If you've been enjoying margaritas and nachos a bit too much this summer, here's some good news—for your waistline and your dating life. A new study has found that oxytocin—the hormone our body releases when we have sex—also seems to decrease our food cravings. The findings are from a 10-year joint venture by Canada’s York University and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health.
Our takeaway? Having lots of sex may make us lose weight. Sounds like the best diet ever.
Of course, some of the results are common sense: How often do you have an incredible roll in the hay only to immediately crave another kind of roll? Not much. Satiation is satiation. “It makes perfect sense and is not a surprise to me in the least because when our brain is filled with those feel good chemicals, we're sated and relaxed,” sex educator Cory B. Honickman, Psyd. told The Feast. We don't need anything else at that time because the chemicals send a message to our brain and body that we have everything we need. “Food is the last thing on our mind when we're basking in the bliss of love making!” says Honickman.
Oxytocin is made in the brain and is sometimes known as the cuddle hormone. “The study looked at the differences in the DNA of a large group of people between the ages of 27-50 years old. They found seven places in the DNA that could be responsible for the difference in the way oxytocin works for individuals," Alix Turoff, RD, of Top Balance Nutrition in New York told The Feast.
"These places in the DNA are known as 'single nucleotide polymorphisms,' or SNPs, and have already been shown to be associated with certain psychological traits," Turoff added. "They've now also been linked to binge eating and overeating behaviors in certain individuals. It seems that one person's pleasure might be another person's trigger to overeat."
So, while oxytocin seems to impact different people in different ways, those in the study with with higher levels of oxytocin did not overeat, and those with lower levels tended to binge eat. The message appears to be: Find your bliss in food...or find it in the biblical way.
Either plan sounds like an excellent idea for a Saturday night, as far as we're concerned.
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