TL;DR: Cut for 8 months. Lost 46lbs and ~25% strength. Went from around 25% BF to around 11% BF. Was a moron and ate too little calories for my body to normally maintain non-essential physiological functions for 2 months+. All the low testosterone symptoms were there. 5 weeks have passed since consuming enough calories for it to normally regulate all function. Testosterone levels didn’t recover. However, strength started going up, and I’m not nearly as much fatigued as I was but still am moderately high. No sex drive still here. My diet has always had proper micronutrients and macronutrients levels (except calories, of course when I was cutting and was in a state of low energy availability)
18 years old
Testosterone is at 1.45 ng/mL;145 ng/dL; 4.611 nmol/L
Free Testosterone is at 4.5095 pg/mL; 0.45095 ng/dL; 16.5543 pmol/L
Will my testosterone levels recover in time or have I done permanent damage?
I firstly wrote this but it ended up being too long so I advise skipping:
Started lifting at 1.5 years ago at 17 years old, had low body fat, low lean body mass. Took the advice of eat big to get big. Ate around 4300 calories of healthy whole food daily for ~2.5 months. Got fat (20-25%bf), cut for 3 months on around 2000kcal, got to >=15%.
For the following ~7 months ate a little bit less (~3500kcal). Still too much for me. Made decent strength and size progress but got obese too (~25% bf). Height: 5’9; Weight: 172lbs
Following was a cutting phase of 8 months. Started cutting on 2200kcal, lifting 5 times/week as before, cardio rarely consisting of 30mins-1hour of cycling. As months passed by I kept lowering the calories and increasing the amount of cardio to keep losing weight at around 1.5lbs/week since metabolic adaptations were taking place in response to reduced dietary energy.
Fast forward 5.5 months I was eating 1200kcal daily and also added in cardio 6 days/week 30 mins of LIT rowing machine. For the last month I ate 1100kcal daily.
All throughout this time I made sure I had at least 0.9g protein/lbs and at least 50g of fat, rest being carbs consisting of mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes bla bla and drinking at least 4L of water.
Ended up at 125lbs around 10-12% body fat feeling like crap, no erection for months, super fatigued all the time. My NEAT plumed down. Any type of movement was super exhausting - walking, squatting etc. Strength went down on all lifts by ~25%.
I was clearly in a state of sustained low energy availability, my reproductive and metabolic function were downregulated to maintain energy balance.
Immediately after I finished, I ate for 2 weeks at maintenace (~1600kcal) and took my first break from lifting for 1 week. Then, started eating 1700kcal (~100kcal over maintenance) Starting feeling a little bit more energetic, still pretty fatigued but nowhere near as much as I was. Lack of sex drive, iritabillity high still here. Strength started going up.
5 weeks after eating enough calories to be out of low energy availability I went and got blood work done.