Testosterone has long been demonized by society as the rage-inducing hormone that makes guys massive, covered with zits, and filled with aggression. Testosterone is associated with cheating, largely thanks to guys like Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire.
The truth, however, is very different from the perception that surrounds this hormone that literally makes men, men.
Not only does testosterone not correlate to higher levels of aggression and rage in men, as shown by a study of men with testosterone deficiency by Christina Wang, M.D., of the University of California at Los Angeles. Where, after two months of testosterone replacement treatment to bring T to normal levels, the subjects anger and agitation decreased and their sense of optimism and friendliness heightened.
The myth surrounding testosterone is abundant. Yes, high natural levels of testosterone will help you build more muscle (which is a great thing), but it will also help you reduce body fat, and your risk of cancer, disease, and depression.
Testosterone is at the core of what makes men, men. And with each generation, and with each decade, men are producing lower and lower levels of this powerful hormone. The causes aren’t singular, but with a reduction of fat consummation (which we’ll talk about later), an environment not conducive to high testosterone levels, and an increasingly inactive population, it makes sense that men would produce lower levels of testosterone.
I’ll show you how you can raise your natural levels of testosterone through simple and healthy lifestyle and diet changes. By raising your natural levels of testosterone, you’ll not only increase your body’s ability to gain lean, athletic muscle, but also your ability to live a healthier, more energetic life – both physically and mentally.
How to Naturally Enhance Testosterone Levels in Men
1. Consume More Fat
Fats have been vilified by nutritionists, doctors, and the health and fitness industry as the cause for obesity in America. This is not true. Saturated, monounsaturated, and polysaturated fats won’t make you fat. Sugars and carbohydrates – and trans fats (man-made fats) – contribute more to your waistline, and heart disease, than natural, healthy fats.
Fats also naturally raise testosterone levels in men. Testosterone is produced in the testes by converting cholesterol in to testosterone. We get cholesterol from the fats previously mentioned.
What to do: eat more eggs, red meats, fish, fruits (avocado), and nuts. Eat more fat sources that are natural, that you can either kill, pick, or harvest.
What not to do: don’t consume carbs with your fats. Carbs have their place in your diet, but not when paired with fat. When you consume high-glycemic carbohydrates with fat, the spike in insulin makes you store more fat as body fat, and carbs as body fat as well. Also, stay as far away from trans fats (man made), found in packaged and fried foods, as possible.
2. Get more sleep, and have less stress in your life
Cortisol is a hormone that opposes testosterone. One of the ways we can measure testosterone levels is in relation to cortisol levels. A lack of sleep can result in higher cortisol levels, and lower testosterone levels. Aim to get 6 or more hours of sleep a night, as your bare minimum; 8 hours is more ideal.
Cortisol is a stress hormone involved in our fight or flight response mechanism. The more stress we have in our lives, the higher our cortisol levels we’ll be. What’s more is that the less sleep we get, the more we stress, which again, raises our cortisol levels.
Find ways to de-stress. Take mini vacations, read, start your day off in reflection, with exercise, and in silence. Bring perspective in to your life that will help you lower your stress levels by journalling, exercising, and spending time with family (unless they compound your stress).
3. Avoid plastics
Our environment can be very destructive to our testosterone levels. The chemicals you find in most plastics (namely BPA), are filled with chemical estrogen So all those bottles of water you have been buying, unless it states (BPA FREE) is cull of chemical estrogen A quick way to solve this problem is to stop drinking water from plastic bottles, and never heat your food in plastic containers.
Make it simple; avoid plastics and allow your body to naturally produce testosterone at healthy levels.
4. Lift weights
Exercise, like training with weights, will increase your muscle mass and lower your body fat levels.
Lower body fat correlates to higher testosterone levels, just like inactivity has been shown to lower your testosterone levels. Stand more. Walk more. Run more. And get in the gym and start a weight training program.
You Need Higher Levels of Testosterone
This isn’t about aesthetics (at least not completely); weight training, eating more fat, less sugars, and surrounding yourself in a healthy environment is about being at your best. It’s about being optimal. Make the changes I’ve mentioned in this article to not only feel better about how you look, but be a better, more successful guy.
Supplement with Vitamin D3 and Zinc
D3 unbinds hormone from the protein it’s attached to. This “free” form of testosterone is believed to be the only form of the hormone that matters with relation to repairing tissue (like muscle). Take a minimum of 3,000 IU daily.
Zinc blocks the hormone aromatase from producing estrogen. In other words, zinc lowers your estrogen levels, which in turn maximize your testosterone output too what it should be
Feature Image by: Patrik Giardino/Courtesy Men’s Health
It’s What You Do On A ‘Bad Day’ That Matters.
Last Friday was a bad day for me. I woke up late, missed the gym and didn’t meditate.
None of this was intentional.
I then turned my computer on to do what I do every day: blog. I was not prepared for the whirlwind that followed.
As I opened up my social media channels, there were a lot more than usual, direct messages. I started reading each one and they were from colleagues and friends who wanted to warn me that I had a large amount of hate-fuelled comments on social media. I’m usually pretty good at dealing with hate comments. Not on that day, though — I was having a ‘bad day.’
I turned off the computer and didn’t respond to anybody. In the same week, I’d been told I was now a LinkedIn Top Voice for 2018.
I should have been celebrating and I didn’t because I didn’t feel worthy. If anything, I wanted to give up there and then. Luckily I didn’t follow through with any of these ideas. I knew it was just noise in my awful day.
I went away to sit on the couch and think about what I’d just read. Without really thinking about what I was going to do for the rest of the day, I began thinking about my team at work. There were several leadership challenges that I had to solve.
One was from a customer that was being abusive to female staff. Another was a rejection I had to deliver to someone that wanted to work with us. The hardest part about delivering the rejection was that I’d already said yes.
Despite the day being bad, I made a fundamental decision — to keep doing what I do and not stop. I said to myself “How can I inspire people while simultaneously solving both these challenges?”
I’m a big believer that it’s not what you say that matters; it’s what you do. Talk is cheap. I came up with a bold plan to address both challenges.
I was going to do something that made me see the good in the people involved.
Even if the people in both situations had let me down, I was going to assume they were still good.
I concocted a plan to help both people and try and show them a more positive way to move forward. If I break down the plan, it was about being an inspiration in both situations.
I didn’t feel like being inspiring.
It was not the day to be inspiring.
But it was the only way I could motivate myself to finish off this bad day and wake up the next morning fresh. It’s funny how a good nights sleep takes away all the pain and negativity from the day before.
So, by the end of the day, I enabled both plans. I set out to release inspiration in both scenarios and that was my only focus. I didn’t look at anymore hate fuelled comments or go near social media.
On that bad day last Friday, my actions helped me keep moving forward and not give up.
It’s not about necessarily seeing the good in your bad day.
I’ve read this sort of advice heaps, but it requires a lot of willpower.
“Using your actions to make the day better rather than trying to think your way out of your bad day seems to be a lot easier to implement”
It’s not about the bad day.
Bad days will happen.
It’s what you do on a bad day that determines if you’ll feel the full effect of all the negativity that can potentially knock you out like a Tsunami that comes your way when all you wanted to do was lay on the beach and soak up some sun.
I’ve learned to find situations during a day that’s not working out well for me, to do something good, and often that’s not something that benefits me. If I was to look at it another way it would be “How do I not focus on my own bad day?”
Trying to make someone else’s day good distracts you from your own bad day.
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This Is How An Ordinary Person Can Make Their Country Better.
Someone asked on the internet how they can make their country better.
They considered themselves ordinary and felt that they had to be someone special to make a difference in their country, India.
Their question made me feel a bit emotional because I can relate. I too have also dreamt of making my country better.
The most common answer to this question is to get involved in politics.
Many of you reading this find politics really boring including me. I’ve learned through my own experience that politics is not the only way you can make your country better.
Here’s how you can make your country better:
Use your voice
When I was faced with the question “How do I make my country better?” I decided to use my voice.
It was this decision that changed everything. I spent every day using my voice to stand for something. I wanted to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development.
So, I started using my voice by posting on LinkedIn. I used my voice and transcribed it into words to tell the citizens of my country what I think they needed to hear.
Using your voice is incredibly scary at first. As soon as you start sharing your thoughts, many people will say nothing. You’ll get almost no feedback. As your voice starts to get louder over time (probably years) the opposite will happen and you’ll attract trolls and critics.
The hardest part about using your voice is having the courage every day to use it and not being obsessed with the outcome.
By using my voice online through blogging and LinkedIn, I managed to get a 35,000 person bank to start talking about my ideas with staff and customers, and I was voted LinkedIn Australia’s Top Voice that year.
Using the power of your voice is the number one way you can change your country.
It’s in your experiences, ideas and thoughts that you can find what it is that can help your country.
In my country, Australia, we are quite well off, but we still lack a positive mindset. Some of us work jobs we hate and we like things that only money can buy. There’s a competition to get the biggest house or the most expensive car.
It’s not a problem everyone in Australia suffers from, but it’s widespread. I believe by using my own voice to inspire people to seek alternatives, I can change my country.
The results thus far suggest I’m well on the way to changing my country.
Changing your country seems like a huge task. It sounds like something only a Nelson Mandela sort of fella can achieve. That’s not true.
A simple understanding of the power of kindness can change your country.
There was this guy I read about online that changed his country by giving out free hugs because he couldn’t run in the local marathon. He embraced his kind nature and ended up impacting millions of people in his country.
Being kind is infectious because we’re wired to do it. When we see one person be kind, we want to do the same.
The problem in my country (and many others) is that we’ve sacrificed kindness for greed.
We’ve let our country’s economy become the most important factor instead of measuring the way we treat people and the ability of a country’s nation to overcome adversity together.
Kindness is so important because every one of our countries will face adversity, and kindness is the solution to that inevitable problem.
Pick up the trash
This one seems even smaller in impact. It’s not.
I found that by picking up the rubbish I saw in places like my apartment lobby, I was able to show myself that I care about my country.
When we care about our country, we choose to make it look beautiful so others can enjoy it. Something simple like picking up the trash can take you a long way towards helping your country.
Every country has an environmental problem and picking up rubbish can help solve it. If we all picked up one piece of trash, then each of our country’s would be a hell of a lot cleaner.
Don’t think you can’t make your country better
A lot of what I’ve learned, by trying to make my own country better, has come from the belief that I can have an impact.
There are so many people who want to do nothing more than complain which wastes time and energy and doesn’t make anyone’s country better.
The way you make your country better is by believing you can and taking one or two small actions to start the process.
The people that change their country believe they can.
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