Does Testosterone make you Eat More?
by Benjamin Bunting BA(Hons) PGCert
Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.
Testosterone, known as the essential male hormone, plays an integral part in more than just muscle building and sexual functions.
Recent research has also uncovered its surprising link with appetite regulation and cravings.
We will delve deep into the exciting realm of testosterone to understand its influence on food cravings.
Contrary to popular belief, testosterone hormone is not exclusive to male bodies - both women and men possess it at various levels.
Studies have demonstrated that increasing testosterone can significantly decrease hunger and cravings, making it a critical element in weight management.
Realizing how testosterone affects appetite regulation can open doors to more effective strategies for weight loss and overall wellness.
By exploring more deeply the science relating to testosterone's effect on appetite, we can unlock an immense wealth of information which could prove immensely helpful for individuals battling weight-related problems.
Join us as we embark on this scientific adventure as we discover the correlation between testosterone, appetite regulation, and cravings.
Learn about how this hormone typically associated with masculinity can have such an effectful influence on eating behaviors - and use this knowledge towards meeting your health and wellness objectives!
Link between testosterone and appetite regulation
Testosterone is a hormone produced in both men and women that promotes muscle growth while attenuating fat gain, contributing to features associated with maleness, such as facial hair growth and lower voice pitch.
Testosterone production occurs both within men's testicles and within female ovaries - with production controlled by an organ in the brain known as the pituitary gland.
testosterone regulates how fat is stored in the body and distributed across its various areas, and when testosterone levels fall too low it tends to accumulate around abdominal and belly areas in both women and men, leading to excess weight and difficulty burning off this type of fat.
If these levels drop further this could create serious health problems related to additional weight and its difficulty being burned off by burning more efficiently.
Diet plays an essential part in increasing testosterone naturally. Avoid foods high in sugar, processed fats and carbohydrates for best results; opt for leafy greens and fatty fish instead.
Also ensure regular physical activity is completed each day (Anawalt suggests starting off with one hour, with breaks taken between 20-minute sessions), for best results.
How testosterone affects hunger hormones
Testosterone may be associated with masculinity and aggression, but it's actually an essential hormone that plays an integral part in maintaining muscle mass and curbing fat gain.
Both men and women need testosterone for healthy functioning; however, levels may drop if their diet or physical activity levels decline.
Lower testosterone can contribute to muscle atrophy and lead to fat accumulation in various locations in the body, due to aromatase's conversion of testosterone into estrogen and thus creating an imbalance that allows fat accumulation.
Furthermore, having less testosterone makes it harder to build and sustain muscle mass - an integral component in controlling weight regulation.
If you want to naturally increase your testosterone levels, try avoiding foods high in sugar or refined carbohydrates and increasing intake of leafy vegetables and lean meats, while getting adequate rest.
Studies have demonstrated that poor quality sleep can reduce production of testosterone. Furthermore, periodic blood tests (like Everlywell at-home test kit) provide the best way to monitor hormones within normal range; testosterone levels will always fluctuate, but fluctuations should never result in symptoms of hypogonadism.
Testosterone and cravings for specific foods
Fast food chains, doughnut shops, or fizzy drink producers often serve up foods rich in fatty, salty and sugary substances that cause your blood sugar levels to spike quickly and cause cortisol levels to spike, which leads to decreased testosterone production and furthermore causes your testosterone levels to drop significantly.
Other foods that may wreak havoc with your hormones include foods containing phytoestrogens, which act like estrogen in your body and interfere with natural production of testosterone. Examples of such products are tofu, edamame, and soy protein isolates.
Consuming too many processed foods containing trans fats can have a devastating impact on your hormone levels.
These foods typically contain high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which have the ability to affect cholesterol and blood pressure, directly impacting testosterone production. It would therefore be wise to limit or avoid them entirely for their potential adverse impact.
Testosterone and its impact on metabolism
Testosterone plays an integral part in many aspects of body metabolism, such as bone density, cell division and production of red blood cells as well as fat and muscle metabolism.
Furthermore, testosterone also has an impactful impact on mood regulation and can regulate sexual libido.
Testosterone therapy (TRT) is used by men who have low testosterone levels due to aging or hypogonadism, in order to increase muscle mass while decreasing triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.
TRT should not be seen as a solution for obesity but can improve body composition by decreasing fat mass while increasing muscle mass while simultaneously decreasing triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels.
Diet is certainly essential for TRT results, but should not be the only consideration in terms of diet. Furthermore, sleep must also be prioritized since lack of restful restful rest contributes to overeating and weight gain.
Regular exercise is another key element of any effective TRT regime. Aim to get at least an hour's worth of physical activity each day or break it into three 20-minute chunks.
Strength training exercises will increase testosterone release; which correlates directly with muscle mass growth and can prevent weight gain.
The relationship between low testosterone and obesity
Obesity is one of the major contributors to low testosterone. Harvard Health Publishing reports that men with higher body fat percentages tend to have lower total and free testosterone levels than their healthier weight peers.
This association could be seen either through loss of muscle mass (which in turn lowers testosterone production) or hypogonadism, more prevalent among obese men.
One way you can increase testosterone naturally is to get enough rest - chronic insomnia and lack of quality sleep are linked to low-T levels. Make sure you are eating lean proteins, plant-based foods and omega-3 fats in your diet, while limiting processed and sugary food, while staying away from processed and sugary options.
Vitamin D and pomegranate have also been proven to increase testosterone levels.
Drink from plastic cups free from bisphenol A (BPA), as this chemical may alter hormone levels negatively. Finally, it's essential that you get at least seven hours of restful sleep each night.
The role of TRT in appetite control
Men suffering from testicular conditions, pituitary gland issues, physical injuries, diabetes or other diseases that lead to decreased testosterone production may benefit from hormonal replacement therapy.
A consultation will reveal your individual testosterone levels allowing us to create tailored plans designed specifically to balance them out.
While using TRT, it is vital to consume a diet rich in lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and whole grains. Furthermore, processed foods, sugary beverages and fatty snacks should be avoided to maximize results.
Studies have demonstrated the importance of getting adequate rest. Sleep deprivation has been shown to cause higher levels of ghrelin, which increases appetite.
Aim for at least seven to nine uninterrupted hours each night when using TRT. Furthermore, those using it should remain physically active by engaging in regular physical exercise and limiting sitting time - both will help enhance mood and energy levels and remain committed to making lifestyle changes necessary for successful weight loss.
The potential risks and side effects of TRT
Testosterone therapy may increase your risk of prostate cancer and further promote preexisting tumors to spread. Therefore, it's vital that regular PSA testing and baseline uroflow study occur prior to starting testosterone replacement therapy.
TRT may increase your risk of blood clots in your lungs and legs, particularly among individuals who inherit an inherited clotting disorder.
Furthermore, TRT can worsen preexisting heart, kidney and liver conditions as well as worsen obstructive sleep apnea - so it's essential that you meet with your physician regularly in order to ensure there are no negative side effects from TRT therapy.
Potential downsides to TRT may include changes to sexual drive and increased oil production that leads to breakouts on the skin.
Others may experience slight swelling of ankles and feet as the hormone encourages retention of fluids within their bodies.
Furthermore, some men notice changes to their sexual drive as a natural reaction from TRT's effect on brain chemicals that control desire.
Strategies for boosting testosterone levels naturally
Testosterone levels can be affected by numerous factors, including diet and lifestyle habits.
Thankfully, there are natural methods available that can increase testosterone and improve health; many of which are straightforward strategies with potentially big benefits for overall wellbeing and energy levels.
Consuming healthy meals is one of the key ways you can naturally increase your hormones.
Salmon, tuna and sardines provide essential omega-3 fatty acids; leafy green vegetables like kale, Swiss chard and spinach contain magnesium which may increase testosterone levels.
Exercise is another great way to naturally increase testosterone.
I also advise working out several times each week, focusing on weight lifting and high intensity exercises like boxing. But be wary of overtraining, which can reduce testosterone and lead to injury. However, only professional endurance athletes are at risk.
Stress-reduction techniques can also be an effective way to alleviate anxiety and boost testosterone levels, including meditation, warm baths and simply avoiding stressful people and situations.
Adequate sleep is essential in maintaining balanced hormone levels - it is recommended that adults get around 7-8 hours every night.
Testosterone encourages muscle growth while suppressing fat accumulation, helping the body maintain an ideal calorie balance and energy source balance.
Furthermore, low testosterone production may be contributing to your weight gain even with an excellent diet and adequate rest - something testosterone production could alleviate.
Diet is the single most effective way to increase testosterone levels, prioritizing whole foods while limiting processed ones. Genetic diseases like Klinefelter syndrome and hemochromatosis may also lower testosterone levels.