Fed & Fit

Ep. 122: Mark Sisson on The Keto Reset Diet

On today’s episode, I’m talking with Mark Sisson about his new book, The Keto Reset Diet. We talk about the fascinating science of keto, how to know if it’s truly working for you, and potential pitfalls.

Mark Sisson on the Keto Reset Diet

We’re back with our 122nd episode of the Fed+Fit Podcast! Remember to check back every Monday for a new episode and be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

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Episode 122 Sponsors

  • Aaptiv – be sure to enter the promo code “FEDANDFIT” (one word, all caps) at checkout, and your first 30 days are on the house!

Episode 122 Links

  • Order your copy of The Keto Diet Reset book by clicking HERE
  • Check out Mark’s Daily Apple HERE
  • Explore the Primal Kitchen Foods HERE
  • …snag a jar of my favorite Primal Kitchen Foods Mayo HERE

Episode 122 Transcription

Today’s show is brought to you by Aaptiv! Aaptiv is a fabulous app and robust online community that allows you access to top notch, motivating personal trainers who guide you through an audio-based workout that is timed to your choosing with fun, perfectly synchronized music. Like Netflix for fitness; Aaptiv gives members unlimited access to their entire bank of high-end, trainer-led workout classes. So if you’re looking for fresh, high quality, on the go, motivating workouts that adapt to your lifestyle, I highly recommend Aaptiv.

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Cassy Joy: Welcome back to another episode of the Fed and Fit podcast. I am your host, Cassy Joy Garcia, and today I’m joined by a very special guest. I’m excited to introduce you all to Mark Sisson. He is the bestselling author of the Primal Blueprint, former world class athlete, endurance athlete, one of the leading voices of the evolutionary health movement and publisher of www.MarksDailyApple.com. I guarantee if you’ve googled something paleo related, you’ve found a good answer over on that website at some point in time. {laughs}

It is the world’s most visited blog on paleo, primal, and ancestral health. And he will be releasing his latest book, The Keto Reset Diet this October 3rd, 2017. Welcome to the show, Mark!

Mark Sisson: Thanks Cassy, great to be here!

Cassy Joy: Yeah, great to have you here! That was a very, very short introduction.

Mark Sisson: {laughs}

Cassy Joy: I thought about preparing a longer intro and a longer bio for you, and it would have just been reading bullet after bullet of impressive feat. But if there’s any extended intro that you’d like to give folks, we’d love to hear it.

Mark Sisson: Well; where do we start, and where do we end. Basically the only other things; not only. The main things right now are we just launched the Primal Kitchen food line. So I’m the founder of Primal Kitchen foods. And then we have two restaurants open under the Primal Kitchen flag in South Bend, Indiana, and in Culver City, in Los Angeles. So our restaurant business is taking off, as well. So I would add that to the existing bio.

Cassy Joy: Those are big ones! Man I had some mayo last night! {laughs}

Mark Sisson: Mmm.

Cassy Joy: If you guys are not familiar yet with Primal Kitchen foods, highly recommend you look into it. Great dressings, great mayo’s, all kinds of good stuff. Bars. Man. Protein powders. All that good stuff. And I’m going to be in your neck of the woods this coming weekend, but apparently I’m going to just miss you guys. Ships in the night for the big opening.

Mark Sisson: Oh, well once we’re open, we’re open Cassy! So you can always stop by.

Cassy Joy: {laughs} I will do that! That’s a good point. Well thank you so much for coming on the show today. We’re going to really zero; I’m happy to talk about anything. But I would love to hear more about the Keto Reset Diet book that’s coming out this October. What inspired this new project?

Mark Sisson: Well you know I’ve been eating sort of a low-carb, real food diet for 15 years. And experiencing tremendous benefits from doing that. I went from being a carb-fed, I’m talking 700, 800 grams of carbs a day. A carb-fed athlete during my endurance days, to when I elected not to compete and not to train so hard anymore. I dropped that way down to under 150 grams of carbs a day. And I did that by getting rid of sugar, and getting rid of grains, and processed foods, and things like that. And it was pretty easy to get below 150 grams of carbs a day.

In fact, anybody who embarks on a real-food diet is going to find themselves in that 100 to 150 grams a day if they’re eating; that includes copious amount of vegetables and some fruit and some tubers. Stuff like that. But anyway.

After having been low-carb for so long, and then having had days or maybe a week at a time where I was ultra low-carb. Not by design, just by chance. Finding myself a couple of days into maybe 40 or 50 grams of carbs a day. And kind of being keto a little bit over the past 10 years. But never really going in and exploring that zone of what we call the keto zone now. Where a lot of additional benefits can accrue.

So I was asked to do a book by a major publishing house about a year ago that looked at the ketogenic diet in a way; because there are so many books and websites now on keto. It’s kind of the new buzzword. But I’m seeing that a lot of people are doing it wrong. Let’s put it this way; there are a lot of wrong ways to do keto. There are a lot of right ways, too. There’s no one perfect way. But I wanted to look at it from more of a research-based and experiential based point of view.

I went into ketosis; deep ketosis for a couple of months. It was easy, because I was already low-carb. So for me it was just going from 70 to 100 grams of carbs a day down to 20 to 50 grams of carbs a day. So it was literally giving up a couple of night carbs that took me there. And it was pretty profound; the changes that I thought. You know, I thought, “Ok, maybe I’ll see a little bit of change here and there. And it will be kind of cool to experience keto.” And it was really quite profound.

I got more energy than I’d had in a while. And I’ve always had good energy. Don’t get me wrong. Low-carb is still the best way to start your journey. But going keto brings a whole new perspective to your body. The idea with, at least in my estimation, as the best way to live as a human is to extract the greatest amount of enjoyment, pleasure, and fulfillment from any moment possible. That includes being energetic and having an ideal body composition, and not being sick. And really, most importantly I think for a lot of people, not being hungry. Not letting hunger dictate how you move from point A to point B throughout your day.

So one of the most profound benefits from my going keto, and in so doing, rebooting my metabolism to become even better at burning fat, and even better at making ketones, and even better at utilizing those ketones as an alternative source of fuel other than glucose. Or carbohydrates. This notion that; I was no longer hunger. I was appetite and cravings. Which, look. I mean, I’ve diminished those over the last decade pretty significantly. But just to get to that next level by going keto, to ratchet my metabolism so I’m that much more efficient with how I burn calories in my body. And it manifested itself in a number of different ways. As I said, I had more energy.

Oddly, I found that I needed less sleep. So I feel like I got better sleep. And that may be because of the rest and restoration aspects of keto that maybe you don’t have to spend that much time sleeping to repair and restore. I don’t know, that’s a theory of mine.

Cassy Joy: Interesting.

Mark Sisson: You know, I didn’t think I had enough naked pictures of me circulating on the internet, right?

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Mark Sisson: So I didn’t think I had a lot of extra body fat to burn off, but I actually burned off some more body fat. I dropped about 6 pounds. I swear, it’s all body fat. I would go to the gym and people would go; “Dude, you look jacked! Are you putting on muscle?” No, I actually lost a little bit of weight. But maybe I have put on a little bit of muscle. And that’s one of the things about keto, is that there’s this whole epigenetic signaling thing that happens when you’re making ketones that doesn’t happen when you’re just low-carb. And that epigenetic signaling tends to spare muscle protein. Spare protein and spare muscle tissue.

So I’ve found that I was actually able to put on a little bit of muscle while I was in this phase. Which I otherwise thought, over the past couple of years, I assumed when you’re keto you’re barely hanging on to your muscle mass. You’ll lose some body fat, but you’ll also lose some muscle. Is that something you want to do for the rest of your life? There are these sites now that are dedicated to putting on muscle going strictly keto. Sites like keto gains, and so on.

So it was, all in all, it was a tremendously eye-opening epiphany. It was a profound experience for someone who hasn’t had many profound experiences recently. Nothing really kind of makes my eyebrows go up. And so as I was writing the book, I thought, “This is just such an amazing opportunity for anyone to reset their metabolism.”

Not to spend the rest of your life in keto, but maybe for a couple of weeks. Maybe once a year, go keto for 6 weeks, 8 weeks. Maybe the same way people do cleanses once a year. And in so doing, to so significantly change their metabolism in a way that makes them more energy efficient. What we call metabolically flexible. The ability to burn fats so well that you don’t need to eat. You do eat. And one of the ironies here that I eat less food, but I enjoy it more.

Shut me up if I’m rambling on too long.

Cassy Joy: No, my gosh! I’m fascinated. Keep going. {laughs}

Mark Sisson: It was really an eye-opening experience to think, “Wow, this would be beneficial to just about everyone who tried it.” Provided you did it right. As I say, there are a lot of wrong ways to do keto.

So the Keto Reset Diet, the book, is really about stair stepping you into a keto lifestyle, for as long as you want. A couple of weeks, a couple of months. I know people who have been in keto for 10 years. I’m not suggesting that. And I’m not. I go in and out. I’m in what I call right now the keto zone. Which is, I’ve done the work, I’ve built the metabolic machinery, because I spent a lot of time in keto. I’ve built that machinery so that even when I’m out of ketosis, I’m not out by much.

Because like I said, I don’t have the desire. I don’t have the cravings I used to have for several extra bites of cheesecake. I’ll have two or three, and it doesn’t affect me negatively. But I won’t have a whole slice of cheesecake. I find myself skipping meals by choice, sometimes. I’m not really hungry. I don’t feel compelled to eat. In the old days, I might have thought to myself, “Jeeze, if I don’t eat soon I’ll start to tear into some of my precious muscle tissue.”

Because of my experiences recently, those thoughts have gone away. And I might skip meals just because I don’t feel like eating and be perfectly fine with that now. And then also be perfectly fine with the mindset that says, if I’ve built this metabolic machinery to burn fats and to make ketones and to have my brain use these ketones for fuel instead of glucose, then I’m at the point where every time I do skip a meal, I’m burning stored body fat. It’s not like I’m losing energy. Or I’m putting off some refeeding that’s going to happen in a couple of hours. Literally, all I’m doing is shifting from taking the calories off a plate to taking the calories off my belly or my thighs or whatever.

Look; this is what defines humans! If you think about what it took to be human over the last 2.5 million years. We’re a pretty substandard carnivore predator. We had to learn how to hunt because we don’t have claws, we don’t run that fast. So how is it that humans survived 2.5 million years of humanness with such limited tools. And the answer is, because we’re so good at storing fat. So whenever we came across food, we would eat. Probably overeat; that’s why our brains are wired to want us to kind of overeat. We store that fat. But then we have all these tools to be able to take that fat out of storage and use it for energy during the days that there was no food available.

You take a carbohydrate-based person today, and you say, “You’re going to go days without eating.” And they’re just going to keel over right in front of you. So this skill to be able to not only store lots of fat; which is a skill that we have. But to be able to take it out of storage quickly and burn it efficiently, and then not to have any form of carbohydrate at all because we can take some of that fat and make ketones from it. And those ketones then become the preferred fuel for the brain, and the heart, and in many cases, the muscle.

It’s just an elegant system, and yet so few people in our modern times ever get a chance to tap into this amazing skill that we all have hardwired in our DNA.

Cassy Joy: Gosh, that is fascinating. {laughs} Man! No wonder this lit you up. So I assume that you go through this, in the Keto Diet Rest book coming out. But how long does it usually take to get into that keto zone, would you say?

Mark Sisson: Yeah. So, the way we do it in the book, is we kind of tap into the original Primal Blueprint. We take a 21-day process to start to remove some of those offending sugars. The sugary drinks, the sweetened things. The pies, the cakes, the candy, the cookies, the breads, the pastas, the cereals, and all that stuff that most of us in the paleo world kind of already know we ought to be eating less of, if at all.

So we take 3 weeks to kind of ramp the newbie down into that paleo primal eating style. And getting rid of the sugars and getting rid of all that stuff leave you with still ample amounts of vegetables and a little bit of fruit. Maybe some tubers once in a while. But the body starts to get used to lower and lower amounts of carbohydrates. But it doesn’t get into that bonky, low-carb flu. Because we haven’t really reduced them so significantly. Just enough to kind of keep you going. And just enough to start the body to think, “Well, I’m going to have to start accessing some of my stored body fat.”

Because by reducing that amount of extraneous and otherwise unnecessary carbs, you’ll also reduce the amount of insulin you produce. And insulin is sort of what keeps fat locked in the fat stores. So the more insulin you secrete during the daytime, the more you lock the fat into the fat cells and it can’t get out. Because insulin is sort of a storage hormone. And by reducing the amount of carbs you take in. And in many cases, reducing the glycemic load, you are reducing the amount of insulin you’re secreting. And therefore, the fat cells kind of go, “Ok. We can start to unload some of this stored energy that we have in our fat cells. And we can start to burn that instead of glucose.”

So that’s the first kind of phase of this whole thing. But then; and by the way, we also talk about some of the other important lifestyle factors. How to get an appropriate amount of sleep, because sleep can be a big stumbling block for a lot of people who are trying to improve their metabolic flexibility and efficiency. And we talk about play. We talk about stress management, a lot of things like that.

But midway through the book, there’s a midterm exam. And we literally say; “Ok, now it’s time. We’re going to go full keto. But in order for you to earn the right to go keto, and do so in a way that’s easy and comfortable, you have to answer these questions.” And some of them have to do with your energy level when you wake up. Or how long can you go in the morning without having to eat. The little experiments that we do.

Can you do a workout without eating, and then can you not eat after workout for X amount of time. Little things like that that sort of prove that you become a fat burner. That you’re becoming fat adapted. That you’re no longer relying on carbohydrate and glycogen stored up in your muscles to get you through every single workout. Or to require that you have to eat every couple of hours, otherwise your blood sugar dips.

Probably the single biggest, I think, strategy is to say, “Ok, can I go 16 or 18 hours. Can I go from 7 o’clock at night, having had dinner, to lunch the next day without eating?” Still feeling comfortable, and energetic, and productive, and doing my work. And that’s when you know you’re becoming good at burning fat. Or better at burning fat.

So when you get to that point, it doesn’t take that long. That’s why we have the 3-week; the 21-day sort of deciding time limit in there. It doesn’t take that long for a lot of people. And if you pass the exam, you go, “OK, we’re going keto!” All we’re going to do is drop your carbs a little bit more. From 100, 120 grams a day down to 40 or 50 grams a day. So it’s not this huge leap that you have to take that requires a tremendous amount of added discipline. It’s just sort of the next level step that we take.

Cassy Joy: That makes a lot of sense. That’s so interesting. One of my next questions was, do you have a self-assessment before jumping into keto. You do! {laughs}

Mark Sisson: Not only do we, we had to do that. Because so many people are now using the equipment. The monitoring devices to decide if they’re in ketosis. So there’s the urine strips, where you pee on them and they turn purple. “Yay, I’m producing ketones!” Well, you’re producing ketones, but you’re peeing them out. And the whole point to making ketones is to use them as fuel.

So it’s very inefficient; it’s very metabolically inefficient to make these amazing; it’s almost like some super fuel that we make. What’s you’re super power? I make ketones. {laughs}

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Mark Sisson: And they’re a great fuel that you don’t want to be squandering. And your body certainly doesn’t want them to be squandering. So if you are, for example, someone who is showing a lot of ketones all the time, it may be that your liver is making the ketones and you’ve been depriving yourself of glucose, but you haven’t built the metabolic machinery to burn the ketones yet. And that’s really the most critical part of this whole thing. Is increasing the number of mitochondria throughout the body.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Mark Sisson: So mitochondria are the power plants of every cell. And some cells have 40 or 50 of them, some cells have several thousand of them. That’s where all the energy is created. That’s where the ATP, which is the currency that the body uses for moving around, is created. It’s created in these mitochondria. Well, if you have been dependent on sugar your whole life, and carbohydrates have become the basis of your eating strategy, your body never really gets a chance to build more mitochondria. Because so much of the sugar is burned outside the mitochondria. In what they call the cytosol of the cell. So you don’t even need mitochondria to burn sugar, in many cases.

So the body says; “If we’re just going to be getting a fresh supply of sugar from the form of carbohydrates every couple of hours all day long, we don’t need to maintain these mitochondria. So let’s just let them atrophy, or let them disappear.” So there’s no reason for the body to make new mitochondria. Well, once you start withholding carbohydrate, and once you stop dropping the amount of glucose that you’re providing to your brain and your muscles to get throughout the day, the body; literally, the genes get this signal.

Oh my gosh, if there’s not going to be any more glycogen or glucose; no more carbohydrate feedings, we’ve got to do something to start to really tap into our fat stores. And take fat out and start burning fat a much higher rate than we’ve been doing it to get through the day, to have the energy to get through the day. And if there’s not going to be much glucose, we also have to start making some brain fuel. And that’s the ketones. Let’s make extra ketones.

The liver is doing this. And it’s all based on these basic, epigenetic, biochemical signals that are a result of not eating carbohydrate. It’s pretty fascinating how it works. The genes are upregulated. More enzyme systems are built to take fat out of storage. The mitochondria increase in actual number, because the cells are prompted to make more mitochondria.

The mitochondria themselves have their own set of DNA. It’s a very unique experience. No other organelle or part of a cell has its own DNA, but the mitochondria does. And that DNA get the signal that it needs to become even better at burning fat. So not only do you have more mitochondria, they’re better at burning fat. And the more you burn fat, the less reliant you are on carbohydrate. On glucose as a fuel.

So we get to this great state where we talk about metabolic flexibility, and metabolic efficiency. Where we can burn fat at a very high rate, and never have to really tap into our stored glycogen in our muscles. Where we can make ketones. And as you get good at this. This is back to the reason that we don’t do a lot of testing, and we’d rather come down to this elegant little sentence; “How do you feel?”

Because when people are really good at keto; some people have been keto for 10 years and eat 20, 30 grams of carbs a day. And that’s it. And then they test their blood, and they might be at 0.3 or 0.4 millimolar. Or they might never come even close to purple on a urine strip. They become so good at making ketones, that the body only makes what it needs. And they’re so good at burning fat, that the muscles no longer need ketones. The muscles say, “Look. We can do 85-90-95% of our work burning fat. We still have some stored glycogen, so we can use that. We don’t really need ketones, Mr. Liver. So you don’t need to make ketones for us at all. You just make all the ketones that you need for the brain.”

So the liver just starts producing what it needs for the brain. And the brain doesn’t really have any moments where it’s putting out 1200 watts for 8 minutes climbing a hill. It’s not like the brain ever goes glycolytic. The brain kind of chugs along at a steady pace. So if the liver knows that the brain chugs along at a steady pace, it doesn’t need to make a ton of ketones. It sort of makes just what the brain needs on a steady state throughout the day.

So you settle into this amazingly efficient area where most of your energy for movement comes from burning fat all day long. And most of your energy for thought comes from the ketones, but not the over-production of ketones to where you’re showing it on a monitor or a measuring device as having an excess amount of ketones. Does that make sense?

Cassy Joy: It makes perfect sense. Gosh, that’s so fascinating. So would you say a prerequisite to really go into keto, and doing it well. Hitting that keto zone, would be to already have been somewhat fat adapted?

Mark Sisson: Yeah. Exactly. That’s why it was so easy for me to go keto. All I did was consciously stop eating a couple of extra little end of the day carbs. Because normally, I’ve been very low carb. And I’ve also exhibited some of these strategies that I talk about in the book. Like, I don’t eat until 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I wake up in the morning, I don’t have anything to eat. I have a cup of coffee. I go to work. I might break middle of the morning and go do a workout. Sometimes it’s a very hard workout. Sometimes it’s an easy workout. But in either case I don’t eat before the workout. I don’t eat after the workout. Sometimes, intentionally, but mostly because I’m not hungry.

If you’ve become that good at burning fat, you actually; again, your hunger sort of dissipates. And that in and of itself. That not eating right after a workout has some anabolic effects when you’re keto. It’s crazy.

So my first meal of the day, which might be at 12:30 or 1 o’clock, is a big ass salad. And you go, wait a minute? Isn’t salad mostly carb? Well, if you took a big bowl of lettuce and put in some broccoli florets, some cucumber, some red bell pepper, a couple of tomatoes, some pine nuts, maybe a little bit of cheese and maybe some chicken on it, and then you douse it with a healthy salad dressing that’s got some healthy fats. Wink, wink. Primal Kitchen salad dressings.

Cassy Joy: {laughs}

Mark Sisson: Which is why I made them, by the way. Because I couldn’t find any. Then you’ve just made the most perfectly keto meal you could get. It’s got 25-30 grams of protein, it’s got 25-30 grams of fat, it’s got maybe 15-20 grams of carbs. And it’s satisfying. And it provides fiber in the form of the vegetables. The irony here, Cassy, is that if you took the meat off, it would be a vegan meal.

Cassy Joy: Mm-hmm.

Mark Sisson: You know? So a big ass salad, plus or minus the meat, is the perfect food for anybody, whether you’re keto or not. But especially if you’re keto. It’s like, I filled all the requirements. It was a low-carb meal. Now, because I’m good at burning fat, my body doesn’t crave carbs ever. So as long as I don’t feed it a lot of carbs, I stay in that fat burning zone. So then I go through the afternoon, and I might have; if I get the least bit hungry, which I typically don’t. But it’s mostly because I’m home. It’s like, proximity to food. If I’m not home, I don’t get hungry. If I’m home, I’m like, “Oh, I think I’ll have a handful of macadamia nuts.” Or something.

Cassy Joy: Yeah.

Mark Sisson: And I typically work until 7 p.m. at night. And I break then and have dinner. It’s some form of protein; some clean protein with some healthy fat. Maybe it’s some steamed vegetables with butter on them or some grilled vegetables. But it’s vegetables. So it’s going to be chicken and vegetables, or meat and vegetables, or salmon and vegetables, something like that. And that’s it. And that provides tremendous amount of satiety for me. I enjoy every bite of food I eat because every bite tastes great. I don’t force anything down my face that isn’t going to taste awesome. I don’t care how healthy it is.

And going back to one of my original observations here; I find that I get through the day on fewer calories than ever before. But that’s a good thing, because I realize that I’m maintaining, or building muscle mass. I have all the energy I need; sometimes too much. I don’t get sick. And most importantly, I don’t get hungry. Or if I do, I certainly take care of myself. But I find that I don’t get hungry. It’s an amazing space to find myself in. I call it the keto zone.

Because some days I might have a little bit of something sweet for after my evening meal. I might have a bowl of berries, or I might have some paleo dessert that doesn’t have any grains in it but still have a fair amount of carbs in the form of sugar. If that takes me out of keto, a little bit, the fact that I go to bed, I wake up in the morning, I don’t eat, I go to the gym, I do a fasted workout. I’m right back into keto the next afternoon.

So I’m in this what we call keto zone, which doesn’t require that I’m in ketosis all the time. It actually, as a result of my having spent time in ketosis, and having built the metabolic machinery, it allows me the flexibility to go in and out with reasonable tolerances. To go in and out, and never feel any sort of a transition feeling. Which I think was one of the things that a lot of people initially had issues with. Like, ok. Some of the early studies would look at athletes who did 2 weeks of keto. And then they went out. So they’d get a little bit lightheaded when they went back on the carbs, and then back into keto. Well, that’s because they hadn’t spent the time building the metabolic machinery.

That’s why we say 6 weeks is the best possible foray into keto. And that’s the second part of the book. How you do the 6 weeks of keto. To build that metabolic machinery, to get to the point where the muscles are used to just burning fat. And, as I say, they get to that point about 3 weeks into keto where they go; you know what, we don’t need ketones. You save it for the brain. So you become more efficient. Now you’re not blowing 4.0 millimolar or 5.0 millimolar on your blood ketone strip. Because your body knows now it doesn’t need to produce that much. It’s not frantically trying to correct for a lack of glucose. Now it’s just like; ah. We’ve got this. This is easy.

Cassy Joy: Gosh, this is so interesting. Very interesting. Would you say that keto could serve anybody out there? Is there anybody listening right now you would want to add an err of; exercise these kinds of self-assessments beforehand? It sounds like that 21-day intro could serve everybody.

Mark Sisson: Sure. So, we are all wired to benefit from reducing or restricting carbohydrates. That’s just the human design. Now, the caveat would be that some of us have spent so many decades doing metabolic damage to ourselves that it might be a little bit more uncomfortable getting to this keto place with ease and grace. If you’re a woman who’s trying to conceive. If you’re a type 1 diabetic. There are certain instances, where if you have a medical condition, I would suggest finding a doctor who is interested in tracking your numbers. And it’s as simple as that.

My only caveat is, I’m not a physician. I’m a researcher. And I can tell you the benefits from the research I’ve done. But I’m going to be conservative and say; if you have a medical condition that you’re concerned about, then find a physician who understands what keto really is. Who is interested in helping you alter your ability to burn fat and become a more efficient human being. And work with that physician.

And what we do see, over time, for sure is we see; I think keto is a way. There will be 20 million type 2 diabetics right now that if they did this keto thing would no longer be diabetic. I’ll say that. I have no problem with people coming after me for that. Because I think it’s outrageous that we have 30 to 35 million people who have type 2 diabetes in a country where no one needs to get type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is an acquired condition as a result of making inappropriate food choices, and inappropriate exercise choices. Full stop.

Now, you can say, “I’ve got a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes.” Yeah, everybody does. When you have type 2 diabetes, that’s basically your human genes trying to protect you from the way you’re eating. They’re actually doing what they’re supposed to do, given the signals that you’ve chosen to give those genes.

So back to type 2 diabetes and keto; I think that’s probably the greatest application of a ketogenic diet, is in that field of type 2 diabetes. But that also; if we look at obesity, and the fact that people tend to store more energy than they burn off. Keto is perfect for that. We see hundreds of thousands of cases already of people who have embarked on a low-carb or keto eating strategy and it burned off 50, 100, 150 pounds of excess body fat that they, up to now, despite every method and strategy and book they’ve ever read couldn’t get to it. Because they were trying to do it from the wrong direction. They were trying to restrict calories and keep their carbs. And this is about basically getting rid of carbs, and not even restricting calories that much.

Cassy Joy: Yep. That makes a lot of sense. Ok, I have one last question for you Mark, before I let you go. This has been so good. Do you have any notes, as far as you’re talking about coming back out of a keto state? Maybe if people want to revisit that keto zone once or twice a year, however many times. Just to kind of get that metabolic reset that you spoke to. I guess that recheck on being metabolically nimble. Is there any kind of reintroduction into maybe just a more general low carb or maybe folks aren’t even counting carbs sort of state of living that you think would be a more graceful reintroduction outside of that keto zone?

Mark Sisson: Well, you know. It’s interesting. The notes I would have would be the anecdotal stuff that I hear from everybody; myself included. Which go like this; I ate really well and clean for a couple of months. And I was low-carb, or keto. In other words, I wasn’t keto. I was close to low-carb. And then I went off the rails. And then I had a couple of days in a row where I had 3-400 grams of carbs. And I felt like crap.

Well, ok. That’s the best indicator; I mean, that’s sort of a good-news, bad-news kind of thing. The good news is you cleaned up your diet, you learned how to burn fat, you’ve become more metabolically efficient. The bad news is, if you are tempted by that large full-size piece of cheesecake, or that loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, and you down it, you’re going to notice physically the consequences. Not just the fact that you might add a little bit of stored body fat. But you will feel terrible.

Go back to that comment I made about our self-evaluation. It isn’t about the numbers; it’s about “How do you feel?” And so a number of people who go keto or go low-carb and clean up their diet. And then they go to Europe; well, Europe isn’t so bad. They go to any part of the US and they order pizza, and beer. I have these people report back to me all the time. “I can’t believe I did that! Oh my god, I felt so terrible! I get it now. I get what I was doing to my body. And there’s no way I’m going to go back to that.”

So when you go out of keto, as long as you adhere to this sort of real food, clean eating strategy. As long as you eat plenty of vegetables, and some fruit, and some tubers, you’re not going to get above 200 grams of carbs a day. And you’re going to enjoy every bite of food. So it isn’t even, really, it’s so easy then to get back into keto from there. Because you haven’t strayed out that far. Does that make sense?

Cassy Joy: That makes a lot of sense. I’m glad you said it. I was thinking that. {laughs}

Mark Sisson: Yeah.

Cassy Joy: Oh man, this has been so wonderful, Mark. Thank you so much for sharing all this awesome knowledge and research and all this work that you’ve put into this project. Definitely interested and eager to get a copy of the book. If you don’t mind telling folks where they can find it. And then of course where they can find some of your other, more recent projects.

Mark Sisson: Yeah, so www.KetoReset.com is the website. And you can order the book there. Preorder if it’s not out yet, or order once it’s out. And of course, we have links directly to your favorite purveyor of books, whether that’s Barnes and Noble, Amazon, BooksaMillion, etc., etc. You can go to Mark’s Daily Apple, which is my blog. And everything I’ve ever written in books is there somewhere on my blog. It’s just buried in 4,000 articles. So you probably ought to be getting at least one of the books. Either the Primal Blueprint or the Keto Reset Diet.

And then www.PrimalKitchen.com if you’re interested in finding out about some of our healthy sauces, dressings, and toppings. These are the healthy fats that make all the food that we just talked about taste that much better and make it that much healthier because of putting the healthy fats and functional foods on top of them.

And then anybody who is interested in Primal Kitchen restaurants, you can go to www.PrimalKitchenRestaurants.com. We’re looking for either new franchisee’s, or you want to find one that’s near your location.

Cassy Joy: Man. Very cool! My husband is a franchiser, so I’ll throw that in his arena. {laughs}

Mark Sisson: Absolutely.

Cassy Joy: Oh man, Mark. Thank you so much. This has been wonderful. Really, really proud of all the work. Eager to keep cheering you on, and help from afar. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Mark Sisson: Thank you. You keep up the great work too, Cassy.

Cassy Joy: Oh, thank you! It’s definitely a pleasure. Everybody else. Thanks for dialing in. As always, you can find a full transcript, links to everything that Mark and I talked about today over at www.FedandFit.com. And as always, we’ll be back again next week.

   

One Response to “Ep. 122: Mark Sisson on The Keto Reset Diet”

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    Christineposted September 18, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Hi – trying to subscribe to your podcast on iTunes, and I cannot find it by searching and the link you provide says “this item is not currently available…” Wanted to make sure you were aware!

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