The question: What do you need to know about nutrition to gain muscle and lose fat?
Ask 100 people and "protein" is the answer—heck, the only answer—most list when asked. Trust us. We tried. And it should come as no surprise. Protein builds muscles. Protein keeps you full. Protein ended the Cold War.
OK, maybe that last one is a stretch. And while protein is important, it's really just a small piece of the nutrition puzzle. Watching people struggle with that puzzle is what spurred us to write Man 2.0: Engineering the Alpha. After all, if all men knew what they needed to eat beyond protein, we wouldn't be in our current predicament.
We have created a society of men with low testosterone and growth hormone who endure epic struggles to gain muscle, lose fat, and live a more enjoyable life. You might think your hormones are fine until you get older. Pharmaceutical companies might have you believe that drugs are the only answer to improve your hormones. Both are flat-out lies. Meanwhile, men's testosterone levels have dropped more than 20 percent on average over the last two decades.
Overcoming that decline is the purpose of Man 2.0: We need to take charge of our bodies. We need to make you more manly again—or as we say, more alpha. No matter what you might have heard, you can improve your hormonal environment naturally. While there are many ways—all of which we discuss in Man 2.0—the best place to start is with your diet.
These are the nutrition basics you need to know to build the body you want and create a hormonal environment worthy of alpha status.
Carbs / Then and Now
Carbohydrates seem to be the focus of most diets you read about—especially fat-loss diets—so it makes sense to start here. Carbs have taken a real beating in the media ever since some guy named Atkins decided we weren't allowed to eat doughnuts anymore. Prior to this we were allowed to eat doughnuts, but they had to be "reduced fat." This made us feel better about ourselves somehow.
All joking aside, carbs get a worse rap than they deserve. They come in a variety of forms, some of which are good for you, and some bad. The bad ones are usually highly processed and could barely be considered food other than the fact that they're edible. They may be delicious, but they're also the result of some crazy scientific processes.