Credit to Gage Skidmore: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/ A recent DM on Twitter: "I just saw another post…
Testosterone, or lack of, is becoming more and more of an issue in our society for men over 40. In “Caveman” times, we simply didn’t live as long as we do now. Due to medical advances, and an absence of external threats such as predators, other cavemen and a lack of shelter from the cold, we now have other problems, namely decreses in vital hormones.
Testosterone issues are linked to depression, lethargy and plummetting sex drive, motivation and muscle mass. Depression is probably the worst state a person can be in, and since the goal of life is to be as happy as possible, we want to avoid this at all costs.
Since this blog is about health and fitness, I’m assuming you already know all about the pitfalls of having low energy, motivation and muscle mass. You’re not going to feel too great without these three.
Another point to add is that our lifestyle has gotten gradually worse over time, generally speaking. We are glued to our seats (including me right now), and our bodies weren’t designed for this. We also consume far too much sugar. Men over 40 don’t get laid as often as they should. We don’t exercise frequently enough. We are far too stressed.
Here’s something about stress – we were not designed for it at all. It’s very much a modern day phenomenon. Most illnesses we die from can be traced back to some form of stress. Other animals were designed for stress. You don’t see rabbits dropping dead from a stress-induced heart attack.
Acute stress, i.e. fight or flight, is very useful. Hard training induces this response. Continuously elevated cortisol levels? No. Terrible for our testosterone and happiness. In fact, there is a very strong inverse correlation between testosterone and cortisol – watch those stress levels.
All of these factors mentioned above all play a role in reduced testosterone. The best way to raise your testosterone is of course to inject (TRT), but this is expensive and I would suggest only looking at this once you’ve already nailed all the other factors:
- Diet and lack of sugar
- Sex life
- Stress & cortisol
Benefits Of High Testosterone
What could you gain from increasing your testosterone levels?
Well, most of you reading this want to lose body fat. Higher levels of testosterone not only make it much easier for you to hold onto your muscle mass, but it will also make it easier for you to lose fat.
Essentially how it works is this: Any calorie deficit you put yourself into, a greater proportion of your tissue loss will come from fat, rather than muscle.
As a calorie deficit works on the human body regardless of age, just like gravity pulls us towards the earth, testosterone increases simply improve the quality of the tissue loss. I hope that makes sense?
Higher testosterone will flow into just about everything you do; from having more energy and higher productivity levels at work, more energy when you spend time with the kids/grandkids, better sex with your wife etc.
Another key benefit, is that it will make you feel younger again. What this is is that you will have the energy levels of a much younger man, but not only that, you will actually look younger, physically.
How To Achieve Higher Testosterone Levels
Outside of using TRT, doing things completely organically, there are a few things you can do. I’ve already listed the generalities above; namely the key areas you need to address in order to optimise your testosterone production for your age.
For men over 40, a key source of stress outside of work, kids and marriage, is trying and failing diets. Over and over and over again. The biggest cause of this repeated failure is having too many dietary rules and restrictions.
Building dietary discipline is crucial, but it isn’t achieved by forcing yourself under 50g of carbs (Keto), or limiting your food choices severely (Paleo), or any other weird fad diets. They work temporarily, but not over the long-term.
True discipline is built through good, positive habits, built over many years. Yes, YEARS. Accept that you will fuck up many times on a diet. Don’t stress about it or let it get you down. Just get back on track tomorrow.
The ket to minimising fuck-ups however, is to limit the number of rules you place on yourself. Make sure you hit your daily calorie goal, fibre goal and protein goal, but beyond that you’re free. It looks like this:
Success Pillar #1 – Mindset & Discipline
Succes Pillar #2 – Nutritional Freedom
Success Pillar #3 – General Activity Progression
Success Pillar #4 – Training
Lowering your dieting stress will increase your testosterone levels. Gradually improving your baeline levels of discpline also improves your self-confidence, and lowers stress levels. Admittedly though, this takes a long time. It took me about 5-6 years to achieve true discipline.
The good news though, is that following the above four pillars, you will lose weight and keep it off. The lack of stress will make your life a lot easier, and help you to hit your goals within a few months.