The question of what to eat seems so contentious. As a species, humans have such metabolic plasticity that we can survive on a huge range of food stuffs.
Take that a step further and ask what a Man should eat to optimise body composition and health. The picture is even more blurred.
This is great for an industry that thrives on misunderstanding and quick fix diets.
Do not be conned. The blueprint for human nutrition can be simplified.
So as Men, to firstly avoid being ill and dysfunctional, and then to optimise Alpha Male performance, what should we eat?
Think of yourself as the Human Animal you are. If you want a physique that screams wild and untamed, if you want a mind that is sharp and hungry for input, simply eat as your forefathers ate.
A diet of high quality animal flesh and organs (if possible including fish and shellfish), lots of high fibre vegetable matter, fruit, a few nuts and plenty of water. Naturally simple, a dietary recipe for reducing your chances of chronic illness, shedding your love handles, blowing away brain fog and rekindling your libido.
Some would label this as the ‘Paleo diet fad’. But applying evolutionary principles to your lifestyle isn't a fad. What humans ate before the agricultural revolution isn't a fad. It is common sense.
Carbs, Glucose, Sugar, Starch, Carbohydrates:
We should note, not all humans are born equal. Carbohydrate tolerance exists on a spectrum, and some Men will tolerate carbohydrates better than others. One thing is for certain, drowning your body in a constant flood of grain based and artificial carbohydrates will likely make you fat, and point you towards type two diabetes.
Toast and cereal for breakfast a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner equals muffin tops and man boobs for most men. Get your carbs from real food sources, and even better, save most of it for after you exercise.
If you are really keen, aggressively cycling your carbohydrate intake can have dramatic results on your body composition. But that is a topic for another day.
You are not a rodent!
Growing up as a Northern lad, it was common knowledge. Food is good, and more of it is better. If you wanted to be strong, eat…lots!
But the fact is, that unless you are a competitive bodybuilder or strong man, you don't need to eat all day. No one outside of these circles should feel tied to having to cart around seven meals a day in tupperware containers.
Humans aren't rodents. You don't have a set of incisors that need wearing down, meaning you must gnaw on something all day like a bored hamster.
There are a plethora of reasons why Intermittent Fasting is one of the fastest growing topics in the health and fitness industry. We will explore these in depth in future posts. For now, understand, the procurement of a large meal would have taken time and effort for your ancestors. We have several biological mechanisms to ensure that you will not end up a skinny waif by NOT EATING for a few hours longer than usual.
If you have time to fix up a nutritious real food breakfast, smash it by all means. If not, grab a coffee with some coconut oil and wait until lunch.
Enjoy the freedom of NOT EATING while you start rinsing away body fat. Enjoy the mental clarity as your brain up regulates several neurotrophic factors that rev up your faculties. Enjoy the improved taste and appreciation when you break your mini fast with some real food.
Of Fat and Men
It has consistently been shown that a higher dietary intake of saturated and monounsaturated fat improves Testosterone levels. As mentioned in a previous post, Testosterone levels in Men have been decreasing for the last two decades. Anything you can do to reverse this trend, and prevent it happening in yourself, is paramount!
If you are eating an ancestral diet, then high quality, naturally pastured meat, organ meat and eggs are fantastic sources of Testosterone boosting fat.
As an aside, eating fat won’t necessarily make you fat. But there is good reason to keep aspiring to reduce your own body fat levels to lean and mean levels. The spare tyre around your waist isn’t just a dormant indicator of comfortable, soft living. It is highly bioactive, pumping out substances like Oestrogen (the female sex hormone). It may be ‘all bought and paid for’ in beer and takeaways, but its time to lose the gut.
Don’t think of the white elephant.
Lets not focus on what not to eat. Telling Men what not to do usually results in the exact opposite. We will really dig in to diet in upcoming posts and explore some of the tenets laid out here. But for the moment, limit your consumption of grains (especially wheat containing gluten), dairy and legumes.
Build your diet around the afore mentioned real foods, and feel your performance start to burgeon to Alpha levels!
High fibre veg
High quality animal flesh and organs
Lots of water
Try a short fast once or twice a week
Real world results
Before you start to complain about time, your schedule, the kids, your job, or whatever other weak excuse you can dream up to prevent you from actioning a positive physical change. This is what a stressed, time pressured, mid thirties Dad of two can maintain, without a gym membership, and by employing the blueprint outlined above. No photoshop or fancy poses and taken right now, at the time of writing. I expect this to only improve as The Way of Alpha evolves.
You can do this, and more.
“Ignorance isn’t bliss…It’s Ignorance!” Rob Moore