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?
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