Myth: Sex is Great for Weight Loss

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Having sex is not a great form of exercise and will probably not help with weight loss.  

young couple in bed

Young couple in bed

This concept is total bullshit.  I am sorry if I insulted your sensibilities.  To be honest with you, this is just not a great way to lose weight.

Sure, you could burn up to 300 calories if you lasted 80 minutes[1]. Oh wait, the average sexual encounter lasts only about 6-8 minutes. That means that the average man burns about 10-30 calories and yes, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt.

Research on sex and calories burned:

  1. Sex burns very few calories. One study from 2013 found that men burned about 100 calories and women burned about 76 calories[2].

The Bottom Line: Sex is not better than exercise.  If calories burned is your goal, you would be better off walking.  But the story is more complicated than this.  Sex also reduces stress and has anti-depressive effects.  I would recommend that it is not an either-or situation.  Do your body good: have sex and exercise.  

Footnotes
[1]Smith, “SEX TIPS How Many Calories You Burn During 20 Different Sex Positions.”
[2]Frappier et al., “Energy Expenditure during Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples.”
Frappier, Julie, Isabelle Toupin, Joseph J. Levy, Mylene Aubertin-Leheudre, and Antony D. Karelis. “Energy Expenditure during Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples.” Edited by Conrad P. Earnest. PLoS ONE. Public Library of Science (PLoS), October 24, 2013. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079342
Smith, Brittany. “SEX TIPS How Many Calories You Burn During 20 Different Sex Positions.” Men’s Fitness. Accessed February 24, 2017. http://www.mensfitness.com/women/sex-tips/how-many-calories-you-burn-during-20-different-sex-positions.
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About the Author

ChuckH

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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