Crash Dieting Crashes Your Sex Drive

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photo: MetArt

Extreme calorie reduction makes you lose more than unwanted pounds

Are you resolved to lose weight this year? While living a healthy lifestyle is a good goal, there may be a caveat: evidence suggests that you may want to skip the crash diets if you want to keep your sex drive. Don’t fret, though — there are still plenty of other ways to improve your health and shed unwanted pounds.

On a purely physical level, taking in fewer calories than you burn puts the body into what’s known as a “catabolic state” which lowers testosterone levels, and therefore, your sex drive. Crash diets actually work based on catabolism, starving your body of necessary nutrients, which in turn causes your body to begin breaking down not just fats, but muscle tissue as well. Essentially, this signals to the brain that there is a food shortage, and it begins cutting off less necessary functions that are not essential to survival, which of course, includes sex!

However, the damage that crash dieting does to your sex drive isn’t purely physical — there’s an emotional component, as well. People, especially women, are constantly bombarded by images of what the “ideal body” looks like, which creates low self-esteem and unrealistic body expectations. Crash dieting only serves to reinforce these negative thoughts — and who wants to have sex when they don’t feel sexy?

This is not to say that all weight loss regimens are bad, or that losing weight in and of itself is bad for your sex drive — in fact, a healthy weight and good blood pressure support testosterone production. It is the extreme drop in calories that makes the crash diet unhealthy. Keeping to a healthy diet and regular exercise is important for all aspects of your wellbeing, including your sexual health. Just skip the dramatic dieting and aim to keep yourself healthy, fit, and happy via more moderate means.


Beck, E. (n.d.) The Effects of Diet on the Libido.

Harvey-Jenner, C. (2018, June 26). 9 things that can happen to your body when you crash diet.

O’Gallagher, G. (2018, July 04). How to Avoid Low Sex Drive Dieting.

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