The Huffington Post | By Kelsey Borresen Posted: 02/26/2013 4:59 pm EST | Updated: 02/26/2013 5:09 pm EST
One infidelity website claims that having an extramarital affair can actually be good for your health.
UndercoverLovers.com, a UK dating site for married people, conducted a survey of 3,000 of its philandering members to ask them how much weight, if any, they had lost since they began having an affair. Of the 1,500 female respondents, 62 percent reported some weight loss, dropping an average of 10 lbs. Of the 1,500 male respondents, 53 percent reported some weight loss, dropping an average of 6 lbs.
“It’s well known that we eat more, and less healthily, when we’re unhappy,” the site’s spokesperson, Emily Pope, said in a press release. “Many UndercoverLovers.com members have endured years, and in some cases decades, of marital unhappiness before embarking on their affair. The instant joy and boost to self-esteem that many experience by having a new lover and the desire to look their best for them, can provide the perfect incentive to lose weight.”
Pope also attributed the weight loss to the added calorie burn of sex and other physically intimate activities.
But not all are buying the survey’s findings. According to psychologist and HuffPost Divorce blogger, Dr. Jeff Gardere, the loss is likely tied to something very unhealthy — stress.
“No matter how much fun you may be having during these one night stands and adulterous affairs, the stress that is caused by sneaking around and not getting caught, and lying to your spouse is tremendous,” he wrote in an email to Huffington Post Divorce. “Feeling guilt after the sex act and the affair also brings on additional stress too. So yes, you are losing weight during your illicit physical/sexual activity and even losing additional weight from the aforementioned stress, but this stress is also placing you at risk for all sorts of physiological illnesses.”
And even if you did lose weight due to an affair, keeping off the pounds would prove challenging — according to nutritionist and HuffPost Divorce blogger Barbara Mendez.
“The dopamine rush of an affair is like the rush you get when you fall in love which in turn supresses appetite,” Mendez said via e-mail. “So you eat less and that added to the calories burned would indeed help you lose weight. But it is short lived. As soon as the affair goes sour, the weight will likely come back.”
As marriage educator and HuffPost Divorce blogger Cathy Meyer pointed out, there are other, less touchy ways to lose weight.
“Is the possible loss of 6-10 pounds a good reason to engage in erroneous or immoral behavior? Is it worth the short-term boost to one’s self-esteem?,” she said in an e-mail. “Their study should be taken with a grain of salt. Or, if it is weight you are wanting to lose, a bed of lettuce and some cottage cheese but most definitely not a lover on the side.”
What do you make of the survey’s findings? Click through the slideshow below to test your knowledge of other cheating studies, then sound off on the findings in the comments.