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Cortisol Plateau

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  • Cortisol Plateau

    What do you do if your weight loss stops at a plateau? You still have about 17-18 pounds to lose. You switch up the diet, adjust the weight lifting exercises to be more primal, sprint like a mofo, and it still doesn't work. Then you look at yourself and realize you've been under an awful lot of stress lately, and you know that cortisol blocks weight loss. Your life is too busy take on a new activity like a yoga class. How do you break a cortisol-driven plateau?
    5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

  • #2
    Originally posted by oxide View Post
    What do you do if your weight loss stops at a plateau? You still have about 17-18 pounds to lose. You switch up the diet, adjust the weight lifting exercises to be more primal, sprint like a mofo, and it still doesn't work. Then you look at yourself and realize you've been under an awful lot of stress lately, and you know that cortisol blocks weight loss. Your life is too busy take on a new activity like a yoga class. How do you break a cortisol-driven plateau?
    If its truly an emotionally triggered response to your work load or other mental stressors then I believe you really gotta take a look at how your approaching these situations. Not all of them have to be stressful. You get to make the ultimate decision on how you will allow external forces effect you.

    Family member dies.....nothing doing, your gonna be stressed, but if your talking about some internal dialogue issues then those can be remedied. Also it only takes 5 minutes of deep breathing exercise and "meditation" to make some really positive physiological changes....do this several times a day if need be. Seriously if you can't find 5 minutes 3 times a day then you need to rethink your life choices . That last part was kinda a joke, not a harsh comment. I felt the need to state that since sometimes things don't come across well enough on the interwebs.

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    • #3
      I prescribe a trip to Paris or Fiji.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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      • #4
        I wish I knew - let me know if you figure it out without resorting to meds - I'm just hoping LO starts sleeping better soon, that will lower my stress levels massively. I am in pretty much the same boat, family stuff and not sleeping enough due to kids (1 or 2 hours a night less than ideal dosn't sound too bad, untill it's been months and months and there is more than a few nights with less than 4 hours sleep throw in too) with the same sort of last bit of weight to lose. I'm just concentating on eating straight primal, excersising to the shedual I have set myself and what will be will be.
        You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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        • #5
          Eat a pint of ice cream and trip on acid

          And do so with loved ones. Stop stressing about diets, weight loss, etc and just be happy.

          Happiness and Weight Loss – 180 Degree Health

          Check that out, it's pretty nice personal perspective on it.
          Make America Great Again

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          • #6
            Well I don't really have the 12 hours it needs to drop a trip, got kids to look after, and the lack of sleep induced by the acid is only going to compound the problem

            I'm all for eating a pint of cream though - can I have coffe in it?
            You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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            • #7
              If you've recently upped your exercise, you may be doing too much to the point of causing some excess cortisol. Maybe it's time to lay off for a week or two and stick to long walks.
              "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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              • #8
                I've not not upped it that much really, and the plateau has been a much longer term thing. It's something I get a lot out of, both learning new ways to get fit, actually doing the stuff, esp bike rides, and the sence of achivement of doing something good too.

                If I've not dropped more bady fat by the end of Feb then I'll look again at what I'm eating, but to be honest I kinda don't give a crap, I'd rather not stress right now as I'm enjoying just eat primal food till full when hungry, and if that means not losing fat; so be it.
                You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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                • #9
                  I was referring to Oxide who mentions increasing lifting intensity, "sprinting like a mofo", and how it's not working. That says to me that someone might be pushing themselves TOO hard and may need to step back for a moment and take some time to rest.
                  "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by oxide View Post
                    [...] and you know that cortisol blocks weight loss.
                    The Ebensee concentration camp prisoners disagree. But maybe they weren't under a lot of stress. What do I know?
                    Yeah, my grammar sucks. Deal with it!

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                    • #11
                      The subject in question (not me) has tried to increase workout efficiency while decreasing workout time, and has added sprints. In other words, exercised more primally. I too have suggested working out less. But it's a bad stress and is likely not going to go away soon. Yes there are steps to change the situation, but they are painful long-term steps no way around it. It just doesn't seem right (or fair) that humans are stuck with weight that they can't really do much about.
                      5'0" female, 45 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Gained back to 115(!) on SAD chocolate, potato chips, and stress. Currently 111.

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                      • #12
                        ^Sorry to hear. If time was less of an issue I might recommend the low and slow exercise approach over a high intensity one when one is already stressed. High intensity stuff is great when you're in a decent state mentally and physically, but it IS stressful in its own right. Low and slow out in nature would be far more restorative when your already battling other stressors.

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                        • #13
                          How about just taking a week off exercising?

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                          • #14
                            It almost certainly isn't a cortisol plateau. It is almost certainly a calorie driven plateau. In that case, the only way to break through that plateau is to reduce calorie intake or increase calorie expenditure. Lifting weights and sprinting do almost nothing for calorie burn, they are only good for improving body composition through hypertrophy and a slightly better hormone profile. They can help ensure that if you gain weight you put on a greater percentage of muscle versus fat, and if you're losing weight they'll help you lose a greater percentage of fat than lean mass, but they do next to nothing for weight loss. What you'll have to do is increase cardio. If you jog, jog faster or longer. If you walk, increase how often you do it.

                            One of the easiest things you can do is remove some dietary fat. Simply trade in your ribeye for sirloin, cook in a lot less oil and only drink water or calorie free tea and coffee. Don't do things like blend butter in your coffee or add more than a tablespoon or so of cream, and of course, little to no sugar.
                            Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 01-24-2013, 07:38 AM.
                            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by oxide View Post
                              The subject in question (not me) has tried to increase workout efficiency while decreasing workout time, and has added sprints. In other words, exercised more primally. I too have suggested working out less. But it's a bad stress and is likely not going to go away soon. Yes there are steps to change the situation, but they are painful long-term steps no way around it. It just doesn't seem right (or fair) that humans are stuck with weight that they can't really do much about.
                              I would suggest you tell this person in question to not compound the stress by worrying about diets, weight loss, and exercise at the moment and focus on getting better first. There are more important things than ideal weights, and it shouldn't be rushed, but rather gradually approached to prevent fall backs.

                              I second Neckhammer that long scenic walks with music would do wonders for this person's state of mind, and will also benefit them physically.
                              Make America Great Again

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