Many people get fixated on their ‘bingo wings’ and often find it quite hard to slim them down and tone them up. In the space between your skin and your muscle tissue lays a layer of fat. There are various reasons for this including: insulation and energy storage. A pioneer in the Fitness industry Charles Poliquin devised the bioSignature programme (1), which looks at body fat deposit areas and helps reduce them through fixing hormonal imbalances.
When focusing on the triceps he found that low testosterone levels could cause excess fat storage on this area. Therefore in order to reduce the fat and increase the muscle it is important to look at natural ways to boost testosterone levels and good exercises to tone the muscle up.
Vitamin D has proven to play a role in boosting testosterone levels (2). Men with a higher level of vitamin D have been seen to have lower body fat composition (3) and a better level of health. The best way to boost your vitamin D levels is via natural sunlight, in England, however, we are not always blessed with this! Therefore before you even decide to get a supplement you should get your vitamin D levels tested. You can ask for this at your doctors or you can do a home test or a laboratory test. The test will provide you with your vitamin D levels and from here you will know what supplementation to take to make sure you are getting the right amount. You should then re-test 3 months later as your levels should gradually improve. For more information click here:
Zinc plays a major role in influencing testosterone levels (4) as it plays a role in the synthesis of the hormone. It is also important in helping growth, so if you are trying to improve your muscular tone, having the right amount of zinc in your diet is crucial. Foods containing zinc include, red meat, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, lentils, quinoa and many more. Again before delving into supplementation a zinc test should be done.
Sleep is critical for testosterone levels. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation reduces testosterone levels in young healthy adults (5). You need to be aware of your sleep patterns and make sure you are getting not only enough but quality sleep to allow your testosterone levels to rise and to help increase muscle mass.
Lastly you should look at the amount of sugar you are consuming. When we eat sugar our blood glucose levels rise, which causes insulin to be released. High levels of insulin are associated with low levels of testosterone (6). If you continuously have sugar you will be increasing your insulin levels regularly and this may be having a negative effect on your testosterone levels.
Who would have thought all this could affect that stubborn bit of fat that is lying over your tricep muscles! Try changing a few of these aspects and you should notice a difference not only in your body fat levels but also in your overall health and wellbeing.
Email us at info@gemmafitness if there is anything you would like to discuss further.
- Charles Poliquin. BioSignature Programme. [Accessed 11th August 2014]. Available from: http://www.mybiosignature.com.au/biosignature-program.html
- Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, Dreier J, Obermayer-Pietsch B, Wehr E, Zittermann A. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in men. Horm metab res. 2011:43;223-225.
- Kremer R, Campbell P, Reinhardt T, Galsanz V. Vitamin D status and its relationship to body fat, final height, and peak bone mass in young women. J clin endocrinol metab. 2009:94;67-73.
- Soo Chang C, Bo Choi J, Jin Kim H, Byul Park S. Correlation between serum testosterone level and concentrations of copper and zinc in hair tissue. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011;144:264-271.
- Leproult R, Cauter E. Effect of 1 week sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men. JAMA. 2011:305;21.
- Riskind A. Testosterone decreases after ingestion of sugar (glucose). [Accessed 18th August 2014]. Available from: https://www.endocrine.org/news-room/press-release-archives/2010/testosteronedecreasesafteringestionofsugar