Do you find it hard to lose weight and have little to no energy at all to exercise? Well, that might very well be one of the symptoms of low testosterone.
No amount of crunches and planks will do you any benefit if you struggle with low testosterone. And, before you dismiss it as something rare, think again – one in four men over the age of 30 are diagnosed to have low testosterone without knowing it at all.
If your sex drive seems to have gone kaput, and your get up and go has gotten up and gone, you might very well be suffering from low testosterone.
Here’s some good news: with an accurate diagnosis and treatment that is best suited to your own unique set of physical and genetic characteristics, you can increase your metabolism and regain that joie de vivre that has escaped you.
See, men rely on testosterone – the male hormone – for the development of physical, mental, and reproductive characteristics that are associated with being masculine. Recent research has suggested that weight loss can be included in this list.
Let’s discuss the link between testosterone and how it impacts weight loss in men.
The masculine hormone with a wide range of effects
Testosterone exerts a more complex, nuanced effect on the body that goes far beyond the development of muscle and bone mass, male sexual and reproductive characteristics, and its common effects we associate it with.
Recent studies have shown that testosterone also plays an important role in the metabolism and distribution of fat deposits, as much as it is responsible for determining how much bone and muscle mass your body will be able to build and keep.
It should therefore come as no surprise that low testosterone levels will adversely impact the aforementioned characteristics – some of which can very well influence your weight gain (or weight loss).
Testosterone levels naturally decline as you pile on the years. However, it’s not hard to find men who are experiencing testosterone levels that are lower than the norm for their current ages. And, almost invariably, they experience a plethora of symptoms that are all too easily dismissed as being “part of growing old”.
If you find yourself belonging to this category of men, then you may stand to gain benefits from increasing your testosterone levels.
Testosterone and Metabolism
Testosterone plays a central role in metabolism – and multiple studies have suggested that men suffering from low testosterone generally also possess a higher percentage of body fat as opposed to men who had normal or higher testosterone levels.
It’s not just broscience, either – men suffering from advanced prostate cancer who have begun to take medication to drastically reduce testosterone levels as a form of treatment have been shown to experience rapid weight gain and a subsequent increase in body fat percentage.
The Link Between Low Testosterone and Weight Gain
Further evidence lends more support to the link between testosterone and weight – even to the contrary. A 2013 study published in European Journal of Endocrinology mentioned that just a mere decrease in weight – a substantial loss in weight, regardless of whether undergoing testosterone replacement therapy or otherwise – was found to have been linked with an increase in overall testosterone levels.
The proof doesn’t end there: a German observational study was undertaken that same year which was subsequently published in the journal called Obesity suggested that weight reduction was an added benefit for men who were taking testosterone-increasing therapies as a result of being diagnosed with low T.
The control group was given testosterone supplements over 5 years with promising results – to the tune of an average loss of about 16 kilograms.
The evidence is hard to disprove at this point – clearly, there is a relation between testosterone and weight loss in men, and that testosterone supplements do have a role to play in the big scheme of things.
That said, we already know that the evidence testosterone and the role it plays in weight loss is pretty much a certainty – but why is it that low testosterone also plays a part in weight gain associated with men over 30?
We already know that low testosterone levels can result in a substantial increase in body fat percentage, particularly when it comes to fat deposits found in the midsection.
A vicious cycle
The truth is, we don’t know the exact biochemical equation that leads to testosterone causing such a change in weight gain. What we do know is that obesity is one of the risk factors that contribute to lower than average levels of testosterone.
With the importance that testosterone plays in weight loss, and the converse relationship when it comes to weight gain, one extreme leads to another, and can lead into a debilitating cycle that can lead to a whole new host of problems.
See, fat contains an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen – the primary female hormone. If your body creates more estrogens, the body slows down its production of testosterone. And the less testosterone your body makes, the more unsightly fat deposits in your midsection crop up. Rinse, lather, repeat.
Fat also hastens the metabolization of testosterone. So much so that the more excess pounds you carry, the faster you’ll process what’s left of your low testosterone.
It must be noted, however, that not all men suffering from low testosterone are instantly overweight – the symptoms of low T can vary greatly from person to person. One is not exclusive to the other, particularly to say that being overweight is not a prerequisite for the effects of low testosterone on your body.
Men suffering from low testosterone are more likely to possess less muscle and bone mass than men who possess regular T levels. Low to males are more likely to possess higher body fat percentages, even if they aren’t overweight at all.
Low Testosterone Can Decrease Your Desire to Stay in Shape
One of the most valid reasons low testosterone is linked to weight gain in men is because its symptoms expunge any incentive to work out and stay in shape. One of the insidious yet common symptoms of low testosterone is the fact that it blunts your motivation, making it easier for you to be a couch potato.
The lack of motivation and drive to exercise makes it so easy for men to gain weight. It doesn’t end there, either – even if you somehow managed to drag your carcass into the gym, low testosterone can lead you to not having the stamina to complete your workout, or be as efficient as you can and should be in the gym – resulting in little gains and a lot of discouragement.
How Do You Manage Your Weight If You Have Low Testosterone?
It’s easier said than done – but combating the weight gain that low testosterone brings is essentially the same advice doctors give to people trying to lose weight. This means a healthy, reasonable diet coupled with regular exercise.
This is all the more reason for you to take up a resistance training regimen, like weightlifting – because weightlifting helps build more muscle and promotes the production of testosterone. It also helps your body metabolize fat to be burned as extra energy during your workouts, which reinforces the benefits of keeping a healthy weight.
There are more ways to treat low testosterone than you can shake a stick at – and doing so can help you regain the motivation to stay fit, shed extra pounds, and get your body moving.
While testosterone supplements weren’t meant to be used to help men struggling with low T drop extra weight, treating it should help you get better results in your weight loss journey, particularly when you have a confirmed case of low testosterone. If the benefits of healthy testosterone levels do not catch your eye, then nothing will.
Addressing low testosterone can increase energy, reduce symptoms of fatigue, and helping you to get moving and reduce your weight. While testosterone supplements shouldn’t be used to help men with low T symptoms to drop weight – if you have low T, then treating it makes weight reduction easier.
Normal T-levels encourage healthy fat reduction, increased muscle strength and mass, and stronger stamina that helps encourage men to have better, more encouraging workouts, so that they are more inspired to do them more often.
Being obese or overweight increases your risk of experiencing You face an increased risk of low testosterone if you are overweight or obese. In circumstances such as these, your body can be subject to a vicious, repetitive cycle that lower-than-usual testosterone levels cause more weight gain, which then results in dropping your testosterone even more – perpetuating the cycle itself.
In general, however, testosterone levels can be increased by weight loss – and you’ll usually gain higher testosterone levels if you lose more weight. Your healthcare provider may just recommend a weight loss regimen as one of the important ways you could raise your T levels appropriately.