Men who go to slimming classes lose twice as much weight in an all-male environment, according to a new study.

UK researchers found that men who went to classes where there are no women lost almost 14 pounds on average, even after accounting for those who skipped some of the 12 weekly meetings, the Daily Mail reported.

However, men who attended weight loss classes that were mostly dominated by women lost only 7 pounds in 12 weeks, half of what participants in all-male environments lost. 

Participants in the all-male course had lost up to 21 pounds and reduced their waistlines by almost two inches on average.

Experts at the European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France, suggest that the difference could be that some men in the unisex course could be embarrassed about talking about their overweight bodies in front of women.

In contrast, men would feel more competitive and comfortable talking about their weight loss in an all-male environment.

The study consisted of 62 overweight men who attended weekly Weight Watchers meetings without any women.

About two-thirds of the participants had completed the slimming course, and 77 percent of these participants had lost at least 5 percent and many lost more than 10 percent of their body weight.

Lead researcher professor Steven Robertson of Leeds Metropolitan University attributed the weight loss results to the fact that men feel more comfortable around other men and that they enjoy being a part of a team.

“A lot of the men did say that they felt a very female-dominated meeting might put them off contributing or talking about things that were important to them,” said Zoe Hellman, head of public health at Weight Watchers, which funded the research, according to the Daily Mail. 

On average, men are more likely to be overweight but not obese when compared to women.

Overweight men, especially during middle age, are also more have a greater overall health risk than overweight women, like having a greater risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes and obese men are more likely to suffer from kidney stones and gout and are at higher risk of prostate cancer.