When most people think about steroids, they’re thinking about the addition of huge muscle mass, but they’re more versatile than that.
The use of androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) for cutting is a common practice in the top-flights of bodybuilding and they’re used for this purpose in countless other sports.
Despite the reputation for building mass, they’re extremely effective in reducing muscle loss and improving the mobilisation of fat.
This isn’t just about becoming a competitive bodybuilder or looking like a superhuman: it can mean a safer, healthier alternative to invasive surgery, a huge boost to confidence and energy, or simply dropping those extra 40lbs and feeling like you have control over your body again.
If you’re not competing in a sport, steroids can provide a wealth of benefits that nobody ever talks about.
Today, we’re going to talk about the best steroids for weight loss, what makes them that way, and how to find legal alternatives to these controversial compounds.
You’ll leave with a better understanding of these compounds, how they work, and what they can do to the human body.
The Basics About Weight Loss Steroids
There are some obvious, well-known effects of steroids from muscle growth to body hair, but they’re under-discussed when it comes to serious weight loss. They affect this process in a number of ways that remind us of Bret Contreras’ famous quote:
“Anything that builds muscle in a surplus is great for maintaining it in a deficit”.
We’ll run you through the big effects and how they translate to weight loss. Firstly, the obvious intention of steroids is to increase the presence of anabolic hormones – this is how they boost muscle mass and its kind of “the point” of using them.
The Testosterone to Estrogen Ratio
This starts with the increase in testosterone to Estrogen. Steroids tend to be testosterone-based and increase the amount of testosterone in the body – both the free kind (which floats around in the blood) and the bound kind that produces specific, local changes.
Increasing the amount of testosterone in the body has a significant impact on what your body does with calories and how it partitions bodyfat for fuel. This means that, more testosterone relative to Estrogen is going to produce more muscle, but also limit the storage of bodyfat.
In fact, increasing the ratio of T:E can cause significant fat loss all by itself. When using steroids, this ratio goes sky-high (if you do it right) and any AAS will have positive effects on your ability to lose fat if you’re dieting properly. This means you have two potential options:
- Lose as much fat as possible while keeping/building muscle mass (probably a good idea if you’re looking to trim down)
- Lose more fat and gain more muscle at the same time. This is possible natural, but when using AAS it is dramatically more effective.
Keeping Muscle While You Burn Fat
This is one of the most important aspects of an effective cut – whether you’re a bodybuilder prepping for a comp or an average joe looking to keep the muscle you’ve earned while burning that extra layer of fat.
In both cases, you want to preserve what you have while you burn fat. This is called anti-catabolism and it’s a challenge during a calorie-restricted diet since, if you cut too fast, your body is going to start eating up your muscle proteins as a source of fuel.
This is exactly the opposite of what you want if you’re aiming for a muscular, lean physique.
Many steroids – and other, non-traditional compounds – are associated with an improvement in the way that your body processes a cut.
This includes compounds like Clenbuterol which isn’t really an AAS (since it is not traditionally-anabolic or androgenic) but maintains muscle mass while you cut. This is standard for all AAS but, of course, some are more effective than others.
As mentioned above, this can also mean increased gains while cutting. The average natural, trained athlete can only achieve this at a rate of about 0.9% bodyweight loss and 0.2% muscle gain per week. However, when using steroids there are a few changes to how this works:
- You can burn more fat while still building muscle
- You can build more muscle while losing the same weight
- You can do both at once
This makes it a great choice for anyone looking to improve their physique in both directions at once.
The combined anabolic and anti-catabolic effects of these powerful compounds can play a serious role in the way that your diet plays out. Results are more profound from the same approach – whether you choose to maximise fat loss or find a mid-ground.
Best Steroids for Weight Loss
This is a big question – with the increasing science behind the different compounds, it’s going to be even more difficult to answer as time goes by. There are drugs now that didn’t exist 10 years ago, and the stuff that won medals at the Olympics/Olympia a few decades ago look out-dated already.
However, there are some staple drugs that are used to insure maximum gains, minimum fat, and an overall improvement in results.
One of the most popular drugs for lean gains or an effective cut, Anavar is a drug that comes with a big boost to fat mobilisation and a modest improvement to muscle gains. It’s obvious why this would be so popular for cutting cycles!
However, one of the reasons its gained so much popularity is actually due to a very low androgen index. This means that it provides the anabolic/anti-catabolic effects we discussed above without too many side effects. This is because Anavar was produced for medicinal uses in children with muscle wasting problems or growth disorders.
As a result, Anavar is all about more testosterone without the aromatisation you see with classical steroids like Dianabol.
With this reduction in the androgenic side effects and aromatisation, it comes with very few side-effects and is extremely popular with female bodybuilders. This is due to the fact that women can more-safely take Anavar with less risk of masculising effects.
This also means a reduction in the classical bloating or water-retention associated with stronger steroids. This makes it effective for a cutting cycle where you want to lose water and “get tight”.
Anavar is also useful for its low-interaction with endogenous testosterone, as well as being synergistic with aromatisation blockers like Clomid and Nolvadex.
Overall, this is a great compound for testing the waters or anyone looking to reduce sides.
There are very few drawbacks to anavar when compared to traditional steroids, its an oral drug, and it is more applicable to females, first-timers, and those looking to reduce the impact of a cycle on health and hormonal regularity.
The real risk with Anavar is that you’re not actually getting any. With the cost of Oxandrolone raw materials, you’re likely going to get a poor quality substitute (usually Winstrol) when buying black market.
Pharma-grade Anavar is very expensive and relatively rare, but the use of legal alternatives can be a great way around this problem if you buy a high-quality product.
Tren is one of the most powerful steroids that is in common use, with a powerful anabolic and androgenic effect. Being the opposite to Anavar, it comes with a huge boost to muscle-gain potential as well as the risk of side-effects and need for better understanding and controls.
When taking Tren, however, you’re going to be sucking up water in a serious way. The body is going to respond to Tren in a similar way to Anavar regarding water weight: they’re both “dry” steroids, meaning that water retention will be low, even though Tren is very powerful by comparison.
This obviously means that you should leave Tren out if it’s your first time, or unless you have exceptional knowledge or a milder, legal alternative.
This compound is often associated with a number of side effects like “Tren cough” alongside the standard effects of AAS. This means you’ll need to be more concerned with your anti-aromatising compounds.
The appeal of a legal alternative to Tren comes in the combination of reduced side-effect risk and the reduced need for injections. Anyone who has used Tren extensively will be aware that the injection process itself is rather unique in its risks and side-effects.
An oral solution will definitely require you to take proper precautions for liver/kidney health but should avoid the cough to a greater extent.
If you’re looking to use Trenbolone – or even the legal alternatives – you should make sure you have a good working understanding of the compound, its risks, and how to mitigate them.
Make sure to run an aromatase inhibitor to keep Estrogen levels low, T:E ratios high, and reduce the risk of side-effects. With that said, the results can be striking within a short space of time.
To start with, Clenbuterol is nothing like what you think about when discussing steroids. It isn’t a testosterone-derivative and its not anabolic, which should make it obvious that it is not an AAS: it isn’t anabolic, androgen, or a form of adjusted testosterone.
However, this asthma medication is associated with a controversial benefit: improvements in the ability to lose weight and an increase in muscle-sparing during the weight-cutting process. This is a controversial one since it’s not an AAS and isn’t studied as heavily for the same purposes.
What we can expect, however, is a large increase in calorie consumption in a way that you might expect from any other stimulant – such as ephedrine.
The main role of clenbuterol is going to be an increase in calorie-use and reduction in muscle mass catabolism. This means its likely to be a good adjunct to your weight loss, but probably not that effective by itself.
The problem you’re going to run into here is that combining Clen with a more-powerful steroid can be risky business. Clenbuterol is easily mis-dosed and the combination of steroid-induced cardiovascular risk and clenbuterol’s stimulant properties can exaggerate that risk.
Masteron is often considered to be a more powerful alternative to Anavar, while carrying similar benefits associated with very few side effects and an overall-positive approach to aromatisation.
You’re going to be able to use Masteron to improve the T:E ratio without having to worry about the side-effects like you would have to with other powerful drugs like Trenbolone.
It is popular in Bodybuilding circles as a cutting drug due to the reduction in side effects and the fact that is both a dry steroid (doesn’t cause water retention) and low in aromatising side-effects compared to other powerful steroids.
This is also associated with the ripped, hard, “grainy” look that many professional bodybuilders bring to the stage.
This compound is also a fantastic synergist with trenbolone, Winstrol, or Anavar themselves. These compounds are either rendered more powerful with the addition of Masteron (Winstrol and Anavar) or have reduced side-effects when compared to their solo-use (Trenbolone).
This makes Masteron a great compound for use alone or a great adjunct to your existing usage.
This also makes it a great compound to use in females, but with a much longer time between injections to prevent residual levels in the body from getting too high. While men will usually take Masteron every 2-3 days, females should stick to a schedule of around a week at a time, to reduce cumulative build-up of androgens.
The single most notorious/commonly-used cutting drug, Winstrol or Stanozolol has a long history in both bodybuilding and competitive sports.
This love/hate relationship comes from the fact that it is very effective, leading to lots of use and corresponding reputation for problematic use in drug-tested sports.
The anabolic effects of Winstrol aren’t going to be particularly noticeable by themselves – it is intended to be an effective way of preventing muscle loss during a cut.
It is also considered a dry steroid as it allows you to gain muscle and cut fat rapidly without water retention – often considered to be a more reliable, safer alternative to conventional steroids like Dianabol.
The reduction in side-effects is the result of an increased ability to suppress Estrogen production and the aromatisation of testosterone. This doesn’t just mean a tighter look with less water.
On the contrary, it means an increased ability to mobilise fat in the short-term and rapidly reduce bodyfat.
For maximum results, it would be combined with steroids like trenbolone (where it will serve to reduce overall side-effects) or something incredibly potent and non-aromatizing like Halotestin (if you can find/afford such a ridiculous compound).
With an oral suspension being possible and a good level of digestible absorption, Winstrol also makes for a prime candidate for legal alternatives.
It is a low-risk drug that comes with some big positive benefits and the ability to “tone down” more powerful drugs and their side-effects. Legal alternatives provide a way of achieving this without the side-effects, and increased peace of mind.
There are very few differences in the way that men and women process steroids – they will bring the same results. However, the real problem comes with the side-effects – for which women are far more susceptible.
With a natural testosterone level that is around 11-45 times lower than their male counterparts, females will see huge changes in response to androgenic steroids. This is why we suggest using Anavar as the main basis for a female’s approach to steroids for weight loss, at most.
Winstrol and other compounds can be useful, but the risk of masculising effects is high.
The use of legal steroid alternative without these side effects is one of the easiest ways around the problem – with subtler compounds having benefits without the associated risks. Using a high-quality legal alternative capitalises on the benefits while reducing the risks and other problems that may come with traditional steroid use.
Closing Remarks: Using Legal Steroids Alternatives
With all the legal controversy around these products, understanding how to get legal alternatives can make a serious difference.
This is especially important where these suspensions and alternatives reduce risk and improve overall balance in the body – or avoid common injection problems like we see with Trenbolone.
These come with an increased peace of mind, reduced risk of side effects, and an ability to get around the negative legal perceptions of recreational steroid use. Making sure to get a high-quality product is crucial here, as this can make or break the results you’re hoping for.
Don’t forget that both traditional steroids and legal steroids alternatives are associated with an increased result in those who train and diet effectively. There’s no alternative to the hard work and lifestyle change you’re going to need, even if there are legal alternatives to the compounds we’ve discussed above!
Put the work in, choose high-quality supplementation, and stay consistent!
Llewellyn, William. Anabolics. Molecular Nutrition LLC, 2011.