July 20, 2013 at 1:29 am #9578
My dad recently started supplementing testosterone, and has lost a significant amount of fat since doing so. I’ve read that fat functions as a kind of estrogen-secreting endocrine gland, and higher levels of testosterone are associated with leanness, so him losing weight would make sense. I’ve also read that, in gaining body fat, the estrogen produced by said bodyfat creates an environment conducive to additional weight gain, starting a vicious cycle.
His job is mostly sedentary, and he is under a lot of stress all the time as he owns a small business of which he has made himself the lynchpin. This stress, sedentarism, and staring at a computer screen all day are probably what led to his weight gain in the first place.
My mom recently started on an estrogen patch, and has seen an almost complete elimination of her migraines since doing so. I have some deep seated, poorly defined fears of estrogen, instilled in me mostly by my brief adventures in Peatoria, but she seems to be only experiencing positive results at this point. She also takes adderall (bad) and is overly concerned about weight gain, which is probably part of the reason she needs a patch, as she refuses to resolve her issues by resting or refeeding in any form.
Anyways, my parents forays into hormone therapies have really opened my eyes to role that hormones play in health. I think my main goal has kind of become to create anabolism in any way possible, whether thats through weight lifting or lifestyle changes or eating to keep stress hormones low. Anyone want to chime in with personal experiences in the anabolic realm?July 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm #9616RobModerator
I think that’s a good general approach, and something that Matt echoes. Obviously there’s a need for balance and you can’t have all anabolism all the time. But working to increase the hormones of growth, strength and vitality like testosterone and progesterone, while minimizing exposure to the hormones of catabolism like cortisol and adrenalin is great. Taking lifestyle based approaches- focusing on weight training, quality sleep, adequate calories, etc. is what 180 is all about.July 20, 2013 at 5:49 pm #9648lukesterParticipant
I remember reading somewhere about insulin being the most anabolic hormone. Don’t know if that is true but makes sense since low carb leads to muscle loss and fat loss(catabolism).July 20, 2013 at 7:54 pm #9655RobModerator
I don’t know if there’s a single most anabolic hormone, abut insulin is super important. Its centrality is part of the idea behind Maximum Nutrient Partitioning, which Matt wrote about some time ago.
The idea is, you maximize the ratio of carbs, particularly starch, versus fat in your diet, and eat hypercalorically. You get your insulin levels real high, and absent substantial dietary fat, the body shuttles protein into lean tissue, allowing for notable lean gains.
Agreed. Insulin’s gotten a bad rap lately, but it’s absolutely essential for building muscle. That’s why it’s so difficult to gain lean mass on low carb diets–even though those diets can be effective for cutting fat. In fact, when bodybuilders do low carb for cutting, they also cycle in high carb days just to get a anabolic boost. And crazy, professional-size bodybuilders inject straight insulin for maximum gains. That’s definitely not recommended for anyone.
The “veganmaster” guy behind Maximum Nutrient Partitioning made some pretty far out, unsubstantiated claims, but it’s true that the old time bodybuilders got big on “clean” diets, which meant low fat, high protein, and high starch–your basic tuna and rice diet.
To return to the OP, supplemental hormones can be great, but it’s always better to try to rebuild your own production (if possible). Your body will always regulate its own levels more precisely than a cream or weekly injection, and you don’t want to be dependent on your doctor’s Rx. However, if age or illness means that your past the point of no return, then it’s worth talking to a doctor to see what your options are. For natural production, the best course of action (for testosterone anyway) is to eat sufficient calories, work out heavy, and get lots of rest.July 21, 2013 at 1:53 am #9681
The high carb, high protein, low fat thing seems sort of counterproductive in the sense that fats are supposedly the building blocks of anabolic hormones.
I’m mostly gonna focus on creating the optimal anabolic environment at this point, using food, sleep, and heavy lifting. This is pretty much bulking anyway. I really want to see how good I can get my body comp using an anabolic environment alone, without restricting anything diet wise.July 21, 2013 at 2:30 am #9683
I wasn’t recommending you try a low fat diet, just noting that it was a popular diet used by many early bodybuilders–notably, at a time when steroids were still relatively mild. However, to answer your objection, I’m not sure how much it matters that hormones are built from fats. How many grams of fat do you suppose it takes to make all the hormones your body produces in a day? It can’t be very much. For TRT, you might inject 100 MILLIgrams of testosterone in a week.
Besides, even if someone didn’t eat any fat at all, his body could just convert carbohydrates to fat or even grab it from his belly. Daily EFA needs are also quite low.
I’ve recently decided to experiment with a high calorie, low fat diet to see if it favors more muscle growth and less fat gain than a high calorie mixed diet. I have no idea what the result will be, which is why I wouldn’t recommend it to others at this point.July 21, 2013 at 8:12 am #9687patch87Participant
This is the link about INSULIN IS OUR FRIEND http://180degreehealth.com/2010/10/befriending-insulin
The link Rob posted is mistaken :PJuly 21, 2013 at 4:58 pm #9710
Yea man, low fat sounds like a cool experiment to try, especially considering its the least in vogue of the diets right now probably. My initial thought when you said bodybuilders used to do low fat was that they were doing it for the same reason everyone else from that era did it; fat in food translated to bodyfat. But it sounds like you’ve got some science behind your approach.July 21, 2013 at 5:09 pm #9712
That insulin article really filled in some blanks for me in the whole metabolism paradigm. Thanks for posting it.July 23, 2013 at 1:55 am #9814
Another issue to consider is that, while carbohydrates boost insulin release on their own, a combination of carbohydrates and protein releases even more. The two macronutrients work synergistically to promote anabolism, which is why I think a focus on carbs and protein is probably ideal for building muscle without steroids.July 23, 2013 at 1:57 am #9815
It’s not that fats are bad in themselves. It’s just that they provide empty calories without contributing to this synergy.
That’s my theory anyway. Early results seem positive, but I’ll know more in a month or so.July 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm #9854lounieParticipant
I am eager to find out how this will work for you and I’m going to try it too, though I really love fat with my carbs, so it will be hard! I just gained about 2.5 inches to each my chest and hips within the last 3 months. I wanted to add in those plasces as I was too skinny and weighed 100 lbs (5′ 3″). I wanted to gain mostly muscle so have been lifting for the past 3 months but I also ended up adding almost 2 inches to my waist – which I did not want to do, my waist is now 27 inches at its smallest. Anyone have any tips to avoid gaining fat around the middle?
I started reading 180degrees and some of the ideas about 10 days ago. Since reading as much as I can, I have been decreasing liquids and PUFAs and increasing salt while increasing calories a bit more. As I had already been raising calories, I am leery to add much more – I think 36 inch hips and a 27 inch waist are big enough for me, given how short I am. I think I weigh at least 115 or 120 now.
Though my temps were probably low and I felt cold, I otherwise felt fine at 100lbs It wasn’t a struggle at all for me to stay at that size but I really wanted/want to have a more shapely and strong body.
TIA!July 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm #9861CharlieParticipant
I have had great success on a very low fat diet so far. I can count the grams of fat on one hand. I never cared for fatty foods and in all honesty I think its the worst macro. I think people have problems with low fat diets because they usually fill in their intake with processed carbs(crackers,bread,pasta), low protein, and scant fruits and vegetables. Everything is going damn well but this is what has worked for me. Every where you go people are scared shitless of insulin and carbs-oh well, more for me.July 24, 2013 at 12:40 am #9889
@lounie- I also like the taste of fat. When I was younger, I went through a period where every night I ate a ribeye steak, a baked potato with butter and sour cream, and a pint of Haagen Daz ice cream. I would add extra fat to almost everything. And I was pretty thin at the time–but I wasn’t so healthy.
A surprising thing I noticed is that, as I’ve increased my intake of carbohydrates, I’ve lost my desire to eat so much fat. Now the thought of the meal I described above seems disgusting, because my body has registered that I am fulfilling my energy requirements without the fat calories. However, I still do eat some fat in my food. Today, for example, I added about a tsp. of olive oil to a dish I was making (spaghetti with scallops and diced tomato). It was only a few grams of fat, but added a nice boost to the flavor.
It sounds like you’ve been very successful at achieving your goals. You probably don’t need to worry about fat as much as I do–since I’ve got some extra pounds to lose–but I would prioritize carbs (lots of carbs!) and lean protein, with some fat added for flavor. The only other reason to add fats, in my opinion, is if you need them to get enough calories to maintain your weight. It sounds like you do better at your current weight than when you were smaller.
@Charlie- I’m with you. I think low fat diet are great, but they’ve gotten a bad name because low fat dieters either 1) eat too little protein or 2) eat too few calories overall.
However, I don’t agree about the processed carbs. I actually think white bread is nutritionally superior to whole wheat bread–but it probably doesn’t matter too much if you have a healthy digestive system and can handle all the fiber.AuthorPostsViewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)
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