Cortisol is a hormone released in higher amounts when your system is stressed. Now stress can be the obvious, like driving in Singapore or the not so obvious, drinking coffee.
Everyone reacts differently to external and internal stress, some people can work a demanding job, train twice a day, follow IF and live off coffee with no significant bump in cortisol. Others might just need one cup of coffee to bump cortisol and start experiencing negative effects.
The only way to really know if you have high cortisol is to test, but if you are getting enough exercise, eating well and you’re still not losing fat try cutting out some of the things listed below.
Fasting – If you’ve been trying IF and it’s not having the desired effect try going back to eating breakfast, compressing your feeding window or regular fasting can cause a stress response in some.
Coffee – If you need a cup of coffee to get through your day or to help suppress appetite (see fasting above) there’s a good chance coffee could be raising your cortisol. Try replacing coffee with green tea, it’s been shown to reduce cortisol and you’ll have less of a caffeine roller coaster ride.
Alcohol – Unfortunately empty calories are not the only problem with alcohol, it can also stimulate cortisol production. Can’t help with an alternative to this one, maybe try the green tea option.
See you in the gym
Aaron is the Director of IFC, he’s been working as a personal trainer for over 20 years. He’s passionate about helping people achieve their goals and uses both his formal training and extensive experience to help find the best individual approach for each and every client.