Testosterone Therapy

Like most men our age, we may feel we don’t have the same energy levels that we once did. To put it bluntly, the love life isn’t what it should be and we don’t feel like the man we once were. There are a lot of commercials hitting us with the need to get hormone therapy. The question I’m wrestling with is, do we?

What’s Your Problem?

Taking this back to my initial meeting with my team, I have low T and I knew it before I ever saw the numbers. I had a choice to make, treat the low T, lose weight, or both. The combination was out of the question for several reasons. For starters, it cost way too much. I’m all about getting healthy, but c’mon now. So, I had to choose between the two options and I should say, I was leaning towards the hormone therapy. Those ads started playing in my head.

Brothers, let’s take a step back and think about this. What is the problem we are trying to solve? Yes, we want our energy back, but does it matter if we look pudgy and gross? If we are “jiggle bear”? Our own self-esteem and confidence have a role to play here, doesn’t it?

Is Low Testosterone the Cause or the Result of Obesity?

This is really the question on my mind. I’ve got smart people telling me that increasing your lean, red meat and exercising more will replenish the testosterone. And there is some evidence that supports this. But there is a caveat – it seems to be only with men who are younger and thus have borderline deficiency. If you are way down in your Testosterone tank, exercise and diet will not help much.

Sometimes it’s 15 minutes after exercise that testosterone is elevated. Sometimes it can be up to an hour”

According to a published article, “Sometimes it’s 15 minutes after exercise that testosterone is elevated. Sometimes it can be up to an hour,” says Todd Schroeder, PhD, who studies exercise and hormones in older men at the University of Southern California (source). But this trick only works for a while. Even worse, overdoing exercise may harm your testosterone levels.

The article goes on to suggest that while exercise and diet are important, obesity is a symptom of low testosterone and exercise alone will not reverse it. It is what it is.

It Gets Worse

I mentioned earlier about Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) being lower in obese people. That hormone is required to transport Testosterone. So we have this loop, where we become fat because we have low T, which harms the distribution of the T we have left. Ah, this suck!

Conclusion

If you have relatively low T, you probably can exercise your way out of it. At least for a while. But it’s sort of like vision and age, at some point you will need both glasses and hormone therapy. If you are vegetarian or vegan and deep in your  40’s, you’re gonna need to get some T. It appears my clinic was probably right to recommend both to me (I hate when the white coats are right!) But I still think I was better off going with the diet first, for personal reasons. I think the diet made me focus on overall changes in my approach and understanding of food that hormone therapy may have allowed me to avoid. Basically the diet prevented my eating a few more cheeseburgers. In the end, I’m going to go back and get treatment and if my timing is right, it will be just before my next vacation with wifey.

PS

I’m now down to 214 pounds and have started weight training.

HCG for Fast Weight Loss

HCG for Fast Weight Loss

Let me start by saying, there is no easy way to lose weight. You put it on easy, it’s going to come off hard. But there are different ways to lose weight and at our age sometimes it’s all about knowing your options.

Exercise your way to weight loss

It goes without saying that exercise needs to be part of a fitness regimen. I’m not here to tell you about the amount of exercise you need per day – there are plenty of magazines, blogs, gyms willing to tell you this. No, my goal here is to talk about your other options to get there faster. Why fast? We live in a world of immediate gratification. Speaking for myself, I have started and stopped so many work out routines because I didn’t see the results and to be fair, it was going to take a long time to build up the muscle required to overcome my massive calorie intake. No matter how I tried, I could never balance things. Maybe you understand what I am talking about?

HCG diets for weight loss.

I had never even heard of the HCG diet before this year. When I met with my team at Total Men’s, they gave me a full battery of blood tests and came back with some options. They recommended both a testosterone therapy plan and a medically supervised weight loss plan. I decided to start with weight loss because it has so many other benefits towards overall health. They ordered my supplies and told me to come back after my trip to California.

When I returned they had my supply of HCG, syringes, alcohol wipes, phentermine and B12. “How often am I coming in for shots?” I asked. Oh, you’ll do these at home and come in for a weekly B12 shot. What did I sign myself up for? Let’s walk through the supplies and what the purpose is.

Phentermine & HCG

Phentermine is an appetite suppressant used to treat obese people with risk factors such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Taken 30 minutes before breakfast you don’t really get hungry all day. I’ve spoken to friends that I have attempted the HCG diet and they all gave up. My coworkers are shocked that I haven’t been moody, especially after seeing my calorie count for the day. This is a very low calorie diet and I must tell you – there is no way I would have been successful on my own. I just don’t see it being possible. Phentermine does have side-effects that you should be aware of.

HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone typically associated with pregnancy. Don’t worry guys, it’s safe for us, too. You can get it in drops or injection. Most who do this diet (and it is an extreme diet) will use drops they can order from various sources. My process used the injections, which seems to be the recommendation of most physicians. What HCG does is the important part. Honestly, it has been unclear for a long time. My team tells me that the HCG releases the nutrients stored in fat cells, allowing your body to make up the caloric deficit with the energy your body has been storing.

Have you ever noticed how nursing mothers can eat anything and stay skinny? The HCG in their body is allowing the transfer of fat to nutrients. But it does something else too. It prevents the rapid weight increase that typically occurs after a crash diet. To be more specific to my athletic readers, the HCG prevent muscle loss during the diet by creating an anabolic state that counteracts the catabolic state. The HCG is pro-hormone so it also elevates testosterone, but don’t ask me how. It just does. By saving muscle, you don’t sacrifice your metabolism.

About the diet

This is where working with medical professionals helps. The original HCG diet, Simeon’s Protocol (see Pounds and Inches), was written in the 1950’s and aside from limiting to 500 calories, it also had very little protein incorporated. Remember why I said I didn’t like juice cleanses for weight loss?  Newer protocols have caloric intake in the 500-1000 calorie range. The menu the clinic provided me looked quite healthy, albeit small. Mostly protein, green vegetables, some fruits and small amounts of fats like MCT and coconut oil.

Will the weight just come back on after the diet?

What I’ve been told is, no. As said earlier, the science is that your body is burning fat, not muscle. With the phentermine and coffee (or tea) consumed, your metabolism is going to just burn through the fat and the weight will fall off – like the guy below (not me but I promise the pictures will come soon). The added benefit is your own hormones should get reset as will your hypothalamus – the portion of your brain responsible for maintaining your weight.

How do I know this is true? Well, here is an article by Dr. Sheri L. Emma, MD – author of Dr. Emma’s HCG protocol.

Conclusion

HCG is a crash diet but one that works if you follow the newer protocol administered by a physician. You will find websites with people who continue to be HCG purists and stick to the original protocol, using the homeopathic HCG; it isn’t the same process. I’m not here to judge which is better. My results, having lost roughly 25 pounds in about a month, have been with the new style using pharmaceutical HCG. And being able to lose weight without having to join a gym and ridicule myself was a plus.

I know some will judge but let’s get real – the reason I’m big in the first place is partially hormonal, partially diet, but in no way was it related to my work outs! With my increased testosterone and regained confidence of having a slimmer physique, I fully intend to begin a work-out regimen. I can’t wait!

Obesity and the Male Libido

Obesity and the Male Libido

While visiting with my sisters in California, I was treated to a comedy showcase hosted by none other than Faizon “Big Worm” Love. You’ve probably seen Faizon in the news lately for administering a beat down on some younger dudes that disrespected him. That’s another story.

During his opening, Faizon talked about the need to have patience with your spouse. You see, he left his wife because he was tired of having to talk to her. She talks so much! So, he packed up and went to an island [or something] where he was going to find a new wifey. What he forgot, as the story goes, was that none of these young ladies are looking for a 400 pound, sleep apnea having, old dude who can’t even keep his junk hard.

Faizon from 2009 film “Couples Retreat”

I didn’t know if I should laugh or call the guy a medic. I never knew that he had gotten so, BIG – standing there on that little stage.

The funny thing is that some of ya’ll might be thinking the same thing. Tired of her, when the real problem is you.

Listen, I’m going to tell it how it is for a minute. The ladies are getting their stuff together. They are out running. They at least try to watch what they eat. And for what? So they can have 30 seconds of ecstasy from you? Once or twice a month? How is that working out for you?

Since it is Sunday, I’m going to get Biblical here. What? You don’t think the Bible has application on what is going on between you and your woman? Let me show you something that men have used for years but only got half the story right.

Let the husband give to [his] wife her due; but let the wife also do likewise to [her] husband. The wife does not exercise authority over her own body, but her husband does; likewise, also, the husband does not exercise authority over his own body, but his wife does. Do not be depriving each other [of it]– 1 Corinthian 7:3-5

Many of us have been walking around like she owes us something when it is us men who owe our wives. And you might know that if you listened to her. Well, not all the time, but sometimes.

Obesity affects the male libido in too many ways. I’m not just talking about the obvious issues with confidence with your shirt off. Men with high cholesterol and insulin resistance can’t get enough blood flow into the tiny arteries of the penis. Since you are low on testosterone you aren’t working out much (okay ever).  Oh, and because we’re fat we lack sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) to  transport the little testosterone left. So now you have Erectile Dysfunction (ED). It’s no wonder everyone is grabbing for blue pills.

If you’ve had your blood tests, have you talked with your wife about your numbers? Have you shared your concern with her? You should.

Ask her to help you to lose the weight. If she’s grown with you, tell her you will do it together. You don’t have to get shredded and you don’t even have to talk. Another benefit of losing the weight may just help with apnea, too.

Recommendation: In addition to your weight loss exercises, do some activities that increase blood flow to the pelvic areas like brisk walking or riding a bike for 20 minutes, 3 times a week. See if you can add any of these foods to your diet.