Does Sex Make You Lose Weight or Gain Weight?

  • Medical Reviewer: Dany Paul Baby, MD
Medically Reviewed on 4/13/2022
Unlike many work-outs, sex is an exercise that can help you burn some calories and still have fun while doing it.
Unlike many work-outs, sex is an exercise that can help you burn some calories and still have fun while doing it.

Can you lose weight by having sex?

Definitely. In fact, unlike many work-outs, sex is an exercise that can help you burn some calories and still have fun while doing it. 

That’s not all, though: sex can change how you look and feel and can improve your overall well-being. 

Benefits of sex

Besides being enjoyable, safe sex is healthy and beneficial to your body.

Both men and women experience sexual intercourse differently. However, both men and women can benefit from sex in various ways: 

  • Sex triggers the production of hormones such as oxytocin and prolactin that help your body relax. This relaxation effect may help lower your blood pressure.
  • Safe sex can help your body develop a better immune system. 
  • Having sex also has psychological benefits like improving self-esteem.  
  • Sex helps to improve your mental health status by reducing anxiety and depression.
  • Sexual intercourse triggers the release of hormones that can act as pain-relievers. 
  • Sexual activity with your partner goes a long way toward boosting the intimate connection between the two of you.
  • Sex can help you reduce emotional and physiological stress
  • Sex involves using your pelvic floor muscles. For women, exercising these muscles greatly improves bladder control. When you have better bladder control, you can avoid incontinence, a common bladder control issue affecting many women. 
  • If you’re a man, having sex regularly may help you avoid prostate cancer.
  • Sexual intercourse involves working most of your muscles, which is good for blood circulation.
  • The thrill of having sex strengthens your heart
  • Hormones released during sex might help you sleep better. 

Does sex make you gain weight?

Sex, as a form of exercise, can help you shed weight and keep fit. On average, you can burn approximately 85 to 150 or more calories in a single sexual encounter. Generally, men may burn more calories compared to women, since they are more likely to be more physically active during sex.

Tips for burning more calories during sex

If you’re looking to burn more calories during sex, consider using some of these tactics with your partner: 

  1. Try having sex in different positions. In most cases, men burn more calories than women during sex. If you are a woman looking to burn more calories, try using your core muscles and moving your hips more next time you get on top.  
  2. Consider sighing and moaning more. You might elevate your heartbeat and burn more calories this way. 
  3. Consider fusing squats with sex. Working your thighs and glutes will help you burn more calories.
  4. Fuse push-ups with sex. When your partner is lying on their back, get into the push-up position and try kissing them every time you go down. 
  5. Dance for your partner. Foreplay is a great part of sex and can be good exercise.
  6. Embrace sweating. Steamy sex is more intimate and good for your body.
  7. Include massages. Apart from being sensual, a massage will help improve blood flow to your muscles. This will also make you feel more energized for sex.  
  8. Consider deep penetration. If your partner is okay with it, you can try certain positions that allow deeper penetration. It will involve working more muscles, which will really help if you are trying to burn more calories. 


Which chemical is known simply as the "hormone of love?" See Answer

Common causes of gaining weight

Several contributing factors that might make you gain weight after sex, on the other hand, include:

Hyperprolactinemia. This is due to high levels of prolactin secretion. Prolactin is a hormone found in both men and women, and it is released after having orgasmic sex and during breastfeeding. After an orgasm, your body releases this hormone to help you sleep. If your body produces this hormone in excess quantities, you might gain weight and develop other conditions.

Low testosterone. Testosterone hormone is the main sex hormone in men. It has various uses in the male body like building muscles, promoting hair growth, and deepening the voice. Men with low testosterone levels, though, are more prone to gaining weight unlike men with high testosterone. When your body is unable to build muscle, it stores excess calories as fat. Higher testosterone levels reduce the chances of storing fat. 

High estrogen. Estrogen helps you regulate the reproductive system. High estrogen levels in your body, though, can make you gain weight.

Processed foods. Consuming too many processed foods can make you gain excessive weight. Some processed foods might resemble organic food but are made tastier with more sugars. Processed sugars are empty calories that make you gain weight. 

High insulin levels. Insulin is a vital hormone in the body. Insulin helps your body cells to process and store fats. When your body has high insulin levels, you’re more likely to develop obesity

High sugar intake. Sugar is not only potentially addictive but also a hormone disruptor. High sugar intake can change your natural metabolism by increasing your insulin levels or making you insulin-resistant. Ultimately, this metabolic disruption can lead to excessive weight gain.

Consuming inaccurate information. There is a lot of inaccurate information all over the world regarding weight-loss schemes. Quick weight-loss marketing gimmicks might mislead you into consuming harmful products that can adversely affect your health.

Side effects of excess weight gain in sexual function

Weight gain issues can affect your sexual function if not kept in check. An Impact of Weight on Quality of Life-Lite (IWQOL-lite) survey shows that a high body mass index (BMI) affects sexual function due to physical health-related issues.

Other side effects of excessive weight gain include:

  • Limiting how your body produces sexual hormones like testosterone.
  • Exposing you to psychosocial issues such as depression.
  • Affecting your body image. If you don’t like how you look, you might feel insecure having sex. 
  • Medications like antihypertensives and antidepressants might, due to weight-related health issues, affect your sexual performance.  
  • Predisposing you to cardiovascular health conditions.

Excess weight can affect your sex life directly or indirectly by causing hormonal imbalance, metabolism disorders, and psychological issues. Consider visiting a doctor if your weight is affecting your sex life.

Medically Reviewed on 4/13/2022
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Federal Trade Commission: "The Truth Behind Weight Loss Ads."

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New York University: "Americans Are Eating More Ultra-Processed Foods."

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The Journal of clinical investigation: "Obesity and insulin resistance."