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Notes from "The Keto Reset Diet"

These are my notes from "The Keto Reset Diet" by Mark Sisson. Mark is a longtime endurance athlete and the author of several books about diet and exercise. His ideas are tested and no BS. I've personally tried them, and they work! Mark is also the founder of Primal Kitchen – a company that makes truly healthy and delicious high quality sauces, dressings, and marinades without any industrial seed oils, high fructose corn syrup, or any other junk.




2 Key Takeaways of Keto:

  1. Going keto will virtually eliminate hunger and the energy, mood, and concentration level fluctuation levels that you'd normally have.

  2. Going keto will make you metabolically efficient, such that you can survive and thrive on fewer calories over the course of your lifetime. This may boost your longevity more than any other single lifestyle practice.


Maintaining dietary ketosis requires an estimated macronutrient profile of approximately 65-75% fat, 15-25% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates. For carb intake, experts recommend a maximum of 50 grams per day for active people and 20 grams for inactive people.


Urine test strips are inaccurate for measuring if your body is burning ketones. Breath tests or blood tests are the most accurate way. A ketone concentration of 0.5 mmol/L represents the beginning of mild nutritional ketosis. 3.0 mmol/L is the high end.


Rather than measuring ketones, it might be better to just evaluate how you feel, think, and perform.


Being in ketosis may not be indicative of your ability to burn them for fuel.


When you're fully fat-adapted, your muscles burn mostly fat and ketones produced in the liver are used for energy in the brain.


The brain cannot burn fat. It must burn either glucose or ketones.


Fat and ketone burning went out of style in conjunction with the gradual advent of our modern grain-based civilization, which started around 7,000 years ago.


When you're carbohydrate dependent, you may have plenty of fat locked away in storage, but a high insulin-producing diet prevents you from being able to access it. Instead, you become reliant on your next snack or meal for energy and you exist in this state of carbohydrate dependency. A high carbohydrate, high insulin-producing diet leads to daily fluctuations in energy, appetite, and mood, lifelong insidious accumulation of excess body fat (because you're terrible at burning fat, and really good at storing fat due to high insulin production), a state of chronic inflammation in the body, and widespread cellular damage from glycation. Chronic inflammation, glycation, and oxidative damage are the essence of epidemic disease and accelerated aging in modern life. The good news is you can recalibrate your body to become fat and keto-adapted in a relatively short amount of time.


You can categorize every lifestyle practice or food you eat either as promoting undesirable inflammation or helping you control inflammation.


Your body produces 2 kinds of ketones: beta hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate. Both of these break down into acetone. BHB disrupts the assembly of inflammatory processes inside your cells.


Ketones are especially beneficial to your brain, which is most vulnerable to the damaging effects of inflammation. Conditions of cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer's, dementia, ADHD, and autism are all characterized by inflammation and poor oxygen delivery to the brain.


Ketone burning upregulates the production of internal antioxidant enzymes like catalase, glutathione, and superoxide dismutase. These enzymes have extremely potent and wide-ranging effects in the body. They help protect against inflammation and oxidative stress caused by intense exercise, eating bad foods, and simply breathing air and burning calories. Having a powerful internal antioxidant system will boost immunity, delay aging, and help protect you from cancer, neurological decline, and other degenerative diseases. Superoxide dismutase is particularly effective at keeping your skin looking healthy and youthful. High glutathione levels are highly predictive of longevity because this substance protects cells from the degeneration that leads to assorted diseases, especially cognitive conditions.


Ketogenic eating improves immune function in assorted other ways, such as autophagy (the natural cellular repair and detoxification process), and the optimization of mitochondrial function, resulting in less free radical production when you burn caloric energy. Immune function is also enhanced when you transition from carb dependent to fat adapted because you minimize the emergency production of gluconeogenesis, as a component of fight or flight, something that happens every time a carb dependent high insulin-producing eater runs low on glucose. When you trigger fight or flight every time you experience an energy dip and don't immediately slam more carbs, you significantly compromise immune function and many other aspects of general health.


The ketogenic diet has been a solution to drug-resistant seizures for nearly a century.


Being in ketosis helps suppress the growth of cancer cells in numerous ways, most notably by starving cancer cells of glucose. Cancer cells thrive and proliferate by consuming glucose at a greater rate than regular cells. This unique property of cancer cells is known as the Warburg effect and was discovered over a hundred years ago. It has long been known that fasting, calorie restriction, and ketogenic eating are effective therapies to reduce the availability of glucose for certain cancer cells. Only recently have studies appeared to suggest that fasting and keto benefits accrue not only from glucose restriction but also from the production of ketones. For example, beta hydroxybutyrate is known to be an epigenetic modulator able to influence the way genes are expressed throughout the body and can play a role in ending the expression of cancer-promoting genes.


When growth factors are chronically elevated, you are more likely to have unregulated cellular activity that causes cancer, and you're more likely to have that cancer grow and spread to other areas of the body at an accelerated rate. Carbo-loading and high-protein smoothies seem to be the default strategy for building huge guns in the gym, but they are not so great when you want to live a long healthy life, fight cancer, or not get cancer in the first place.


Some of the most effective mitochondria generating stressors are endurance workouts, high-intensity strength or sprint workouts (which stimulate mitochondria on a different energy pathway than endurance, which is why it's good to do both), fasting (because when you starve cells, you force them to become more efficient), or ketogenic eating (because you minimize dirty burning glucose and recruit more mitochondria to burn fat and ketones). When you combine frequent fasting, keto-aligned eating, and a sensible exercise program, you get your mitochondria in top shape and enjoy maximum protective benefits against the oxidative damage caused by exercise and other forms of stress in modern life.


If you're a devoted exercise enthusiast, you must make sure you steer clear of chronic exercise patterns, which will compromise your progress towards fat adaptation as well as your ability to adhere to a restriction on dietary carbohydrates.


With sleep, it's important to minimize artificial light and digital stimulation after dark, the combination of which is a disastrous affront to our hard-wired sleep and wake cycles with the rising and setting of the sun.


A high protein diet, one where you routinely exceed your baseline needs, is really a high carbohydrate fat-storage diet. Your objective for protein intake is simple. Consume the minimum necessary to preserve, or build if desired, lean muscle mass and the healthy functioning of your organs.


For endurance workouts, you should stay below your maximum aerobic heart rate. Even a few minutes above it can compromise the fat-burning benefits of the entire workout. If you progress too quickly into your workout, even staying below your maximum aerobic heart rate, you will burn glucose initially, since it takes a little while to get your fat-burning engines started. It's a good idea to walk before your workout to ensure maximum fat burning throughout the workout.


Owing to sprinting's high degree of difficulty and profound hormonal and metabolic effects, occasional efforts will deliver the best results. Once every 7-10 days and only when you're feeling truly rested and motivated to deliver maximum effort, you can conduct a sprint workout honoring these following precise guidelines:

  1. Respect your current ability level.

  2. Sprint when you feel fresh.

  3. Thoroughly warm up and cool down. Also try to remain moving around for the rest of the day to speed recovery.

  4. Deliver consistent quality efforts. Each sprint should be consistent in pace and effort level. Give controlled maximum efforts. You should feel fatigued at the end, but not exhausted.

  5. Take ample recovery intervals. For running, do 4-6 sprints lasting 10-20 seconds each. Jog slowly in between sprints and let your breathing return to normal.


The 6-week mark of keto is when you will receive the transformational benefits in athletic performance, weight loss, mental clarity, or correction of disease risk factors.


If you fast overnight, then deliver a high-intensity workout of 45 minutes or a sustained aerobic workout of a couple hours, and then you fast for a couple hours afterward, you can get to a blood ketone level in one day that might take 2-7 days with keto eating without the exercise component.


Keto and calorie restriction are considered hormetic stressors, which are positive stressors that deliver a net overall benefit and are not too severe to become destructive. Hormetic stressors relating to cellular energy needs will also stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis. When cells are challenged by a lack of calories, a challenging workout, or both, they respond by improving mitochondrial function and building new mitochondria. Hormesis is thus the distinction between brief fight or flight stimulation of the sprint workout that delivers great benefits and the prolonged fight or flight stimulation of chronic exercise patterns, which is destructive. Ice baths and sauna sessions are also hormetic stressors.


These are the biggest takeaways of the book:

  1. Becoming fat and keto-adapted regulates hunger such that you are no longer a slave to regular high carbohydrate meals to sustain energy, mood, and cognitive focus, and can easily maintain ideal body composition.

  2. Becoming calorically efficient, metabolically flexible, and insulin-sensitive can profoundly benefit general health and longevity.

  3. Becoming fat and keto-adapted represents the essence of metabolic flexibility and an escape from the certain doom of carbohydrate dependency. From metabolic syndrome, obesity, cancer, heart disease, or at the very least, accelerated aging.

  4. A 21 day metabolism reset to ditch carb dependency and optimize exercise, sleep, and stress management is the initiator of the journey towards caloric efficiency and metabolic flexibility.

  5. A nutritional ketosis effort lasting a minimum of 6 weeks avails you of the highest standard of caloric efficiency and metabolic flexibility.


You can consume ketones directly with the assortment of products containing beta hydroxybutyrate, or consume a medium-chain triglyceride product in liquid or powdered form that will help boost liver ketone production, especially if you're adhering to nutritional ketosis guidelines.

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