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Dieting can have a disastrous affect on a woman’s libido and might wreak havoc on your relationship. According to a recent online survey conducted by, 49 % of women reported that dieting lowers their sex drive. On top of this, 56 % of respondents claimed to feel under pressure from their partner to lose weight.

The survey highlights the enormous strain that the battle of the bulge can put on a relationship.

Dr Kingsley, author of ‘Thin Secrets: How to be slim without dieting’ suggests that the reduction in libido is not caused solely by a change in diet. She says: “Many things affect libido in women, including fatigue, stress and body image issues. All of these can occur simultaneously during dieting and sex drive can take a tumble as a result.”

On top of this, dieting reduces the number of opportunities traditionally used to enhance the mood as alcohol consumption drops and romantic dinners get postponed. “Rice cakes and cottage cheese just don’t have the same effects as chocolate and red wine!” says Dr Kingsley.

The finding that dieting can be detrimental to relationships follows a surge of recent evidence on the negative effects of going on a diet. Although the average British woman is thought to spend 31 years on a diet, recent studies suggest they are ineffective at best and, at worst, can actually damage health and lead to stress. “This is just another incentive for British women to ditch the diet and find more effective and enjoyable ways to lose weight,” says Dr Kingsley who encourages women to trust their instincts and make lasting changes to their lifestyle instead.

“A healthy weight will follow a healthy lifestyle – a balanced diet with regular exercise is the best possible weight loss strategy” advises Dr Kingsley. This approach is likely to have the added benefit of improving libido rather than diminishing it.

Dieting can put additional stress on a relationship as 48% of women surveyed also admitted to lying to their partner about their true weight. Traditionally men have avoided being drawn into weight loss conversations for fear of saying the wrong thing – there is a danger that women may misinterpret this for lack of support or even pressure to lose weight. “Some women will embark on a diet to become more sexually appealing, so it’s ironic that the whole process may act to suppress libido.”

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Notes to Editors:

• Results from a blind survey of 107 women who were looking to lose weight at the time of the survey. Respondents had all searched for "weight loss" on Google between the 11th and 14th of May 2007. Further results and analysis can be found at
• Lizzie Kingsley holds a PhD in Medical Genetics and is the author of Thin Secrets: How to be slim without dieting (£6.99 from

For further information or to speak to Lizzie Kingsley, please call Michelle Redmond @ Minx PR on 020 8288 0849

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