Low testosterone in men is a common problem across all ages – not just for the 40-and-up crowd. If you are looking to lose weight, gain muscle, have more energy during the day, and boost your sex drive, then you should understand how testosterone works in the body.
There are many factors that contribute to low testosterone in men. It may stem from your diet, failure to keep your body active and moving, or even just because it is hereditary. One of the more common concerns is the relationship between low testosterone and weight loss, or failure to losing weight. Evidently, there are even effects of how these testosterone imbalances can result in weight gain. Below we will focus on how testosterone can affect weight loss, and the necessary steps to take to reduce the risks of it.
How Testosterone Effects Weight Loss
In men that are healthy, testosterone is a great hormone for fat loss (as opposed to “just” weight loss). Testosterone will help build the muscles in the body, which results in increased insulin sensitivity, maintaining of metabolic health, and delivering to our body other important health benefits. The firing of muscle fibers when the body is active will boost testosterone production, resulting in increased energy and drive to maintain that active state. This increases the likelihood of the body to burn even more fat during this moment.
However, low testosterone and weight gain can create a vicious cycle. Obesity will impair the production of testosterone, and lower testosterone makes it easier to store fat. This effects the insulin sensitivity by making it more resistant. This means the more carbs the body consumes, the more is rejected by insulin, forcing the excess carbs to be stored in the fat region. One leads to another, and at the worst case you may find yourself unwilling to lose weight both from the symptoms of low testosterone and obesity.
The Effects of Dieting and Low Testosterone
One of the worst side effects of dieting is that it dramatically lowers testosterone levels. However, this is natural and there are no easy ways to bypass it. Most diets will involve consuming low-fat foods and passing up butter. Unfortunately, studies have proven that eating a bunch of low-fat, high-fiber is the best way to tank testosterone levels.
The solution to this is not to completely cut out fat, but rather consume only the good fats. When we talk about good fats, we are referring to saturated and monounsaturated fats. Simply cutting it out is non-ideal, but controlled consumption according to your recommended diet will help maintain your testosterone levels much better.
Stress Reduces Testosterone
The real question is: who actually enjoys dieting? Nobody. If you’re one of the few that enjoys dieting, it is not because of the process of it, but rather the results. During the dieting period, the body is put through a stressful and painful process. “Starving” yourself will increase feelings of natural stress, and evidently, stress is linked to lower production of testosterone. This is a big factor contributing to low testosterone in men and stems from the body producing too much cortisol than it needs.
Cortisol is the body’s hormone for fight-or-flight. Too much of it will result in stress, reducing the testosterone levels in the body. The solution is simple: keep cortisol levels low by reducing stress. If a diet is affecting your daily life too much, making you much more moody in general, then perhaps it is time to find a new diet.
Overworking the body at the gym is also another way to induce stress. Know your limits, when to stop or do more, and changing your diet are all great ways to maintain your stress levels.
Start Taking Care of Your Testosterone Levels!
Overall, low testosterone in men can be handled during your weight loss journey if you understand exactly what can cause the lower levels. Doing so will help put plans into place to maintain these levels and keep the body functioning as normal. If you are interested in learning more about how low testosterone can be handled, check out our resources below. Understanding how our body functions helps, but the only way to battle low testosterone in men is truly learning how the function is affected by your own choices and decisions. If all else fails, testosterone replacement therapy may be a solution. If so, contact Dr. Ben Evans of McKellips Internal Medicine today to get started on a treatment program that will put you back on your feet and feeling like a true man again!