Obesity can impact everything from a man’s physical health to his self-esteem, but did you know that obesity can also impact erectile function? Recent research has linked obesity with an increased risk of erectile dysfunction. (Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which men struggle to keep or maintain an erection during intercourse).
There are many reasons why obesity can complicate a man’s erectile function. One of the main reasons is that obesity can negatively interfere with a man’s hormone levels. A recent University of Florence study that was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found a link between a man’s testosterone levels and his degree of obesity.
According to the research findings, the more obese the study participants were, the lower their levels of testosterone were. Testosterone plays an important role in sexual function, including in libido and sexual response, and lower levels of this hormone could negatively impact a man’s sexual desire and performance. Obesity can also cause diabetes, and decreased sexual function and libido can accompany a diabetes diagnosis.
Additionally, obesity can impact erectile function because it increases blood pressure and decreases blood flow to the penis. Obesity can cause hardening of the arteries which in turn decreases blood circulation. This is why difficulty reaching orgasm can be one of the early warning signs of heart disease. Simply put, if your heart isn’t healthy and your blood circulation is impeded, then your sexual function is going to take a hit.
However, there is good news. A recent Australian study found that obese men who lost just 5% to 10% of their body weight were able to improve their sexual function. While losing weight takes effort, the vast benefits of dropping even just a few pounds can do wonders for your physical health and your sex life. For most men, the thought of improved sexual function can be enough to encourage them to eat more veggies and get more exercise.
Here are some other ideas to help you lose weight for better sex:
- Move more. It’s really that simple. Find an exercise that you enjoy and stick with it. Make a habit of working out at least 30 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week. And don’t forget strength training. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you build muscle, you can burn more calories even when you aren’t working out.
- Avoid fad diets. Any diet that asks you to cut out food groups or skip meals isn’t going to work in the long-term. Instead, simply try to eat whole, fresh foods whenever possible. Avoid the junk food aisles in the grocery store and try to shop the outer aisles. This is usually where the produce and healthy options can be found.
- Look out for so-called ‘healthy’ foods. You might think that smoothies, yogurt and granola are inherently healthy, but some of these foods have just as much sugar as a candy bar! Always read the labels and keep an eye out for hidden sugar and calories.
Remember, you should always talk to your doctor before undergoing any diet or exercise plan.