Any time you see the word “T-levels” it is used in reference to testosterone. You know, testosterone – the single most important hormone in the human body. Without it, you wouldn’t able to lift a fork to your mouth to eat, let alone press 28-kilogram kettlebells over your head.
It is needed for muscle-building, muscle preservation, strength, energy, sex drive, and brain function. You can clearly see that it plays an uber-important role in the body. It should be in your best interests to keep your T-levels soaring high as much as possible.
A fun fact is that you can boost your T-levels and workout performance by integrating one simple thing into your daily life – time-restricted eating.
For the sake of ease, let’s use the abbreviation TRF for time-restricted feeding also known as time restricted eating.
The question then becomes: Just what the devil is this, anyway? Well, as the name should indicate to you, TRF is a way of eating where you fast for certain hours of the day. It’s similar to intermittent fasting, but more regimented.
People who do intermittent fasting tend to follow looser time frames. With TRF, you form an eating schedule and stick to it like glue. As a general rule of thumb, your objective is to follow a fasting window that is longer than, your eating window.
For example, a good TRF window would be to eat between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and fast between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. This would mean that you’re fasting for 15 hours and eating in a 9-hour window.
This is only an example. This particular window has been known to be the most effective to gain the benefits of TRF, but you can alter it if need be to better fit your schedule and life. At the very least, you should make your fasting window longer than your eating window. You’d still gain benefits even with a 13- and 11-hour window pattern.
Working out fasted
One of the main motivations for people to follow this eating pattern is obvious – weight loss. The fewer hours you’re stuffing food into your face, the fewer calories you’ll consume, thus leading to weight loss.
Of course, there is a caveat here. If you’re pounding down burgers, fries, and milkshakes in your 9-hour window, you’re defeating the object. Just know that weight loss is possible, though.
More importantly is the effect TRF has on your T-levels and growth hormone levels. This hinges on the time that you work out. The magic really happens when you train in a fasted state.
Your body shifts into a different gear and pumps out an abundance of testosterone and growth hormone. The harder you work out and the more intensity you use, the greater the effect.
Putting it into practice
You’re best served by working out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You can roll out of bed after not eating through the night and cash in on the spike of test and growth hormone.
If you stopped eating at 6 p.m. the night before and you start your workout at 6 a.m., you’re already 12 hours fasted. And by the time you finish your workout, you’ll probably have met your longer fasted-state window and you’ll be good to go for a meal.
Days of the week
If you’re hardcore, you can follow a TRF protocol every day of the week. But in the big picture it’s not necessary. You can get all the benefits that it has to offer by doing it five days a week. Then you can just follow a normal eating plan on two days and start right back up again.
Be aware, though, that it’s best to do your five days consecutively.
What to eat
As mentioned before, you don’t want to nosh down anything in sight when you’re doing TRF. To get the best effect on your T-levels, integrate foods into your diet that have a positive effect on testosterone levels.
These include red meat, eggs, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
Who would’ve guessed that the path to a solid T-level hit would be as simple as altering the timing of your meals? Well, it is. But this takes a bit of getting used to and it also takes a lot of discipline. Treat this like you would any new hobby or pastime. Take it slow and steady, and you’ll keep getting better as time goes on.