Carbohydrates are one of the primary Macronutrients that are required in large amounts by the body and for maintaining a healthy hormonal profile. The Big 3 macronutrients include protein, fats and carbohydrates.
All these macronutrients play an important role in health and basic bodily functions. That said there is a balance that you must find to optimize your body for general physical and hormonal performance.
Finding this balance is the key to optimizing your Testosterone levels, as well as building muscle and burning fat.
Eating the wrong types and amounts of these macros will not only hamper your results in the gym, but will also affect your ability to enhance and optimize your hormone levels for managing your body composition and building lean muscle.
But before we jump into the macronutrient breakdown of your diet, you should learn what each of the macronutrients do, why they’re important, and what foods contain them.
Further, I want to examine why carbohydrates are crushing your testosterone, but it’s likely not in the way you think.
Let’s get right to it.
The average person in the Western world eats way too many carbohydrates and what’s worse is that they are the wrong ones, prepared the wrong way and at the wrong time!
Let’s talk about a process called glycation which increases the aging process in your body and becomes apparent through the appearance of wrinkles in your skin and increased internal inflammation.
To take this one step further, aging is the progressive accumulation of damage to an organism over time leading to disease and death. There are a number of different factors which play a role including genetics and environmental factors but there are ways we can slow the process.
When you eat carbohydrates incorrectly, you expose yourself to compounds called AGEs which is short for Advanced Glycation End Products. Incorrect consumption includes over cooking, eating the wrong kind and eating excess amounts.
Eating excess amounts of carbohydrates is one of the main reasons obesity has become an epidemic.
Carbs are vitally important. In my own personal transformation process it is the one macronutrient I would manipulate to achieve my desired body composition.
However what is critically important to know is that you can’t simply live on a low carb diet if you want to improve your testosterone profile.
If boosting T and building muscle is your goal, you can’t disregard the importance of carbohydrates. In fact you MUST maintain a specific ratio of Carbs, Proteins and Fats to optimize your testosterone levels. I lay it all out in my free TCycle Diet book if you want to learn how to transform your body.
Think of carbohydrates as fuel (this is an oversimplification) but if you want to crush it in the gym then you need plenty of carbs at the right time.
The reason many people get fat is become they consume all this fuel, but never use it! So instead of these carbs being used as fuel, they get stored as fat.
Another critical factor you must realize is that not all carbs are created equal. In the T Cycle Diet, the emphasis is always on consuming complex, whole carbohydrates which reduce spikes in blood sugar and create a healthy environment for your cells.
What you want to avoid is simple carbs, which as you may know include foods like sugar(the worst!) sweeteners and syrups.
Not only will these sugars lead to increased fat, which in turn leads to increased estrogen, but regular spikes in blood sugar can actually lead to lower T levels. Complex carbs like oatmeal are broken down slowly, providing a prolonged release of carbs as opposed to quick bursts.
The reason I suggest carbohydrates are crushing your testosterone is because people struggle with the concept of manipulating this macro nutrient.
Reducing carb intake is a highly effective strategy for fat burning and weight loss however people tend to prolong the process which causes a hormonal reaction and begin to suppress testosterone levels.
With all of the guys I train I use a nutritional process called stimulate and stabilize ensuring optimal hormonal health avoiding a complete shutdown of testosterone production. It is after all the master hormone for men.
You must use this macronutrient properly to optimize your lean muscle and your testosterone levels.
Protein and building muscle go hand in hand. We know that eating plentiful amounts of protein is essential to packing on muscle, but when it comes to boosting Testosterone, protein does not reign supreme.
This is not to say that protein is not important, rather it just does not play a singular role in the hormonal process. In fact, too much protein can put a damper on T levels and slow you down. It’s best to just eat enough protein and no more.
Additionally, you should be getting your protein from animal meat and byproducts. This includes beef, chicken, fowl, fish, eggs (cholesterol is vital), and certain dairy products.
Not only will this help to drive up T levels through the nutrients provided, but it also ensures you’re getting the full spectrum of amino acids.
Consuming fat still gets a bad rap. Some people just can’t seem to get rid of the notion that eating fat makes you fat.
Sure, at a certain point eating too much of anything will cause fat gain, but it really depends on what type of fat you eat.
The type of fat you must avoid at all costs are the processed, artificial fats. These include trans and polysaturated fats. You’ll find these in packaged foods throughout grocery stores. Fortunately, if you stick to the mantra of eating whole, natural foods you won’t have to worry about them.
Another issue that often arises is consuming saturated fats. These have gotten a bad rap over the years, but people are starting to realize that saturated fat is not always the enemy.
Saturated fat is found in T boosting foods like eggs and coconut oil which can be consumed in large quantities.
Also, you should make sure to get plenty of monounsaturated fat. These are found in various type of nuts and oils, plus avocados. They taste delicious and should be added to your meals to get additional calories, or as a standalone.
Finding the Best Macronutrient Balance
When planning out a diet, you’re going to have to determine the ratio of macronutrients that you will consume.
For example, say you’re going to do a 30-40-30 split which means 30% of your total calories comes from protein, 40% comes from carbohydrates and the remaining 30% comes from fat.
On a sample 3000 calorie diet that means you’d be consuming 900 calories in protein (which at 4 calories per gram of protein would be 225 grams), 1200 calories in carbohydrates (300 grams), and 900 calories in fat (which at 9 calories per gram of protein would be 100 grams). This ratio, while okay for some purposes, may not be the optimal ratio to boost T levels.
Depending on the phase, In the T Cycle diet, the macronutrient breakdown consists of 20-30% protein, 30-40% carbs, and fat making up the rest around 35-40%.
These numbers are not meant to be set in stone as a.) They change depending on your goals and b.) They change throughout the week depending on your activity levels. That said, they do provide a foundation for what to consume for this diet.
To make things even easier, protein and fat intake will usually not change drastically during these short cycles. It is carbohydrates that are changed in order to accommodate certain goals.
Putting It All Together
Managing carbohydrates is an important strategy for overall health and wellness and certainly your hormonal profile.
If you really want to ensure that you’re meeting the needed levels of macronutrients, it’s essential that you track how much of each macronutrient you’re getting daily. While it may seem tedious it will ensure that you are not falling short or consuming too much.
Additionally, you want to make sure you’re getting the right amount of calories. Keeping calories too low can actually lower testosterone levels.
However, if you’re trying to burn fat you will certainly have to take a thoughtful and measured approach to your macronutrient intake if you truly want success.
And when it comes to macronutrients, not everyone is equal. Some people may respond better to high-carb, low-carb, high-protein etc.
If you just want to keep it simple you can start with the protocol outlined in the T-Cycle diet and go from there.