New research published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine( May 2016) has found that sticking to a fasting diet not only improves your overall health, including mood and body image but also boosts your sex life too.
As someone who has been doing the 5:2 diet with my husband for the past four years, I totally agree.
Our sex life has always been good but after having children I struggled to lose weight and my husband’s waistline expanded greatly. We are both in our late 40’s and having a family history of heart disease we both wanted to feel fitter and healthier.
My husband Paul would be the first to admit he felt unattractive and overweight. I also found him too heavy during sex and would have to ask him to shift his position, not very sexy or pleasant for either of us.
I also didn’t like my body very much even though Paul did. The rolls of fat over my jeans weren’t a pleasant sight.
Having watch the 2012 BBC Programme, Eat, Fast and Live Longer with Michael Mosley who went on the 5:2 diet, my husband was inspired and after seeing him losing weight after only 2 weeks of fasting, I decided to join him. I’ve done Weight Watchers once before and lost weight but put it back on when I stopped the diet, my husband had never dieted before, although he lost quite a bit of weight when he took up jogging for a while – only to put it back on when the usual jogging injuries starting piling up and he packed it in.
I don’t want to give the impression that the fasting diet is easy – it isn’t especially in the first few weeks, but having made the decision to lose weight together, we flung ourselves into it. Paul lost weight quicker than me but had more to lose but I couldn’t believe I lost over a stone after the first 2 months, while Paul lost 2 stone over 8 months. Although we do not seem to be losing much weight now, we are keeping off the weight we lost.
We both walk each day, I do about 3 miles and he walks around 3-4 miles. This is great as we work together from home and it sets us up for the day.
What has been amazing is the comments we get from friends about our weight loss, especially Paul’s. When you say you’ve been doing the 5:2 diet for the last 4 years they say they couldn’t do it, they’d feel ill.
It’s not easy and our children tend to avoid us on Monday and Thursday evenings when we’ve been fasting all day and are a bit grumpy! We often avoid having sex on these days too as we feel too tired!
We’ve also reduced our alcohol intake but still enjoy our G&T on our non fast evenings.
Running Jo Divine, an online sex toy company and writing about sexual health and pleasure daily, our sex life was good but since the weight loss it has become even better. We both have so much more confidence in the way we look and feel, especially Paul. The change in his body confidence is huge.
Research at the University of the West of England (2012) revealed that men have high levels of anxiety about their bodies. Some men resorted to compulsive exercise, strict diets, taking laxatives or making themselves sick in an attempt to lose weight or achieve a more toned physique. Cosmetic surgery is on the increase for both sexes but in particular for men who are happy to go under the knife for that perfect body. Cosmetic surgery procedures have doubled over the last ten years for purely aesthetic reasons, according to The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). In particular, male breast reduction to combat “moobs” has increased by 13 % in the lest 10 years.
Being overweight not only affects your body confidence but your stamina in the bedroom, making it difficult for you to keep going for longer. For men, it can also make your penis look smaller and cause erectile dysfunction too. More men are going under the knife to increase their size of their penis.
As fat accumulates in the lower abdomen, the apparent size of the penis changes according to Dr Ira Shalip, clinical professor of urology at the University of California. A large pre pubic fat pad can make the penile shaft look shorter; in effect, burying the penis. Many urologists motivate their patients to lose weight by telling them that they will gain at least an inch in size by simply losing weight.
Eating healthily is important to all of us, not just men. Anything that is bad for your heart is bad for your penis, says Dr Andrew McCullough, associate professor of urology at New York University Langone Medical Centre.
Recent research by Weight Watchers (2016) highlighted the problem of body confidence among women. Sadly 27 % said they had sex with the lights off or avoid it completely with 38% think their partner would find them unattractive if they saw them naked and 75% of women dislike their bodies.
We also confide in each other about our sexual fantasies and what we like and don’t like about sex, something we’d never shared despite owning a sex toy company. I like choosing clothes that look and feel more sexy, rather than covering up my figure.
Deciding to do the 5:2 diet is one of the best things we’ve ever done, it is a lifestyle change for us and improved many areas of our health, especially our sex life.
If it can work for us, it could work for you too.