If you’ve ever done any research on the Paleo diet, you’ve likely seen Mark Sisson’s name. If you’ve ever tried Whole Foods Market’s best-selling condiment, Primal Kitchen’s avocado mayo, then you’ve also tasted some of Mark Sisson’s work.
Sisson has been at the healthy lifestyle game longer than most fad diets have been in existence. As a former elite endurance athlete, Sisson learned through years of trial and error the best practices for both diet and exercise.
Now at age 64, Sisson is quite literally still going strong. With several books to his name, including the best-seller “Primal Blueprint,” he’s now adding one more title to his collection, “The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever.”
With keto being one of the most googled words last year, Sisson wanted to clarify a lot of the banter and questions on ketosis and ketogenics. His new book helps spell out a step-by-step plan for someone interested in losing weight and improving their overall health by transitioning from being a sugar burner to a more efficient, fat burning machine.
This transition can seem daunting to some, so we sat down with Sisson to get his top three steps to help people on the road to a healthier life.
1. Ditch the Sugar
“Giving up sugar is the number one thing anyone can do across any eating platform to benefit themselves. If you give up sugar you’ll see a reduction in inflammation and a reduction in cravings over time,” says Sisson.
Sisson knows that giving up sugar is difficult for many, including those who are okay with their weight but often still indulge in sodas and desserts. While the physical signs of frequent sugar intake might not be there now, it’s likely there are issues going on internally.
When you consume sugar, stress hormones rise and the tendency toward type-2 diabetes increases. Sisson has seen dramatic results in people’s health after they’ve eliminated sugar. “When you start eating this way, there’s a very real possibility that you can get yourself out of the condition of being a type-2 diabetic.”
If you have a sugar craving, Sisson says, “I love Artisana coconut butter. It tastes sweet even though there’s no sugar in it. It takes the edge off that craving and hunger for a lot of people. So there are ways to ease into this.”
2. Get Rid of Grains
“One of the biggest aha moments I had was when I gave up gluten and all my digestive and inflammation issues went away.” Sisson had bad arthritis in his fingertips, a tough case of IBS, upper respiratory tract infections six to eight times a year, and many colds. These conditions all vanished after dropping grains and sugar. “When grains hit your gut, a bunch gets converted to glucose, and that raises your blood sugar just as rapidly as a spoonful of sugar from the sugar bowl.”
Sisson recommends removing the most offensive grains first like wheat, corn, barley, and rye. “This isn’t to say that you need to do this for the rest of your life, but it would certainly be a worthy experiment to give up grains for 30 days and see what the effect is on you.”
Many people don’t realize that eating grains can contribute to arthritis, joint pain, weight gain, stomach pain, or gas and bloat. “It isn’t until you give those up that you realize, wow, I feel better, I lost a little bit of weight, my energy level is a little higher, and I don’t crave sugar as much anymore.“
3. Omit Industrial Seed Oils
“Drop the soybean, corn, canola, and other oils that pervade a lot of the processed foods found in the supermarket. Instead, eat extra virgin avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee or lard. These are all awesome choices for healthy fats that would replace the polyunsaturated processed fats that we call industrial seed oils.”
A lot of these industrial seed oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids. “One of the things that we look at in trying to create a balanced life is the ratio between anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and the omega-6s, which are generally inflammatory.”
While we need some omega-6s in our diet, we usually get way too many from these mass produced oils. Having too many omega-6s throws off your system’s balance and can lead to systemic inflammation in the body, causing joint pain and water retention.
“By getting rid of grains and sugar, you’re immediately dropping your carbohydrate intake. It’s impossible to get rid of sugar and grains and not find that your carb intake drops,” says Sisson.
When you decrease carbs, there’s less food being converted to glucose. Most people’s brains are wired to run on glucose, so when there’s a reduction in glucose, your body can stop being a sugar burner and learn to burn fat more efficiently.
Once your brain learns to get into this fat burning state, Sisson says, “It not only burns the fat on your plate, it burns the fat on your thighs, your stomach, and your butt. It then uses the fat it burns to generate energy so that you don’t need to eat as much food. You also have very steady energy levels to keep your thought processes going and your productivity levels high. It’s an amazingly wonderful human adaptation. The ability to store fat and burn it would be the quintessential human skill, I think.”
Sisson’s new “Keto Reset Diet” book walks people through the steps to eliminate these three categories of food in 21 days to get on a path to becoming a fat burner. For those ready for more, there’s then a six-week nutritional ketosis program to build further health and longevity. The book also includes meal plans to get your body fueled with the right ingredients, as well as 100 recipes that are keto-friendly.
Sisson has a simple, but lofty goal. “My wish is for everyone to live awesome and enjoy the most out of every possible moment they can every day.”
Check Out “The Keto Reset Diet” here.
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