Monday, February 13, 2012

What if I told you sex could help you lose weight?

She's smiling because she just burned some calories, he's smiling...well you know.
Everyone has certain holidays they like more than others; Valentines Day isn’t one I particularly care for. Rather than talking about aphrodisiac foods and romance, I thought why beat around the bush (hmn wonder where that expression really came from); let’s talk about sex and weight. How does weight impact sex and sex impact weight? And what about exercise, does it give you a release or make you want additional “releasing”? For goodness sake, if I can write about bowel movements I should be able to discuss anything.

Fat and Sex
Being overweight can negatively affect libido. A study from Duke found that 30% of obese people seeking to control weight reported problems with sex drive, desire, performance or the trifecta, all three. One issue is the more fat you have the higher the levels of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin). This hormone caper binds to testosterone. Dr Andrew McCullough director of sexual health and male infertility at NYU explains that high cholesterol and insulin resistance can also affect sexual performance. Both conditions affect arteries and can cause “tiny arteries in the penis to shut down, particularly when vessel-clogging fatty deposits begin to form.” I cannot imagine the impact to cardiovascular health if, instead of talking about cholesterol meds and heart health, physicians told men their penises would shut down. For the record, it’s not just men. “We are beginning to see that the width of blood vessels leading to the clitoris are affected by the same kind of blockages that impact blood flow to the penis.” The female facts were supplied by Dr Susan Kellogg of the Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute in Philly. The good news (or bad news depending) is that weight loss, in as little as eight weeks improved sexual markers substantially.

Sex and Weight Loss
If men would listen up if faced with a penile shut down, you say weight loss and I promise have a woman’s attention. I learned that kissing for an hour burns 68 calories but that’s not all that exciting. Sixty-eight calories isn’t even a snack and AN HOUR? I’m a busy lady. Sex on the other hand has a 200-ish per half hour calorie burn. Of course, without getting technical, as with any exercise intensity matters. Bystanders don’t burn as much. I’m not suggesting you wear your heart rate monitor (how sexy) but you may as well really go for it.  I’m not sure if it adds credibility but there was actually a book published on this subject  The Ultimate Sex Diet promoting the potential for weight loss via sex  (oh yeah and healthy eating too). This is probably best for those in a relationship because nobody wants to lose weight and gain gonorrhea. Husbands out there I suggest you use this information to your advantage. As I said, “not tonight I have a headache” could quickly be turned around with this valuable info.  Just be careful “honey, you need to lose weight and this could help” isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Exercise and Sex
For a variety of reasons exercise improves sex drive. Adrenaline energizes you, endorphins leave you feeling good and feeling fit can improve confidence and self esteem. Interestingly, yoga gets a lot of votes for the best exercise for improving your sex drive. Instead of theorizing about yoga and sex I’ll simply include this passage:
Yoga also improves flexibility making for creative positions such as splits and straddles.  Other benefits of yoga include an increase in blood flow to your pelvis which heightens sensitivity and increases desire. And yoga strengthens the pelvic floor which makes for stronger contractions and a more intense orgasm.  Yoga also clears your mind for a deeper understanding of you and your partner’s needs and desires.
Enough said. I’m a nutritionist not a sexpert.
Have you ever considered the calorie burning potential of sex? Would you have sex more because of this? Where do you stand on Valentines Day?
You have until midnight 2/14 to enter our chocolate giveaway.


  1. Not a huge fan of Valentine's Day, though it does mark 10 years since our FIRST DATE! I am going to go sneak into a fashion show with a friend rather than stress out on trying to have a romantic evening. That's the mark of a mature relationship, I do say. Besides, every day is Valentine's Day in this relationship....bwah-hahahahaha! I had heard that sex was a calorie burner...I wonder how many couples really go hot and heavy for the full hour. I think we might be lucky to burn 50! OK, now I've said too much.

  2. I dislike valentine's day.. nuff said.

    Less weight means more positions and being more comfortable. When you're 300lbs, you can't put your full weight on the other person. In men, a lot of weight can also cause ED..

    I watch the comedy Mike & Molly and can't imagine what it is like for 2 very over weight people.. by the way, there is no way they both sleep in that bed.. what is it? a double?

  3. Funny as always L - I agree if only doctors would warn men about dangers of being overweight/cvd w the penis-shut-down scare we'd see some serious results. There's also the sperm health and quality of diet link for wanna be dads.
    As far as weight loss, 200 per half an hour high intensity is great and all but tell me where are you finding these men?! ha
    I'm not a fan of red roses and all the other cliches, but i'm the dork who doesn't mind vday

  4. Cameo- 200 for half an hour, forget an hour! I don't know Mike and Molly Bzybee. With the info about both men and women "restricted" with extra weight I'm sure it takes its toll. Carolyn, only 1 man I found, found him in 1993 so maybe that's why I'm over Val Day.

  5. Anyone else find it funny the calorie-burning rate for sex is measured per half-hour? I guess it sounds slightly more realistic that way, though still kind of impressive. Doctors should definitely talk more about healthy lifestyle choices and sex—maybe more people would feel motivated to take care of themselves.

    Though not anti-Valentine's Day per se, I'm not a fan—too many expectations, whether you're single or in a couple. I'm having some girlfriends over for dinner & a movie instead.

  6. I still think 30 minutes is a lot, especially during the week. I'm with you Cameo.

  7. Favorite quote:
    "I cannot imagine the impact to cardiovascular health if, instead of talking about cholesterol meds and heart health, physicians told men their penises would shut down."
    Love it! This definitely would work better.
    It's like smoking... I think for some people connecting smoking and impotence is more effective than smoking and disease.
    Great article!!

  8. Love that I can come here every Monday morning for a new and entertaining topic each week! Great points made here, although I agree that a half hour seems mighty long, especially during a busy week. Isn't the new trend shorter sessions of Super high intensity interval training anyway? I left you a comment on my blog, although my weekly menu plan is seeming a little dull compared to your post :-) V-day is highly overrated!

  9. I love your posts.

    I vaguely recall a Dr. Oz segment where he told men that they would gain an extra inch of length for every 20#s lost. Did anyone else see that or am I crazy? And I'll attest that our sex life is best when we're at healthier weights. I don't know if it's because we're more agile or more confident with our bodies, but it's certainly true for this couple.

    Not a fan of VDay. Like NYE, there's a lot of manufactured pressure and it kind of feels like amateur hour. Colin and I both said at the same time last night, "Let's not make a big deal of VDay this year." Great!

  10. Ha, this post was great!
    This is my first Valentine's Day in some time so I will be using this information to my advantage. ha.

  11. I don't care much about Valentine's Day. In ten years, my husband have only been in the city (and country) on Valentine's Day twice, so it's just another day for me. I think my cause-and-effect goes the other way...when I'm feeling healthy and fit, I'm much more interested in sex. So if sex makes me fitter...and being fitter makes me want more sex...well, where will it ever end?!? Ha!

  12. I hear you stephanie. When we're fit we "need" it less but want it more, is that what you're saying? I'm all about incentives and multitasking. If I can watch the bachelor and burn 100, sounds efficient. Kristen, maybe swanky boyfriend will make you even more svelte. Marie- totally manufactured. I have fun with the day for my kids but please, show me you love me by setting the coffee machine. #easytopleaseinsomeways.

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  15. I don't mind Valentine's Day. Another excuse to have a good meal during the week :) My home made sauerkraut is a week old, I might do something with some of it as an appetizer.
    And I am definitely going to look into Yoga.

  16. When I say Valentines, you think of ...sauerkraut- love it Natalie. Enjoy the yoga too. Now I get the whole yogi thing.

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