Maintain or increase your hormonal levels while losing weight by using the superior weight loss method intermittent fasting.
If you’ve been reading any recent diet books or blogs you’ve probably stumbled on this term already. Intermittent Fasting (IF), is an excellent, proven way to lose weight and maintain a lean physique without having to experience low testosterone and libido levels.
Yes you can actually increase your testosterone and libido levels while losing fat. By using the intermittent fasting method.
Weight loss does not have to be miserable. Imagine losing weight but actually boosting energy and performance in and outside the gym.
Intermittent is basically a short, half-day fast that lasts until you consume the first meal of the day.
The trick is to actually prolong that fasted state for a couple of hours or more so that your first meal is in the late afternoon hours. The usual method is to fast for 16 hours and have an 8-hour eating window. By doing so, you’re going to experience fewer insulin spikes, while also receiving impressive hormonal benefits which we’ll examine later on in the article.
Why Intermittent Fasting Works So Well For Weight Loss
The reason why IF has become popular is that it makes a hard task of losing weight far easier than you can imagine. You can lose weight without experiencing a decline in testosterone and libido levels (more on this below).
We’ve been led to believe that unless we get that first meal of the day straight upon waking up, we’ll lack energy and concentration for the rest of the day. This piece of common wisdom was touted as an obvious truth. But recent research into our prehistoric ancestry, as well as biochemical research mixed with practical application studies have shown this to be completely false.
You don’t actually need breakfast, as the human body is able to function completely fine in a fasted state, especially the relatively short fast of 12-24 hours. In fact, what you’ll realize when you start doing IF is that you won’t feel any hunger at all for hours after you got out of bed. If you had breakfast you’d be getting hunger signals far sooner. Reason? Blood sugar levels. You don’t get any blood sugar spikes and insulin reaction while you’re fasting, therefore you do not get hungry until your body ACTUALLY needs food.
So intermittent fasting allows you to eat a proper amount of calories without having to become a master of disciplined dieting.
When you start eating later on in the day, you’ll eat far less due to the time frame itself. You can only stuff yourself with so much food in 2-3 sittings. If you ate those 3 square meals starting with an early breakfast and then those little snacks and deserts in between – it adds up to a lot more calories than you’d consume if you were fasting for one part of the day.
Fasting does not mean you will be in a calorie deficient state
Diets that promote extreme calorie restriction are the worst way to lose fat. It is important not to follow a crash diet as this is a certain and probably the fastest way to stuff up your hormonal levels. This is another reason IF is so popular due to not having to restrict calorie consumption to an extremely low level.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
There are many benefits to IF, weight loss being the one that is most often mentioned due to the fact that so many people struggle with it. But the other benefits are quite impressive as well. They include increased alertness, energy, physical performance and hormonal function.
The alertness and energy increase can be contributed to many explanations explained through evolutionary science.
1: Macronutrient theory: IF’s benefits comes from training your body to use primarily its fat-burning pathways. i.e. the shift in the ratio of fats, carbs, and proteins metabolized as energy.
2: Rest the digestive system: It is estimated that 65% of the body’s energy must be directed to the digestive organs after a heavy meal. Free up this energy and it can be diverted to healing and recuperation.
3: Evolutionary science: When you don’t eat for some time, your body switches to a “hunter/survival” mode. Which is responsible for creating an adrenaline response.
The other benefit worth mentioning is physical performance. Exercising without any extra baggage in your stomach is a far more pleasant and productive experience for this obvious reason. When you have food in your stomach, it slows you down and you get tired more quickly as your body distributes a part of its energy to the digestive processes while you’re performing the workout. With that being said, let’s see how IF elevates testosterone levels as well.
How Intermittent fasting Increases Testosterone Levels While Losing Weight
Intermittent fasting has become popular not just due to the mentioned benefits above, but also because it elevates testosterone and growth hormone levels in the human body. This has been well recorded in scientific studies performed over the last couple of years.
- A study performed with a group of non-obese men who performed short fasts has shown that the fasts elevated their LH (luteinizing hormone which is responsible for the production of testosterone) by 67%, and also raised their overall testosterone by a whooping 180%.
- Another truly impressive benefit of fasting shows that it can drastically increase secretion of growth hormone in men. With some subjects the increase of GH was up to 2000%. Those numbers might seem huge, but the levels of GH are closely tied to levels of testosterone. With the increase of one, you get an increase on the other side as well.
- IF (and fasting in general) also increases levels of adiponectin, a hormone which is important for regulating insulin sensitivity. By increasing adiponectin levels, your insulin reactions are normalized, instead of shooting your blood sugar down and causing intense hunger after eating carbs. It has also been shown that additional adiponectin can cure insulin resistance in mice, but whether this is true for humans as well remains to be seen.
- This study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism to decrease the hormone, Leptin. Which will help boost your T levels this is because a decrease in Leptin causes an immediate stimulation of testosterone secretion.
Losing fat will skyrocket testosterone levels
The more fat we store in our bodies the more aromatase our body will contain. This is an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone men want less of. So by having high levels of body fat, we will increase estrogen levels within the body which is by no means making us more masculine.
I’d recommend that leaning down to the 8-12% body fat range would be actually great for your testosterone levels and sex drive.
So it’s really easy to see how this hormonal boost can effect not just direct weight loss, but your overall mood and physical performance, protein synthesis, improved glycogen absorption in the muscle, as well as recovery from training are all positively influenced simply by fasting for 12-24 hours on a regular basis. This is why intermittent fasting is also very beneficial when it comes to maintaining muscle mass while losing fat without having to take any advanced anabolic supplementation.
The types of intermittent fasting
The are many different types of fasting methods that you can utilize. They all follow similar principles so ideally, you can try them all until you find one method that suits you. I personally use the 16:8 fasting method daily and once a month I do a 32 hour fast.
The 16:8 hour fast
The 16:8 hour fast involves fasting every day for 16 hours, and restricting your daily “eating window” to 8 hours. Ideally, the easiest way to do this is to have an early dinner and skip breakfast the next day. During the fasting period, you consume no calories. However, black coffee, diet soda, and sugar-free gum are permitted.
The 24 hour fast
The 24 hour fast has become popular the last couple years thanks to Brad Pilons book “eat stop eat“. The 24 hour fast can be done once or twice a week. Ideally, you should have dinner and then fast until your next dinner. If this sounds challenging you can select a day which you can sleep in and don’t have exercise planned. Then it fast becomes easier to complete.
20:4 hour fast aka the warrior diet
The warrior diet is where you have one very large meal a day preferably at night. But you can still have some snacks during the day. The philosophy here is that our species are “nocturnal eaters, inherently programmed for night eating.” Although the warrior diet doesn’t have much study references to back up its claims unlike the 24 hour fast (eat stop eat) where they provide up to 25 pages in the book devoted to notes and research references.
With all the amazing info available on IF, there is every reason to give it a try and experience the benefits for yourself. This method of dieting is especially valuable to those who are trying to lose weight without too much hassle with preparing small meals and munching on them throughout the day.
It allows you to save time, maintain high testosterone levels and provides your body with enough time to digest the food properly during the fasted state, improving digestion as well. Now it’s up to you to give it a shot, and spread the word to your friends and family.
NOTE: If you are new to Intermittent fasting I highly recommend reading eat stop eat. This will save you time and kick start your weight loss journey. It breaks down intermittent fasting in such an easy method that allows for optimal macronutrient ratios to insure you enjoy your weight loss without going crazy with cravings.