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Increase Sex Drive with these Five Strategies
Sex drive is a hot topic these days. However, many articles that show us how to improve sex drive neglect hormonal imbalances, which contribute to low libido, erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems.
Numerous culprits, including high-sugar diets, knock these hormones out of whack. Others aren’t so obvious.
Studies show drinking diet soda daily significantly increases our risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes, draining our sex drive in the bargain.
So can a low-fat diet. One study with 30 healthy, middle-aged men, found those who switched to a lower-fat diet had a significant decrease in serum total testosterone concentrations. Another study found lowering dietary fat in 39 healthy, middle-aged men, led to a 12 percent consistent lowering of circulating androgen levels.
Being toxic can also be a mood killer. We often don’t connect our ill health or symptoms like low sex drive directly with the effects of environmental toxins, yet their effects can become ravishing. For instance, lead exposure has been linked to depression, irritability, interpersonal conflict, fatigue, anger, tension and decreased sex drive.
I don’t want to oversimplify the issue here. Blood work can reveal abnormal testosterone levels (in men) or estrogen dominance (in women) and other hormonal imbalances that can put us out of the mood. For some people, working with a functional medicine doctor and incorporating hormonal therapy can improve sex drive.
At the same time, balancing blood sugar and optimizing insulin can dramatically impact other hormones. Beginning with these five strategies can positively impact sex drive.
- Lose weight. A spare tire around our midsection does nothing for our sex drive, yet it increases risk for Type 2 diabetes, low testosterone in men, estrogen dominance in woman and numerous chronic diseases. The number one thing we can do to boost sex drive is to maintain a normal weight.
- Eat real food. Cutting out sugary, processed foods and eating whole, unprocessed real foods is the best way to reduce inflammation and normalize hormone levels so we have optimal sex drive. If we don’t eat high-quality food, we become inflamed, fat and have low sex drive.
- Work out. The correct diet coupled with an intelligent workout plan can do wonders for our sex drive and mood. Studies show interval training can improve sex-related hormones such as testosterone, cortisol and growth hormone. As Kimberly Lo notes, yoga provides exercise while improving our sex drive.
- Watch the alcohol. “It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance,” wrote William Shakespeare. A glass of red wine can help us relax and put us in the mood, yet three glasses can crash the mood, leading to low sex drive, erectile dysfunction and other problems in the bedroom. Drinkers should have no more than three glasses of wine or alcohol a week.
- Control stress. Being constantly stressed becomes a sure way to put our sex drive to bed (pun fully intended). Whether that means deep breathing or a simple leisurely walk, find active relaxation that works and prioritize it.
What one strategy would you add here to increase libido? Share yours below or on my Facebook fan page.
Boutcher SH. High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. Journal of Obesity. 2011;2011:868305. doi:10.1155/2011/868305.
Braunstein GD, et al. Hypogonadism in chronically lead-poisoned men. Infertility. 1978;1(1):33-51.
Hämäläinen EK, et al. Decrease of serum total and free testosterone during a low-fat high-fibre diet. J Steroid Biochem. 1983 Mar;18(3):369-70.
Nettleton JA, et al. Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Diabetes Care. 2009 Apr;32(4):688-94. doi: 10.2337/dc08-1799. Epub 2009 Jan 16.
Wang C, et al. Low-fat high-fiber diet decreased serum and urine androgens in men. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jun;90(6):3550-9. Epub 2005 Mar 1.
Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Katie Tegtmeyer/Flickr, Wellness Mama infographic
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