Testosterone is a hormone that is usually produced in the testes in males and in smaller amounts in the adrenal cortices and ovaries in females; it is the primary male sex hormone (1). It is essential for the growth of male sexual characteristics, such as the development of the male reproductive system and the growth of body and facial hair. The development of bone and muscle, the production of red blood cells, and mood are all significantly impacted by testosterone (1,2).
In addition to its other functions, testosterone has an impact on body composition and can significantly contribute to weight gain. Reduced muscle mass, less sex drive, fatigue, and weight gain are just a few of the symptoms that low testosterone levels can bring on in men (2). This is due to the fact that testosterone has an impact on the body's capacity to develop and maintain muscle mass, which can directly affect weight gain.
The Role of Testosterone in Weight Gain
Testosterone aids in reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass (3). Testosterone encourages muscle tissue growth and development, which aids in boosting metabolism and burning calories.
Low testosterone levels can cause weight gain because they reduce muscle mass and the body's capacity to burn calories. This can lead to an increase in body fat, particularly in the abdominal area.
Increased insulin resistance has also been connected to low testosterone levels (4,5). The hormone insulin aids in controlling the body's blood sugar levels.
The body's cells become less responsive to insulin when there is insulin resistance,which can result in high blood sugar levels and a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (4,5)
In order to prevent insulin resistance and control blood sugar levels, testosterone works to increase insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is decreased by low testosterone levels, which can result in weight gain and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, a rise in the production of the stress hormone cortisol has been connected to low testosterone levels (6). Cortisol levels that are elevated have been linked to weight gain and the buildup of abdominal fat, which is a risk factor for a number of diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes (7).
Cortisol excess can lead to weight gain and fat deposition, especially in the abdominal region. The bloodstream is stimulated to release glucose by cortisol, giving the body the energy it needs to deal with stress.
If this glucose is not utilized for exercise, it may be stored as fat. High levels of cortisol can also increase cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods and increase appetite, which can lead to weight gain.
The Link Between Testosterone and Obesity
Low testosterone levels and obesity are strongly correlated.
In fact, studies have shown that men with low testosterone levels have a higher likelihood of being overweight than men with normal testosterone levels
Numerous studies have established a connection between low testosterone levels and obesity. A 2017 study found that 5-point decrease in BMI could be linked to a 13% increased in testosterone (9)
Another 2012 study discovered that males with low testosterone levels have higher fat mass and lower lean mass, both of which are linked to metabolic dysfunction (10). A 2017 review found that testosterone therapy has the potential to help obese men with low testosterone levels lose weight, improve their quality of life, and manage the complications associated with obesity (11)
Additionally, according to some studies, obesity and low testosterone are closely related, and men with low testosterone are more likely to become obese.
Similarly, obesity is frequently seen in women with PCOS, which is characterized by excess testosterone in women and can be characterized by increased free androgen index, hirsutism, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and homeostatic model assessment-insulin resistance index (12)
How can Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Affect Weight Loss
By boosting muscle mass, TRT can aid in weight loss in a number of different ways . The growth and development of muscle tissue is greatly aided by testosterone(13)
Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue because it has a higher metabolic activity. Low testosterone levels can result in decreased muscle mass and a decreased capacity to burn calories, both of which can lead to weight gain (3,13)
The body's metabolism is boosted by increasing muscle mass through TRT, which may aid in the promotion of weight loss.
TRT can also aid in weight loss by enhancing insulin sensitivity(5,13). The hormone insulin aids in controlling the body's blood sugar levels. The body's cells become less responsive to insulin when there is insulin resistance, which can result in high blood sugar levels and a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Testosterone works to increase insulin sensitivity, reduce insulin resistance and control blood sugar levels (14). By using TRT, the body's capacity to control blood sugar levels is improved, which may aid in the promotion of weight loss.
TRT has also been demonstrated to lessen the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that has been linked to weight gain (14).
Cortisol levels that are elevated have been linked to weight gain and the buildup of abdominal fat, which is a risk factor for a number of diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
By lowering cortisol production through TRT, the body is better able to handle stress, which can aid in weight loss.
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Lifestyle Changes to Boost Testosterone and Lose Weight
While TRT can be a great supplement, there are a number of great lifestyle changes that can help one boost T levels and lose weight (15)
Regular exercise helps promote weight loss and is a great way to increase testosterone levels. It has been demonstrated that weightlifting and other forms of resistance training are particularly effective at raising testosterone levels and increasing muscle mass. Regular exercise can also help with weight loss by boosting metabolism and burning calories.
Eat a balanced diet
Eating a healthy diet can aid in weight loss and support the production of testosterone. The nutrients required by the body to produce testosterone and keep a healthy weight can be obtained from a diet high in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Control your stress
Stress can impair the production of testosterone and lead to weight gain. Deep breathing exercises, yoga, and other stress-management techniques can help to lower stress levels and promote general health.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for both weight loss and testosterone production. Lack of sleep can affect how hormones are produced, increase appetite, and result in weight gain. To support overall health, aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Limit your alcohol intake because it can interfere with your body's ability to produce testosterone and cause you to gain weight. Limiting alcohol consumption can support the production of testosterone and weight loss.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can help to support testosterone production. Losing weight if overweight or obese can help to increase testosterone levels and reduce the risk of health problems associated with excess weight.
By making these lifestyle changes, it's possible to promote both testosterone production and weight loss. However, it's crucial to remember that lifestyle adjustments should be implemented gradually and with the assistance of a healthcare professional. You can get started today by consulting one of our experts at scienceandhumans.com
1. Testosterone | Definition, Effects, & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/science/testosterone.
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