Are you struggling to lose weight? Are you not experiencing the results you had hoped for with the keto diet? Maybe you have hit a plateau and can't quite figure out why?
The culprit in all these situations may be CORTISOL. In this episode, Eric talks about the hormone at the root of the problem and how it rears its ugly head with clients he coaches, slowing success and attacking well-being. Today, we'll break it down like this:
What is cortisol?
Why is cortisol called the keto killer?
Acute vs chronic stressors
Becoming aware of the stressors that raise our cortisol
Don't be a POO!
Exercise and meditate the cortisol away!
Join us as Eric talks chemical solutions to the problem that seems to be gripping most of the world today: TOO MUCH STRESS!
Chad: 00:00 They say a journey begins in a single step or in my case, one last piece of bread. Yeah.
Chad: 00:10 My name is Chad and I am your test subjects. I have sought out an expert in the field of nutrition and fitness who I hoped would help me feel better. They call him the biohacker, but I call him parent. I hope you'll join me on a path that leads you and I to optimal fitness as we live our lives in ketosis. This is the life in Ketosis podcast, a biohackers guide to optimal body performance.
Chad: 00:42 Hello everyone. My Name's Chad and this is episode nine of my quest to achieving optimal body performance with the man that can get me there, the biohacker himself. Mr Eric Bischof. Every episode. I'll be sharing my actual results, both successes and failures as Eric teaches me how to apply the principles of ketogenics and functional movement to look and feel fantastic. First, the first five episodes of this podcast or our foundational episodes. If you haven't listened to those episodes, I encourage you to push stop now and go back and listen to those. Those will give you a good understanding and a clear foundation of all of the things that we're going to talk about in this and all of the other episodes in this podcast. Thanks so much for joining us. How are you today, Eric? I'm good. I'm good. How are you chatting? I'm great.
Chad: 01:28 I'm excited. Are you excited?
Eric: 01:30 Yeah. I'm excited for you. Sound so convincing. I'm trying to keep these subjects were real excited. We'll talk.
Chad: 01:39 I'll tell you what helps me the most excited is the audience and the group that we're building through this podcast. It's been incredible for me to get some of the feedback to see are our download numbers climbing and I just, you know, you know, what [inaudible] has done for me and how I feel and I think the most exciting part for me is that thousands of other people everywhere are going to start to experience the same goodness that I am that I'm experienced in my life. So I think that's awesome and that's, and that's exciting
Eric: 02:10 part about about Ketogenics is just seeing what, what drives me is just seeing the change in people's lives, but member not just aesthetics but therapeutic. It's, it's all a real exciting for me.
Chad: 02:21 Yeah, absolutely. So we're going to talk about stress today. Maybe that's why you aren't so excited.
Eric: 02:30 So important to talk about stress and it's not my favorite thing, but it's something that we have to address along the way because stress is a killer. So let's talk about a little bit.
Chad: 02:42 Yeah, I mean, one thing that's been so impressive to me as I've worked with you as the holistic nature of your, of your approach, right? And then we can just look at our diet. We can't just look at our exercise. We have to look at our life as a whole sack. Um, and so we're going to. What's interesting to me is that we're going to talk a little bit today about maybe people who ketogenics isn't working for, right? And why that might be one of the reasons that, that might have the variables. And that's what we've gotta do. I gotta get the pieces of the puzzle and try to figure it out. And as a coach a, that's my job. And sometimes it's, it's stressful. Yes. As much as, as much as we would love to say, hey, this is the magical pill for everyone.
Chad: 03:21 It is for everyone. But everybody's a unique case. It's different because it's a holistic approach, right? And so it's not a one size fits all. It's a let's test, let's try, let's figure out what works for you. And that's. And that's a job of what we're trying to do is just make sure it's possible and find out those variables and get people on track and it. And it's disappointing as a coach when I have somebody struggling and I'm trying to figure out, all right, what's happening here? Why isn't this Beta hydroxy butyrate taking place here and what's knocking you out and what's holding you back. And, and people out there, you've all been through these diets and different programs to where they don't work and a lot of it has to do with what we're going to talk about today. And one thing that I would add is, you know, don't, don't get stressed out, that's going to talk about stress today, but if things, if you've joined this journey with me and are learning from Eric and are applying a lot of these things to your life and, and s and something's not clicking or something's not working, don't stress out, we'll work through it.
Chad: 04:26 Each of these episodes in each of these discussions you and I have will help people get one step closer to feeling amazing. Exactly. Um, and it's a process. We've got to take this journey. It's just not one week, two weeks, just remember a lot of people have been abusing their body with glucose and high insulin all their life. And then all of a sudden we're trying to get this miracle done in eight weeks. And sometimes our expectations are, are, are too much. We've got to kind of just be patient. Yeah. Yeah. Where the fast food society that, right? Nobody wants everything right.
Eric: 04:59 And immediate results. Yep. And it doesn't happen that way. And I wish I could bring that to everybody that fast, but that's what I'm trying. Do you guys just hang with me? That's all I'm asking. Just hang with me if you can try it. And I'm trying.
Chad: 05:12 Yeah. And that's, I mean, not to go on a tangent, but that's what's interesting about watching some of all of these, um, exogenous ketone pushers talking about hitting overnight process to shortcut. Yeah. Yeah. So, so we, we want to get it done, right? We want to figure it out for each person and not a one size fits all. So. So anyway, that's a, that's a lot of tangents and a lot of stuff to get through before we dive in. From what, as one side note, just so the listeners are aware, there's a giant storm going on outside. So if you hear some of this background noise, that's what it is. It's not eric's tummy grumble grumble because he's hungry or something. And I have a lifeline in two hours and it's just, would definitely scare her. I'm worried about her already. So I'm stressing over that. So forgive us if there's some background noise that you get. Anyway. So let's talk. Let's talk about this. We're going to talk about stress in the context of Cortisol, cortisone. What does that mean? What is cortisol? Cortisol,
Eric: 06:10 back to a hormone. It's a steroid hormone. And remember in our previous podcast we talked about the steroid hormones and remember we dealt with testosterone and we talked about two classes of steroid and one is this sexual amounts, which that's what we discussed was testosterone. The other class of steroid is the corticosteroid hormones and in that that's where we have we're talking about today is cortisol and the other corticosteroid is all their own. So Cortisol is produced in the Adrenal cortex which is located on the outside of their adrenal gland, which sits on top of the kidney. And Chad, you remember in our earlier podcasts, what substance are steroid hormones synthesized from
Chad: 06:59 you? Don't do. You saw. I don't remember. Come on. Anybody else listening remembers? I let us know. If you have something for you, I shouldn't throw you on the spot like that. So you actually knew the answer to that. You please let us know because that's ridiculous. Come on.
Eric: 07:18 Cholesterol, bad cholesterol or cholesterol when I explained it's a pathway to the sale. LDL receptor takes cholesterol until this side as though then into the outer membrane of the Mitochondria. Then into the inner membrane. There's converted to pregnenolone. And that's the big precursor to all steroid hormones. And then down to cortisol. OK? One thing I did get the word Mitochondria in. All right? I promise no more on this podcast. That's it. That's it. That's the only time I get to say it.
Chad: 07:50 That's great. So what does that mean for us? Why? Why do we need to know? I mean you, you love the science, get back. Um, but you know, those who just want to know how it affects us day to day. Why are we, why are we looking at cortisol?
Eric: 08:02 Why we produced it is because it's known as the stress hormone. So we're talking about stress today. OK? So it's actually is a stress hormone, but it's also an anti stress actually because it has something to counter the stress that we give it. The stressors. OK. So we're back to that two nervous systems. We operate from the sympathetic nervous system, unless that involves cortisol, then we have that parasympathetic sympathetic nervous system where it doesn't really, it doesn't involve cortisol and so we're talking about the sympathetic nervous system today and there's this nervous system, operates what we call or it's the HPA access. So the stress response starts at when you have a stressor, the response to it starts at the Hypothalamus, which that release is what we call the C, r h, that's the corticotropin releasing hormone. Then it goes to the pituitary, knows act H, and now it gets to the adrenal cortex to release cortisol. That's how it starts and that's how we get to that hormone cortisol.
Chad: 09:09 OK? So we've gotten to scientific insights were very impressive.
Eric: 09:19 I'll keep it simple. Its main purpose is to keep you alive. OK? There's, there's various pathways for cortisol, but the one that most people are familiar with out there, I know you've heard of this one, is it's your fight or flight hormone. So ancestrally, we really needed this because that's the time
Eric: 09:39 we always heard that show where you're on a path and a tiger attacks you, you instantly need to fight or flight. And so that's what we're going to talk about in a few minutes. But let's just cover a couple of other things. It does. It's Cortisol is produced to metabolize glucose. It's got to be there to give you energy, OK? And it's always there to make sure we talk to us. Who are the brain is a glucose hog. OK? So Cortisol is there to make sure that brain has always got glucose no matter what. If it has to break down your proteins into amino acids and convert that in your liver and take fatty acids to fuel your liver to convert that to the glucose it, we'll do it. OK? Cause the brain says, Hey, you've got to keep me alive and then keep your cognitive and the brain's lashings going to die no matter what.
Eric: 10:31 It's going to make sure it has. Glucose in cortisol was always there to make sure it'll take it from the liver glycogen. They're, like, I said, it has created from amino acids and break that down through gluconeogenesis. It'll do that. Uh, it'll take fatty acids, push that to the liberty to give it energy to do that. So it's always there. Then of course, it's there to control blood pressure and big time. It's suppressed. Your immune system is very anti inflammatory, so without it, obviously we would die. But as with all hormones we've talked about before, our bodies goal is to keep homeostasis. OK, we've got to keep it balanced and we got to keep our hormones at baseline and we always have the negative feedback loop that we've talked about. But this is what we're about. We're trying to figure out how to keep our cortisol balanced debate in baseline, basically.
Chad: 11:19 OK? So when you talk about cortisol really keeping us alive, it's, it's coming back to this fight or flight. Um, it's coming back to this idea that ancient the or, or we've evolved basically to have this to save our butts.
Eric: 11:36 You got it. You got it. And that's exactly what it's there for. It's that fight or flight. And so we have all these different stressors now that you know, ancestrally, you know, think about it. It was probably just avoiding a tiger attacked or a war with another whatever with another person, not all these other stressors that we have. And so we ended up with these, what we call acute stressors, short term, that's like the fight or flight, OK boom. Then we have, what we're going to talk about today is the chronic stressors, the long term stressors is, that's an issue we really need to pay attention to because that acute brings out that burst of Cortisol and that'll metabolize glucose real quickly. So you have the available energy, glucose to be sent your muscles, your brain for, you know, obviously cognitive to survive that stressor that's really acute.
Eric: 12:27 And then periphery muscles come into play because you need that glucose to go to the peripheral muscles and venture and long-term memory and let people that. And you're thinking long-term memory. But it actually, uh, enables your long-term memory. You don't need short term memory because that long-term term say, Hey, if I've been here before, I know how to react and everything else shuts down the blood to your digestion, gone, don't need it. I mean, you're in acute situation in survival. Then you have repair. Nope, no time for that. Growth, reproduction, and then there's no glucose wasted anywhere else but to get you to survive and so all of your energy gets to, goes to getting the hell out of there and it brings back a memory I had. The only time I really thought I was going to die and that's kind of situation was a friend of mine and I was 17 years old. I remember just like yesterday and maybe have high cortisol. Long-Term memory is really good right now, but we're walking down, going to the store, just letting o'clock at night and we heard this. We just heard this big rumble behind this. We're on the shoulder of the road walking and we decided not to drive. We said, let's just walk down there and we turned around and two headlights are coming.
Eric: 13:43 I'm going to get hit. I'm going to get crushed by this vehicle and instantly all the guy who was going at least 45 miles an hour and he going to die. But what was interesting, we talked about before the Phospho, creatine. ATP Doesn't need oxygen or glucose. Twenty seconds, two seconds, Bam. And I've done it before and I'm sure you. I wasn't a good test taker. It's really high, high. My short memory is shot. I get there. I don't remember anything I studied three hours before and you're just in a brain fog and people that. It's the cortisol. Cortisol does not assist your short term memory and so and so basically it's all about survival,
Chad: 15:06 right? So these chronic stressors that, what does that have to do with keto in Ketosis? What, where are you taking us? Because OK, this is like, this is a bio, a bio function of the body. Basically it's chemicals. I mean, we're talking about stress. What does this have to do with keto?
Eric: 15:25 This is the big culprit that in most of our lives is this chronic stress. Um, remember, cortisol's main function is to increase glucose, to handle the stress or given to it, and with a cute we take care of the stress, OK? Least survive it. Cortisol go back, it drops back to normal that that glucose use buttoned up and gone, OK? But what happens in chronic stress, we continue to release Glucose, which obviously when glucose is, we can talk about it raises your insulin. OK? So if you're in chronic, you know that cortisol, you're in, chronic in your glucose is rise in your insulin is always there, and if you continue sooner or later you become insulin resistant because think about once that glucose is dare to get rid of the glucose. So it's going to try to put it into a cell.
Eric: 16:16 But if your energy status is good, says, Hey, I don't need to burn it here. I'm already got all my glycogen reserves topped off here, goes to the liver. And then what happens? Of course it's gotta be converted to fat and that insulin is a fat storage hormone. And here we go. This is what keto is all about. We're trying to control her insulin. And here we are with cortisol and it's the whole key of a benefit of keto is keeping that insulin from spiking causing reactive oxygen species or free radical more information. We just go through the whole list. And so now we've gotta say basically cortisol is a kito killer. So what do we have to do about it?
Chad: 17:08 So what, when we talk about chronic stress, you, I think you gave us, you gave us an example of an acute stressor, right? You almost got hit by a car there and then it happened. We were saying, well what's a chronic? What are we, what are we talking about when we talk about chronic stressors? Because it seems like originally we evolved with this, with this biological response for to keep us safe, right? So most of those should all have been acute today. That greatly. Exactly. But now as we've gotten much more comfortable lifestyles and we don't have to worry about being attacked by the latest big animal or something like that, we've moved that, that biological response into a space that's more chronic and it's more long lasting and maybe it's your rational or it is, but it's still creating a chemical reaction within our body, right? It's still real.
Eric: 18:02 Still Real. Your body takes it as a stressor. And that's the biggest challenge as a coach because I'm trying to get clients to recognize and deal with their stressors. OK? And especially the chronic ones. And we all have them. We all have them. It could be stressors there and you think about it present and future. But how many of us can't let go of issues in the past. OK? And it's amazing when you, when you get in an argument or you throw something up from the past, you remember an argument you had 20 years ago and you have this cortisol bringing back your long term memory. And it seems like nobody forgets that stuff in the past and it's somehow.
Eric: 18:39 It always comes back up. And that just that cortisol in you to bring that back up. Then we have issues that we're dealing with presently. And what about issues that we're dealing in the future that, you know, it's, it may not even come to pass, but it's real to you. And it's like even when I'm in competition mode, I'll have a race in two months and I'm, I'm a stress, have it already and I'm like, knock it off to even bring that down to it's not doing any good. But somehow, you know, we stress about a future job or uh, you know, if you know anything coming up, it's always there. And in fact I've tried to really work with my wife. She is her biggest stress is the fear of the unknown and it's real to her and it's, it's the fear of the unknown.
Eric: 19:27 And I can literally buy her mood chat. I can say when we get home I'll say, I know and I just try, I don't trigger. I just say, Hey, let's test your Beta hydroxy butyrate and see where you're at. Actually why I don't need to, because you biting her nails all the way home and she's got, I know the stressor that's happening with one of her kids possibly or whatever. Sure enough beta down and I know her cortisol's up and that's an issue that, that, that, you know from anyone can have all these different stressors from marital problems, occupation and family drama. Kids that definitely raised my cortisol for months at a time. Issues I've had two years at a time and everybody else seemed to be exactly as everybody out there has, has. It's not just people I coach, it's everybody has stressors and, and it's, it's really a challenge to try to get people to try to understand what their triggers are and, and cortisol, it will make you gain fat.
Eric: 20:28 OK? And there's people who hit those, you know, areas where they can't, you know, that plateau and they can't break through. And an example as like pretnazone, as you're familiar with prednisone, it's, it's, um, in a synthetic cortisol that's given to those who have asthma or inflammation issues, you know, psoriasis, arthritis. So it's really anti-inflammatory and suppressed immune system. But if they give you enough synthetic cortisol, which is prednisone, you will gain weight and if you take it for a long period of time, you will gain body fat, synthetic cortisol. So we know cortisol would, obesity, obese people, they have an excessive amount of cortisol and they're always continuously going to be gaining weight. And so we're, we're just got back to that. When you get that cortisol, you know it's going to raise your glucose, it's going to raise your insulin and then you become insulin resistant.
Chad: 21:23 As I look back, I mean a lot of this is resonating with me in a lot of, a lot of light bulbs are turning on for me and probably for a lot of other people. And I'll tell you why is because I can look back at the times of my life when I felt like I was the most stressed. And those were the times when I felt like I was the most out of shape or I gained the most weight or. And a lot of that comes back to being unhappy with yourself when you're in a stressful time of life. And you know, that kind of stuff. But that's so interesting
Eric: 21:50 seeing your stress now. I mean, what if you share, I don't know what kind of stressors you have in your life now? I mean, we all have them.
Chad: 21:59 Yeah. Well, I mean, one thing that I can that I would say as a chronic stressor that I never can let go of is what if I'm not relevant tomorrow? You know, I, I'm in a creative industry. And so the one thing that always has frightened me is what if, what if one day you wake up and your art is no longer relevant, you know, you no longer, you no longer make an income, you no longer have the self gratification or the or at least the reinforcement that you're creating good stuff. Right? And so I don't know, that's one big section that hangs over my head that is connected to so many other aspects of life.
New Speaker: 22:37 I think in dealing with coaching people, it's like if they ask that question, you know, how do we overcome these structures, these chronic ones. And that's like the million dollar question to me and I, and I'm constantly trying to figure it out, but it's like logically we've gotta become cognitive to where we are on our cortisol level. You can actually get to the point where you can identify if you learn to recognize if you're high in your cortisol or it could be low. Remember low cortisols there too, because if you keep above your baseline in that chronic center later adrenal fatigue or court, if your cortisol is just gonna become resistant and you're going to be in a low cortisol, which we can go into that another time. But it's. I try to get people to identify their triggers. You, you recognized them, reevaluate their importance and then refocus them if you can.
Eric: 23:26 And one of my, my own opinion audience is just something that I, I deal with people and I think it's a huge stressor for most people is I think what they deal with is what is something that I call p o. and it stands for prisoners. Yeah, poor food. But it stands for prisoners have opinions and this is a killer for most our lives are dictated by the opinions of others sometimes and what we buy, how we dress, how we look, our successes or failures, our kids successes. It seems like this is what's making you react. And, and I believe if you can let go of other people's opinions of you and realized two things. One, your opinion of yourself is truly what matters. And number two, other people's opinions of you is not any of your business. When you can make your business, when you do make it your business, then the problems and stress come with it. But it's actually none of your business. What they think of you. And if you can get to that point,
Eric: 24:39 I'm still learning that myself because the opinions of you guys have me, you know, in my podcast, it's those things matter. But I got to get to the point where, Hey, I'm doing the best I can. OK? And everything else, it just seems like we just run our lives, you know, being in prison or have opinions. And we just got to learn to let some of that go. Really. That just seems to really help the stress.
Chad: 25:01 It's a lot easier said than done. I agree, but I'm learning that still. But one of the. One of the things that all that comes up for me a lot, especially my. I've done a lot of business coaching and a lot of of life coaching with clients and this comes up all the time and one of the things that we. One of the things that we talk about is people's opinion of you has nothing to do with you.
Chad: 25:24 It actually has nothing to do with the way you've performed what you've done. Anything like that. It's a reflection of how they feel about themselves, right? The world in front of us is the world in front of us is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. And so if we come to that realization, we can then look at everything and say, what am I seeing of me in that? And what is it about that that bothers me, that I'm seeing of myself? Good. Does that make sense? That makes a lot of sense. That's good. So putting it in that perspective and then understanding what you've brought to the table as far as the chemical that is happening inside of our bodies, I think that's a powerful thing for us to start to work through something and
Eric: 26:03 it's like sometimes you know, we grab onto those things as a motivator. OK, cause I want that person to really think this, that me and this one. So it does push you, but when you obtain that, it's gone. That appear changes. It's not even thought about it anymore. Then you're on to another thing to try to prove it and it's it. But then all the other ways that, that I, I talked to him and to my clients about is of course meditation. Your Yoga Yourself, OK, lots of yoga. Meditation daily. Yeah. Meditation daily. We have that Mile Fascia release that we teach and that's something you just go in and you work those trigger points in a slow motion and you really with any kind of really think through this really, you
Eric: 26:44 know, get to know your, your, your trigger points in your body. And of course we really push functional movement when you can learn body mechanics, learn to how to incorporate your core in how the, how it works and functions as, as your connect you really connect to your body. And of course, to nutrition into a key to Janice is what, you know, how I move it, but anything it all comes down to if you connect through fuel and movement are.
Chad: 27:11 I have a question for you out just from left field. So when we exercise, I can speak personally. I can't speak for everybody, but I've talked to a lot of people who experienced the same thing. Is that even if I'm stressed, if I'm in the most stressful part of my life up to that point, or feel like it's the most stressful part of my life up to that point. If I go work out exercise, yes, it's gone.
Eric: 27:37 Yeah Know Chad. I can't believe I left that out. Say I'm under stress. Short term, memory's gone exercises the most important. All right,
Chad: 27:52 so for me, I can go and. And it is, it is gone. It's gone. It's for, for the time that I'm working out and for a good amount of time afterwards,
Eric: 28:02 even though you've raise your cortisol, especially in high intensity training, you will raise your cortisol, but you burn through it. It's gone. OK. That negative feedback loops that, hey, it's gone. That stressors gone. You print those molecules or the Energy keto or whatever glucose, whatever and how, how you were going and it's back to know your baseline again and you feel really good about yourself.
Chad: 28:24 Yeah, it's incredible. I mean, I, if I'm, if I'm crabby, if I'm walking around the house and barking at the kids and whatever, you know, my wife's like, hey, can't hit the garage.
Eric: 28:35 My wife said the same thing. Go work out. I'm like, no, you go work out and did my workout and I'm good. Leave me alone. Good catch though, Chad. I'm impressed. This is, you know, you miss cholesterol. That one made up for it.
Chad: 28:53 Great. Well this has been awesome. Thank you so much, Eric. I appreciate it. We want to thank Eric for biohacking with us today and I want to thank you for joining us on this quest for optimal fitness. If you're ready to begin your own journey and live your life in Ketosis, be sure to check out biofitcoaching.com and biofit coaching on facebook. There's some incredible discussion going on there, helpful tips and hints. And Eric is there to answer questions, interact with you, and it's an incredible platform as a support for you to go through. If you want to talk about stress, try doing something like ketogenics without a coach that nothing sounds more stressful to me than that is, um, so whether it's with us, with Eric or whether it's, you know, someone you know, that understands this process. Get a coach because I couldn't imagine doing it without somebody who I have access to, to ask questions because it's a, it's a new life. Um, so anyway, that's a, that's a little rent there. Um, the other thing is, um, we're, we're starting to get a lot of feedback from the podcast. All great stuff. It's so good to hear from you. If you, uh, if you're enjoying this, if you're getting value out of, out of it, please consider jumping on itunes and giving it a podcast, a rating, a five star rating. We would love to hear from you both and it helps us reach more people. Um, and uh, until next time Stay keto!