Although testosterone is more popularly associated with strength, athletic performance, and libido, the hormone is increasingly gaining recognition for its weight-loss benefits. Testosterone supplements used to be popular only among bodybuilders, athletes, and those who wish to improve their sexual performance.
These days, however, people who are wanting to shed pounds are considering using testosterone boosters to help them achieve their weight-loss goals. Continue reading to learn more about how testosterone can help you better manage your weight.
What Happens When Your Testosterone Levels Decline
Testosterone levels generally start to decline when you reach your 30s. The age-related drop in testosterone levels is actually gradual, but it can have numerous effects on your body.
For instance, loss of interest in sex or low libido is a common effect of declining testosterone levels. Not only that, but it can also make you feel fatigued, and it can even lead to depression.
In addition, the physical effects of declining testosterone levels include loss of hair, bone mass loss, as well as muscle mass loss. Plus, it can also lead to an increase in your fat mass, which means it can contribute to weight gain.
Why You Should Consider Testosterone for Weight Loss
Losing weight is certainly not easy. Going on a diet can help you cut down on your calorie intake, and although it’s a good way to lose weight, the results are not immediately noticeable.
Working out, especially when coupled with a low-calorie diet, is definitely a more efficient way to lose weight. Cutting down on calories and increasing your calorie expenditure will give you good results in no time at all.
There’s a problem, however, when you just go on a diet to lose weight. Yes, it can help you lose fat, but it can also lead to lean muscle mass loss. This is where testosterone boosters come in.
When you take testosterone supplements, you can prevent the loss of muscle mass. As you may well know already, stimulating the growth and development of muscle mass is one of the functions of testosterone.
In addition, taking testosterone boosters can also help improve your metabolism. Testosterone actually also plays a role in both glucose and fat metabolism, with low testosterone levels associated with poor fat oxidation and inefficient use of glucose as energy.
There’s actually a myriad of studies on the relationship between testosterone and weight loss. Many of these studies involved men with hypogonadism or extremely low testosterone levels.
Hypogonadism is actually closely associated with obesity, and the two medical conditions have been shown to contribute to each other. Obese men tend to have abnormally low levels of testosterone, while hypogonadic men tend to have a high fat mass.
One of the reasons why obese men usually have extremely low testosterone levels is that they often suffer from high aromatase activities. An enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen, aromatase is also produced by fat cells.
Excessive belly fat, which is common among those who are obese, leads to high aromatase activities, which then result in low free testosterone levels due to increased conversion of the hormone into estrogen.
Moreover, obesity and excess belly fat also increase your risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Men with sleep apnea, regardless of age and weight, tend to have low testosterone levels. Testosterone synthesis usually peaks after several hours of deep sleep, but having sleep apnea can prevent you from getting enough restful sleep.
Various studies have shown that when obese hypogonadic men are treated with testosterone, not only do they experience normalized testosterone levels but they also see significant reductions in their waist circumference and body weight.
One study, in particular, showed that when obese middle-aged men tried to lose weight by going on a diet, those who were also given testosterone injections every 10 weeks enjoyed greater total fat and visceral fat loss. In addition, testosterone treatment also helped prevent the loss of lean muscle mass.
How to Increase Testosterone Naturally
Even when you don’t undergo testosterone replacement therapy, you still have several options for raising your testosterone levels back to normal.
Strength training is particularly helpful not only in losing weight but also for raising your testosterone levels. When you engage in strength training, you basically push your muscles to work hard. This stimulates increased testosterone production, and, of course, helps you burn calories faster.
Oysters, red meat, and mushroom are great for increasing your zinc levels. You need to have sufficient levels of this mineral if you want to produce normal levels of testosterone. That’s because zinc plays an important role in testosterone synthesis. In fact, research indicates that zinc deficiency is closely linked to testosterone deficiency.
Stress is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain and low testosterone levels. That’s because your cortisol levels skyrocket when you’re stressed, and cortisol inhibits the production of testosterone. Tongkat Ali not only helps lower cortisol levels but it also directly stimulates your testicular cells so that they produce more testosterone.
Another known stress-reducer, Ashwagandha has similar effects on cortisol levels, just like Tongkat Ali. There’s also evidence that Ashwagandha can help increase sperm production, improve sperm quality, and increase energy, as well as increase testosterone levels.
For losing weight and increasing testosterone levels, fenugreek is one of the best herb-based supplements. The herb is rich in dietary fiber, so it can help improve your digestion, as well as manage your cravings. Plus, fenugreek can also help lessen aromatase activities, thus allowing you to maintain normal levels of free testosterone.
Even when you take all the available testosterone boosters in the market, when you’re not sleeping well, your testosterone levels will still suffer. Your body synthesizes testosterone when you’re asleep, with the most production happening when you’re already 2 or 3 hours into a deep sleep.
This means that if you only sleep for an hour at a time, your testosterone production doesn’t get to peak. On top of that, sleep restriction can just increase your stress levels, which will then cause your cortisol levels to remain high, eventually affecting your testosterone production.