One of the most common issues people fall into while in a fat loss phase is low sex drive dieting.
What is low sex drive dieting? Basically, it is when a person cuts calories super low, does tons of cardio, and basically runs himself into the ground. It inevitably leads to decreased libido and sex drive. I actually hear about this quite often from men in their late teens and early twenties and all the way up to men in their 40’s, 50’s and above. I, myself, have even undergone periods of time in the past where I fell into the trap of low sex drive dieting since I didn’t know any better! Definitely not the best way to live your life as a 20-something year old, especially when you want to be able to enjoy yourself and master the lifestyle component of fitness.
And what’s the point in running around with 6 pack abs if you feel like a neutered pup? Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
After all, we’re all driven by sex and the sooner you come to terms with that, the better off you’ll be. If you don’t believe me then perhaps you need a lesson in human evolution and an understanding in our two greatest biological imperatives, survival and replication.
As I mentioned earlier, my past fat loss efforts often left me with a low sex drive due to dieting. Fortunately these experiences are what led me to design the Warrior Shredding Program, my fat loss course that allows you to build muscle, support natural testosterone levels, and increase libido on a diet while leaning down to a low body fat. If you haven’t already picked up that program, definitely do so, the results so far have been ridiculous. Now in this article, I’m going to share some tips that will help to naturally increase libido on a diet and help raise your testosterone levels, even while undergoing a diet.
Why Does Sex Drive Drop On A Diet?
There are multiple reasons why you experience a low sex drive while dieting. But generally speaking, anytime you’re in a negative energy balance (taking in fewer calories than you burn), you enter a catabolic state and testosterone levels drop. In fact, if you look at it from an evolutionary standpoint, it actually makes complete sense that you would have a low sex drive while dieting. In times of famine when food shortages are short, there would be very little sense in reproducing.
So does this mean that you can’t get lean without losing your sex drive?
You definitely can get lean while maintaining a high sex drive! However, if you want to go the crash diet route and eat very little food, then be prepared for a very low sex drive. This is because big energy deficits crash testosterone and sex drive. That being said, I’d argue that leaning down to the 8-12% body fat range (men) is actually great for your testosterone levels and sex drive.
This is because body fat contains aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. As a result, having higher body fat levels equals more estrogen floating around and less testosterone. For this reason, maintaining a low body fat with sufficient calorie intake, should allow for higher testosterone levels.
The Tape Measure Test
Here’s a simple test to see how desperately you need to drop body fat. First thing in the morning, take a tape measurer around your waist at bellybutton level. Have relaxed posture, don’t suck in and don’t push out. If your waist is 50% of your height or larger then you should focus on leaning down. This will have a profound effect on improving your health and testosterone. This is because higher body fat levels are inversely proportional to testosterone levels.
Therefore you should diet to drop body fat. In this case, I give you whole – hearted permission to go lower in calories than I typically recommend. As low as 10 calories per pound of goal bodyweight. Once your waist measurement is less than 50% of your height then you should focus on dropping fat slowly, one pound per week. The eventual goal is to get your waist to 45-46% of your height. This is when you’ll look really sharp and from there you can raise your calories to maintenance.
7 Ways To Increase Libido on a Diet
How do you avoid low sex drive dieting? The following tips will help mitigate any down regulation in testosterone and libido from dieting. I should mention, these tips will only really work if you’re dieting properly! You should be eating at an appropriate calorie deficit with an optimal ratio of proteins, fats and carbs.
Additionally, you should be performing frequent high carb refeed days to boost leptin and anabolism as you get leaner. For an in-depth program for getting completely chiseled without obsessing and without destroying your libido, three words, Warrior Shredding Program. Once you have all that dialed in, then the following tips will serve very beneficial.
1. Emphasize High Quality Proteins and Fats
Animal protein should be a staple in your diet. Chicken, beef, salmon, eggs and dairy protein are great at promoting natural testosterone levels and are also high in nutrients vital to health, testosterone production and muscle building. I also recommend consuming a moderate amount of fat from avocado’s, nuts and butter/oil (coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia nut oil) as fats play an integral role in health and testosterone. With that said, don’t go too crazy on the fats and fatty protein sources as they’re also very high in calories.
When you’re eating to reach a low body fat you need to strike a balance. Just because fat and cholesterol is beneficial for health and testosterone, doesn’t mean you should go off into the deep end and eat bacon, eggs and nuts all day long. Take the middle road, it works much better. My strategy is to have a moderate amount of fat with my meals. If I’m eating very lean protein sources like chicken breast then I’ll include more added fats from butter/oil, avocado’s or cheese. If I’m having a fattier protein source like beef or eggs then I’ll limit any additional fats.
2. Eat Moderate Amounts of Starches
People seem to misunderstand carbs entirely. Many people are even under the misguided impression that carbs make you fat and are damaging to health. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Higher carb diets have been shown to be more favourable for testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when dieting, carbs can’t be too high because then you will start to eat into the calorie deficit that you’re trying to create to drop body fat. The point, however, is to avoid low carbohydrate diets which are damaging to testosterone, quality of sleep and training performance. Low carb = low libido or sex drive.
In fact, if you ever do some searching around the paleo forums, you’ll hear about plenty of men complaining about losing their sex drive since switching to a paleo diet. Just Google, “paleo low sex drive.” The same is true if you search in Google, “can’t sleep paleo.” In that case you’ll read story after story of people struggling to sleep at night with a paleo style diet.
It wasn’t until I started consuming moderate amounts of carbs each and every day from potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, rice and even delicious ice cream and gluten free cereal that I was able to sleep like a baby at night and maintain my image of being a borderline sex addict.
3. Make Time for Ample Amounts of Sleep
It’s important to realize that your body makes much more testosterone during shuteye than when you’re awake. For this reason, longer sleep times are often correlated with higher testosterone levels. Ideally aim for 7+ hours of sleep per night. Less than 7 hours and your testosterone levels may drop, likely causing a decline in sex drive. If for whatever reason you’re incapable of getting an ample amount of sleep then don’t worry, follow the other tips and you should have no trouble raising testosterone to high levels.
4. Soak in the Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a powerful role in testosterone production. Ideally get 20 minutes of sun exposure a few times per week to naturally maintain high vitamin D levels. If you don’t have access to the sun then it’s probably a good idea to supplement with a good quality Vitamin D3 supplement. Aim for 3000 IU’s per day. I recommend taking vitamin D in the morning because some people may have difficulty sleeping if they take vitamin D at night.
5. Get Your Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc
Calcium, magnesium and zinc all play an important role in testosterone production. If you have a deficiency in any of these minerals then you’re making it harder on yourself to promote healthy levels of testosterone. Keep in mind, if you’re eating plenty of meat and dairy then you won’t need to supplement with calcium or zinc.
Magnesium is one of those minerals that can be tricky to get and for that reason supplementing with 5-10mg of magnesium citrate per kg of bodyweight is probably a good idea and may boost testosterone. Magnesium is also commonly deficient in athletes, especially people who are training while undergoing a diet.
If you’re not consuming much calcium in your diet then supplementing with calcium will also help. Lastly, if you’re not eating meat and want to maintain high testosterone levels then you definitely want a zinc supplement. However, if you’re into fitness and eating protein then you’re zinc levels are probably fine.
6. Cut out the uhm… uhhh… PORN
It’s been well over a year since I completely stopped watching any and all porn. To be honest, it wasn’t very difficult to quit. Ditching porn is far easier than changing your eating habits and dropping body fat. Since letting go of porn, I find myself more and more turned on by real life women. Oh and having real life sex is actually totally better too. I’m not going to talk about this too much, I think it’s better that you do your own research on the subject and make your own decision.
7. Get Outside of Your Head
If you think you have a low sex drive it’s possible that you’re just not fully immersing yourself in the moment. For instance, you’re with a girl, things are heating up and instead of getting turned on and acting through your own masculine intentions, you do the exact opposite. You retreat into your head, you start thinking about everything that could go wrong and you begin to judge yourself and quickly become insecure and sexually uninterested.
In fact, in this day and age, it’s strikingly common for young guys to have trouble getting it up the first time with a girl. The root of the problem is psychological in nature. And the cure is simple. Stop giving a shit….. I know, I know, but you give lots of shits! I get it, you want to impress the girl and be a total tomcat in the sack. Hell, your ego depends on it! But you must understand that this mentality is the absolute root of the problem.
Banging isn’t a performance, it’s an expression of one’s self at it’s most deepest level. Being dependent on a certain outcome, i.e impressing the girl, will poison your ability to enjoy yourself and become immersed in the moment. Ironically, when you stop caring about being really good or impressing the girl and you stop feeling like you’re being judged, well that’s when the sex is incredible!
Final Comments on low sex drive dieting
As you can see, just because you’re cutting doesn’t mean you have to forgo a big portion of your sex life. In actuality, with these tips in place, you may start to have some of the most mind blowing sex ever! And if you’re currently in the midst of a long, drawn out dry spell well then implement these tips and start going out and approaching girls more often. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to the women who you’re currently not having sex with right now.
Oh and if you want to get into incredible shape without letting your training and nutrition take over your life and without killing your sexual desire, well then you should most definitely be following my Warrior Shredding Program!