It seems REALLY attractive to try and take a magic pill. We all try it at one time in our life. From supplements, to “secret russian training programs” even to trying things like steroids because we find that we don’t get the results our hard work entitle us to.
BUT the Really sucky thing is that if you’re like most guys, you work hard on your nutrition, crush it in the gym, but completely miss out on this aspect of training.
Without this missing ingredient, you’re getting screwed out of better testosterone levels, improved strength, more fat loss, more energy, better sex, and more muscle.
If you are a red blooded male, I hope at least one of those peaked your attention. Because if you told all those to me, I would pay you ALL the monies to get all those things. It sounds too good to be true that you can improve all those things at once, with no negative benefits, AND it’s free.
Don’t worry. You don’ need to give your left testicle, and no injecting giant needles into your backside.
It’s been hiding under your nose this whole time. Something that you can easily do.
What is that one thing that you can do?
Sleep is the most underrated, potent, and easily accessible testosterone booster that we have at our disposal. Especially with the onset of technology and being fully connected with our cell phones at all times, sleep is the one time where we can disconnect and allow our brain and body to fully recover.
And as potent as it is, sleep is at an all time low.
Research shows that the average guy sleeps for a mere 6 and a half hours a night. While that might not seem like much difference between your recommended 7-8 hours of sleep/night, you’re body sure notices.
You wake up exhausted.
It takes twice as much energy
You’re in a committed relationship with the coffee maker at work, needing a pot or two just to drag your ass through the morning.
You don’t have the drive to workout like you normally do. You don’t have the drive for the rest of your life like you should.
When you take control of your sleep, overnight you’ll feel more energized, stronger, leaner, and have better resistance against the onslaught of temptations like craft beer and donuts.
If you want to transform your life, you’re going to do it through sleep.
It’s time to revolutionize your sleep.
Want to learn more about how to naturally increase your testosterone levels? Get a FREE Copy of Chad’s new book, the Man Diet here
Here’s a few giant aspects of our sleep that we often forget.
Sleep has an impact not only on our alertness and our brain, but it can have an even bigger effect on our hormones. These hormones will affect how we build muscle, our motivation, and even how full we feel.
By skipping out on sleep, you:
Decrease your natural testosterone by around 15%. If you like great sex with your wife and motivation to crush your workouts, this is important.
You decrease your natural Growth hormone, All of a sudden your body doesn’t build muscle and strength like it should… regardless of your age.
You’ll decrease your leptin, which is essential for helping you feel full. If you have any dreams of being lean, this is a hormone that helps you feel full longer.
You INCREASE the hormone Ghrelin, which means you’re going to be extra hungry. Especially as you pass by McDonald’s on your way to work.
Even if you don’t care about what those hormones are called, you should know when those hormones are out of whack, they’ve got your fitness in a chokehold, squeezing all the life out of your poor, zombie-like body.
SO it’s time to take back your sleep. Before you complain about how you can’t get 8 hours of sleep, Let’s just reevaluate how much time you spend watching netflix, surfing instagram, and other useless crap. If you’re willing to admit you can watch less of that junk, then you’ll be able to slowly increase your sleep time from 5-6 hrs to a more human 7-8 hrs. But as much as it’s about time you spend in bed, if you’re having a terrible sleep, and your body can’t relax, you won’t be getting the necessary sleep to improve your fitness.
So this is what you should do to improve not just the quantity of sleep but the quality of sleep too.
DECREASE THE TEMPERATURE OF YOUR ROOM.
The optimal temperature to sleep in is around 19-20 degrees. Your body is able to relax easier in that temperature, so you’ll sleep easier. Summer is just around the corner, and if you don’t live somewhere that has air conditioning or in a cool climate, the second best way to regulate body temperature is to have a cold shower before you go to sleep. It will mimic the effects of sleeping in a cooler room by decreasing your body temperature.
Research has shown sleeping in a modern environment (lights from streetlights, neighbors), can wreak havoc on your sleep. Your body will start to think that it’s morning and start the mental process to get you ready for the morning including elevating your cortisol level and decreasing your seratonin levels. Cortisol is essential for getting us out of bed, as it naturally peaks from 7:00- 8:00 am, in conjunction with the sun rising.
If you have a low level light in your room, it’s going to elevate your cortisol in the middle of the night, making you feel more tired and reaching for that second coffee as soon as you’re done the first. Your best option is to use blackout curtains to eliminate all the light from your room. Your next best option if that can’t happen is to grab yourself an eye mask you see people travel with. As goofy as it looks, you won’t look goofy when you’re crushing new weights in the gym.
GET YOUR PHONE OUT OF YOUR ROOM.
Dude. I know you’re super popular on instagram, and you can’t wait to see who DM’s you next, but your sleep quality is suffering because of it. If you sleep with your phone right beside you, your phone is still keeping your brain alert. So even if you can’t hear it because you’re asleep, your brain will still sense there is something important to note. So your body will be jolted out of deep sleep to respond to the “crisis”.
It’s probably you just getting another text, but your brain will think it’s a crisis.
Your phone’s blue light also blunts the production of your melatonin. So bye-bye relaxation hormone.
Moral of the story: Sleep with your phone outside of your room. You’re important enough to sleep with it away from you, and your strength, leanness, and health is worth it.
Oh, you’re using it as an alarm? Time to get an old school digital alarm from Wal-Mart. Your sleep deserves it.
Taking exogenous steroids without doctor supervision might seem fun in the short run, but long run may harm your health.
But when you can see similar health benefits with no side effects JUST by sleeping more.
So do it. Cool down your room, make it darker, and go old school with an analog clock for your fitness to skyrocket.
Want to learn more about how to naturally increase your testosterone levels? Get a FREE Copy of Chad’s new book, the Man Diet here
About the Author
Linden is a coffee aficionado, personal trainer and online coach out of Calgary, Canada helping guys in their 30’s get in better shape than they were in college.
When you’re trying to naturally boost your testosterone levels, having a list of testosterone boosting meal ideas helps. A testosterone diet will have certain foods that help you naturally increase your testosterone levels, but it will also avoid foods that increase estrogen levels and lower testosterone levels.
For instance, you want to have a healthy amount of dietary fat in your testosterone diet, but you want those fats to be in the 25-35% of your daily calories area. You also want monounsaturated fats and saturated fats, while avoiding polyunsaturated and trans fats, as the former help you naturally increase your testosterone levels, while the latter reduces testosterone levels in men. (read: A List of Chemicals That Increases Estrogen and Lowers Testosterone in Men)
You also want your carbs to be around the 35% mark, with most of them coming from fruits, vegetables, and potatoes. Oats are fine, but avoid bread and processed grains.
Your caloric intake is also important. If you’re under 15% body fat, that’s good. You should be at a caloric maintenance. If you’re at or above 15% body fat you need to cut fat, which calls for a caloric deficit. Everyone’s different in size, weight, and goals. So the meals below will differ depending on what your goals are.
Pay attention to the contents, then figure out how much you should be consuming.
Do you want to boost your testosterone levels? You SHOULD want to boost your testosterone. High testosterone is associated with lower cases of depression, improved libido, increased income and net worth, overall success, a better, stronger physique, and lower body fat. (Read: the Testosterone Diet for Men)
You’re simply better when you boost your testosterone levels. When you have low T (low testosterone), the opposite is true.
You’ll likely have more fat, low libido, you won’t be able to build muscle as easily, you won’t be sleeping as well or living as well as you can be.
High testosterone is vital for the life you want to live, and the life you want to live, as the strong, powerful, successful guy you can be, is the life you must live.
Keep your body fat low.
You want your body fat percentage to be lower that 15% – ideally around 8-12%, which is lean, but not light. Being a scrawny weakling isn’t going to help you boost your testosterone. A few studies have shown that more body fat = lower testosterone, and it makes sense. (Mogri M, Dhindsa S, Quattrin T, Ghanim H, Dandona P. Testosterone concentrations in young pubertal and post-pubertal obese males. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2013;78(4):593-599.)
Estrogen is stored in body fat in men. The more body fat you have – within reason – the more estrogen you will also have. (Cohen P. Aromatase, adiposity, aging and disease. The hypogonadal-metabolic-atherogenic-disease and aging connection. Med Hypotheses. 2001;56(6):702-708.)
You simply cannot have the high testosterone levels you need if you’re fat. Your estrogen levels are going to be too high to allow your testosterone levels to thrive.
One study found that every extra hour of sleep up to 8 hours can result in a 15% increase in your testosterone levels. (Goh V, Tong T. Sleep, sex steroid hormones, sexual activities, and aging in Asian men. J Androl. 2010;31(2):131-137.)
Another incredible study found that men who sleep 4 hours a night have testosterone levels at around 200-300 ng/dl while men who sleep 8 hours a night product between 500-700 ng/dl. (Penev P. Association between sleep and morning testosterone levels in older men. Sleep. 2007;30(4):427-432.)
Reducing fat and getting a better sleep are at the top of the list because if you don’t solve these two issues, it’s unlikely that you’re going to reach your hormonal potential.
Weight training helps men produce more testosterone during the weight training session, especially with more explosive, heavy, compound lifts. (Neuromuscular and hormonal adaptations in athletes to strength training in two years. Journal of Applied Physiology. http://jap.physiology.org/content/65/6/2406. Accessed February 4, 2017.)
But weight training also helps testosterone production in the long run. One study found that after 4 weeks of weight training, young men who’d never previously trained saw a baseline, resting increase in their testosterone levels of 40% on average, and a reduction in overall cortisol as well. (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00421-006-0319-1)
It’s best to keep the intensity high, using explosive movements as well as heavier compound lifts like you’ll find in the Testosterone Workout
Keep your stress low.
Chronic high stress levels will result in chronically high cortisol levels, which is a hormone that lowers testosterone. While we need some stress, and some cortisol, most suffer from too much stress, and the form that comes from worrying. You need the stress of improvement, not the stress of worrying about things that have not yet happened and may likely never happen. (Read: How to Lower Cortisol and Boost Testosterone)
Get rid of chemical estrogens in your home.
Why are men producing 1.3% LESS testosterone every year independent of age? One of the causes may be an increasing dependence on chemicals.
Much of the chemicals we use in plastics, soaps, shampoo, cleaners and deodorants, and more, can dramatically increase estrogen levels in men.
Watch our for the following chemicals:
Parabens – used in sun tan lotions, lubricants, shampoo, shaving gels, toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizers.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most common chemicals used all over the world as a way to harden plastics. Most plastics contain BPA, which is a good reason to avoid plastics altogether, when possible.
Phthalates make plastics more flexible – again, avoid plastics and keep your eye out for this chemical.
Benzophenones are most commonly found in sunscreen.
Triclosan and Triclocarban are antibacterial agents found in many antibacterial soaps, lotions, and hand sanitizers.
Compete and Win (and make more money)
Making more money is simply one aspect of winning in life, and men need to win. Money also – if used properly – allows us to have more freedom and to make a bigger impact. In one study done on traders, however, found that after going on a 6-day win streak, they had 78% higher testosterone levels. (Coates J, Herbert J. Endogenous steroids and financial risk taking on a London trading floor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105(16):6167-6172.)
The benefits of victory, however, aren’t relegated to making money. Any form of competition and victory will help you increase your testosterone levels. Of course, you’ll see a reduction in testosterone if you lose. (Bernhardt P, Dabbs J, Fielden J, Lutter C. Testosterone changes during vicarious experiences of winning and losing among fans at sporting events. Physiol Behav. 1998;65(1):59-62.)
Other studies showed that men increase their testosterone levels when the team they cheer for wins. Of course, actually winning and competing in life is better than watching others do it, but it shows the power of testosterone as a reward system.
The better you are, the more testosterone you should have flowing through your veins, which will make you even better. It’s a cyclical effect, much the same with fat loss. The more fat you lose, the higher your testosterone levels will be, which in turn makes it even easier to burn fat.
Put Down the Beer
Alcohol in general is estrogenic, but beer is by far the more estrogenic of the alcoholic beverages. Enjoy one every now and then (I do). Just don’t get hammered on a daily basis and don’t be a daily drinker of beer.
Eat More Fat
There are a number of studies that show how increasing dietary fat intake can increase testosterone levels.(Bélanger A, Locong A, Noel C, et al. Influence of diet on plasma steroids and sex hormone-binding globulin levels in adult men. J Steroid Biochem. 1989;32(6):829-833.)
The kind of fat, however, matters. Polyunsaturated fats and trans fats lower testosterone in men, while saturated and monounsaturated fats increase testosterone levels in men.
You need fat in your diet to be able to produce testosterone at all. Saturdated is best, which is why a diet with a good amount of meat is a good diet.
Don’t, however, go too far. Too much fat isn’t the best either. You’re going to consume too many calories, and gain too much body fat, and you need carbs (as we’ll see below) as well.
A couple studies have found that when fat and caloric intake are controlled, a diet high in carbs and low in protein leads to higher testosterone levels and lower cortisol levels when compared to low carb/high protein diets.
I don’t think you should cut out protein, but definitely have a healthy amount of carbs throughout your day coming from sources like fruits, vegetables, and potatoes. (Anderson K, Rosner W, Khan M, et al. Diet-hormone interactions: protein/carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man. Life Sci. 1987;40(18):1761-1768.) (Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology. http://jap.physiology.org/content/82/1/49. Accessed February 4, 2017.)
Why should you opt for a natural testosterone booster? Is there even such thing as a natural testosterone booster? Or, if your testosterone levels aren’t thriving or through the roof, why wouldn’t you just get hormone replacement therapy? It’s a simple, easy way to get and maintain high testosterone levels for the rest of your life.
That’s the problem: it’s easy.
It’s also insanely expensive, it makes you dependent on monthly injections to produce testosterone for the rest of your life, and it stops your body from producing testosterone altogether.
If you just can’t produce testosterone at all, then have at it. If you’re in your 50’s and 60’s and so forth, then maybe it’s a good thing.
First, however, you should cut body fat down below 15% as estrogen is stored in body fat, if you don’t give it a place to reside it will dramatically increase your testosterone levels and lower your estrogen levels. You should also focus on sleep. Getting 7-8 hours a night of quality REM sleep will improve your testosterone levels. You produce the vast majority if your testosterone at night. If you’re not sleeping properly you’re not giving your body a chance to actually produce the hormone.
You should be active, workout, eat right, obviously follow the Man Diet, take these natural testosterone boosters below in supplement form or the natural options I give you, and you will see your testosterone levels rise.
Vitamin D3 supplementation at 3332IU/day for year raises testosterone by 25.2% (I recommend up to 8,000 IU, especially in winter months).
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because we get a lot of it from the sun. However, vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin, but a hormone that regulates bodily functions including growth, hormone secretion, sexual function, and fertility.
This study found that healthy males who take 3332 IU’s of D daily for a year end up having an incredible 25.2% more testosterone compared to the placebo group.
This study found that men who have sufficient vitamin D levels have higher testosterone levels and lower SHBG. That’s doubly important as vitamin d ‘free’s up’ your testosterone by unbinding it from protein, allowing it to flow throughout your body and do what testosterone does.
Free testosterone is believed to be more important than overall testosterone, and because vitamin d ‘unbinds’ your testosterone while also increasing your free T, it’s as good a natural testosterone booster as there is.
Magnesium reduces SHBG which in turn raises free-testosterone by 24%.
In this study, a gram of magnesium was able to increase free testosterone by 24%.
As a note: magnesium evaporates out of the body through sweat. The more you sweat, the more you need. It’s also estimated that around 70% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium will only help you increase testosterone if you’re deficient, but that’s likely the case, especially if you’re active.
If you’re supplementing, take around 1-2 grams a day, as the daily recommended values seem to be low.
Natural sources: Raw cacao, Himalayan pink salt, meat (eat animals!)
6-10mg/day of Boron increases free-testosterone by ~28%/lowers SHBG.
Boron is one of the most impressive and inexpensive testosterone boosters on the planet. Yet, it exists very rarely in vitamins and is especially rare in ‘testosterone boosters’.
In this study, for example, researchers gave eight male subjects 10mg of boron every morning for 7 straight days. After one week of supplementation the subjects had their blood tests compared from day 1 to day 7 and this is the incredible result of that comparison:
28% increase in free testosterone
39% decrease in free estrogen levels
10% increase in DHT
That is absolutely incredible. If you’re not supplementing with boron, you don’t necessarily have to start. There are effective ways to get this rare mineral through natural sources (check below).Natural sources: Brazil nuts, honey, raisins.
In the world of naturally boosting testosterone, most of the attention is falsely given to magical supplements that promise 400% increases in testosterone levels but can’t deliver. If you’re trying to naturally increase your testosterone levels, the focus should be your body fat (get under 15%) and your sleep (get at least 7 hours of good sleep), but there are testosterone booster foods that should get more attention than those expensive supplements.
What follows is a list of testosterone booster foods that should be a staple of your diet. None of them are expensive. All of them are available at your local grocery store, but most men aren’t aware of the fact that they are testosterone booster foods by either helping us produce more testosterone naturally, lower cortisol which is necessary for testosterone production, or block aromatase which is a precursor to estrogen, also a testosterone inhibitor.
Add these testosterone booster foods to your pantry or fridge and make sure you’re consuming each of them daily.
Coffee is an interesting one because it also increases cortisol levels. Cortisol, of course, opposes testosterone, so you don’t want high cortisol levels. That said, coffee has been shown in numerous studies to naturally increase testosterone levels in men, especially before a workout.
To add to that, a cortisol rise in the morning isn’t necessarily a bad that, as your body will counteract the cortisol level at night, helping you produce more melatonin and get a better sleep.
How does coffee increase testosterone if it also increases cortisol? The theory – or a possible explanation – is that coffee inhibits the PDE-4 enzyme, which breaks down cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), a messenger between cells and hormones, thus, higher cAMP levels in cells may increase testosterone levels.
Much in the same way zinc blocks aromatase, preventing the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, coffee may prevent the breakdown of cAMP, which may be the reason studies show increases in testosterone even alongside increases in cortisol due to coffee intake.
On a side note, drink more coffee, not tea, especially green tea, as it increases estrogen levels in men.
I was on the low carb side for years, always seeing the benefits of fats for testosterone (though at a certain point those benefits stop yielding returns, which is why you want to cap your daily fat intake at around 30-40% of your daily calories coming from dietary fat), while seeing carbohydrates as bad, as being responsible for people being fat.
The truth is that both carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, are all necessary for testosterone production.
The right carbohydrates are great testosterone booster foods because of how they suppress cortisol. Forget about the caffeine example above, if your cortisol levels are high, your testosterone levels are low or at the very least, impeded.
One of the ways we measure testosterone is in relation to cortisol. Carbs suppress cortisol levels, allowing your testosterone levels to thrive. If you’ve ever eaten a bunch of them, you’ll experience fatigue and sleepiness afterward as well, which makes potatoes a great addition to your dinner.
Lower cortisol, don’t contain gluten, packed with minerals that help T production.
Nuts (Brazil and Macadamia only)
Saturated and monounsaturated (MUFAs) fats are ideal for testosterone production, while polyunsaturated (PUFAs) and trans fats aren’t. Most nuts are comprised primarily of PUFAs, but the make up of both Brazil and Macadamia nuts, with their high saturated fat content, make them perfect testosterone booster snacks.
On top of the saturated fat content, Brazil nuts also are very high in selenium, which has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men, as well as zync and boron, both of which have been shown to increase testosterone in men.
Avoid most other nuts.
Eggs contain almost a perfect breakdown of amino acids for human consumption. They’re one of the best foods and protein sources you can possibly consume. Their fat make up is also pretty close to ideal with 38% saturated fats, 44% monounsaturated fats, and only 18% polyunsaturated fats.
Eat eggs. They’re also filled with vitamins and nutrients making them one of the most perfect foods you can consume as a human.
For those worried about cholesterol, read this article that will put your mind at ease – second, cholesterol is THE building block of testosterone, so don’t listen to people that tell men to stop eating so much cholesterol.
Raw cacao is rich in antioxidants, that protect cells and hormones, as well as minerals like iron and magnesium. Not only is cacao good for your testosterone levels, acting like a natural mineral vitamin, it’s great for clarity, focus, and energy.
Animals (beef, bison, elk, venison)
Red meat, along with eggs, is probably the most complete and beneficial food source for humans. Numerous studies have shown that saturated fats are idea for testosterone production (1). You also need protein to maintain a good body composition, lean and muscular, as fat holds estrogen in men.
This makes meat ideal, but there’s more to meat than the proteins and fats. Meat can also contain high amounts of bioavailable zinc (lamb and veal), and carnitine.
Carnitine is important for the brain, but also possibly for your testosterone levels as it increases the density of androgen receptors that help your body actually use the hormones it produces more effectively.
Olive oil (raw shot)
Cooked heated olive oil and room temperature, raw olive oil are two different animals. Don’t actually cook your food with olive oil, but by all means take a shot of it in the morning and at night for a very reliable boost in testosterone.
In one Moroccan study men had extra virgin olive oil as their main source of fat leading to testosterone increases of 19.9% and 17.4%. Not bad. It’s likely due to the fact that olive oil is an anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants, and has a great fat ratio for testosterone production of 73% MUFAs, 14% SFAs, 13% PUFAs.
Again, take it as a shot, use coconut or avocado oil or butter as your cooking fat.
Like olive oil, avocados have almost a perfect fat ratio for testosterone production with 71% monounsaturated fats, 16% saturated fats, and only 13% polyunsaturated fats.
Having an avocado helps you quickly get to the 30%-40% of your calories coming from the right kinds of fats for testosterone production.
White button mushrooms
Polysaccharides, which have been found to block aromatase, which is an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen, are abundant in white button mushrooms.
At the beginning of the article I mentioned that testosterone booster foods either help with testosterone production through their fat content, lower cortisol, or block the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. White button mushrooms is high on the list for estrogen-blocking foods that you should eat a lot of.
Raisins are very high in both resveratrol and boron, both of which have been shown to increase testosterone levels in men in multiple studies.
I don’t even like raisins, but I include them in a fruit and yogurt bowl that I have every second day along with blueberries (which are also on this list next).
Antioxidants protect cells, reduce inflammation and oxidative damage that takes place in your body. While blueberries aren’t a typical ‘testosterone booster food’ in the sense that they’re not packed with the right fats and they don’t block estrogen, the insanely high antioxidant content in blueberries should result in increased testosterone production along with the protection of the testosterone molecule.
Let’s not forget, they’re also a great carbohydrate, which lowers cortisol. A cup or two of blueberries per day with any meal, or in a shake, is highly recommended for your testosterone levels, but also your overall health.
Coconut oil is very high in saturated fats – which are, again, ideal for testosterone production, so brush off any claim that you shouldn’t eat saturated fats – and has also been shown to boost testosterone (study).
Finally, oysters, which are essentially a natural multivitamin as they’re packed with magnesium, zinc, selenium, vitamin d (which free’s up testosterone from being bound to a protein so it can do what testosterone does), and copper, all minerals that have been shown to increase testosterone levels in men.
On top of that, oysters have high quality protein and amino acid content.
They’ve been known as an aphrodisiac throughout history, and we’re now seeing why. They’re one of the most potent testosterone booster foods you can find.
What to Do Next
If you want a full list of foods that are testosterone boosters, but also a diet to help you naturally increase your testosterone levels, training tips and best practices, how to clean out your house of chemical estrogens, and a fool-proof plan to optimize your testosterone levels in 3 weeks, pick up a FREE copy of my new book, the Man Diet (grab your copy here).
Non Linked Studies:
Volek J, Kramer W. Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology. http://jap.physiology.org/content/82/1/49. Accessed February 12, 2017.
Forget about what typically comes up from Google searches about boosting testosterone naturally for men, or ‘how to boost testosterone‘, or ‘how to eat to boost testosterone‘, or even, ‘testosterone diet for men‘. Most of the content will focus on a gimmick, a quick fix, a pill, powder, or potion, that may temporarily improve your testosterone levels but won’t have the sustained, permanent effect on your testosterone levels that you want.
The goal should be to naturally increase testosterone forever, not for a minute or a moment. And if you’re going to produce high testosterone levels, it will start with your lifestyle, your training, and maybe even more importantly, with your diet.
In the Man Diet – my best-selling book that you can get a free copy of here – I go into greater detail about how to boost testosterone from a diet, training, and lifestyle perspective. You come out with a full plan that will help you create optimal testosterone levels. In this article, we’ll focus on diet, using me as an example, but also giving you all the resources you need to create a good meal plan that will help you increase your testosterone levels.
You have to eat foods that help with your testosterone levels, not foods that hurt them. There are a number of foods that increase estrogen that you just shouldn’t consume, things like flax and soy, mint, black licorice, alfalfa, and others. Foods that increase estrogen, just like plastics and toothpaste and deodorants and soaps, that contain chemicals that increase estrogen in men, should be avoided.
2. If you’re over 14% body fat, cut fat first.
This will mean cutting calories. It will also mean increasing your protein intake while you’re cutting fat. So why is cutting fat so important? Well, you quite literally cannot have thriving testosterone levels if you’re fat.
Estrogen hides in a man’s body fat and that’s where our bodies turn testosterone into estrogen (not something we want to do). That’s where our body converts testosterone to estrogen, a process we do not want to happen. So first and foremost, cut body fat.
3. Cycle your cut to avoid a cortisol increase.
It’s better to dramatically cut calories for a week or two, then get back to a maintenance, than to stay at a caloric deficit (where you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming). For a few reasons…
For one, by getting back to a maintenance every couple of weeks, you keep your metabolism healthy. Second, by getting to a caloric maintenance every couple of weeks, you avoid a cortisol rise that can occur with prolonged starvation – which is essentially what a caloric deficit is.
Cortisol is a real enemy of testosterone. We want to do everything we can to lower our cortisol levels and to keep them in check. Part of this is consuming the right amount of carbs (up to 45% of your calories should come from carbs – 35-45% range).
Finally, from a supplement aspect, there’s one primary thing you can do that’ll help, and that’s a supplement I created that’s a double-dose of Organic Ashwagandha (which has been shown to lower cortisol by 27%). This isn’t some magic, synthetic supplement. It’s just a herb that tastes horrible, so it’s not nice to eat, plus it’s hard to find.
4. Calculate your TDEE (Today Daily Energy Expenditure)
Your TDEE is your today daily energy expenditure. It’s not 100% exact, but it’s close. And what you’re after is close. If you’re not trying to cut fat, eat your TDEE. If you need to cut fat, eat about 500 calories less than your TDEE. This is the simple part because I have a calculator here for you to figure this stuff out. Just plug your info in and get the number below.
5. Find the Food.
The next part is finding the right food. We’ll use my day as an example day. I like starting light and ending heavy. I also workout in the morning, then have the shake. The end meal just knocks me out for sleep time, plus it gets the majority of the calories in there.
You won’t find ingredients that increase estrogen. You will find animals, fruits, and vegetables. When you first start a meal plan, make 1 or 2 days, then alternatives for each protein type and carb and fat. Keep it simple. As you get used to eating this way, you’ll be able to intuitively know how much to eat and it will get a lot easier.
At the begining, however, do the work.
My Meals Today
Goal: 2,900 calories
Goal Macros: 35% of calories from carbs, 35% of calories from fat, 30% of calories from protein.
Pineapple and oranges both block aromatase which is the precursor to estrogen.
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples, water
Meal 2: Chicken Salad
1 Cup Chicken (shredded)
1 Cup Spinach
2 Medium Tomatoes
2 Cups Carrots
2 Stalks Celery (good for libido)
Add olive oil and mix.
Meal 3: Steak + Potatoes
Steak 12 ounces
1 Potato Baked
2 Large Hardboiled Eggs
Alternatives: Game meat (preferable), Brazil nuts.
Adding More Meals
Sometimes I’ll make it 3 meals and a shake, other times, just 2 meals and a shake. You can make your meal plan however you like it. But it’ll take time. That’s why I prefer to have two meals and a shake.
And that shake, sometimes I’ll train on an empty stomach, other times I’ll have half of the shake before the workout and half after.
The key components are your macros, understanding your TDEE (how much you energy you expend in a day), and your goal. Meal plans help because more often than not we don’t actually know what we should eat or how much we should eat.
As you can also see, creating a good meal plan that has the right foods (which you’ll learn after reading the Man Diet) takes time, and time is money. Though it is worth it, 100%, especially if you’re trying to cut fat, it takes a heck of a lot of time.
So, if you want to get the most from your training, your hormones, and if you want to visibly see results in the mirror, I can set you up with a custom meal plan that fits your schedule and your goals, just click here to learn more about how to work with me and my team to get a custom meal plan that you’ll actually stick to.
The 3 Best Shoulder exercises for broad shoulders. Every guy should want broad shoulders, it signifies strength, power, athleticism, and to a lady, it makes them think that you’ll be able to protect them which, no matter what the modern way of thinking leads them to believe, their DNA craves.
Getting broad shoulders isn’t just about building bigger shoulders. It actually starts with the back. The upper and lower lats let your shoulders sit on a shelf of sorts, while your traps pull your shoulders up. If you want to build massive shoulders and a huge upper V (the ideal shape for men), check out my program The Perfect Body Blueprint.
The Lumberjack Press
Tips: Extend fully at the top of the exercise, and hold it for a 1 second count. Pinch your shoulders when you do this, really flex them at the top of the exercise.
Bent Arm Laterals with Extension
Tip: We almost always explode on the concentric contraction of an exercise. This exercise, however, can be done slowly, with pauses at each phase of the exercise.
3 Way Lateral Burn Out
Tip: Fail on each exercise, then go right into the next exercise. If this requires different weights, that’s fine. It’s a burn out set, to end the workout.
Building the Perfect Body
For most guys, building our best body doesn’t require balance, but intense focus on certain muscle groups. On top of that, to build each muscle fully, and wholy, we need to do a far greater variety of exercises that balanced training programs allow. Most training programs won’t hit the entire muscle, especially when it comes to the back, check, quads, and delts, but it’s true for the arms and basically every muscle.
If you want to see real, visible gains in the mirror, I suggest taking 6 months and doing the Perfect Body Blueprint.
Get faster results that you can see in the mirror by working on 2 specific muscles while maintaining the rest.
Build the ideal X shaped physique, broad shoulders, thin waist, and big legs.
How to Reduce Estrogen Levels in Men. If you want to know how to reduce estrogen levels in men, head over to https://themandietbook.com/ to get a free copy of my new book, the Man Diet (limited quantities available). Lowering estrogen levels in men is insanely important, and a relatively recent battle that we’re having to fight. How to reduce estrogen levels in men, starts with understanding where estrogens come from and how men increase their estrogen levels by gaining weight, and surrounding themselves with chemical estrogens.
With the rise of xenoestrogens in things like shampoo, plastic, soap, even in our water supply and the deodorants we use daily, estrogen levels are rising in men and testosterone levels are declining. Men don’t necessarily produce estrogen, we actually convert testosterone into estrogen by the actions of the enzyme aromatase within our adipose tissue, aka. body fat.
This blatantly shows that a reduction in body fat will help your testosterone levels. Why lower estrogen? If you have too much, you’re going to hurt your testosterone levels (1)(2). If you have too much estrogen, it’ll produce feminine features even in men. (3)(4) Of course, estrogen is stored in body fat, and the higher estrogen levels you have, the higher bodyfat you’ll also have.
Why You Should Lower Your Estrogen Levels
If you want to lower estrogen levels, lower body fat, and vice versa. (5)(6) The most important step you can take to lower your estrogen levels that may be leading to impotence or low libido, is to reduce body fat. This is by far the most important step you can take. Get rid of the idea of the Tony Soprano type alpha, the guy had high estrogen levels. Get your body fat under 15% for sure. Start with a good strength training program, and the right diet, I highly recommend that you start with the Man Diet.
Not only is it a diet specifically for men, one that helps men increase testosterone while lowering estrogen and cortisol, but you’ll find out a lot more information about testosterone and estrogen that’ll help you live optimally. Second, get rid of chemical estrogens! One study found that estrogens are 3x higher in water packaged in plastic than water packaged in glass. The main one’s to look out for are BPA and phthalates, as well as parabens (found in soaps and deodorants).
I don’t even buy non-natural shampoo, deodorant, soap, nor do I drink from plastic bottles. Thankfully, there’s a lot of good products out there now, and the industry of natural soaps and so forth is growing. This rise in chemical estrogens is dangerous for men. They’re everywhere around us, and really impact the youth, who are more susceptible to being affected by them. So, buy natural products, but also keep your kids away from unnatural soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, deodorants, and so forth.
Finally, consume more foods that block estrogens, and you can also supplement with a good multivitamin (I recommend Barbarian https://chadhowse.clickfunnels.com/mi…) that has zinc and other aromatase blocking ingredients. Citrus fruits are great, as are oysters and olive oil, and white button mushrooms. Each blocks aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen.
Well, I used to be an insomniac. I had it bad, so bad that I visited multiple sleep doctors over a period of a couple years, and their advice was just impractical.
One sleep doctor wanted me to carry around a light…
…All day every day.
So, I went out and tried to solve my own problem, and finally found those solutions in my mid-twenties.
Ashwagandha is awesome, I’ve been supplementing with it for a while now, and included a double-dose in VIKING, but there’s other things you can do, too.
1. A sleep schedule. (most importantly when you wake up)
This is the most important factor. Our bodies work on rhythm. If we go to bed and wake up at the same time daily we create a rhythm, and in doing so we train our bodies to sleep.
Most important, I’ve found, is waking up at the same time 7 days a week and making it early (no later than 6am).
2. Backload carbs.
I talk about this in the Man Diet, in fact, it’s a key component in the Man Diet because of how it helps with sleep.
What you want to do is have your carbs (potatoes, veggies, fruits), or at least a majority of them, with dinner. This will help lower cortisol along with VIKING, and you’ll get that ‘crash effect’ you get from consuming carbs and spiking your insulin levels.
3. Train early.
Early workouts help you sleep better later in the night. I’ve tested this to go along with the few studies I’ve found, and it helps.
I’ve also found that it helps me have more energy throughout the day.
Depending on your schedule, this can be a great option, but even doing some push-ups and pull-ups in the morning will help with sleep later on at night.
I’ve also found that evening workouts have the opposite effect. But if you have to workout in the evening, go heavy on the carb backloading and you should be fine.
What I’ve also found is that with a better, longer sleep (max 8 hours) I get more work done, at a higher quality, than I would if I burned the midnight oil, working late into the night.
Also, adding a firm end to the work day has helped improve the amount of work I get done, the focus of that work, and my ability to sleep because my mind’s able to calm down before bed.
Just a thought, something to try, and something I recommend in the Lost Art of Discipline.
It is a fact that we are getting weaker and weaker as men. The military strength standards prove it.
50 years ago, the standard that it took for men to join the army would put our men to shame.
It can be said that it’s because of taking out gym class in schools, or how most jobs now are computer-based jobs instead of working with our hands or the decreasing testosterone in our generation.
Either way, we are getting weaker and its a problem.
Not only does it pose a problem for our society, its a physical problem for you as well. Weak individuals have low testosterone, lower bone density (think more bone breaks), and more back pain. It also means that you’re going to have less muscle mass as well.
In untrained individuals, meaning people who didn’t strength train, your strength and muscle mass starts to decline by 1 % every year after the age of 30. Starting with a high amount of muscle and strength will increase your quality of life not only at age 29 but also at age 85 as well.
With all that in mind, men these days need a strength standard. Something to aim for.
Instead of pissing around with useless exercises on machines and cardio devices, these exercises look like stuff your grandpa did on the farm.
Not only will these give you a strong direction for your training, You’re going to look freaking good if you achieve these strength standards.
You’re going to be lean, have a defined back, shoulders and chest, and a lower body that is strong, powerful, and free of injuries.
These aren’t meant to be absolute strength numbers. They are meant as a guide that when you can do this, you’re a capable strong man.
You might see this as a kick in the pants. If so, that’s good. Most of us need a good kick square in the behind to help us become the men we were created to be. So strap up, put on your big boy pants and time to get to work.
Strength Standard 1: 5 Pull-ups
The pull-up has been one of the military strength standards for centuries, and it’s not going to stop being a standard with us. Not only do you develop your upper back through this exercise (which is woefully underdeveloped in modern workout programs), but it also guarantees you aren’t overweight. See, if you’re carrying around too much body fat, you won’t be able to do great pull-ups. You might be able to squeeze out 1 or two, but not 5 in a row.
This shows that you own your bodyweight. You might be like many guys who feel like their body is out of their control. Even though you can keep every other area of your life under control your body always evades your grasp. This exercise is very obvious if you’re in control of your body or not.
5 pull-ups Guarantees that what you did wasn’t just a fluke.
Strength Standard 2: Dumbbell or Kettlebell Press ¼ your bodyweight for 5 reps
How many guys in the gym do you hear or see that have shoulder pain or shoulder injury?
Like the kind of pain that causes you to completely modify an exercise so it doesn’t cause any further pain.
I’d be willing to bet that 75% of dudes at a random gym have some sort of shoulder injury.
This is unacceptable.
Your shoulder is one of the most versatile, moveable, mobile joints in the world and guys treat them like they’re a fisher price toy.
They deserve the strength that they can handle. And that means getting the ability to go overhead with them again.
You might have limited range of motion when lifting over your head, and that’s to be expected.
Most guys are lacking a lot of mobility in their thoracic spine, the entire muscular system that connects to the shoulder. If this is lacking, the glenohumeral joint (the shoulder socket) takes the brunt of the force.
When you do this exercise well, it guarantees you won’t have any issues going overhead because you CAN’T.
Having full shoulder flexion is not only essential, but you’re not going to be able to do very well without it.
By doing this for 5 reps, IT demonstrates that you have adequate shoulder stability and endurance.
It ensures you go into the proper position, and are able to stay there.
Strength Standard 3: Farmer Carry for 100ft with 1.5 bodyweight
As humans, one of the things that makes us distinctly human is our ability to carry things long distances.
Carries are underrated, but one of the greatest bang for your buck exercises available. They develop a strong upper back, forearms that rival your dad’s, stable hips, and a core that doesn’t move. AKA you’ll get rock solid abs.
If you have struggled with lower back pain this exercise is for you. The core has to work overtime trying to balance and not let you keel over while carrying this massive weight.
I’ve personally seen the positive effects of this exercise. When I was struggling with lower back pain on the right side of my back in the winter of 2017, I started doing Carries consistently. Within a few weeks, my lower back pain had subsided, and I was stronger than ever.
Carrying weight is all fun and good. They have a very real life application as well.
Your grip strength is a very strong indicator of your life expectancy.
In this study, they showed that Grip strength was the best indicator of life expectancy and mortality rate.
No better way to improve your grip strength than by carrying heavy objects for long distances.
Strength Standard 4: Barbell reverse lunge with Body weight for 5 reps
This lower body strength test does not include a squat. And that’s because a squat often becomes a test of lower back and core strength, not leg strength.
Not saying that’s a bad thing, but we want a test that determines leg strength independent from your back, and one another.
In life, there are so many times you are doing things that require strength from one leg.
Bending down to play with your son.
Hiking a mountain with your girlfriend.
Walking your local golf course with your buddies on Saturday morning.
Lunges not only build leg strength, but they make sure that you have equal leg strength. In a squat, it’s easy for your dominant leg to take over from what your non-dominant leg.
With a lunge, there is no hiding. If your leg isn’t strong enough, it isn’t strong enough.
Lunges also develop hip stability, which also aids in decreasing knee and back pain, and making you an absolute boss.
These suckers are essential to lower body training and testing.
After reading this list, you might be thinking,
“So. Where do I go from here?”
There are either two options.
You rocked this test. You passed all of these with flying colors. You’re a strong dude. If this is you, then keep doing whatever you’re doing, because obviously, it’s working. Keep getting stronger, and becoming the man you were created to be.
You missed the mark on this test, and decide to do nothing. You feel that this is a useless test, and decide not to do anything at all. You keep banging your head into the wall with your training, and you get weaker, more in pain, and fatter.
You missed the mark on this test, BUT you do something about it. Maybe your shoulders aren’t able to press up the kettlebell. Maybe you laugh at me when I suggest the farmer walk. Pull-ups might not have been your jam.
If you weren’t 1, you have some work to do.
It might mean spending time working on your weaknesses.
You might hire an online coach to help you get better and stronger.
You decide to adjust your diet to make these tests a little easier.
Either way, if you failed on these tests now, it doesn’t mean that in 3 months time you’ll do the same thing.
Focus on building your strengths, and also bringing your weaknesses so that there is no area of strength that you can’t master.
Linden Ellefson is a personal trainer and online coach out of Calgary, Canada. He helps 30-40 year old get leaner, more athletic and in better shape than they were in college.