There are several opinions and school of thoughts, interestingly backed by science (or should we say, ‘supposed to be backed by science’) when it comes to sex and weight loss.
There are researchers who argue that having too much sex is making women gain weight while others say that having a lot of sex helps women lose weight and burn calories. With the level at which people are adding or gaining weight these days, who wouldn’t be thrilled and jump in on the opinion that you can lose weight while having fun and pleasure.
About 2,400 women were recently asked by Fitness Magazine if they were willing to sacrifice a whole year of having sex to be skinny and those who said yes were about 51%. This evidently tells you that so many women are having issues with their body and self-esteem. Well, if you are one of those women, we are going to place some facts before you can evaluate or re-evaluate you the belief you may now hold.
SEX AND WEIGHT LOSS
Can sex make you lose weight?
Sex as a workout strategy? That is incredible! Who would not love the idea? Just think about it: have fun in bed, have orgasm with it, burn some calories along the way too and when you get up, you are in great shape, all at no extra effort. Won’t that be amazing? It sure would. But is it true? Well let’s find out.
You actually burn some calories while having sex. This is no myth as it is a well-known fact that you expend energy while making love. The average or middle figure estimated by experts is 100 calories for 30 minutes of passionate sex. (Some say 80, some 100, some 150 and some others 200. The number just varies.) If you are having enough sex, those calories could really add up.
For you to lose a pound of body weight, you need to burn up 3,500 calories. Now if you were burning 100 calories for each time you had sex, it would mean you would have to make love 35 times to lose a pound. That sounds great but could you or do you reach that number per week? If sex is your life and you have it as many as 5 times per day, maybe you could. You could have it for longer periods and more often to burn even more calories but that’s highly unlikely, right?!
A major thing here is, so many people are not having actual sex for up to 30 minutes, and they are equally not having it as often as 5 times daily. It is said that the biggest increase in blood pressure and heart rate while having sex occurs for about 15 seconds during orgasm, after which everything returns to normal quickly.
Also, you do not probably work as hard as you think you do while having sex, except you are back-flipping or running like a race horse in the process (and I don’t know how that will work, doesn’t sound awesome and passionate to me). The amount f stress on the heart of young married men during sex, according to some studies, is just about what you get when you walk up two flights of stairs. Your heart rate rarely increases above 130 so this is considered to be moderate to mild physical activity.
What this simply means is this: you are obviously dong something, but it is not enough for it to be counted as a real exercise. Now if you are not physically fit or you are older and have to work a lot harder to have an orgasm, sex for you, may be a bit more strenuous. But even that won’t do as much as it is advertised.
For an adult, the current recommendations for you to be healthy are for you to aim at having a two and a half hour of moderately strenuous physical activity per week. That’s about the same level of physical effort as dancing or brisk walking. And unless you are having sex with such ‘vigorous vigor’ and for much longer (and maybe even as often as five times daily), you will probably not get anywhere near the amount of exercise recommended. If you assume you will be able to achieve this by having fun between the sheets, by all means go for it. Most people don’t get enough or do enough to reap the benefit of this ‘great exercise’.
There are those who say that certain positions that feel like an adults-only game of Twister will help you actually boost burn rate a bit. That may be true but we do not yet have proven facts totally backed by science. Some of it is still theory and speculations.
Sex is not that useless when it comes to weight loss. It has its way of impacting your weight. Want to find out? Here it is: sex does curb you fat and carb cravings. How? The high-anxiety hormone, cortisol, can be kept in check by having regular sex. Now this sounds good because with so much cortisol in your system, your appetite for high carb, high fat foods will be boosted and your body will have to store the excess calories around your midsection.
A romp in the hay can turn this around by short-circuiting the cortisol’s ill effect. Yes. Sex is known to dampen the ‘flight or fight’ response to tension of your body to events that provoke tension. Even when everything around you is turning upside down, intercourse (especially) does calm your blood pressure. So instead of an unstoppable craving for Twinkies possessing you, you remain very serene. So this stress buffer may make for a midsection that is slimmer (not by taking out what’s already there though, it just prevents you from adding to it.)
SEX AND WEIGHT GAIN
Can sex make you gain weight?
Several women and maybe even you ask questions similar to the one I’m about to ask. They say “I have heard other women say that women start to put on weight on their hips and breasts when they start having sex regularly. Is it true? I just got married (or I’m about to get married) but don’t want to get fat.” Well, let us also consider this too. Could it really be true?
Some studies say that women do gain weight on their hips and breasts the minute they start making love. According to some researchers this may be due to the hormone prolactin which stimulates fatherly love and milk production. Especially when orgasm is reached after sex, there is increase in the blood levels of the hormone. And with the inclusion of humans who suffer hyperprolactinaemia (a condition where one has chronically high levels of prolactin), increased blood level of prolactin has been associated with weight gain in some species.
The thing with this research is that the level of prolactin in the blood or prolactin release after sex is a short-term surge and cannot be used o compare a medical condition such as hyperprolactinaemia.
Another study, a recent one, dispels the thought that there is a link between sex and women being fat. It showed that there are no physiological reasons for the hips and breasts to become bogus, enlarged and disfigured when women begin having sex. Scientist argue that due to the fact that during sex, some calories are burned, sex may even tip to favor weight loss by minimal amounts (as already covered) and not weight gain. They also argue that there is no possible means for ejaculated semen to be digested and assimilated into the bloodstream during normal sex and that if it even happened, the amount of calories contained in the average ejaculation, which is 2-3ml, is 15 calories which in itself is not enough.
So what may be responsible for weight gain in women who may not eating unhealthily then? I offer a few thoughts for you to consider.
First of all, it is good to note that the fact that many people do gain weight after marriage is true both for men and women. This weight gain has nothing to do with sex for men or women but a lot to do with the associated sense of security and the comfort of being in relationship. Some studies have shown that single people are less likely to eat more than people in a relationship. You may need to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly if you don’t want to gain weight after marriage.
Another good reason may be that when a woman moves in with a man, since men often require more calories per day and therefore, often eat more, when they eat meals together, she may end up eating the same things with the man in comparable quantities. Together with the security of being in a happy relationship may come a bigger appetite that she may not notice, so you may be eating more than she normally does. This will of course cause her to gain some weight.
A reason for some women to consider may be that they are adding weight because of the birth control pills they are taking. This sure is not for every woman to consider, just those who may be on these pills. Some of the common side effects of these birth control pills are headache, nausea and breast tenderness. But for a few women, the side effect of the pill may include weight gain as a result of fluid retention. This is usually not in significant amounts though and as stated already, not for the majority of women. And as with the other side effects of the pill possible, the gain in weight is typically temporal and disappears in two to three months.
Taking a closer look at these birth control pills, there are basically two types of pills: the progestin-only pill and the combination pills that contain progestin and estrogen. The same type of is used in various doses in most birth control pills but the progestin formulation may differ in each. What this means is that each brand of pill possibly offers a slightly different hormone type at different doses. The result of this of course is that the side effects will be potentially different.
Weight gain while on these pills is a temporary and an uncommon side effect but if you happen to be among the few women who gain some weight, you may have to talk with your doctor.