I spiked my cortisol through the roof, and now I think I've fixed it...
So I started PSMF protocol from the book, while doing some weight training, but I think I over did it on the training (even though it didn't feel like I was at all!).
(Male, 30, 25%bf probably, weight knowledge but back to newbie after years of sitting on arse, sedenatry desk job).
I seemed to be losing quite a bit of fat, and gaining a bit of muscle at the same time... but then suddenly my stomach bulged out massively.
My stomach looked like I was pregnant and it was very uncomfortable, masses of visceral fat, while at the same time I lost fat in other parts of my body.
I am not exagerating, I'm talking late stage pregnancy is how it looked. At least 6 months, my clothes didn't fit me. I was always a stress head/anxious guy, and for years had huge amounts of visceal belly fat mostly, but I had lost most of it recently.
Things were going really well until then, but I figured I'd been hitting the weights way too hard while on too little calories, and I'd shot my cortisol through the roof. And then on break days I was eating crap, and I'm guessing all those deliscious calories went straight into my belly.
What happened next...
So for the last 4/5 weeks what I did instead was nothing!
I stopped going to the gym, and I stopped the diet and started eating more calories, much more in fact. And was eating semi-keto, but just in general much more healthy and eating more fiber.
I started taking ashgwanda to reduce cortisol, I gave up caffine/coffee, I started meditating in a big way (taking very small doses of the psychdaelic ketamine with tiny bits of hash to reduce anxiety so I could work through it), and had some incredible break throughs mentally, which have changed my life. They've helped me realise how much stress and worry I had inside of me hidden, causing me to be such an anxious mess, and then I was able to let a lot of it go, and have learnt to process the emotions instead of being in constant fight or flight mode. Anxious the Wim Hof method (breathing mixed with cold showers), was insanely useful as well with learning to deal with stress and anxiety.
So what's happened?
My stomach has gone down massively, back to the level it was before I think (or almost there), and I've put on a little fat in other areas, but not a lot. And now I'm going back on the program, and to the gym, but doing much lighter work outs.
I just wanted to check in with people here to see if I did the right thing, in hindsight I should have kept going to the gym but eaten more calories, but the sudden massive increase in my belly fat was a gigantic hit to my confidence, and made me painfully self concious, and completely derailed me on any healthy eating and exercise program.
Let me know what you think, and I hope the experience might be useful to someone else who finds themselves in a similar situation.
Well two questions
1. How much weight training were you doing?
2. In that you don't have a time machine, how does it matter in the least whether or not anybody thinks you did the right thing? You already did it.
So the summary is: you somehow changed your fat patterning?
Another (potentially more realistic) explanation for the "fat" gain is that you didn't gain fat but experienced some intestinal issues which distended your stomach. I get this to some degree when I eliminate carbs because I'm pretty bad getting my fibre and veg in.
Well it matters because I wanted to see if I was even right and it was cortisol, and not maybe not something else I hadn't thought of.
So I can stop myself making the same mistake or causing my stomach to distend so much again...
Tellurium you might be right actually, at the time I was eating a lot of whey protein which was setting my intestines on fire - IBS-D style fire.
I stopped taking that, but it still took weeks and weeks for my stomach to go down, and if it was bloating then absolutely nothing was helping it at all, no amount of immodium or peppermint tea was even close to helping.
Any thoughts Lyle?
More likely it was intestinal issues and not doing too much exercise while on the diet?
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