Why Big Caloric Deficits and Lots of Activity Can Hurt Fat Loss

Let’s talk about cortisol, I’m going to take a guess and assume that most people have heard of the hormone Cortisol, it does get bounded about a lot in the field of fat loss and composition. However there is a lot of misinformation regarding cortisol. Lets keep this simple Cortisol is a stress hormone. It is released by the body when under all kinds of stress. Generally cortisol gets a bad rap. Cortisol is a very important hormone and in short pulses at the right time it’s a good thing. High concentrated release on the other hand can be a bad thing.

Struggling to get into peak shape?

Our natural circadian rhythm dictates that cortisol is released in the morning our get you up get you going hormone. Morning cortisol release helps promote fat mobilisation. In the presence of high insulin levels cortisol tends to promote fat accumulation. In part this is one of the reasons some suggest not having carbs with breakfast. Dieting and exercise are stressful, the longer we diet the lower we reduce our foods, the more we train the more stress we have. This is one reason why most struggle to get into the shape you need to compete, massive calorie deficits, extra training, excessive cardio etc lead to massive raises in cortisol and in return muscle loss and fat burning stops. High cortisol will also lead to water retention another reason why you wont hit your peak. At Absolute training and nutrition we can run tests, to check cortisol levels.

Cortisol the good and the bad boy.


Possible supplements that can help with cortisol control.

Supplement with glutamine in addition to vitamin C, glutamine may help to reduce cortisol by supplying cortisol with blood glutamine. This means that cortisol will not have to use muscle to obtain it. Sleep is massively important and under estimated in helping you build muscle and stay leaner. Cortisol is at its lowest and growth hormone is at its highest during slow wave sleep the deepest stage of sleep. Increase vitamin C intake research has shown that patients receiving 3 grams of vitamin C per day experience lower cortisol levels.