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Thread: Increased Protein, Decreased Testosterone page

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    MichaelH's Avatar
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    Increased Protein, Decreased Testosterone

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    I've been primal for almost 2 months now, and I've seen dramatic improvements in my gut health, and I've dropped a few pounds of unwanted fat (I wasn't significantly overweight to begin with, but I've trimmed up).

    I also saw a dramatic decrease in my libido, which I have NEVER experienced before (I've had a relatively high libido my whole life, regardless of season, stress, etc.). I was probably eating between 60-80 carbs per day, so I started picking that up to about 100 to get some of my sex drive back, though I feel like I'm operating at about 25%.

    I also feel like I should be making bigger gains in the gym, and I have a general lack of drive and motivation. I can't say conclusively that it's a testosterone issue, as I can't easily see a doctor (no insurance ). I'm quite confident that my issue has to do with my change in diet.

    I realize we all say that paleo isn't necessarily low carb, but in practice it tends to be "low-ish carb," and according to the PB, above 150 tends to equal weight gain.

    That said, I found this article on Atikins and Paleo eating, and I wanted to share. It will be of particular interest to men: Dangers Atkins Low Carb Diet

    I would love to get an opinion of the article by you guys, as well as any other thoughts you may have. PB has been amazing for me, with the exception of this one major issue.

    BTW, trust me when I say I've been eating plenty of fat, including coconut oil. I feel that I eat plenty of calories too.
    Last edited by MichaelH; 05-31-2011 at 11:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelH View Post
    I've been primal for almost 2 months now, and I've seen dramatic improvements in my gut health, and I've dropped a few pounds of unwanted fat (I wasn't significantly overweight to begin with, but I've trimmed up).

    I also saw a dramatic decrease in my libido, which I have NEVER experienced before (I've had a relatively high libido my whole life, regardless of season, stress, etc.). I was probably eating between 60-80 carbs per day, so I started picking that up to about 100 to get some of my sex drive back, though I feel like I'm operating at about 25%.

    I also feel like I should be making bigger gains in the gym, as well as a general lack of drive and motivation. I can't say conclusively that it's a testosterone issue, as I can't easily see a doctor (no insurance ). I'm quite confident that my issue has to do with my change in diet.

    I realize we all say that paleo isn't necessarily low carb, but in practice it tends to be "low-ish carb," and according to the PB, above 150 tends to equal weight gain.

    That said, I found this article on Atikins and Paleo eating, and I wanted to share. It will be of particular interest to men: Dangers Atkins Low Carb Diet

    I would love to get an opinion of the article by you guys, as well as any other thoughts you may have. PB has been amazing for me, with the exception of this one major issue.

    BTW, trust me when I say I've been eating plenty of fat, including coconut oil. I feel that I eat plenty of calories too.
    I haven't finished reading why we get fat, yet. But, it's an interesting read (the link). But I found it funny the author of the site tries to hide himself. I also have to consider the source of some of his information pertaining to this article. I think WWGF touched up on estrogen, and testosterone levels, but I haven't finished the book.

    The mere mention of fat as being a non-ideal source for muscles, leaves me to take the link with a grain of salt. Especially when it's been said here (on forums, and on Mark's posts) fats are close to being preferred
    Last edited by lssanjose; 05-31-2011 at 11:37 AM.

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    MichaelH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lssanjose View Post
    I haven't finished reading why we get fat, yet. But, it's an interesting read (the link). But I found it funny the author of the site tries to hide himself. I also have to consider the source of some of his information pertaining to this article. I think WWGF touched up on estrogen, and testosterone levels, but I haven't finished the book.
    Well, given the nature of the site (includes info on erections and such), I can see why he might want to be anonymous. He keeps it classy, and that particular article had many citations.

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    I lost weight and fat on over 300g of predominantly CW carbs a day. I you're doing intense weightlifting you should be getting testosterone boost from it. There are many things that can make your libido crash. Crank up you r carbs and see what happens. You can always cut them back down.

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    There is so much wrong in that article, I didn't finish it.

    The author is making a long list of all the things that he thinks go wrong with low carb, and every one of them improved when I went low carb. Why should I care what that wanker says?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyro13g View Post
    I lost weight and fat on over 300g of predominantly CW carbs a day. I you're doing intense weightlifting you should be getting testosterone boost from it. There are many things that can make your libido crash. Crank up you r carbs and see what happens. You can always cut them back down.
    I'm doing weight-lifting 3 times a week. I'm lifting heavy, certainly enough to induce plenty of soreness, but not over-the-top. In the past, I've seen much faster results from lifting weights than I'm seeing now. My sex drive does seem to go up when I boost the carbs. It's like it shuts down when I go below 100.

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    In terms of weight training, I'm trying to marry the ideas found in Michael Colgan's New Power Program; with the ideas of the Primal Blueprint. I think they can be done.

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    Do note that the study in question (at UNC) looked at the impact of low carb intake on "intensely trained athletes". That generally corresponds to individuals doing large amounts of cardio and having very low body fat. Since they studied the individuals as they SWITCHED to a low carb diet, I'm not surprised by the findings: suddenly deprive a carb-driven body of its fuel and it will cannibalize it's muscles. That would also lead to nasty side-effects such as raising cortisol levels (stress!!!).

    If the athletes had already been low carb, I do believe their bodies would be fat-burners rather than carb-dependent. Sounds to me like they discovered the "low-carb flu" that some switching to low carb diets report. The body *has* to be given time to adapt. It's kind of like making a smoker quit cold turkey and then reporting that "cigarette free living leads to higher stress levels". Or... an alcoholic goes into DT's so the study concludes that DT's are caused by insufficient alcohol consumption. True, but that doesn't mean alcoholism is good for you!

    So YES: I'd expect someone making a radical dietary change to show some temporary negatives. Isn't that what switchers to primal often report as the "low-carb flu" when they try to give up sugar/grains? However, kicking the sugar/grain habit can still be good for you in spite of the problems you may encounter as you quit the standard American diet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnk View Post
    Do note that the study in question (at UNC) looked at the impact of low carb intake on "intensely trained athletes". That generally corresponds to individuals doing large amounts of cardio and having very low body fat. Since they studied the individuals as they SWITCHED to a low carb diet, I'm not surprised by the findings: suddenly deprive a carb-driven body of its fuel and it will cannibalize it's muscles. That would also lead to nasty side-effects such as raising cortisol levels (stress!!!).

    If the athletes had already been low carb, I do believe their bodies would be fat-burners rather than carb-dependent. Sounds to me like they discovered the "low-carb flu" that some switching to low carb diets report. The body *has* to be given time to adapt. It's kind of like making a smoker quit cold turkey and then reporting that "cigarette free living leads to higher stress levels". Or... an alcoholic goes into DT's so the study concludes that DT's are caused by insufficient alcohol consumption. True, but that doesn't mean alcoholism is good for you!

    So YES: I'd expect someone making a radical dietary change to show some temporary negatives. Isn't that what switchers to primal often report as the "low-carb flu" when they try to give up sugar/grains? However, kicking the sugar/grain habit can still be good for you in spite of the problems you may encounter as you quit the standard American diet.
    That's why I tend to shy away from certain studies. There are more to them, than simply statistics. I'd say, even among certain ethnic groups, there's enough variation to raise some flags.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelH View Post
    I'm doing weight-lifting 3 times a week. I'm lifting heavy, certainly enough to induce plenty of soreness, but not over-the-top. In the past, I've seen much faster results from lifting weights than I'm seeing now. My sex drive does seem to go up when I boost the carbs. It's like it shuts down when I go below 100.
    The uptake in carbs is probably just giving you the additional calories needed to get your body back into testosterone producing mode. Without tracking there is no way to tell if you taking in enough calories.
    When doing a lower carb intake you probably feel full more quickly due to the satiating effect of protein/fat, so you could unconsciously be eating less although it seems like your eating more gut wise.

    Regarding the weight training progress, it will be linear at the beginning and slow once you start to hit heavier weights. You could also try modifying your training program, if you are stalling on your progress.

    Track you food intake for 2 weeks and modify from that point.

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