A FOUR-YEAR-OLD asks, Daddy, whats in your big fat tummy? All men need to pay attention to their weight. All men can benefit by understanding the points in this chapter, but especially those who had high scores in the Changing Body,Medical Background, and Habits and Lifestyle questionnaires.
Why Do Men Become Overweight?
- We eat too much rich, sugar-laden, oily, or greasy food.
- We dont walk much.
- We dont exercise much.
- We eat too much junk, convenience, snack, or comfort food.
- We are growing oversized or supersized, like the portions served to us.
- We may even inherit obese genes.
- We dont realize that we can mobilize T to help with weight control.
- Overweight men are steadily damaging their chemical profiles.
- The more overweight you are, the more you drag down your T levels, and interfere with your T-responsiveness.
More than 50 percent of all men are overweight. Two out of five menfully 40 percentare overweight to the point of obesity, and about 5 percent of men are morbidly obese, which means theyre more than one hundred pounds above their ideal weight. As a society, its time we practiced girth control.
- Know your current weight and your ideal weight.
- Understand the key issues.
- Increase your T-rushes to help fight fat.
What to do
- Being overweight opposes testosterone.
- Testosterone opposes being overweight.
- Catering specifically to your testosterone helps you to avoid weight gain.
- Catering specifically to your testosterone helps you to lose weight.
KNOW YOUR CURRENT WEIGHT AND YOUR IDEAL WEIGHT
How tall you are determines what your ideal weight should be. The fol-lowing list gives you your maximum ideal weight for your height.
See where you stand. Are you above your maximum ideal weight? If so, then you are, like the majority of North American men, overweight or pos-sibly even obese. For example, if you are 5'9" tall, your maximum ideal weight is 169 pounds. If you weigh 185 pounds, you are overweight.
Men are obese when they are about 20 percent (more than 2530 pounds) above their ideal body weight. If you are 5'9" tall and weigh more than 203 pounds, you are not only overweight but obese.
Men usually sense when they are overweight. But many of them are star-tled when they use the tables to learn exactly how overweight they are.
For example, doctors are seeing more and more midlife men who are 40, 50, 70, even 100 pounds above their ideal weight.
Occasionally we even have to say, Were sorry, sir, but right now you are two people. You are double your ideal weight.
The full range of height and weight distributions can be seen in this graph:
So Whats a Pound or Two of Fat?
ONE POUND OF fat adds two hundred miles of blood vessels to your body. Being only twenty pounds overweight adds four thou-sand miles of them. And, the more you weigh, the more those extra vessels are clogged with fat.
Your heart has to work harder to move your blood through all those unnecessary pipesthrough unfamiliar winding roads, slow-moving traffic, and lots of resistance from the plugging and crust-ing of the tubing.
This is one of the reasons that extra fat predisposes you to high blood pressure.
Quick Test: Is Your Waist More than Forty Inches in Circumference?
This is a simple test which seems to have the same predictive power as other, more expensive examinations.
Accurately measure your waist using a tape measure placed just above the top of your hip bones.
Dont cheat by sucking in your stomach too much. Exhale first, relax, then measure yourself.
If your waist is forty inches or more, you are at high risk for declining testosterone, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and weak bones, known as osteoporosis.
FAT COLLECTED IN the abdomen is worse than fat elsewhere, for example in the hips, thighs, or legs.
Abdominal fat is chemically very active. For a man, this is nasty, high-risk fat.
UNDERSTAND THE KEY ISSUES
I havent changed my eating habits much. Im doing the same exercise as before. But I keep putting on weight.
Getting a belly?
Have you wondered where your belly came from? In your early forties, did you develop noticeable abdominal fat, a midsection bulge?
If you did not change your diet or exercise levels, you would have gained midsection fat in midlife. This happens to the majority of men in North America, and theyre not sure why. Most men just write this off, without any clear understanding of whats going on.They think,Well,I must be getting old ...maybe Im slowing down a bit. This is true, but they dont under-stand the underlying chemical basis.
The declining impact of testosterone is the leading step that sets off the chain reaction. This is often the first taste of life over forty.
Consider thisthe testes are centrally located in front of the body, and the fat deposition in men is also front and center. In essence, the abdomen is testosterones ghetto.
In women, on the other hand, the ovaries are somewhat to the sides, so a womans fat gets stored preferentially on the sideson the hips, thighs, and buttocks.
This is known as gender-specific regional fat distribution.
With declining T, you have less thermogenesis (heat production). You will:
- Burn less energy because of a slower metabolic rate
- Not fight off fatty foods as well as you used to
- Not fight off sugary foods as well as you used to
- Gain weight more easily
- Not be able to lose weight as easily
- Feel like exercising less
- Feel tired more easily
- Not see as good results from exercise
- Have less endurance
- Lose about one pound of muscle every two yearsthats huge mostly from your legs
- Find that the muscle is being replaced by fat
- Feel like you want to take on fewer challenges
With declining T, basically fat replaces muscle.
Being Overweight Turns Your Testosterone into Estrogen
This is shocking, like a chemical kidnapping.
First of all, changing testosterone into estrogen is remarkably easy. The chemical change is very small. It takes one step, a single enzyme, and thats it.
Its like changing the fruit topping on a cake a trivial thing for the body:
You can barely tell the chemical difference.
Now, the chemistry may not mean much to you, but the simplicity of this conversion is unsettling.It actually seems like a design flaw to think that the hormone that is the foundation of manhood could so easily lose its character.
Whats astonishing is that a first-rate prized product of the mans system, of his testes, the testosterone itself, ordered by the brain, should allow itself to be changed beyond factory specifications so easily by an unrespectable operator such as fat cells.
Truly, this is identity theft and copyright infringement.
Lets walk through the process. The body lovingly makes all this testosterone for you, this superhormone. And what happens? Your stomach fat turns T into estrogen, the womans hormone. And as stomach fat makes this estrogen, the estrogen tells the fat cells to make more of the converting enzyme. This enzyme, aromatase, gets revved up, and then you get even more estrogen, in a self-reinforcing cycle.
Whats more, your abdominal fat is a storage depot, stockpiling and releasing estrogen as it likes. Yet the body cant store testosterone, anywhere. T cant even be stored in the testes themselves.
And, to add insult to injury, the chemical reaction only goes one way. T turns into estrogen, but estrogen cannot be turned back into T. This is remarkable and rare for the human body. Unlike almost all conversion reac-tions in the body, this is an irreversible reaction, a one-way transaction.
In essence, for a man, having a potbelly is like having ovaries. Thats definitely not what you want. Turning into the enemy.
Usually, chemical reactions in the body can be reversed:
Amino acids form to make proteins. Proteins can be broken down into their constituents, amino acids.
Cholesterol and fatty acids get stored as fat. Fat can be broken down into its constituents, fatty acids and cholesterol.
Calcium and minerals solidify into bone. Bone can be broken down into calcium and minerals.
Simple sugars can be stored as glycogen. Glycogen, the storage form of sugar, can be broken down into simple sugars.
But estrogen cannot be turned back into testosterone.
And remember, this means testosterone is not just neutralized, burned off, degraded, or eaten up in this reaction. It actually turns into estrogen, the female hormone, that opposes T-effects.
It is remarkable that such a miniscule chemical change, which can lead to such massive physical and psychological effects, is allowed. More and more, this molecular change will stall, diminish, oppose, reduce, or make the body ignore a mans T-releases. And slowly it will bring forth, step by step, more of the symptoms highlighted in the questionnaires.
Fat Stores Estrogen
FAT NOT ONLY makes estrogen, it loads up on it, too, storing it away to be released later.
Testosterone cannot be stored anywhere, not in fat, not even in the testes. Nowhere.
Its as if the body thinks T is too powerful, too intense, to be stockpiled anywhere. This is why T is made continuously, and why it responds to current circumstances in real time.
Estrogen Beats Out Testosterone
An overweight man is manufacturing, storing, and releasing enemy estrogen. And when both T and estrogen show up somewhere in the body to exert their respective hormonal effect, estrogen dominates. When estrogen and testosterone compete for receptor sites, estrogen wins. In fact, estrogen actually displaces T.
Their chemical similarity tricks the body.
Because estrogen and T are so chemically similar, almost identical twins, they often act upon the same tissues. They stay at the same hotel rooms, stop-ping in the same guest spots.
If they both present themselves for the same room, for the same recep-tor, testosterone foolishly plays the gentleman, and lets estrogen bind to the receptor site. T lets estrogen take the room.
Testosterone is not allowed to sleep on the couch, or even hang around.
He is just dispatched without ceremony. By getting the room, occupying the receptor site, estrogen exerts its biological effect.
In this competition, all over your body, estrogen overwhelms testosterone.
If a man wants to have female breasts:
Let yourself get obese, a good 40 pounds or more above your ideal weight is preferred.
Then drink too much alcohol, as this speeds up the aromatase enzyme that converts T to estrogen. Alcohol will also damage the liver, so that estrogen is not digested and cleared away so well, which is the livers job.
Slowly but surely, you will actually start getting female-type breasts. You dont just get fat male breasts. The mans breast tis-sues start taking on the density characteristics of womens breasts.
Whats more, this puts men at added risk for breast cancer, usually a womans problem.
Doctors call this feminization of male breasts gynecomastia. Thats estrogenization.
The chemical similarity between T and estrogen tricks the brain too.
Since the chemical structure of T and estrogen are so similar, even the brain is fooled. The brain doesnt check the molecular ID thoroughly enough, mistakes estrogen for T, and sends signals to the testes to slow down manufacturing any more testosterone.
Slowly but surely, T-effects diminish over years. This leads to the estrog-enization of men. The changes are subtle, and thats why men may not rec-ognize these shifts on a day-to-day basis. This is happening right now to varying degrees in more than half the men in North America.
A Major Discovery: Fat Cells Talk Directly to the Testes
LEPTINS ARE PROTEINS made by fat cells.
Fat cells make confession through leptins. Fat cells say, Yes, things are getting too fat around here. Leptins, would you please go ask the testes to secrete more T, to help deal with this obesity.
The leptins then recruit testosterone to help reduce fat. Very unusually, there are leptin receptors in the testes, which were thought to live aloof, in a pure, gated community.
But when a man is too fat, the leptins cant do their work. Less T is recruited. And the result is increasing food storage, less fat burning, less burning of energy, and less summoning of testos-terone to help with weight loss.
Excess weight then overwhelms both leptins and testosterone.
Testosterone Opposes Being Fat
Doctors in Britain are successfully treating potbellies by giving men syn-thetic testosterone.
The headlines were, Banish the Beer Belly.
However, this procedure is something I cannot recommend. This can be accomplished with the bodys own resources, but the British experience makes the point about the direct relationship between obesity and T. In fact:
Catering specifically to your testosterone helps you to avoid weight gain.
Catering specifically to your testosterone helps you to lose weight.
Men on weight loss programs cater to their T-release without even real-izing thats what they are doing. When they control their diet, avoid carbo-hydrates, do muscle-building exercise, or do cardiac workouts, they are unknowingly enhancing their T-status.
For example, they may feel better after exercise, but theyre not sure why.
They may have some vague notion that onboard pleasure chemicals, the endorphins, are released after workouts.
In fact, testosterone acts directly on brain cells, and is part of the chem-ical team that helps set those endorphins off.
Direct and specific T-enhancement bolsters weight management.
INCREASE YOUR T-RUSHES TO FIGHT FAT
Without adequate T, weight-loss strategies wont work. Keeping your T up:
- Helps you to avoid obesity
- Helps you to get rid of obesity
- Helps to speed up your weight-loss strategies
Even modest weight loss helps.
Even a five- or ten-pound reduction is better than none. A five-pound loss takes one thousand miles of unwanted extra blood vessels with it; losing ten pounds removes two thousand miles. Your heart, and the rest of you, will be grateful.
Lose Weight Making Full Use of T-Chemistry
Follow these chapters closely:
- Chapter 2 Sleep
- Chapter 4 Exercise
- Chapter 6 Diet
- Chapter 9 Diabetes
- Chapter 10 Supplements
- Chapter 14 Therapeutic Self-Massage
Even Sleep Helps with Weight Loss
Strangely, we know that men who sleep better lose weight faster. Typical of sensationalist reporting,the press misrepresented this as,Lose weight by sleeping more. And that, of course, seems bizarre. How could you lose weight by spending more time in bed?
The real story is this: If you have good, restful sleepmore high-quality sleepyou get a better, longer, and purer exposure to testosterone. Thats what helps with your weight loss. Its the quality, not the quantity, of sleep that matters.
Sleep is T-time.
What If You Have Been Obese Since Childhood?
OVERWEIGHT AND OBESE boys have a downward drag on their testosterone from their earliest days. They miss out on their full T-rushes. This will affect their quality of life, and will shorten their life span as a result.
In such individuals, life expectancy has declined for the first time in North America in two hundred years. The decline was only by a few months, but it was an entirely unexpected change in the usu-ally upward trend of modern man.
Doctors are beginning to see a whole generation of obese men with even lower sperm counts, who set themselves up for many conditions earlydeclining T, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
There is a comparable problem in obese girls. Such girls are hav-ing puberty much earlier, almost three to four years earlier than their mothers generation. The excess estrogen produced in fat will also lead to more fertility problems and higher rates of breast cancer.
About one in three children in North America is now over-weight, and the number continues to increase.