Weight management in men has a lot to do with how well your body burns or stores fat, which is a function of metabolism.
At its most basic definition, “metabolism” is the process by which your body burns the fat and calories in the foods that you eat into energy for your cells and tissues. Even at rest, your body requires energy for all of the various biological processes, such as digestion, blood flow, cognition, etc., that continue even if you are not physically active. The amount of calories or fuel that is required to power your body at rest is known as your “resting” or basal metabolism.
You may have heard of a “high” or “low” metabolism. People with high metabolisms tend to be thin, muscular, or otherwise in good shape. People with slower metabolisms tend to be overweight or obese.
The reason why it often seems that men can eat more calories without putting on weight or can lose weight easier than women is that – generally speaking – men have more muscle and, therefore, a higher metabolism than women. Also, when men work out, they tend to do the kind of exercises, such as strength training and weightlifting, that are designed to build even more muscle. Most women, on the other hand, do cardio or aerobic type exercises.
Also, strength training with weights helps men to increase two critical hormones involved in fat metabolism — testosterone and human growth hormone.
How Are Your Hormones Connected to the Fat Burning Process?
The technical term for burning fat and converting it into energy for your cells and tissues is known as lipolysis. Like most biological processes, from digestion to cognition, lipolysis is driven by hormones. There are three hormones that are most important to metabolism and fat burning in men.
Leptin is the hormone that is most closely related to appetite. Fat cells secrete leptin, and the presence of leptin in the blood reduces your appetite. In people that are overweight, however, the receptors become less sensitive to leptin, so even when there is a higher level of leptin in the blood in people who are obese, the body becomes less sensitive to leptin, so overweight people actually feel hungrier, even when their bodies no longer “need” more calories to burn. In addition to making you feel full, leptin also supports efficient metabolism.
Leptin is a tricky hormone when it comes to dieting and weight control. Super low-calorie diets can so severely lower the leptin levels in your blood that your brain perceives it as “starvation mode” and will react by slowing the metabolism and causing your body to store more calories as fat than it burns, even while exercising. This is why some of these “starvation” diets do not work and are not an effective way to lose weight.
Testosterone is the most important male hormone. It plays a role in sexual maturity, sexual function, cognition, and your ability to burn fat and build muscle. Multiple studies have suggested a link between low testosterone and obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic conditions. The primary driving force between low testosterone and obesity is that it robs your ability to build muscle efficiently, which leads to a slower metabolism and weight gain.
Testosterone levels drop as a man ages, and this is one of the main reasons that as men get older, they find it much easier to gain weight and much harder to take it off.
Human growth hormone, or HGH, is another hormone that is critical to a man’s strength, fitness, and virility. Like testosterone, HGH is closely related to how well your body burns fat, and also, like testosterone, your HGH levels drop as you age.
Most men between the ages of 40 and 65 have lower than normal testosterone and low levels of HGH. The combined age-related loss of both of these critical hormones can significantly lower your metabolic rate causing your body to store more fat than it burns.
Can Low Levels of HGH Slow Your Metabolism and Make Your Body Burn Fat Slower?
Growth hormone deficiency is a condition in which your body is not making sufficient amounts of HGH. One of the primary symptoms of HGH is obesity, or a “pear-shaped” body. There can be several reasons for growth hormone deficiency (GHD); however, the primary cause of GHD in adult men is the slow and steady drop in HGH that occurs as men age. This is known as “adult-onset” or “age-related GHD.
GHD slows your metabolism and lowers your ability to burn fat and build muscle, even while exercising. HGH is necessary to build muscle. Without enough HGH, you cannot build muscle even when working out; lack of lean muscle leads to an even slower metabolism which becomes a vicious cycle.
The good news is that studies have found that increasing your HGH levels can raise your metabolism, improve lipolysis, and increase your ability to build lean muscle. You could raise your HGH levels naturally by:
- Exercising more, particularly weight training or high-intensity workouts
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
- Reduce sugar intake
- Quit smoking
- Reduce stress
- Get more restful sleep
Forget about the various nutritional supplements that claim to be HGH or have the ability to raise your HGH levels. You cannot get actual HGH without a doctor’s prescription. Most of these products are combinations of proteins, and amino acids whose claims to be able to raise your HGH levels are dubious at best. Such products should be avoided.
You might be able to raise your HGH levels slightly – or keep it from dropping further – by using some of the techniques mentioned above; however, if you have been diagnosed with GHD or low testosterone for that matter, the only way to raise your HGH and testosterone levels to the point where it will improve your metabolism is with hormone replacement therapy.
The benefits of hormone therapy for men are many. In addition to raising your metabolism and improving your ability to burn fat and build muscle, growth hormone and/or testosterone replacement can:
- Improve energy
- Improve sexual function and sexual stamina
- Increase energy
- Improve sleep
- Improve physical performance
- Improve sleep
- Improve memory and cognition
How Can I Get Started With Hormone Replacement Therapy for Men?
Boosting your metabolism and increasing your ability to build muscle and burn fat through hormone therapy is not hard. However, hormone therapy does require a doctor’s prescription. Taking HGH or testosterone to lose weight and build muscle without a doctor’s prescription is not only illegal, but it can also be hazardous to your health.
However, it is not hard to get a prescription for hormone replacement therapy for men if you qualify. To find out if you are a candidate for HGH or testosterone injections – or both – simply contact us on this page.
Then, you will be asked to come in for a complete medical exam and blood work. If the results of your physical and your labs indicate that you have low testosterone or an HGH deficiency, or both, you will be prescribed a course of hormone replacement therapy to fit your symptoms and individual lifestyle.
Having troubles with fat burn? Contact our endocrinologists to find the root causes of this condition and get the best treatment.