I've tried IF with a low-carb diet (no fruit, no grains) to shrink my love handles and the little belly fat I have. I'm "skinny fat" male, my height is 5'8" (174 cm.), my weight is 139 lbs. (63 kg.). I'm at 21% fat, very few muscles.
I've been having my breakfast (shake with 3 eggs, a little cream and whey proteins) and my lunch (usually meat with vegs) and skipping my dinner.
I've read one should preferably NOT to skip breakfast because of the fact that cortisol rises in the morning (Jack Kruse).
I haven't lost a single gram of my belly fat/love handles.
I'm wondering about the causes of this.
Few calories = more cortisol? Few meals = more cortisol? Less carbs = more cortisol? Coffee = more cortisol?
What should I try?
Jack Kruse doesn't have abs, so why listen to him about eating upon rising?
Beside this advice is for the leptin resistant, which you are not.
Add in low-fat carb refeeds, post-workout, and IF when you feel like it.
Maybe a cortisol issue if you are training HIT more than 3x a week, staying low-carb with no carb refeeds, cutting calories more than 25% below maintenance over an extended period of time.
Low carb dieting with HIIT or HIT overtraining is asking for stubborn fat gain.
But don't focus on cortisol too much.
I think you need to eat MORE. You are starving your body of enough nutrition, fat and calories. Possibly, It's in starvation mode, storing everything that you DO eat as fat for later, since you're skipping meals. Truely being paleo isn't about starving yourself.
Maybe some strength training? Muscle inherently burns more energy, even at a resting. You may be just existing on a basal metabolism level, and supplying the body with the amount of calories it needs to maintain that. Your body needs a reason to break into its fat stores. My suggestion would be to keep your diet the same (maybe add in dinner at first?) and throw in some pre-breakfast kettle ball swings and lifts, A couple of push ups and planks, nothing to intense at first, maybe just 10-15 minutes, every other morning. semi fasted exercise (like pre- breakfast workouts) helps your body to become more accustomed to activity on low carb intake.
I would try that for six weeks, and then add IF if your issue is still present.
Fewer calories could lead to cortisol, sure. Fewer meals everyday could be hurting your progress more than helping, IF on a daily basis could be more stress than your body would prefer. Less carbs could result in more cortisol especial in the morning. Coffee, though, does stimulate insulin. So as your blood sugar hits a high from morning cortisol, you could be packing away fat or stifling fat burn. Another thought would be, at 140lbs and 21% fat, you could benefit a lot from muscle gain, give your body a little bit more of a storage site for any carbs/gluconeogenesis/cortisol related blood sugar other than fat cells.
Cut out the ice cream, bar none. Dont skip dinner, eat a light one instead. Add a couple of small snacks composed of veggies and lean protein throughout your day. Substitute the whey protein shakes for lean meat cuts, as it is a milk derivative. Get some fish oild, and vitamin D. Hit the gym 2-3days per week, you dont have to kill yourself in there, but as Lisa said above, you definitely need some strangth training, and a little sweating wont hurt your love habdles either.