Want to lose a few pounds? How about falling in love. According to a new study published in the journal Obesity, falling in love could help you get slim.
The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School, focused on the hormone oxytocin, often called the “love hormone.” Oxytocin is linked to activities like cuddling, kissing, and having sex.
Researchers recruited 25 healthy young men, 13 at “normal” BMIs and 12 who were overweight or obese. They concentrated oxytocin into a nasal spray and gave the participants either the oxytocin spray or a placebo (no participant knew which one he received). After they received the spray, all participants ordered breakfast from a menu and were served double portions of whatever they asked for. The researchers then measured how many calories participants ate. Eight weeks later, the participants did the experiment again, but switching whether they received oxytocin or a placebo.
The results show the power of love can help you turn down desserts. When participants had the oxytocin dose, they ate 122 fewer calories and 9 fewer grams of fat, on average. Plus, participants had improved insulin sensitivity and boosted metabolisms. Though the study was small and limited to young men, the study was promising, since it showed clear appetite regulation without major side effects.
So go ahead, fall in love!