Obesity and Testosterone: Everything You Need To Know


Written by Elite HRT on March 18, 2022

Medically reviewed by

Camille Freking, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, MEDICAL ADVISOR

Both obesity and low testosterone are fairly common conditions that negatively impact male health overall. Living with one of these conditions usually requires medical intervention. Living with both of these conditions simultaneously requires a specialized treatment approach. Remedying one concern often remedies the other, but each case is unique. 

Here’s what you need to know about the connection between obesity and low testosterone.

How Does Obesity Affect the Body?

Obesity rates are on the rise in America, with 73.6% of adults either overweight or obese. People with obesity often experience a broad wealth of negative health effects as a direct result of their condition. Obesity has a negative impact on cardiovascular health. People with obesity are more likely to experience conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea.

Obesity places a lot of strain on the human body. The body is equipped to properly manage, maintain, and withstand within a healthy body weight range. When weight increases significantly, people may experience things like joint pain or soreness. They may also find that their body does not produce adequate amounts of the chemicals and hormones it’s supposed to produce to keep the body in homeostasis. 

How Does Testosterone Affect the Body?

Everyone needs testosterone, but men require significantly more testosterone than women. Testosterone is the male sex hormone, produced in the testes when glands in the brain send signals in an attempt to maintain optimal hormone balance throughout the body.

Testosterone is necessary for male fertility. It helps men to maintain muscle mass and ideal body composition. Insufficient testosterone, called hypogonadism, can lead to unwanted changes in weight, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, low libido, and loss of fertility.

Does Obesity Cause Low Testosterone?

Fat cells metabolize testosterone to estrogen. The larger your fat cells are, the more likely this metabolic process is to cause pronounced detrimental effects. Obese men often experience low testosterone as a result of their obesity. They may also experience consequences of higher estrogen, such as the development of breast tissue.

Hypogonadism caused by obesity can be reduced with substantial weight loss. Many men will slowly experience a return to hormonal homeostasis when their body reaches a healthy weight and is able to sufficiently provide for itself. Reducing the size of fat cells will also help to slow the metabolic processes that contribute to low testosterone.

Does Low Testosterone Cause Obesity?

Low testosterone can indirectly cause obesity. Many men living with hypogonadism experience fatigue, depression, changes in body mass, and reduced muscle mass. Although it is still possible to lose weight with low testosterone, these factors can combine to make living a healthy lifestyle a little more difficult. 

Most men report that they “just don’t feel like themselves” anymore when they experience low testosterone. When you’re feeling noticeably off, you may not feel inclined to engage in many of the healthy activities you enjoy, like working out or cooking your favorite meals at home. The combination of a lack of activity combined with convenient meals or fast food makes obesity an inevitability.

How To Fix Obesity and Low Testosterone

Obesity and low testosterone are both important health concerns to address. If you’re obese, you need to take adequate steps to reduce the strain on your body and return to health by achieving a normal BMI. If you have low testosterone, you may benefit from hormone therapy depending on the root cause of your low testosterone.

Lose Weight If Necessary

If you’re overweight or obese, you need an overall assessment of your health. Your doctor might want to check your thyroid and your heart to see if they’re healthy enough to function as intended and make sure there aren’t any co-occurring conditions like diabetes. 

Your goal should be to get your body as close to a normal BMI as possible. A normal BMI, or body mass index, is a weight range that your body can safely support without significant strain. Your doctor may recommend that you follow particular rules, like watching your sodium intake to preserve your cardiovascular health or eliminating added sugar to manage diabetes.

You should always follow your doctor’s advice, first and foremost. Never follow the advice of unsustainable fad diets. Losing weight and maintaining weight loss is about making healthy choices and committing to them for the long-term. You probably can’t commit to keto with intermittent fasting for the rest of your life, and that’s okay. Focus on what you can commit to.

It’s much easier to lose weight by eating lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grain carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. You can have just about everything you enjoy within moderation, just so long as you’re creating a deficit between the calories you’ve ingested and the calories your body uses throughout the day. There’s no reason you can’t have oatmeal or eat before 3 PM like the rules of many fad diets would suggest.

Choose a sustainable strategy that will work for you across the duration of your life to remain committed to a healthy body weight. If your weight is the biggest contributing factor in your low testosterone, it may at least partially reverse itself through weight loss alone.

Try Hormone Therapy

If your low testosterone is a factor in your obesity, it’s imperative to seek and receive adequate treatment for your low testosterone. This often comes in the form of hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement therapy can be used to give the body a little bit of a tune-up. It can be used to restore levels of human growth hormone, thyroid hormones, and testosterone.

In most circumstances, testosterone therapy can be administered at home under the supervision and detailed guidance of a medical professional. It’s easy to administer the injections. It’s just a tiny pinch, and most people don’t need help from another person.

Testosterone therapy will begin to show results within one month, with full effects developing within six months. Throughout this time, it’s important to watch what you eat and make an active effort to lose weight. While testosterone can work to support your body and boost its efficiency at forming muscle, it won’t cause your body to burn calories. Only a balanced diet and adequate movement can do that. 

If you use testosterone therapy in conjunction with lifestyle changes, you’ll be making a positive change in both directions. By the time the changes from the testosterone have fully taken effect, you can lose a substantial amount of weight. 

Getting Started with Testosterone

First things first, you’ll need medical tests to confirm low testosterone and check for the presence of any other conditions that may co-occur with your obesity. The telemedicine doctors at Elite HRT can help you schedule the tests you need in your local area.

After we receive your test results, we can evaluate your candidacy for testosterone replacement therapy. You may also be a candidate for nutraceutical therapies to assist your body in producing energy more efficiently while you’re committed to your weight loss journey.

We’re always here to discuss your options with you. Contact us to get started and find out what Elite HRT can do to help you reclaim your health and vitality.


FastStats – Overweight Prevalence | CDC

Lowered testosterone in male obesity: mechanisms, morbidity and management | National Institutes of Health

Assessing Your Weight | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity | CDC