Testosterone and Weight Loss

Posted: October 1, 2017 at 7:47 am

II. How Weight Loss Can Double Testosterone Levels

It should be noted that this does not just apply to the morbidly obese. One study of men with significant visceral fat showed that dropping about 35 pounds led to a 15 percent increase in free testosterone. [1] Other research showed that losing between 57 and 283 pounds produced even more significant changes in testosterone: average total testosterone levels went 240 to 377 ng/dl, a sizeable 58% rise on average. Free testosterone also increased by 41%. [2] Again, the men who lost the most amount of weight probably doubled their testosterone levels.

This is why on the Peak Testosterone Forum I always try to ask men with low testosterone how overweight they are. I am not trying to get personal, but feel that it is important to let them know that weight loss can very significantly boost their T in most cases. And it will also lower estradiol which will very favorably alter their all-important testosterone-to-estradiol ratio. I discuss this and other strategies in my page on How to Improve Your Testosterone-to-Estrogen (Estradiol) Ratio.

Have I seen this in real life? One of our longest term posters reported:

"I have a friend who weighed 238 pounds, his testosterone fluctuated between 439-500 Ng/dl. Once he spent a few years reducing his weight to 170, changing his diet, exercising, getting hydrated, his testosterone went back up to the 750-800 ng/dl range." [9]

If being overweight can make you hypogonadal and weight loss can double or more your testosterone (in some cases), then obviously you want to lose weight as rapidly as possible, right? And you probably want to add in some intense exercise to accelerate the process even more, correct? Wrong! That might seem logical, but nothing could be further from the truth unless perhaps you are a man not on TRT (testosterone replacement therapy).

This was shown powerfully in a study that I documented in my page on A Protocol to Lose Weight Rapidly and Maintain Muscle. The participants in this study did something remarkable: they combined a wide variety of intense exercises with a 40% reduction in calories and lost 11 pounds and either maintained or even gained some muscle. This is not an easy thing to do and so I did a page on that.

However, one of the guys on the Peak Testosterone Forum read the fine print and noticed that the testosterone levels of the men in the study dropped from 507 to 126 ng/dl! That is an ugly fall in testosterone and left those men severely hypogonadal.

Okay, so we know that gaining weight can lower testosterone. What about going the "other direction?" If you add (external or exogenous) testosterone, will you lower body fat? It turns out that many studies say 'yes', especially if you are hypogonadal. Let's check out a few examples:

1. Hypogonadal Males. One study found that giving hypogonadal males testosterone enanthate, which is very similar to the cypionate that is used in the U.S., resulted in a loss of 13% subcutaneous fat. [6] Remember: participants were not put on any type of an exercise program but rather just lost weight - somewhat miraculously - from the HRT itself. Yes, that's the Power of T!

2. Middle-aged Obese Males. Giving HRT to middle-aged, obese males lowered visceral fat but not subcutaneous fat in study. [7] Visceral fat is "belly (or stomach) fat" and is deadly. It is commonly associated with insulin resistance and MetS (Metabolic Syndrome). Of course, obese males will very likely be low or lowish in testosterone and may even be hypogonadal.

Another study showed that weight loss (with testosterone undecanoate) may be more pronounced on the obese and found that "More than half of the men (53%) lost at least 33 lbs., and almost a third lost 44 lbs. or more weight. Similarly, 86% of the men had a least a 2-inch reduction in waist circumference and 46% dropped 6 inches or more." These are impressive numbers and what was really remarkable is that the men kept losing weight generally all the way through the five year point. This is the opposite of what usually happens with dieting where the typical guys' weight yo yo's back and forth. [11]

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Testosterone and Weight Loss

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