Many of the men considering hormone replacement therapy (HRT) at Rejuvime Medical worry that the treatment could result in weight gain. Given that symptoms of low testosterone in men include increased weight and reduced muscle mass, you can understand why the idea of HRT leading to additional weight gain would be worrisome. So, how does HRT affect weight in men?
Age-related weight gain is normal for both men and women. For men, stubborn fat that accumulates in the mid-section despite exercising regularly and consuming a nutritious diet could be one of the first symptoms of abnormally low testosterone (low T) levels. Other symptoms of low T, including fatigue, low energy levels, and even depression, all affect your weight.
That’s because hormones influence how we digest the food we eat, how often we exercise, how well we sleep, and how we manage stress. These factors each play a significant role in keeping your body at a healthy weight. Because hormone replacement therapy addresses these symptoms of low T, there is also a common misperception that HRT is a weight loss treatment.
Instead, HRT may be part of a comprehensive weight management plan, especially for men experiencing low T who are significantly overweight. Research, including this 10-year study, shows that long-term testosterone replacement therapy can help men with low T lose weight and reduce their body mass index (BMI).
4 Ways HRT Affects Weight
How does testosterone replacement therapy affect weight in men? Here are 4 ways:
- Your weight may fluctuate initially: When you begin HRT, it typically takes some time to find the sweet spot for the amount of hormone supplementation. As you and your hormone replacement specialist monitor your symptoms, the therapy can be fine-tuned to maintain a stable weight.
- Increased energy leads to a more active lifestyle: Fatigue and low energy are common low T symptoms. Men who used to be regulars at the gym or spent weekends playing tennis, hiking, and remaining active find themselves with little motivation to get off the couch. As HRT patients regain energy and feel more rested, they start exercising more often. This increased activity, in turn, helps them shed weight.
- Testosterone replacement therapy boosts muscle mass: As men work out more after starting HRT, they build muscle mass. Lean muscle tissue burns calories more efficiently than fat while you’re resting. This can also explain why testosterone replacement therapy helps men lose weight.
- Higher testosterone levels improve metabolism: When your body struggles to break down the food you eat, metabolism slows down. Testosterone’s role in the rate of metabolism is crucial and helps men burn fat more easily. Men with low T often have a slower metabolism. As your metabolism returns to normal, weight loss occurs.
Something else to consider—losing weight itself can increase your testosterone levels, which is why it’s important to periodically monitor the amount of testosterone in your blood as you undergo hormone therapy.
Considering Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
TRT can help you regain youthful energy, increase stamina, boost physical performance, enhance mental clarity, and recharge your libido. If you want to learn if you’re ready for HRT at our Baton Rouge, Metairie, or Slidell locations, request a consultation using the online form or call (225) 960-1580 (Baton Rouge), (504) 252-9579 (Metairie) or (985) 520-6670 (Slidell) to schedule an appointment.