The other day, I was talking to a good friend and she said something that changed my life. There we were, discussing the fact that I was cheesing like a Cheshire cat because of this guy I was emailing and she says: “well you know, flirting burns calories, so keep it up girl!”
Whoa! Mind blown.
You mean I could get extra benefits outside of feeling all girly from flirting with a cute guy? I had to learn more. So I asked her, “Really? Does it? I’ve never heard of that before!” “Well,” she said, “I just assume it does since smiling/laughing burns calories and potentially, one would do a lot of that while flirting.”
Hmmm, she had a point there. In fact, this particular guy had had me cheesing for the past five hours. That’s a lot of burned calories, right? But because I’m me – I needed to verify. Like she assumed, most of the information I found spoke to the benefits of laughing and smiling. For example, Dietitian, Juliette Kellow said the following on a weight loss website:
New research published in the International Journal of Obesity has discovered that laughter really is the best medicine for a weight problem…
The researchers discovered that laughing increased both heart rate and calorie expenditure by up to 20 per cent – and the longer participants laughed for the greater the effects.
Using the results, the scientists then went on to calculate that just 15 minutes of laughter a day will burn 10 to 40 calories, depending on a person’s weight and the intensity of the laughter. That’s enough to shift between 1 and 4lb a year.
There were also several articles written about how smiling can burn calories as well. In fact, I couldn’t even begin to count all the articles I found that spoke to the caloric benefits of smiling and laughing… but actually specifying the act of flirting? Not so much.
Still, it stands to reason that if one is flirting, chances are he or she is also smiling and/or laughing, right? I mean, who flirts with a straight face? Weirdos? I was all set to just go with the smiling/laughing defense when I finally came upon an article from The Sun. In it, they write:
FLIRTING releases oxytocin, which makes you feel loved and eases stress. Jean says: “It helps social bonding as well as mating with a partner and caring for your young. No one knows how it reduces stress but it seems it does.” [And since] SMILING releases endorphin hormones and the “happy” chemical serotonin into the body, which is a double boost to ease stress and pain… “flirting could work wonders for a headache or other pains.”