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July 20, 2023
In the ever-evolving quest for weight loss, we often find ourselves in a maze of fad diets, trendy workouts, and miracle supplements. But what if we told you that a powerhouse hormone might lurk within your body, waiting to be harnessed?
Yes, we're talking about testosterone – the hormone often associated with masculinity and strength. But hold on, ladies, don't click away just yet! This isn't a piece exclusively for the gym-obsessed meathead.
Join me as we dig into testosterone and its potential to help you achieve your weight loss goals. From metabolic benefits to the impact on body composition, we'll uncover the science behind this controversial yet captivating hormone.
So, strap in and prepare to discover how testosterone could be the missing piece to unlock your journey toward a healthier, fitter you.
Table of Contents:
Testosterone is a hormone primarily produced in male testicles and female ovaries at lower levels. It is a steroid hormone that belongs to the androgen hormone family.
During puberty, testosterone plays an integral part in developing reproductive structures such as the testicles and prostate and secondary sex characteristics such as increased muscle mass, body hair growth, and voice changes in men.
It also aids in the production of sperm and the maintenance of a healthy sex drive. In fact, if test levels are insufficient, the male reproductive system will not work properly.
Females, like men, use testosterone to build reproductive cells and sustain a healthy sexual desire, but at considerably lower amounts. Men have more muscle mass than women because of the significant difference in testosterone production.
Non-reproductive activities of testosterone in both males and females include bone density, muscle mass, and red blood cell synthesis. One way testosterone influences improvements in body composition is by speeding up protein synthesis. It can also impact your mindset, energy, and overall well-being.
When most people think about testosterone, they think about its effect on muscle building. Although testosterone does significantly impact muscular development, it has a strong connection to body weight in general, as well.
Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism, muscle mass, and fat distribution in the body. When testosterone levels decline, it can lead to changes in body composition and metabolism, potentially resulting in weight and excessive fat gain.
There are several ways in which low testosterone levels may contribute to weight gain:
When looking at testosterone's role in weight gain and obesity, it's a question of the chicken or the egg. Does low T cause weight gain, or does weight gain cause low T? It turns out both.
One of the best ways to maintain optimal testosterone levels is to keep your body composition in check. If you are overweight or obese, you are more likely to have low testosterone.
According to a 2007 study of 1,667 males aged 40 and over, each one-point rise in body mass index was associated with a 2% decrease in testosterone2.
It's no secret low testosterone and belly fat are connected. Low testosterone will reflect negatively on your physique, both directly and indirectly. However, the good news is if you have low testosterone, increasing your levels will improve your weight loss efforts.
As mentioned, testosterone can help increase muscle mass and improve muscular strength. Since muscle is metabolically active, adding muscle mass can lead to a higher metabolic rate, making it easier to burn calories and potentially facilitating weight loss.
Balanced testosterone levels can enhance energy levels, improve mood, and increase motivation, which may result in individuals being more active and engaged in physical exercise. Regular exercise is critical for weight loss and overall health.
The most demanding aspect of losing weight is keeping it off. Interestingly, research shows obese men with low T saw sustained weight loss without weight regain by implementing testosterone replacement therapy3.
Stay tuned, as we'll dig more into TRT shortly.
While testosterone is primarily associated with male physiology, it also affects female health, including body composition. However, it's important to note that using TRT in females is not currently a common approach.
Still, there is growing evidence that supplementing with testosterone can benefit women, specifically older women4.
That said, testosterone influences weight loss in women similarly to how it affects men. Here are a few ways testosterone contributes to weight management in women:
On the flip side, too much testosterone in women can actually cause weight gain through insulin resistance. These symptoms are typically associated with PCOS and menopause, but if you're concerned for any reason, be sure to check with a doctor to see if you have normal testosterone levels.
And for ladies interested in learning more about women's testosterone needs, check out our article: 5 Ways Women Can Naturally Increase Testosterone Levels.
There are many natural ways to boost your testosterone. Everything from sleep to taking a testosterone-boosting supplement can help. Let's dig into each strategy further!
When it comes to testosterone and weight loss, if I had to pick the most critical lifestyle aspect to boost testosterone, it would be sleep. Sleep is essential for several reasons, including hormone balance.
In healthy young men, even one week of poor sleep lowered testosterone5. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you struggle with sleep, try waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. Our bodies love routine.
Sleep in a blacked-out room. If that is not possible, wear an eye mask. Lastly, avoid blue light an hour or so before bed. Wear blue blocking glasses if you like to watch TV during this time.
Regular exercise, particularly weight lifting, can naturally boost testosterone production. Lift 3-6 times a week, focusing on gradual overload, muscle growth, and strength development. It is, nevertheless, vital not to overdo it.
Overtraining is associated with lower testosterone levels, especially in endurance athletes6. Choose high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to include cardio while increasing testosterone. HIIT increases the balance of testosterone and cortisol, a stress hormone associated with lower testosterone levels7.
We talk about this more in our article: Does Working Out Increase Testosterone Levels?
A nutritious diet high in protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables can help to keep testosterone levels in check. Ensure you obtain at least 20% of your calories from fat and get all of your micronutrients. Studies have demonstrated low-fat diets lower testosterone levels in men8.
Chronic stress is known to reduce testosterone levels. The body produces the hormone cortisol in response to persistent stress, which can interfere with testosterone production. Furthermore, stress can cause poor sleep quality, suppressing testosterone levels even more.
Alcohol use can cause a drop in testosterone levels, especially in men. However, it is vital to note that we are discussing excessive drinking. A whiskey or glass of wine here and there won't make much difference. However, heavy alcohol intake lowers testosterone levels9.
Testosterone boosters are dietary supplements containing vitamins, minerals, and herbs designed to increase testosterone levels naturally. Different ingredient combinations can suit different goals, but in complement with the above lifestyle factors, a t-booster can provide that extra kick.
Testosterone boosters help increase your T, but we still need to answer the question: Do testosterone boosters help you lose weight?
The answer is that testosterone boosters can help with weight loss by increasing your energy and training performance. Think about it: If you have more energy, you're going to be more active. Not only does this mean you'll bring your A-game to the gym, which will lead to more calories burned, better gains, and more muscle, but you'll also be more active throughout the day.
The more energy you have and the more daily movement you get in, the more total calories you're going to burn.
I just discussed testosterone boosters and how they help improve your T levels and support weight loss, particularly when taken while also following the healthy lifestyle tips I went over. But, I want to give you even more information on testosterone boosters, as trying to figure out which T booster to take can feel pretty feel overwhelming.
That's why we at SET FOR SET extensively researched T boosters to find the best research-backed testosterone boosters on the market. You can learn more about all of them in our article: 7 Best Testosterone Booster Supplements. And for those of you who don't want to sift through an entire article to see our favorite T boosters, here's our list of favorite products.
If I had to recommend just one, I'd pick TestoPrime, which contains a long list of ingredients, like fenugreek, green tea, zinc, and ashwagandha, just to name a few, proven to increase your testosterone. This is a great product for those hoping to simultaneously address testosterone and weight loss.
The most significant change I think you'll find is that it will help improve your performance in the gym, which will lead to burning more belly fat and increasing your muscle mass.
Remember above when I mentioned TRT and weight loss? Let's talk about it more, as TRT is a great option for those with low testosterone who are trying to lose weight.
Testosterone therapy is a treatment that involves supplying the body with more testosterone to boost low t levels. This medication is generally used to treat hypogonadism, in which the body does not create enough testosterone, resulting in symptoms such as poor sex desire, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, obesity, and muscle mass loss.
Injections, skin patches, gels, pellets, and tablets are all options for testosterone therapy. Injections and skin patches are the most popular types of TRT. Testosterone boosters are a great natural choice, but when you're trying to boost low testosterone levels to lose weight, TRT will be the most effective option.
If you think you have low T, contact a TRT clinic and start the process. Once you get the ball rolling, they will order blood work to see if you would be a good fit. I understand that heading to the doctor seems pretty inconvenient and time consuming, but fortunately, if you pick the right TRT clinic, it doesn't have to be.
There are some great online TRT clinics, which take all of the hassle out of visiting the doctor. My favorite online TRT clinic is Fountain TRT, which kickstarts your TRT journey with a Customized TRT Evaluation.
The evaluation includes a testosterone test followed by a one-on-one video consultation with a Fountain provider to review your results. In addition, with prices as low as $40/week, you don't have to go broke boosting your T levels.
Interested in discovering more great online TRT clinics? Check out our article on the 8 Best Online TRT Clinics to find the right one for you. Or, for those who want a quick glance at the best options, here's the list of our favorite online clinics.
Still on the fence about TRT and its effectiveness? Don't just take my word for it. Here's what a few real-life Reddit users had to say:
"It (TRT) helped me shed 20 in 6 months. But it was because of the amount of energy it gave back to me. I went from working out 30 mins to 1.5 hours a day. I lost the weight once I tracked my calories and upped my protein to 200g a day. It's enough of a boost to get the scale to move. I struggled with my weight since forever." (source)
Another Reddit user said, "Speaking as someone who was obese (330 lbs at 5ft 11in) I had a hard time losing weight with my total T at 303 ng/dl. I would dial in my diet and still had a hard time losing fat. Started using Testosterone 200mgs per week and in 4 months I'm down to 250lbs and gained tons of strength and muscle." (source)
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about testosterone and weight loss.
The time it takes to lose weight on testosterone can vary greatly among individuals. Weight loss is a complex process that consists of diet, exercise, overall lifestyle, and individual differences. While testosterone can support weight loss efforts, there is no fixed timeline for how long it takes to lose weight on testosterone. Aim to lose between 1-2 pounds weekly for sustainable weight loss.
Testosterone can have some influence on metabolism, but its impact on an individual's metabolic rate may not be enough to cause substantial weight loss on its own. Testosterone helps maintain muscle mass, and since lean muscle mass burns more calories than fat, building muscle can lead to a higher metabolic rate.
When combined with lifting weights, testosterone can contribute to more muscle mass which can cause weight gain in the form of more muscle.
Specifically, targeting belly fat is challenging. However, losing weight will lower body fat, including around your belly.
The choice of testosterone treatment to support healthy testosterone levels depends on various factors, including your needs and health considerations. It is best to consult a qualified healthcare professional specializing in hormone therapy. They can assess your situation, conduct appropriate tests, and determine the most suitable testosterone treatment, if necessary.
TRT may provide specific benefits for weight loss indirectly. By addressing symptoms associated with low testosterone, such as fatigue, low energy, or reduced physical activity motivation, TRT can help individuals exercise regularly, maintain an active lifestyle, and support weight loss efforts.
The role of testosterone in weight loss is complex and multifaceted. While testosterone can contribute to weight management and healthier body composition, it is not a magic solution.
Testosterone plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism, muscle development, and fat distribution in the body. Therefore, testosterone may indirectly support weight loss efforts. However, individual results can vary, and it's important to consider a comprehensive approach that includes a healthy diet, regular exercise, testosterone boosters, and overall lifestyle modifications.
If you think you have a testosterone deficiency that affects your body weight or overall well-being, consult a healthcare professional or TRT clinic for a proper evaluation today.
Interested in trying natural testosterone supplements to help you lose weight? Check out our article on the 7 Best Testosterone Booster Supplements! Or, for those ready to enlist the help of professionals to increase T levels and shed belly fat, head to our article on the 8 Best Online TRT Clinics to find the best option for you.
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