The Key Is Avoiding These Libido-Sapping, Energy-Sucking "Vampires"
Are you ready to reveal your best body this Valentine's Day? If you've been following your New Year's resolutions, you've probably turned into a major gym rat. And your diet has probably taken over your life: grains, vegetables, lean protein, low fat-day in and day out.
But as all the hard work pays off and you start seeing results, your motivation and dedication take off like a rocket. There's no stopping you now.
Then Valentine's Day rolls around, and it's supposed to be one of the most romantic days of the year. Whether you have a partner to spend a steamy evening with, or you're planning to look and feel your best for a night on the town, you don't want your libido to be sucked dry.
When you're going overboard with your training and diet plan or sacrificing sleep, you're inviting these monsters to kill your sex drive. On top of going through life's daily stress factory, you don't have to let the Libido Vampires in.
As Justin Timberlake knows, you can definitely "bring sexy back" for Valentine's day by using these simple tips to reinvigorate your sex drive.
The Extreme Low-Fat Diet
The first culprit that'll sap the energy from your sex drive is an extremely low fat diet plan. While going low-fat is good for your general health and to help maintain your weight (or even lose weight), when you cut out virtually all dietary fat, you're in for some serious problems.
If you eliminate your intake of healthy fats like omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, then you're actually stripping your body of essential fats.
Remember, there's a difference between "good fats" and "bad fats." Cut out trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and most of your saturated fat. Those fats can put you at serious health risk. But having plenty of healthy sources of fats like salmon, cod, avocado, and flax seed will actually help to improve your heart and how your body feels and functions.
Dietary fats play a major role in helping the body synthesize the major sex hormones. So if you aren't taking in this fat, it won't be long before you notice the negative effects on your sex drive.
Saturated fat especially, in moderate doses, tends to impact testosterone in males, so don't go cutting all of it out. Up to 15% of your fat intake can come from this variety for it still to be considered healthy.
For guys, you can add small doses of saturated fat into your meal plan while keeping the primary focus on unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids. For women, you won't have to worry about saturated fats quite as much because they won't have as much of an influence over your body.
The Extreme Low-Calorie Diet Plan
The second big problem that will quickly lower your sex drive is an extreme low-calorie diet plan. The kind of extreme I'm talking about is where you eat fewer than 10 calories per pound of body weight.
Let's face it, sex takes energy, and good sex takes more energy. If you want fireworks in the bedroom this Valentine's Day but you're only eating a thousand calories per day or less -you're going to feel like calling it an early night rather than turning up the heat with your partner.
A very low calorie diet will not only drain your energy, but it'll also bleed your mental focus dry. You won't be thinking about sex, and you probably won't have the energy anyway. How romantic does that sound? Imagine having to explain that to your significant other on Valentine's Day. Hopefully, you won't have to.
Your brain requires a constant supply of glucose, energy that comes from food, to function correctly. You're far more likely to become both physically and mentally fatigued when you're on a very low calorie diet. Taking a more moderate dietary approach is a good idea.
You should always be consuming somewhere between twelve or thirteen calories per pound of body weight. If you're trying to lose fat, the healthy way to see results is to lose 2-3 pounds per week.
Overtraining With A High Volume Workout Program
The third culprit that could be leeching your sex drive: Overtraining.
Your high volume workouts may be paying off in the gym but hurting your performance in the bedroom. If you're doing more than 20-30 sets per workout and taking only 1 rest day a week, you may not be allowing your body to recover fully.
You experience "overtraining" when your body is in a constant state of breaking down. Symptoms of overtraining are fatigue, feeling sick, feeling groggy, inability to focus, and-you guessed it-low libido.
You could be doing too much cardio or weight training, but either way, when combined with a reduced calorie diet plan, the chances of overtraining are going to be that much higher.
Overtraining is one of the fastest ways to kill your libido as it destroys both your physical capacity and mental desire.
While some people can handle high volume workouts without feeling the impact, sometimes even if you aren't overtraining, your high volume workouts can severely deplete your muscle glycogen and leave you too exhausted to think about anything but resting.
After an intense workout, you may just need most of the day to recover. If so, make sure to get your Valentine's Day workout in during the morning or use Valentine's Day as a rest day.
If you are experiencing symptoms of overtraining, then you might need to take a couple days off before you're really in the mood. Taking some time away from the gym every so often to recharge your batteries and give the body rest is vital, but far too many people completely skip over this in their quest for results.
It's easy to think that taking time off will set you back in your progress, but in most instances, the opposite is true. After a full week away from the gym you'll find that you come back feeling fresh and ready to work hard. Plus, since the muscles have had a chance for full recovery, you'll often find you're stronger as well.
Remember that this applies to your diet too. If you've been dieting for 12 weeks or more, take a week off and bring your calories back up to maintenance level, which should be 15 calories per pound of body weight (or higher if you're very active). Doing this will reset your metabolism and make sure your body is functioning optimally.
Lack Of Sleep
Maintaining a healthy libido level will be much easier when you feel well rested. Sleep not only impacts your energy levels, but getting enough sleep helps you stay stress-free. When you're sleeping enough (8-9 hours a night) each night your sex hormones will be optimized and your sex drive will be purring like the V-12 engine in a Dodge Viper.
It's no surprise that when you're running low on sleep you're also irritable and not in the mood. On top of the stress of picking the perfect Valentine's Day restaurant, remembering to make the reservations, and buying a gift, the last thing you want is sleep deprivation.
One study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology And Occupational Physiology noted that in subjects performing a five day intense physical training course with much less sleep than normal, testosterone levels dropped below 25% of the pre-course levels after just 48 hours.
To combat the lack of sleep and intense training, you'd have to really increase your calorie intake. So despite the fact you think you may be fueling the body well enough to overcome lack of sleep, you probably aren't. If you want a healthy sex drive, make sure you get a full eight hours each night.
Banish Libido Vampires For Good
Being out of shape can be the worst thing for your libido, so it's important to exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet with lots of fresh produce, and take a multivitamin and essential fatty acid supplements for extra support. But it's all about balance.
If you workout for two hours every day, don't eat enough, reduce dietary fat, and lose sleep then you're sending out an invitation in neon lights to the Libido Vampires. Make sure you take a look at your routine and assess if you're simply doing too much.
You'll be glad that you backed off on your training and diet for that special night with your partner. And you'll be able to create some unforgettable memories this Valentine's Day.