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We’ve been a doing a series on the best natural ways to increase testosterone because we have also shared with you how the modern life of today is at war with men’s T levels.
Different lifestyle and environmental factors have caused a situation in our modern times where men’s T levels are declining at a faster rate than ever before.
Men are suffering from and being treated for issues related to low levels of testosterone in their 20s and 30s now. It used to never be this way. Testosterone related issues were usually only found in men in their 50s, 60s, and beyond.
It doesn’t look like this trend is going to slow down or get better anytime soon, especially if we’re not arming men with the information they need to not only identify where the problems are, but also what the solutions are to getting these testosterone levels turned around and moving in the right direction.
That’s the framework for our article today on how losing weight is a powerful and effective way to naturally increase T.
The Connection Between Weight Loss and Testosterone
What I have found in my research is that there is a very cyclical relationship between weight and testosterone.
I have found that on the one hand, low T levels can cause increased weight gain.
I have also found that weight loss can increase T levels.
That really is it in a nutshell. If you’re overweight, it’s going to have a direct impact on your testosterone levels, and if you want increase your testosterone, one very effective way to do that is by losing weight.
As you lose weight, your test levels will increase.
Then, to make things even better, as your test levels increase, it also helps you lose more weight, and especially stubborn belly fat.
When you have higher levels of T, it makes it much easier for your body to burn fat instead of lean muscle mass.
Also, when you have healthy levels of testosterone flowing through your body, it literally inhibits the creation of some new fat cells.
Let’s not also forget that increased testosterone does wonders for boosting your metabolism which is great for burning calories and fat.
“Obesity and low testosterone are tightly linked. Obese men are more likely to have low testosterone. Men with very low testosterone are also more likely to become obese.
Fat cells metabolize testosterone to estrogen, lowering testosterone levels. Also, obesity reduces levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), a protein that carries testosterone in the blood. Less SHBG means less testosterone.
Losing weight through exercise can increase testosterone levels. Testosterone supplements in men with low testosterone can also reduce obesity…”
In 2012, a study was conducted on 891 middle-aged men with an average age of 54. They all were obese and low testosterone levels and impaired glucose tolerance. All their T levels were measured before the start of the study. The study lasted for one year, and they were all put on a diet & exercise program with the intention of losing weight and then measuring all of their T levels afterwards.
The results of the study were amazing in that after one year, the average testosterone levels increased by nearly 50% due to the weight loss that was experienced across the board.
The lead doctor in the study, Dr. David J. Handelsman (MD, professor of reproductive endocrinology and andrology at the University of Sydney, Australia) said:
“The study is significant. This is a relatively large, randomized controlled study, so that elevates it into the realm of important work. It reinforces existing knowledge of the effect obesity has on blood testosterone levels, and that reversing the excesses weight improves the effect…”
Clearly, we have shown that there is a definitive connection between weight loss or gain and T level increase or decrease.
As you become overweight, your testosterone levels will drop. As you lose weight, your test levels will increase (and help you lose more weight serendipitously).
Best Diet To Lose Weight And Increase Testosterone
When you think about losing weight, the strategy really needs to center around two things, and those two things are diet and exercise. Let’s focus on diet first.
Incorporate Testosterone Boosting Foods
First, you want to make sure you’re incorporating the most powerful testosterone boosting foods into your diet. Foods containing saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, Vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium. Just a quick list of some great foods would be organic grass fed beef, chicken, fish, avocado, eggs, real butter & cream, olive and coconut oil, nuts, seeds, cruciferous veggies, and leafy greens.
Remove Testosterone Killing Foods
At the same time, you want to avoid and get rid of the worst testosterone killing foods. Sugar and high-sugar foods are highly estrogenic, meaning they produce a lot of estrogen, and as we know, estrogen kills T. Other foods you want to stay away from are simple carbohydrate junk foods. This would include items like cookies, cakes, chips, crackers, donuts, and similar. These are all very high on the estrogen scale as well. Stay clear of soy and foods containing soy because since it’s been genetically modified, it’s modified version is highly estrogenic and mimics the properties of estrogen almost exactly. Finally, because there are so many estrogen-producing chemicals and pesticides used in the feed of milk cows, you want to stay away from non-organic milk.
Know What Your BMR Is
Next, find out what your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is.
Bodybuilding.com has an easy BMR calculator that you can use. You just put in your age, weight, and height, and it will tell you what basal metabolic rate in calories is.
Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories you burn just being alive. That means even if you just woke up and laid in bed all day, you would burn x number of calories (where x is your BMR).
It’s important to know what your BMR is so you have a general idea of where you are on the calorie scale just to set the baseline for your mind and how you approach calories moving forward.
Guys, at the end of the day, if you want lose weight, you have to burn more energy (calories) than you are feeding your body. You can’t take in 4000 calories, burn 2000 calories, end up with a 2000 calorie surplus, and expect to lose any weight with that pattern. You will gain weight with that intake/burn rate.
Personally, I’m not super vigilant when it comes to counting calories, but I do think it’s important to know what your BMR is and what the general caloric content is that you’re consuming, especially during the times that you’re actively trying to lose weight.
Here’s an simple general guide that you could use. If you’re not working out at all, then take your BMR and cut it down by 25%, and use that as your baseline caloric intake.
So in this example, if your BMR is 2000 calories a day you take in 75% of those (which is a 25% reduction) calories. 2000 x .75 = 1500 calories. That’s a reduction of 500 calories per day. Just so you have an idea, a pound of bodyweight is equal to approximately 3500 calories. So, if you’re reducing calories by 500 per day, that would mean that you’re losing 3500 calories (or 1 pound) per week.
Now, if you are working out, then I would just consume your what your normal BMR is because you’re going to burn extra calories through working out. Just a very general guideline, most men burn somewhere between 500-1000 calories depending on age, length of workout, etc.
Use Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting provides you with the ultimate win/win scenario.
When you’re trying to lose and create a caloric deficit, there’s no better way to do it than through intermittent fasting.
In short, what intermittent fasting (IF) is way of eating where you have a fed state and a fasted state. You consume all our daily calories ONLY in your fed state, and you consume no calories in your fasted state.
Check out our in-depth article on How To Increase Testosterone With IF
There are two very popular IF methods or approaches.
Mark Berkhand’s 16:8 Method (LeanGains.com)
This method says that you consume no calories for 16 hours of the day, and you consume all your daily calories in the remaining 8 hours. So you if finished dinner at 7pm on any given day, you would then go into your fasted state for the next 16 hours. This would take you until the next day at 11am. At 11am, you would go into your fed state for the next 8 hours, where you would consume any and all calories that you were going to eat that day. This would take you until 7pm, and you would start the cycle over again.
Brad Pilon’s Eat Stop Eat Method (BradPilon.com)
Brad’s method is based on having two 24 hour fasts per week. So in with this approach, if you finished dinner by 7pm, you would then fast until the next day at 7pm, and the idea is that for weight loss, you would do this 2 times a week.
With both of these methods of IF, you not only get the caloric deficit you need to lose weight, but intermittent fasting has been proven to be one of the most powerful natural ways to increase testosterone levels, and we’ve already shown that increased testosterone helps you lose weight and really burn or utilize fat for energy.
Not only do you get great weight loss and increased testosterone, but there are so many other amazing benefits that you get with IF that make it a must do even if it didn’t help you increase testosterone.
Check out the 13 Most Powerful Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Lift Weights To Burn Calories & Increase Testosterone
We did extensive article about how lifting weights is awesome at increasing your testosterone levels.
This is another win/win strategy to employ because you burn a ton of calories when you lift weights, so that helps you drop pounds. Plus it increases testosterone levels and the increased testosterone helps you lose weight and burn fat.
Check out our article & research we did on how lifting weights increases testosterone
Do High Intensity Interval Training To Increase Testosterone and Melt Away Fat
It’s a proven fact that High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is flat out amazing when it comes to increasing testosterone levels and also burning calories and especially fat.
In short, HIIT is method of exercising where you have short bursts of very high energy output between 20-60 seconds followed by a period of either complete rest or very low energy for 30-60 seconds.
The idea is that you would do this pattern energy/rest pattern for a number of sets; usually 3-8 sets. A HIIT workout usually lasts between 12 and 25 minutes, and the nice bonus along with calories & fat it burns and the increased testosterone is that it continues to burn fat 24-36 hours after the workout!
If you’d like to more about High Intensity Interval Training, check out our in-depth article called: Skyrocket Your Testosterone With HIIT
Summary of Losing Weight To Increase Testosterone
What we learned in this article is that there is a very “connected” or intertwined relationship between weight and testosterone.
If you want to increase testosterone levels, then lose weight, and the bonus is that the increased testosterone you experience will help you lose even more weight, and that creates a positive cycle. Obviously, the flip side of that is that if you continue to gain weight, you will produce less testosterone, and low testosterone levels increase your chances of obesity significantly.
We laid out a pretty straightforward and science-based plan to not only losing weight, but also increasing testosterone levels, with some nice extra benefits included as well.
Everything works together, and we will continue to approach the problem of declining testosterone levels from every possible angle to equip you with all the knowledge you need to squarely face this serious problem facing men today.
Mike is our resident personal trainer specializing in men’s health & fitness. He is an avid enthusiast when it comes to understanding and implementing the best strategies & tactics for optimal healthy living, and he is completely obsessed with how to achieve peak performance levels.