weight loss programs specifically designed for men.
Dr. Clare Collins (BSc, Dip Nutr&Diet, Dip Clin Epi, PhD)
Clare is a Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle. She is a Fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australia, a well-known media commentator on nutrition and leader of the largest group of Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) researchers in Australia.
Dr. Robin Callister (BPharm, MSc, PhD)
Robin is a Professor in Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy at the University of Newcastle. She is an exercise physiologist with over 20 years of research experience and a pharmacist registered in NSW.
Dr. Ron Plotnikoff (BAEd (PE), PhD)
Ron is a Professor in Education at the University of Newcastle and Director of the Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition. Ron is an internationally regarded researcher in population health and physical activity research.
Dr. Myles Young (BPsyc (Hons), PhD)
Myles is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Newcastle. He was awarded his PhD in May 2015 and completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons 1A) in 2009. Myles’ research is focused on the development and testing of theory-based, gender-tailored weight loss and weight loss maintenance programs for men.
Davids Story: “Before SHED-IT I had tried nearly every kind of fad and fast-fix diet. They work at first, but as soon as you come off the diet, the weight piles back on. The SHED-IT program changed my whole approach to diet and exercise. The program has changed my life.”
“The structure of the program gave me simple insights and tools. Its simplicity is it's genius!" 57 years old (lost 8 kg)
“the most realistic weight loss program ever! I now have better control over when to stop eating and when to avoid foods that are kilojoule dense.” 39 years old (lost 5 kg)
“practical and realistic. It seemed like it was aimed at me as an overweight male. Everything else I had looked at was for women.” 42 years old (lost 11 kg)
“taught me to make small changes like reducing the snack foods I was eating and doing extra exercise. I couldn’t believe that weight loss could be so simple. 21 years old (lost 10 kg)
“This program has completely changed my life. I was really battling with my weight and health, but now I know I’m in control.” 58 years old (lost 8 kg)
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should use SHED-IT?
- Overweight men (BMI 25-42 kgm-2) aged >18 years, looking to shed a few kilo’s, with access to a mobile phone or computer with internet facilities.
- Men with a higher risk of medical problems may require closer supervision and support than that provided in the SHED-IT program. If you meet any of the following criteria it is recommended you seek professional medical advice prior to participating in SHED-IT:
- Age> 65 years
- BMI < 20 or >42 kgm-2
- Medical conditions including, suffering from cancer, liver disease (e.g. cirrhosis), kidney or gastrointestinal disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease), renal failure, coeliac disease and malabsorption diseases, epilepsy, gall bladder disorder or stones, gout, thyroid disease (overactive), angina, chest pain (undiagnosed) or severe shortness of breath, cardiac arrhythmia, heart disease or high blood cholesterol, heart attack, high blood pressure uncontrolled by medication
- Type 1 or 2 diabetes
- Taking medications that contain mono-amine oxidase inhibitors, lithium, anticoagulants (e.g. Warfarin), steroids, or medicated for arthritis
- Undergone major surgery less than 3 months ago
- Previous coronary bypass surgery
- If you are following a medically prescribed diet for a health problem
- Physical limitations that may reduce exercising capacity including musculoskeletal, joint or arthritic conditions
- Eating disorders, food allergies and/or sensitivities
Information for GPs and Health Professionals
SHED-IT (Self-Help, Exercise, Diet & Information Technology) is an evidence based Men’s weight loss program developed by internationally regarded Men’s health researcher, Professor Philip Morgan, and a team of experts in weight loss, exercise physiology, physical activity, psychology and nutrition at the University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition.
SHED-IT has been specifically tailored for men and includes examples and scenarios that men can relate to and commonly experience. SHED-IT teaches men how to achieve realistic and sustainable weight loss by providing weight loss information (energy balance, calculating total energy expenditure and tracking energy intake) and outlining nine key weight loss messages.
SHED-IT instructs men in how to track their weight and waist circumference; eating and exercise and to identify and record sources of social support and personal weight, physical activity and eating goals. Men are also instructed to track their steps using the provided pedometer and aim for a weekly average of at least 10,000 steps per day. Users are advised to consult their doctor or an appropriate allied health professional prior to participating in more vigorous physical activities.
Can women use SHED-IT?
While SHED-IT is targeted specifically towards men, the information delivered in SHED-IT is also very relevant for women. In fact, many men participating in our previous SHED-IT men’s weight loss research have used the program with their wives/partners as a great way of motivating each other and losing weight together.
Please note, women who are pregnant or breast feeding should seek professional medical advice prior to using SHED-IT.