Does The Male Menopause Mess With Your Weight?
Despite the name, the menopause is often associated with women, but did you know that men can experience a similar phenomenon? Commonly known as male menopause or the andropause, this stage in a man’s life involves hormonal changes that can impact weight loss and overall health.
The first thing to be aware of is that the male menopause is not a universally recognised medical term, but it is used to describe the age-related decline in testosterone levels experienced by many men. Testosterone is a hormone responsible for regulating various bodily functions, including muscle mass, bone density and fat distribution. As men age, their testosterone levels naturally decrease, which can lead to a host of physical and emotional changes.
While the symptoms of andropause may vary from person to person, common signs include decreased muscle mass, increased body fat (particularly around the abdomen), reduced libido, fatigue and mood swings. These hormonal changes can make it challenging for men to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, especially if they are not taking proactive steps to manage their health during this stage of life.
So what can you do if you feel that you’re at that age when the male menopause is starting to cause issues for you?
- Monitor your hormone levels: If you suspect that you may be experiencing andropause or are struggling with weight loss, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional. They can help determine if low testosterone levels or other hormonal imbalances may be contributing to your weight challenges and recommend appropriate treatment options.
- Incorporate strength training: Strength training is crucial for maintaining muscle mass and boosting metabolism as men age. Incorporating resistance exercises into your fitness routine can help counteract the loss of muscle mass associated with decreasing testosterone levels. Aim for at least two to three strength training sessions per week, focusing on compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups.
- Prioritise a balanced diet: Eating a nutrient-dense diet is essential for supporting hormonal health and maintaining a healthy weight. Focus on consuming lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, avoid processed foods and limit your intake of added sugars and unhealthy fats, as these can contribute to weight gain and exacerbate hormonal imbalances.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep plays a significant role in hormone regulation, including testosterone production. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night and establish a consistent sleep schedule. If you’re struggling with sleep, consider adopting relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, to help improve sleep quality.
- Manage stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact testosterone levels and contribute to weight gain. Implement stress management techniques, such as mindfulness, exercise, or engaging in hobbies, to help maintain hormonal balance and support weight loss efforts.
- Consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT): In some cases, men with significantly low testosterone levels may benefit from hormone replacement therapy under the supervision of a healthcare professional. HRT can help alleviate some symptoms of andropause, including weight gain and reduced muscle mass. However, it’s essential to weigh the potential benefits and risks of HRT with your doctor before deciding if it’s the right treatment option for you.
If this is a factor in your weight loss, the key is to understand that andropause is a natural part of aging, it’s nothing that is unusual with you or that you’re causing. By understanding the role of these hormonal shifts and implementing the tips above, men can take control of their weight loss journey and maintain a healthy lifestyle during andropause.