Random Show — Fasting, Biohacking, and Tony Robbins (#333)

Serial entrepreneur, world-class investor, eagle scout, and all around wild and crazy guy Kevin Rose (@KevinRose), rejoins me for another episode of The Random Show. We discuss Kevin’s new diet obsession that may just save his life for many decades to come, fatherhood, minimalism, lifetime learning, ways to dial back alcohol consumption, lessons learned from Tony Robbins, most recommended books, and much more.


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

#333: Random Show — Fasting, Biohacking, and Tony Robbins

Want to hear another episode of The Random Show? — Listen to this earlier conversation with Kevin Rose in which we discuss traveling in Japan on the cheap, building apps, urine drinking, why Kevin doesn’t have New Year’s resolutions, and much more. (Stream below or right-click here to download):

The Random Show – Drinking Urine, Exploring Japan, and Figuring Out Life

This episode is brought to you by LinkedIn and its job recruitment platform, which offers a smarter system for the hiring process. If you’ve ever hired anyone (or attempted to), you know finding the right people can be difficult. If you don’t have a direct referral from someone you trust, you’re left to use job boards that don’t offer any real-world networking approach.

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This podcast is also brought to you by Peloton, which has become a staple of my daily routine. I picked up this bike after seeing the success of my friend Kevin Rose, and I’ve been enjoying it more than I ever imagined. Peloton is an indoor cycling bike that brings live studio classes right to your home. No worrying about fitting classes into your busy schedule or making it to a studio with a crazy commute.

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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…


  • Connect with Kevin Rose:

The Journal | The Kevin Rose Show | Oak Meditation | Instagram | Twitter


  • Let the games begin. [04:08]
  • Who is this Kevin Rose fellow, anyway? [05:30]
  • A shared investment for which Kevin and I were ridiculed by the Internet. [06:16]
  • Kevin’s most recent obsession: the five-day FMD (fasting mimicking diet). [06:48]
  • How do Valter Longo’s and Peter Attia’s FMDs differ? [15:18]
  • With a prevalence of heart disease running through Kevin’s family history, how long does Dr. Attia give him to live? [16:21]
  • Crack is whack and meth is death, but L-theanine is… [18:28]
  • Does Kevin prefer Dr. Longo’s or Dr. Attia’s FMD? [19:17]
  • How do Kevin and I measure our ketone levels? [20:30]
  • What have been the biggest changes Kevin has felt or observed in himself or otherwise since we did the last Random Show? [21:49]
  • Why did Kevin and his wife Darya name their first-born child Zelda, and how has becoming a father changed Kevin’s perspective on life? [22:32]
  • What has Kevin done in the pursuit of leading more of a minimalist lifestyle? [24:23]
  • What Kevin learned about minimalism from a wise old tea (and key) master in China. [27:18]
  • Minimalism — particularly of the Marie Kondo variety — isn’t an all-or-nothing approach to life. It’s a philosophy with wisdom to be taken (or left) by anyone living any lifestyle. [28:36]
  • Donation as a karmic chess move. [29:55]
  • How Kevin delays and declines what would have once been expensive and unnecessary impulse purchases. [30:47]
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC): what is it good for? [31:27]
  • The untold perils of eating oatmeal cookies and the benefits of lithium. [33:29]
  • Contrary to popular belief, I don’t walk around with a drip IV bag in my arm and a thousand pills I’m taking four times a day. Here’s my current stance on supplements. [34:44]
  • The primitive but effective way I track my baseline, and what helps me wake up ready to face the day. [35:50]
  • It’s really easy to become addicted to measuring things that don’t matter very much — or worse still, measuring things that will distract you from the things that do matter. [37:53]
  • How does Kevin track his baseline, and does it have an impact on his behavior? [38:24]
  • Kevin’s idea for an app that creates social pressure to drink less. He’s experimented with a spreadsheet version among a small group of friends, but how might it scale when applied to a larger number of users? [39:26]
  • What has helped Kevin dial back his own drinking consumption? [42:20]
  • What effect does traveling have on Kevin’s resolve to drink less? [44:13]
  • Kevin’s hacks for drinking less in social situations. [46:18]
  • Speaking of drinking, have you ever heard one of my drunk dialing episodes? The latest one is here. [48:43]
  • The real reason I might not be drinking alcohol if you encounter me in the wild — and an excuse you should feel free to borrow if you’re ever socially pressured to drink. [49:34]
  • The Richard Branson method of resisting this social pressure. [50:54]
  • Kevin sets aside time that used to be taken up with drinking to learn every night. What’s he learning lately? [51:49]
  • Experiments with duration intervals and break periods I’ve tried for learning (particularly new languages). [53:30]
  • How does exercise fit into a learning regimen? [55:40]
  • Why I’m not worried about falling off the fitness train for short periods of time. [58:41]
  • We compare Tony Robbins event notes. Kevin gets the fresh coal treatment. [1:00:04]
  • What the Wheel of Life exercise made clear to Kevin and how it galvanized his ambition to contribute to a cause beyond just writing checks. [1:04:07]
  • Be skeptical, not cynical — what convinced me to attend a Tony Robbins event even though I assumed it wasn’t really my thing. [1:07:08]
  • Tony Robbins exercises aren’t a one-flavor-cures-all tonic, but here’s one that changed my life. [1:08:45]
  • Tony Robbins can even make Kevin dance — and Kevin hates dancing. You might be surprised to find out who else he can make dance. [1:11:30]
  • Yesterday’s frowned-upon self-help genre is today’s lauded lifelong learning journey. Here’s how I once disarmed an interview intended to set me up as a champion of that genre. [1:15:56]
  • You’ll find charlatans in any genre or industry, but it shouldn’t invalidate the good that people are attempting in that space. The education to tell them apart is generally available to anyone who goes looking for it. [1:18:18]
  • How to spot nonsense. [1:20:06]
  • Most recommended books. [1:21:47]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:24:26]


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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57 Replies to “Random Show — Fasting, Biohacking, and Tony Robbins (#333)”

    1. Hello Joshua.

      If you didn’t notice, usually videos are uploaded later and the reason for this might either be the speed of uploading the video to Youtube or the fact that SEO is more effective when content is first uploaded and present only here, on the website.

      ~Felix Dragoi

  1. Tim: I am heading into rotator cuff surgery next week and thought you would be a good resource for any recommendations on recovery. Nutrition advice or supplements or any other thoughts. It appears to be an extensive tendon repair. I have already picked up your latest book for something to do.

  2. Hi Tim, great episode. I don’t see any links to Dr. Attia’s version of the FMD, any chance you can share it with us? Thanks!

    1. Hello David.

      I’ll take my time to answer this question of yours since I doubt you’ll receive a response from Tim.

      From what I’ve observed, Peter usually doesn’t like giving advice as he knows that there’s no perfect answer, thus shies away from it. There might be a short mention of it on his podcast, The Drive, but from what I remember, it was actually a 7-day keto fast he mentioned at what time.

      Hope it helps.

      ~Felix Dragoi

      1. I’ve seen a post on Twitter where Dr Attia says he does a version of Longo’s 5-day FMD at 500-750 cals/day, but his protein is kept below 10g a day. He does not say how much in carbs and fat. Given he is into Keto, I would assume his carbs are no more than about 20g. Does anyone have an idea or guess as to carbs and fat?

        Also, would adding exogenous ketones help keep energy levels up without affecting any FMD benefits?

    2. I came here for this too. I’ve done Prolon twice now, but it’s pretty pricey. I would love a diy version of it.

  3. Kevin, you mentioned skipped heartbeats- I had the same thing for a year and a cardiologist also told me it was benign. Lots of PubMed browsing on the nervous system taught me about sleep disordered breathing and I discovered mouth tape. Once I started taping my mouth shut at night, the skipped beats completely stopped.

    The research isn’t completely clear on the mechanism of action, but it’s presumed that mouth breathing at night raises cortisol, which in turn triggers heart palpitations. I just use medical tape now but you can also search for “tape mouth strips” on Amazon. It’s worth a shot for anyone with heart palpitations.

  4. Can anyone recommend any doctors in the Netherlands or nearby that are switched on to the benefits of fasting / ketosis? Would love to experiment with longer fasts but my GP is pretty mainstream (and this craze hasn’t hit Europe yet)

    1. Hello Varia.

      To be honest, I’m not sure how much a doctor would be of any help unless he would spend a few hours with you going over many different aspects of a fast in case you want a 100% “safe” fast. Most people (me included) try to get as much information as possible from research and give it a go. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever with the many protocols out there and personally, I didn’t have any issue with 3 or 4-day fasts when I took care of the refeed day.

      This might seem a little superficial, but usually, Youtube views and Google search rankings are a good indicator of quality content. Hope it helps.

      ~Felix Dragoi

  5. Awesome podcast Tim! Thank you for continuing to share with everyone your impeccable finds! I wanted to suggest someone a bit different…. George Christie ( former President of the Hells Angels for 40 years would be amazing on your show! I think the dynamic would work as he is quite an incredible person. I watched his current live stage show and was very surprised with the elements of his life. Anyways if you need help getting in touch I can help you with that! Ciao Noelle

  6. Tim and Kevin, I just listened to this podcast – loved it. You guys are always hilarious and entertaining to listen to. The episodes you two do together are some of my favorites! I, like the both of you, have been experimenting with multi-day fasts or extended fasting and as Kevin mentioned, it has been extremely difficult to complete these. However, I have recently found a product called Cleanse for Life that was formulated to nourish the body (with antioxidants and plant botanicals) during fasting days and to support the body’s own detoxification system, which you guys know is activated when you fast. I don’t want to bore you or anyone else with the details but I take 4 oz of the Cleanse for Life 4X a day while fasting (usually mix it with 8 oz of water and take it with me on the go). Every 4 oz has 40 calories, so 160 calories a day. Some of the main ingredients in the drink are: Aloe vera inner leaf gel, ashwagandha root extract, burdock root extract, yellow dock root extract, Pau d’Arco bark extract, fennel seed extract, Rhodiola root extract, and more. I will also eat 1 – 3 hard boiled egg whites throughout the day as well. This daily approach has allowed me to be very compliant with the multi-day fasts so I wanted to share!

    Looking forward to your next episode together!



  7. Hi there,

    Did anyone catch what Kevin said he had with coffee about 19 minutes into the podcast? I’d never heard of it…

    1. I believe he said L-Theanine. I have done it many times, and rather than get me cranked up as I think Kevin said, it mellows the caffeine rush, as it is supposed to, So maybe he said something that just sounds like L-Theanine.

  8. Thanks guys, nice episode

    Kevin, I hope you don’t let your personal experience of abuse of your mum lead you to neglect men that are abused by women.

    Kids and men are victims abusive high functioning and abusive women.

    Don’t want to bring the tone of the really positive episode down, but the problem is not gender specific.

  9. Hey, around 1:08:55 Tim mentions a “Decons process?” Does anyone know what this exercise is or where to find it in Tools of Titans? Thanks!

  10. Hi there, your show is always a wonderful resource! I listened to your show today about fasting and the benefits that may be linked to beating cancer. My friend just came off the phone from telling me that she’d just been diagnosed and I wanted to point her in the direction of some of the references…I think you mentioned you’d put refs in the podcast notes but I haven’t been able to find the links yet. Can you let me know where to look please? Best, Natalie

  11. Tim – I was interested to hear your brief mention of NAC in dealing with depression. I can tell you from first hand experience that it is helpful as a supplement. After yrs of struggling through depression, we arranged an appt with one of the leading bipolar physicians/researchers on the east coast and NAC was at the top of his list for supplementation. I doubt you read these, but if you’re interested, I can provide more info.

    1. Fellow “BipolarBro”,

      Are these supplements an option for somebody on snri / mood stabilizers? I’ll google, but it may be you have some less available information.

      1. I’m not a doc so obviously take this with a grain of salt. To my knowledge there are little to no known interactions with other drugs which is an added benefit. Recommended dosage was 500mg BID for 1 wk then 1000mg BID from then on. Have been doing that supplementation and others since early 2015 with very positive results. Check out the free (and legit) online resource “Bipolar Network News” for a host of good info and all the latest research.

    2. Not Tim, but I’ll chime in. I’ve tried it a bit for OCD and I can’t say for sure whether this was physiological effect or just placebo/other factors at work, but it did seem like it allowed me a bit more control over my mind and thoughts. Just a bit more peace of mind. Meditation, NAC, and Inositol are often among the top things recommended for people who want a bit stronger control over their thought patterns.

  12. Tim, how have you allowed impactful people to regulate change in your life as well as create memories of all these moments so as though you do not forget their message?

  13. Tim,

    I’m feeling very curios when it comes to fasting and diet experimentation. As a guy who trains jiu jitsu, climbs and overall is very active, is the Fasting Mimicking Diet an option for me?

    Would I need to forego intense physical exercise until the fast is broken?

    If anyone has any thoughts please feel free to comment. (In work so only able to catch the highlights of this particular episode).

  14. A Thank From A Long Time Reader/Viewer

    Watching the old Random Show pen and paper on the side with a glass of wine, was a ritual of mine that triggered many ‘random’ adventures for me.

    I’ve been on the a 4-hour workweek blog journey for many years now and I’ve witnessed through participation its evolution. The Random show was organic, informative yet entertaining and personal. When are constantly in search of the new we discount what we have and we don’t realize it until its lost. I took the Random Show for granted and I never so much as made a comment to say thank you. (Partially because I was consumed with a pursuit triggered from the show.)

    Modern life has evolved and transformed exponentially over the last 10 years. I thank this Blog and Tim Ferriss for being a friendly digital guide that helped make my journey an adventure worth living during this time. The Random show in a random way made the friendly digital guide more human.

    Cheers to you Tim, Glen and Kevin. Best of luck to all my fellow reading in your journey through lifestyle design and redesign.

  15. Most recommended books;mentioned in the podcast that someone made a list in order of frequency recommended books in tribe of mentors. Love to see it.

  16. Apologies if I missed it. I am looking for the pdf of the alternate recipe Kevin used for FMD. He mentioned his doctor gave it to him, it is higher in fat and one meal per day.

  17. Welcome to Austin

    Greatest place to live.

    Would love to take you to dinner at Jeffery’s some day.

    Been reading Pollans new book and know you’re a supporter of this incredible research.

    Are their any clinics or testing centers here in Austin

    That we can use?

  18. How does Dr. Attia’s FMD relate to RFL (particularly Lyle McDonald’s PSMF).

    PSMF is a fasting protocol where you keep calories to around 800kcal (for a lean 190lb male) for around 2 weeks with ~90% of it coming from Protein. Goal being max fat loss with minimal loss of lean tissue.

    Does a protein fast reduce autophagy?

    1. Sorry I mixed up the acronyms above.

      PSMF = Protein-Sparing Modified Fast (protein-heavy fast)

      RFL = Lyle McDonald’s PSMF protocol

  19. Dear Tim,

    in the course of mentioning your meditation practice, I think I heard you saying that you practice it first thing in the morning, even before brushing your teeth.

    Now, while brushing teeth in itself can be an issue of discussion, in classical yoga tradition there is actually a huge emphasis on cleaning (especially the bowels) before meditation practice. I think tara brach has mentioned the taking a shower at three in the morning in your talk. Without proper cleanliness, the energetical effects are not passing a certain stage of effectiveness, that is the theory behind this. This just on a sidenote in case you want to dive into this thought and maybe improve your morning practice. Also, if I remeber correctly, Jocko Willink mentioned the brushing teeth before the workout. Postpractice were eggs and bacon or something like that, but I am not totally sure, just because you said to Kevin,l you´re doing this like Mr. Willink suggested. Great show, good to see you two in a random show again! Great work overall! Thank you!

  20. Super interested in whether your mutual friend who was a Stage 4 cancer patient might be willing to share some resources for how/when he fasted during treatment. My husband is currently a Stage 4 cancer patient. I have been reading up on how the ketogenic diet may be supportive of healing for cancer patients but would love to know more about his experience. Even just resources for me to look for. I get overwhelmed, at times, trying to read everything and it’s hard when there is so much conflicting information, too. Thanks!

  21. Tim not sure how to contact you directly but having got your bullet Friday I clicked through on ‘The work watched the trailer then called mates to come watch. tried to buy it then rent it. Even though I regularly buy from Amazon I kept getting ‘error you must buy with an American credit card’ and/or ‘error you must download it to watch in the USA. I’m in Australia and we are severely disappointed, please address this.

  22. Dear Tim and Kevin,

    Can either of you recommend a specific immersion course/company for adults to learn French? This question is spurred by your conversation about life-long learning and coursera, as well as the Berlitz commercial in Tim’s latest 5-bullet friday.

    Tim inspired me to want to learn another language and to actually believe I can do it. I want to learn French and looked into dozens of french immersion programs for adults in France, specifically in Paris. In the end I threw in the towel because I couldn’t differentiate between all the different companies and offerings. The reviews were all over the place and I never felt like I actually had enough information to make an educated decision on. However, Berlitz did come up on my radar a few times and did look quite promising. I’m wondering if you have any experience with them or other language immersion course companies and have any recommendations.

    Thanks for all that you do!


  23. Great show as always . Not a comment but a request. Can you interview Ray Kurzweil? Tony Robbins thinks highly of him on his recent book. Seems like the kind of guy you deconstruct well and we learn about ourselves through.

  24. This is a question – in the podcast Kevin mention a one meal a day for Fasting Mimimicking Diet from Peter Attia – is this recipe available? – thanks

  25. Tim, I’ve been taking NAC for OCD for years and it works great for me. Also helps with hair pulling (Trichotillomania). I’m not a doctor, but I’ve done some research and it seems to modulate glutamate. Reportedly, excess glutamate can cause anxiety. Blood brain barrier might play a role, especially in people who have mental symptoms. Interesting if it made you calmer.

  26. what an awesome Random Show! Started Learning How to Learn and it’s amazing! Have already put into practice some of the brain science tips. Great recommendation Kevin.

    Also loved the discussion around Tony Robbins. Have been pretty immersed in his events lately but his reputation isn’t great with anyone over 35 so I’ve kept quiet about it.

    Thanks guys for a brilliant show.

  27. Great Show Tim! I appreciate the nuggets of wisdom in each of your shows, even the random ones that probably did not intend to be as informative as the rest of your episodes. As you have mentioned on a few occasions you like to try and experiment things that will help you grow. (I am by no means an expert on you, and have honestly just learned of who you are, so you might have covered this in a podcast or book etc.) I ask, however, have you ever had a Life Activation, or otherwise had your DNA infused with light? I had this modality done on me just over a year ago and it took me from bottom of the barrel to experiencing some life changing things. I have had so much more mental clarity, focus, drive and optimism. Complete 180. A lot of the things I have put into practice since then are things I have heard you mention like meditation, journaling, deconstructing things to become an efficient metalearner…etc etc. If it isn’t something you have done before, you defintely should try it out. For someone as successful as you to get an extra spark to your fire… or kick in the butt; I can’t even begin to imagine the amazing shit you can accomplish.

    If you dare to venture into the potential, please reach out, I’d love the opportunity to serve you! Or… just have some tea!

    [Moderator: website link removed.]


  28. Hello, where is the books list? I see a lot of links to other blogs / post, but I don’t see the mentioned ‘books list’.

    Thank you!

  29. Tim/ Kevin,

    Great podcast just some info on Cholesterol check out Dr Dwight Lundell [Moderator: on YouTube.] very informative.

    [Moderator: link removed.]



  30. I have done the Prolon fast 4-5 times now and while initially I thought the food tasted fine, I now have to choke it down, it’s become so disgusting to me. I usually throw a bunch of it away. And the beans and grains give me a bit of a stomach ache. Which is all unfortunate because at the same time I have seen so many benefits from the fasts. I know a lot of people have asked already about Dr. Attia’s version of the fast with no result but I still want to add my voice! So many resources from the episode in the show notes but not that one! I really thought the magic of Prolon had something to do with WHAT you were eating, so the fact that it’s more about the calorie intake is a revelation. Thanks for the great episode!

  31. Kevin says that he is using a system to log his days. Around minute 34 he mentions that he has a spreadsheet. Do you know what spreadsheet/system he uses?

  32. I like this post, and the secret of long and happy life has been discovered by Ph.D. Allen Omton and Serge Dobrow. They found the hidden in human’s mind internal program that needs to be activated to keep you out of suffer and death.
    John Logger