Social masculinity appears to be on the decline which is why sites like this wonderful one have popped up to help men reclaim their manhood, become better at being men, and to become better men.
While the art of being a man is being threaten by relic status, actual manliness on a biological level is seeing the same effect. Researchers in Massachusetts – Travison et al. – reported a population-wide decline in men’s testosterone levels during the last 20 years. What’s interesting is that this decline is not related to normal aging or to health and lifestyle factors known to influence testosterone levels.
They found that testosterone concentrations dropped about 1.2% – 1.3% per year, or about 22% overall, from 1987 to 2004. While we may be becoming “less manly”, and fine gentlemen like yourself are doing your utmost to turn this ship around, we’re also becoming lesser men, literally.
Testosterone comes from cholesterol, which we get from natural fats like meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and so forth.
Which, as a quick aside, is important to mention how vegetarianism and veganism may effect your testosterone levels because of the lower dietary fat intake. Some studies show that a vegetarian diet will lower your overall testosterone levels while others show a decrease in ‘free testosterone’ and an increase in SHBG.
The benefits of having higher testosterone levels vs lower testosterone levels aren’t confined to the following, but here are some of the main ones:
• An increased ability to burn fat (guys with higher T levels typically have lower body fat levels).
• An increased and healthier libido.
• Improved ability to build muscle and recover.
• Increases in energy.
• Decreases in the likelihood of contracting cancers like prostate cancer.
• Reduced risk of heart disease.
• A reduced risk of having depression (which is one of the most important and least talked about benefits to having higher testosterone levels as depression and suicide in men are also on the rise).
In a few articles I’ve covered the importance of natural fats in creating optimal testosterone levels as well as overall fitness and a training routine of some kind. It’s this nutrition aspect that we’ll cover today hopefully clarifying and simplifying what you should eat and when you should eat it.
The following diet examples are heavy in meats. Recent studies have claimed that meats cause cancer. What they actually claimed is that processed meats increase your chances of procuring cancer by about 6%, which isn’t very much at all considering the myriad of other things that will also increase your likelihood of cancer. However, you won’t find any processed meats in this guide, which is important. And again, meat-heavy diets to result in higher testosterone levels.
When I say bacon, opt for a natural cut, not the processed and packaged stuff you’ll find at your grocery store. Instead, find a good butcher.
The meal guide is following the diet I wrote largely for myself initially, that has evolved to help guys learn how to eat healthily for men, keeping our testosterone levels in mind.
That diet is called the Man Diet. And a diet with that title, by law, must contain meat.
Now, the goals of the following guide are:
• To help you to naturally increase your testosterone levels.
• To help you to create the ideal body composition (which usually means a loss of fat and the gaining of athletic muscle).
• To help you to eat healthy, easy-to-prepare meals. You’ll find that while they’re high in meats, they’re also extremely high in vegetables and good carbs.
This isn’t a Paleo diet, nor is it a fad. It’s simply a balanced way to eat that will help you to build the body you want to build, from a health and performance standpoint.
You will notice that there is quite a bit of protein in each meal. Protein is important and it becomes more important the more active you are. Now, this isn’t just a high protein recommendation coming from a guy who spends all of his time in the gym.
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. They’re used to build and repair tissues like muscle and tendons and organs. They’re also important for your hormones and brain function. For much of the same reason you’re upping your fats (to increase your T levels), protein will have a somewhat similar effect in helping you reduce body fat (body fat is estrogenic, thus, decreasing your T levels) and repair tissue.
Carbs are also important. This isn’t a no carb diet. You especially need them along with protein after a workout to spike insulin and stop the muscle breakdown that occurs during a workout from an increase in the hormone cortisol. Along with increased testosterone levels that come from lower body fat and an increase in dietary fats, this combatting of cortisol will help you recover faster.
Note: The following meals are to be used in structure, not necessarily in exact measurements. Depending on your size and your goals, you’re going to want to decrease or increase your portion size, something we help you with in the Man Diet.
How to Eat Like a Man
Meal #1 – Man Breakfast (Protein + Fats)
Why: Having meat and a good amount of fat for breakfast will give you a good boost in T, while also slowing the rise of your blood sugar, consistently elevating your energy throughout the day.
Time: In the morning when breaking your fast.
Man Breakfast Recipe – Bacon Omelet (as seen in the Man Diet Cookbook)
Meat and fats all rolled up into one delicious meal. Add in some veggies and you have a complete breakfast. The meat slows the rise of blood sugar, helping you experience elevated energy levels throughout the day while the fats from the meat and the eggs help boost your testosterone levels. All of this happens in a meal that’s high in fats, protein, and vegetables.
• 3-4 strips of grass fed bacon
• 1 spat of organic butter
• 3-4 whole, organic eggs
• ¼ cup red onions
• ¼ cup shredded cheese (optional)
• ¼ cup chopped green or red or yellow peppers
1. Cover a heated pan with a spat of butter.
2. Chop up your bacon into slices while your butter melts.
3. Put the bacon in the pan, and let it fry for a few minutes until it’s crispy, but not over-done.
4. While your bacon is cooking, chop up your veggies and your cheese and put them in a bowl with your eggs.
5. Whisk the eggs and cheese until they’re of a light orange consistency.
6. When your bacon is close to how you like it, pour the eggs and veggies and cheese into the pan with it.
7. Let the outside cook, and fold into two, or mix it around and have a “scrambled” omelet.
8. Add hot sauce if you like.
Meal #2 – Post Workout Shake (Protein + Simple Carbs)
Why: This is the time where we want to do two things. (1) Replenish glycogen and (2) stimulate protein synthesis. During high intensity training bout we will burn through a good deal of glycogen (stored energy) and thus we’ll need to replenish what was lost. Getting in enough protein post-workout will stimulate protein synthesis and ensure the creation of new muscle.
Time: Immediately following a training bout.
Note: This shake is after your workout, so it can be shifted to any time in the day. If you workout first thing, this shake comes right after, as does the meal following. Your “fats meals” should be before your workout, or after these two meals have been consumed.
Post Workout Shake – Strawberry Blast Smoothie
• 8 frozen strawberries
• 2 scoops strawberry whey
• 1 tsp of honey
• 1 cup strawberry Greek yogurt
• 1 cup water
• 1 handful ice
1. Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender.
2. Enjoy anabolism
Meal #3 – Recovery Meal (Protein + Complex Carbs)
Why: This is the phase where your body needs high quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and little to no fat whatsoever. This is the stage that will allow your body to take advantage of the anabolic stage and continue to rebuild the muscle that was broken down at the gym previously.
It’s also important to note that while fats are awesome, they blunt the absorption of protein. So while we want fats, we can keep them low during our post workout shake and post workout meal.
Time: 1-2 hours following your post-workout shake.
Recovery Meal – Blue Mountain Chicken Sandwich
• 2 Low-Fat whole wheat burger buns
• 2 Boneless chicken breasts
• ½ tablespoon Cajun seasoning
• ½ tsp curry powder
• 4 lettuce leaves
• 2 slices cooked turkey bacon
• 2 slices low-fat Swiss cheese
• ¼ cup fat-free mayo
• 1 tbsp. honey mustard
1. Preheat grill to medium.
2. Toast hamburger buns and rub chicken with Cajun seasoning.
3. Grill chicken breasts.
4. Mix dressing ingredients in small bowl.
5. Spread dressing on hamburger buns.
6. Assemble each sandwich with 2 lettuce leaves, 1 slice turkey bacon, 1 slice cheese, and chicken breast.
Meal # 4 Testosterone Meal (Protein + Fats + Low Carb)
Why: During this stage, your meals should be similar to what you consumed during the recovery meal. Only this time we will include high fats from natural sources and less carbs. This will slow down the digestive process and allow your body to work on recovering and rebuilding muscle for a longer period of time.
Time: 2-3 hours following your recovery meal.
Testosterone Meal – Steak with Avocado Salsa
• 2/3 peeled, pitted, and diced avocado
• ¼ onion, minced
• ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• ½ tbs. olive oil
• 2-3 oz. steak
• Salt and black pepper to taste
1. Place avocado and onions in mixing bowl. Season with crushed red pepper flakes and olive oil. (Season to taste with salt and black pepper).
2. Preheat grill to medium-high. Cook steak until firm, and reddish-pink (or to your liking) in the center.
3. Arrange the cooked steak onto a plate with the avocado and enjoy!
Meal # 5 Lean Mass Meal (Protein + Fats + Carb)
Why: A good mix of fats, proteins, and carbs is the perfect recipe for growing when we grow the most, in our sleep. The protein will stimulate protein synthesis and allow us to remain in a positive nitrogen balance (while we sleep). The fats will slow down digestion (which is critical as we are fasting for 8-10 hours). The carbs will provide the stored energy necessary for tomorrow’s workout.
Time: 2-3 hours following Testosterone Meal. Last meal of the day.
Lean Mass Meal – Steak Quesadilla Grande
• 1 ten inch wheat tortilla
• ½ tbsp. butter
• 1 tbsp. Chipotle sauce
• 2 oz. grilled steak
• ¼ cup cheddar cheese
• 1 tbsp. sour cream
• ¼ cup salsa
1. Brush one side of each tortilla with melted butter.
2. Place 1 tortilla, butter side down, on work surface. Spread chipotle sauce over tortilla.
3. Slice the grilled steak and spread it evenly on top of the sauce.
4. Evenly spread the filling ingredients over the steak. Cover the top with second tortilla, butter side up.
5. Brown evenly on both sides in nonstick pan/skillet.
6. Cut into halves or quarters and enjoy!
To look at it another way if you’re not training after that first meal, the meals still focus around your workout. So, if you’re training at night you’re having your fats/proteins meals throughout the day prior to your workout with your carbs meals coming after.
Carbs after a workout will also help you sleep, so it’s a schedule that will work great if you train at night or in the evening.
If you’re not training or active in a day – by the way, get active everyday! That’ll be one of the greatest contributors to your high T levels – just remove the post workout shake from your daily meal intake to account for the reduction in calories burned.
This guide is for active people, and since you’re on this site and daily aiming to improve, I figured that would jive well with this crew.
Hopefully this has clarified a few things for you.
Enjoy your manly meals!
About The Author
Chad Howse: Chad’s mission is to get you in the arena, ‘marred by the dust and sweat and blood’, to help you set and achieve audacious goals in the face of fear, and not only build your ideal body, but the life you were meant to live. He’s a former 9-5er turned entrepreneur, a former scrawny amateur boxer turned muscular published fitness author. He’ll give you the kick in the ass needed to help you live a big, ambitious life.
You can contact him at –