Part 2 – Maximizing T Production

 

In the second part of how “bulking may be ruining your gains” article you’re going to discover in more depth that the way most men diet is killing the most important hormone in your body…Testosterone.

 

With the health and fitness industry dominated with quick fix plans, diet aids super lotions and potions which claim to guarantee results. ( We’ve all seen the TV ads. 95% of these adverts/plans are targeted towards the female market as they are the biggest consumers) it’s no wonder men trying to lose a few pounds have jumped onto the band wagon but in doing so are causing themselves more harm than good!

Most of these diets are no good for women never mind men! (And yes men and women do need to diet differently but that’s for a whole other article.)

 

So to begin with you need to forget about everything that you’ve ever heard about “eating healthy” Most of what you think you now know is probably contributing to your bulging waistline and inability to build muscle. Most men who come to me for help will say they are experiencing symptoms such as

 

  1. Training hard, eating healthy but unable to burn body fat and build lean muscle tissue.
  2. Low sex drive.
  3. Not fully recovering from workouts.
  4. Feeling depressed & run down.
  5. Struggling to get out of bed in the morning, always tired.

 

If any of the symptoms mentioned above sound similar to you, then you are more than likely suffering from low testosterone levels. Keep on reading as I have the answer to building the strongest, leanest, healthiest body you could dream of.

If you’re a bit older you may be thinking something I hear all the time too ‘I am in my late 40s or 50s my testosterone has declined to none existent levels!’

Of course ageing is a major factor outside of our control that can contribute to a decline in the amount of testosterone that we produce but there’s plenty we can do to slow this decline. With a few simple changes to your diet you can build more muscle and burn more fat than ever before.

 

As I said before most diets are designed with women in mind not men. Testosterone is so powerful that keeping it at an optimal level has been shown to

 

  1. Reduce the risk of cancer and disease
  2. Lower the likelihood of suffering from depression
  3. Dramatically increase the ability to build muscle tissue and burn body fat

 

Through my 16 years of helping people from all walks of life with their physique goals I have noticed one thing that’s become increasingly more common. Men are producing less and less testosterone and are becoming fatter and weaker as a result. Is this coincidence or is there a link? If you read part 1 of this article then you would now realise that there is definitely a link between big round bellies you see today and the low testosterone levels that most men are experiencing. It a vicious cycle and is only being compound by what you’re eating right now, or should I say what you’re not eating, if you diet like a female then you’re not getting in the building blocks for testosterone, and even if you are then you’re probably not providing the carbs to fuel, power and sustain any muscle.

 

Typically most people adhere to one of the following myths when going on a diet, which one do you fit into? Or maybe you do all three…

 

Myth 1

 

Dramatically limit your calorie intake (normally from fats and carbs). Dieting in this fashion with an excessive cut in calories forces your body to burn up muscle tissue and store more fat than usual, the only weight that you are losing is water weight so you will end up a smaller fatter version of yourself. The secret is to eat more of the right foods not to cut calories, that way with the right stimulus (weight training) your body has no choice but to store muscle and burn more body fat even when bulking or should I say lean bulking.

 

To put it simply your food is a primary factor that has an effect on your body’s hormonal regulation/production and in turn hormones affect the rate at which you will burn fat and store muscle, so optimize hormones through correct use of food and you body will run like a well oiled machine. Don’t listen to the extreme calorie cutting crew, eat a diet that is specific to your needs and make the small changes when necassary.

 

I had a good example of the above scenario a few years back with one of my high level competitive bodybuilders. After a successful season of competing the guy decided to retire for a few years so that he could concentrate on building up his business which was fair enough.  So off he went sticking loosely to an offseason bodybuilding diet with no guidance from me or anyone of any credibility. Sure enough after being away from my instruction for a number of years when a lads summer holiday came up he wanted to shed a few pounds. He cut everything out that was typically thought of as bad foods, saturated fats, oils, nuts anything that he thought had any type of fat and also went extremely low carbs almost straight away he ran into trouble with low libido, edginess, irritability, poor sleep, feeling of being tried and run down troubles going to the toilet the list goes on and over time things got worse and worse! So with the old school mentality of more is better he thought the answer was to make the diet got even stricter, the cardio regime went up and twice a day training on the weights this ended in disaster and the result was looking like a smaller softer version of himself.  After  some time the guy came back to me asking why the dieting had not worked and also explaining how he was feeling saying that he was now too old to compete age had taken its toll and his body just didn’t want to respond anymore.  I knew what the issue was straight away after he bought his diet into show me, lack of fats, too much of an excessive cut in calories, poor choices of food sources particularly the protein and poor structure in the way the diet was set out. A few quick changes here and there and a bit of education in hormones to convince the guy to follow the plan I set out within a month he was feeling great again!

 

Myth 2

 

Eating Carbs after 6pm in the evening will make you fat!

 

Are all carbs are bad? You would think so; we have all heard the dieting myth telling us not to eat any carbs after a certain time of day or even worse right before we go to bed. Well it’s a load of rubbish. 

 

Carbs if used properly and at the right times of day can actually have a massively advantages hormonal and metabolic effect on the body if used correctly.

 

We get told to eat carbs at breakfast to power us through the day (wrong) eat carbs before a workout to help us through the workout (wrong if the goal is to maintain a lean muscle building physique). Even if these are good carbs they will have a negative impact are you insulin making you store more fat and then having a direct effect on your testosterone levels.

 

The secret is to use carbs directly after your workouts when they are not going to be stored as body fat and to fuel the metabolic and anabolic muscle building state that your body is in.  Small amounts can also used later in the day to help with recovery through the night.

 

Please don’t get me wrong that eating a balanced clean diet with good sources of fats and carbs and protein will do wonders for most people but what we are talking about here is part of an advanced strategies that we use with many of our clients who have learnt the basics of eating and want to take their physique to the next level so it’s not necessarily for everyone!

 

I myself had experienced this first hand, after many years of eating a balanced diet and doing pretty well with it adding huge amounts of muscle and getting into pretty good contest shape I hit a point that I couldn’t seem to get past, no matter how hard I tried to put more size on I just seemed to get fatter and then diet down to the same size and condition as my last showing and dieting was getting harder and harder every year. It wasn’t until I discovered how to manipulate my food to optimize my hormones in 2008 that I finally found new growth in muscular gains and stayed even leaner in the offseason. Just by following the simple rules above that I have described!

 

Myth 3

 

Fats & red meat lead to heart disease and obesity

 

Contrary to popular believe the good fats in meat and fish actually prevent you from gaining fat and ward of f heart disease and other health problems.

 

Theses fats help you increase your testosterone levels; the food group that you have been told to stay away from could be the healthiest for you and be the answer to your dwindling muscular gains and stubborn fat spots.

 

Most the nutrition advice you have heard up until now is probably wrong and most of the advice regarding testosterone is wrong. PEOPLE OFTEN ASSOCIATE testosterone with angry Zit covered men, filled with rage wanting to tear up anything in his path how wrong that stereotype is… testosterone is actually essential and good for you, and if you looking to achieve that lean muscular look you need it in your life.

 

Now testosterone deficient men is becoming a bit of an epidemic due to the reasons described in this article so most doctors answer to the problem is to prescribed testosterone injections. This is not only a temporary solution but comes with other problems in the fact that it shuts down any production of the body’s own testosterone, in my opinion it should only maybe considered to a man of a certain age who has exhausted all other avenues to correct there dwindling T production.

 

For a more permanent solution keep reading

 

Take more vitamin D

 

The Free testosterone that’s circulating around your body is the only form that really matters when it comes to building maximum amounts of muscle; the other form of testosterone is bound to proteins and is rendered useless. The free version is free to do its job, move around the body and repair tissue wherever it’s needed. Vitamin D will help free up the bound version of testosterone and enable it to do its job, the problem comes is that we don’t consume enough vitamin D especially if you live in the colder cloudy climates. Consume 3000 IU upon rising and 3000IU before bed

 

Take 2 cold showers per day

 

Your testosterone levels are highest in the morning between 4amm and 6am. Taking cold showers before you go to bed will help you sleep but will also enhance your natural production of testosterone. You can repeat the process first thing in the morning for the last few minutes of the shower which will also to give you a much needed boost of testosterone.

 

Avoid plastics

 

Where ever possible avoid using any form of plastics to carry your water & store your food. These containers have chemicals that can raise the body’s estrogens levels which in turn has the knock on effect of lowering your testosterone levels. So avoid any contact with plastic wherever you can!

Take mini vacations

 

This one isn’t mentioned very often, but by taking mini vacations your body is allowed to de-stress. If you allow yourself to become stress then you body is producing cortisol.  One of the main inhibitors of stress is cortisol, if your stress all the time you will have low testosterone levels.  So take mini breaks get away from work, unplug from the laptop put your phone down and relax.

 

Restructure your eating habits

 

As said earlier in the article restructuring your eating habits has a massive effect on the body’s hormonal environment. Here are a few simple rules to follow

 

No carbs for breakfast – helps with insulin sensitivity and keeps the blood sugar more balanced

 

Carbs in the meals after workouts – maximises the use of the hormone insulin, shuttling the body’s much needed nutrients for repair to the worked muscles.

 

Carbs before bed – can stimulate the hormones serotonin and dopamine so a more relaxed deeper sleep is experienced.

 

 

 

So by implementing the above steps and making the suggested changes to your diet I assure you that you will have more energy  life will feel better and you will have that leaner more muscular physique that you always wanted! Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that to get that ripped six pack, is all about cutting calories, or taking a magic pill/supplement  first you need address your lifestyle the way that you are eating to improve the hormonal balance so that you body is working with you  not against you. Then you can think about manipulation of calories and the use of supplements, so remember that there is so much more that can be done to you current lifestyle before making any drastic changes.

 

 

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