Is there a link between belly fat and low testosterone? There sure seems to be, but the question becomes, which comes first? Is it excess belly fat and an expanding waistline that leads to lowered testosterone, or does lowered testosterone lead to those spare tires of stubborn fat that make you look like a pear?
For many researchers, the answer to that isn’t 100 percent clear. What they do know, however, is that belly fat and low T are linked. And regardless of what comes first in this chicken or egg situation, you, as a man, should want your testosterone to be high and your belly fat to be low.
A study in Men’s Health found out just how much of a link exists between belly fat and low T. After analyzing 1,822 men, the New England Research Institute discovered that the number one predictor of low T is a man’s waist size. In short, the bigger his waist, the more probable it is that his T levels are out of whack and on the low end of the spectrum.
What could be the reasoning behind low testosterone’s association with excess belly fat? Think of it as a chain reaction that can go either way.
Since testosterone is vital to helping one increase strength and muscle mass, low testosterone will lead to a decrease in strength and muscle mass. This can either happen gradually, or it can happen because you won’t be able to max out as much in the gym during your workouts.
Once muscle mass diminishes, fat tends to increase, and if you’ve seen fatter men with dad bods, you know that they tend to look softer, rounder, and even more feminine than their more muscular high T counterparts. Even if you don’t workout like a warrior, having your T levels high or in an adequate range can prevent this muscle loss and feminization from occurring.
On the flip side, if you convert into a couch potato and the only curls you do involve bringing a beer bottle to your mouth, your belly fat will increase. This will lead to higher body fat which could affect your T adversely.
Negative changes in testosterone can increase belly fat in other ways too. Fatigue is often a symptom of low T, and if you feel tired, you won’t have the energy to exercise or perform tasks that can keep you in shape. Depression and the aforementioned loss of strength can also occur, and neither are beneficial for a man looking to be fit. Even your confidence can take a hit, and that psychological symptom alone can throw your hormones and routine out of whack.
What should you do if notice that your belly starts to expand more than usual? Get your testosterone levels checked by a doctor, especially if you notice other low T symptoms like lack of strength, less muscle mass, bedroom performance problems, depression, or man boobs. Once your levels are determined, he can then recommend what path to take to increase your testosterone and boost it into a normal range via injections or other more natural avenues.