I am currently trying to cut a significant amount of weight (30 pounds) but would like to retain the muscle/strength that I gained before switching programs. I am currently taking test boosting supplements, but I am worried that they’ll be wasted when on a lower calorie/higher cardio diet. Any suggestions?
This is a great question that I have a great answer for! Adhering to extended periods of calorie restriction will definitely have a negative impact on your testosterone-to-cortisol ratio. As does performing a higher volume of cardio training. Combining both of these facets together is a surefire way to force your testosterone levels to plummet!
Obviously, when your goal is to retain as much muscle as possible while shedding as much body fat as possible—depleted testosterone levels are a very bad thing.
Furthermore, keeping your diet very low in saturated fat and cholesterol will add insult to injury. This is quite common in cutting diets where foods containing modest amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol are pretty much eliminated in an attempt to keep overall calories low. Research has proven that diets low in saturated and monounsaturated fats resulted in reduced testosterone levels.
Many people don’t know this but luteinizing hormone stimulates the Leydig cells of the testicles to convert cholesterol into testosterone. In other words, low cholesterol can equal low testosterone. Not to mention the fact that cholesterol is required for the production of ALL hormones in the body, not just testosterone. This includes thyroid and growth hormones that are essential for fat burning.
It’s a fact that higher testosterone levels increase fat burning and inhibit the formation of new fat cells, while low testosterone levels are associated with fat gain and obesity. All of the exact mechanisms behind this phenomena are still a bit of a mystery. But, there have been innumerable studies that support these claims.
One such study performed at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science had pretty compelling results. Researchers discovered that by administering a medication that reduced the testosterone levels of their participants from 600 ng/dl to 300 ng/dl, the subjects of the study experienced an average increase in fat mass by a whopping 36%!
To conclude, I’d say that incorporating a quality testosterone booster into your fat loss plan would be a worthwhile thing to do, considering that most fat loss workouts and diets involve taking measures that hammer your testosterone levels.
I’ve personally found that using the Test Charge Hardcore Kit helps me retain much more muscle and stamina as I’m shedding body fat during a cutting phase.
Additionally, I have a few tips you can apply to your fat loss plan that will help support higher testosterone levels, which in turn will help you lose even more body fat.
1. Incorporate red meat into your diet a couple times per week. Yes, it’s higher in calories than chicken breasts, so take into consideration the amount of calories in each serving of red meat and plan accordingly by limiting your serving size. You can also consume smaller portions of the other foods in your meals to compensate for the extra calories in the red meat.
2. Eat whole, cage-free eggs—not egg whites! As I mentioned before, consuming dietary cholesterol is essential for optimal hormone production. Eating a few egg yolks per day will NOT give you high cholesterol! Studies have proven this myth to be false. It’s also noteworthy to mention that egg yolks are high in selenium which is required by your body to convert T4 hormone into the more powerful T3, fat-burning thyroid hormone.
3. Limit your cardio sessions to no more than 20 minutes, 3-4 times per week. I highly recommend applying high-intensity interval training (HIIT) when you do cardio. By the way, I’m a big advocate for NOT engaging in weightlifting and cardio training back to back, or even doing them on the same day. If you do, you will run the risk of driving up your cortisol levels, which could kill your testosterone levels.
Remember, as cortisol levels increase, your testosterone and growth hormone levels will automatically decrease. I always experience my best progress by following a weight training split that involves training all of my major muscle groups over the course of 3 non-consecutive days during each week, then performing cardio training on alternate days. I will then throw in an abdominal workout with one of my cardio sessions since my abdominal workouts are very brief (maybe 5 minutes at most).
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4. Limit your weightlifting sessions to no more than 45 minutes. If you’re training hard and your workouts extend much beyond 45 minutes, then your testosterone and cortisol levels will also tend to transmute to a ratio that will work against your body’s muscle building and fat burning processes.
You might be thinking of pro bodybuilders you know who spend hours lifting every day, yet they still have massive, ripped, muscular physiques. Please understand that anabolic steroids alter the body chemistry in a profound way that makes it very unlikely to overtrain.
You absolutely must follow a completely different set of rules when you abstain from using chemical enhancements and pursue your bodybuilding goals naturally. This is a much more rewarding route to take in my book.
Natural muscle takes longer to build, but it is also more permanent. You will get to keep that muscle for the long-term, and you won’t need to run the risk of putting yourself through a gauntlet of health issues that have been associated with steroid use.
I hope this information helps you, Adam. Best of luck to you!
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