Weight Loss, Stress & Sex.
Let’s continue about stress, hormonal response and weight loss. Remember, there are 2 competitors - cortisol and ghrelin. Both lead to the slow down of fats utilization, water retention and prevent individuals from weight loss.
Just in case, nor cortisol neither ghrelin won’t prevent you from losing weight in case of calorie deficit, but the process will be much longer.
Cortisol and testosterone have a negative correlation. It means that an increase of the one hormone will lower the other. For males it is directly related to libido - high level of the cortisol guarantees to lower the libido.
Females have a more complex process, as there are more variables - menstrual cycle, estrogen and progesterone. But in general, the chronic level of cortisol decreases libido (data on athletes).
This data was proven in «Women with low libido: correlation of decreased androgen levels with female sexual function index» research, comparing 4 groups of females (pre-menopausal: high libido and low libido; after-menopausal: high libido and low libido). Both groups were on hormone therapy.
Assuming that my audience is mainly in the pre-menopausal group, the difference in testosterone level between high libido and low libido subgroups were almost 2 times. Remembering the correlation between testosterone and cortisol, such difference is dreadful.
All groups were tested using the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), aimed at controlling indicators related to sex: initiation, orgasm, amount of vaginal lubricant. The following correlation was proven - low testosterone level -> low test results.
Unfortunately, the research above doesn’t provide any concrete figures of the cortisol level, but we can assume that it was high enough.
Sex is one of the easiest ways of lowering cortisol level. The more effective is only sleep and food. Moreover, in «Cortisol, Sexual Arousal, and Affect in Response to Sexual Stimuli» research, 30 females were shown erotic movie; the following measurements were taken - the test of the cortisol level in saliva. The decrease of the cortisol level was reported in 20 females out of 30, the other 10 showed the increase of the cortisol.