Grab your cheat sheet
Testosterone plays many critical roles in our body —and when our t-levels start to drop, it’s hard to ignore.
Your testosterone is responsible for bone mass, fat distribution, sex drive, muscle size, strength, mood, and red blood cell production. Lower hormone levels in our system make these areas weaker and harder to manage.
When your testosterone falls below a certain level, it’s possible to become infertile and have issues with sexual performance.
It’s true that testosterone is lower in women, but still performs essential roles such as bone and muscle strength, ovarian function and mood.
Our t-levels are controlled by our pituitary gland and brain, which decides where the hormone should go to perform its tasks. Other issues with low testosterone levels include hair loss, mood swings, erectile dysfunction, low energy, lack of strength, cognitive decline and—you guessed it—increased body fat.
But, how does increased body fat impact testosterone levels, exactly?
Read on and find out.
What are normal t-levels?
Normal testosterone levels in men are considered to be between 300 and 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
This rate can vary depending on your sex, age and overall health condition. For women, it is between 15-70 ng/dL.
What causes t-levels to drop?
The main reason our t-levels drop is the aging process, as testosterone production declines as we get older. Men can typically expect a decline in testosterone at a rate of 2%, usually from the age of 30.
This process is called hypogonadism and is a naturally occurring process. The older we get, however, the more issues can arise from having low t-levels, such as:
Other factors which can cause our levels to drop include medical issues, low thyroid function, drinking too much alcohol, bad dietary choices, stress, and excess body fat.
How does weight impact t-levels?
It’s a scientific fact that being overweight can seriously affect your testosterone levels.
A recent study concluded that obese men were eight times more likely to have lower t- levels than men with a healthy weight.
Studies like these have shown that being overweight is the most effective predictor of men having low testosterone levels. So, it’s a very significant factor, and if you want to keep your t-levels in check and ensure you’re not dropping more than you should, your overall fitness should be your top priority.
This is because being overweight means your estrogen levels will be higher—and the more estrogen you have in your system—the less testosterone you’re likely to have. This is due to estrogen triggering signals to your brain to let it know that testosterone isn’t needed. It’s a biological trick. And, the more overweight you are, the less likely you’ll be to exercise, so if you feel like you need a testosterone boost, there will never be a better time than now to do something about it.
How to lose weight
Checking your excess fat levels is a good idea if you feel like your t-levels are dropping.
Getting your weight back in check will help you get back into a healthy range. And, when it comes to weight loss, there are two major disciplines to follow: diet and exercise.
Both words can send shivers down the spine of those who enjoy ‘the good life’, but if you think you might need to make significant lifestyle changes, you could be in for a surprise.
Too big a change too soon could be bad for your system, so all we’re looking to do is make small wins here and there.
In doing so, you can gradually turn the tide and get the t-levels back up. In other words, whatever exercise you’re doing at the moment, try to increase it by around 10%.
For example, if you’re walking 1,000 meters daily on average, try increasing it to 1,100. This way, you’ll be burning 10% more calories each week. As the weeks go by, try to improve it again when you feel ready.
Also, you need to reduce your calorie intake. Again, making minor changes is essential to long-term success.
Sure, it would be great to say you should skip a meal each day, but you’ll probably be hungry between meals and will be tempted to snack. Instead, change some of your regular high-calorie food choices for lower-calorie ones.
Tip: Rather than a sweet treat, try some fruit, ditch the takeaways, and walk to a restaurant or cafe for something more nutritious. By making minor changes to your exercise routine and eating habits, you can move things back in the right direction.
Does having low t-levels cause weight gain?
Your metabolism slows down when our body is low on testosterone, and your muscle mass declines.
This means it’s much easier to gain excess fat— and even worse—it’s challenging to shift it. This is another reason that when our t-levels are low, we need to immediately jump on it and fix the problem.
Losing weight when we start to pile on the pounds is essential if we want to keep our T-levels up.
How to increase t-levels
The loss of testosterone in the body as we age is a natural process, but several ways exist to increase and maintain healthy testosterone levels.
Most are fairly simple changes, but their importance shouldn’t be underestimated. Let’s take a look.
Lose weight by exercising more often
Not only will exercise help to maintain a healthy weight, studies have also shown that those who exercise have higher testosterone levels than those who don’t.
Adding a brisk 20-minute walk to your daily routine can make a difference. But, if you want to increase levels, strength and resistance training are considered the best forms of exercise.
Read: Our guide to nine essential testosterone-boosting exercises you should try.
Lose weight by watching what you eat
Don’t pack in the calories if you want to keep your t-levels in check, but don’t restrict them either.
A balanced diet will sit somewhere in between the two extremes. The ideal diet is one composed of complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein while keeping an eye on the calorie ins and outs.
Did you know? Research shows that what you eat can significantly impact testosterone levels in men.
Get plenty of sleep
As most of our testosterone is released when we sleep, it’ll be no surprise to hear that the less we sleep, the lower our testosterone levels will become.
Generally speaking, you should be getting around eight hours of quality sleep every night. And if you’re not, a few simple changes like going to bed earlier, making sure your room is dark, and switching off your phone can go a long way to tackling the issue.
Keep stress levels down
It’s not always easy, but lowering your stress levels will give you a better chance of increasing your t-levels.
Stress impacts our bodies in many ways, one of which is reducing our testosterone level due to the rise in cortisol when we feel anxious or overwhelmed.
This can also have a knock-on effect by causing us to eat more and sleep poorly, further draining cortisol levels. Try to find some downtime each day when you can ‘switch off’ and give yourself a little more time to perform tasks so you don’t feel as pressured. Exercise is also a great way to combat stress.
Keep an eye out for natural testosterone boosters
Natural testosterone boosters like Panax ginseng—an antioxidant that has been shown to boost energy levels while invigorating your sex drive—and fenugreek, which has been used for centuries to help libido and metabolism, are two to look out for.
Ashwagandha is also a known way to support existing testosterone for improved energy, weight loss efforts, digestion, cognitive ability, and muscle gains.
Certain medical procedures can also help raise your testosterone levels, but they come with certain risk factors.
The most popular is TRT (testosterone replacement therapy). Testosterone therapy can be in gels, patches, tablets, implants or injections. It’s something you would need to seek medical advice about before considering it fully.
Still, there are several potential side effects, including skin conditions, blood clotting, swelling of the breasts, disturbed breathing, and swollen ankles. It’s not without its risks.
Boost your t-levels with TestoPrime
In summary: Testosterone plays a vital role in our health, and when levels start to drop, things can go from bad to worse very quickly if not managed properly.
Losing testosterone can mean a lower sex drive, loss of strength, and muscle mass, and less energy and focus.
Boosting your testosterone levels means improved sleep, libido, concentration, less body fat, and better muscle tone.
Keeping your weight in check is an essential factor when it comes to maintaining your testosterone levels, and exercise and a healthy diet will go a long way to keeping things under control.
Testoprime is a natural booster and includes ashwagandha, Panax ginger and fenugreek, which, combined, are powerful formulas for boosting testosterone. Take this alongside a healthy diet and exercise routine