Understanding Low Testosterone: Beyond Libido – Impact on Weight, Energy, and Motivation

Testosterone is often associated with male health and libido, but it plays a crucial role in the health and well-being of both men and women. Low testosterone levels can lead to a variety of symptoms beyond just a reduced sex drive. In this article, we’ll explore how low testosterone can cause weight gain, low motivation, and low energy, and we’ll provide natural solutions to help boost testosterone levels. We’ll also discuss the importance of free and total testosterone blood work.

The Role of Testosterone in the Body

Testosterone is a vital hormone in both men and women, although men typically have higher levels. It influences many aspects of health, including:

  • Metabolism: Helps regulate fat distribution and muscle mass.
  • Energy Levels: Supports overall energy and vitality.
  • Mood: Affects motivation and emotional well-being.
  • Muscle and Bone Health: Promotes muscle growth and bone density.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone

Low testosterone levels can manifest in various ways. Some common symptoms include:

  • Weight Gain: Especially around the midsection, due to slower metabolism and increased fat storage.
  • Low Energy Levels: Persistent fatigue and a general lack of energy.
  • Decreased Motivation: Reduced drive and difficulty staying focused.
  • Mood Changes: Depression, irritability, and mood swings.
  • Reduced Muscle Mass and Strength: Difficulty building and maintaining muscle.
  • Low Libido: Decreased interest in sexual activity.

The Importance of Free and Total Testosterone Blood Work

To accurately diagnose and manage low testosterone, it’s essential to measure both total and free testosterone levels.

  • Total Testosterone: Represents the overall amount of testosterone in the blood, including the portion bound to proteins.
  • Free Testosterone: Refers to the testosterone that is not bound to proteins and is available for the body to use.

Measuring both levels provides a comprehensive view of your hormonal health. If you suspect low testosterone, consult with your healthcare provider to get these tests done.

Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone Levels

Fortunately, there are several natural ways to help improve testosterone levels, including dietary changes, supplements, and lifestyle modifications.


  • Foods Rich in Zinc: Zinc is essential for testosterone production. Include foods like oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, and spinach in your diet.
  • Healthy Fats: Healthy fats are crucial for hormone production. Add avocados, olive oil, and fatty fish to your meals.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables: These vegetables help balance hormones by reducing excess estrogen. Incorporate broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Vitamin D Sources: Vitamin D is vital for testosterone levels. Ensure you get enough through salmon, egg yolks, fortified foods, and sunlight exposure.


  • Zinc: If your dietary intake is insufficient, consider zinc supplements to support testosterone production.
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D3 supplements can help maintain optimal levels, especially if you have low exposure to sunlight.
  • Ashwagandha: This adaptogenic herb can boost testosterone levels and improve overall well-being.
  • Fenugreek: Known for enhancing strength and libido, fenugreek supplements can be beneficial.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Exercise: Regular physical activity, especially strength training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can naturally boost testosterone levels.
  • Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for hormone production. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can negatively impact testosterone levels. Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises.

Low testosterone is more than just a matter of libido; it can significantly impact weight, energy, and motivation. By understanding the symptoms and taking proactive steps to boost testosterone naturally through diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes, you can improve your overall health and well-being. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen or making significant lifestyle changes, and ensure you get comprehensive blood work to accurately assess your testosterone levels.

For personalized guidance and support, contact your functional, holistic nutritionist, Andi Coffee. Together, we can create a tailored plan to help you achieve optimal health and well-being. Reach out to me at Andi@nutritionwithandi.com.

Harvard Health Publishing. (2020). “Testosterone: What It Does and Doesn’t Do.” Harvard Health.
Mayo Clinic. (2021). “Low Testosterone (Male Hypogonadism).” Mayo Clinic.

National Institutes of Health. (2018). “Testosterone.” NIH.

Medical News Today. (2022). “How to Increase Testosterone: Natural Ways and Supplements.” Medical News Today.

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