No matter if you’re in your early 20s or early 40s, your body may not be producing enough testosterone for optimal muscle growth, weight loss and sexual function.

Don’t think you need to visit a doctor for a simple blood draw to test for low testosterone? Try this test as home: when you step out of the shower, stand up straight in front of a mirror then look down at your feet. If you can’t see your testicles, then your T levels are likely below normal.

That belly blocking your view is a prime culprit in men who have low testosterone. Extra body fat also contains aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen, the main sex hormone in women. This extra estrogen floating around in your body triggers a response that slows the production of testosterone and, the less testosterone your body produces, the more belly fact you gain leading to a vicious, harmful cycle.

Don’t believe your beer belly is to blame? A study of 1,822 men by the New England Research Institutes (NERI) confirmed that a man’s waist circumference is the single strongest indicator of low T levels. This factor is even more accurate than age and overall health. Studies have further shown that extra weight around your midriff is another key indicator of a condition known as symptomatic androgen deficiency (AD) characterized by low libido, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, depressed mood, fatigue and diminished physical performance. In fact, the Massachusetts Male Aging study found that the prevalence of AD among American men aged between 40 and 79 is nearly 8 percent.

Put a Stop to Low T

Losing testosterone gradually after age 40 is normal in men however, weight gain can speed up the process. NERI researchers who monitored the health of men aged 40 to 70 for 9 years found that the men who became overweight or obese experienced a more rapid drop in testosterone than those who had maintained a healthy weight.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of low T, consider that testosterone can help prevent muscle loss as you age. Researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University found that muscle mass will begin to slip roughly 1 percent a year after age 30. On the other hand, a 4.5 year Kaiser Permanente study found that men with higher levels of testosterone retained more muscle mass than men with lower T levels.

Fortunately, you can get normal testosterone production back up and running by losing fat, belly fat in particular.

Lift Weight, Lose Weight

2Figure 2 Source: greatist.com

We’ve said if before and we’ll say it again. This fact applies to both men and women who want to see more fat loss. Moderate resistance training with heavy weights gives your body a testosterone boost. Compound lifts like squats, dead lifts and rows are the most effective as they work multiple muscle groups at once. This approach will stimulate the body’s production of growth hormone which increases muscle mass and fat loss.

Sleep

The average person needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night however, depending on your level of activity, we recommend logging at least 8 hours per night. A 2011 University of Chicago study found that an average of 5 hours of sleep per night decreased men’s T levels by as much as 15 percent.

Drink Less Alcohol

Increasing T production, fat loss and muscle gain ultimately means drinking less alcohol. In fact, research shows that alcohol speeds up the conversion of testosterone and other androgens into estrogen.

Avoid BPA

Bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA, is a chemical used in food cans and plastic containers which can lower your testosterone. These containers expose you to chemicals that mimic estrogen in your body so avoid buying, cooking with or using food containers with the recycling numbers 3, 6 or 7.

No Dieting

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Eat Vegetables. Be Manly.

Mainstream diets promote calorie restrictive, high protein, high fat diets. These will not improve T levels, promote long term health, and certainly won’t help you lose weight and keep it off. With a high carbohydrate, low fat plant-based lifestyle, you will consume every nutrient the body needs including antioxidants needed to recover from workouts as well as enough protein from whole grains, lentils, beans and legumes. If you’re considering a crash diet, know that men who adopted an intense exercise regimen while consuming only 1,800 calories a day experienced a 40 to 50 percent drop in testosterone after only 5 days.

In addition to whole grains, lentils, beans and legumes, foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, green vegetables, apples, bananas, apricots, dates, cherries and blueberries are rich in antioxidants and promote weight loss and stable T levels.

4Figure 3 Source: www.seriouseats.com

Fenugreek, a lesser known super food, is great to consume as a spice or hassle free supplement.

Produced primarily in India and traditionally used to prepare curry powders, pickles, and pastes, studies are now investigating Fenugreek for its anabolic properties.

A study out of University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas examined the effects of fenugreek supplementation on strength and body composition in resistance-trained men. Researchers found that while both the placebo and fenugreek groups significantly increased their strength during the first four weeks, only the fenugreek group saw significant increases in strength after eight weeks of training and supplementation. These findings suggest that fenugreek could help men continue to increase strength after reaching a dreaded plateau. Additionally, only the fenugreek group saw significant increases in lean body mass at both four and eight weeks. Fenugreek has also shown to improve sexual function and well-being.

Fenugreek is the primary ingredient in a safe and natural supplement called Chemforce. In addition to boosting testosterone, it has shown to improve sperm count, sperm morphology, and can help protect the male reproductive system. For more information, visit www.chemforce.in.

The statement and product have not been evaluated by the FDA to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.