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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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July 31, 2017

Dear Mark: Keto Reset Eating Plan, Better Weight Scales, PB Fitness Carb Requirements, and the Best Fish Sauce

By Mark Sisson
24 Comments

Inline_Dear_Mark_07.31.17For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering/addressing four questions/comments. First, will my new Keto Reset book provide detailed meal plans or vague recommendations? Second, is there a better weight scale than the scale? Mathieu thinks there is, and I agree. Third, if you’re doing the Primal Blueprint Fitness program, do the recommendations I made in the Crossfit and carbs posts apply? And fourth, what’s the best fish sauce?

Let’s go.

First, Vee asks:

I’ve read the article above [Definitive Guide to Keto], and quite a bit of the comments below, but what I would like to know is just how detailed is this book going to be? I’m one of those people who need a plan laid out with measurements, not with eat this per so much per lean body mass, etc. I need amounts like tsp, tbsp, cups, oz, etc. Also, I pre-ordered Dr. Mercola’s book, Fat for Fuel, and was completely disappointed when I got it. i thought there would be a definitive plan to follow, but I shut the book, never to look at it again when I read about all the testing he suggested on a daily basis,as well as many blood tests that he suggested in addition to that, as well as ‘keeping your doctor apprised’ of what you’re doing. Huh? I avoid doctors as much as possible except in emergency situations, pretty much I need to be unconscious to go. (many bad experiences with MDs), so I was very disappointed with his book – drs. pretty much just throw RX drugs at you if you have a “medical” condition, so the best thing I can of is try to take care of myself thru diet, exercise, and relaxation.. I just don’t feel that eating should be so darned complicated. Making a short question long, does your book have a detailed eating plan so I can easily come up with menus I’d like to follow?? Thank you!

Oh, yeah. I include not just one, but two 21-day meal plans. Each is incredibly detailed.

The first is for the 21-day metabolism reset—which helps you build the necessary metabolic machinery to make keto work better and go more easily. The second 21-day plan is for actually going keto—for getting into and staying in nutritional ketosis. Both remove the guesswork. If you eat the food and follow the recipes and portion recommendations, you’ll establish a good rhythm that will help you reach your goals.

While you very well could stick to the 21-day meal plans laid out in the book for the rest of your life, I’d urge you to branch out a bit. You might want to pick up a new sport or attempt a new physical challenge where you experiment with different macronutrient intake patterns. You might get tired of the same meals. Basically, you should be able to adjust on the fly depending on what you need out of your body. My upcoming book provides that information, if you’re willing to give it a shot.

Stay tuned for it. It sounds like it’s exactly what you’re looking for.

Mathieu made a great comment that I had to build upon and support with evidence because I think it’s so important:

That’s also why the best weight scale is a mirror ?

Or a belt. Or a tape measure. Or that one article of clothing you’ve been trying to fit into.

People may think Mathieu and I are being flippant, but we’re not. Subjective impressions are often more reliable and representative of a person’s health than objective measurements. Take apparent age based on facial appearance—it’s a better predictor of health and longevity than objective biomarkers.

Brandi asked:

Mark, this was a GREAT post. I’m wondering how or if this advice applies to those of us that are doing the Primal Blueprint’s regular type of strength + sprint training combo – i.e., a PEM 2x per week plus a sprint session 1x every 7-10 days, plus low-intensity activity every other day. Does the “highER carb / lowER fat” on PEM / Sprint days apply for those of us NOT engaged in HIIT? Guess I’m wondering if all training session days deserve this consideration, or if it’s just applicable for CF’ers and folks engaging in HIIT. Signed, Legitimately Scared of Carbs…

There’s a big difference between true sprints (where you’re achieving full or close to full recovery in between sprints), HIIT (where you keep rest periods short to promote endurance adaptations), and strength training.

You can sprint quite effectively on low-carb, especially if you stick to shorter sprints (10 seconds and under). At that length, you’re primarily hitting the ATP-PC pathway. That’s when you convert the creatine phosphate stored in the muscle directly into ATP. It doesn’t last long—we can’t store much creatine phsophate at once—but it produces incredible power and refills rather quickly with adequate rest. Longer sprints will start really tapping into the glycolytic (sugar-burning) pathway.

Lower-rep, higher-intensity strength training with longer rest periods is also very effective on low carb, as it, too, primarily targets the ATP-PC pathway and allows sufficient rest to replenish it. Higher-rep training will veer into glycogen-burning. Intensity matters, too. High reps with moderate weight will burn glycogen pretty quick. High reps with bodyweight give you more leeway.

Low-carb is fine for the program you describe.

Gypsyrozbud asked:

Can someone please recommend a variety of fish sauce that I can get in Canada that does not have any sugar in it????

Red Boat is the best stuff you can buy. These reviewers agreeImagine this:

You, half-starved, in a daze after slamming your head during the storm that destroyed your ship, stumble down a mysterious beach chasing a scent. It rises above the usual briny rankness, reminding you of that time at the 4 AM tuna auction in Tsukiji market, where you realized “fishy” wasn’t always a bad thing. You come upon a fisherman. He’s squatting in front of a bowl of rice and dried pork, and the sun is overhead. It must be lunchtime. You bring your fingers to your mouth, miming, trying to convey hunger. He looks you over, squints, takes a drag on his cigarette, then fishes out an old mason jar full of murky liquid—homemade fish sauce—from a plastic shopping bag and splashes it over his rice. He hands the bowl over. You dig in, and it’s the best thing you’ve ever tasted.

The way that fantasy fisherman made his fish sauce is the same way Red Boat does: fish, salt, and time.

That’s it for me, folks. Thanks for reading and be sure to give you input down below. Have a great rest of the week.

TAGS:  ketosis

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24 Comments on "Dear Mark: Keto Reset Eating Plan, Better Weight Scales, PB Fitness Carb Requirements, and the Best Fish Sauce"

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Dave
Dave
17 days 15 hours ago
Mark, Could you shed some light on the vitamin industry? I take a handful of supplements a day ( green tea extract, curcumen, CO-Q-10, Vitamin – D and fish oil) but every time I go for a refill I read the ingredients and my “spidey sense” starts to tingle. I recall an article posted on M.D.A that curcumen required an activator for the body to reap its benefits and that consuming Tumeric alone was insufficient. What pitfalls, clever marketing strategies, additives and foul ingredients should vitamin customers avoid ? I recently read an article on the protein powder market that… Read more »
Shary
Shary
17 days 13 hours ago
I, too, would like to see Mark write something on the vitamin industry. I used to take handfuls of vitamins daily, but the only thing that was happening was my wallet was getting thinner and I was probably peeing expensive urine. I was subsequently told by a health care practitioner that taking too much of that stuff (particularly isolates) can result in a chemical imbalance within the body, and can cause more problems than it solves. I still take a few vitamins that I’m sure I need (D3 and magnesium, mainly), but I mostly rely on fresh whole food for… Read more »
GettingGrokier
GettingGrokier
17 days 13 hours ago

For the Fish Saucer, you can get Red Boat in Vancouver at the Whole Foods on Cambie. It happens to be next to the fish rather than in the Asian sauces for some reason. Otherwise you’ll have to ask your grocer to carry it.

Liver King
17 days 13 hours ago

Regarding Vee’s comment, Dr. Mercola’s new book does have a lot of testing that he recommends… some helpful and some probably overboard. As complication goes up, compliance goes down. To be certain, Fat For Fuel offers value… but as Mark says “Stop Obsessing Over The Numbers” (unless it works for you)! I look forward to learning from your book when it’s out.

Robin
Robin
17 days 12 hours ago
Hi Mark, will your book be specifically relevant to women as well? I’m sure you’ll say yes, otherwise why would women buy it…dumb question right! But the reason I ask is that I have been listening to Leanne Vogel’s podcast, Healthful Pursuit, for some time and now recently Shawn Mynar’s, Keto for Women, and both recommend that keto, as well as fasting, be implemented and maintained differently for women, so I was just wondering what your opinion of that is and if it’s addressed in the book via a chapter and/or meal planning. Thanks and can’t wait for the book…after… Read more »
Elizabeth Resnick
17 days 12 hours ago

Great stuff here today! I’m looking forward to the book…I’ve been what I call “borderline” keto for awhile now and feel amazing. Meal plans are great for some people so I’m glad they’ll be a part of it. Yes to the mirror over the scale! And just knowing you still fit into your favorite shorts. And I have been using fish sauce in my cooking more and more lately….have to get my hands on some Red Boat!

Caitlin Lee
Caitlin Lee
17 days 12 hours ago

I had to buy my Red Boat fish sauce off Amazon.ca. Pain in the ass. I couldn’t find it anywhere in stores. The pain is real in Canada.

Caitlin Lee
Caitlin Lee
17 days 12 hours ago

Also, Mark, your link was to Thrive Market, which DOES NOT ship to Canada. A little salt in the wound. And no Whole Foods where I am. I think it’s just in Vancouver and Toronto right now, could be in other large cities, but I’m in a medium-small sized city. We don’t even have an Ikea…

GettingGrokier
GettingGrokier
14 days 13 hours ago

There’s is the DIY route. A quick google search turned up a few interesting pages if you think you’d be up to making your own.

Casey
Casey
17 days 10 hours ago

Really looking forward to the Keto book. Will modifying out eggs and dairy be fairly simple with the meal plans in the book?

Mike
17 days 6 hours ago

I want to try keto, but I can barely sleep at very low carbs. I sleep well at my usual 70-80g, but no amount of magnesium, gelatin, herbs, etc will grant me more than 4-5 light hours if I go much lower. I train 3 times a week, but I don’t use enough volume to warrant extra carbs. Is there some trick to sleeping during the trabsition?

Mike
17 days 6 hours ago

Also worth noting that I don’t try to keep my carbs that low, I thought I was pretty high until I actually counted.

Jack Lea Mason
12 days 6 hours ago

One Guinness an hour before bed you’ll sleep like an angel

Naomi W.
Naomi W.
17 days 4 hours ago

Here in Santa Rosa, California, they carry Red Boat fish sauce at Safeway.

Alex
16 days 23 hours ago

What about someone who does Crossfit 3 days per week and always with at least one day off in between. Does this give the body ample time to rebuild glycogen stores without needing extra carbs to do so?

jacob
jacob
16 days 23 hours ago
I’ve been primal for 7 or so years. Most of it pretty low carb, a lot of IF-ing and in and out of ketosis regularly. The general advice to keep carbs ( or any macros ) within GRAMS seems a bit odd to me. Surely 20gr of carbs will affect a short, thin woman differently than a 6’2 235 lbs muscular man. Shouldn’t the advice be given in percentage instead? I know Mark’s Carb Curve is probably a good general tool if you average out the entire population but to have it in % instead of grams seems much more… Read more »
Melanie
Melanie
13 days 8 hours ago
When you are keto adapted, glucose is spared and your muscles and most other tissues burn fatty acids for energy. But these fatty acids do not get across the blood/brain barrier. So your liver makes ketones to feed the brain. While some other tissues apparently also like ketones, such as the heart and the gut, these tissues consume similar amounts of energy for a muscular man and an old lady. That’s why I think it is appropriate to count the grams of carbs rather than the % calories. There are differences in our carb tolerance in ketosis; the one I… Read more »
Alice
16 days 19 hours ago

I agree that belt is the best measurement when loosing weight 🙂 Shame on me, but I’ve never tried fish sauce 🙁

Starmice
Starmice
16 days 16 hours ago

Regarding keto – I’ve been looking for a general ‘rule of thumb’ to apply to meals – for instance to keep a proper keto ratio I should have 3 oz of protein, 2 tbls fat and a cup of veggies. I like having specific recipes (and am definitely planning on buying Mark’s book) but sometimes you’re in a hurry or don’t want to make an entire recipe and you just want to dip some protein in some fat, roll it in a lettuce leaf and call it lunch.

Matt B
Matt B
16 days 12 hours ago

As stated, getting hold of Red Boat in Canada is a PITA. I have to get my colleague to bring it back for me from Florida. I also asked my local Whole Foods to start stocking it and they declined my request, which is unfortunate.

Aaron H
Aaron H
15 days 15 hours ago
For people that are pre diabetic or have metabolic syndrome, their bodies are inefficient at dealing with all calories especially the carbs so would a keto reset for that type of person start with almost total abstinence from all food calories for a few days to kickstart keto and then eventually reintroduce food in macros that are indeed hflc and maybe little to no to little protein (they wouldn’t be exercising during the reset)? Or perhaps instead of going to that extreme, is it going to start with immediate intermittent fasting using HFLC macros? A friend’s mother was very recently… Read more »
Aaron H
Aaron H
15 days 15 hours ago

Edit: my reason for encouraging a broth fast to my friend’s mother is because the operation to remove a kidney is rather complex and I felt that if she were ANY amount lighter with less body fat it would help the surgery effectiveness and likely help with recovering.

Jack Lea Mason
12 days 6 hours ago

Sur la Table carries Red Boat. And if you are in an authentic Asian market, Golden Boy is good one.

Sunspot
Sunspot
10 days 17 hours ago

Your description of the fisherman gave me a Zork flashback.

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