Rapid Weight Loss Can Cause Testosterone Loss
While obesity and excessive belly fat are well known for decreasing male testosterone levels(Read the post), a rapid weight loss has been also shown to reduce the levels of male hormone. A number of studies have researched the effect of rapid loss of weight in professional athletes and have come to the conclusion that a rapid decrease in fat can cause testosterone levels loss.
One study investigated a group of wrestlers who had normal testosterone and LH at the start of the pre-game camp. After three weeks of grueling training and dieting, testosterone and LH levels both fell to below-normal levels. The hormones in human body are regulated by a circuit system controlled by the brain: usually if testosterone levels fall, the brain stimulate the testicles to produce more testosterone by releasing LH in greater concentration. In these group not only the testosterone level but also the LH levels were reduced after rapid weight loss which indicates a disturbed regulation by the commanding system.
How Much Testosterone Will Be Lost During Excessive Weight Loss?
The important question here is how much testosterone concentrations did fall during this three-week period? The tests revealed that in three weeks the average testosterone concentration dropped 63 percent. The underlying cause of the testosterone drop appears to be undernourishment (severe dieting). Patients suffering from eating disorders associated with severe caloric intake restrictions do usually suffer from hormonal imbalance: male patients suffer from a loss of libido and female patients suffer from amenorrhea (the periods stop completely or appear after very long bleeding free episodes).
These studies reveal an important lesson for those who try to weight loss: while maintaining a balanced weight in a normal BMI range is essential for good health, a rapid weight loss with undernourishment of the body will negatively affect your health.
If you are an athlete keep in mind that there is little reason to diet so severely. Performance and power are dependent upon supporting an optimal hormonal environment. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts who are restricting calories to meet a weight or body fat goal, suffering from signs of testosterone deficiency (fatigue, depression, loss of muscle mass/strength, etc.), may wish to re-evaluate their diet.
As with many aspects of life, maintaining the right balance is what brings success and happiness. Or would you rather loss tons and lose libido and sexual drive?