You dread society for pushing you to look the way it likes, but there is a good enough reason why. Society has this perfect image of a healthy male: big muscles, six-pack abs, flat stomach, and so on. At times, it’s tempting to live up to that image. Go to the gym, do pull-ups, sit-ups, and other muscle building and stomach flattening workouts. Yet, it’s also freeing to just let go and say, “Well, I accept the way I look, bulging stomach and all.”
There’s nothing wrong with staying to be who you think you are. That only shows emotional and mental health. But when it comes to overall health, the physical matters a lot. You could not be one hundred percent happy and healthy when you’re fighting certain health issues associated with the presence of too much fat hanging around your belly.
The Link Between Testosterone and Obesity
A flat stomach may not be appealing to you, but for health’s sake, start to get rid of that belly fat. For good. Your body can store fat anywhere it likes. It’s how nature design things to be. As an infant or a toddler, people may find your chubby cheeks to be cute. But as you age, the stubborn fats clinging around your belly can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases and other health problems.
Testosterone and estrogen hormones play a crucial role in helping you stay fit. High testosterone levels enable you to build muscles fast while lower levels can pose more challenges as you go down the fitness path. It’s even more challenging when you start your workout at the time your testosterone starts to decline.
Declining testosterone levels cause fat to get stored around your belly. When there is not enough testosterone to promote muscle growth, fats can accumulate because there’s no muscle to suppress it. Muscles burn calories. Without it, the extra calories can be stored as fats.
Experts say that reduced muscle mass leads to weight gain. Over time, excess weight can lead to obesity, which can be one of the causes of more testosterone decline. About 70 percent of obese men are diagnosed with male hypogonadism, a condition characterized by low levels of testosterone.
Scientists explain that this happens because belly fat contains high levels of the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen. High aromatase and estrogen activity also reduce testosterone production, which means, the higher the estrogen levels, the lower the testosterone. Increasing the levels of your testosterone is the only way to stop this vicious cycle.
Testosterone and Weight Loss
There are many ways to increase testosterone. Some of them include testosterone replacement therapy, anabolic steroids, and testosterone boosters. But before we discuss any of these things, let’s first consider weight loss because this process not only helps you to increase your testosterone levels but also keeps you away from the risks of debilitating diseases associated with abdominal obesity.
In a recent study, researchers found that weight loss can reduce the prevalence of low testosterone in obese, middle-aged men by up to 50 percent. The study co-author, Dr. Frances Hayes, suggested that doctors should recommend obese patients to lose weight through diet and exercise before resorting to testosterone therapy to raise their hormone levels.
However, the study did not include men who were diagnosed with hypogonadism, a condition characterized by low testosterone levels, because their case is much different and requires another form of treatment or therapy.
But for obese men who are prediabetic and whose problem only include their low testosterone levels, weight loss is the safest route to take. After a year of lifestyle modification, the obese men lost about 17 pounds of excess weight and had significantly increased their testosterone levels.
Raising your Testosterone Levels
As stated earlier, the other ways to raise your testosterone levels are through the use of anabolic steroids, replacement therapy, and testosterone boosters or supplements.
Anabolic steroids are synthetic steroids that resemble testosterone to aid in some form of weight loss and to build muscle. But some athletes wanting to build more muscles illicit anabolic steroids, which doctors disapprove of. Misuse of this hormone may lead to serious health problems.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Other obese patients opt for replacement therapy to boost their testosterone. Doctors administer this treatment as a supplement, skin patch, cream, or injection. While some studies show evidence that this treatment can lead to weight loss and treat testosterone deficiency, others warned of the impending side effects that include increased risk of blood clots, development of prostate abnormalities, breast enlargement, and others.
Testosterone supplements are also known as natural testosterone supplements, which are plant-based and designed to help boost your testosterone levels. The most popular natural testosterone boosters are ashwagandha, fenugreek extract, ZMA, L-arginine, and ginseng. Some studies found that these natural testosterone boosters enhance testosterone production within the body.
Because they come from natural ingredients, many men resorted to natural testosterone boosters to improve their libido and build muscle mass. There’s only one catch, the market is saturated with different kinds of testosterone boosters that don’t do anything to support their claims, according to Mary K. Samplaski, MD, assistant professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Samplaski added that these supplements only contain vitamins and minerals that don’t boost testosterone levels. Dr. Samplaski was a bit right but not quite. Not all supplements in the market aren’t true to their word. There are supplements backed by science and these are the ones you should use.