keto · ketogenic · ketogenic diet · LCHF · migraine · migraineur

Booze, Coffee, Sleep and Cortisol, Oh My!

Perusing through keto forums dedicated to extreme weight loss in just a few days, I begin to notice that my head is shaking an irritated, “no” as I read the utter nonsense people repeat.  “Yes, vodka is fine on keto!  I have one every night and I’ve lost 30 pounds this week,” or “Bullet proof coffee after working a 12 hour shift has kept my weight down!”  My neck hurts as I’m still shaking it.  What are these folks talking about?!  I’m a lifer keto-er and not here to lose weight fast and then cry when I gain it all back.  No ma’am, I’m here to heal my body and allow it to function naturally by burning fat for energy, have my hormones balanced and be able to focus normally.

Let’s begin with alcohol and come out and say, if you are REALLY doing keto, alcohol should nevvvvver touch your lips!  I did this once, ONCE!  As some of you have read, when I was on vacation recently, I had 1/3 cup of red wine and a few Smirnoff Ice’s (incredibly ketogenic-diet-alcoholsweet after no sugar for years) and it didn’t just knock me out of keto, it drop kicked me out.  BUT I’m keeping tabs on my blood sugar and ketones, so I know exactly what’s happening with me SCIENTIFICALLY at all times.  Alcohol is pure sugar, so for someone who’s avoiding it all costs, how on earth is drinking it suppose to positively help you one keto?  It’s not.  Period.

Now coffee.  Where do I begin with her?  Well, she’s part of keto in this sort of love/hate relationship.  Many of us love coffee, espresso or cappuccino, but it’s NOT good when mixed with keto.  Some folks truly believe that they cannot function without it, BUT that’s most likely the tastebuds talking.  Because I mean, come on, you were born and spent much of your childhood without it, so you already know that coffee isn’t a main food group; although, wouldn’t that be fabulous?!  My current state has me drinking it and I hate it.  Coffee contains caffeine, which IS A DRUG, and it raises your cortisol levels.  I personally must slowly lower my intake to get off or I’ll have a migraine from hades!  Once I wean, I’ll feel much better as I usually do, but I’ll miss that hot bitterness every morning.  Lol hot and bitter sounds like me on a bad day.

Sleeping and resting at appropriate times and working with your circadian rhythm is prime for keto.  It’s so important to make sure you’re getting to sleep ON TIME.   None of this midnight or 2am stuff.  Once again, going against your natural sleep time will raise your…….wait for it……CORTISOL!  With my crazy schedule, I actually set a sleep timer for myself!  It goes off at 8:30pm so I know that I need to at the very least, get into bed andScreen Shot 2017-03-25 at 10.31.21 AM listen to my tv show before I fall asleep; currently listening to the 4th season of Frasier.  And I know for me, after testing and evaluating myself for over 2 years, if I don’t get to bed and fall asleep before 11pm, my blood sugar is up there.  It’s ridiculous how crazy it happens, but hey, who am I to argue with my body.  I won’t win anyways.

So why are alcohol, coffee and stress so bad for a keto-er?  Well, alcohol raises glucose which in turn raises stress (aka cortisol, which is our stress hormone.)  Coffee contains caffeine, which raises the same stress hormone.  Lack of sleep also raises cortisol.  And what does raised cortisol mean for a keto-er?  It basically tells your body something is wrong and the body needs to protect itself; like breaking down muscle to convert into sugar.  The body’s only function is to survive and it doesn’t give a flying fig if you want 6-pack abs!  With raised cortisol, it goes into it’s “fight-or-flight” mode and holds on to the stored energy (aka fat!), and uses it’s backup energy (aka, muscle) to burn energy.  And because your blood sugar is now raised and there’s no satiation from fat, the cravings and hunger come flooding in like a hades on wheels!  Not to mention, there’s a long list of other nasty side effects too long to list.


Basically folks, if you’re struggling with things like this and if you’re serious about keto, might as well learn from the mistakes of others, right?!  Lol unless you like learning the hard way, then by all means, go for it!  But for those who aren’t playing around and are serious about healing their body, take a listen to Stephanie Person (click on the picture) and watch this video (and a ton of her other ones).  She’s a well of knowledge when it comes to keto.



4 thoughts on “Booze, Coffee, Sleep and Cortisol, Oh My!

  1. so true, esp. cortisol, sleep and not being able to adapt (ie too high blood sugar numbers although from a med viewpoint totally okay..) yes it is a pain because jobs and the like do not work well hands in hands with this approach to nutrition..after 1 year still not adapted, slow trends into lowering BS to levels that Steph K calls sweet spot. No fat loss (or so little that this is barely noticeable) as by tape measurement, never lost weight anyhow at the start. But sleep is much better and in general feel fine.


      1. Yes this is why I am bit astonished about S Person’s videos where she predicts that if you are not fat-adapted you feel bad.. well no I do not I feel fine am not adapted to her standards (huge dawn effects).. I wonder…16 months in no cheat- only S.Person foods.. and nothing is happening on that front:-)

        Liked by 1 person

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