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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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October 04, 2017

Where I Part Ways with the Popular Keto Movement

By Mark Sisson
168 Comments

Natural landscape image of forked asphalt roadThe explosive growth of interest in the ketogenic diet has been a net good for the state of nutrition. For one, people have accepted the fact that eating fat won’t kill you, and they’re even getting clued into the benefits of eating it.

But there are places where I part ways with the popular keto movement.

Let me explain….

Ketosis Isn’t the Point

Ketones themselves have beneficial mechanistic effects. It’s true.

The ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate shows direct anti-inflammatory action, even blocking inflammatory diseases mediated by the NLRP inflammasome pathway. Ketogenic diets exert their protective effects on the brains of epilepsy patients through the anti-inflammatory actions of the ketone bodies, and type 1 diabetics who experience reduced cognitive function because of low blood sugar see those deficits erased by increasing BHB through dietary medium chain triglycerides. Another reason ketone bodies themselves are so therapeutic is that they represent an alternative fuel source for neurodegenerative disease patients whose brains can no longer process glucose effectively.

But epilepsy patients get results both from full-blown medical ketogenic diets where you count the carbs in heavy cream and “modified Atkins” diets where the carb count is relaxed. They’re both equally effective.

The obsession with ketosis as a desirable state of being—maybe the ideal state of being—for everyone misses the point. Consider how worked up people get over ketone measurements. Are they registering? Are the sticks purple? What am I doing wrong?

Some long-term ketogenic dieters have registered high numbers. I’m thinking of Peter Attia back when he was hardcore keto, Dominic D’Agostino, and folks like that. Others level off with keto adaptation to the point that they get very low readings despite eating a classically-keto diet and seeing huge benefits. We don’t know why this happens. I gave some possibilities, but the fact remains it’s a mystery.

I don’t find it all that compelling to speculate and pontificate. When we know, we’ll know. Until then, until we know what they actually mean, release your attachment to the numbers. Assuming you have a good grasp on keto eating and are getting tangible results, why waste your time?

Consider the fact that ketogenic diets increase brain mitochondrial biogenesis—the production of entirely new mitochondria. This improves energy metabolism in the brain and is probably a big reason why keto is so great for Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and other brain disorders. But it’s not the only way to do it. After all, exercise is another way to increase mitochondrial biogenesis in the brain in non-keto rodents on standard lab chow. Is ketosis the prize, or is better brain health the prize?

The ultimate goal of any eating strategy is to increase metabolic flexibility. You want to be able to burn sugar during activity that warrants it. You want to be be able to skip meals and get by just fine on your own body fat. You want the benefit of having a few ketones around from time to time as alternate fuel for the brain and muscles—or at least have the ability to generate them without trouble.

Rather than micromanage your metabolism using incomplete information, you’d rather delegate and let your endocrine system regulate your calorie intake based on what your body requires. Most importantly, you want to regain the ancestral pathway of fat burning and actually put those massive storage depots to use. Every diet wants these things, but keto is the quickest, most direct way there.

Keto Doesn’t Require Gorging on Fat

It’s fun to post pictures of yourself next to a 4 inch stack of bacon or brandishing a cup of butter coffee with more calories than a Big Mac. There’s value in subverting the dominant narrative that dietary fat makes you fat and gives you heart disease. Sometimes using extreme imagery can do that most effectively. And being on a ketogenic diet means you do have to eat dietary fat and that a high percentage of your calories will come from fat, as the calories must come from somewhere. But keto doesn’t require that you eat large absolute amounts of fat.

The quickest way to reach ketosis is by not eating, by burning the fat you already have on your body. It’s when all the best things happen, and it’s why the various other diets that work, work. They allow (or force) you to burn your own body fat. It’s also the cheapest way. Just think: All the best keto biohacking supplements to jumpstart your new keto lifestyle already reside on your hips, your belly, your arms, and the rest of your body.

This isn’t a mistake, a fluke of evolution. It’s actually why the system evolved in the first place, to tide our ancestors over during times of food scarcity, when there simply wasn’t any carbohydrate fuel for our brains. Eating a low-carb, high-fat diet works because of the low-carb part, not the high-fat part per se.

Keto Doesn’t Have to Be Ketogenic—Allow Me to Explain

I call it the keto zone—a range of carbohydrate intake that causes you to drift in and out of ketosis without even realizing it. For most, the keto zone might correlate to consuming between 20-120 grams of carbs per day. Less one day, more the next. More ketones today, fewer tomorrow. You’re constantly on the verge of either leaving or entering ketosis, and it’s okay. When you’re in the keto zone, things get easier:

If you have a super intense training session and decide to eat a sweet potato (before or after), it goes toward fueling that workout or restocking the glycogen you just burned.

If you skip a meal or two, you can almost hear the whirr of your mitochondria processing your body fat for energy.

You maintain your ideal body weight/composition without counting much of anything—calories, carbs, ketones, or Instagram likes for your high fat coffee photos.

You eat less food than before but experience no negative symptoms. You retain (or gain) muscle and bone density, sleep like a rock, enjoy steady energy levels, and generally avoid the malaise of long-term calorie restriction.

You have the metabolic flexibility to complete a tough CrossFit workout, do a sprint interval session, hike for 7 miles, run a mile or two, go for a long slow bike ride, play a pickup game, or lift something heavy.

Ketosis isn’t the goal. It’s a tool to help you get to the real goals of metabolic flexibility, broad-based “Primal” athletic competency, protection against the epidemic of diet-influenced modern diseases—especially the alarming increase in cognitive decline conditions, and graceful aging.

The goal is and always has been to be an efficient fat-burner and to release your dependency on carbohydrates for fuel. A ketogenic diet simply represents the pinnacle of fat-burning: if you can get into ketosis, it’s a sure sign you are using fat for fuel. Many, even most, of the benefits of a ketogenic diet probably come from developing that capability.

Thanks for stopping by today, folks. I’m interested in your thoughts about the popular keto movement and my points above. Where do you land? Have an awesome day.

TAGS:  keto

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168 Comments on "Where I Part Ways with the Popular Keto Movement"

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Vance
Vance
7 months 18 days ago

Mark, I just bought the book, waiting for it now, so am not sure the details of the diet, but it raises a question I have been meaning to ask you. I have been eating an apple a day for a long time now (love the taste, texture and its good fiber) and am wondering whether that is giving me too much sugar for a keto diet? So, what are your thoughts on apples, pears, etc, and a daily item?

Steak Pie
Steak Pie
7 months 17 days ago

You’re probably best eating that apple in quarters divided throughout your day as it would constitute a significant proportion of your daily carb intake. And as always, if you eat it after exercising it’s a much better part of your diet

Carly
Carly
7 months 17 days ago

I think you may have missed the point of the article and may need to read a little more on ketosis too and the fact your body will be in constant flux throughout the day regarding ketones. None the less- you could also consider that different apple varieties have different amounts of fructose. Green apples tend to have less, hence the tangy flavour instead of sweet.

Ethan
Ethan
7 months 18 days ago

I love the non-dogmatic take on Ketosis. It is amazing, but some number on a Ketone meter isn’t the goal. The goal is being healthy, feeling healthy, having energy, and having the flexibility to eat or not eat depending on what is happening and available.

Tristan Paniak
7 months 18 days ago

Totally AGREE!!

NaturalGirl
NaturalGirl
7 months 18 days ago

Great point.

Marissa
Marissa
7 months 18 days ago

I also feel that by so much focus on ketosis people miss out on expanding dietary choices. If you can eat fruit or even a potato (gasp) and maintain your health, that’s great. People never get there when so obsessed with ketosis while being loathe to experiment and listen to their bodies.

Rhonda
7 months 17 days ago

That’s nice for the person who is already healthy, but focusing on ketosis and being very strict can literally be a lifesaver for someone trying to reverse a serious health condition like many cancers, serious cardio issues and of course neurological and autoimmune conditions. Feel free to dilly-dally if you are healthy, but GET SERIOUS if you want ketones to help a life-limiting affliction!!

Marissa
Marissa
7 months 17 days ago

Absolutely! Nothing of what I said negates the fact that keto revolutionizes life for many. That’s part of listening to your body, health markers and finding what works.

Susan
Susan
7 months 16 days ago

Agree. It can become obsessive.

Canuck
Canuck
7 months 16 days ago

Yes it got me off insulin and meds, best thing I ever found and being obsessed with being healthy is a good thing. Who declared that all us ketonians are obsessed with meters. Open your minds a bit pleas?Your myths are showing.

Barb
Barb
7 months 12 days ago

Canuck, I’m type one, but don’t really like meat, nor eggs. When trying to eat low carbs, I find myself limiting myself to olives, coconut oil, cheese, sauerkraut, butter, salad, etc. do you have any suggestions for me? Btm66 at yahoo . Com

Glenda
Glenda
7 months 12 days ago

Do you eat fish or seafood Barb. There is a keto vegan fb group.i eat avacado,zucchini noodles, stir fry,duck, you need to find a way to get your protein, keep carbs down then enough fats to satiety, fats do not bump insulin. Only thing that doesn’t.

Barb
Barb
7 months 11 days ago

I don’t like seafood either. Plus my son has a shellfish allergy, so I’m always worried that regular fish may be cross contaminated with shellfish. Could you share the name of the group? With regards to the zucchini and stir fry, doesn’t that take you out of ketosis if you eat enough to satisfy or are you just eating low carb?

Thanks,
Btm66 at yahoo . Com

Cindi
6 months 26 days ago

Vegetables.

Vince
7 months 17 days ago

Exactly!

Tristan Paniak
7 months 18 days ago

This is AWESOME!!! Live and thrive without getting all tangled up in specifics!!

Shary
Shary
7 months 18 days ago
Good points. I tried ketosis a number of years ago and decided it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t that it didn’t work for weight loss. It did. I lost 20 pounds in just a few weeks. But I didn’t feel great. I was always a little worn out, in need of a nap even though I was getting plenty of sleep at night. There was also a nagging suspicion that I wasn’t getting enough nutrients due to the drastic limitation of carbs (including fruit and veggies). Extra fat and a handful of supplements aren’t the balanced equivalent of real, high-quality… Read more »
Karen
Karen
7 months 18 days ago

Probably weren’t getting enough electrolytes. I think that is what threw me off of losing via ‘paleo’ years ago. Now following ketogains protocol and have dropped 55 lbs (first 25 doing ‘paleo’ but was eating too much fruit and losing muscle mass so did the research and went with ketogains). I’m 58 years old.

Bill Colohan
7 months 17 days ago

Interesting comment. I, too, am 58 and just purchased electrolytes two days ago. The reason was, I burn about 1800 calories a day in workouts and the electrolytes did help. I would recommend their use if pushing yourself physically while doing keto. Great article, introducing a less dogmatic view.

C-Stan
C-Stan
7 months 17 days ago

This is absolutely the problem. It sounds particularly like a lack of sodium. I’ve hit a couple “sodium holes” (as I call them) where I just felt like I wanted to sleep for days. I heated up some chicken broth, and within 20 minutes, I was feeling better than ever.

Judy
7 months 15 days ago

I always read…drink pickle juice, drink chicken broth…but no one ever says how much. I bought Powerade Zero because so many recommend that. But again, no amounts. So last night I had 4 oz before bed, and I got so itchy! So, not trying that again! I have both pickle juice and chicken broth. But how much are you supposed to take to replenish electrolytes?

Bill C
Bill C
7 months 14 days ago

Salt to taste. If the salt tastes good (referring to all four electrolytes here, not just sodium chloride), then eat it. When it stops tasting good, stop eating it.
Does not work with junk food.

Don
Don
7 months 17 days ago

Eat Crap fro years and then think your body will be adapted in a few weeks? Talk about wanting instant gratification. Give it six months or more. I am a year into it after
Weight loss for the first six months. I wne through the same thing. It
Can take a long time to recover but once tou do you will never go back! I suggest giving it another shot or are you just
Making excuses for your sugar / carb addiction?

Rhonda
7 months 17 days ago

I HEARTILY CONCUR, Don – you said it like it IS !!

Shary
Shary
7 months 17 days ago

Don, where do you get the idea that I was “eating crap for years”, or that I wasn’t fat-adapted? I don’t need to “make excuses for a sugar/carb addiction” because I don’t eat grains or sweets, and I didn’t need to “recover” from anything. I didn’t say any of those things. The keto diet DOES NOT WORK WELL for everyone. Is that too hard for you to understand?

Don
Don
7 months 16 days ago

I guess I hit a nerve! Shat was the point of trying a keto diet then. 3 weeks is not enough time.

Shary
Shary
7 months 15 days ago

Don, seriously, you need to learn to READ. I did NOT say I tried the keto diet for 3 weeks. I said I lost about 20# in 3 weeks. I was on the diet for considerably longer than that before deciding it was hurting more than helping me. Why are you jumping all over people when you can’t even comprehend what was written?

Don
Don
7 months 15 days ago
Ok. I don’t read between the lines / what is not written, So how long was ‘considerably’ before you thought carbs were a healthier way to eat? The dirty little secret is that it can take several months amd probably over a year to be significantly and fully adapted depending on how much ‘damage’ was done. Unless you were acrually tested for deficiemcies your metabolism was likely still healing. If still a problem after a year then I would have been looking at the food sources as well. If you weren’t getting enough nutriemts then you were not following a… Read more »
Shary
Shary
7 months 15 days ago

Forget it. I don’t want or need your advice.

Barry
7 months 16 days ago

Im with you Shary. Keto diet is not for everyone. Cuts out way to many beneficial foods anyway.

JennyC
JennyC
7 months 17 days ago
I had a similar experience! Over several years, I kept at Keto more and more, tweaking things despite issues with hair loss, coldness, low energy, hormone issues. The Keto story sounded so good that it took me a while to accept that it wasn’t working, and try something else. Turns out that my body easily burns more of my own body fat on a low fat diet! High fat, even moderate fat diets make me insulin resistant, lethargic, and with high blood sugars. Again, so counter to what I expected based on all the hype! When I switched tactics, I… Read more »
Xtian
7 months 17 days ago

“High fat, even moderate fat diets make me insulin resistant, lethargic, and with high blood sugars.”

Yeah, i kinda doubt that.

Eva Fain
Eva Fain
7 months 17 days ago

Insulin resistance is caused by other environmental insults besides food. I have been studying type 2 diabetes for a very long time. We know Agent Orange exposure induced insulin resistance in susceptible people irregardless of diet or amount of body fat.

TJJR
TJJR
7 months 17 days ago

Some people have a genetic disorder that makes it difficult to process fats. It may be the case here. My daughter has one – a high fat diet would kill her eventually. Her body simply doesn’t know what to do with it. She does great with carbs, though. Many adults don’t know they have these disorders as they only began widespread testing on newborn screenings in the last several years. So if someone says they tried a high fat and didn’t do well remember this and extend them a little grace.

Vince
7 months 17 days ago

Right. And there are often complexities or other hidden health issues that we don’t know about.

After all, there are legitimate reasons why a keto diet won’t work for everyone. And there is no evidence that a single diet approach is best for every single person on the planet.

Dale
Dale
7 months 16 days ago

Love your phrase
” extend them a little grace”….

Mary
Mary
7 months 16 days ago
“…extend them a little grace.” Yes! Thank you TJJR I’ve been a healthnut all my life so I’ve never had to recover from a carb addiction, or learn to eat healthy. I did eliminate grains and legumes a few years ago, but that wasn’t hard except that they’re ubiquitous. Yet I have troubles that those who’ve never struggled for daily existence can’t even imagine. My Naturopath says it’s from childhood vaccines and mercury amalgam fillings and an extremely stressful life, from childhood on, and nutrient deficiencies brought about from gut malabsorption issues. Drastically short version: I’m severely chronically anemic, hypothyroid… Read more »
Roraaina
5 months 11 days ago

I believe that some races have this disorder so develop dangerously high cholesterol – the really bad kind. Maori and Pacific Islanders are prone to heart disease. Their natural food is/was fish, birds, leafy greens and a few root vegetables.

Suzi
Suzi
7 months 15 days ago

My brother served in Vietnam Nam near the Demarcation Line and is now an insulin dependent diabetic – many Nam veterans exposed to Agent Orange are!

Becks
Becks
7 months 17 days ago

Well, guess what, she’s not alone.low carb/keto/high fat was terrible for me too. NO energy, poor digestion, high cholesterol, cold intolerance which is a sign of thyroid problems, and on top of that I couldn’t lose weight. Now I eat high carbs low fat and I’m down to 120 lbs with perfect labs and restored energy levels. Don’t buy the keto hype.

Jeri
Jeri
7 months 17 days ago

Were you insulin resistant though ?

Ann C
7 months 16 days ago

I can’t seem to adjust either. I notice all of us who have had trouble on keto diets are women. I am trying going for a couple days keto diet then upping carbs for a day, then back down. I guess that is Mark’s point in the article that started this conversation.

Don
Don
7 months 15 days ago
I had all of the above but kept going because there were other benefits. After year (6 months of weight maintenance so now < 50g of carbs rather than 25g) I'm through it. No problem with eating higher carb as long as it's from vegetable sources and small amounts of fruit (engineered with a lot of sugar now). It's the processed food (rapidly digestible carbohydrates), sugar (poison) and wheat (more rapidly digestible carbs and hard on the gut although I didn't know it until I tried going back to it) that really messed me up and it's taken a while… Read more »
Cindi
6 months 26 days ago

Super low carb wasn’t doing it for me either but I am still low carb. Just not super low carb. And no, I am not insulin resistant.

tribal
tribal
7 months 16 days ago

Out of statistical interest, could I ask which type, and frequency of exercise were you doing, and did you change it over the years ?

Jo G.
Jo G.
7 months 9 days ago

Jenny can you tell me what you are doing instead of Keto? I tried Keto for a month and didn’t feel great while doing it. I also feel like a person should be able to eat more fruits than what is accepted with Keto.

Jenny
Jenny
7 months 9 days ago
Now, I keep fat low, protein low/moderate, and carbs moderate. Lots of vegetables, legumes at every meal, less than an handful of fruit a day, meat/fish once every few days, little fat. That’s what’s working for now, for today, but I’m constantly tweaking. I like being able to eat healthy, non-processed carbs without my blood sugar going high, which is what happens when I have too much fat. I find that I feel best limiting processed carbs, including sugar, wheat, rice flour, bean flour, any flour. However, I don’t eliminate those 100%–when I did, I obsessed about having or not… Read more »
Rich
Rich
7 months 17 days ago

Yes, I would say you need to first be fat adapted or your body will be starved with little glucose and little ability to burn fat effectively. I’d say 3 months of fat adaption and MAF training to build up some mitos and THEN try keto…

JennyC
JennyC
7 months 17 days ago
I did high level Keto for years. I definitely would have been fat adapted, but Keto does not work well for all bodies. My body went into starvation mode, so cold and lethargic, very slow digestion. I wished it had worked, but now am glad i’ve figured out what works for me! Every body is different, but I think we all do better with quality exercise, sleep, and nutrition. It’s a bummer that people get so into dietary dogma that they throw darts at each other instead of encouraging life affirming choices. The biggest bummer is that by being obstinately… Read more »
tribal
tribal
7 months 3 days ago

What’s your exercise regime ?

Somone
Somone
7 months 18 days ago

My main challenge on Keto promoting meals is sleeping my teenage boys satisfied and full. They still crave carbs and swear they still feel hungry without them.

Julia
Julia
7 months 18 days ago
They ARE hungry if they say they are. Read what Chris Masterjohn PhD in nutrition has to say about “fat burning in the flame of carbohydrate” . Your boys are still growing. Let their bodies speak. It doesn’t mean they will only eat chocolate cake. They will repay the rigid purist diet by stuffing themselves with carbs as soon as they get out from under your control. Hunger is a potent force. Then they’ll fell obligated to lie about it to avoid any drama with you It’s not what you want. Teenage metabolism is very different from middle age metabolism.… Read more »
Don
Don
7 months 17 days ago

Fat and protein will keep them satiated.

Colleen M
7 months 17 days ago

I’m doing keto right now and feel great, but I am 55 and quite overweight. Don, it’s good to acknowledge that different bodies, sexes, hormonal and growth stages are different and may require different macros. Whatever works, right?

Ivan Baccarat
Ivan Baccarat
7 months 15 days ago

A big reason to go on a ketogenic diet is because a person is insulin insensitive. If your teenagers are active and relatively lean I’m sure they’re insulin sensitive. They also have plenty of testosterone and growth hormone shooting through their bodies. I have a 12 year old daughter who plays club soccer and when I make her dinner I have her eat the protein and veggies first and then she can eat whatever carb is on the plate. I usually keep the carb portion a little smaller.

Superchunk
7 months 18 days ago

I really like this perspective. It seems that the downfall of many good ideas is at least partially due to zealotry and extreme thinking. I’d like to hear more discussion on the specifics of how to keep from down-regulating the ability to burn sugar since this is a key concern for those of us in glycolytic sports. This has been given almost no discussion that I can find.

Mattie Gootee
Mattie Gootee
7 months 18 days ago

Nice article on the keto diet. Very helpful and I like the points you make.

Charles Ashworth
7 months 18 days ago

One of my favorite blogs by you, that I have read yet. Two months here following your recommendations, and tremendous results. I currently have not eaten since 8 pm last night, and feel amazing, not even thinking about food, and it is 1230 pm est right now. I lifted this morning in a “fasted” state, and felt strong and energetic. Thank you for your diligent efforts to make people healthy and happy, rather effortlessly if I may say so…

Marissa
Marissa
7 months 18 days ago

Love! I’m a long term keto eater and the current climate of dogma and hyperfocus on numbers is unsettling and misses the point. I’m glad to see you putting another way of thinking about it out there where people can stop with the constant ketosis anxiety.

Carla
Carla
7 months 18 days ago

I definitely would like to join a group that’s not so dogmatic while staying away from “keto friendly” junk. It’s difficult to locate balanced information.

Marissa
Marissa
7 months 18 days ago

Ive yet to find such a group unfortunately. There are some better than others but the popularity means more junk and more dogma.

Xtian
7 months 17 days ago
Claudia
7 months 17 days ago

Try Leanne Vogel’s group.

carla
carla
7 months 16 days ago

I will – thanks!

Joan Burn
7 months 18 days ago

Thanks for the dose of sanity. I have been experimenting with a keto diet over the last couple months and I have seen definite benefits. Your focus on the benefits- how it makes one feel- makes way more sense than hitting a certain carb goal or fat %. One benefit I have been enjoying is my hot flashes have pretty much subsided. Are there any studies that look at the effects of a keto diet on menopause?

Carol A Martin
7 months 17 days ago

Joan, when I behave myself, my hot flashes are completely gone. However, on the downside, just one or two slip ups (whether a grain indulgence or too many carbs in general), and the hot flashes are one of the first symptoms that re-appear, usually that first night. It is one way to keep me on the straight and narrow as my sleeping suffers right away.

Elsie
Elsie
7 months 15 days ago
Hi Joan – this may be of use to you. I am 67 slim and fit until got MS diagnosis in late 40s which caused restricted exercise and combined with menopause I developed ugly weight around my middle. However I have discovered through reading Jason Fung’s ‘complete guide to fasting’ that the body has natural insulin spikes throughout the day and because my main meal was in the evening it was combining with an evening high insulin production which, despite a large healthy meal, was causing severe munchies/ cravings. I now eat one meal a day at 1 or 2… Read more »
ryguy1983
7 months 18 days ago
Mark– A philosophical question I’d love to hear your take on regarding ketosis… Feel free to correct me if I am incorrect on anything, but we evolved Ketosis as a way of maintaining brain and body function during times when food, all food, was scarce–hunter gatherer days. My understanding and experience with Ketosis as a state, is that it is not necessarily hard to get into, but is difficult to maintain for any period of time. By “difficult” I mean you have pay very close attention to everything you are eating, or you will easily slip out of Ketosis… So,… Read more »
Jack Kennard
7 months 18 days ago
I think with all the marketing (about diet & Paleo) we forget why Paleo is so important. Our bodies have learned from over 30,000 years how to digest and use food in ways we still do not fully understand. Please don’t get me wrong, I love my Keto bulletproof Matcha Chi Tea Latte every once in a while. I do like to be flexible within healthy guidelines. Mike, I loved your article some months back about why eating from a wide range of foods is so important and believe focusing in on one diet will eventually send your body into… Read more »
Julia
Julia
7 months 18 days ago

Thanks for a very reasonable and well thought out blog and for not making keto a religion

Mike
7 months 18 days ago

Great stuff…chase results…NOT ketones…

Mike Petty
Mike Petty
7 months 18 days ago

I see this way of eating can be dangerous for many who will go into it blindly. Without educating themselves or spending the time for research. There are those among us who buy a book & think the have discovered a “fountain of youth”.

Eating as our ancestors ate,exercising the way of our ancestors,resting their way. Two & a half million years is an established track record. What is the next big thing? I don’t care. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Cindy GH
Cindy GH
7 months 17 days ago
Perhaps this isn’t the correct thread to share these thoughts. Forgive me if it’s not! I am 63 years old and have been dieting since I was 11 years old. Now and then I would lose weight, but never really keep it off. Dieting and weight has unfortunately consumed my life and my thoughts. With Primal eating (or maybe just my version of it), I keep the right foods in my house and I eat when I want. When I go out to eat, I eat meats and vegetables. No problem. I don’t worry about details. I have needed a… Read more »
Shary
Shary
7 months 17 days ago

+1. I agree completely. I don’t need to lose weight, and I feel fine. Drifting between 80/20 and 90/10 works very well for me. I don’t want or need anything more extreme.

Todd
Todd
7 months 18 days ago

I think the Keto movement knows all this, but good to review. Thanks

Rob
Rob
7 months 18 days ago

Just a quick question, Mark. Does being in ketosis cause bad breath? My daughter has an unusually acute olfactory sense and swears I have keto breath. Am old, sedentary, 25 lbs overweight (belly) and trying to slim down via intermittent fasting and carb restriction.

meditatress
7 months 17 days ago

Keytones famously have an odor. Acetone (polish remover to your daughter) is a keytone

Sarah
Sarah
7 months 18 days ago
I got my book yesterday. So far I am impressed. I have often tried keto or low carb, but if I ended up with too many carbs I felt defeated and gave up. I think just being conscious of what I am eating and how I am feeling is the key. I actually quit bacon because I LOVE it and it was so addicting! AND it gave me a backache! I know, crazy, however, it increased my inflammation due to my histamine intolerance. I am looking for a guide to get myself healthy and live healthy to an old age.… Read more »
Susan
Susan
7 months 18 days ago
Hugely good. Thank you. I have eaten more or less this way for 2.5 years with almost all days keeping carbs below 50g, most days below 30g, BPC? 250g/fat per day? Not here… Just lots of meat and non-starchy veg and healthy fats. Much more moderate fat than popular keto. AT age 53 I am healthier than ever, many many health issues resolved or resolving. But am I ‘in ketosis” all this time? Is my pee strip a certain color? Who knows. I don’t track with strips and I don’t really care about what state I am in as long… Read more »
Kelly
Kelly
7 months 17 days ago

What were your blood results like before and after? (if you don’t mind sharing)

Leslie Simpkins
7 months 18 days ago

Mark, we have a mutual friend, Kim… She shared you with me when I inquired of the Keto Diet. I must say reading this and some of your other articles and recipes, I am relieved! Almost everything I have read of late does exactly what you said… I have even been told that Keto is Bacon… To that I asked… I thought we were supposed to focus on healthy fats… not that we could not have bacon… just not daily… Thank you for giving some clarity! It is much appreciated!

Don
Don
7 months 17 days ago

I’m not sure about yo-yoing carbs up to 120g. No reason to go over 50 otherwise you will likely be getting them from poor choices.

Elizabeth Resnick
7 months 17 days ago
Love everything Mark said here. I have been high fat/low carb for years now. No idea if I have ever actually been in ketosis, but as Mark says that isn’t the point. The point is I feel great and have a ton of energy. My anxiety seemed to magically disappear. I listen to my body and eat when I’m hungry. And some days are higher carb than others. I’m not counting or measuring anything. Totally believe this lifestyle can work well for many people, but you can make yourself crazy counting and measuring everything.
wildgrok
wildgrok
7 months 17 days ago

Very nice article, EverNoting it

Allen
7 months 17 days ago
I’ve found that the more people try and keep track of a healthy life style, the more they feel as though they have failed, and they tell themselves if they can’t even do the small things, why try? That’s not how I’ve taken things. My personal goals are this: I want to feel great, I want to look great, I want to be able to play, I want to be healthy. Yes by all means pay attention to what you eat and try and stay on the right menu for the day, but don’t make it a do-or-die thing. I… Read more »
Rhonda
7 months 17 days ago

Measure blood ketones, not urine ketones. Urine ketones tend to decrease over time as your body becomes keto-adapted. I like the resonably-priced “keto-mojo” which can be used to keep track of blood sugar AND blood ketones. I like the relaxed approach moving forward AFTER one gains confidence in the ketogenic lifestyle, but looking at “the numbers” is VERY helpful initially and certainly helped keep me motivated, accountable, and encouraged!

Juliet
Juliet
7 months 17 days ago

I have the same experience. Tracking helps keep me motivated. I am learning more about my body all the time and how it responds to what I eat. I also know there will be a day when I don’t have to-nor want to track.

Glenn
Glenn
7 months 17 days ago

Very well written Vance. Where can I find more info on the comments you made about “in and out of ketosis”. I tend to do this at times.

Jennifer
7 months 17 days ago

I love the comment – The easiest way to get into Ketosis is to fast – Yep – low cost – zero carb and guaranteed to put you into ketosis. That is a no-brainer. Thanks Mark!!

Gregg
Gregg
7 months 17 days ago

I’m going on 4.5 years in the “Keto-Zone” and I totally agree with your views. Obsession with numbers can be counterproductive and distract you from the real goal…healthy lifestyle. We evolved to survive periods of food shortage and diversity, just learn to use that to your advantage and your body will thank you.

Gary Wellman
7 months 17 days ago
As a primal health coach in the UK I’ve been saying what Mark’s article says for the better part of this year. I have a client who is concerned that over 20g carbs a day will destroy all her efforts. I’ve been working with her for a month now and she was already keto for about a week when she came to me. I’ve just, a couple of nights ago, gotten the message through to her that going over 20g a day won’t break her keto streak. We did a comparison of the amount in grammes she used to take… Read more »
Viveca
7 months 17 days ago
Thank you for posting this. It is well-written and informative. I enjoyed reading your point of view. I have been fat-adapted for a few weeks and now checking my Ketones via a Ketonix. It is good to know that I shouldn’t get hung up on the numbers. Losing the extra body fat is my main goal, and it’s going slow, but it is going. It is reassuring to see that I’m still burning Ketones and how that is affected by what I eat. Since I’m watching my carbs, as well as practicing intermittent fasting, and to make it little more… Read more »
Patsy
Patsy
7 months 17 days ago

Just wondering about something. Has anyone suggested anything about Lupus, an autoimmune disease. I’ve had Lupus for 27 years. After going on low carb I am in remission. Not sure, but it has to have something relevant. No longer on any of the medications. Thankful!

Barefoot girl
Barefoot girl
7 months 17 days ago

You might want to link to this post in the Keto Reset Facebook group, because the crazies are over there shoveling in the fat and counting every last gram, macro, calorie and pound. Thank you for this, today’s post is the voice of reason, I don’t know why people insist on making it so difficult.

tribal
tribal
7 months 16 days ago
Subconsciously they may be making it more difficult, so as to set up the grounds to justify giving up later on. If something is straightforward and simple, you remove all excuses for yourself – that’s why I like the primal diet/exercise/lifestyle approach, and I will be sticking with it. Sometimes on primal I might skip a meal or two, or three and maybe wind up in keto for a short time, but I would’t know,and wouldn’t care. My measurement is my belt size and how I feel. And one big point, Keto is only a diet, it does not seem… Read more »
Susan
Susan
7 months 17 days ago

Echoing other comments, I also love the non-dogmatic “keto zone” concept. What I want to understand, though, is how going keto CHANGES how the body handles sugars. I’ve been non-dogmatically keto for about a year and my body now seems to handle sugars differently. They don’t taste as good (probably a good thing!) and my body also seems to process them more efficiently. What’s going on?

Dave
7 months 17 days ago

I can’t wait to see what the next fad diet will be.

tribal
tribal
7 months 16 days ago

It will be the “Man Diet” – just stop eating until you loose the fat.

Mike S
Mike S
7 months 17 days ago

Picked up the book this morning at the post office (apparently UPS doesn’t come to my house) and am looking forward to reading it and starting. If I’m successful with this I’ll definitely start telling my patients about it and guiding them through the process.

Rhonda Weeks
7 months 17 days ago
I have started checking my fasting blood glucose as a measurement of where I am metabolically. It’s cheap and fast and I’ve learned so much about my body and my intake needs by just trying to stay in the 80s, my green zone. As a lifetime obese 51 year old woman in early menopause, losing weight is Awfully Difficult. But I have lost 35 pounds, improved my joint pain 100%, and my energy levels 75%. I know my hair trigger foods and that protein turns to sugar for me worse than bread. Sigh. So much for red meat. I sprinkle… Read more »
Patty Miller
Patty Miller
7 months 17 days ago
Mark, I have been going to Lindora Lean for Life for 2 years now. I believe it qualifies as a keto diet, but I am stuck and struggling. I battle emotional eating issues and poor habits, but am very motivated to stick with it for life because I want to avoid diabetes and dementia. My father died from compkications of diabetes. I also follow Dr. Brian Mowll online and still struggle. I exercise daily and play hard as well. I plan to purchase your keto book. I just cant give up. Thank you for your newsletter and your knowledge that… Read more »
Patty Miller
Patty Miller
7 months 17 days ago

Complications!

Heather Dunn
Heather Dunn
7 months 17 days ago

Hi Mark, I live in Australia and your book is only available as an audiobook on iTunes. Is the book available yet on iTunes or is it a quirk of geographical bias? I want to try this. I have Hashimotos, but I am gaining weight slowly, and need to rethink and reset.

Amanda
Amanda
7 months 17 days ago
I had Hashi on three different medication. I was told that I will be on meds for the rest of my life. I didn’t take that as an answer. I cleaned up my eating with Paleo 7-8 years ago and nutropathic supplements. Bought one of Mark’s first books. It was much harder to be on paleo then. I make a lot of the meals at home. Now stores are carrying stuff and much more convenient to have access to good clean fats, veg and meats. Took me 2.5 years to ween off all the meds. And my hair stop falling… Read more »
Kyle
Kyle
7 months 17 days ago

Thank you, excellent assessment. After 3 months of exposure to, deep research of, and diligent application of a ketogenic idea, I have landed right on what you describe – utilizing ketosis as a tool for health, and realizing it’s just the natural built-in tool of our physiology. Having a new relationship with food as fuel, being able to fast with relative ease, anddispelling the myth about fat and carbs has extremely liberating, the buttercream icing on the cake!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
7 months 17 days ago

Marketing Idea:
Interact with Reddit’s keto group. It’s 410k strong and I see similar questions over and over. Perhaps a keto AMA.

Will
7 months 17 days ago
Great article Mark. I am a Primal Health Coach and Massage Therapist in Australia and I refer many of my clients to your wise words, so well researched. I started on a low carb experiment about 4 years ago and went into Ketosis about a year later to see how it really worked with endurance events. Once in ketosis I found the need to up the electrolytes to maintain energy as per the advice of Volek and Finney, but then it was fairly effortless. I completed two marathons, a half ironman and several half marathons without taking any in race… Read more »
Sylvia Olney
7 months 17 days ago

Outstanding article for its balanced point of view! Thanks once again, Mark!

Vince
7 months 17 days ago

The attachment to numbers is an aspect that I find stressful as well. Not everyone does it, of course. But, it’s very easy to start getting obsessional about numbers, like carb levels and ketone readings. That pattern doesn’t promote a healthy relationship with food and might even be dangerous for some people.

blueblazes
blueblazes
7 months 17 days ago

I went ketogenic for 8 months and I had the worst sleep of my life. I had difficulty falling asleep and awoke repeatedly during the night and had trouble falling back to sleep once awake. I assumed that my cortisol levels were chronically elevated by going keto. Any ideas?

pip wood
7 months 17 days ago

Now that’s a worry. Among other issues I am dealing with adrenal fatigue does keto affect cortisol?

Becks
Becks
7 months 16 days ago

Yeah, stop doing a diet that’s hurting you. I also had many negative reactions to keto/ low carb. Now I just eat normally, focus on whole foods and feel great. My lab tests are also great even though I’m eating 70% carbs from potatoes, oats, beans, lentils, rice, fruits, veg etc.

Zee
Zee
7 months 17 days ago
Dear Mark, Thanks for this thoughtful post. I’ve tried keto for about 8 weeks, and I’m wondering as a nursing mother if I were to start to incorporate some high starch vegetables, would that be okay? Is it best to consume them in the mornings or evenings? Some popular keto bloggers say to ‘carb up’ at night, but that seems non-intuitive to me. However, if I eat them during the day, will they make me hungrier? Before this way of eating, I was always hangry and insatiable, now so much better, and fewer blood sugar crashes, so I’m sensitive to… Read more »
Gina
Gina
7 months 17 days ago

Hi I’ve been doing the paleo-keto diet for two months and still am dealing with mood swings, and times of total exhaustion. I saw in one of your articles the suggestion of electrolytes. Is there a certain one you recommend?

Kim Falk
Kim Falk
7 months 17 days ago

What about a 57 yr old woman who had a sub-total thyroidectomy at 23 who has had horrible issues with her weight, & now has Hashimoto’s & CAN NOT lose weight?

Becks
Becks
7 months 16 days ago

I don’t think women with thyroid problems should do keto or low carb. It makes things worse. I started developing thyroid problems from keto and recovered after after stopping keto/low carb.

tribal
tribal
7 months 16 days ago

Go try some weight training, get coached in a gym to do it properly to avoid injuries, its low impact high return exercise.

Eva R
Eva R
7 months 17 days ago
Great discussion! I started Keto in May, after not feeling my best on Paleo, and I am still learning (about what way of eating works for me). I’m grateful for both the Paleo & Keto communities, because I have come to discover a lot of things about myself, through both; mentally & physically. It has been fun & exciting, watching my body & feeling my brain tranform, but it has also been frustrating (not arriving at that “sweet spot” yet,; with what works perfectly for ME). One thing I hear over & over again, is to be patient, and I… Read more »
Laura
Laura
7 months 17 days ago
I always love these posts, very informative. I’ve been primal for 4 years with 2 Paleo/primal pregnancies during this time. Everything was going well except I couldn’t lose a few stubborn pounds. I gradually went lower carb to keto in June. Yes, I lost the weight, gained intense focus, and woke up energized. But, there is a dark side to keto for some people. I started waking up around 5 each morning wanting to work on something with only 6 hours of sleep. This happened everyday. Then, a few weeks ago, I noticed small bald spots in my scalp and… Read more »
Becks
Becks
7 months 16 days ago

I’ve noticed most negative side effects of keto being reported by women, myself included. This diet is a terrible idea for a lot of women and we should be careful. It’s much better to eat a balanced diet that includes whole foods including a variety of fruits, veg, tubers, lentils, beans, oats, rice etc instead of extreme/restrictive fad diets like keto that are causing harm.

Shawn
Shawn
7 months 17 days ago

This makes the most sense out of everything I’ve seen so far.

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