We all instinctively know that long-term stress is not good for us but perhaps not exactly why & how. Well, it’s all to do with the stress hormone “cortisol”..
In the short term, cortisol production is a perfectly natural response to the “fight or flight” instinct. It actually reduces inflammation and suppresses appetite and is therefore ketogenic. However, longer-term, continuous exposure to cortisol will have the exact opposite effect: suppression of the immune system & increase in inflammation. Since long-term inflammation is something to be avoided at all costs, this is not good news for those seeking the LIHF Lifestyle!
Stress & Exercise
Stress is also going to have an adverse effect on your exercise, in particular any improvement in results. This section from the book “Body by Science” sums it up nicely:
Undermining Your Inflammation Pyramid
Let us now consider stress as part of the Inflammation Pyramid. The IP should not be considered solely in the dietary context. Yes, diet plays a large part in determining what inflames you but other “substances” or hormones such as insulin & cortisol produced by the body itself also have a major say in what is going on. Hence, it’s no use diligently determining your IP in terms of diet when long-term stress (cortisol) is sitting firmly at the base undermining everything!
That is why this game is an entire lifestyle & not just a diet.