A Simple Nutrition Guide
A healthy mind resides in a healthy body.Satire X of the Roman poet Juvenal (10.356)
Lest us talk about nutrition. I am a fan of keeping it simple. There are lots and lots of information regarding nutrition around the web. A plethora of different diets, supplements and whatever else you can buy. It can get confusing and it will get confusing, because that is the whole point of the industry behind. Lots of money is made with food after all.
Like buy this supplement to build 10kg more muscle mass or lose 10kg fat instantly or a very short period of time. Don’t eat much fat or you will ruin your health and become obese, buy my low-fat products instead. Meat is bad, eat that soy imitate instead. Then again, too much carbohydrates in my low-fat products are bad either, so don’t buy everything I said before, get my new magical product x, y or z.
I think you get the drill by now. New nutrition myths are raised and busted by the day. The strategy behind those myths is rather simple:
- Create trust towards your targeted group
- Rise a need (often combined by a lie).
- Offer the solution for the need
Good old sales tactic. So, let us take another approach. Let us answer the following question:
“What is our goal and why should we change our nutrition to reach it?”
The goal: High testosterone
Of course there are lot of ways to answer this question, because everyone has different circumstances and goals in mind. I will focus more on the practical side of things and my point of view. Testosterone is the main hormone of a male body. It is our life juice so to speak. I want to keep my testosterone level as high as I naturally can. So, if my nutrition can help with this I am all in.
Therefore, my first goal is to follow a nutrition plan that does NOT make me overweight or even obese, because a huge amount of body fat is decreasing the testosterone level in my body. Secondly, the higher testosterone level will help me to build and maintain muscle mass. This fit, high testosterone body will then help me to have a clear mind, to feel energetic and to be active. It helps me to not be a lazy couch-potato or to be out of breath after going up some stairs. Remember the quote in the beginning of the article.
An added side effect is, that women like male bodies with low percentages of body fat and high testosterone. Interestingly enough, there are countless websites dedicated to men’s fetishes regarding women and yes, you will also find chubby or obese women among them. However, you will not find a single website for women, where a possible fetish for a male obese body gets catered. Why? Because there is simply no demand for such a website. There was never a period in time, where a “Rubenesque” man has been seen as an attractive target. There was always just one attractive male body type for women: The ripped and muscular, athletic type.
The reason women find this body type sexually arousing is also, because the men in the past who embodied them were rewarded with sex often enough to make those traits hard-coded into women’s brains.
All in all, my personal goal is to have a nutrition plan that mainly provides me a chain of positive value. We want to be high value men, right?
How to reach the goal
When it comes to burning body fat or building muscle mass, the simplest solutions are often overlooked because of complex systems and plans. It is not like a complicated diet plan delivers better results. It is a fallacy often thought of by people though.
First thing we have to know is what our individual maintenance level is.
The simple formula for our maintenance level is: “calories in” – “calories out” = 0.
“Calories in“ equals the kcals we gain through our food.
“Calories out” equals the kcals our body naturally burns through simply functioning. Yes, we burn calories even if we just lying around all day long. If we do physical activities our “calories out” will increase though. How much it increases depends on what we are actually doing. Running around for 5 minutes has a different impact than lifting heavy weights for 30 minutes.
Now if we eat exactly as much kcal as our maintenance level, we would neither gain nor lose weight. In order to find out, what this level is, we have to track our calories over a certain period of time and observe how our weight shifts. Like the household book I described in my first finance article, we can use apps like “MyFitnessPal” to apply the same concept we have learned before. The app is free to use too.
After we know our maintenance level, we have to decide what we actually want to do – gain muscles or cut down body fat.
If I want to cut down on body fat, I eat ~300-500 less kcals than my maintenance level.
On the other hand, if I want to build some muscles and add weight, I will eat ~300-500 more kcals than my maintenance level.
By the way: When I was beginning tracking my calories back in the day I did it solely on paper, since there were no apps available. Yes, it was a lot of effort, but for me, the hard work and dedication payed off in the end. If I as a naturally lazy person can do this, you can to!
3 Simple Rules
Whatever my goal is, I will always follow these 3 rules:
1) Avoid artificial sugars
I know that lots of sugar will fuck up my insulin levels, making me hungry all day long. In my opinion, sugar is a drug. While eating too much sugar will not only make me hungry, I will crave for even more sugar. It will also cause lots of negative health effects. Many modern illnesses are caused by too much sugar. Diabetes and an increased risk of heart disease, among other dangerous conditions.
This is the reason I kicked all low-fat / high sugar products out of my nutrition plan too. Since those products have nearly no fat, they are filled up with sugar to compensate for the lack of taste. Fat is a flavor carrier after all.
Just check the label of those low-fat products compared to the original version and you know what I mean. For example:
Also, what is even worse than eating artificial sugars is drinking them. There are lots of snacks and drinks like chocolate bars or cola that are brimming with sugar. They contain lots of calories that will not satiate your hunger or make you hungry quickly again. This also includes many fruit juices you can buy. Again, check the labels of how much sugar you will find per 100ml. Then compare it to 1 cube of sugar, ~4g.
100 ml of cola contains ~11g of sugar. If we drink one 300ml glass we would have just taken 33g of sugar into our body – or have just eaten 8 eaten cubes of sugar, which no one sane would actually do.
While “light” or “zero” drinks don’t contain sugar, the aspartame in them is not healthy either. At least it is somewhat better than the original version, since we don’t load up on empty calories. Though keep in mind, that they still propagate the body, that sugar is on its way. Even though there will be no sugar to digest (0 kcal), our insulin level will rise and we will get hungry. I am still drinking them from time to time as an alternative in social settings, but only while I am eating anyways. However, if I am dieting to lower percentages of body fat I will not drink them whatsoever.
2) Read labels
I try to avoid any food that contains one or more of the following words in the ingredient list as much as possible:
- Vegetable oil
- Aspartame / Sucralose
- Yeast extract (converts to glutamate in the body)
- Any form of white flour
I say “no” to genetically modified food like soy and readying meals that contain more ingredients than words in this article. I want to buy organic as much as I can to avoid harmful pesticides too. If I buy eggs or meat I try to buy the best quality I can get, because otherwise I will indirectly digest the ingredients I was trying to avoid through the products of the animals, who are fed with this stuff. Makes sense?
3) High Fat + Low Carbohydrate OR Low Fat + High Carbohydrate
Meals rich in carbohydrates and high in fat provide an extreme insulin secretion followed by extreme fat storage. Therefore, I avoid eating large amounts of carbohydrates with larger amounts of fat in one session. I choose meals that contain either a lot of carbohydrates and low fat or meals that are low in carbs and contain lots of fat.
In fact, if I want to reduce my body fat, I choose to eat mostly high fat + low carbohydrates, to keep my insulin level as steady as possible. Without enough carbohydrates as a source of fuel, my body will switch to use fat to maintain its functioning. Since I eat less calories, than I actually need (remember minus 300-500kcal), my body will directly take the fat from its own reserves. In my experience this is pretty effective to cut down.
On the other hand, if I bulk up I will increase the carbohydrates again. That’s all, nice and easy.
Exemplary meal plan
Just as an inspiring example, I will list what I have eaten today (high fat, low carb):
- 5 Eggs, scrambled with tasty spices, cooked in butter.
- Vegetables of my choice. Spinach is great alongside scrambled eggs!
- 100g Oatmeal with full fat milk and a hand full of berries
- 5 Eggs, this time sunny side up, cooked in butter.
- Vegetables of my choice. This time I chose broccoli
- 300g Beef, cooked in butter too.
The beauty of this meal plan is, that if I want to cut down, I simply kick out the oatmeal part of Meal 1 and thus reduce the carbohydrates and kcals in my nutrition. I then increase the (green) vegetables in this plan, to still provide my body with enough fiber, vitamins and minerals. That is all it takes. At least for my body and maintenance level.
If I want or need a third meal, I would just repeat the same template of either Meal 1 or Meal 2 again.
Oh, I just forgot: I avoid to drink calories! I mainly drink water, tea and coffee – both without milk and sugar.
Questions you might have right now
Eggs contain a lot of cholesterol, which the body needs to produce testosterone. In addition, the whole egg (egg white and yolk), has a biological value of 100. It is a type of protein that can be 100% used by the body.
Oatmeal contains long-chain carbohydrates that provide long-term energy. Contained fibers ensure good digestion. In addition, oats contain Avena Sativa, an active ingredient that may increase testosterone levels and important minerals. You can take or leave the fruit. If you don’t like berries or want to switch them up, an apple, orange, etc., will be fine too.
Beef contains natural cholesterol, which is extremely important for natural testosterone production. The contained protein can be utilized almost 100% by the body. In addition, beef contains about 4 mg zinc per 100 g, which is also important for testosterone production and reduction of estrogens in the male body.
Instead of beef, chicken, lamb, fish, etc., is fine and good for variety too.
Vegetables are an important source of minerals, fiber and all kinds of vitamins. Dietary fiber from vegetables helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Cruciferous vegetables like e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, kale or cabbage also help in building testosterone, by reducing estrogen levels in our body.
Is that not a scary amount of unhealthy fat?
This question is probably raised due to you being fooled by the industry, that fat is the devil. What you do not learn in the media is that saturated fats are essential for health, vitality and testosterone production. Yes, cholesterol is an important precursor of testosterone. The more cholesterol your body has available, the more testosterone it can produce.
Furthermore, there is not a single scientific study to date that proves that cholesterol or high cholesterol levels harm the body. Instead the industry always fosters fear, supported by the media. If suddenly the truth comes to light that cholesterol is good for the body, all the cholesterol-lowering drugs, light products and what have you, would be obsolete. The industry would earn less profits, which is actually all they want.
In addition, a diet that consists only of protein and carbohydrates, will lead to protein poisoning in the long term. We need fat for the production of cell membranes, for the absorption of vitamins and the protection of our organs too.
That is all I have to say to this topic for today. Building and keeping a healthy body is not witchcraft. Don’t let yourself be fooled and confused by the lies of the industry. I also hope that I could inspire you with my exemplary food plan. Just try it out for a month and see for yourself what happens. It may be monotonous, but you can add variety with different spices, meats, fish and vegetables. Of course, always keep the 80/20 rule in mind too.
Occasionally “cheating” and grabbing a pizza or burger will not kill us either. Drinking alcohol on a cheat day is fine to, as long as we don’t slack off the next day and keep our 80% performance. If you just start out, baby step your way into it. Start with reducing your liquid calories and continue to take one step of what I have explained after the other.
If you want more information and dive a little bit deeper into nutrition, check out my simple maconutrition guide.