Low Testosterone Symptoms: Weight Gain
Low Testosterone & Weight Gain
Why are low test levels making you fat?
If your gym workouts don’t feel quite like they used to, it could be a sign of low testosterone.
Some of the most common signs of declining test levels are lack of energy, decreased muscle strength, and trouble losing weight.
Sound familiar? Here’s how your test levels could be standing in the way of the body you want.
How Does Testosterone Help You Stay Lean?
The male hormone testosterone is responsible for a whole host of positive things in life, from having a healthy sex drive (and being able to maintain erections), to having drive and focus in the gym, plus being able to pack on muscle and maintain it pretty easily.
But testosterone also helps you stay at a healthy body weight and keep fat gain away from your belly, avoiding the dreaded Dad-bod look.
1. Testosterone supports muscle gain, helping you add muscle mass and lean tissue
2. Test gives you the desire to go to the gym or play competitive sport
3. It also gives you the drive to lift heavier and train harder once you’re there
4. Healthy test levels support healthy mental health, making it easier to eat right
5. Testosterone helps your body maintain low body fat levels especially around the waist
Low Testosterone And Weight Gain
We have known for a long time that low testosterone and weight gain are closely linked, but we used to think that the weight gain came first and that testosterone levels dipped as a result.
Yet, recent studies suggest that low testosterone can also cause obesity, and could in fact be one of the first clues of impending weight gain, obesity, or serious disease.
Fat tissue is a powerful hormonal modulator, containing an enemy called aromatase which converts testosterone into estradiol (estrogen).
Too much aromatase activity decreases testosterone and has a huge impact on your ability to build muscle, lose fat, and maintain a healthy body weight.
One of the most common effects on low testosterone is that is increases body fat levels, especially around the belly and lower back.
And this body fat goes on to convert testosterone into estrogen, and when the body has high levels of estrogen this will encourage the body to slow down its production of testosterone.
It’s a vicious cycle which you are better off avoiding to begin with.
The Circular Effect
It’s important to note that low test can contribute to weight gain – but that weight gain can also contribute to low test.
As men get older, it’s very easy to get trapped in this cycle (and difficult – but not impossible – to get out of it).
Studies have shown that men with low test who lose weight and get into a healthy weight range will see a natural boost in test levels.
In fact, obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for plummeting testosterone levels.
So getting control of your weight, through increased activity levels and a healthier diet, will have a positive effect on your testosterone levels now and help you avoid low test risks in future.
Low Test And The Gym
Having low testosterone will usually affect your sleep, and make you feel more lethargic, plus rob you of your self-confidence.
That’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to getting to the gym or joining a sports team.
However, if you are already packing on the weight as you get older, it’s even more important that you make the effort to increase your activity levels.
Anything will do – even going for regular walks will help you to tackle excess calories and bring down your body weight (and walking is great for mood and mental health).
But for the best impact on your weight, muscle mass, and testosterone levels you should combine some cardio training with resistance work, ideally lifting weights.
This will naturally boost your testosterone and other anabolic hormones, like Human Growth Factor, and help you tackle the creeping body weight gain around your waist.
If you’re feeling low, demotivated, or embarrassed about exercise, take steps to get over this negative mindset.
It’s really important that you get active and start working on your body.
Consider training with a friend, getting a PT, or finding the friendliest gym in your area to make life easier for you.
Why It’s Harder To Lose Weight
Our test levels naturally start to drop in our 30’s, and many of us will also start to gain weight around the same time in our lives.
This is due to lifestyle changes, stress, less time to exercise, and probably a more sedentary lifestyle.
Declining test levels are a huge factor in the battle against Dad-bod, and is closely linked with deep abdominal fat.
It’s not just about body fat levels.
Testosterone is an important hormone that also helps our bodies to correctly balance insulin and glucose, and manage inflammation.
The truth is undeniable: our test levels and our body fat levels are directly linked.
Too much body fat causes low testosterone, and low testosterone can also lead to excess body fat.
Testosterone helps us to regulates energy balance, gym performance, activity output, and even our mood and attitude to being fit and healthy.
How To Manage Your Weight With Low Testosterone
Men with low testosterone need to tackle weight gain the same way as anyone else: exercise regularly, get more active in every day life, and eat fewer calories that the body expends.
But it can feel like an uphill battle if your energy levels are low and you feel bad about your body.
Just remember how incredible an active and healthy lifestyle will be for your testosterone levels.
You could even completely reverse the effects of low test with just a few small, easy healthy habit changes.
Low testosterone is not a life sentence, and medical intervention is not inevitable.
Make healthy choices for your body starting today, and get back on track to a healthier hormonal balance.
Nicola Joyce (aka “the fit writer”) is a fitness industry copywriter who has been writing for and about sport and fitness since 2004. Nicola is a competitive drug-free bodybuilder (with two World titles at amateur level) and has also competed in powerlifting and a couple of strongman comps. Prior to her strength training days, Nicola was an endurance athlete and has even swum the English Channel twice. She can be found on all social media at: thefitwriter.