The vicious cycle that makes a ‘dad bod’

My favorite commercial right now is that one with David Beckham.

You know the one for the phone where he’s walking through in that perfect black suit looking really fit and handsome…

The best part is when he walks in front of the man in front of a grill and they say, “He even gave the term “dad bod” a new meaning.” And the man looks at David and then down at his own body. Ever since we saw it for the first time, my husband likes to ask me whether he has the old “dad bod” or the new one.

And, while it really is a funny commercial, if you look around, it’s just not as funny. That’s because there seem to be a lot more men today with less muscle mass and more body fat — in other words, the old “dad bod.”

But, why is that? What’s behind that middle age spread for men?

The answer? Low T…

What is Low T?

You’ve probably already heard of it…

Low T is the common term for a man who’s suffering from low testosterone levels.

You see, testosterone is the male sex hormone responsible for regulating sex drive (libido), bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass and strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm.

And, when their levels are too low, men can experience everything from fatigue, irritability and depression to erectile dysfunction and low sex drive… And, you guessed it the loss of muscle and weight gain that are behind the “dad bod.”

Even worse, once that body fat settles around a man’s belly, it creates a vicious cycle since belly fat itself is a testosterone-buster.

That’s because body fat contains aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogens, the main sex hormones in women. Having extra estrogens floating around a man’s body triggers it to slow its production of testosterone. And the less testosterone they make, the more belly fat they accumulate.

It’s a vicious circle.

But, there is hope…

Testosterone boosters

There are things that can be done to boost testosterone levels.

These include:

  • Lift Weights – Vigorous resistance exercise triggers a big burst of testosterone. Stick to heavy weight lifting that targets multiple muscle groups.
  • Sleep – A study at the University of Chicago study found that averaging 5 hours of shut-eye decreased men’s T levels by up to 15 percent, proving the importance of getting enough rest to a healthy testosterone level.
  • Eat Protein – The amino acids found in protein are vital to synthesizing testosterone. Aim for 1 gram of protein daily per pound of body weight.
  • Don’t Skip the Fats – Although you may be tempted to go for an egg-white omelet to lose weight, the saturated fats found in egg yolks and red meat contain cholesterol, a crucial precursor to testosterone production. Make sure that approximately five to 10 percent of your daily calories are from saturated fats.
  • Avoid Estrogen Dominance – The chemicals floating around in our air, food, water, homes and cars are called Xenoestrogens and they can lead to a condition called estrogen dominance. To combat that, you need more Di-Indole Methane (DIM) in your diet, naturally found in cruciferous vegetable. DIM latches onto the “fake estrogens” in your body, neutralizes them and carries them safely out of your body — supporting a testosterone/estrogen balance. My husband would just as well starve as eat broccoli, so he supplements with Peak Maximum Endurance™.

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Virginia Tims-Lawson

By Virginia Tims-Lawson

Virginia Tims-Lawson has dedicated her life to researching and studying natural health after her mother had a stroke that left her blind in one eye at the age of 47, and her grandmother and two great uncles died from heart attacks. Spurred by her family history, Virginia’s passion to improve her and her family’s health through alternative practices, nutrients and supplements has become a mission she shares through her writing. She is the founder and Chief Research officer for Peak Pure & Natural.