It’s no secret that low testosterone and weight gain often go hand in hand — even for people who may have had no trouble staying lean and strong in their younger years.
When you think of a healthy, strong and fit individual, you probably don’t think of a squishy mid-section. Whether it’s called a beer belly, a gut, the vastly mis-monikered love handles, or even a spare tire… nobody wants it, but many have it.
Weight gain and obesity aren’t just about vanity either (though let’s all agree we want to avoid a Santa belly). A huge number of health issues are tied to obesity, including:
- heart disease and stroke
- high blood pressure
- some cancers
.. and the list goes on and on. Obesity is defined as weighing 20% more than the normal weight for your height, and includes an awfully large number of people – including those suffering from low testosterone.
Are Low Testosterone and Weight Gain Always Linked?
No, not everyone with low testosterone will be overweight, but there’s a chicken-and-egg effect and vicious cycle between low testosterone and weight gain. As men age, they can easily become trapped in this cycle. No matter how hard they exercise, how well they eat, or how careful they are – many men gain weight, especially around the midsection. Low Testosterone is a huge part of this.
Obesity causes testosterone levels to drop, as enzymes in the stored body fat actually convert testosterone to estrogen.
The opposite is ALSO true. Low testosterone levels can cause weight gain and obesity.
Vicious cycle, indeed! And it also possibly explains why it’s so much harder as we age for us to maintain the lean, healthy body we kept with much less effort when we were younger. Whether the initial weight gain was brought on by low testosterone, or whether the low testosterone was caused by the weight gain – they both feed into one another, making it really difficult to break free of the downward spiral.
On top of all this, low testosterone can also lead to fatigue and a drop in motivation to exercise. Less exercise means less calories burned, and less muscle means a slower metabolism. It’s a perfect storm for adding a not-so-freshman fifteen.. or a lot more. And the more fat you carry, the faster you metabolize your already low levels of testosterone!
Now.. the good news? You can do something about it.
If you think you’re experiencing low testosterone, and are dealing with weight gain or symptoms like these, there are experts and professionals who can help you break free from the vicious cycle of low testosterone and weight gain.
Leave the belly to Santa this holiday season, and do something proactive. Get back on track by having your Testosterone levels checked.