Your testosterone is low and body fat’s high. It often works that way. Improve one and the other improves too. This post details what I’m doing to measure and manage nutritional inputs as I endeavor to boost my testosterone and blast away some body fat.
That’s fine if you’re OK with the status quo, but if you want to lose fat, gain muscle, cultivate more energy and get healthier, than the default must change.
You must measure in order to manage whatever new set of actions (food/drink/exercise/sleep) you adopt.
Which brings me to a few of the things that I’ve been measuring of late.
During most of my adult life, I’ve tried to do stuff that make sense to me – proper nutrition, exercise, and supplementation sorta stuff. Some months I’d look trim and feel strong, and other months not particularly so. Rarely having a goal in mind, I took this typical +/- 10% variation in stride, thinking that as long as I hovered within a tight (5%) band, all is well.
But now, if you haven’t noticed, I’m blogging about health matters. I’m also getting older. (Thanks for not noticing that!) Both these facts conspire to make me more cognizant of Peter Drucker’s truism, and to be motivated to measure things.
What I’m Measuring to Manage
I’ve started measuring what I eat, drink, weigh, body fat, body water percentage, daily caloric intake capacity, metabolic age and bone mass.
Let’s break down the actions I’ve taken into two compartments: testosterone and body fat. Conveniently, the actions that boost one also diminish the other.
In the post entitled, How to Measure And Boost Your Testosterone, I make the point that men over 40 years of age typically have declining testosterone.
This creeps up on you slowly like the proverbial frog in the pan, and changes your life. Energy levels decline, the belly gets over-sized, lean muscle mass declines, sexual appetite becomes inversely related to food appetite, etc.
Even though I’ve been a life-long exerciser and nutritious eater, it happened to me.
When I got my testosterone tested a couple of months ago, I found myself nicely nestled into the statistics: My testosterone numbers were low.
[Get the story of how I tested myself and the testosterone test results here: Boost Your Testosterone Naturally.]
Not too surprising.
The reason that the low testosterone numbers didn’t surprise me is that I have some of the symptoms of low testosterone; namely:
- Complacency: I’m not leaping out of bed ready to do battle.
- Body Fat: It’s over 15%, my former self-imposed ceiling.
- Libido: Now, where did that go?
But if you walked in my shoes, you might have been surprised by a low testosterone outcome, because unless you know what to look for, you might think that all is well being Joe Garma.
For instance, in my case — notwithstanding the three symptoms listed above — I’m very fit for my age and fairly muscular. One might think that this would mean that my testosterone is just fine.
The reason I know this is that I had an extensive blood panel done via the Life Extension Foundation’s Male Comprehensive Hormone Panel Blood Test.
(You can get a less expensive test that just measures testosterone levels with the
Male Testosterone Panel Blood Test.)
I reviewed my test results during a 20-minute conversation with a Life Extension Foundation doctor. After I hung up, I took a deep breath and got into gear:
1. I purchased and am using some testosterone-boosting supplements; namely:
DHEA, Magnesium Oil, Stinging Nettles, Indole-3-Carbinol, Chrysin (combined in the amazing Super MiraForte), Branched Chain Amino Acids and Tribulus Terrestris, (also known as puncture vine).
2. My protein intake was increased to about 75% in grams of my weight in pounds: 0.75 x 212 = 159 grams (or thereabout); much of it taken through supplementation (protein powders), such as whey (ImmunePlex from ProHealth) and raw organic sprouts (Raw Organic Protein from Garden of Life).
3. The intensity of my workouts increased, principally by adding Human Growth Hormone-producing high intensity interval training as described in Drs. Mercola and Campbell in the post, How To Boost Your Human Growth Hormone In 20 Minutes.
I’ll continue with this for four months and then either do another blood test, or saliva test to learn if I’ve been able to bump up the testosterone numbers.
I have one of those body fat scales, a Tanita BC534 Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor. Bought it a few years back, stood on the thing and then gave it the middle finger when it told me how fat I was.
Thus, I’m standing on the scale twice per week and scribbling down my numbers, which in addition to weight and percent body fat, the scale attempts to measure:
- Body Fat % -– the amount of body fat as a proportion of body weight.
- Body Water Percentage – the total amount of fluid in the body as a percent of total weight.
- Daily Caloric Intake – the sum of calories for basal metabolism, activity metabolism and diet-induced thermogenesis.
- Metabolic Age – the average age associated with the basil metabolic rate.
- Bone Mass – the amount of bone (bone mineral level, calcium or other minerals) in the body.
When introducing these measurements I used the word, “attempts” cause god only knows how in the heck it produces accurate numbers for these things. For instance, the Daily Caloric Intake number for me routinely is between 3,826 and 3,895 – more than 1,000 calories than I consume per day.
So, with the Tanita scale, the point is to measure and record changes from the original baseline numbers. I want the body fat to go down, the water percentage to go up, the metabolic age to go down, the bone mass to go up, and the daily caloric intake to just continue to confuse me.
Including the scale, the breakdown of what I’m doing to measure fat-producing related things is:
1. The twice weekly recording of the Tanita scale numbers as above described.
2. Making a record of everything I put in my mouth: food/drink type, calories, and grams of fat, carbs and protein.
3. Adopted Dave Asprey’s controversial coconut butter coffee protocol (minus the butter) to see if consuming medium chain fatty acids in the morning instead of carbohydrates will help burn fat, given that fat is a testosterone inhibitor.
4. Got into the habit of doing some light body movement in the morning before anchoring myself to the desk, which consists of some stretching, squats and push ups – just to get the body warmed up and blood flowing, which also wakes up the metabolism a bit.
In a few weeks I’ll have enough data to tell me if what I’m doing is working, which I’ll share with you on this blog. My intent is to show my readers the work sheets I used, and the graphs the data produce over the course of a few months.
We’ll see if my new supplements and habits raise testosterone and reduce body fat. If not, will have to manage things differently by adopting some new protocols. Then measure them.
If you’ve read this far, I gather that this topic is of interest to you. If so, go deeper into this topic and gain more context by reading one or more of the following:
If you have anything to share about what you did to boost testosterone and/or reduce body fat, please get a conversation going in the Comments section below.
Over and out.
P.S. These are images of some of the products I mentioned, and are all affiliate links.
Published on September 10, 2012