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Article by Corinne Kepler

Testosterone and weight loss: what you need to know!

Updated on 12 April 2024.

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Testosterone and weight lossTestosterone and weight loss: what’s the connection? Have you come across this question somewhere? If so, I’m pretty sure you’re here to find the answer! I’d rather talk to you about the answers! Whether you’re a woman or a man, you’re certainly equally concerned by this question.

Like most men, I’ve long been interested in the question of testosterone only as it relates to bodybuilding and sexual desire. Well, it seems that there is indeed a relationship between testosterone and weight loss! So how do we explain this relationship, and what impact would it have on a slimming diet? Okay, let’s get to the point!

Testosterone and weight loss, an old story!

When we talk about testosterone and weight loss, we’re challenging a lot of preconceived ideas about these two seemingly different elements. But before embarking on an exploration of this subject, it would be wiser to agree on a few concepts.

Testosterone isn’t just for men!

Testosterone and weight loss for men and womenWell, yes… for all those who associate testosterone exclusively with virility, think again! The hormone testosterone is a so-called “masculinizing” androgen, responsible in part for the appearance of the first male sexual characteristics. Beard, pubic hair, muscle growth and sperm production are all due to testosterone in pubescent men.

Our “virilizing” hormone is produced in the adrenal glands of both men and women, but in different quantities. While testosterone is also produced in the testicles of men, it is also produced in the ovaries of women. In the latter, it is responsible for hair growth and skin oiliness (which can lead to acne).

But what’s certain for both sexes is that testosterone is essential for libido or sexual desire.

Testosterone and weight loss, a vicious circle…

Testosterone and weight loss, a vicious circleHold on to your hats…weight gain (especially in cases of obesity) affects testosterone production by lowering it, resulting in greater fat storage. On the other hand, if testosterone drops for whatever reason, our insulin resistance is affected. As a result, our sugar metabolism is also affected, and these carbohydrates are transformed into fat. A vicious circle, as you can see!

The relationship between testosterone and weight loss takes on its full meaning when it comes to losing weight as a man over the age of 40. Generally speaking, beyond this age bracket, testosterone levels are often called into question.
In numbers terms, blood testosterone levels drop from 10-30 nmol/Liter of blood for men aged 20-45, to 7-28 nmol/Liter of blood for these same men now aged 40-60.

In short, losing weight stimulates (and requires) a good level of testosterone in the body, especially for men. However, the first step is to get out of the vicious circle… which isn’t very easy!

How do you see the link between testosterone and weight loss then?

With this “circular” cause-and-effect relationship between testosterone and weight loss in mind, we’re going to try and understand this reality so as to minimize the damage. Indeed, people seeking to lose weight (in fat but inevitably also in muscle) are confronted with serious scenarios where their testosterone levels plummet. Explanations.

Reducing fat reduces testosterone

Diet deprivationWhile we think we’re doing the right thing by indulging in traditional deprivative diets, reducing fat intake as much as possible, we end up hurting ourselves. In fact, many scientific studies have shown that reducing fat levels and eating high-fiber foods is the fastest (and most effective!) way to reduce testosterone levels. This is especially true when there is excessive consumption of polyunsaturated fats.

The solution? Don’t totally deprive yourself of fats, and continue to consume those considered “good”. These include saturated and monounsaturated fats. We won’t go into more detail here, but you’ll have plenty of time to find out for yourself.

A few food tips:
For good fats, you’re always spoilt for choice: avocado, olive oil, Argan oil, coconut oil, raw unsalted nuts, organic egg yolks, lean meat from grass-fed livestock, etc.

Weight loss reduces testosterone

Weighing yourselfBy far the clearest illustration of the link between testosterone and weight loss. You should know that any form of energy deficit, caused by burning more calories consumed, significantly reduces testosterone levels. In general, it’s virtually impossible to lose fat without losing muscle. Any weight loss action is therefore bound to affect testosterone levels.

However, the “damage” can be reduced by trying to preserve as much lean muscle mass as possible. This can be achieved by guaranteeing a logical protein intake and helping yourself with resistance training. Sportsmen and women understood this very early on, and the living proof is the current range of natural food supplements that work.

Stress reduces testosterone

StressGoing on a diet, especially a private one, is experienced as a restrictive exercise that generates a lot of stress. Ever heard of cortisol? It’s a hormone generated by stress. It is generally useful for bodily reactions and reflexes in the event of exposure to danger. But too much cortisol isn’t good for your health, especially your testosterone!

The solution? Anything that helps reduce stress is welcome! But start with the most important thing of all: a minimum sleep requirement of no less than 7 hours a night. I repeat: sleep through the night! Next, don’t deprive yourself of food altogether, but rebalance your diet by choosing the right foods and finding the right alternatives for risky foods. Finally, take it easy on sport and do just what you need to keep in shape!

Testosterone and weight loss: conclusions

Testosterone and weight loss - good fatsWe’ll have seen the problematic link between the two, and we’ll also have understood the delicacy of the treatment to be installed without affecting either element. I won’t be able to claim a definitive solution to the problem, but we could always agree, among other things, on these two points:

  • There’s no need to “kill yourself” with drastic diets. Trust your instincts more and try to revisit the history of our ancestors, for example: it seems that the Paleolithic diet (or Paleo diet) is a good way to go;
  • Get help from the right supplements that can improve your testosterone levels and help you manage stress: get the facts!

In short, lose the fat and keep the muscle, all in a good mood!

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