All those crunches in the gym may be going to waste if you have low testosterone, and if you think it’s uncommon, guess again. Approximately one in four men over the age of 30 has low testosterone, and many are completely unaware of it. If your libido has tanked and the scale continues to rise, low testosterone may be the culprit. The good news is, with proper diagnosis and treatment, you can lose weight and restore your vitality.
A hormone with versatile effects
Testosterone exerts complex effects on your body that extend beyond regulating fertility and bone mass. It also plays a role in fat distribution and how much muscle mass you’re able to build and maintain. Low levels negatively impact you in various ways, some of which influence your weight.
Testosterone levels decline naturally as you age. However, at Men’s T Clinic® we see men who have lower-than-normal testosterone levels even for their age. If you’re in this situation, you may be an ideal candidate for hormone replacement therapy.
Testosterone and muscle mass
A lack of testosterone makes it difficult for men to build and maintain muscle mass. The amount of muscle you have plays a role in regulating your weight. Muscle requires more energy to maintain and therefore requires more calories. It helps keep the energy balance between how much you eat and how much you burn for fuel. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn.
When your testosterone levels fall below normal, your muscle mass declines, causing your metabolism to slow down. This domino effect paves the way for weight gain and stubborn fat that doesn’t seem to budge despite your best efforts at eating right and working out.
Testosterone and fat storage
Fat cells, once thought of as dormant storage spots, are now known to act like other organs, secreting chemicals, sending signals, and influencing other parts of your body. For instance, fat cells produce an enzyme called aromatase that converts testosterone to estrogen, and an imbalance in your testosterone and estrogen levels increases body fat.
It also influences where you store fat. Low testosterone increases stomach fat, and too much abdominal fat is not only aesthetically displeasing, it also raises your risk for heart disease.
A vicious cycle
Not only does low testosterone increase weight gain, make it harder to lose weight, and boost your belly fat, but it also sets off a vicious cycle. Low testosterone increases body fat. That excess fat impairs your body’s ability to produce and effectively utilize testosterone, further lowering your already lower-than-normal levels. Once you’re on this vicious hamster wheel, it’s difficult to break without correcting the testosterone deficiency.
How testosterone therapy helps
Combined with moderate exercise, testosterone therapy produces significant weight loss in men with lower-than-normal levels. Correcting the amount of testosterone in your body helps you maintain lean mass as you shed body fat. As your levels normalize, your metabolism will increase so that you burn more calories, and your fat distribution will improve.
If you suspect you’re suffering from low testosterone, our team at Men’s T Clinic® can help. For diagnosis and treatment, call the nearest office or use our convenient online booking form.