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Shed Pounds and Spice Up Your Sex Life

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Updated February 15, 2014


If you’re looking for one more motivation to lose weight, look no further: Recent research shows slimming down can help spice up your sex life!

The best part? When it comes to improving things in the bedroom, a little loss goes a long way.

A study presented at the 2005 annual scientific meeting of The Obesity Society shows a moderate amount of weight loss can have a positive impact on how we feel about our sexuality.

Small Change, Big Difference
Dr. Martin Binks of Duke University in Durham, NC, lead author of the study, reported that subjects who lost just 10 percent of their total body weight felt the quality of their sex lives had markedly improved.

Pinpointing the Problems
The participants -- who were predominantly female -- had an average BMI of 41 at the beginning of the study; their average age was 45. About 75% of the participants reported that they were experiencing sexual problems as the study commenced.

The problems described in the criteria of the study included, but were not limited to: lack of desire and enjoyment, difficulty in performing, and avoiding opportunities for sexual encounters.

Women's Feelings About Their Sexuality Greatly Improved
Women were more likely to report feeling unattractive or being unwilling to be seen naked by their partners than men. At the end of the study, only about 25 percent of women still reported feeling sexually unattractive; they had lost an average of 12 percent of their starting weight.

Researchers found that all problem areas -- from trouble performing to lack of pleasure -- improved significantly as the numbers on the scale decreased. “We saw very dramatic reductions in the number of people reporting difficulty following moderate weight loss,” Binks stated.

Motivation Matters
Binks, a clinical psychologist and director of behavioral health at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center, explained that quality of life improvements can help inspire us to keep losing: “If people experience benefits and rewards from weight loss and healthy efforts, it may help motivate them to continue ..." he said.

Participants experienced the most significant improvement in sexual quality of life during the first three months of the study (coinciding with an average 11.8 percent weight loss), the researchers reported. And the positive results remained constant as participants continued to lose weight.

It's a Guy Thing, Too
Though fewer men than women were tracked during the study, Binks says similar improvements were reported by them. For example, at the beginning of the study, about 19 percent of the male participants said they avoided sexual encounters; at the end, only five percent reported doing so.


This article includes information adapted from a news release provided by Duke University Health System via DukeHealth.org.


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