Author Topic: Masturbation and Obesity  (Read 12842 times)

Offline BadMonkey

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Masturbation and Obesity
« on: December 15, 2010, 02:51:44 PM »
I just finished reading the Change your receptors, change your set point http://gettingstronger.org/2010/10/change-your-setpoint/ article and the theoretical effects of reduced dopamine sensitivity on obesity.  Given that masturbation also results in a dopamine release upon orgasm I was wondering if there was a link between masturbation and obesity.  If a person was interested in upregulating their dopamine receptors but continued to masturbate would they see no dopamine receptor upregulation?  Also, would the act of masturbation decrease dopamine sensitivity and therefore cause a person to overeat, which would in turn cause obesity in the first place?   

I am not trying to impose a set of values but while reading this article realized that my issues with obesity started when I was in Jr High / high school, which happen to be the same time that I began masturbating.   I was never able to stick to any diet (vegitarian, low carb, etc.) for an extended period of time.  I would lose 20-25 lbs on any diet I tried.  Then 6 months later I would always gain back any weight that I had lost plus more.  I have always had a huge appetite and consistently ate three very large meals per day.   I always knew that eating was a pleasurable experience for me.  To me, eating was more about pleasure and less about sustenance.  I have also had an addiction to masturbation as well since Jr high / high school.   I knew my wife was never happy about it and I would try not to but eventually the urge would get so bad I wouldn't be able to help myself.   I could never go more than a couple days without masturbation and every time I ate I would eat until well after I was satisfied.  Both of these actions would result in dopamine releases that I believe caused my addiction.

Then about six months ago I decided to start intermittent fasting.   I was over 300 lbs at the time and I needed something to help me lose the weight.  I figured IF would at least let me eat one really good meal a day rather than starving myself at every meal.  If it worked, I figured that was something that I could live with.  It was a few weeks after that that I made a renewed commitment to myself to stop masturbating as well.  In terms of masturbation I have fallen off the wagon a couple times in the begining but not for the last three months or so.  I just realized today that the urge to masturbate is almost non-existent.

I have also noticed that during my one meal a day I no longer eat the volume of food that I was eating when I first started IF.   I am now able to eat to to satisfaction and then stop even knowing that I will not eat again for another 23 hours.  Before I would have gorged myself knowing that there was a fast ahead.   I have also lost over 70 lbs in the same time period.   

In retrospect I think that my body has been upregulating its dopamine receptors and I am regaining dopamine sensitivity.   I obviously didn't know that going into IF, I just put it together in my mind today while reading this article.   I was wondering if anyone else thought that this is a plausible mechanism and if anyone else noticed the same in their experience.   As it stands now n=1.   

Offline jared33

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Re: Masturbation and Obesity
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 03:35:28 PM »
Well that's a new twist on things...

It's an interesting theory.  If you are right, it should apply to sex or really anything highly pleasurable, right?  In your own case, you saw a correlation, but correlation is not the same as causation.  Although you did see the correlation in two directions -- both when you first gained weight, and now that you've lost it.

If you are right, it would suggest that obese people have more sex (with themselves or others) than thin people.   Is that true?  I don't know, I knew some fairly horny but thin friends in college.

Or maybe the theory doesn't apply between different people, but only to how thin or heavy you are relative to your genetics.  But it leaves you with a pretty sad choice:  lose weight or keep your sex drive!

jared
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 03:37:21 PM by jared33 »

Offline BadMonkey

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Re: Masturbation and Obesity
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 04:30:00 PM »
Well like I said n=1....

Just to be clear I haven't stopped having sex nor has my sex drive disappeared.   My wife and I still routinely have sex a couple times a week and I have no problems getting in the mood for that.   The change is that I no longer feel the need to masturbate in addition to that.   

This seems like an irony because both result in an orgasm.   However, I wonder if it is akin to a person that is on a low carb diet being able to add back in a sustainable level of carbs after losing weight because their insulin resistance has been corrected.   


Before I wrote this post I did a variety of searches on the internet and found numerous instances of masturbation = dopamine release and eating = dopamine release.   It seems that the mechanism is there, thus my initial question.