Obesity and severe weight problems are so rampant nowadays they are considered a healthcare crisis. While “a healthy diet and consistent exercise” are the obvious solution, they’re often ineffective in the long-term.
It’s hard to make lifestyle changes, especially when unhealthy food looms on every corner, exercise is flat out exhausting, and finding time to cook and get to the gym seems more difficult each day.
Therefore, taking testosterone has emerged as another popular intervention for losing weight. But does it work? Don’t people already make testosterone (especially guys)?
Let’s examine the facts, and find out the truth behind the question, “Does testosterone burn belly fat?”
What is testosterone?
First things first – what is testosterone? You’ve probably heard a lot about it in relation to sex ed, but testosterone does more than regulate sexual activity in men. In fact, it’s one of the most important hormones in both men AND women to maintain muscle size and growth.
Testosterone is defined as a steroid hormone that stimulates the development of secondary sexual characteristics in men. It’s primarily produced in the testes (for guys), but also comes from the ovaries (in women) and the adrenal cortex. Now that the boring stuff is out of the way…
Testosterone regulates your bone health, fat distribution, and lean muscle mass. Without enough of it, you lose muscle and gain fat.
How do testosterone levels relate to belly fat?
Hopefully by now you can see that having adequate testosterone is crucial. It’s one of the most effective anabolic hormones to stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit protein breakdown. The majority of fat oxidation, or burning fat, occurs within the muscle cells themselves.
Therefore, if you have less muscle, you have less capacity to even burn the fat. In overweight people, this problem is compounded by a loss of insulin sensitivity, more fat in general, and usually less exercise.
Basically – less testosterone equals loss of lean muscle, which means reduced energy expenditure and less fat burn.
How testosterone can burn belly fat
As we age, our testosterone levels tend to drop naturally, especially as men reach andropause and women approach menopause. Even younger people can suffer the effects of testosterone deficiency with weight gain. According to research, long-term testosterone therapy yields significant weight loss in men with a testosterone deficiency.
This makes sense, as a lack of testosterone shifts energy metabolism from fat oxidation to glucose metabolism. Adding in exogenous testosterone, therefore, can trigger the anabolic effects of building lean muscle mass and burning fat. This effect has been shown through preserving lean body mass in aging men.
When looking to burn belly fat, you might find motivation to sweat it out at the gym is lacking. And guess what – it’s not your fault. Scientists have actually connected obesity with trouble utilizing testosterone. When you can’t use your existing testosterone, you have energy and gain weight. When you gain weight and move less, you lose the ability to utilize testosterone. It’s a vicious cycle that leaves even the best-intentioned in despair.
Long-term testosterone replacement therapy has been proposed as a means to counteract this vortex of weight gain and metabolic inefficiency. Adding exogenous testosterone improved your mitochondrial output, energy utilization, cardiovascular function, and above all – motivation and drive to get after it in the gym.
Where do I get testosterone?
You’ve got the understanding behind why. You’ve even got the solution. Now how does one procure exogenous testosterone? Is it a pill? Is it steroids? Help!
Pharmaceutical Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)
Testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, is a medical intervention prescribed for men with low testosterone. In order to get a prescription, most doctors require a diagnosis of hypogonadism* (testosterone deficiency). In these cases, your best bet is to see a doctor to get your hormone levels tested.
Signs of hypogonadism include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low libido
- Depression or feeling down
- Trouble sleeping
- Decreased muscle mass
- Loss of body hair
*Every doctor is different. If this is something you’re interested in, always consult with a medical professional.
For those of us without a clinical diagnosis, and might still want to shed a few extra inches – there’s another option. T-boosters. These are oral supplements that ramp up your existing testosterone levels, returning you back to a muscle-building, fat-burning machine.
T-boosters trigger the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – critical precursors to testosterone. The best t-boosters not only add more T, but they resist the breakdown of existing testosterone. The result? More circulating anabolic hormones for maximal lean muscle mass that burns away the belly fat.
Testosterone indirectly burns belly fat by controlling metabolic efficiency and lean muscle mass. It’s a critical anabolic hormone for health in both men and women. Many factors can disrupt testosterone activity, such as lack of exercise, being overweight, stress, metabolic issues, and more.
In severe cases, medical intervention might be appropriate, but for most, taking a T-booster will bring your testosterone levels back to normal. Keep testosterone working for you, and keep your diet and exercise in check, and you’ll see the belly fat slide right off.