Why do we eat?
Well, we eat because we need to obviously. But we should also be eating in a way that will help us build muscle and lose fat. We should enjoy what we eat. We should look forward to it, not dread it. But, and this might only be a personal thing, I don’t want to be spending hours preparing my food. I want to have a great tasting and healthy meal that I can make in a relatively little amount of time.
If I have a date and we’re cooking together, that can be a different story. Preparing a meal can be a fun activity, especially if you’re trying something new. But when I’m making food for myself, it has to be fast, tasty, and it has to help me achieve my training goals.
In this article I’ll go over how to build the ideal “diet” – not actually a diet – for the guy I just described. Whether your goals are to build muscle mass or lose fat (or both), this article applies to you.
The Importance of Testosterone
The more reading I do, the scarier and more frightening the future of the human male becomes. Testosterone levels, and sperm counts are dropping like flies. Everything around us it seems is tailor-made to diminish levels of both. Things like plastics, soy, hot showers, tight underwear, and the ever popular ‘no fat diet’ aren’t what men need.
Of course you could just take steroids – but that’s useless too. You’ll be left with diminished ability to create your own testosterone naturally for life. Testosterone helps us repair tissue – any kind of tissue. It helps us procreate. We need healthy testosterone levels, but what we’re being taught to do, and how we’re being taught to live is accomplishing the opposite.
Talk around with a cell phone in your pocket and watch your ‘little soldiers’ melt away. Anyways, enough of these scary stories, keep reading to find out how to raise and maintain your testosterone levels naturally.
Great resource for this is Tim Ferris’ book “The 4-Hour Body”.
The Myth of Weight Loss and Bulking
The phrases “weight loss” and “bulking” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. Don’t even use those words. They should never be in the realm of your goals.
Bodybuilding and ‘Bulking’
Bulking is a term that comes from bodybuilding. Bodybuilders didn’t always bulk either, it’s more of a recent development, and a goal that we really have no use for. I have no need to gain massive amounts of fat and muscle, then cut down and ‘dry out’ for a competition, do you? I’m not competing in any kind of physique shows, why would I?!
I do want to have a six pack year-round. I do want to build muscle without gaining fat, and even burning fat. So this idea that to gain muscle you need to first get fat doesn’t apply to me or you. We want to look awesome all the time. We want lean muscle mass. And how we eat should reflect that.
Marketers and Weight Loss
Weight loss is easy to achieve, it’s also easy to measure. A marketer can give you a simple workout plan that doesn’t take a whole lot of time to create, pair it with a low calorie diet, and wa-lah – you will lose weight. You’ll look at him or her as a genius because they’ve helped you do something that you couldn’t do on your own.
Good for you, you’ve lost weight. But are you any sexier, healthier, or stronger? Not really. All you’ve done is lost some fat, as well as some muscle. But the marketer looks like a genius because they’ve helped you “lose weight”.
However, those of us with the goals of gaining lean muscle and losing fat should have the same or similar approaches: maintaing or gaining muscle while losing fat. If you’re losing fat, you want muscle. You should be training as such, and eating in a way that will help you with this as well. So, forget about weight loss! It’ll leave you with a lower number on the scale, that’s it. Not with the body you want.
5 Principles of the Perfect Manly Diet
The perfect manly diet should help you build muscle, lose fat, boost testosterone levels, and it should be enjoyable. It shouldn’t be a chore to maintain.
In my mind, the perfect diet doesn’t have a whole lot of variety. It takes too much time to shop for, and prepare for elaborate meals. Sure they’re great if you’re cooking with a date, but if I’m on my own, I want simplicity, taste, and effectiveness – no need for complexity.
1. Carbs, carbs, and more carbs around your workout.
I like to go low carb and high fat for most of my meals. I eat a lot of eggs, beef, chicken and so forth, and then bring in the carbs before and after my workout. I pretty much eat what I want for those two meals.
Around your workout is when you need to feed your muscles. They need fuel, and you need to give it to them. This is when you should be having an abundance of carbohydrates. I like slow cards, things like oatmeal, but you can have fast carbs as well – just pair it with some lean protein.
This is the only time of day where you should be watching your fat intake. Also, stay away from white flour or processed sugars. Always choose real over fake.
2. Fats before bed.
Our testosterone levels reach their height from 4-6 am. Fats before bed (and right when we wake up) help raise our testosterone levels in a natural way. The process of converting fats to energy boost these levels of testosterone in our bodies. It’s healthy to have some fats in our diets.
The kinds of fats I’m talking about are saturated (natural) that come from eggs, steak, and other meats, as well as monounsaturated that can be found in nuts, fish, and vegetables like avocado. The kind of fat that you should never eat is trans fats – things that are deep fried. It’s complete crap and should not be eaten.
Here’s a before-bed snack that’ll boost test levels:
– 3 Brazil nuts (high in good fat).
– 3,000 – 5,000 iu of Vitamin D3 – more and more studies are coming out that say we should be getting a lot more vitamin D in our system. If you live in a sunny climate, you’re in luck.
– Glass of whole milk with Chia seeds
3. Whole foods, no need for anything processed.
If it’s man-made, it probably isn’t the best thing for you – supplements included. Although I like adding a few supplements to my diet to make-up for a lack of nutrients I’m getting in one area or another, or if I’m in a rush – which ends up being quite a bit.
If it’s packaged, or in the frozen meals section (unless it’s fruit of veggies, in which case frozen is actually better for your as it’s technically fresher than the stuff that’s been sitting in the produce section for a week), leave it be. If you can afford it, buy organic. If you can’t, still by the eggs and meats that you can afford.
Have a source of protein and a source of veggies with every meal. In the morning, eat more fats – things like eggs or ground beef – as you get closer to your workout, start adding in more whole carbohydrates and cut out the fat. But whatever you do, keep it natural.
I’ve started buying more and more produce, meats, and eggs from the organic section. If you ever see a flatbed truck full of chickens, you’ll want to buy organic eggs.
4. Have your six-pack and drink it too.
Treat yourself when you need to be treated. Have a beer a couple nights a week. Have some Scotch, some ice-cream, or a nice plate of lasagna. Just keep that stuff in moderation.
A beer isn’t going to do a whole lot of damage to your system. It’s when you start getting 5, 6, or 7 deep that you begin to effect your body hormonally. But a beer or two isn’t the end of the world. I drink a decent amount of beer, but I have a clean diet and I work hard. If you do the same, you can have your six-pack and drink it too.
The whole ‘don’t eat red meat fad’ should be dead and gone by now. As long as you’re pairing the red meat with foods lower on the glycemic index —> here <— you’re all good. Keep your foods natural, and you’re on your way to a great physique.
Men need to be eating a healthy amount of red meat. Like I said before, it helps boost testosterone levels, repair muscle, and it’s packed full of sync and iron – two minerals we need. Think about it like this, we’ve been eating red meat as human beings, processing it, digesting it, and converting it to fuel since we’ve existed.
It’s one of the first things we consumed. Our bodies are made to process meat. Our bodies are not made to process processed foods. Things that are recently introduced into our diets aren’t going to be absorbed and digested in the same fashion. That’s why I’ve started buying organic also, these massive cattle farms are a relatively new introduction to our systems.
Don’t shy away from a steak, just don’t have it with a baked potato or french fries. Instead have yams, with veggies.
the Gist of It All
We’re not counting calories here, if you’re trying to lose fat or build lean muscle, you’re eating the same way, just different portions. If your goal is to pack on lean muscle mass, follow this guideline, but eat A LOT. You shouldn’t be saying no to seconds.
If your goal is to lose fat, drop your portions down. Have 2 eggs instead of 6. Have 1/2 cup of oatmeal after your workout with some cottage cheese and blueberries. You’re not measuring your portions, just eat enough to be left satisfied.
Have a look at my buddy Kyle Leon’s quick presentation about how to gain muscle without gaining fat. He has an abundance of knowledge of how to help skinny guys gain muscle through some breakthrough nutrition techniques.
Click the image to the right and have a look ————->