Most people think that dieting is all about lowering carbohydrate intake.
While it is true that by lowering your carbohydrates you are also reducing the amount of calories you digest, there is much more to being shredded than simply removing sugar from your diet.
In order to gain muscle growth and reduce body fat percentage, you need to learn how to control your hormones.
In this article, we’re going to try to explain the basic functions of your hormones and give you some advice on how to better keep them in balance for faster, more efficient muscle growth.
We’re going to focus on six hormones that have the deepest effects in this regard: insulin, testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, human growth hormone, and the thyroid hormones.
Although the increased presence of insulin stimulates the build-up of body fat, this hormone is also involved in muscle growth by producing an anabolic effect.
The trick is to keep your insulin levels low during rest time when your metabolism isn’t pumping as hard. On the other hand, you want to keep them up while you exercise so that you can get all the benefits.
Provided you haven’t consumed too many calories, the low levels of insulin will help you burn fats while you rest. Maintaining the values during training supports the anabolic process and supports muscle growth.
To do this, you need to limit your carbohydrate intake during the day. Stick to vegetables and sources of protein. Consume carbohydrates along with protein just before exercise and immediately after exercise.
Aim for 0.2 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight before exercise and 0.3 grams per pound after exercise. This way, you take advantage of the hour-long anabolic window after your workout.
Testosterone is arguably the # 1 hormone when it comes to bodybuilding. It increases both the size and strength of your muscles. Try to keep your testosterone levels high for better growth.
When your testosterone levels are low, your metabolism slows down. One possible explanation for this effect is the decreased production of growth hormone, which can be triggered by low testosterone levels.
The fat burning properties of growth hormone have been confirmed by numerous studies.
One way to use diet to stimulate your testosterone levels is to increase your intake of fats. Apply two days a week to the consumption of foods packed with fats. Beef, egg yolks, and nuts are good sources of healthy testosterone-boosting fats.
You should also limit your carbohydrate intake. Although consuming fat will increase your caloric intake, they are absolutely crucial if you are to maintain healthy testosterone production.
The other trick is to drastically increase your carb consumption one day a week, increasing it to 3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight.
This will trigger spikes in insulin which are known to interfere with the activity of sex hormone binding globulin. This glycoprotein binds to testosterone in our bloodstream and determines how much testosterone reaches our muscle tissue.
Insulin inhibits this property of SHBG and releases the testosterone in our blood. This allows it to penetrate the muscle tissue and stimulate muscle growth.
The two main functions of growth hormone are: burning fat and preventing muscle loss. It is important that you keep your growth hormone production going.
This will preserve muscle mass during your diet and keep your metabolism going. The increased levels of growth hormone accelerate the fat burning process.
The best way to stimulate growth hormone production is by taking nutritional supplements. Of course, you can also naturally increase production through exercise and sleep.
Taking arganin before a workout not only increases your growth hormone levels, but it also brings more blood to your muscles.
You especially want to keep an eye on your cortisol levels. Although this hormone is involved in the fat burning process, high levels of cortisol lead to muscle wasting and negatively affect metabolism.
You definitely need to avoid having high levels of cortisol for long periods of time as it will lead to a decrease in your muscle mass. Remember it is your muscle mass which supports your fat burning metabolism. The bigger the muscles, the better the metabolism.
One approach to hindering cortisol production is to create spikes in insulin after exercise. Pick two days a week that you don’t overeat and consume fast-burning sugars after your workout. Opt for rust-red potatoes, white rice, gatorade, cookies, and other foods packed with carbohydrates. When you spike insulin two days a week, your muscle mass is protected and your metabolism accelerated.
Although it is commonly known as the female hormone, estrogen is also present in men. When it builds up in your body, it inhibits the fat burning process. You should always take care to keep your estrogen production low and your testosterone levels increased.
The amount of testosterone and estrogen in your body determines your physique. With lower estrogen levels and high testosterone presence, you can strengthen your muscles, lower your body fat percentage, and prevent water retention. The best way to keep your estrogen levels in check is to eat crispy vegetables that contain indoles. According to research, these compounds are particularly effective in reducing the effects of estrogen in our body, both by reducing its production and by hindering the absorption of estrogen in our cells. Include more vegetables in your diet and just deal with the carbohydrates.
The thyroid hormones (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) support the metabolism and protein synthesis.
A drop in the levels of these hormones produced by the thyroid will decrease your body’s ability to burn the fats. It also leads to a decrease in protein synthesis, that is, it slows down the amino acid absorption of protein-based foods. Maintaining the healthy function of your thyroid and the production of these hormones is vital to your crushing efforts.
The drop in thyroid hormones can be triggered by extreme diets. To prevent this from happening, take a one-day break from your diet every 10 to 12 days. Provide your body with adequate carbohydrates (3 grams per pound of body weight). This makes the body think that the diet period is over and prevents sudden drops in thyroid hormone levels.
Learning what your hormones do and how to manipulate them can make your diet more effective. The first thing to keep in mind is that a continued lack of calories, carbohydrates, and fat in your diet has negative effects. Every now and then, you should slow down the diet using the methods above. This will help you maintain muscle mass and lower your body fat percentage.