It is probably good to explain first why testosterone is important before I begin to explain ways to naturally boost testosterone levels. Hormones play a very important role in our bodies and are responsible for many functions and activities. The male hormone, testosterone, is a key ingredient in a weight loss or muscle building program. It will help to reduce fat retention and will also maximize muscle building potential. There are numerous benefits to increased levels of testosterone, and here are just a few that are relevant for fat loss and muscle building:
Decrease in body fat percentage Increase in muscular size Increase in muscular strength Increase in muscular endurance
There are many other benefits that are not related to the muscle building equation. These include improvement in mood and a decrease in “bad” cholesterol. It is because of these benefits that body builders focus a lot of attention on ways to naturally boost testosterone levels. You’ll get all the benefits by following these easy ways to increase testosterone without any of the negatives associated with steroids and other nasty supplements.1 – Compound ExercisesYou’re going to the gym anyway so changing your workout to focus on more compound exercises will not be that difficult. Try to build a weight lifting program that is developed around a core group of compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, back rows, bench presses, chin ups, and others that use several large muscle groups rather focusing on a small muscle. I’m not saying to completely ignore isolation exercises for smaller muscles, just to refocus the workout to include more compound lifts.2 – Heavy WeightsThe harder you work in the gym, the harder your body will work to help the recovery. Lift heavy weights that will allow you to do about 5 repetitions in a set in order to boost testosterone naturally. Do at least 3 sets and make sure you rest at least 1 minute in between sets so that you are well rested before the next set. Remember that heavy lifts done with one hundred percent effort and intensity is key to achieving these benefits.3 – Shed Excess Body FatHigher levels of body fat leads to higher levels of estrogen that will cause levels of testosterone to decrease. Don’t confuse lower fat with lower weight. It is more important to lower the overall body fat percentage than it is to lower overall weight. So building muscle and reducing weight at the same time will surely help to significantly lower overall body fat percentage.4 – Lose 2 Pounds Per WeekIf your goal is to lose weight, then do not exceed more than two pounds of weight per week. The goal is not to starve your body or it will reduce testosterone levels. The best approach is to base dietary goals on a 15% to 20% caloric deficit. This will mean that people that start off with a very low body weight should not expect to lose two pounds per week. Calculate the caloric deficit and stick to that rather than expecting to lose 2 pounds each week.5 – Eat Healthy FatsYes, you heard me right. I instructed you to eat fat. But not just any fat. Healthy monounsaturated fats are a key to regulate hormonal health. Increase your intake of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) from foods like tuna, salmon, avocado, peanuts, and oils from canola, olives, and flax seeds. Try to keep the total fat consumption to 30% of your daily caloric intake.6 – Increase Consumption of Cruciferous vegetablesDon’t worry too much about the definition of the vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are generally agreed to be healthy foods with high levels of vitamin C and fiber. Some of the more common selections that you should be able to find at the local grocery store include: cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, and many more.7 – Reduce Consumption of Soy ProteinSome research suggests that a high protein, low carb diet leads to lower levels of testosterone so stay clear of the Atkins diet. More importantly, soy protein is linked to higher levels of estrogen that will negatively impact the level of testosterone. It is also well documented that building bigger muscles require sufficient supply of protein. The bottom line with these guidelines is that a well balanced diet is much better than excess of any particular macro nutrient.8 – Increase Consumption of ZincZinc is one of the most important components to try and increase testosterone levels naturally. Zinc not only converts estrogen into testosterone, but it also prevents testosterone to be broken down and converted into estrogen. Foods with high levels of zinc include: oysters, beef, salmon, seafood, liver, poultry, nuts, cottage cheese, and milk. Zinc is also often included in a multivitamin so it should be easy to add this supplement to your dietary program if needed.9 – Get Sufficient RestMake sure that you get six to eight hours of sleep each night. Insufficient rest will lead to the production of cortisol that in turn will lower testosterone levels. Sleep is important for recovery from exercise and is the time when your body produces testosterone. Skimping on a good night’s rest can lower testosterone by as much as 40%.10 – Control Alcohol ConsumptionA high level of alcohol impairs the ability of the liver to breakdown estrogen, leading to higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of testosterone. Alcohol also decreases the level of zinc in your body and affects the endocrine system, causing a halt to the production of testosterone. It is better to stick to one or two drinks of alcohol for healthy levels of testosterone. Try and avoid binge drinking.SummaryA healthy level of testosterone will help to build muscle and reduce body fat percentage. These benefits can be obtained without resorting to unhealthy supplements or even steroids. The key components to increasing testosterone naturally are maximum effort in the gym combined with a well balanced diet. Sticking to a diet that provides 40% of calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat seems to be a good target. Adding a multivitamin to your dietary regimen seems to be one way to ensure you obtain the vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy levels of testosterone.