The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour: How to Control Stress, Upgrade Your Nutrition, and Build the Mindset of a Gladiator (#232)

“You want to change your life fast? Then trade your expectation for appreciation. You’ll have a whole new life.” Tony Robbins

Welcome to the second instalment of The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour.

After more than 200 conversations with the world’s top performers, you start to spot certain patterns. These are the shared habits, hacks, philosophies, and tools that are the common threads of success, happiness, health, and wealth.

These commonalities were the premise of my most recent book, The New York Times #1 bestseller Tools of Titans — a compilation of my favorite lessons, routines, and tips of many of my guests.

In this particular episode, I’ve gathered some of the best advice from past guests about fitness, nutrition, and wellness. This includes conversations with:

  • General Stanley McChrystal about thriving on one meal per day.
  • Tony Robbins about morning discipline and routines.
  • Wim Hof about consciously controlling his autonomic immune system.
  • Dominic D’Agostino about nutritional strategies for peak performers.

Without further ado, let’s get started. I hope you enjoy this episode of The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour!

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#232: The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour: Controlling Stress, Nutrition Upgrades, and Improved Health

Want to hear another episode of The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour? In this episode, we explore meditation and mindfulness with Chase Jarvis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Harris, and Rainn Wilson (stream below or right-click here to download):

#201: The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour: Meditation, Mindset, and Mastery

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with General Stanley McChrystal:

Twitter | McChrystal Group

  • Connect with Tony Robbins:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

  • Connect with Wim Hof:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

  • Connect with Dr. Dominic D’Agostino: | Twitter | Facebook |University of South Florida

Show Notes

  • General Stanley McChrystal’s background, his one-meal-a-day regimen, and how I use intermittent fasting in my own life. [06:06]
  • Why does General McChrystal only eat one meal a day? [09:28]
  • General McChrystal’s former Aide-de-Camp Chris Fussell explains why his old boss’s diet isn’t for everyone. [11:24]
  • What exercises does General McChrystal include in his daily workout, and why? [13:39]
  • On the importance of working out daily as a leader in the military. [16:56]
  • An introduction to Tony Robbins and the idea of state priming. [18:54]
  • Tony’s morning routine and diet. [21:04]
  • Tony explains how cryotherapy helps mitigate the wear and tear of his active lifestyle. [23:14]
  • Tony’s daily priming ritual. [27:35]
  • On Wim Hof and his many qualifications for being called “the Iceman.” How his breathing methods have given me seemingly superhuman abilities (and the caution you should exercise if you choose to try them yourself). [33:59]
  • Wim’s first world record and his most challenging cold exposures. [36:13]
  • How does Wim deal with unexpected situations? [38:20]
  • How Wim controlled stress hormones and his autonomic immune response — and was able to teach others to do the same in well under a week. [40:22]
  • How Wim gets his trainees into a gladiator mindset. [44:15]
  • An introduction to Dr. Dominic D’Agostino and the ketogenic diet. [53:30]
  • What is ketosis? [57:16]
  • The implications of fasting, nutritional ketosis, and/or exogenous ketones for preventing/mitigating the onset of neurodegenerative diseases. [58:33]
  • Thoughts on getting big and strong while in a state of ketosis. [1:06:10]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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53 Replies to “The Tim Ferriss Radio Hour: How to Control Stress, Upgrade Your Nutrition, and Build the Mindset of a Gladiator (#232)”

  1. Pros:

    1. Concise information in on episode

    2. Good refresher


    1. Missing the the personal touch that you add in your regular episodes, which make your podcasts such a treat for me

    Regardless, I will continue listening to your Radio Hour podcasts 😉

  2. Excellent “best of” type episode. I appreciate this package to save us some time looking for and listening to related content from past podcasts on your site.

    Thanks again!

  3. Hi Tim,

    I love picking up your conversational par-core while I’m working on dinner, commuting or turning over my Airbnb listings. In a way, I track and pick out golden nuggets from conversations better when they flow around a particular personality. It helps me connect, assume or extrapolate the guest’s experiences into my own life.

    This radio show was a little speratic to allow those elaborations to come to me in the sense that I didn’t detect a life theme as when I listen to a solo interview. Life theme maybe meaning a person may have many stories but could huddle them around their ‘what would they post on a billboard’ question answer. At the core, what a person is about. I did feel a commonality between the stories and that was well done! The guests were all expert sounding but I didn’t know them all as well as I wanted to. I look for a bit more of their personality before I readily trust their opinions/discoveries.

    Alternative that sounds fun in my head… if the radio show was collection of guests, is it possible to bring friends into the same hour? I’m pondering if there’s something shared outside of what they’re known for publicly. Could there be life themes that coalesce together or is there a contradiction of life themes that becomes visible?

    Finally- this is a post full of critical sentences but I want to end by saying that in the last 3 months I’ve become very addicted to listening. Your work is great and I look forward to the next experiment!

    1. UPDATE: Listened to the episode a second time today. I think the last segment threw me off the most. My lack of familiarity of the subject and the technical nature are likely to blame. I’d relate the feeling back to trust as I’ve slowed down to listen better. With the **parkour of conversations, there is still trust built with the guest as they are vulnerable with us. I found it easy to take cues from Tony and Wim b/c I know their story. The intimacy you provide for those who are new to me was absent for the remainders. A. You asking for feedback made me listen closer, now maybe I hear their message and will do research. Not necessarily the reaction I normally have if I don’t connect with the guest. B. I’m defaulting to trusting you and your brand versus the individuals variety of experiences. Not bad, but I do see an ethical risk personally in blindly following w/o hearing more from your guests personal experiences.

      Love pondering how your mind is processing this experiment! Interested in discussing more if you fancy.

  4. Hi Tim, maybe I interpretred this wrong, but did you say that you have an episode with Art Devany?


  5. I loved how it’s subject specific, instead of going deep with one particular personal story, it’s going deep with one particular subject – this one lifestyle practices for peak performance – nutrition, exercise, breathing etc.

    Loved it!

    Thank you Tim! My favorite subject that I turned into a podcast 🙂

  6. I don’t have social media accounts so I’m posting here.

    Best wishes & prayers to Molly. I lost my best friend BuddyDog 1 year ago after a 2 year fight w/ cancer. Do everything you can, while you can, now when it matters-you do not get any do-overs.

    Love & Prayers to MollyDog

  7. Tim – hope all is well with your dog, Molly. Thought of some suggestions…

    1. Do a life makeover for someone whose life is a total shitshow. Like a single mom WITH a college education, living on welfare, dealing with custody battles, mysterious illnesses, etc. There are plenty to choose from. People losing hope.

    2. Feature an “average Joe” that does amazing things, lives with high standards and DOES not have a book or other marketable platform. Someone that is “successful” without the common public throes like fame, and money. A badass operating under the radar and then hook em up with a surprise they will love in appreciation..

    Thx again for the informative podcast.

  8. You said in the podcast you would list the brand/model of the cryotherapy machine Tony uses…. I don’t see it in the show notes. ?

    1. The name of the brands are JUKA and Cryo Healthcare; they’re listed about halfway through the shownotes. Hope that helps! 🙂

  9. Didn’t like this one. The excerpts seemed borderline random, there was limited amounts of “action steps” to take, and the flow of the episode was off. There is an art to good “best of episodes” but this one missed the mark to me. Still not going to be hyper critical of free content and I think there is value to this format (the previous one was good) but the one left me flat.

  10. Just heard about Molly from your 5- bullet Friday. My heart goes out to you both. I know what it feels like to have your fuzzy child’s future with an unknown outcome. You make the best decision you can, find the best surgeon you can, and trust that Molly is strong. She knows you are doing this for her, and hopefully will recover to have a better quality of life. We navigate the best that we can. The price is high, but nothing better than the love that we receive from our animal companions. They have so much to teach us. Good luck Tim. You did the right thing.

  11. Hi Tim!

    Thanks for the great episode!

    The segment with General Stanley McCrystal left me wanting to know more about your thoughts regarding diet, nutrition, and body composition (I come to this question as a 20-something old male). The story about the General’s one day meal is interesting, but I want to know more about how we can learn what sort of diet is optimal for best health outcomes? Or what sort of fat percentage, caloric intake, and nutrition we should aim for for best health outcomes? Is there a recommend standard to achieve in this realm? Also, regarding metabolism, how can we come to know what diet routine (referring to your comments about Intermittent Fasting) is optimal for our metabolisms?


  12. Hi Tim,

    I vibe with this episode because I have taken a bit from Wim, Tony and the General and applied to my life.

    As for Wim and Tony, when not in the tropics – more often than not recently – I do the ice shower bit. Even here in northern Thailand I take a cool shower every morning. Cools down nightly, chilling water pipes a bit. Fab energy booster. Fab Fear Facer.

    As for the General, I have largely stuck to my intermittent fasting schedule. Last meal at 7 PM. Fast to 11 AM next day. 16 hour spread works for me. Excellent for clearing the mind, keeping lean and again, an energy builder.

    Thanks for sharing Tim 🙂


  13. Wow! Great review of some of my favourite topics of yours. Thanks for the re programming of my brain 😀

  14. My favorite part was Tony Robbins Primer routine. I enjoyed the format, but I love your in depth interviews. I probably enjoyed these snippets more because I had heard the in depth interviews first, thank you.

  15. You asked for feedback – thanks for the radio hour. I have listened to approx 25% of your podcasts but hadn’t listened to the all original interviews with the people on this show. So it was good intro/exposure to these ideas.

  16. I absolutely love these radio hours! I’ve listened to all of your podcasts, and it’s a great opportunity to remind myself about some details. P;ease do more!

    1. Tony’s breathing technique tape skips from 57 minutes to 1:07. The breathing portion (70:30) is left out.

  17. Tim – I’m a bit late to the party. I’m almost done listening to 4HWW on audible for my first time. In all honesty, it seems like the market has figured out a lot of the options for engineering the muse and the automation, making the opportunities for the little guy fewer and farther between. Is there any room left to really do this in the year 2017 and earn as much income as you talk about in the book? Thanks! -Russ

  18. I’m definitely enjoying the alternate format, especially the chance to dive a little deeper into the research and science behind the recommendations. Nice to hear you talk about what’s known and unknown about what these great people are up to, and the commentary on top of the recorded interviews is a great opportunity to do so.

  19. Wim Hof Wow. Immune System Control? with Breath?! Look out Medical Science, we’ll have far less need for your magic when we are able to create our own!

    Thank you so much for this, Tim. My cold-aversive body scrolled right past a show titled “iceman”. I would have missed this important awesome without this podsode!

  20. Tim,

    I am a 44 y/o executive who has just spent 2 years in recovery from alcohol abuse. My life coach pushed me toward your site and podcasts as I re-enter society.

    As a result of having you in my ears 8 hours a day for just over a week my whole perspective on life did a 180. I just nailed 2 job interviews, have gained 5kg back in the gym (ex competitive bodybuilder). You have literally changed my life. Keep up the good work. It is phenomenal and entertaining.

    The 4 hour work week, Jerzy (The happy body), Tony Robbins and others on your show have just opened doors I thought I had closed.

    Thank you. You are amazingly controversial yet Intelligent and inspiring.

  21. Tim

    Sorry for the second comment in the same day. I just listed to the Andrew Zimmern Podcast. Revolutionary. The frank discussion and honesty regarding his struggle with Drugs and Alcohol is lifesaving advice. Absolutely amazing. The manner in which you coax information that is so personal and important is incredibly powerful.

    Thanks again, you are changing lives.

  22. Great show as always and I am intrigued by the breathing exercises discussed by TR and Wim Hof. But I am trying to reconcile this approach with the research by Ohio State Professor Gary Wenk whose research seems to show that we should exercise less and thus reduce our intake of oxygen which is ultimately a toxin. Are you familiar with his research?

    I thought your interview with Dr. Martin Gibala about his One Minute Workout was spot on – minimal yet effective exercise. What is your thought on balancing exercise, breathing and the toxic effects of oxygen?

  23. Hey Tim,

    I really liked this format of the podcast. I love the long form that you usually do, but the cool part of this as an avid listener is these serve as “refreshers” to the episodes I’ve listened to in the past.

    Specifically, when I listened to the Tony Robbins podcast, I wasn’t ready to implement a morning routine, but after re-listening to this bit on his 10-minute routine, I’m excited to try it out and see how it feels.


  24. I hated the first ‘Radio Show’ but now, after the 2nd, I get it.

    Snapshots on a subject, by those representing it best.

    Still preffer the long form, but I could get used to this as a quick refresher from time to time.

  25. Hey Tim,

    I’ve enjoyed your podcasts since the beginning. I know you’re a fan of Stoic philosophy and your show is geared towards identifying fundamental mindsets that create high performers.

    I hope that you’ll consider learning more about Bentinho Massaro. I’m sure you’ve never heard that name before. He’s a 20-something year old enlightenment teacher that has created a powerful online academy for reaching deeper stages of enlightenment. His academy was the most life-changing thing I’ve ever experienced.

    In a two hour interview, you’d just scratch the surface of his core philosophies, but it would be something very unique that your audience isn’t likely familiar with. Plus, he’s hands down the most brilliant speaker that I’ve ever heard.

    Check him out on Youtube.

  26. Hi Tim,

    I wanted to leave feedback about this format (which wasn’t my favourite) but wasn’t sure what to say that was constructive, so it’s taken me a couple of weeks to think it through. Everything you do is of value, so I still felt that it was well worth the time to listen. It squeezed a lot of really useful info in to a short period of time and in a way that was somewhat “curated”. So that was helpful. However, I often find the things I learn from the people you speak to aren’t necessarily the immediately apparent “learning moments” (morning routines, best advice etc.). Instead, it is in the personal stories and anecdotes they share in between the great advice. Perfect example is your recent interview with Cory Booker which I’ll be listening to for the second time this weekend.

    Hope that is useful feedback, Juliette

  27. Really enjoyed this podcast. Great format. Really pulled multiple interviews together in an easy to apply format

  28. Hey Tim. Love your books. I bought all of them. Before I found you I had a heart attack at age 40 this past February even though I played soccer every weekend and thought I was eating well. Prior to the HA, I was stressed out of my mind at work, ate like shit, slept terrible, etc…Obviously that major event forced me to change everything. (Blessing in disguise) I just finished 4HB and am currently reading Tools of Titans which is fantastic. You’ve been a big inspiration to me. My question is this:

    I started the slow carb diet about 10 days ago and results have been good so far dropping roughly 7lbs. Sleeping is always a challenge for me since I have a full time gig and have a second web business (trying to replace my day gig). The hot water / apple cider vinegar works great but should I be adding the honey since I am on the slow carb diet?

    Thanks again and I would greatly appreciate any wisdom you can share.

  29. Quality perspective and info, however, your podcasts conflict the logic instilled in your books, these, even this one, are too long winded… Hell, you can condense a work week into 4 hours but can’t even fit 2 podcasts?

    Sorry for the burn, If ya need to cool off, I’ll make you an yerba mate based energy drink, absent from the market and far superior.

    I’m an off the radar surfer with no backing to launch a drink, thanks to regressive red tape. However, it works, almost too well… Like your business logic, its too good, so why not help me finish this product and show off your skills.

  30. “KD causes thyroid malfunction and L-thyroxine treatment may be required. This is the first report documenting the effect of KD treatment on thyroid function. Thyroid function should be monitored regularly in epileptic patients treated with KD.”

    (KD – ketogenic diet)

    According to:

    Changes of thyroid hormonal status in patients receiving ketogenic diet due to intractable epilepsy. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Apr 1;30(4):411-416.

  31. Tim,

    I have a random question and haven’t found a better means of communicating with you, as I try to avoid social media at all costs. I was wondering if you have ever done research on protein degradation in different forms of cooking.

    I try to eat different protein sources for each meal daily and have noticed that depending on how I cook my eggs I experience bloating. I’ve actually started drinking 5 whole pasture raised/organically fed raw eggs in the evening, to maximize my nightly testosterone production. I don’t mind this means of consumption as I also consider myself a “human guinea pig,” but obviously most people like my wife do.

    I have been a fan of yours since reading the 4-hour Body and would love to discuss your ideas but understand that you are extremely busy. So I’ll end by saying thank you for all of your knowledge. I hope to one day have the pleasure of picking your brain.

  32. Disciple is an amazing trait to have. The only thing that gets me through my week is CrossFit and keeping a strict diet. Working one day at a time to my 4 hour work week, hitting a bit of a roadblock right now without a clear goal. Maybe I’m just a whiny millennial, but let me know your thoughts: [Moderator: link removed.]


  33. Hey guys! i Cant remember if this was the podcast that Tim referenced this, but does anyone remember the word that Tim and other authors use when they cant think of a date or word and they want to come back to it later using CMND SHIFT F ?

    I find that it really helps flow, and Tim chose this word because it is unlike any others and will bring you right to the spots you need to edit in your work

  34. Hi Tim, I know you are very much into keto and slow-carb, but have you thought of the possibility that that diet works best for Type O blood?

    It would be great if you interviewed naturopathic physician Peter J. D’Adamo. I would love to hear comments in regards to DNA and blood type.

    Thank you for your show. It’s been life changing for me!

  35. I wanted to share potted notes I kept, from the Tony Robbins precis. Thank you Tim – the format is valuable!

    – Tony Robbins on state: get state right, then strategy, then watch for the stories we tell ourselves. “Train the nervous system to rock. It’s not about how you feel it’s about how you perform…the level of strength and intensity that is available at any moment, at will…that you can bring it up…weeds grow automatically…the mind is the kite, breath is the string”.

    – you can’t be grateful and angry at same time

    – the rich need to change expectation for appreciation

  36. Hi Tim,

    Thank you for taking the time to develop yourself and pay if forward and choosing to share all you’ve learned. I heard you mention that you have or had Lyme’s Disease. My daughter has Lyme’s and we are fighting the good fight. If you have time, I would greatly appreciate any recommendations/suggestions things that have helped you that we could use. Thank you again for being a positive difference maker! Have a great day.

  37. I searched podcasts to subscribe. I was confused that the Tim Ferris Radio Hour isn’t a separate podcast from the Tim Ferris show. Why you did that to me, braw? Seriously though, you’re content has been life changing for me. Would be a great project to sample and quantify life changes inspired by your multiple lines of efforts and extrapolate total results.