Testosterone is a pretty important hormone. It is responsible for many necessary functions in the body. Testosterone regulates the sex organs, bone loss and metabolism. Although this hormone primarily affects men, both men and women can experience low t-levels.
The biggest cause of low testosterone levels is lifestyle choices. Stress, sleep, obesity, exercise can all have a serious impact on whether or not you have a healthy testosterone hormone function.
Many men are hyper-aware of their t-level, often encouraging higher levels through supplements and boosters. This is okay and preferable than steroids. However, there are ways to increase testosterone levels naturally. This means making a lifestyle change. Confronting issues which might be affecting your overall health begins with self-introspection, then executing the steps to progress.
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Serious About Weight
Being overweight is a sure way to lower your testosterone. Added weight hurts your metabolism and lowers your libido. The Endocrine Society’s research into this says men who are overweight are more like to have low testosterone levels to begin with.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be a difficult venture. Start by cutting out those little things you will not miss like sugar in your coffee, or that extra soda. The idea is not to go into full on dieting deprivation and set yourself up for failure, but to make an agreement with yourself to simply limit the amount of dietary troublemakers. Take the upper hand by becoming mindful and interested in what is in your food and drinks. Read labels and make good choices.
It is all about fructose. Your consumption of fructose should be below 25 grams per day ideally. This includes the fructose in the natural fruits you are eating. If you are overweight, you might even be on your way to becoming insulin resistant and not even know it. Refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, etc. quickly break down to sugar. When your insulin levels are being pushed, you are being guided to the one underlying cause of nearly every chronic disease and condition.
TL: DR—Stay as far away from sugar
Get Up and Exercise
High Intensity exercise is optimal, but not everybody can begin like this. Another option is intermittent fasting combined with short and intense exercise. This combination has been known to increase testosterone levels naturally. By fasting intermittently, the satiety hormones like insulin, leptin, peptide-1 (GLP-1), CKK, and melanocortins are able to effectively increase testosterone to a healthy level. This is the way to increase libido, as well as prevent any age-related t-level decline.
Go for a twenty minute workout. Within those 20 minutes, most of the time is spent warming up, stretching, and cooling down. Four minutes is the magic number for the high intensity part. Your workout would look something like this:
- Warm up for three minutes
- Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. You should feel like you couldn’t possibly go on another few seconds
- Recover at a slow to moderate pace for 90 seconds
- Repeat the high intensity exercise and recovery 7 more times
You can engage in any kind of exercise activity or equipment for this—a treadmill, swimming, or basically anything which will encourage this regimen. Just push yourself.
TL: DR—Intermittent fasting and 20 minute workouts, move that body.
Zinc, Zinc, Zinc,
Not enough credit is given to the importance of zinc in your diet. Yet, this mineral is absolutely the magic bullet for testosterone production. Supplement your diet with added zinc and in less than six week you will see a marked improvement in testosterone levels. Most people do not get enough of the daily recommended amount of zinc needed.
Where do you find zinc in foods? Start with protein-rich foods such as fish or meat. Raw milk, beans, and yogurt are also excellent sources. Try to eat food which is not from methods which rely on chemicals and pesticides, as these deplete the soil of valuable nutrients. Zinc must be absorbed by plants in order to work for you. Cooking is another way to lessen the nutritional value of zinc, particularly overcooking.
A zinc supplement can help but keep the dose at less than 40 mg a day, which is the recommended adult daily limit. Too much of a good thing and it can interfere with other minerals necessary for a healthy body.
TL: DR—Add more zinc to your diet
Too much stress releases the stress hormone cortisol. This is an awful fact of modern day living. What is worse, cortisol will block the effects of testosterone due to self-preservation of testosterone-associated behaviors. Chronic stress with elevated levels of cortisol perpetuates the ‘fight or flight’ response and blocks testosterone health.
Try to find ways to unload stress and emotional baggage. For every individual this is different and an altogether personal journey. It is a necessary one though. Stress not only robs all the good things testosterone makes you feel, but it robs the joy from your life in general and leads to distress and disease.
The most popular form of de-stressing these days is through meditation (which can also be found in a forest, on a mountain….anywhere in nature) yoga, prayer, and more importantly, find laughter. Learn to relax using deep breathing techniques, and visualization. What works for one person may not for another, the important part is to at least try.
TL: DR– Stress destroys everything good