When you live a high-stress lifestyle, whether it’s because you have a challenging job, family struggles, or you’re burning the candle at both ends, your body will constantly be pumping out cortisol in an effort to help you cope with the stress.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps you feel alert and awake. It follows a natural rhythm such that you experience a large elevation early in the morning to help get you out of bed and then it follows a curve that slopes downward over the course of the day.
One effect of cortisol is to release stored energy and provide glucose to keep you going when you haven’t eaten recently. For this reason, you typically experience elevations in cortisol right before meals to coincide with the natural decrease in blood glucose.
On a low-carb diet, blood sugar levels drop, which can be great for resetting insulin sensitivity, but it is not so good for minimizing that cortisol spike. In fact, the lack of carbs can lead to a significant increase in your 24-hour cortisol readings and a large upward shift in your daily cortisol curve. Anyone with a healthy cortisol curve will be able to handle the shift, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, a low-carb diet is likely to exacerbate the problem by increasing the amount of cortisol that is being secreted.
This can have a number of negative side effects:
Too much cortisol leads to inflammation, which is associated with increased storage of visceral belly fat.
Elevated cortisol triggers cravings for high-carb foods. Cortisol is an insulin antagonist, meaning that when insulin is released, cortisol drops. Carb cravings are the body’s way of protecting you from high cortisol and stress.
Elevated cortisol degrades tissue and compromises body composition by leading to the loss of lean muscle mass.
Moral of the story....DON’T RESTRICT YOURSE
LF TO LOW CARB EATING AS YOUR ONLY SOURCE TO TACKLE BODY FAT DECREASE.