Stop what you’re doing and put down the wedding cake!
Not to be preachy, but you know sugar is bad for you: It’s full of empty calories, causes dozens of health issues, and is a leading factor in weight gain.
But did you know that it can kill your sex drive too? This insidious little white devil is the ultimate libido killer.
While we're definitely not saying you should never indulge in a sweet treat, sugary snack, or bread-heavy dinner (balance is key!), there are several reasons to limit your sugar consumption to ensure things in the bedroom stay steamy. (Orgasms are better than chocolate, right?)
We spoke to a nutritionist to get all the dirty details about how sugar can destroy your ability to enjoy sexual play.
Sugar is nearly as addictive as drugs.
While contested among experts, some believe that sugar is as addictive as cocaine or other stimulants. Whether or not it’s as addictive as a drug is one thing, but the fact remains: It definitely IS something you can get hooked on consuming.
“It's highly addictive, as it stimulates the reward centers of the brain and we get a huge rush of dopamine which makes us feel high, happy, energized, calm, but then like a drug, we crash and crave more,” Alisa Vitti a nutritionist and founder of Flo Living tells Brides.
Your hormones go bonkers.
Sugar sends your hormones into a tailspin, making you bottom out. It’s a quick but dirty high.
“Sugar disrupts your endocrine function at the deepest level and will throw off the production of the hormones involved in maintaining a healthy cycle and sex drive,” says Vitti.
Your endocrine system is important to your sex drive because its primary function is to release hormones into the body to regulate how your organs function. So if your organs aren’t properly regulated due to high sugar consumption, your sex drive dies.
Sugar throws off your leptin resistance.
Eating sugar creates leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that tells your body when to stop eating and simultaneously helps to monitor sexual behavior. This decrease in your ability to stop eating leads you to overeating, which in turn leads to a decrease in sex drive.
Eating too many sweets also lowers your energy, a key component in wanting to have sex. When you’re exhausted and fatigued from last night's ice cream, you’re likely not going to feel very sexy. On top of that, you’re resistance to leptin contributes to your lack of sexual desire.
Sugar makes you super stressed.
Sugar increases your production of fat cells, leading to a major slowdown. “Sugar consumption disrupts insulin and increases cortisol, causing fat cells to go into storage mode, which then leads to excess estrogen in the body,” says Vitti.
Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone. When your cortisol levels are high, your stress levels are high, and your energy for sex is super low. Increased cortisol “can in the short term throw off mood, increase depression and anxiety, and then of course over time lead to things like disrupted ovulation, low libido, and vaginal dryness,” Vitti adds.
And everyone knows vaginal dryness is the WORST.
Cutting sugar out is the way to better sex.
If you are experiencing low libido, a great place to start getting back on track is by eliminating sugar.
Vitti says that what has to happen first is balancing and regulating the blood sugar so you can give up the “hard stuff” (white sugar, sweeteners, etc). But be careful: If you go cold turkey off sugar, you’ll wind up in withdrawal.
The last thing you need is to call your partner to come pry the cake out of your hands in the middle of the night because you became an insatiable sugar monster. Balancing blood sugar means rethinking your meal plan.
“Changing your first meal of the day is what I find to be the key to unlocking the rest of the day,” Vitti says. A first meal should be something high in protein to keep you sustained for a longer period of time. (So skip the morning bagel or donut and opt for something like eggs. In addition,you’ll need a strategic dinner plan, one that can get you through to bedtime. You should have “a post dinner routine that keeps you calm and not looking for sweets or alcohol to calm down,” Vitti explains.
And if you absolutely need a little sugar, go for natural sweeteners. Have a handful of blueberries or raspberries to curb the sugar craze. Your body won’t know the difference, but your bedroom will!
See more: The Brides 30-Day Wellness Plan