Anavar for Weight Loss (Fat Loss): How Much Will You Lose?
Disclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and NOT to promote the use of illegal steroids. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultations.
Anavar (Oxandrolone) is an anabolic steroid used by both men and women, to simultaneously build muscle and burn fat.
Anavar’s anabolic (muscle-building) properties are considered moderate, and thus not equal to bulking steroids that build large amounts of muscle.
However, Anavar’s lipolytic or fat-burning properties are potent (compared to other anabolic steroids), which is why many men and women cycle it when cutting.
Subcutaneous & Visceral Fat Loss
Anavar is a unique anabolic steroid when it comes to fat loss, as it burns both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
Subcutaneous fat essentially is adipose tissue that accumulates externally (around a person’s midsection) and is visible to the naked eye.
However, visceral fat is located nearer the internal organs and cannot be seen — although high levels can push out the stomach, causing a bloated or protruding appearance.
Many steroids decrease subcutaneous fat, but increase visceral fat.
This is why many bodybuilders can appear lean with low body fat levels, yet possess a large waist — typically referred to as a ‘steroid gut’.
Anavar however has the opposite effect, creating a notably smaller waist. Chemically, this happens due to Anavar’s positive effects on insulin resistance and triiodothyronine (T3) levels (1); increasingly the breakdown of fatty acids and speeding up the metabolism.
Due to Anavar’s anabolic (muscle-building) effects, Anavar may not cause any weight loss on the scales.
However, Anavar will cause significant amounts of fat loss — particularly in stubborn areas.
Thus, the best way to monitor results with Anavar is to take pictures, rather than track weight or BMI; as such readings can be deceptive. Many Anavar users thus lose fat, yet gain weight.
In one study, older men took 20mg/day of Anavar which produced 4lbs of fat loss over 12 weeks (2). This is a sizeable amount of fat loss, considering these men were sedentary and not in a calorie deficit.
Thus, for maximum results when taking Anavar, users should perform regular weight lifting or cardiovascular exercise; which is likely to increase this figure closer to 10lbs of fat loss over a 12 week period. This may not sound like much weight, but visually this can make a dramatic difference to a person’s appearance.
Furthermore, there are other factors that can influence the degree of fat loss on Anavar, such as genetics, training intensity, nutrition, dosage and cycle length.
Someone who trains hard on Anavar will amplify the fat-burning effects of this steroid, as well as a person who eats in a small calorie deficit (-500).
The dosage of Anavar will also play a role in fat loss, with low dosages having less of an effect.
However, it is worth noting that high dosages of Anavar may not burn significantly more fat than a moderate dosage, as there is a cut-off limit of diminishing returns; where only side effects increase (and not results).
Thus, diligent users will stick to moderate dosages, resulting in significant fat loss and minimal side effects.
Legal Anavar Alternative
The above dosages are tailored for beginners who have not used Anavar before.
Once novices have built up a level of tolerance to Anavar, they can start cycles on 20mg/day and increase the duration to 8 weeks.
Anavar has a short half-life of 9.4-10.4 hours, thus bodybuilders often will take 2 x 10mg dosages per day — once in the morning and the other in the evening. This will maintain peak serum testosterone levels, rather than experiencing fluctuations from infrequent dosing.
This effectively will maximize results (fat loss) and minimize side effects.
Note: When on 15mg/day, bodybuilders will commonly use a pill cutter to split a 10mg pill in half.
Women should not take more than 10mg/day, as the risk of developing virilization side effects increases beyond this dose.
Therefore, sticking to a cautious yet effective dose (specified in the table above) will retain women’s femininity, whilst producing significant fat loss.
This anonymous Anavar user lost a significant amount of fat, whilst increasing muscle definition. Furthermore, he appears to have gained some muscle — albeit not exceptional amounts (as he has previously taken other more potent steroids in the past, thus limiting his muscle-building potential compared to a beginner).
This female user has experienced significant fat loss, from just 5 weeks of taking 10mg/day of Anavar. This is a prime example of how Anavar does not cause weight loss, as she has actually gained 2kg; albeit she is noticeably leaner, especially in her abdominal area.
Anavar’s positive effects on muscle gain, fat loss and strength aren’t without a cost. Although Anavar is one of the mildest and ‘safest‘ steroids a person can take, there are still adverse reactions that can occur.
Firstly, a user’s aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) enzymes will rise, signifying hepatic stress (liver inflammation).
Generally, liver enzymes regulate back to normal post-cycle; however, individuals taking Anavar with already compromised liver function is a potentially dangerous scenario.
Equally, Anavar will cause shifts in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, increasing the risk of hypertension and myocardial infarction.
Such cardiovascular risk is believed to be mild compared to other more potent steroids; however, for users with existing high blood pressure, or those genetically susceptible to heart disease, taking Anavar may not be suitable.
Anavar will also suppress endogenous testosterone, causing a state of hypogonadism post-cycle. This typically recovers in a matter of weeks post cycle; however, abuse of Anavar may lead to long-term testosterone deficiency.
Anavar however is FDA-approved for medicinal purposes, indicating its mild nature and relative safety when taken in therapeutic dosages under expert supervision.
Anavar can be stacked with other anabolic steroids for enhanced fat loss. However, if users are looking to maintain low levels of visceral fat — Clenbuterol may be a more suitable option (as many anabolic steroids can cause a bloated look to the abdominal region).
Clenbuterol is a sympathomimetic amine that stimulates thermogenesis, thus dramatically raising a person’s metabolism.
The benefit of such a stack will be enhanced fat loss and greater muscle definition. The downside of stacking Clenbuterol with Anavar is increased cardiovascular risk, as Clenbuterol significantly raises the heart rate (due to higher levels of epinephrine).
Consequently, users are more at risk of developing heart arrhythmia.