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October 5, 2012

Trimmer Waist: That’s T is Testosterone Stands For

Testosterone and the Waistline

How to Get that Trimmer Waist

If you’re looking for that trimmer waist make sure you have optimal testosterone levels. The “T” in testosterone stands for trimmer.  That’s right. Testosterone replacement therapy leads to a trimmer waist according to this study which looked at the results of 255 obese men with low testosterone who received testosterone replacement for 2 to 5 years. The results were quite remarkable with over 90% of the men at least losing some weight.

Fifty-three percent lost over 33 pounds and nearly a third lost more than 44 pounds. On average men trimmed their waistlines by 3.5 inches. These results are unheard of with weight loss drugs.

A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat.  Sounds logical.  But, a pound of fat takes up approximately 3 times more volume as a pound of fat.  That’s because fat is less dense in muscle.  I usually tell patients that for every inch they lose in their waist they lost around 7 pounds of fat. So a loss of 3.5 inches in the waist would be around 24 pounds.  Given the fact that over half the men in this testosterone study lost more than 33 pounds my “formula” may actually underestimate fat loss. Go here to appreciate the difference in the volume of 5 pounds of fat compared to 5 pounds of muscle

Testosterone Administration

How testosterone was administered in this study isn’t revealed but most likely a long acting IM testosterone preparation was used given the dosages and frequency of administration.  In this study men received 1,000 mg of testosterone at the beginning of the study, another 1,000 mg 6 weeks later, and then 1,000 mg every 12 weeks thereafter.

This departs from the way testosterone is given by most physicians in which injections typically are given once a week and in smaller doses. In this study, men received an average of 83 mg of testosterone a week after the initial 12 weeks.  In practice most men receive 70 mg to 120 mg once a week.  In that sense the average weekly dose used in the study is similar to that used in practice, but administering every 6 to 12 weeks is not typical.

How Does Testosterone Lead to a Trimmer Waist?

Dr. Saad who conducted the study attributes the weight loss from testosterone to several factors including increased vitality, improved lifestyle behaviors, and increased energy expenditure.  As we mentioned in “How Declining Sex Hormones Lead to Fat Gain” testosterone inhibits lipoprotein lipase, or LPL.  LPL promotes storage of fat. By “shutting off” LPL testosterone improves energy expenditure by making it easier to burn fat leading to a trimmer waist.

Men’s energy levels improve significantly and they naturally become more active once their testosterone levels are optimal.  Also, through testosterone’s effects on the brain most men get their “mojo” back gaining the motivation to exercise more which usually leads to more healthy eating.

The fact that this study shows testosterone leads to weight loss is not surprising, but the degree of weight loss and reduction in waist size are most likely more than most would have anticipated. Yes, testosterone can lead to a trimmer waist.

As we have said many times before achieving weight loss after age 40 is difficult without optimal sex hormone levels.

See related articles.

“The Myths About Calories In – Calories Out: Reality Trumps Theory”

“Hormones That Control Weight And Appetite”

“Achieve Weight Loss With These Hormones”

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Dr. Joe Jacko

Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio at Grandview Primary Care. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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