I can definitely relate to this and it can be super frustrating. You’ve been at the gym regularly and yet still you seem to be developing flab rather than muscle. First of all you put it down to not working hard enough so you up the tempo and when that doesn’t work you think maybe that’s just what happens when, as a man, you get a bit older. Well to a certain extent it is true, men’s physique will change and muscle mass will decline as they get older, but that process can be accelerated if you suffer from low testosterone levels.
You probably know that testosterone is important for fertility in bone mass but you may not have known that had an important part to play in how fat is distributed in your body and on how much muscle you can build up and maintain.
When a man suffers from low testosterone levels it can be very difficult for him to lay down muscle and to maintain that muscle. How much muscle you have will have a direct influence on your weight. It requires more energy for you to maintain muscle mass and that means more calories. The greater your muscle mass the faster you burn calories. When your testosterone levels fall, your metabolism will slow down and this will allow more fat layers to accumulate. You will be left with stubborn areas of fat that no matter what you do, will not shift. It turns out to be a nasty vicious cycle where you do your best to eat well and to keep up your regular exercise regimen but it doesn’t seem to make much difference to those fat stores that stubbornly stay put. The worst of it is that where the fat tends to accumulate – around the abdomen because that will eventually put you at higher risk of a heart attack.
The first thing to do is to visit a Mens Health doctor and say that you suspect you’re suffering from low testosterone levels, because don’t forget that other things can be responsible which need to be ruled out, by someone medically qualified. Once you’ve been tested and it is confirmed that you, like many men over 30, are suffering from low testosterone, then testosterone replacement therapy and other measures may be a very good idea for you.
Having established that it is low testosterone that is causing your weight gain, there are several things you can do to help yourself get back onto an even keel.
Testosterone replacement therapy is a very good place to start because as the therapy begins to take effect the other efforts that you are making will also begin to bear fruit.
While we’re talking about fruit give your diet a good hard look and make sure that you are eating good things such as fresh fruit and leafy vegetables. Try to cut back on drinking and give up smoking and also limit your carbohydrates. If you are overweight ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian or to help you with some useful diet sheets.
Make sure that you are doing regular exercise and that you’re spending time outdoors, taking proper relaxation and getting enough sleep.
If you have not previously exercised then make sure that you ask your doctor about what you’re proposing to do so that they can give you the okay, after they have assessed you for any other underlying health conditions, that may be present.
Try to be open about your worries and concerns, not only about the weight can you experiencing but about any aspect of having low testosterone levels. Men are notoriously bad at sharing their feelings with other men, but if you can, you may be surprised to find out how many other people have experienced or are experiencing the same symptoms and worries that you are. The old saying goes the trouble shared is a trouble halved. That can be very true when it comes to men sharing their experiences of health concerns.
Having a diagnosis of low testosterone can be very concerning for a lot of men, but with the right changes to diet and lifestyle and with testosterone therapy, it can be easily managed and real improvements made.