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The Link Between Low Testosterone and Obesity / Weight Gain

The Link Between Low Testosterone and Obesity / Weight Gain

By Mike Kocsis | 10 minutes read | Last updated: April 2, 2021
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  • Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos

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    When people think of low testosterone, one of their first thoughts is of sex drive and the link between testosterone and libido in men. However, what many people don’t realize is that testosterone is actually a very complex hormone that is involved in several hundred body functions that are very critical to the function of the body.

    One of the factors that it is linked to is physical fitness, weight, and obesity. While you might not associate testosterone necessarily with weight gain and obesity, it is actually very closely linked. If you are experiencing weight gain and obesity as a result of low testosterone and are struggling to understand the connection, you are in the right place.

    This complete analysis of low testosterone and its connection to weight gain and obesity is going to provide you with all the information that you need to finally grasp an understanding as to how these two things are linked and why one might increase the chance of the other in the body. Follow along to learn more about weight gain and obesity, and the undeniable connection that exists between the two.

    Not only that, we’ll cover some of the other side effects that come along with low testosterone and help to draw a complete picture of what you can expect if you are experiencing low testosterone and the various symptoms that come along with it.

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    How Low Testosterone Affects Weight Gain & Obesity

    Especially if you are going through it at the moment, you might be quite baffled as to how a lower testosterone level could possibly lead to weight gain and obesity. These two things don’t appear to be linked at the surface, but when you dive into the science of the connection, it suddenly makes perfect sense why you might suffer weight gain and obesity if you have a lower testosterone level.

    One of the main functions of testosterone and other hormones is to keep the body in balance. This includes many things, including the building of muscle and general fitness. Yes, it is always necessary to work out and be physically active if you want to be in shape, but starting with a standard level of testosterone in the blood is a crucial first step. Men that don’t have regular testosterone levels are at greater risk for obesity and loss of muscle mass.

    Testosterone is largely responsible for the motivation that some men have to go to the gym and otherwise be physically active. When those testosterone levels disappear, then so does the motivation. Without healthy levels of testosterone to draw from, it is perfectly common for men to start gaining weight and become obese as a result of lack of activity and interest in physical fitness. As you can guess, this not only affects physical fitness but the mental motivation to participate in fitness.

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    How Weight Gain Affects Low Testosterone

    Low testosterone can very easily affect obesity and weight gain in men, but it can also work in a reverse way. Weight gain and obesity can actively lower testosterone, as well. The reason is not hard to pin down. Men that are more obese and experience weight gain often have higher levels of estrogen. This is a hormone that is present in both men and women, but much more prevalent in women. Part of estrogen’s role is to tell the brain when the body needs to provide more testosterone.

    In men that have higher weight gain and are suffering from obesity, however, the signal never comes. In fact, estrogen might tell the brain that there is already enough testosterone and no production is needed when, in fact, that is not the case. In this way, obesity and weight gain can form a cycle that routinely leads to lower testosterone levels and more drastic weight gains. Men can often find themselves in a situation that is very difficult to solve, with weight gain causing low testosterone and low testosterone causing weight gain.

    For many, the solution is not clear, since they don’t know which one to address first and how to address it effectively. However, testosterone replacement therapy and related treatments have been a beacon of hope for many men experiencing low testosterone and weight gain as a result or a cause.

    Boosting Testosterone Through Weight Loss

    If you are experiencing low testosterone and you want to raise your testosterone, all hope is not lost. In fact, there are many actions that you can take to naturally assist the testosterone levels in your body–and you can do it without medication in some situations. One of the most surefire ways to boost your testosterone is to lose weight. Men that are overweight frequently have low testosterone because the brain receives mixed signals and does not instruct the endocrine system to produce more testosterone when in fact, the body does need more testosterone.

    If you are seeking to boost your testosterone and you don’t want to resort to medication just quite yet, then going on a strict regimen to lose weight is a great option. You can accomplish this by eating better, exercising more, and avoiding junk and processed foods.

    However, if you want to take it a step further, there are other things that you can do. Raising testosterone naturally through physical fitness is not just about losing weight. Losing weight is important on the path to becoming more healthy, but what really matters is your overall physical health. If you want to keep high testosterone levels throughout your life and ensure you are putting yourself in the best position to succeed, then you should seek to weight train, improve endurance, build muscle mass, and otherwise seek to actively improve your health.

    Becoming more physically active and fit is just one of the ways that you can naturally lift your testosterone, but everyone agrees that it is one of the most important.

    Losing Weight With Testosterone Replacement Therapy

    If you feel that you will have better success with raising testosterone before losing weight and becoming more active and that your weight gain is a result of your low testosterone, then you might choose to address the problem head-on using testosterone replacement therapy. Some men do experience weight gain as a direct result of a drop in testosterone. This can also include decreased muscle mass.

    If you believe this describes your situation, then testosterone replacement therapy could be the right option for you. Testosterone replacement therapy is designed to raise the level of testosterone in men that are experiencing a premature decline in testosterone in their bodies. As a result of this rise in testosterone, men could experience a return to a better physical shape.

    Although this can work for some men, it is recommended that men still take charge of their physical fitness and work out and maintain their physical fitness. These sorts of activities will have a very positive impact on testosterone levels and ensure that you are providing the best environment possible for testosterone to maintain a normal healthy level.

    Other Symptoms of Low Testosterone

    When it comes to low testosterone, there are many symptoms that you may experience as a result. A loss in muscle mass and a gain in weight is only one of them. When you know more symptoms of low testosterone, you will be able to more effectively identify it if it is occurring in your body. This will give you what you need to treat it quickly. Here are some of the other symptoms of low testosterone that you may want to be on the lookout for.


    Much in the same way that low testosterone affects the strength and muscle mass, it can also affect energy levels. Without the right level of testosterone in your body, you can find it very difficult to find the motivation and energy to do much of anything. Having increased levels of fatigue is not uncommon in men that are experiencing low testosterone.


    Another common symptom of low testosterone is depression. Testosterone is a very important hormone in the body. When your hormones are out of balance, regardless of which hormones, that always puts you at risk for depression and other mental health problems. Many men that are experiencing low testosterone experience depression as a side effect.

    Sex Drive

    Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in males. That means that when it is low, it has quite an impact on the sex drive and libido of men. Men that have low testosterone will often report that they have little or no sex drive. This is because testosterone is largely responsible for regulating sex drive in men and without the right amount of testosterone, they are likely to be less eager to engage in sexual activity. This can have a harsh impact on personal and romantic relationships.

    Solutions for Low Testosterone

    If you want to solve your low testosterone and help to reverse your weight gain, you should know that there are a couple of possible solutions that you can pursue. Here are the two paths that you can go down to help treat low testosterone.

    Natural Solutions

    The first step that you can take is using natural solutions. This is going to include things like working out more, eating better, managing stress better, and getting more sleep. These are natural steps that you can take to improve your testosterone.

    Testosterone Replacement Therapy

    The other option that you always have is to use testosterone replacement therapy. Though this treatment isn’t for everyone, it has been shown to be very effective in men that are candidates. It works by directly injecting testosterone into the body to raise the level of testosterone in the blood.

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    Side Effects of Prolonged Weight Gain/Obesity

    Weight gain and obesity as a result of low testosterone is a problem in more ways than one. While many want to avoid it because they don’t want to look obese, which is understandable, the problem is actually much more sinister than that. Men that are obese and experience drastic weight gain are at risk for a number of other health effects that could prove to be fatal. Here are some of the problems that could plague men that are experiencing weight gain as a result of low testosterone.


    Higher rates of cancer are observed in men that experience weight gain and obesity. This is especially true for men that experience obesity over a prolonged period of time.

    Heart Disease

    With extra weight to carry around and not a lot of exercise or physical activity, men that are obese are at a higher rate for heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

    Joint Problems

    Increased weight and lower physical activity can cause joint problems later in life. These can heavily impact mobility and your ability to live independently. Anyone that wants to avoid this should make it a point to keep a healthy weight and ensure routine physical activity on a daily basis.

    Low Testosterone

    Men that have higher weight will frequently experience lower testosterone. This is mainly because of signals in the brain, coming from estrogen, that tells the body that it does not need more testosterone, often incorrectly. Low testosterone can also lead to other side effects.

    Low Energy

    Men that are going through low testosterone know firsthand the drain that it can have on your energy. Testosterone often provides energy and motivation for men. When you are low on this very important hormone, it can have drastic effects on your energy levels and lead to low energy and frequent fatigue.

    Ready to Conquer Low Testosterone and Weight Gain?

    If you are ready to conquer low testosterone and possibly weight gain as a result, then you might be a good candidate for testosterone replacement therapy. Testosterone replacement therapy is a treatment that is designed to raise the level of testosterone in the blood and therefore ensure that men are not stuck feeling the harsh side effects of low testosterone. If you are interested in using testosterone replacement therapy to overcome your low testosterone, then you should get in touch with a testosterone specialist today.

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    Scientific References / Resources / Further Reading / Study Material

    The below links are scientific references, resources to perform further analysis and reading along with studies that have been conducted:–what-it-does-and-doesnt-do,can%20become%20a%20vicious%20cycle.


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    Evidence Based Research

    This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.

    References, sources and studies used alongside our own in-house research have been cited below, most of which contain external clickable links to reviewed scientific paper that contain date stamped evidence.

    Our team of healthcare experts and GMC registered doctors are licensed to UK GMC standards. We strive to provide you with the latest evidence based, researched articles that are unbiased, honest and provide you with accurate insights, statistics and helpful information on the discussed topic to ensure you gain a better understanding of the subject. You can read more about our Editorial Process by clicking here.

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    About the Author: Mike Kocsis

    Mike KocsisMike Kocsis has an MBA with a focus on healthcare administration and is an entrepreneur and medical case manager for Balance My Hormones Ltd which offers medical services in the UK and Europe. Mike has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare sector, much of that working with people who have hormone imbalances. Mike has appeared on podcasts and radio and is an expert speaker on the subject of hormone imbalance. He specialises in Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and has helped thousands of people suffering from hormone imbalances recover and regain control of their lives. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on the Balance My Hormones YouTube Channel.

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    Last update: April 2nd, 2021
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