3. Boosting Growth Hormone (GH)
Growth hormone aids in burning fat, but more importantly it can prevent muscle wasting, which is why it is essential that you increase its levels.
Saving precious muscle tissue whilst on a cutting diet is essential to maintaining the metabolic rate. Increasing growth hormone levels also has the potential to speed up fat burning.
There are numerous ways to increase GH levels and one of them is through the use of supplements. Exercising itself increases growth hormone levels, as well as quality sleep. Taking certain supplements before exercise and before going to bed can accentuate the natural GH spikes.
Taking 4 to 6 grams of arginine pre-workout will not only increase your GH levels, but it will also increase the blood flow to your muscles. Taking 300 to 400 mg of Mucuna pruriens pre-workout can also help. Mucuna pruriens is a tropical legume and has L-dopa, which is an amino-acid derivative and has the potential to increase GH levels. Our suggestion is to take 4-6 grams of arginine and 300-400 milligrams of MP an hour before going to bed.
4. Minimize Cortisol
Cortisol can be a sword with two blades. It can help you burn more fat, but if its levels are too high, it starts breaking down muscle tissue, which will result in a decrease of the metabolic rate. What you need to do is maintain your cortisol levels in a healthy range so that they don’t get too high for longer periods.
Having high cortisol levels for prolonged periods of time will inevitable burn more muscle tissue instead of body fat. If you manage to keep it low, you will save your muscle tissue. And we know that the more muscle tissue you have, the more efficient your metabolism is at burning fat.
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Post-workout insulin spikes will neutralize high cortisol levels. In order to prevent increasing cortisol levels, you need to pick any two low-carb days of the week and ensure that the carbs you consume post-workout are fast carbs, like white rice or russet potatoes. All kinds of sweets, cookies, cold cereals, sugar-coated rice cakes will cause bigger insulin spikes in comparison to other carbs. This will in turn decrease cortisol, prevent muscle tissue breakdown and keep the metabolic rate elevated. If you choose to take a supplement, consume 700 milligrams of phosphatidylserine, which can help you in preventing cortisol levels spikes.
5. Minimizing Estrogen Levels
Men have estrogen too, popularly known as the “female hormone”. When you have increased estrogen levels, losing fat is a lot more difficult. That is why it is essential that you maintain high testosterone and low estrogen levels.
The testosterone-estrogen level ratio in your body will have a huge impact on how you look. Minimizing estrogen, increasing testosterone or a mix of both will make you look more shredded, with less body fat and less water retention.
In vegetables, especially of the cruciferous type like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, there are compounds known as indoles. Nutritionists believe that indoles decrease total estrogen levels in your body by reducing estrogen production or inhibiting absorption of estrogen by the tissues. When you’re on a low-carb diet, add all kinds of cruciferous veggies. You can also choose to take 6-OXO, a product meant to keep low estrogen and high testosterone levels.
6. Thyroid hormones (T3 and T4)
The thyroid hormones regulate protein synthesis and help the fat loss process. You need to maintain balanced thyroid hormone levels at all times and prevent crashes. All the diets eventually result in thyroid hormone levels decline. When this happens, fat burning slows down (or stops) as well as protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is basically how fast your body can extract the amino acids from foods rich in protein and store them inside the muscle tissue.
Prolonged periods of dieting can result in decreased thyroid hormone levels. This is why it’s useful for a dieter to introduce cheat days once in a while. Eating 3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight for a day, every 10 to 12 days will lead your body to believe that the caloric reduction is over, thus preventing drastic reduction of thyroid hormone levels.
Knowing how to control hormone levels is a very valuable tool when it comes to making your diet more effective. When you know the side effects and which actions you need to take, you will definitely start seeing better results. It’s imperative to know that any prolonged strict diet, whether it’s low-calorie, low-fat or low-carb will inevitably send the body a signal it’s starving instead of triggering fat loss. You should take occasional breaks from your diet by using the described methods. All of these methods have two end goals in mind: reduce body fat and protect muscle tissue at the same time.