Blame your belly for bedroom troubles

Chubby, rotund, pleasingly plump, overweight, or just plain doesn't matter what you call it, the reality is obesity is bad for your health, especially with the new link between obesity and testosterone.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you about the strain that extra fat puts on your heart and joints. Or that it causes your risk for diabetes to skyrocket. Heck, it even raises your risk for certain cancers. But if you're a guy you may be surprised to learn the number it can do on your sex life.

Yes, believe it or not, your big belly really could be responsible for turning your bedroom time into a bust. Or, to be more accurate, it's what that extra fat could be doing to your hormones that could turn fun in the sack to let's go get a snack.

According to researchers at the University of Buffalo's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences  obesity could turn testosterone levels down to a virtual trickle. In fact, one doctor, who admits to being surprised by the results, called the findings "horrendous."

It's a strong word. But there's a reason why she used it. You see, because testosterone plays a key role in so many processes in the body it's a lot more than just your sex life you've got to be worried about. (As if that wasn't bad enough news on its own!)

From lagging libidos to sagging erections

Both men and women have testosterone circulating in their bodies. But, as you probably know, testosterone...often called the "man's hormone" a big part of what makes a guy...well...a guy. The hormone is crucial right from the start of a man's life, helping his testes and prostate gland form properly.

And the hormone continues to play a critical role throughout your life spurring muscle growth, increasing your body mass, kick starting body hair growth, and keeping your libido firing on all cylinders.

But libido isn't the only bedroom connection to testosterone. Even if there are no problems in the desire department the doing part still might not work out if your levels are low. You see, testosterone is intimately tied (pun intended) to your erections. In other words, if your testosterone's lagging your manly part could end up sagging.

Oh, and to add icing onto an already ugly cake, as testosterone levels drop so do your chances of being able to have a kid. Low testosterone can lead to infertility.

The big tummy low-testosterone link

Now we already knew that obesity might have some effects on your testosterone levels. In fact, the same team of researchers that brought us this new research conducted a trial a few years back that linked obesity and testosterone deficiency.

But that 2010 study was done on obese diabetic men, and we know that diabetes can also have an effect on testosterone levels. This new trial... focused on obese, non-diabetic, young men...showed us that you don't have to be diabetic (or even an adult...the oldest guy in this group was 20) to experience the testosterone-robbing effects of fat.

Now, admittedly, this trial was small. It involved 25 obese men and 25 lean men. But the findings were anything but small...they were, in fact, stunning. The researchers found that testosterone levels plummeted by 50 percent in the obese group when compared to the lean group.

And don't forget, these were young, non-diabetic men who should have been in the prime of their lives!

But the real kicker is that they might not remain non-diabetic for long. Those low levels of testosterone can lead to even more belly fat building up and to loss of muscle mass, setting the stage for pre-diabetes...or insulin resistance.

Researchers say they now need to conduct another larger trial to confirm their findings of obesity and low testosterone. And more research is great. But really, there's no reason to wait around for those results.

We already know carrying around the extra weight is bad for your heart and joints, and it puts you at an increased risk for diabetes. And now we also know that it has the potential to wreck your love life too.

And if you're anything like most guys I know that last bit might be just the motivation you need to work on trimming down that belly.

Luckily one of the best ways to do that is also one of the easiest. I wrote about it just last year. Click here for the details.