From sluggish couch potato to trim and healthy
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
Roger came to me aged 48 complaining that he felt that he was getting old before his time. He was unhappy that he had what he called ‘man boobs and girly muscles’ plus he was having trouble with his erections.
Prior to this time it wasn’t an issue as he wasn’t in a relationship, but now he was dating again and wanted to look, feel and perform better.
Roger was what some call a ‘couch potato’ as he spent his days at the computer and his evenings in front of the television and didn’t really do much else. His diet needed improvement and he really needed to get out and exercise more. His new love asked him how long he had had breasts, so that was all it took for him to do something about it.
At the first appointment, I organised some tests to see what his hormones were doing. Sure enough, his testosterone was too low, his estrogens were too high and his estrogen pathways indicated that his testosterone was aromatising (converting) to estrogen, hence his ‘man-boobs’.
I advised him that exercise would help to boost his testosterone, especially weight training, so he promptly joined the gym and started a program with a personal trainer. We also adjusted his diet.
He had been consuming many foods that had an estrogenic effect, apart from being bad for his health. He loved flaxseed crackers and cheese, ate many take-away meals which contained lots of trans-fats, PUFAs and sugar. He also used inferior plastic drink bottles for water which leach BPA’s and to top it off, he drank a six pack of beer most nights.
I suggested if he wanted a six pack, to focus on an abdominal six pack – much better than the sugar, yeast, gluten and calories from beer, all adding to his weight around his belly, breasts and internal organs like his heart.
With a new love in his life, Roger was motivated to make it happen. I suggested that he do it primarily for his health as she had already accepted him as he was, but it would be a lovely bonus for them if he was healthier. He agreed.
Roger’s new diet was a balance of good carbs (healthy vegetables including the cruciferous types), moderate protein from red meat (good for testosterone compared to chicken), eggs, nuts and fish and plenty of healthy fats as well as foods rich in zinc and selenium. He was overweight, so I recommended avoiding grains, dairy and sugar which would also stabilise his blood sugar levels, and help to balance his hormones.
Over the next few months, Roger gradually lost weight, gained muscle (thanks to the gym) and his tests showed that his testosterone increased naturally and his estrogens went to a normal healthy level.
Because he gained lots of muscle mass while losing excess fat, his weight remained the same but he looked great for it. He told me that all was good in the bedroom (I didn’t ask for details). Roger was happy and I’m sure his girlfriend was too.