Rapid weight loss can mean more than just a better fitting pair of pants.
People are passing the time in various ways during the COVID-19 pandemic, from making sourdough starters to crafting that perfect work from home space and making their own face masks. They are also spending a lot of time on social media, where they’re likely inundated with lifestyle hacks and quick exercise routines to avoid packing on COVID-19-related weight.
Jumping into these at-home, free, and private exercise options can be beneficial for one’s waist line, but there’s a line between healthy weight loss and rapid weight loss (RWL). Read below to learn about RWL and its impact on sexual health, particularly for men with erectile dysfunction (ED).
How Could Rapid Weight Loss Be a Bad Thing?
It’s not hard to see why people might be interested in rapid weight loss. Those who’ve attempted to lose weight are likely familiar with the struggles of hitting plateaus and gaining back lost weight. One study of participants on the reality show “The Biggest Loser” found that only one of that season’s contestants had kept all the weight off– some had gained back the weight lost, plus more. This back-and-forth of weight loss and weight gain, also called “yo-yoing,” may damage the body.
Still, there are right ways and wrong ways to lose weight. Rapid weight loss, through intentional efforts or as a consequence of other factors, is typically not advised.
Slow Weight Loss Vs. RWL
There’s been an increasing push for gradual weight loss, for two reasons.
1) Small steps, big changes. It’s easier to start small and have changes stick than it is to make enormous changes all at once. These small changes can total up to big effects over time.
2) It gives your body time to adjust. RWL might convince the body it’s in starvation mode, causing it to reduce metabolic activity in an attempt to regain the weight.
Weight Loss, Erectile Dysfunction (ED), and Sexual Health
ED is closely linked to overall cardiovascular health, so efforts to improve cardiovascular health, such as eating a balanced diet and engaging in physical activity, should in turn improve sexual functioning. One randomized controlled study found that, by increasing activity levels and eating a limited reduction of calories eaten per day, 31% of participants regained their sexual function.
Weight loss also boasts other benefits:
- better overall health
- enhanced mood
- less chronic pain
- improved self-confidence
- better stress management
In many cases, a doctor will recommend weight loss through diet and exercise as part of a multi-pronged approach to ED and other sexual health concerns. That said, RWL could actually be counterproductive. Men could risk injury from diving full force into new workout routines, or get burned out from overworking themselves. Further, their self-esteem and sexual functioning may decline if they fail to keep the weight off.
Rapid Weight Loss and Erectile Dysfunction: What Men Should KnowWeight loss is an important piece of the solution to addressing ED in men who are overweight or obese, but it should be done in a healthy, sustainable manner. Consult your doctor, as opposed to an Instagram influencer, to determine which exercise programs may be appropriate for you. If your doctor recommends combining exercise with a medication to address ED, consider eDrugstore for your sexual health needs.
Dan is a long-time freelance writer focusing on technology, science, health, and medicine, with a lifelong interest in physics, biology, and medicine. His work has taken a particular focus on scientific studies “beyond the headlines,” reading the study to more closely examine the results.