By Michael Roizen, MD, and Mehmet Oz, MD


When the Kinks crooned Do It Again, they were bemoaning the endless repetition of conventional life. Little did they know that doing IT again and again -- you might call it a pleasurable do-over! -- was so good for body and soul. That’s because physical and emotional acts that create a sense of closeness stimulate the release of a powerful hormone called oxytocin. That bathes your body in calm and contentment.  

You can stimulate that sensation by having sex and orgasm, as well as feeling close to and talking to someone (oxytocin is the bonding hormone), hugging and kissing, even saying hello or goodbye. Breastfeeding also stimulates its release.

And here’s an interesting bonus benefit: Oxytocin is a weight-loss booster!  Seems while the hormone is making you think, “Hey let’s do THAT again,” it’s also putting the breaks on your food cravings. That’s right, having (safe, healthy, monogamous) sex and sharing moments of enjoyment with friends could help you control food cravings and reduce your food intake.

Here’s how that works. Oxytocin helps modulate two neuropeptides (they act like neurotransmitters) called CCK and NPY that shuttle hunger and appetite impulses along the neural highway between your brain and your gut. Oxytocin puts a yellow caution flag on the track and suddenly you’re less hungry. At the same time the love hormone throws a damper on the stress hormone cortisol, a known trigger for impulse eating. So, if you’re looking for a truly enjoyable way to lose weight, release some oxytocin today!