Scientists have now confirmed something many of us in the health industry have long suspected; the more fat on a man’s body the less testosterone he produces. Unsightly indicators of obesity such as “man boobs” are in fact a sign of serious chemical and hormone changes within the male body. Coupled with the knowledge that after the age of 30 the production of testosterone naturally falls off in most sedentary men and the proliferation of estrogen steroids and precursors in modern food supplies; we are beginning to understand that an over abundance of body fat and a poor diet is not just a health threat but a danger to manhood itself. That’s right men; the fatter you are the less manly you literally are. It’s no laughing matter.
For a long time science considered body fat as nothing more than energy storage. We now know that fat is a dynamic substance and often acts as an organ in and of itself; helping the endocrine system to maintain hormone levels and transmit chemical signals throughout the body for metabolic processes. Fat serves a very important purpose in the endocrine system and you literally could not live without it; even extreme athletes can rarely dip below 6% total bodyfat without harmful consequences. Though it is a reservoir for stored energy many Americans are simply not active enough to utilize this energy source. Instead of being cycled through your body as it was intended; body fat is piling on top of itself in thick masses around our organs and muscles.
Ironically the visible fat stored just under our skin is for most purposes relatively harmless. This subcutaneous fat can fluctuate wildly from day to day as our body frequently turns to it for energy and basic metabolic demands. The fat beneath our muscles though or visceral fat as it is known is the problem. This tissue is structured in a different way than other fats and serves as a chemical production facility for the body. It also insulates and protects the internal organs helping to regulate temperature and hormones.
Unfortunately as bodyfat percentages rise; much of it finds its way into our visceral fat stores and once there is very difficult to eradicate. It high jacks our endocrine system into a downward spiral of cortisol production encouraging even more fat retention and less testosterone production. This is important because testosterone is a natural fat burning compound in both men and women. After a workout the flood of this hormone in your blood stream signals not only muscle building but fat breakdown to supply energy for rebuilding. We now understand how important this hormone is in both sexes for controlling bodyweight and even energy levels.
As testosterone production falls off so does the initiative for activity. The heavier a person becomes the less likely they are to be active. The less active they are the more fat they retain and the less testosterone they produce and it becomes a deadly circle of cause and effect. To add even more grief to this dilemma scientist also recognize that body fat plays a role in the chemical process that transmits nerve impulses throughout the brain and body. In short being obese causes a whole host of chemical imbalances in your brain and body. After a certain point your nerves and neurons literally become hardwired to retain fat and limit physical activity in much the same way as the nerves become hardwired towards depression the longer a patient suffers under depression. It literally becomes harder and harder to lose weight the longer a person remains obese. Not to mention the serious implications obesity can have on the health and production of sperm and even ovulation in women.
In some studies it has taken as long as a year of testosterone supplementation in obese subjects to see a return to normal healthy testosterone levels even once they began a workout program. We see in many of these studies how important it is to be proactive in weight management and to stay ahead of the problem. While TV programs make dramatic weightloss seem magical and appear over night the reality for many obese people is that they now face a struggle of years, not weeks to return their body to its healthy balanced state. Even once body fat is gone the body takes many months to rewrite its neural pathways and hormone production routines back to a normal level. Save yourself the trouble men and start yourself on a healthy eating and activity program today before it gets out of hand.