hormone therapy and metabolism (transgender)

Im 18 years old and transgender (ftm). I’ve been on testosterone for a little over a year and recently I’ve lost a lot of weight. My metabolism has increased, but I’m not sure by how much or what gender to use to calculate my caloric needs. There aren’t enough studies to give an answer. Despite my metabolism increasing, my appetite has gotten much smaller and I’ve lost more weight than I’d like to. I just don’t have the appetite of a normal teenage boy, and I’m not sure if I should or not. Im still a healthy weight but I’d really like to not lose any more. Help??


  • nutmegoreo
    nutmegoreo Posts: 15,532 Member
    Are you happy with your current weight, or would you like to regain some of what you lost?

    If you are okay with gaining a bit, maybe start with your gender (male) and set to maintain weight. Try eating that amount for 4 weeks and see what happens to your weight. You should either maintain or gain a bit during that time, and it will give you an idea of where your calories should be. If you gain during the 4 weeks, you know that the calories are more than you would need to maintain.
  • JBanx256
    JBanx256 Posts: 1,469 Member
    Rather than jumping straight to maintenance cals for a male, maybe average the male and female and just eat there for a couple weeks and see if that is comfortable? If still too low then switch on over to male cals and see how that does?
    And/or maybe try incorporating some higher calorie foods - if you're eating an apple slather on some peanut or almond butter. Instead of egg white omelet, use some whole eggs, etc? That way even though you aren't necessarily eating a lot more volume, you're bumping up your calories
  • CarvedTones
    CarvedTones Posts: 2,340 Member
    I have 2 family members that have gone through this and had exactly opposite results, which makes me wonder if it really is related or not (but my sample size is only 2). One has to purposefully eat calorie dense foods and he still has trouble finishing enough at meals to keep his weight up. I am worried that the other is going to become obese. He put on a little each year through college and in his first year of working has really ballooned.
  • ELG585
    ELG585 Posts: 1 Member
    Im 18 years old and transgender (ftm). I’ve been on testosterone for a little over a year
    Because you've been on t for quite a while, treat yourself like a 13/14/15 year old (pubescent) boy. T will have very close if not identical effects for you as a cis guy (especially because you are younger, they should happen at a similar rate, but it will seem slower since others have had a head start). If you had only been on t for a month, things would be more iffy, but because it has definitely had time to settle in with your body, think of yourself as a guy that is in the beginning/middle of puberty. Base guesstimates off of research done on teenage boys. Finding studies on cis guys will be a lot easier than ones on trans guys. If you want more accuracy, look up studies on guys with delayed puberties, as they will have started around the same time as you.
  • happytree923
    happytree923 Posts: 463 Member
    My ex- (ftm) boyfriend found that he could build muscle much more easily after starting t. Strength training might increase your appetite and if you'd like to put some weight back on adding muscle mass is never a bad idea. He never had a problem with appetite decreasing but he used protein drinks mostly to up his calories. Like others have mentioned, adding things like nuts/nut products, fattier cuts of meat, full fat dairy etc can all help increase calories without increasing volume.
  • jasonpoihegatama
    jasonpoihegatama Posts: 496 Member
    You should ask your treating doctor. Or see female bodybuilders who use T they should know the ins and outs of how T effects the body.
  • leoyasha03
    leoyasha03 Posts: 3 Member
    I calculate my cals as a male (I'm a trans-guy). Testosterone raised my appetite and I've gained some weight but have no notice of metabolism changes. If you are having trouble gaining weight (don't want to lose weight), try eating caloric dense foods
  • psychod787
    psychod787 Posts: 4,088 Member
    Fascinating topic! One I would love to learn more about, could someone send me a link to some reserach?
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,072 Member
    edited July 2020
    I imagine it will be a while before there is much in the way of solid data on this topic. Trial & error may be your best bet.

    Start with the simple. You do not want to lose more weight, so you need to increase your calories in and/or decrease your activity. Is decreasing your activity even something you wish to consider? If not, ignore that part. Do you have an idea of about how much on average you were losing per week? If you can take that # (in pounds) and multiply by 500 that is a starting point. Such as if you have been losing at an average rate of 1.5 pounds per week: that amounts to 750 calories per day.

    You may not want to jump that much. And this is where trial & error comes in. In this example (adjust to suit your real scenario) try half - go up 375 per day for 4 weeks or so. If you continue to lose, then increase some more.

    For lack of appetite issues... you may simply need to think more about what you are eating when you eat. Avoid anything low fat or fat free, and opt for the regular versions. Snack on nuts. Add avocado to sandwiches, salads. Enjoy fattier cuts of meat.

  • mullanphylane
    mullanphylane Posts: 172 Member
    This is an issue that, probably, should be discussed with your doctor to obtain more definitive results.
  • MadisonMolly2017
    MadisonMolly2017 Posts: 10,836 Member
    I know 3 ftm folks (19-21 at time of transition & 2 were very slim before & one struggled with weight gain. This remained the same post T for all 3 three years later. Small data set, but there you go.