With the 2020 new year upon us I’m sure a lot of folks out there will be making resolutions. And with the over-eating and indulgence of Christmas many will now want to focus on their fitness.
Make no mistake, looking lean and fit will help your game. Getting your body fat to at least the 15-17% range will improve your jawline and likely improve your testosterone levels as well.
This helps you whether you’re doing direct approach or for your pictures in online game. All things being equal you will do better when you look your best for your age and genetics. This goes double if you’re like me and prefer to date women half your age.
One thing I’m often asked is how do I keep lean and fit despite being in my mid 40’s. Staying lean and fit gets harder as you get older, and I’m often told I look 5-10 years younger than my age. Nash likes to say I look like a “retied super hero” which I take as big a compliment that I look my best given my age.
In the end 80% of the battle is nutrition as opposed to working out. It took me a long time to learn this. I have several long term sports injuries from a life time of contact and distance sports that have limited my exercise to just daily walks and upper body weight lifting twice a week.
But the good news is these injuries forced me to do the reading and consult with nutritional experts to learn what works. It comes down to nutrition.
And I’m going to break down what I’ve learned for you lucky bastards into a few key rules anyone with discipline can follow.
Magnum’s Nutrition Rules for Getting and Staying Lean:
- Practice intermittent fasting. The easiest method I’ve found is the 16:8 method, which means you fast for 16 hours each day and eat all of your meals within an 8 hour period. For most this means skipping breakfast. Coffee or tea are OK in the morning as long as you take them black.
- Don’t snack. If you’re practicing the 16:8 you should be eating two solid meals – lunch and dinner and that’s about it.
- You don’t have to do a full keto diet, but you should avoid any and all carbs that aren’t fruits or vegetables. This means you will no longer consume:
- Fast food
- If you do want to do keto, you’ll need to ensure your net carbs (net carbs = total grams of carbs consumed minus grams of fiber) are less than 30 a day. This can be a bit extreme and I’d recommend working with a knowledgeable nutritionist if you plan to do this to keep an eye on your bloodwork. When I developed these rules I worked with Paul Burgess at Functional Nutrition, and he’s worth the money if you can afford a coach.
- Your diet is going to focus on eating meat and vegetables. You’ll want to eat enough meat with your two main meals of the day so that you’re consuming about 0.8g to 1 g of protein for every pound you have of lean body weight. I’m 6’3″ and 190 pounds, so I target 155 to 190 grams of protein a day. If you’re eating this much protein trust me you will not feel hungry on this diet.
- I’d recommend avoiding protein powders, most are made from whey protein which is dairy – and dairy is inflammatory.
- Besides the protein component, the rest of your meals will be a big assortment of vegetables. It’s almost impossible to eat too many vegetables. Do your best to make sure you mix up the kind of vegetables you eat. One method is to get a variety of colors with every meal. This ensures you’re getting a wide variety of healthy nutrients as well.
- Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Lift weights 2-3 times a week. A friend of mine has written an excellent online guide to this.
- No matter how well you eat it’s difficult to get enough of certain key nutrients. They just aren’t in our foods in high enough levels. I follow a extensive daily supplement routine, but here is the short list of key supplements that most westerners are not getting enough of:
- Fish oil. You want to ensure your omega 3 fat intake exceeds that of your omega 6 fat intake. Few can achieve this without supplementation. Liquid fish oil is absorbed much better than capsules, the link takes you to the brand I personally use.
- Zinc. This is essential to testosterone production and very tough to get enough through diet.
- Magnesium. Another essential mineral for testosterone production that you can’t get enough of through diet. This has the added benefit of helping to relax sore muscles and help with sleep as well.
- Vitamin D. One of the cheapest supplements there is and again almost impossible to get enough through diet alone. Like fish oil, liquid vitamin D is absorbed better by your body so that’s what I recommend.
I can hear it already . Most will complain that this is too strict, especially the not drinking any alcohol part.
My response is just try it for a month without deviation. You will see the results and then will want to keep going if you care about being lean.
Good nutrition is a lifestyle not a one time thing. To get the results of being lean you need to stick with it every day.
I provided this set of rules to a co-worker of mine in his 40’s, and he lost 40 pounds in 9 months. The results will speak for themselves. You will be leaner, have more energy, and improve your testosterone levels as well.
Here’s a screenshot of my last testosterone lab results to show you what I mean. I’m in my mid 40’s, follow the above rules, but do not take any hormone therapies or other medications:
Note my levels were about half of this 6 years ago when I exercised more but didn’t follow the above diet and supplementation routine.
If you’re looking for a good book to help you with this, I recommend “Wired to Eat” by Robb Wolf who popularized the paleo diet. It has all the science to support the above, plus a ton of recipes for meals.
Finally I’ll have to caveat this post by saying I’m not a healthcare practitioner or nutritionist. I’m simply sharing what has worked very well for me. Your results may vary. But I hope this helps those of you with the interest and discipline to stick with it.