Are You Fat Conscious? By Ayesha Qureshi

The good and bad that you need to know about fat.

In today’s society, fat has become synonymous with unhealthiness and weight gain and if it were a movie, “fat” would be the “bad guy.”  Perhaps the negativity of trans fat in the media has created an alarming mindset among youth and adults that all fat is bad and it should be limited in the diet. There are also many diets that are promoting to be healthy but are based on complete exclusion of fat for the purpose of weight loss. Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating recommends a well balanced diet to ensure dietary requirements of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are met. It is important to be fat-knowledgeable…after all being aware is the first step in adopting healthy dietary habits.

Fat is a macronutrient that provides energy to the body where 1 gram offers 9 calories (37 kJ) of energy…but what does this really mean? Each individual has a certain caloric requirement depending on their age, gender and level of physical activity. Carbohydrate, protein and fat are all energy-providing molecules and their daily requirement is based on ‘Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges’ (AMDR), a value that expresses each macronutrient need as a percentage of total daily calories. For fat, the AMDR value is 20-35%, which means that 20-35% of total daily calories should come from fat sources. Within this range, it is recommended that saturated fats should be no more than 10% of the total fat consumed.

Generally, the “bad” fats are associated with saturated fats. Biochemically, these molecules have no double bonds, allowing them to be ‘saturated’ with hydrogen bonds and making their composition to be solids at room temperature.  Sources of saturated fats include vegetable oils (coconut oil, palm kernel oil), dairy products (butter, milk, cheese) and animal fat (beef and pork). Saturated fats have been linked with increasing blood cholesterol levels and pose as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. For this reason, it is advised for saturated fats to be consumed within moderation.

The good quality fats are unsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).  Their chemical structure is kinked due to the presence of double bonds and so they generally appear to be liquid at room temperature. Sources of MUFAs include plant oils (olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil), cashews and avocados while sources of PUFAs are soybean, sunflower, safflower, flaxseed, walnut and corn. Unsaturated fatty acids have been researched to lower levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol –the bad cholesterol and increase levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL) cholesterol- the good cholesterol.  High levels of LDL cholesterol have been associated with increased risk of heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids which are unsaturated fatty acids have been a great nutritional interest in recent years.  Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are common omega-3 fatty acids found in fish that have been proposed to lower blood lipid levels.  PUFAs have also been shown to speed up metabolism and many researchers consider EPA and DHA to promote body fat loss.

Many individuals take on low fat diets to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. An important consideration is that specialized low fat diets are designed at the expense of increased carbohydrate and protein. In fact high carbohydrates in the diet may result in excess sugar which gets converted into fat.  So before going on a low fat diet- it is important to consider how the caloric balance will be maintained.  The type of fat varies in each food, but generally it is understood that animal fats are composed up to 40-60% of saturated fats whereas plant-based fats supply 80-90% of their energy from MUFAs and PUFAs.  For this reason, plant based diets tend to have lower levels of saturated fats than other diets.

Fats are a macronutrient and are required for necessary cellular and biological functions such as energy fueling, insulation, production of hormones and absorption of fat soluble vitamins.  It is recommended that instead of limiting or excluding fat in the diet, you should choose the healthier fats… Consuming foods rich in PUFA and MUFA and limiting the amount of saturated fat in the diet is a good step in developing healthy eating habits.

 

References:

Thomspon J, Manroe M and Sheeshka J.  Nutrition-a functional approach. Toronto: Pearson Canada Inc, 2007. Print

Gropper SS, Smith JL and Groff JL. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. Belmont, CA: Thomspon/Wadsworth, 2004. Print.

Mozaffarian D, Katan MB, Ascherio A et al. Trans Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2006;354:1601-1613.

Appel LJ, Sacks FM, Carey VJ et al. Effects of Protein, Monounsaturated fat, and Carbohydrate intake on blood pressure and serum lipids. Journal American Medical Association. 2005;294:2455-2464.

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Toddlers, Tiaras, and Trouble

It is without question that the western world is obsessed (if not paranoid) with body image and how we physically present ourselves to the world.  Idealized body types and figures are perhaps one of the foremost priority in our minds from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep, and perhaps for some, even in their dreams.   As a medical professional I have often seen young women suffering and struggling with the worst scenarios of this battle for physical perfection, and the age of these girls seems to get younger and younger.  However, although I have often pointed the finger at the media and big businesses for their role in brainwashing generations of impressionable young people in hopes of making money off their insecurities, there is (and probably has been for a while) another factor in our society that has contributed to the growth of this body image disease – Parents.  Not just any parents, but insecure, self loathing, childhood deprived, and narcissistic individuals who try to make up for their own lack or loss of talent through their children by putting them in children pageants.  

Now when it comes to pageants, that’s another controversial topic that deals with women’s rights vs. their objectification – and I’m not going to get into that.  However, when children are put into these pageants and paraded around in costumes, gowns, and even swimwear, it makes me wonder where people draw the line between cute and pedophile bait.  It also had me thinking about how early children become sensitized and aware of body image and the concept of having “the perfect body”.  You may have seen the show “Toddlers in Tiaras” and may have noticed that the young girls done up with makeup, hair extensions, and literally thousands of dollars worth of clothing and accessories develop a common personality.  They become demanding, tempered, and even abusive (especially towards their parents).  What’s even more disturbing is that the parents take this abuse without question.  But what’s important to note is how this behavior is being correlated with body image in the mind of these young children.  What they’re being taught (consciously or subconsciously) is that “this type of behavior is appropriate when you are the prettiest.”  These pageants also embed other dangerous messages in the minds of these young kids: “You’re only a winner when you look a certain way”, “To be liked and appreciated you need to be the prettiest”, and “Being sassy and sexy is o.k, even if you’re a child.

So is it any wonder that these children grow up with the same mentality?  It seems that more and more of these young girls grow up with the drive to be the prettiest and therefore dominant female in their group of friends and peers.  And when the reality of their biology begins to creep up and they’re faced with the fact that you can’t always be the perfect figure, desperation often drives them towards extreme measures such as eating disorders and unnecessary cosmetic surgery.  What’s ironic is that many of these girls turn out to be just like their parents as they get older, and the cycle of living out your ideals through your children continues. 

Teaching your children to be competitive is not a bad thing, but it is important to teach them to be competitive at something useful, like academics or sports – Pageants are neither.  It’s also important to let children be children.  Hours of makeup, hair, and pedicures are not important or useful for children, they are only an extension of a desperate parent’s personal insecurity.  Perhaps if these same parents put in the same amount of time and effort in their child’s education or physical health, they may find a great deal of satisfaction in the joys of parenting.  Somewhere along the lines, they may also discover the unique inner beauty of each child and teach them how to share that with the world.  Too bad there’s no crown for that.

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Death By Chocolate… Cake

Every now and then I like to watch the Food Network and take some time to appreciate the mastery and art of fine cuisine.  I also happened to notice an interesting trend on many of these food related shows that deal with desserts, specifically cakes and cupcakes.  Artistic cakes have become a popular trend now with almost every event.  Whether the celebration be a birthday, an anniversary, or even a grand opening, themed cakes with bright colors, pictures, and even modeled replicas have become the new standard of dessert entertainment.  But amongst the delightful decor and playful presentations there is an underlying health concern buried under mountains of sugar and piles of fat that viewers and customers often ignore.  So I thought I’d indulge you in the delicious damage many people often incur through these tasty treats.

There are a few common ingredients you’ll often hear on shows such as “Cake Boss” or “The Cupcake Girls”.  The two most notorious ones are Fondant and Butter cream.

Fondant is the stuff that is rolled out into thin sheets and draped over cakes to give them that smooth flawless look.  It’s generally made of sugar, butter, and corn syrup.  Other ingredients can also include glycerin, shortening, and gelatin.  Artificial coloring gives it an array of different colors.

Butter Cream is the stuff that many of the cakes are layered with. It’s also used to hold together tiers as well as fondant on top of cake.  Basically it’s just powdered sugar mixed with butter. Sometimes it’s mixed with color and spread onto cupcakes.

Of course let’s not forget that the cakes themselves (depending on the type) are also loaded with sugar, butter (and possibly cream).  Therefore, to calculate the exact number of calories is pretty tough. Generally speaking, an average cupcake with colorful frosting and pretty fondant flowers can run from 200-300 calories. A piece of cake can be 500+.  But let’s be serious, calculating and comparing dessert calories is like asking which bullet to the head is more deadly – one from a revolver, or one from a pistol – same difference.  And you may be thinking “well that’s kind of extreme, comparing dessert to bullets”.  Is it?

The fact of the matter is that millions of north Americans are struggling day in and day out with their unhealthy lifestyles and battles with their weight.  Many of these individuals suffer heart attacks, strokes, organ failure, and eventually death because they lose this battle.  We rave and rant about companies that sell tobacco and cigarettes, and we teach our kids to say no to drugs, but yet we’re a society that celebrates and glamorizes bakers turned celebrity who push obscene and dangerous amounts of sugar and fat into people on a daily basis.  Millions of north American women suffer from depression due to their weight, yet these same women find inspiration from two women who quit their day jobs to start a full time cupcake business in hopes of putting one on the corner of every street.

Why you ask?  It’s simple.  A favorite quote of mine from the movie Vanilla Sky – “The answer to nine out of ten questions is money.”  Sugar is a cheap high, and just like any drug all you need is the right dealer.  Someone with a colorful angle, or a “heart warming story” and people will line up for miles to see the grim reaper.

I’m all for artistic talent, and I do believe that it’s o.k to have sweets and desserts once in a while.  However, when people complain about how difficult it is for them to fit back into their favorite jeans, or how winded they get on their morning jog to the pastry shop, it makes me wonder how easily manipulated our society has become.  Over time many people have lost control of their actions and habits at the hands of big businesses.  A high stress work life and daily challenges of getting by in a bad economy only adds to this barrage of distress that takes our attention away from what we’re doing to our bodies and our health.  This of course makes people easy targets. However, I do believe that when we educate ourselves about our habits and inclinations towards food we gain an insightful advantage. When we take the time to rebuild our habits and focus on our health, we have the opportunity to affect everything else that goes on in our life in hopes of continuing positive change for ourselves and our loved ones.

So the next time you come across another baking or dessert related show, take a closer look.  You may notice a few interesting things.  Many of the workers on Cake Boss are overweight or obese.  In fact there was even an episode where one of them had to go to the hospital due to a heart problem.  And take a closer look at the two women who run the cupcake shop.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone closer to a nervous breakdown due to such high stress (by the way, the networks don’t like the word “stress”. Instead they use the term “drama”).

Nonetheless, for masking extremely unhealthy desserts under a colorful barrage of sugary and fatty toxins, the doctor gives the bakers of the Food Network two frosted thumbs down.

 

 

 

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Body Image and Mind Control

As a student of psychiatry, I have always been fascinated with psychology and the intricate dynamics of the mind.  What intrigues me even more is the how we as a society have learned to use and manipulate our knowledge of psychology to perpetuate commercialism to the point where our conscious and subconscious mind works on the basis of calculated triggers and infiltrating suggestion.  One of the largest markets involved in this type of psychological manipulation is the weight loss industry, which also overlaps with any product marketed towards body image. What’s also interesting to note, is how over the years our perception of beauty and body image has changed because of this psychological marketing.

Because women have been the ultimate target for body image, I’m going to focus on the changes associated with their commercial markets.  Let’s examine a bit of fashion history. If we look back at the Victorian era, the concept of beauty was often defined by women with tiny waists, milky white skin, and hair styled in large updos.  To obtain this idealized image women would often wear very tight and constricting corsets and cake on huge amounts of facial powder to obtain that milky white appearance.  Needless to say, the level of discomfort was often overlooked and painfully ignored, just to achieve the ideals of society. In the 1920s and 1930s fashion began to take an edgier form and women began exploring more masculine clothing that incorporated such pieces as the blazer – eventually developing into the woman’s business attire.  Now the norm was a more structured silhouette rather than flowing fabric which was reserved for formal gowns and Sunday dresses.  In the 1950s and 1960s the “voluptuous woman” with curves began appearing in ads and fashion magazines.  This of course was the Marilyn Monroe era and she became the ideal body type for every woman to follow.  The 1980s and 1990s returned back to the more slimmer and thinner woman as the ideal figure but with more emphasis now on larger breasts – hence the invention and propagation of breast implants.  However, interestingly enough the mid 1990s also introduced the concept of it being o.k for a woman to have a more visible behind.  You may remember Sir Mixalot’s famous “I Like Big Butts” song that till this day is often associated with the “booty trend”.

The point I want you to understand is that there is no concrete concept of beauty.  History has proven this to us with it’s constant and erratic fluctuations in what is perceived as beautiful.  So why does this change occur?  Who creates this change?  And more importantly, why do we follow this change?  Our society is full of celebrities and models who we deem beautiful and flawless – but are they really?  For example, Jennifer Lopez was one of the first singers/actresses to flaunt the “perfect ass”.  But would we consider her body beautiful if we were living during the 1930s?  Today’s runway models would most likely be laughed at (and referred to as prepubescent boys) if they tried to pose for the calendars of 1960s.  And the models of Victoria Secret would most likely be considered trashy whores of the Victorian era.

The fact of the matter is that our perception of beauty often gets defined by those who can profit most from it.  For this reason you’ll notice that regardless of what trendy clothing store you go into, you’ll find the same style in every single one.  The models we see on t.v all share similar body types, and conforming to what is “normal” is what makes you beautiful.  And if your body type doesn’t conform to this norm, then where do you stand?

So the next time you’re walking in a mall and see a giant Gap, H&M, Guess, or Abercrombie ad, step back and think about the message behind the picture. Then think about the intentions of the company that made the add.  Then think about how those intentions make you feel about yourself and your body.  Angry yet?  Congratulations – You just understood corporate mind control.

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Sliced and Diced – Understanding Weight Loss Surgery

Due to the alarming rise of obesity more and more people are suffering from debilitating and potentially life threatening illnesses related to increased weight.  For many people diets, exercise, and healthy eating is a challenge, not because of their lack of motivation or unwillingness to lead a healthy lifestyle, but because of injury, disability, and even socioeconomic factors that prevent them from being healthy.  Take for example an individual who gets into a serious car accident and becomes permanently disabled.  The physical and mental shock alone can cause the body to weaken it’s metabolism, and the depression can add on extra weight due to emotional eating.  For such individuals I share a deep compassion and sympathy because they are often labeled as being lazy or irresponsible for their health.  What many people don’t realize is that such people are often on many pain medications and even antidepressants which continue to add on body weight, making their lives very difficult.

So what options does such an individual have?  Physical activity can be very painful, and although proper nutrition may be possible, the amount of food their body is used to may be too much now that their mobility and daily activity is limited.  Starving on a reduced calorie diet is unacceptable in many cases because they need energy to heal, and many medications require that the patient eat adequately.  For this reason, many patients have opted for a last resort – weight loss surgery.

Weight loss surgery (often referred to as bariatric surgery) has been around for many years.  However, it has come a long way since the gastric bypass.  The gastric bypass surgery (or stomach stapling) is basically a method in which the stomach is stapled close to the point where it meets the esophagus, preventing food from entering it.  Then, the small intestine is rerouted so that it connects to the esophagus at the point where it meets the stomach.  Hence, food now “bypasses” the stomach and goes straight to the small intestine.  Once this surgery is done, the sensation of feeling full is almost instantaneous when someone eats even a small mouthful of food.  However, this surgery does have it’s share of side effects.  The most common complaint after this surgery is that the stomach can stretch again (even burst it’s staples).  This happens when the patient ignores the sensation of feeling full and continues to eat.  Secondly, many important nutrients and vitamins are absorbed in the stomach, and because the food now goes straight to the small intestine, these vitamins and nutrients become deficient in the body leading to serious health risks.  You may also find interesting that the overall mortality rate for this surgery is close to 50%.

Modern medicine has however developed other options for weight loss surgery.  Amongst the most popular is gastric banding.  In gastric banding, an adjustable band is surgically placed (laparoscopicaly) around the middle of the stomach.  This band is attached to a port through which saline can be injected and that tightens the band.  Removing the saline can also loosen it up.  So now the stomach works sort of like a hour glass.  Food goes in normally but slows down at the point where the band has been tightened.  It still has the ability to continue down the digestive tract normally, but it does so at a slower rate, and this is what gives the patient the sensation of feeling full quicker, and for a longer period of time.  Gastric banding, like any other surgery also comes with it’s downside.  Firstly, if you continue to eat poorly (fast food, high calorie snacks, milk shakes etc.) you can still gain weight.  Because fast food gets digested faster in your stomach, you can potentially not feel full on a normal serving of food.  If you try to eat too much too fast, undigested food will come back up and you’ll vomit.  Not a pleasant feeling but still a good deterrent to a bad habit.  Like any surgery, patients can also develop “adhesions” inside.  These are fibrous tissue that begin to grow around the band and can impede it’s function.  Finally, adjusting the bad to the right amount can be tricky and must be done by a medical practitioner.  If the band is too tight, you won’t be able to eat anything (and sometimes not even drink water), and if the band is too loose, you won’t feel full and you’ll gain back the weight.

Whether or not weight loss surgery is a viable option is dependent completely on the individual.  In my personal and professional opinion it should always be discussed first with your family doctor (or other medical specialists) and should be used as a last resort, preferably if you are physically unable to exercise and be active.  For someone who is considering weight loss surgery, it’s very important to look at all the different options and procedures that are available now. More importantly it’s also important to have proper and thorough follow up care to avoid any kind of post surgical complications.  But always remember, there’s never a quick fix even with surgery.  Proper and permanent weight loss should always be about “lifestyle” and not a “knifestyle”.

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Climbing to the Top

A while ago my friend Erum Arshad did the climb to the top of the CN tower, and although I’ve never done it myself, I was intrigued to find out what inspired her to take on this challenge.  I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions and was quite inspired by her response.

1. When did you decide to do the climb and why?

I decided to climb the CN tower when I heard about the climb from my co-workers who also climbed back in April for the World Wide Federation. They told me that climbing the CN tower is challenging, however it’s a lot of fun!  Most importantly, I decided to climb the CN tower (United Way) because I wanted to also help individuals who face serious issues within our society. These individuals include youths, seniors, immigrants, and people who live in poverty. I wanted to find a way to support these individuals. My way to support them was to raise money and then also climb the CN tower to raise awareness. Second reason to climb was that I wanted to challenge myself! Climbing the CN tower would be a good opportunity and I feel that it mentally motivated me to be more active and it also made me stronger.

2. Did you do any preparation for it, and if so, how did it make you feel during that process?

I did prepare myself for the climb. I started training for it two weeks before the climb. I ran on the treadmill on a daily basis. I also climbed hills close to where I live in Mississauga. During the thanksgiving weekend, my family decided to go to Kelso. When we went to Kelso I prepared myself for the climb then too and I climbed the big hill and went hiking for almost 2 hrs. During the process I would think to myself how would I get through the climb of 150 floors!!

3. How did you feel minutes before starting?

Before the climb I was really pumped up and wanted to start the climb right away. I was also a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it through the whole climb (150 floors)!!

4. What kind of thoughts were going through your head while you were climbing?

During the climb, I had many thoughts in my head. One of thoughts that went through my head was that “I won’t be able to make it all the way to the 150 floors”. Only because I was panting by the time I was on the 9th floor. However, I kept on pushing myself by thinking “I can do this”. Also, during the climb as I was panting, the thought I had was that “Let me kick this off, I’m almost there”. Especially after I completed 50 floors of the Tower. That motivated me to finish the rest of the climb!

5. How did you feel when you got to the top? What thoughts were you thinking then?

When I got to the top, physically I felt dizzy and light headed. Also, mentally I felt very happy/enthusiastic and felt really proud of myself for accomplishing my goal of climbing the tower all the way up!! On the other hand, I was also shocked and I couldn’t believe that I climbed 150 floors!

6. After this experience, what’s your personal philosophy on physical health and fitness?

My personal philosophy on physical health and fitness is that having a balance in our lives is important for our overall wellbeing. Eating a balanced diet from all the food groups is not only beneficial for our immune system but it also helps us attain all the nutrients/vitamins our body/mind requires in order to perform well. For example, I feel that eating healthy and exercising or being involved in a daily physical activity gives me lots of energy. Most importantly, being fit can also make you feel good about yourself and it boosts up your self-esteem/confidence. Other benefits of eating a healthy balanced diet/being active can prevent one from cardiovascular diseases and other serious diseases. This is why eating healthy/being active is the key to a positive lifestyle.
What I learned from Erum was that when it comes to weight loss, healthy living, or any other personal goals,  it really comes down to “little steps“. When we break down our goals into smaller steps and smaller goals, it becomes a lot more easier to take on.  Many people who decide to improve their health often get overwhelmed with the huge lifestyle changes that they need to make.  And let’s be honest, giving up things like our favourite foods, making time to exercise, and even quitting bad habits like smoking is not something that can be done cold turkey by most of us.  But if we plan out our meals and still include our favourite foods in smaller amounts, exercise 10 minutes a day one week and then 20 minutes the next week, these changes become less overwhelming.

We can all face our personal challenges and climb our towers of life.  It just takes the right attitude, planning, and a bit of inspiration from our friends.  For her dedication and hard work, the doctor gives Erum two towering thumbs up.

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Let’s Talk About Sex

You don’t have to look very far these days to find a graphic description of what “sexy” is.  Turn on the T.V, the internet, or just walk down the street, and you’re constantly bombarded with sexually explicit images of people with “ideal” bodies, oozing with sexual charisma.  Sex in our society is perhaps the most fundamental validation of our social structure and often sets the bar when it comes to our competence as social beings.  Whether you’re a housewife, a student, an accountant, or even a doctor, there is always some level of sexual expectation that is directly or indirectly associated with our behavior, our image, and our knowledge of sexuality.  What is more troubling is that younger and younger teens and children are also being bombarded with these sexual expectations and often developing unhealthy, and possibly immoral sexual ideals.  However, in this article I wanted to focus on how those of us struggling with weight issues deal with these impossible expectations, and the impact that obesity has on our physical and psychological sexual health.

When it comes to physical health, infertility sits high on the ranks of medical problems associated with being overweight.  For women, disorders such as PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) often coincides with an unhealthy weight.  Cysts develop in the ovaries and often interfere with normal ovulation.  Also, associated hormone imbalances due to PCOS can interfere with normal implantation of an embryo.  Although doctors can prescribe various medications to help with this problem, most often the first line of therapy is weight loss by the patient’s own efforts in order to minimize side effects of medication.  What many doctors don’t take into consideration is that just because you prescribe weight loss doesn’t mean it’s an easy task.  For patients who are looking to lose weight and get pregnant, it’s also important to maintain the weightloss with proper nutrition and an active lifestyle.  Weight loss due to starvation or other fad diets are not only harmful to the patient, but also to the development of the future baby.

When it comes to men, new studies have shown that there is a correlation between obesity and decreased sex drive, as well as infertility.  Infertility in this case means that sperm count and quality is low.  Once again, added weight means a higher level of cholesterol which is the starting molecule of hormones.  Therefore, the hormone levels become imbalanced (decreased testosterone, increased estrogen) and there may be a decreased amount of sperm created.  Having a slower metabolism due to obesity also decreases one’s sex drive and makes it difficult for a man to maintain an erection.

The good news however is that if the weight loss issue is tended to, the associated sexual dysfunctions and fertility problems can often subside.  The added benefit of becoming more active and eating well is that it does a great deal for the psyche.  Regardless of what the poster ads say, “sexy” doesn’t start on the outside with a brand name pair of jeans or underwear – it starts in your head.  Many people struggling with their weight often avoid sex because of their insecurities with their bodies.  They don’t like the way they look and therefore are convinced that others see them the same way (even if they don’t).  Women are often the most critical about their body image and thus many of them struggling with weight loss also suffer with low self esteem and depression.  However, research shows that even a small change in our physique can have a snowballing effect on our motivation and self esteem, and thus there is no such thing as insignificant results – Every bit counts!  Having confidence in the way we look (especially after having lost some weight) creates a surge of sexual energy and confidence.  That increase in sexual energy in turn helps our bodies emit phermones and help us become more attractive to others.

Losing weight also benefits the physical dynamics of sex.  Many couples suffering from obesity are often embarrassed to admit that it can be difficult in physically “making their bodies fit” to one another.  It can also create difficulty in terms of stamina and reaching orgasms.  These types of problems can have devastating effects on a relationship and can make a couple feel isolated and detached from one another.  In such instances it may also be beneficial to have a registered sex therapist offer advice on how to overcome these obstacles.  But for those couples who seek to lose weight together, it can be a very motivating experience that also helps strengthen a relationship.

For many people sex can be a very controversial and difficult topic.  However the fact remains that sex needs to be a normal and healthy part of our adult lives.  Regardless of our gender, race, culture, or religious views, as individuals we need to learn what healthy sex is, and more importantly what we need to do in order to maintain our sexual health.  It’s also important for those of us struggling with weight related medical and sexual problems to voice our concerns to our doctors so that we can obtain the proper information to improve our health.

Regardless of what the advertisers, hollywood, or pop stars will have you believe, with the right information, guidance, and attitude – anyone can bring sexy back.

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