Foods to Increase Testosterone and Help You Lose Belly Fat
Are There Foods to Increase Testosterone?
Judging by the sharp rise in radio ads on increasing testosterone, “Low-T”, and “men’s clinics”, many people have finally realized that boosting testosterone levels can help middle aged men loose fat, gain muscle, and become more studly in the bedroom. If it was effective, just adding foods to increase testosterone would surely be better than a stack of pills or expensive doctor visits.
Why do middle aged men need to avail themselves of this nonsense?
Unfortunately for guys, the hormone that makes them the men they are slowly declines as they age. It’s well publicized, but older guys have a much bigger fight keeping the muscle mass on, and the blubber mass off. Check the previous post for my experience with this….
Why does losing that extra 15 – 20lbs of belly fat even matter, if you aren’t headed to your 20 year reunion or want to look good at the beach? Belly fat or abdominal fat, known by your local doc as visceral fat, isn’t the same as the other fat lying under your skin.
That stuff, subcutaneous fat, just sits there benignly under your skin. It does make you look bad, but it’s not nearly as likely to kill you. Belly fat is under the muscle, packed around your midsection’s internal organs. It’s much more closely linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes than other adipose tissue.
Testosterone is an androgenic hormone, meaning it controls what makes men manly. You know; deep voices, big muscles, energy, aggressiveness, sex drive and sexual performance. There are plenty of not so legal methods aimed at boosting testosterone and other androgens. You hear about them most often when some pro athlete denies taking PEDs.
Good News for the Testosterone Challenged
Wanna get your andro on? If you aren’t ready to drop big coin on a specialty clinic visit, or risk taking PEDs, there are some foods to increase testosterone. They’re clinically proven, and close as your neighborhood market. Some even taste good!
Here is the list of testosterone increasing foods you can add into your diet today, so your belly fat levels can drop tomorrow. Before I reveal the list though, there are a few caveats. Yeah, always a fly in the ointment….
First, if you’ve already packed on the fat around your midsection, there’s something you should know. It’s sabotaging your efforts to raise your testosterone levels by flooding your body with the female hormone estrogen; the yin to testosterone’s yang.
You’re going to need some estrogen. It’s perfectly normal for men to have it in their bodies. On the other hand, it doesn’t really do anything for men, and if estrogen levels are too high, your testosterone boosting efforts get shot down fast.
The Testosterone Belly Fat Paradox
Here’s the paradox. Belly fat piles up when testosterone levels are low, then basically defends itself by helping estrogen production, which basically counteracts testosterone. It’s obvious, belly fat is no easy foe to eradicate. These foods will help, though.
Food to Increase Testosterone 5 – Cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, brussels sprouts, and collard greens, are great examples. These plants contain phyto-nutrients that help suppress estrogen, helping raise testosterone levels.
The most important of these is probably indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which also helps prevent certain cancers. One of I3C’s chief operation modes seems to be reducing highly estrogenic 16alpha-hydroxyestrone (16OHE1) in favor of less powerful estrogens. See this from Oregon State University (Whose mascot is, ironically, the beaver) and their Linus Pauling Institute. ()
Food to Increase Testosterone 4- Eggs
These are an excellent quality protein, and contain the testosterone precursor cholesterol, in addition to several other healthy nutrients. They’re also low in calories, while containing some fat, which you’ll need, as we see below. Think eggs are bad for you? You’ve been brainwashed. Nothing could be further from the truth. Check out this post on Are Eggs Good for You?
Food to Increase Testosterone 3 – Healthy Fatty Foods – Nuts, Avocados, and Olives/Olive Oil
If you haven’t heard, the ’80’s low fat diets are NOT the way to lose fat. In fact, chances are you’ll gain fat eating that way. One reason that fat loss becomes more difficult when you chop the fat, is you also chop your T levels. In addition, these fats promote the absorption of cholesterol by the Leydig cells which need it to make testosterone.
Here’s another reason to stay with healthy dietary fat levels (typically 30 – 35%). Your body needs fat for a myriad of other functions too, so cutting all dietary fat makes it try harder to hold keep what’s left; the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
Food to Increase Testosterone 2
They contain magnesium, shown to promote high free T levels. Here is a study for one reason I’m so high on magnesium. The study found magnesium increased test levels in trained martial arts athletes.
Food to Increase Testosterone 1 – Fish – Salmon, Herring, Catfish, Trout
These fish are a true trifecta for T production. Not only are they high in complete protein, which is essential to keep nitrogen balance positive and promote muscle growth, the bring two other powerful testosterone boosting credentials to the table.
1) They’re extremely rich in vitamin D, which, as noted above, research strongly correlates to testosterone levels. A growing body of research, including a 2010 Medical University Graz study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology reveals D’s powerful T effect. Better still, the Austrian study examined over 2,000 men in their 60’s, just the age where testosterone levels have sunk to teenaged girl levels in most men. Hey, wasn’t Ahnold from Graz, Austria? He certainly has an abundance of T.
A Stanford University study published in the journal Endocrinology, shows calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, is an also an anti-estrogen. As a bonus, the anti-estrogenic effect of vitamin D is most pronounced in fatty tissues.
2) Those fish are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids, shown in many studies to help our bodies in many areas, in addition to testosterone increases. See #3 above.
Hit the Gym
In case you thought I wasn’t going to mention exercise, guess again. I just left it until the end. Heavy resistance training stimulates muscle
growth and helps boost your body’s testosterone production. Lift heavy, but use proper form and always observe safety procedures. I like doing compound exercises, those that involve more than one joint, because they recruit more muscle fibers with each repetition. That packs more intensity into less gym time. Many experts echo this sentiment. Yeah, you’re right, it’s not a food, but it helps you make the best use of the foods you eat.
Finally, get enough sleep. It’s essential for fat loss and training recovery. Sleep is also positively correlated with HGH production, another vital hormone that declines in older men. Low HGH levels contribute to fat gain too. Take a look at this post on quick fat burning exercises for ways to get out of the gym in a hurry, while still getting a lot out for the gym.
Check With Your Doc For Proper Testosterone Levels
If you’re wondering, there is a way to know for sure what your testosterone levels are. Your doctor can give you a simple blood test. It’s the only way to know how much of the stuff is floating around inside, and if your problem really is Low-T.
There are a few more fat burning hormones that bear watching as well. I’ll get to those I a future post. Stay tuned. For now, make sure you’re getting enough foods to increase testosterone in your diet. If you’ve been experiencing increasing lethargy and decreasing muscle mass, it may just turn the tide. It could also be just the ticket to help lose belly fat, especially if everything else has failed you.
Have you been experiencing the effects of low testosterone? Have you found a way to raise your levels again? Please let me know….