For many men losing weight is an interest, but not at the expense of losing muscle tone as well. This can create some challenges to finding the right balance in the process, but some new research is suggesting that testosterone might be the perfect ingredient.

This research was presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, and suggested that adding a testosterone treatment to a weight loss plan could help people retain more muscle throughout.

The chosen study participants were 100 obese men between the ages of 20 and 70 who were considered relatively healthy. They all had low testosterone levels, while 10 percent of them had heart disease and 20 percent of them had diabetes.

During the first ten weeks of the study, the men were put on a weight loss plan that included a low calorie diet, avoiding alcohol, and working out for 30 minutes a day doing something that was considered a moderate form of exercise.

After hitting the 11th week mark they were put on a different diet that they then followed until the 56th and final week of the study. The diet was the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Total Wellbeing Diet.

While all of this was going on, 49 of the men were chosen to receive testosterone supplements each ten weeks. They were given 1,000mg injections of intramuscular testosterone undecanoate, while the rest of the men were given a placebo injection.

What was key to their findings were the differences between the two groups. Both of the groups ended up losing around 24 pounds, but the group that was receiving the real testosterone shots lost mostly just fat, while the group who received the placebo lost muscle in addition to fat.

So those actually numbers ended up showing that the men who took the testosterone lost 6.6 pounds of fat on average more than the placebo group, and the placebo group lost 7.7 pounds of lean muscle mass on average.

The researchers went on to point out that about 40 percent of obese men have low testosterone at any given time. They do know for certain that calories restricted weight loss leads to an increase of the levels of testosterone that are circulated within the body, and that the testosterone treatments can help to reduce the fat in the body.

What they do not know exactly is whether more fat is reduced in the body with the testosterone treatment or if it’s similar to the effect of simply reducing calories and dieting on its own.

Anyone interested in getting a testosterone treatment should head to the doctor a simple evaluation. If they deem you a good candidate the options for treatment styles include pills, gels, injections, or patches, depending on which works best for your lifestyle.

There are also natural ways to boost the testosterone levels in the body, such as supplements and also workouts.

According to sports medicine doctor Jordan Metzl, MD, who is the author of the book The Exercise Cure

“In general, all types of exercise stimulate the release and production of testosterone, but there is data to suggest that lifting weights and high-intensity work might stimulate the greatest release of testosterone.”