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.
A Couple Rules Re: Testosterone
1. There are foods that increase estrogen in men.
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).
Another thing you can do to lower your cortisol levels is to get a good sleep, and I’ve written and article here all about How to Increase Testosterone in Men (Starting With Sleep) that will help a lot.
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.
Actual: carbs 298 grams (38%), fats 119 grams (34%), protein (28%)
Meal 1: Shake
- 2 cup Pineapple
- 2 Bananas
- 2 Cups Coconut Milk
- 1 Cup Fresh Orange Juice (not concentrate)
- 1 scoop Protein Powder
- Pineapple and oranges both block aromatase which is the precursor to estrogen.
- Other Options:
- 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
- 1/2 avocado
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.