Is The Male Species Disappearing?

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iStock_000008954668XSmallTestosterone levels are plummeting.

Studies have shown the average man’s testosterone in today’s society is nearly 25 per cent lower than in the 1980s.

Without adequate testosterone, men become infertile, impotent, docile and weak. In fact, men with low testosterone are 52.4 per cent more likely to be obese; 50 per cent more likely develop diabetes; 42.4 per cent more likely to have high blood pressure and 40.4 per cent more likely to have high cholesterol.

We may wonder why is the average man’s testosterone lower than our ancestors and what can be done about it. Our modern day lifestyles are the first place we should look as the answers lie in the way we now live our lives.

Lose Weight
If you are among the almost one in three Americans battling overweight and obesity, you can add low testosterone levels to the list of obesity-related health complications like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and a host of other problems.

Overweight men are more likely to have low testosterone levels, so what I advise next is an important trick to increase your body’s testosterone production when you need it most.

If you are serious about losing weight, you have got to strictly limit the amount of processed sugar in your diet, as evidence is mounting that excess sugar, and fructose in particular, is the primary driving factor in the obesity epidemic. Testosterone levels decrease after you eat sugar, which is likely because the sugar leads to a high insulin level, another factor leading to low testosterone.

Based on USDA estimates, the average American consumes 12 teaspoons of sugar a day, which equates to about TWO TONS of sugar during a lifetime. Remember foods that contain added sugar and fructose, as well as grains like bread and pasta, should all be limited.

You should restrict the level of fructose in your diet to no more than 25 grams per day. If you already have poor health or are at high risk of any disease, then you are probably better off by cutting that to 10-15 grams per day. You are virtually guaranteed to get more anyway as it is easy to consume ‘hidden’ sources of fructose if you drink beverages other than water and eat any processed food.

You can see a fructose chart here:  Fructose Tables

As you can see 15 grams of fructose is not very much, an apple and a banana exceed that daily amount. It is now believed that fructose when consumed in quantities over 25 grams per day will rapidly accelerate your path towards being and staying overweight as well as increase your chronic degenerative disease – especially cancer.

In addition to eliminating or severely limiting fructose, it will be vital to eliminate all grains and milk (even raw) in your diet. Milk has a sugar called lactose, which has been shown to increase insulin resistance so it will be wise to avoid it if you are seeking to lose weight.

Refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods also quickly break down to sugar, increase your insulin levels, and cause insulin resistance, which is the number one underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.

As you cut these dietary troublemakers from your meals, you need to replace them with healthy substitutes like lean meats, vegetables and healthy fats (including natural saturated fats!). Your body prefers the carbohydrates in micro nutrient-dense vegetables rather than grains and sugars because it slows the conversion to simple sugars like glucose, and decreases your insulin level.

When you cut grains and sugar from your meals, you typically will need to radically increase the amount of vegetables you eat, as well as make sure you are also consuming protein and healthy fats regularly.

I have detailed a step-by-step guide to this type of healthy eating program in my comprehensive nutrition plan in the Strong Men Stay Young program, and I urge you to consult this guide if you are trying to lose weight.

The foods you choose to eat will be the driving force behind successfully achieving your weight loss. It is not about eating less, it’s about eating better.

Strength Training
Strength training exercise is known to boost testosterone levels, provided you perform it intensely enough. When strength training to boost testosterone, you will want to increase the weight and lower your number of repetitions, and focus on exercises that work a large number of muscles, such as dead lifts or squats.

Strength training exercise and manliness go together hand in hand. Like peas in a pod.

Here are 5 ways strength training will make you man up.

1. Confidence. The stronger you are, the more toned muscles you will have. The more toned muscles you have, the more calories you will burn. The stronger you are, the better you will look and feel.

2. Testosterone. Strength training increases your testosterone levels. Increased testosterone means more toned, firmer muscles, lower body fat levels and an increased libido. Testosterone is the Man hormone.

3. Responsibility. You want money: work. You want girls: approach them. You want to build and tone muscle and lose fat: pay your dues at the gym. Strength training teaches you to be responsible for your own future.

4. Hobby. Smoking pot, drinking beer, playing video games, watching sport on TV … Those can all be fun, but they are not rewarding or health building in the long-term. Get a real hobby. Lift weights, build muscle, lose the belly, get stronger.

5. Cave-man. Exercise is substitute cave-man activity. – Mark Rippetoe.

Once you are doing heavy sets of squats and dead lifts you will understand what Rippetoe means. Strength training will wake up something inside you. Something that in many people lies dormant: being a man.

One of the ten modules in the Strong Men Stay Young program is all about strength training. Everything you need to get a great start.

Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D deficiency is currently at epidemic proportions in the United States and many other regions around the world, largely because people do not spend enough time in the sun to facilitate this important process of vitamin D production. In one study, overweight men who were given vitamin D supplements had a significant increase in testosterone levels after one year.

A few years back, the recommended level was between 40 to 60 nano-grams per milliliter (ng/ml), but more recently the optimal vitamin D level has been raised to 50-70 ng/ml.

To get your levels into the healthy range, sun exposure is the BEST way to optimize your vitamin D levels; exposing a large amount of your skin until it turns the lightest shade of pink, as near to solar noon as possible, is typically necessary to achieve adequate vitamin D production.

As a last resort, a vitamin D3 supplement can be taken orally, but research suggests the average adult needs to take 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D per day in order to elevate their levels above 40 ng/ml, which is the absolute minimum for disease prevention.

Eat Healthy Fats
The low-fat diet fad of the ’90s has finally lost much of its popularity. Men who eat a low fat diet have low testosterone.

By saying healthy fats, this means not only mono- and polyunsaturated fats, like that found in avocadoes and nuts, but also saturated, as these are essential for building testosterone. Research shows that a diet with less than 40 percent of energy as fat (and that mainly from animal sources, i.e. saturated) lead to a decrease in testosterone levels.

I firmly believe and tell my clients that their diet should include about 60-70 percent healthy fat, and other experts agree that the ideal diet includes somewhere between 50-70 percent fat.

It’s important to understand that your body requires saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources (such as meat, dairy, certain oils, and tropical plants like coconut) for optimal functioning, and if you neglect this important food group in favor of sugar, grains and other starchy carbohydrates, your health and weight are almost guaranteed to suffer. Examples of healthy fats you can eat more of to give your testosterone levels a boost include:

  • Olives and olive oil
  • Coconuts and coconut oil
  • Grass-fed meats
  • Butter made from grass-fed organic milk
  • Raw nuts such as almonds, pecans and Brazil nuts
  • Organic pastured egg yolks
  • Avocados
  • Unheated organic nut oils

Get plenty of zinc too – Your body uses certain vitamins and minerals to produce testosterone; an important one being zinc. Shellfish, beef and pork are your best sources of this mineral, followed by dark meat poultry.

Reduce Stress
When you are under a lot of stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone actually blocks the effects of testosterone, presumably because, from a biological standpoint, testosterone-associated behaviors (mating, competing, aggression) may have lowered your chances of survival in an emergency (hence, the “fight or flight” response is dominant, courtesy of cortisol).

In the modern world, chronic stress, and subsequently elevated levels of cortisol, could mean that testosterone’s effects are blocked in the long term, which is what you want to avoid. We all need to eliminate the situations and even people in our lives that are stressors.

Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a very common problem in the 21st century due to the added pressures in society. Sleep deprivation, whether from cramming for exams, meeting work deadlines, anxiety-related insomnia or any other of a myriad of causes, constitutes a form of stress that squelches testosterone levels by raising cortisol levels.

For middle-aged and older men, who already secrete less testosterone overnight than younger men, getting less sleep correlates to lower morning testosterone levels.

BPA
BPA may be one of the the biggest culprits to the declining levels of testosterone. BPA is Bisphenol-A, a synthetic chemical often found in various plastic containers that leaches out as it is heated.

Trying to have kids? A recent study showed that 89 per cent of men attending fertility clinics had BPA in their urine. Subjects exposed to BPA not only had lower levels of testosterone, they also had a lower TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). Your thyroid helps regulate your metabolism, an under or overactive thyroid can lead to a hoist of medical problems. The bottom line is, you should avoid drinking from plastic bottles and use glass or stainless steel whenever possible.

Soy
Whatever you do, don’t eat soy. According to a Harvard study, sperm counts in male infertility clinic patients were found to be lower by 41 million/ml in those who included soy foods in their diets compared to those who had a soy-free diet. The study also found that the combination of being overweight compounds the detrimental effects of soy foods, driving sperm counts even lower.

Beer
Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to never drink alcohol again. I’m just warning you about hops, one of the ingredients used to make beer. The hops in beer are so estrogenic; they are currently being studied as a treatment for hot flashes in menopausal women. If you want to optimize your testosterone levels, it’s best to completely avoid alcohol. Research has shown that even two drinks/day can lower your testosterone levels. My advice would be to avoid alcohol during the week and sip on vodka on the weekends. A couple vodka and sodas with lime on the weekend shouldn’t crush your testosterone.

Boost Your Intake of Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
Research suggests that BCAAs result in higher testosterone levels, particularly when taken along with strength training exercise.

BCAAs are present in all protein-containing foods, but the best sources are red meat and dairy products. Chicken, fish, and eggs are excellent sources as well. Using whey protein in your daily shakes is another way to ensure you’re getting enough BCAAs.

Summary — 10 tips
There are many reasons why you may have low testosterone. Fortunately, by following the steps listed below, you will optimize your testosterone levels naturally:

1)   Decrease your body fat
2)   Get started and never stop strength training exercise
3)   Optimize your vitamin D levels
4)   Eat healthy fats
5)   Reduce stress
6)   Sleep
7)   Drink water from glass or stainless steel and avoid plastic Tupperware
8)   Avoid soy like the plague
9)   Limit your alcohol consumption
10)  Boost your intake a branch chain amino acids

To make these changes in your life you need a blueprint – a road-map to follow. You also need the mindset and attitude to consistently make things happen and to keep them going. I cover all of this in the Strong Men Stay Young program.

Allow me to take you by the hand and help you find that path so that you can be all the man you were supposed to be. I don’t want you to settle for less.

Just go back to the home page on this website and read all about it.

Choice not chance, determines our destiny.

Carolyn

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