If you have low testosterone levels causing debilitating symptoms, then you may be eligible for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
Since low T often leads to weight gain and increases the risk of obesity, taking TRT can help with weight loss and reverse the process.
How testosterone makes you lose weight
Testosterone shows its fat-burning effects by increasing the levels of lipolytic beta-adrenergic receptors and reducing the activity of lipoprotein lipase in adipose cells.
The beta-adrenergic receptors mediate the release of fat from adipocytes under the effect of adrenaline. As a result, the fat cells shrink, while blocking the lipoprotein lipase enzyme prevents the fat from returning back inside.
Furthermore, testosterone therapy may have moderate benefits for insulin sensitivity and glucose control which are likely a result of its effect on fat loss.
TRT will normalize your testosterone levels and boost fat loss, while at the same time it will retain or even increase your muscle mass.
The onset of the effects of testosterone treatment usually begins as soon as the 3rd week of therapy.
Yet, improvements in body composition and fat mass are the most noticeable results of TRT after the 3rd month of treatment. It takes from several months to years of therapy until you will achieve the maximum benefits.
The magnitude of the effect depends on the dosage of testosterone therapy. In general, TRT should be dosed individually with the aim to avoid side effects and achieve optimal testosterone levels in the mid to high normal range.
What testosterone is the best for weight loss?
TRT is available in different forms, including intramuscular injections, transdermal gels and patches, subcutaneous implants, and oral tablets.
Learn how you can get testosterone online in 5 easy steps.
All forms of TRT are effective in reducing fat in patients with hypogonadism. The effects of the therapy depend on the achieved serum T levels and the dose, rather than the form of TRT.
Injections have the best bioavailability and lead to the quickest rise in blood T levels. Testosterone enanthate injections lead to an increase in serum T levels immediately after administration.
This is why injections are likely to provide the fastest weight loss compared to other forms
Alternative methods for increasing testosterone such as testosterone boosters and supplements do not appear effective in increasing fat burning.
In fact, scientists warn that the majority of T boosters (Test X180 Boost) are not effective in increasing testosterone in the first place. After some T boosters, like Andro 400, you might even have a testosterone decrease rather than boosting effect.
Only one supplement called dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) appears to successfully increase T levels in healthy subjects although they still remain within the physiological limits. But the supplement leads to a significant increase in estrogen as well.
Yet, there are no significant effects of DHEA on body composition and fat loss in young or older adults.
Can weight loss increase your T levels?
Losing body fat in men can help decrease estrogen, insulin, and leptin levels, which results in improved testosterone synthesis.
According to a study on 58 obese men, weight loss led to a significant increase in total testosterone and SHBG. Free testosterone was also increased, although to a lesser extent.
More than half (28) of those men had T levels under 300 ng/ml prior to the intervention which is suggestive of hypogonadism. However, 23 out of them experienced an increase in T above 300 ng/ml after they lost significant amounts of fat.
The exact amount of weight loss required to improve T levels will vary from one individual to another
For example, a trial in 43 severely obese men revealed that they had to lose as much as 15% of their body weight to experience a sufficient increase in their T. Furthermore, weight loss improved their semen quality and fertility.
Best ways to lose weight and boost testosterone
One study investigating the effects of different calorie-matched weight loss diets reported similar effects on T levels in 118 obese men. The increase in T depended on the amount of weight loss rather than the diet as long as it creates an energy deficit.
Increasing your physical activity is another effective method for creating a deficit and losing weight. Yet, some types of exercise may provide additional benefits for your T production compared to others.
According to one study, 4 weeks of training with weights led to a 36% increase in average T levels in men afterward. In contrast, evidence suggests that women may experience only short-term increases in T levels during resistance training.
Another form of exercise – high-intensity interval training (HIIT) appears to increase testosterone in men but lowers it in women. On the other hand, cardio does not affect or may even lower testosterone in both men and women.
Bariatric surgery is also a highly effective method for weight loss. It works by surgically restricting the volume of the stomach and thus helping the patient achieve fullness after a meal much faster.
In one trial, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery in 40 men led to significant weight loss and an increase in their T levels. Patients also improved their cardiovascular condition, measured by the reduced thickness of their arteries.
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