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-   -   Zero/low carb and cortisol (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4610)

Jane Michel 08-24-2009 02:41 AM

Zero/low carb and cortisol
In an interview between Mike Sylvester and Dr Barry Sears (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6aTIjjNFts WFS), Dr Sears says that if one takes carbs out of a diet to such a great degree, the body rebels... if one doesn't put enough carbs into the mouth for brain function, it will send out the hormone cortisol to tear down muscle mass and convert it into glucose.. and if one does this long enough they develop insulin resistance and regain all the weight.

Does anyone have experience with this?

I tried zero to very low carbs (eg a salad every few days) for three weeks and lost enough water and fat so that I could see the outline of a six pack. It was the leanest I'd ever been. And I don't think I lost much, if any, muscle mass in the process. If it is supposed to cause cortisol production I should imagine that the fat on my abdomen would increase or be really hard to get rid of? But that wasn't the case to my knowledge.

Steven Low 08-24-2009 09:33 AM


But if you are exceptionally stressed, yes cortisol levels have negative physiological effects on muscle mass and you accumulate fat patterns along the lines of Cushing's syndrome.

I think he may have meant along the lines of starvation diet rather than just taking out carbs on a low carb/ketogenic isocaloric diet.

Mike ODonnell 08-26-2009 01:37 PM

Maybe he is talking about "non-ketogenic" type of low carb diet?

Good read on stress/cortisol:

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