Opting for a low-fat diet while on a training program might sound like the right thing to do to get lean, but the opposite may be true, particularly when it comes to hormone production. From marksdailyapple.com:
Eat plenty of saturated and monounsaturated fat. Fat blunts insulin secretion while increasing testosterone production. Insulin may be useful for stuffing your muscles full of glycogen, but that’s not what you’re going for… right?
Mark cites this study to validate his point.
Essentially, the study looks at male subjects on a diet low in fat and illustrates the corresponding drop in testosterone. While a nutrition program emphasizing lean sources of protein may help lower overall caloric intake, it also negatively impacts the most critical factor in producing strength and lean tissue gains for an athlete. From livestrong.com:
“Testosterone directly effects muscle growth by binding to receptors on the surface of muscle cells and amplifying the biochemical signals in muscle tissue that result in protein synthesis. Testosterone also increases levels of another growth factor, called growth hormone, that the body releases in response to exercise. Like testosterone, growth hormone increases protein synthesis and can result in increased muscle growth.”
Even if your goal is strictly to lose weight, no one wants to be wearing a smaller size while keeping the same bulges. Developing more lean muscle mass means your clothes fit better and you burn more calories while resting.
As a player, my life was all about mining natural edges to become stronger, faster and more athletic. Today, I care equally for being sharp, clear and healthy. A low fat diet doesn’t provide a platform for that outcome. My brain and immune function may suffer if I swerve in that direction. Instead, I hunt for humanely raised and slaughtered animal flesh of the tastiest variety. From greatist.com:
Saturated fat is actually one of the main components of brain cells, and is therefore necessary for healthy brain function. In one study, it was found that people who ate more saturated fat reduced their risk for developing dementia by 36 percent. Saturated fat also provides benefits for the liver and immune system and helps maintain proper hormone balance.
The next time you see a package that trumpets “low-fat,” ask yourself why on earth you’d want to ingest that product. Instead, if your intention is to be stronger of mind and body, grab yourself a lamb chop.