As you progress on your weight loss journey, there are many added benefits to appreciate along the way.
As well as becoming healthier, looking better, and even getting smarter, you’ll also feel more energized.
And what better way to release that added energy than by getting hot under the sheets with your partner?
It’s an unfortunate fact that being overweight can reduce your sexual desire, but research also shows that eating better and exercising can significantly improve your sex life.
Here, we explain how excess weight can limit sex drive, and you can help fuel your sexual desires by getting healthy and losing weight!
How Weight Issues Affect Sexual Desire
If you feel less sexual and are struggling with your weight, then you’re not alone; there is a direct and established link between obesity and a drop in sexual desire:
1. Physical Issues
Sadly, many people are internalizing society’s definition of what it takes to be sexually desirable, which can result in their own sexual desires diminishing if they feel that their bodies do not ‘measure up.’
However, while overweight people may have psychological barriers influencing their sexual drive, obesity also has a negative physical effect on sexual desire.
Studies show that medical conditions often linked with excess weight, such as high cholesterol and insulin resistance, can impact sexual performance, affecting desire.
Although this effect is particularly seen in men, overweight women’s sex drive and desires are affected by the same problem due to a lack of blood flow to the genital area.
When this happens, a woman’s body becomes far less responsive, which often means that a fall in desire is not far behind.
To further complicate the issue for both men and women, the more body fat you have, the higher your levels of a chemical called SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin), which binds to testosterone, meaning there is less testosterone available to stimulate desire.
2. Body Image Issues
For some people, getting physical problems under control is all it takes to get back the desire, but for others, one of the biggest obstacles to enjoying sex at any size is a poor body image.
There is a misconception in our society that accepting our bodies will somehow remove the motivation to change ourselves, whereby we are almost told to hate our bodies before we can improve them.
But this is simply not true; research into body image and weight loss has found that acceptance and love for our bodies promotes weight loss success and inspires you to continue healthy eating habits as you progress on your weight loss journey.
Sexual desire is a big part of this, as the weight becomes less of an issue when we simply feel healthier and sexier.
In reality, the epitome of sexuality is abandoning self-consciousness to experience the moment intensely, but achieving this level of inhibition can be difficult.
How to Boost Your Sex Drive
The good news is that losing as little as 10 lbs can reduce the effects of SHBG and immediately free up enough testosterone to boost your love life.
In fact, making the same healthy diet changes you are making as part of your weight loss journeys, such as eating more fruit and vegetables, also helps turn your sex drive around, even before you begin to lose weight.
The reason for this is thought to be that when people take better care of themselves, they also report a substantial increase in their sex drive due to more active participation in a healthy lifestyle, and thanks to the mood-boosting powers of exercise and healthy foods like these.
Exercises designed to increase circulation to the genitals can also make a big difference, particularly for women.
Any activity that increases blood flow to the large muscle groups in the buttocks, thighs, and pelvis – such as yoga, brisk walking, or cycling for 20 minutes three times a week – will result in better arousal and orgasmic function and ultimately a return of sexual desire.
So, if you needed any added motivation to get active, then the promise of better orgasms might just seal the deal!
When you feel an increased sexual desire, participating in sex is a great way to boost your sex drive further, increasing circulation even more.
And of course, sex boosts weight loss, not least because it can burn up to 400 calories an hour!
In terms of body image and the psychological factors affecting sex drive, try some self-appreciation; take the focus off how you look and be grateful for how your body moves and all the amazing things it allows you to do.
With this mindset, you can help to improve your body image as you lose weight by learning to accept and be comfortable with your body, even if you’re not where you want to be yet in terms of your weight.
Indulging in a massage from your partner can help with this, as can these great tips on how to love your body.
As hard as it is, don’t buy into society’s idea of the perfect sexual body, and allow your sexuality and sensuality to thrive inside your body.
The good news is that research into the links between adopting a healthier lifestyle and improvements in your sex life shows us that a little goes a long way to improve both sexual desire and feelings about body image and sexuality.
Female participants in a study by Duke University’s Diet and Fitness Center reported that they felt unattractive and unwilling to be seen naked at the start of the study.
Still, following a moderate weight loss of around 10 percent of their starting weight, the women’s feelings about their sexuality greatly improved.
Furthermore, this weight loss and subsequent improvement in their body image resulted in a dramatic decrease in problems with sexual desire.
These kinds of added benefits to weight loss can help inspire you to keep up with your new healthy lifestyle and motivate you to lose more weight as you continue to progress.
Learning to accept and appreciate your body can be more of a personal challenge than losing weight to some. Still, it is undoubtedly true that losing weight can only help to boost your self-confidence and energy levels.
This means that enjoying a healthy sex life is that much easier the closer you get to your goal weight!