Aha! It's all coming together suddenly. I don't know why I was getting this before, maybe I just needed to read it in a different context.
So this is RRARF, the refeeding specifically, can actually lower cortisol levels. For the longest time I could not make sense of how my output could exceed my input and I'd gain fat as a result. It's the classic marathoner effect, lose muscle, gain fat.
It all makes so much more sense now.