We're already in a sex drought and now we ALSO are gaining weight? It seems rather unfair. And it's sad but true that there's a lot of elements of having sex (or NOT having sex) that can impact our weight.
A romp in the sack is great cardio, and aside from making us burn calories, it can be awesome for our metabolism and keep us fit. But it's more than that! Feeling sexy and wanted is good for our self-esteem and confidence, and will lead to us feeling better about ourselves, acting in a healthier way for our body.
And when sex stops? We may be replacing that orgasm with Oreos. True story.
If you find yourself going through a sex drought and reaching for the sugar or carbs (or the endless bottles of wine), you aren't alone. It's a vicious cycle, and the longer we go without getting any, the worse it will ultimately be.
Here are six things that happen to your weight when you stop having sex.
1. You don't burn nearly as many calories.
Some argue that sex helps individuals lose weight because having sex burns calories.
"On average, you burn about 100 calories for every 30 minutes of sex," says Dr. A.J. Marsden, assistant professor of human services and psychology at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida.
2. Your depression can lead to weight gain.
Recent research has shown that sex can help ease depression. But if you aren't getting any, you may be more likely to become depressed.
"For some people, depression often causes weight gain. So there is an indirect correlation between abstinence and weight gain due to an increase in depression," says Dr. Marsden.
3. Your stress levels increase.
Researchers also know that stress can cause people to gain weight.
"Sex naturally alleviates and lessens stress, so in that way, sex may help an individual lose weight because he or she is not as stressed," says Dr. Marsden.
4. Stopping birth control leads to weight loss.
Weight gain is a common side effect of many types of birth control, meaning if you go off birth control when you stop having sex (because, you know, you don't really need it if you aren't getting laid), you may LOSE weight.
5. Body insecurities skyrocket.
When you're having sex with someone frequently, especially a significant other, you begin to feel more comfortable with your body as well as your partner. But if you stop having sex, you might not feel as confident about yourself. Dr. Marsden says, for example, that it's common to gain weight after a marriage ends.
6. You lose your muscle definition.
"Sex, aside from being fun, is also good exercise. I will not say that folks not having sex gain more weight or are doomed to being labeled as less fit; however, a romp in the sack can burn up to 250 calories. Exercise should be a routine part of anyone's health regimen. Part of keeping folks active and exercising means keeping it fun," says OB/GYN and women's health expert Dr. Angela.