Win 1: More confidence and motivation
Anyone who’s worked hard to lose weight will tell you that it can trigger a huge lift in your self-esteem. Suddenly, mirrors are your friend. You’re no longer ducking out of the frame when someone tries to take a photo. And then there’s clothes shopping, way more fun when everything, well, fits.
If you’re single, that newfound confidence can also boost your overall body image, says John Aiken, psychologist and author of Making Couples Happy. “Feeling great about the clothes you wear, being excited about showing off the new you, having a sense of positivity about the future … overall, it’s all really attractive,” he adds.
Sexologist Nikki Goldstein says this extra self-esteem can put some much-needed sizzle back in your sex life, too – whether that’s being cool with being naked around your partner or more body confident about what you want to try in bed. “The premise of great sex is about being able to love yourself and be confident with who you are, and I think that feeds into your physical appearance.”
Also read: How to go from the Gym to Glam with Ease
Win 2: He’ll perform better
We probably don’t need to tell the overweight blokes reading right now just how much of a passion killer excess body weight can be. That spare tyre can lower your levels of testosterone and raise your risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) because it interferes with blood flow to the penis. If you have diabetes, your risk for developing ED is higher, because of changes in blood flow that the condition causes.
But don’t despair. Countless studies show that weight loss can improve testosterone levels and sexual performance in obese guys. In one study, Irish researchers found that losing weight raised testosterone levels by up to 15 percent. And, a small Australian study on obese men with diabetes found that losing just 5-10 percent of body weight improved sexual function and boosted libido.
Overall, the physiological knock-on of weight loss can’t be underestimated, says Aiken. “There are studies to show that losing weight can stimulate sex hormones, control cholesterol and blood sugar levels and even get more blood flowing to the pelvic area,” he says.
Win 3: Her orgasms will be easier – and possibly more plentiful
That blood flow issue, well it’s not just a guy problem. Research shows that women who are overweight may find that the blood vessels leading to the clitoris are affected by poor blood flow. This can mean they may be less sexually responsive. Doctors also theorise that carrying extra body fat can cause hormonal changes that can make it harder to get in the mood.
The good news is if you’ve lost weight or are losing weight, you’re probably exercising a fair amount, increasing blood flow to the genitals – and noticing the happy knock-on effects of easier arousal and a higher libido.
Oh, and while you don’t have to become an athlete to benefit, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine DID show that elite female sportswomen – primarily volleyball and handball players – had better clitorial blood flow and more positive sexual function than a group of sedentary women of the same age. Hello, cross-trainer!
Win 4: You could become more adventurous
It’s hardly rocket science that carrying too much extra weight can leave you tired, more sluggish and lacking in energy. Plus, the odds of you wanting sex are probably not going to be as high as someone who’s fitter, says Goldstein. “This is where libido is confused with physical capabilities.”
Apart from bumping up your energy levels and making you want sex more, weight loss can also ramp up your performance from a practical point of view. “You might be able to try various sexual positions that were impossible before. Or you’ll be okay having sex with the lights on or not having to have sex under the covers. You might be keen to experiment more or have longer sex sessions because you’re not too tired to keep going.”
Of course, this won’t be the case for everyone so if you’re older or have other health conditions it’s important to monitor your progress with your GP and ask questions about what you can and can’t do. In some cases, that chandelier might have to wait!