Stay Sexy ~ Does sex really burn lots of calories?

 

Did you catch Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News this week when he reported that sex really doesn’t burn a lot of calories? Just in case you didn’t, here’s the LINK.

Both my husband and I have backgrounds as academic researchers, so we went looking for the data behind his statement. Turns out it’s true – in a way. The study was reported this past week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers set out to examine commonly held beliefs about weight loss, dieting, and burning calories, and came up with the conclusion reported on the news: Sex really doesn’t burn a lot of calories.

But, the statement is also not true, in an important way. Here are the facts, quoted from a summary of the Journal article:

Fact: You’ve probably seen calculations saying that sex torches up to 300 calories. Yet the only study that actually measured the energy output reported that sex only lasted an average of six minutes and burned just 21 calories.

Did you catch that? The “sex” that doesn’t burn a lot of calories lasts an average of six minutes.

Hmm. The elliptical machine at the gym where I work out gives me a constant readout of how many calories I’m burning. I typically go for ten minutes and move on to another machine – yesterday, my ten minutes burned about 32 calories. If you do the math, that comes out almost the same as sex: 35 calories in ten minutes. Advantage, sex.

So the issue isn’t really how many calories you’re burning having sex – it’s how long you stay at it!

For a fun take on this issue, we’d like to report on someone else who is doing some exciting informal research on sex and calories. A couple weeks ago at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas, we chatted with Monique Hallowell, author of the new book Exersexology. Technically, that term means “The study of calorie burn during sex.” Truly!

Monique is a fitness expert who started an informal study by sending fitness professionals home with heart rate/calorie monitors to record their activities and the calories burned. As she explains, “within two weeks of the case study, some of the fitness professionals wore the devices while having sex.” What she found corroborates the data shared by the New England Journal: having sex burns about the same calories as many other forms of exercise.

She was inspired to pour her data into creating her new book, Exersexology, which offers twenty six different sexercises: cycles of sex positions, along with a report of the average calorie burn of participants who completed the cycle and shared their data. There’s one for each letter of the alphabet, from The A Game to The Zodiac. Definitely an invitation for fun!

You can participate, if you’d like – anyone is welcome to put on a heart rate monitor while engaging in one of her sexercises, then log onto her site and report the data. You can bet the two halves of Adriana are pledged to do this – looks like a lot of fun!

We highly recommend the book and Monique’s website, and we hope to be back with an interview of her later in our Stay Sexy series.

Links for Exersexology

Exersexology WEBSITE

For a sample “sexercise,” click on About the Book

Buy at Amazon

 

Have fun, and Stay Sexy!

 

19 Responses to “Stay Sexy ~ Does sex really burn lots of calories?”

  1. Only 21 calories for 6 minutes… if you use chocolate sauce and whip cream you would be gaining calories 😉

    Since I use Zumba for my workout – I’ll not worry about how many calories I’m burning when having fun!

     
    • Theresa Esterline
    • Reply
    • LOL! We use dance for our workouts, also – but I think it would be fun to try out some of Monique’s sexercises.

       
      • Adriana Kraft
      • Reply
  2. Sounds like a workout.

     
    • bn100
    • Reply
  3. That is some interesting data. I always thought that you burned more than that. Lol.
    Obviously it depends on how strenuous and the length of time.
    Thank you for sharing. I will have to check out her book. 😉

     
    • Tina B
    • Reply
    • I hope you do check it out, Tina – I think it’s going to be a lot of fun!

       
      • Adriana Kraft
      • Reply
  4. This book rocks. Obviously, I am biased being Monique’s publicist but all I have to say it is 10x more fun than the treadmill.

     
    • Thanks for stopping by with your comment, Michele – we’re fans, too! Agree about the treadmill…

       
      • Adriana Kraft
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  5. I think anytime you are moving any parts of your body and breaking a sweat then you are burning some calories. I have Monique’s book and it is done in such good taste and the sexisodes are easy to follow. I would highly recommend this for all couples who might want to spice up their sex life or just keep it going.

     
    • Her #1 Admirer
    • Reply
    • I totally agree – I love the book on two levels: It can be a lot of fun and help spice up any couple’s sex life, and it debunks the “sex doesn’t burn lots of calories” myth.

       
      • Adriana Kraft
      • Reply
  6. I think this book is brilliant .
    multi task sex and exercise all in one, if you can’t get sex, get in the gym,if you can’t get in the gym get exersexology on !!!

     
    • Terri
    • Reply
    • Perfect! Hmm… either activity can lead to more of the other, it’s all good.

       
      • Adriana Kraft
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  7. It’s a great workout and a fun way to burn calories. Our favorite is Bootcamp. Burn Baby Burn!

     
    • Ann
    • Reply
    • Haven’t tried that one yet – sounds like maybe it sizzles 🙂

       
      • Adriana Kraft
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  8. Most definitely a must read!!! I love how creative she was with the various, different positions! (:

     
    • Quintin
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  9. Great article Adriana Kraft! Thank you so much! I love how you mentioned the latest NBC report and yes it was based off of a 1980’s study of only 10 men in their mid 30’s with the average time of 6 minutes of sex for only 21 calories? First off, 6 minutes of anything will hardly get you a calorie burn! Most physical activity statistics are in 30 minute intervals, so dependent upon your age, weight, heart rate and time the average calories burn for 30 minutes of sex is between 75-150kcals. So yes, sex does burn calories and can burn off an entire meal if you work on some sex stamina and have sex for 1 hour!! But hey, even though I did a case study with couples (heart rate monitors were attached while having sex) don’t take it from me. I encourage you to strap on a monitor, try exersexology and see how many calories you burn for yourself! If you do…. come to exersexology.com and give me data. I would love to hear from you!

     
    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Monique! We’ve got the monitor – just need to set aside extra time and pick a sexercise! We’ll be reporting back to you as well as on these pages, you can count on it. Looking forward to interviewing you for this column next month, too.

       
      • Adriana Kraft
      • Reply

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