For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, does the renewed vigor assailing the keto diet have me worried about my business? Should I start going vegan to cover all my bases? Second, did the “ketones for overtraining” study from last week control for calories? And third, how can a person eat enough fat if they’re avoiding lactose?

Let’s go:

Interested to see if Mark’s focus on keto will continue now that the trend factor is wearing off. That VICE piece, flawed though it may be, is part of a much larger media pushback against keto. What are the business implications of aligning yourself with a so-called “fad diet”?

I’ve built a pretty good business by aligning myself and my writing and my products with “fad diets.”

I generally use several factors to determine where to align myself and target my work:

  1. Personal experimentation. What am I trying? What kind of diet, exercise, and lifestyle modifications am I experimenting with? The quality of my work suffers if I’m not fully engaged on a personal level. I’m not a technical writer. I need to live my subject matter for it to come alive on the page.
  2. Personal needs. What works for me? What gets me going? What am I interested in, drawn toward on an intuitive level? What am I missing? Even my best products were designed with my own selfish desires in mind. I made Adaptogenic Calm because I needed a way to recover from excessive endurance training, and it turned out that tons of other athletes needed it, too. I made Primal Mayo because I was sick of whipping up a batch of homemade mayo every time I wanted tuna salad without all the soybean oil. I went keto because the research fascinated me. It turns out that the things I vibe with tend to resonate with others, too. Humans are often quite similar to each other. Not all of them, but there are enough that are.
  3. Your needs. What does my audience want? What do they need? What kinds of questions are they asking me? What feedback am I getting from them? How are they responding to what I’m putting out?
  4. New information. I’m always ready to pivot when new information is made available or when new research arises. Sometimes a reader will point something out and it will change the trajectory of my thinking and writing. I try not to wed myself to my ideas, to the things I want to be true, even though that’s a human foible that’s unavoidable. I always try to approach a subject in as intellectually honest a manner as I can. To me, new developments, even if they appear to contradict a stance I hold, breathe new life into my work. For example, I’m definitely biased toward lower-carb approaches for most people. They just clearly work better for the bulk of the people who encounter my work and who struggle with their health and weight in modern industrialized countries. Most people don’t perform enough physical activity to warrant perpetual “high-carb” diets, and most people find weight loss is easier and hunger lower on lower-carb, higher protein/fat diets. But at the same time, there’s room for higher-carb intakes, or even moderate-carb intakes. And can people eat high-carb and be healthy? Have populations lived well on high-carb diets? Absolutely.

Keto still satisfies these factors. Now, I’m always looking toward the horizon; I think my ancestors were probably explorers of some sort. It’s in my blood. So I probably will write about something else—next week, next month, and years from now. But my overall “thrust” will still be low-carb/Primal/keto because, well, the stuff just works.

What I wonder after reading this is: Would there have been a significant inter-group difference had calories been controlled for? Ketone esters obviously have some caloric value that the control group did not receive. How much of the benefit is merely having a better caloric intake to support this intense training protocol?

Good question—this is in regards to the study discussed last week. They actually did control for calories. The experimental group got the ketone ester drink. The control group got an isocaloric medium-chain triglyceride-based drink. Both groups consumed the same amount of calories.

Having tracked through to Michael Eades’ blog on cholesterol—how do you increase fat when you are lactose intolerant? A problem for myself and my adult children. I hadn’t realized that high fat was the actual content rather than the percentage!

Oh, man, there are so many ways to increase fat while lactose intolerant.

My favorite way is to focus on whole food sources of fat, rather than isolated fat sources:

  • Fatty animal foods: a ribeye, a beef shank, some ground beef. A lamb shank, some lamb chops. Bacon, eggs, sausage.
  • Fatty plants: olives, coconut, nuts (favoring higher MUFA nuts like macadamias), dark chocolate. Salads, which aren’t “fatty” without the dressing and meat but I’m counting as “whole foods” because that’s the effect of eating them.
  • Whole avocados: great source of potassium, fiber (if you want that), and polyphenols.

Foods like my Primal Mayo or avocado oil dressings, while technically “isolated” or “refined,” allow and promote the consumption of nutrient-dense whole foods like tuna (tuna salad), eggs (deviled eggs, egg salad), cruciferous veggies (slaws), and steaks (try searing a steak covered in mayo). And even our mayo isn’t nutritionally bereft—it contains choline, folate, and all the other good stuff found in eggs. And our dressings are full of spices and herbs that confer health effects through their phytonutrients.

Also, don’t think you have to focus on “increasing fat.” That’s the mindset that leads to things like chugging olive oil and eating a bowlful of sour cream. High level athletes who need calories at any cost can get away with and even benefit from that, but for most people it makes more sense to focus on reducing excess carbohydrates and eating whole-food sources of fat as they appear naturally.

Also, the lactose intolerant can still have dairy. Try hard cheeses, Greek yogurt, and yogurt and kefir that’s clearly marked “low” or “no lactose.” Butter is fine in all but the most severe cases, and cream is not far off from butter. Ghee is another good cooking fat that should be near zero in lactose.

Anyone else have good “lactose-free” fat sources? Anyone else worried about “keto as a fad”?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care!

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The post Dear Mark: Abandoning the Keto “Fad,” Ketone Study Calories, and Low-Lactose Fat appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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keto pills inlineThere are a dizzying number of keto pills on the market now. They promise easy weight loss, increased energy, and the benefits of ketosis without the pesky following-a-strict-diet part.

As savvy MDA readers, you know that optimal health never comes in a bottle. You also know that I’m a proponent of wise supplementation to support a Primal diet and lifestyle when appropriate. I’ve said before that I think exogenous ketones can be useful in specific circumstances, though they’re never necessary for success.

The question at hand is whether keto pills are likely to offer any benefit or if they’re a waste of money. I focused on pills that seem to be popular on Google searches and Amazon—ones with names like Ultra Fast Keto Boost, Super Fast Keto Boost, Keto Burn Xtreme, Instant Keto, and Keto Slim Rx. (My Amazon search history is shot now. This is the sacrifice I make for my readers.)

First Impressions: Are Keto Pills a Scam?

My first impressions weren’t positive—let’s just say that. 

These products are being sold as diet or weight management pills. Their descriptions strongly imply, or sometimes state outright, that the pills will help you lose weight and “enjoy a slim and fit physique.” Most of the claims center on the general promise that being in ketosis causes you to burn fat and, by extension, lose weight (it doesn’t necessarily), and that their products will help keep you in ketosis (a claim I’ll investigate below).

The biggest red flag was when I noticed how many Amazon customers were trying to find the keto pill featured on the TV show Shark Tank. This was news to me, so I did some digging. Apparently there was a popular scam a while back wherein sellers claimed that their keto pills appeared on Shark Tank, and the sharks went wild for them. You didn’t miss anything. This never happened.

Only one product that I looked at—Keto Burn Xtreme sold by Advanced Life Science—still had that on their Amazon page as of December, 2019. It seems like some of the other products might have been falsely advertising this in the past based on older reviews and questions, though.

So it wasn’t looking good off the bat, but I’m an open-minded guy. Bad marketing doesn’t necessarily mean an ineffective product. Sure, the Amazon reviews for these pills are pretty negative overall, but maybe people just aren’t giving them a fair chance? Some folks like them, after all. Let’s try to be objective here.

Do These Keto Pills Contain Ketone Bodies?

Assuming you can trust the labels: Yes. 

Exogenous ketones come in two forms: ketone salts and ketone esters. Ketone salts in commercial products are the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) bound to a salt. Ketone esters are ketone bodies bound to alcohol.

All the keto pills contain ketone salts because they are easier and less expensive to manufacture than esters. On the label they’ll list BHB bound to minerals, such as “calcium beta-hydroxybutyrate” and “magnesium beta-hydroxybutyrate.”

Do the Pills Contain Enough BHB to Be Effective?

Short answer: No, not likely. 

A keto pill might “work” because it successfully raises blood ketone levels or because it brings about a desired outcome such as weight loss or improved athletic performance. In any case, keto pills are unlikely to hit the mark, but I’ll get to that.

Both ketone salts and esters raise blood ketone levels, but esters are considerably more effective. In laboratory studies, even large doses of ketone salts usually yield blood ketone levels to between 0.5 and 1.0 mmol/L. That’s enough to qualify as being in ketosis, but it’s not a knock-your-socks-off result by any means. It’s what you’d expected from following a standard keto diet. Still, plenty of people notice that they have more energy and decreased appetite in this range.

It’s probably not enough to profoundly affect certain health markers or athletic performance. For example, a panel of respected exogenous ketone researchers agreed that blood ketone concentrations in excess of 2.0 mmol/L are needed to boost athletic performance. Ketone esters can get you there, which is why most studies demonstrating the efficacy of exogenous ketones use esters. Studies using ketone salts yield decidedly more mixed results.

How Much BHB Salt Is Needed to Be Effective?

There is no agreed upon minimally effective dose for BHB salt. However, let’s use some laboratory studies as a reference point:

  • In this paper, Study 1, participants received about 24 grams of BHB, and their average blood ketone levels peaked at 1.0 mmol/L.
  • In this study, researchers gave participants 11.7 grams of BHB prior to exercise and then a second dose 45 minutes later during exercise. Blood ketones averaged 0.6 ± 0.3 mmol/L.
  • These researchers gave participants two doses of 18.5 grams BHB, which they noted was 60% more than the standard dose recommended by the manufacturer, prior to exercise. Blood ketones measured 0.33 ± 0.16 mmol/L prior to exercise and 0.44 ± 0.15 mmol/L at the end of exercise about an hour later.
  • Finally, these participants ingested 0.3g/kg of BHB, which would be about 24 grams for a 175-pound individual. Blood ketone levels peaked below 1.0 mmol/L.

How Do Keto Pills Measure Up?

Answer: Badly

Of the keto pills I looked at, the highest dose of BHB I saw per serving was 1000 mg, or 1 gram, in Ultra Fast Keto Boost Pro.

It turns out that many of the products contain the same BHB product, goBHB®. For example, Ultra Fast Keto Boost, Insta Keto, Keto Burn Xtreme, and Keto Slim Rx* sold on Amazon by nutra4health LLC are all the same goBHB blend at different price points ($19.95 – $39.95 for 30 servings). Super Fast Keto Boost and Ultra Fast Keto Boost—same thing. Per serving, goBHB contains 800 mg of BHB.

(*This is not to be confused with the other Keto Slim Rx product on Amazon that doesn’t disclose its ingredients but does promise you can “achieve your dream body” and “skyrocket your ketosis!!”)

Many pills contain even less than that. Pure Keto Boost and Instant Pure Keto list 800 mg of another blend that includes BHB salts plus other ingredients, so less total BHB. Others I checked out contained 700 mg or less.

I’m extremely dubious that 800 or even 1000 mg would meaningfully boost blood ketone levels. This is a mere fraction of the dose used in research. If the researchers could give 1 gram of BHB instead of 12 grams or more and still get a measurable effect, they would. Plus, reputable brands of exogenous ketones such as Perfect Keto and KetoCaNa offer 11.4 and 11.7 grams of BHB per serving, respectively.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that none of the Amazon reviews I read for any of these products mentioned that the reviewer had tested their blood ketones and saw a rise after taking the pills. (And I read a lot of reviews. Too many.)

Can Ketone Pills Make You Lose Weight?

Answer: No.

These pills claim that they’ll put you in ketosis, which will melt away body fat. Unfortunately, being in ketosis does not guarantee that you’ll burn body fat. You lose weight on a keto diet they same way you do on any other diet: by expending more energy than you ingest.

That said, it’s fair to say that ketosis is an advantaged state for weight loss. Ketones both suppress appetite and increase energy, meaning it’s easier to eat less and move more when in ketosis. Ketones are also anti-inflammatory and they improve blood glucose regulation. These both contribute to having a healthier metabolism so you trend toward your ideal body weight with less resistance.

If these pills actually support ketosis, which I doubt, their main benefit would probably be appetite suppression, not increased fat burning per se, as they imply. Anyway, the sellers frequently state that these should be used in conjunction with a low-carb or keto lifestyle to be beneficial. Thus, even if someone loses weight while taking them, it would be impossible to attribute it to the pills directly.

The Verdict

It’s obvious what I think: Save your money.

If you want to be in ketosis, drop your carbs, play around with intermittent fasting, or just go do a hard workout and wait to eat until W.H.E.N. (when hunger ensues naturally).

 

Related Posts from MDA

The post Keto Pills: Why I’m Highly Skeptical appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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2 ingredient keto snack chocolate baconFew words exist that can elicit an immediate mouth-watering response like these: dark chocolate and bacon. As simple as cooking can get (if that’s what we’re calling baking bacon, and melting chocolate), if you’re Primal, keto, or Primal-keto, you likely have these two ingredients on hand in your kitchen most of the time. Very dark chocolate (90%) has a bitterness akin to coffee that enhances all of the flavors paired with it, and the slightly sweet, salty, smoky flavor combination of the chocolate bacon tantalizes the tongue even more than our Dark Chocolate Macadamia Bark with Sea Salt. You can guild the lily by adding toasted unsweetened coconut or finely chopped nuts to the chocolate before it sets, but we prefer this as a twosome.

Servings: 10

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. thick cut Applewood bacon (10 slices)
  • 3 oz. 90% dark chocolate, chopped

2 ingredient keto snack chocolate bacon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay the bacon in a single layer on a parchment-covered sheet pan.

Bake until the bacon reaches the desired crispiness, then lay the bacon pieces on a paper towel to cool and soak up excess fat.

While the bacon is cooling, melt the chocolate over a double boiler: Heat a few inches of water in a small pot over medium or medium-low heat.

Once water begins to simmer, place a heat safe bowl over the top of the pot. Add the chopped chocolate and use a spatula to stir until it begins to melt. Stir until melted.

Pick up a slice of bacon and use a spoon to drizzle and spread out some of the chocolate over half of the slice of bacon.

Set the bacon on a parchment-covered plate or platter. Repeat with the remaining pieces of bacon. Once the chocolate has set, arrange the bacon on a platter or in a jar or container.

2 ingredient keto snack chocolate bacon

Nutrition Information per serving (1 piece of chocolate bacon):

Calories: 121
Total Carbs: 3 grams
Net Carbs: 2 grams
Fat: 12 grams
Protein: 3 grams

2 ingredient keto snack chocolate bacon

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The post 2-Ingredient Keto Snack: Chocolate Bacon appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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On occasion, a reliable and tasty basic cookie recipe that’s remade to be keto-friendly can be useful when you need to bake something for the kids’ class but don’t want to pump the already energetic kids full of refined sugar, when you’re having guests over that might expect or appreciate dessert, or when you want a nostalgic rainy- or snowy-day activity that perfumes the kitchen with melted butter and toasted sugar. Let the kids help by imprinting the dough with their favorite cookie cutters, icing with melted coconut butter, and decorating the cookies with dark chocolate chips or trimmed pieces of fresh or dried fruit. If you aren’t able to use the sweeteners suggested in this recipe, you can swap in coconut or cane sugar (the carbs will change if you do so, of course).

Servings: 8

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Chill Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. Salted butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp. Granulated Monkfruit Sweetener or Granulated Swerve
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely ground almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 egg white
  • Melted coconut butter, optional, for icing

Instructions:

Cream the butter, sweetener, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Mix in the almond flour and coconut flour. Crack the egg white into the bowl and mix until a dough forms.

Let the dough rest for 1-2 minutes, then form it into a ball and wrap the ball in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper until the dough is a little thicker than 1/8”. Remove the top piece of parchment paper and put the bottom piece with the dough on a baking sheet.

Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and carefully peel away excess dough. Roll out the remaining dough and repeat until all of the dough is cut into shapes. The dough should make 8 good-sized cookies.

Bake the cookies at 325 degrees for about 7 minutes, or until the undersides and edges of the cookies begin to brown. Allow the cookies to fully cool before removing them from the pan.

Is using icing: Melt the coconut butter by pouring warm water from a recently boiled kettle into a bowl (fill about halfway up the sides of the bowl). Place the coconut butter jar in the warm water. The water should go about halfway up the outside of the jar. Allow the jar to sit in the warm water for a bit, then stir the coconut butter until it becomes runny and spreadable.

Ice the cookies with coconut butter, if desired, and top with any other little toppings you’d like.

Makes 8 cookies.

Nutrition Information per serving (per cookie, without coconut butter):

Calories: 157
Total Carbs: 3 grams
Net Carbs: 2 grams
Fat: 12 grams
Protein: 4 grams

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The post Keto Sugar Cookies appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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We didn’t set out with the intention, but somehow it happened. Keto For Life was assigned a release date of New Year’s Eve—tomorrow, in fact. While there’s never a wrong day to go keto, my writing partner, Brad Kearns, and I felt like the stars aligned. Just when countless people are taking stock at the turn of new decade, wondering what might be possible in their lives, this message would be there. And while a lot of books will be there, too, with promises of weight loss and fitness and wellness, I have to say (biased as I may be) that Keto For Life offers something unique and sustainable among the typical cacophony of health tracts.

While I’ve shared its premise and outline on the blog, today I’m taking up some questions readers have shot my way over the last few weeks. What does it cover that other books haven’t? Does it offer a new take on longevity? How do other principles come into play beyond diet? I’m covering all that and more.

How does Keto For Life differ from The Keto Reset Diet?

Since the start of Mark’s Daily Apple, my core purpose has been to present a counter-argument against flawed and dated conventional wisdom. On the blog here and in my books beginning with The Primal Blueprint in 2009, I’ve focused on presenting the scientific rationale and practical steps for how to escape carbohydrate dependency and become fat- and (more recently) keto-adapted. I’ve made the case for rejecting the “struggle and suffer “ethos of chronic cardio in favor of a Primal approach emphasizing comfortable paced movement and aerobic workouts, lifting heavy things, and sprinting once in a while. And, finally, I’ve emphasized the non-negotiable importance of complementary lifestyle behaviors like getting enough sleep, sun, and play.

All of us in the ancestral health space have been heartened to see how far we’ve come in the past decade. Many ancestral health principles have been widely validated by science and accepted into mainstream culture in a relatively short amount of time. Back in 2009, it was hard to find someone who had any awareness of Primal/paleo/low-carb eating (including major New York publishers—that’s why I had to start Primal Blueprint Publishing!). Today, it’s a different ball game. The movement’s growth over the past decade has allowed discussion to refine and advance. Without the need to push just the basic premise, there’s been more momentum around deeper, more productive levels of personal customization. The keto and carnivore diets are examples of these ancestral offshoots.

The Keto Reset Diet was one of the first comprehensive books published on the subject, but it’s primarily a diet book—how to proceed in a comfortable step-by-step manner to embrace the ketogenic diet without the risk of backslide and burnout that comes with an ill-advised approach. It does cover the complementary exercise, sleep, and stress management practices that support your dietary goals, but the central focus is on introducing the ketogenic diet to the masses.

Keto For Life picks up where The Keto Reset Diet left off by having you leverage the metabolic flexibility you attain from keto efforts and applying it to the ultimate goals of living long and living awesome. In particular, it integrates the critical components of mindfulness, social wellness and emotional well-being for enhancing longevity and enjoying a fulfilling life. It moves beyond the core ancestral health message of “mechanics”—mechanics of eating the right foods, of doing the right workouts, of quantifying everything and checking every box…but with that potential big void of “Are we having fun yet?” Keto For Life leads with life. The focus is squarely on the good, long life we all hope to achieve.

What Does Keto For Life have to say about longevity?

We played around with using the term “longevity” in the title, but who cares about longevity by itself? Today, most people can make it to the average U.S. life expectancy of 79, but too many limp to that finish line, having endured decades of pain, suffering and limitation. The United States ranks 26th out of 35 economically advanced nations in life expectancy, a pathetic showing for the richest and most medically advanced nation in the history of humanity. In Keto For Life, we tackle the goal of healthspan, which conveys both living long and living awesome. Healthspan entails not just checking all the boxes of healthy foods, exercise output and sleep hours; it also means having fun and finding fulfillment along the way. With the Four Pillars of Keto Longevity, we incorporate healthy eating, movement and physical fitness with the concepts of Mental Flexibility and the often-overlooked pillar of Rest and Recovery.

How does compressed morbidity fit in here?

Compressed morbidity describes being healthy, strong and cognitively sharp for as long as possible. Then, by the time the natural inevitabilities of chronological aging come into play, the end is quick and peaceful. Brad’s father Dr. Walter Kearns was a stellar example of this concept. He passed in May of 2019 at the age of 97. Ninety-five of his years were characterized by exceptional mental and physical function. A champion golfer for his entire life, Walter shot below his age over 1,2000 times, including shooting an even par 71 at age 87 and a 76 at the age of 92. Walter was a general surgeon who continued to serve as a physician for decades after closing his private practice. He worked for the Indian Health Service into his late 70s, and volunteered at a weekly diabetes clinic until he was 95. In his final two years, Walter’s cognitive and physical performance started to decline. His golf outings went from 18 holes for money to casual 9-hole outings, and eventually to hitting chip shots in the backyard. He started to take longer naps, eat less food, have longer nights of sleep and shorter walks at the park. Soon, the day came for him to pass peacefully at home, with none of the drama, suffering, or family fatigue of someone paying the price for decades of adverse lifestyle practices with chronic disease patterns.

Going for compressed morbidity is about keeping muscle mass on your body (promoting a concept called organ reserve I’ve discussed at length in The Primal Blueprint and on the blog) as well as your brain! In a pattern that appears often in the book, the Four Pillars are complementary here. Eating an ancestral-style diet in general and making a devoted effort to become keto-adapted (even if you don’t stay in strict keto over the long-term) strongly supports cognitive function. You may have heard the disturbing new nickname for the assorted cognitive decline conditions that are growing at epidemic rates: Type 3 Diabetes. This term was coined by noted researcher Dr. Suzanne de la Monte of Brown University, conveying how cognitive decline is marked by dysfunctional glucose metabolism in the brain. As de la Monte explains, cognitive disease “has molecular and biochemical features that overlap with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.”

We hear sound bites about doing Sudoku to ward off dementia, but I go far deeper in this book. Extensive research shows us how a vibrant social network, a strong sense of purpose, and a positive self-perception about aging drive healthy cognitive function and extended lifespan. One longitudinal study from Yale tracked a group of 50+ people in Ohio for two decades, revealing an amazing result: Those with a positive self-perception about aging lived 7.5 years longer than those with negative self-perceptions about aging! This tidbit earned distinction as the lowest hanging fruit in the entire book to quickly add years to your life. The longevity champs in Okinawa also get recognition here for their emphasis on yuimaru, a deep sense of social obligation to family, friends, and neighbors. One of the most revealing longevity stats you will ever find is that Okinawan’s who leave the island live 20 years less than those who spend their entire lives on the island.

What’s the #1 quick takeaway from the Mental Flexibility pillar?

“Pivot.” Is that quick enough for you? Thanks for asking. Next question.

Pivot—really?

I can’t think of a more powerful word to convey the secret to experiencing a life filled with happiness, contentment, purpose, and meaning. I credit the ability to pivot as the key to my entrepreneurial success, and also to my ability to sustain a respectable level of work-life balance. As I shared in my introductory post about the book, pivoting describes being able to go with the flow when facing life change. Pivoting is accepting failure and setbacks with grace and resilience instead of allowing bad stuff to bury you. Pivoting is also knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. It’s impossible to be perfect here, but at least you can be honest with yourself. I share my own experiences of failing but embracing of this strategy in the book.

Pivoting into discomfort by being more honest, more vulnerable, less reactive, and less predictable can be the foundation of emotional resilience as well as solid relationships. Gratitude helps a great deal here. If you can start from a place of appreciation for your current circumstances and connections, whatever they are (if you’re reading this it could be worse, right?), you’re ahead of the game.

Whether you’re new to the Primal scene or you have a stack of well-read books on your shelf, I think you’ll find that Keto For Life breaks new ground and offers the most holistic and actionable resource for creating greater vitality and a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life. The official release date is tomorrow, December 31st, and I’m still offering up a preorder incentive of premium bonuses. Learn more and order through your favorite retailer HERE.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I’m thrilled to begin a new decade with you all this week. See you on the other side of it tomorrow.

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The post Keto Q&A: Diving Into Keto For Life appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Good morning, folks. So, is it too soon to start looking ahead to 2020?

I’m joking. I’m on social media, I’ve seen all the posts urging, “There’s only ____ days left in this decade. What will you do to make it epic?!” (Feels like a little too much pressure, but maybe that’s just me.)

Still, the countdown to 2020 has begun, and I have a proposition for you….

How about this January, instead of the typical New Year’s Resolution to lose 20 pounds, go to the gym every single day, and give up wine cold turkey, you resolve to learn something? Specifically, what if you resolve to learn how to go keto and why I think the Primal approach is the healthiest, most well-rounded, and least stressful way?

And what if you resolved to do it with my help and with the support of the keto+Primal community? Did I mention I have a video—and a meal plan for it?

If your interest is piqued, I invite you to join my FREE January Keto Month, kicking off on January 6, 2020. It’s four weeks of daily emails from me covering everything you need to know to go keto the right way, plus amazing offers from Primal Kitchen® and a few of my favorite partners—and so much more.

EVEN if you did the Keto Reset with us last January or this June, you won’t want to miss it. I’ve got all new resources and freebies, plus a whole new set of prompts and exercises that will help you blend the best of keto eating with Primal living principles. It’s sure to be an awesome month!

Here’s the thing: eating ketogenically isn’t actually that complicated. You basically start with a Primal-aligned diet, then remove enough carbs to get yourself below 50 grams of carbs per day. Simple…but not easy. Where people go wrong is by failing to recognize that a keto diet only works when you do the “other stuff,” too. I’m talking:

  • Electrolytes
  • Sleep
  • Stress management
  • Movement and exercise
  • Navigating social situations around food
  • Managing your time so you stay in control of your food choices
  • Building a knowledge base so you feel comfortable and confident in your decision to go keto

Just as the Primal Blueprint offers holistic lifestyle interventions because health involves more than just eating “right,” my approach to keto is about so much more than carbs. My books The Keto Reset Diet and Keto for Life are about food, of course, but they also illuminate the difference between going on a diet versus achieving your health and longevity goals.

I know you don’t just want to get into ketosis for ketosis’ sake. You want energy to play with your kids, mental clarity to tackle your work, physical fitness to get out and participate in the activities you love, and the promise of a long, healthy old age. That’s what the Primal approach to keto is all about, and I’ll be covering the full picture in January.

What’s Included in the January Keto Month

Last year we did two keto challenges, one in January and one in June. I got fantastic feedback from participants about the amount of knowledge and social support they enjoyed. I also listened when they asked for additions. One thing folks really wanted? Daily challenges to keep them on track and engaged with the process. And I’ll be delivering exactly that (and then some) in this January’s Keto Month.

Here’s what you’ll get when you sign up for this FREE (did I mention it’s free to sign up?) January Keto Month:

  • A daily email from me on a topic that will help you get the most out of keto. Some days I’ll do a deep dive into an important issue; other days I’ll address one of your FAQs.
  • Exclusive video content related to daily email topics.
  • NEW! A Daily Challenge Calendar with food and lifestyle activities for you to complete. Each day features one (sometimes two) action steps you can take to enhance your experience this month.
  • NEW! Daily journaling prompts that keep you engaged, mindful, and practicing gratitude throughout this process. I’ll be providing a digital Keto Month Journal for you to use.
  • Community support from our private Keto Reset Facebook community. My colleague Dr. Lindsay Taylor and the team of helpful and knowledgeable moderators will be there to answer all your questions.

You don’t have to be new to keto to get a lot out of this Keto Month. If you participated in past keto challenges, I encourage you to sign up again. The emails are entirely new. Plus, you’ll get enjoy the new daily challenges and a new journaling component.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Keto Month Sign-Up Bonuses

Everyone who signs up for Keto Month gets all the email and video content, Daily Challenge Calendar, Keto Month Journal, and community support free.

I’m also offering the opportunity to purchase the Keto Month Bundle—some of my favorite keto-friendly Primal Kitchen® products that I curated just for people participating in the January Keto Month. The Keto Month Bundle includes: Primal Kitchen Classic Mayo, Chipotle Lime Mayo, Ranch, Balsamic, Sesame Ginger, and Greek Dressings & Marinades, Avocado Oil, and No-Dairy Garlic Alfredo Sauce.

The best part is that I’ve created a SEVEN-DAY MEAL PLAN—yes, seven days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners plus snacks and bonus recipes that allow you to customize it to your needs—that use these Primal Kitchen products to make delicious, low-carb recipes. It’s never been easier to go keto. I did all the fussy macro calculations and menu planning for you. I even made a shopping list to go along with the recipes. It couldn’t be any easier.

To sign up now, visit https://www.primalkitchen.com/pages/keto-reset. I’m thrilled to have put together a whole new keto experience to kick off the new year—and new decade. Thanks, everyone, and I hope to see you in January!

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Today I’m overjoyed to announce the release of my latest, greatest, and certainly broadest attempt at a comprehensive plan to live long and live awesome: Keto For Life. The book’s official on-sale date is December 31, and—as tradition goes on Mark’s Daily Apple—I’m offering an incredible group of free bonus materials as a pre-order gift. Here’s a link where you can access your favorite online retailers to order, but know you can also visit your favorite brick and mortar bookstore to pre-order, too.

Folks, I know many of you have been here with me and the MDA community for enough years to remember how this all began with the Primal Blueprint. It’s been such an awesome journey—and one that keeps evolving in incredible ways. I genuinely feel like it’s all been leading toward this one. I’ve poured my personal experimentation and hard-gained insight into every book I’ve written, but this one feels, well, like a whole new level of inquiry and practice. Keto has kicked off not just a dietary trend the last few years but truly a whole new realm of scientific research. I’ve been knee-deep in it in writing this book, and I’ve not only delved into these revolutionary findings but have also taken the integration of keto science and Primal lifestyle principles to an entire new level. Let me tell you about it….

With ground-breaking connections for how keto and Primal principles can literally reset your biological clock, Keto For Life is a revolutionary gateway into eating and living for increased longevity and resilient vitality. With endless how-tos in every chapter, a 21-Day Biological Reset plan with multiple holistic lifestyle prompts for each and every day, and more than 80 delicious keto recipes, it’s a deeply comprehensive and fully actionable resource for living Keto For Life—and all it’s meant to be.

Longevity is about much more than just healthy eating. However, oftentimes when you’re stuck in the disease state of carbohydrate dependency, you might as well forget about other lifestyle strategies until you can escape that certain destiny of pain, suffering, accelerated aging and disease. If you’re an ancestral health enthusiast, you likely realize the amazing health awakening that comes when you upregulate your fat burning genes and get off the carb dependency train. Favorable blood test values, dropping excess body fat, and escaping the common problems of energy, mood and appetite swings are indications that your metabolic flexibility is robust. While Keto For Life dutifully cleans up some of the misconceptions, hype, and misinformation that have come with the explosive popularity of keto, I’m expanding the entire picture into “Four Pillars of Longevity.”

I’ll give you a little teaser today about each section so you’ll be eager to dive right in when your book arrives! In the Introduction, you’ll learn how hectic, high-tech modern life is becoming more and more at odds with longevity, especially the hidden costs of hyperconnectivity, destruction of meaningful social connections, and forces like consumerism, flawed and manipulative marketing messages relating to diet and medical care, and even the fitness industry’s obsession with struggle and suffer instead of a more sensible approach to exercise. You’ll learn perspective-altering insights about our actual healthspan as well as intriguing multi-plane views of aging that will revamp the way you look at your later decades—and the journey leading to them.

A new perspective shows us that aging as we know it isn’t a normal and inevitable result of chronology but actually what Dr. Art DeVany describes as “the unrepaired accumulation of routine cellular damage… a loss of cell function, loss of cell integrity, loss of the ability of stem cells to renew tissues.” Embracing this truth, you can take tremendous control over the rate at which you experience decline, instead appreciating and optimizing the variety of human “peaks” we can achieve and harness throughout our lifespans. Chronology has far less to say than we’ve given it credit for.

Pillar #1: Metabolic Flexibility

This is the best catch-all term to convey the magnificent journey of escaping carbohydrate dependency and becoming a fat-burning beast. Literally, metabolic flexibility describes the ability to burn a variety of fuel sources—not just external ingested calories, but also internal sources such as stored fat, stored glycogen and ketones manufactured in the liver as a byproduct of fat metabolism—when carb intake is low. At the highest level of sophistication, you become a “closed loop system” that can survive and even thrive without needing the constant intake of external calories and certainly without needing to adhere to any regimented macronutrient eating patterns.

In this pillar, you’ll reacquaint with the importance of a comfortable, minimally stressful step-by-step process to escape carb dependency and progress toward metabolic flexibility. As detailed in the Keto Reset Diet, you’ll execute a 21-Day Metabolism Reset, a fine-tuning period, and a 6-week nutritional ketosis period. We’ll discuss some advanced strategies for fasting and eating in a compressed time window, particularly the importance of limiting your digestive function to 12 hours. You’ll get guidance on integrating the hottest longevity superfoods and supplements, as well as help sorting through the weight loss hype around them and pinpointing the best ways to use these products.

You’ll learn some of the best long-term keto strategies, including living in what I call the “Keto Zone,” where you eat in a general keto-aligned pattern without stressing about macros, as well as incorporating days or periods where carb intake might increase beyond keto limits without you stressing about it. You’ll also learn what NOT to do with various popular keto strategies that are ill advised or overhyped, including (but not limited to) the ridiculousness of dirty keto, obsessive weekend refeeds, and cheat days.

Pillar #2: Movement and Physical Fitness

Movement and physical fitness are two distinct concepts. Together, along with preserving sharp cognition, they represent the essence of aging gracefully. In contrast, when we lose cognition and mobility, our life expectancy and quality of life plummet as we are relegated to wheelchairs, beds, and medications that limit our physical freedoms and compromise our mental well-being.

The desperate obligation to increase all forms of general everyday movement can be best handled by JFW—Just F—ing Walk! Today, many fitness and health experts assert that simply moving around more (especially avoiding the prolonged periods of stillness that are so common in the digital age) has surpassed the importance of following a structured workout routine as the top priority to be fit for life. How can this be? Because moving around all day is one of our fundamental genetic expectations for health. Our genes crave movement and are averse to stillness. In as little as 20 minutes of sitting still, we can experience impaired glucose tolerance and acute insulin resistance, along with diminished cognitive function. When prolonged periods of stillness dominate your daily routine, it can cause chemical changes in the brain that promote further inactivity. This is quantified by a lower measurement of Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)—you burn fat less efficiently at rest and consequently crave more carbohydrates for energy.

Now, because modern life is so comfortable, we also have a desperate need for ambitious fitness endeavors like Spinning, CrossFit, or even completing a half-marathon, but these goals must be only contemplated after you have established a foundation of basic everyday movement, which I detail in the book.

Once your movement looks good, you can get into the genetically optimal workout pattern ala Primal Blueprint with a strategic blend of comfortably paced cardio, regular short duration, high intensity resistance workouts (weights, machines, or just bodyweight exercises like pushups), and occasional brief, all-out sprints (the ultimate Primal exercise to delay aging under the “use it or lose it” natural law.) Let’s also add what I call “play” endeavors that can feature each of the aforementioned. As you know from being a Primal enthusiast, there are massive hormonal and physiological benefits to be gained from putting your body under resistance load regularly, and opening up the throttle occasionally with all out efforts.

These activities, which have been almost completely neglected by most modern humans, give us a boost of adaptive, anti-aging hormones like human growth hormone and testosterone. Brief, intense efforts also help preserve muscle mass as you age, improving the critical longevity component of organ reserve. This is the functional capacity of your organs to perform above baseline level, one of the most fundamental ways to assess your state of health and longevity potential. This Primal approach to fitness is simple, time efficient, and within reach of everyone. It also gives you awesome protection against the accelerated demise associated with inactivity.

Unfortunately, many fitness enthusiasts follow an overly stressful approach that leads to breakdown, burnout, illness and injury. Chronic exercise leads to hormonal and immune dysfunction, and compromises metabolic flexibility—instead pushing you back in the direction of carbohydrate dependency. You’ll learn how to schedule and conduct the various workouts correctly, avoid chronic patterns, and apply an intuitive approach instead of a regimented approach to your fitness goals.

Pillar #3: Mental Flexibility

Mental flexibility makes you resilient for life in the same manner that metabolic flexibility makes you resilient enough to skip meals and maintain energy and focus. While looking after the physical vessel is essential, we must acknowledge the strength of the mind/body connection as previously discussed with the insights from Dr. Chopra and Dr. Lipton.

This section details numerous strategies to hone mental flexibility, starting with pivoting: going with the flow when facing life change. Pivoting entails knowing both when to persevere when your peak performance goals are aligned with your deep beliefs and calling to make the world a better place, and also recognizing when it’s time tone down the influence of your ego and quit when things don’t feel right in your gut.

You’ll learn how to avoid the disease state of ruminating, that is, the act of engaging in obsessive or destructive thoughts about the past or the future that cause you feel anxious, depressed, irritable, overwhelmed and downright sad. Instead, we can cultivate the esteemed skill of mindfulness—accessing a state of calm, present awareness through repetition and endurance. 

Next, you’ll learn the importance of journaling, actually taking pen to paper and recording your thoughts, hopes, dreams and worries. Journaling can help you identify and correct self-limiting beliefs and behavior patterns. The specific practice of gratitude journaling, for example, has been scientifically validated to reduce stress levels, dissipate negative emotions, boost levels of the love hormone oxytocin, and activate calming parasympathetic nervous system function.

You’ll also read about learn to nurture meaningful, reciprocative interpersonal relationships—which might very well be the most powerful and important way to improve your longevity prospects in the entire book. Our genes are wired for connection, and the digital connections that are dominating modern life and coming at an extreme cost to our physical and psychological health. You’ll learn to cultivate a thriving social network, a smaller cluster of your closest family and friends, and place particular importance on the make or break health element of a loving partnership.

Pillar #4: Rest and Recovery

Optimizing your sleeping habits and environment will be the prominent focus here, but we must also consider a broad-based approach to chilling out amidst the hectic pace and constant stimulation of modern life. Strategies include disciplining your use of technology, taking frequent breaks from peak cognitive function to refresh depleted brain neurons, conducting recovery-centric workouts designed to promote relaxation and rejuvenation, and becoming competent at napping when cognitive function declines from afternoon blues. You’ll learn to pair mellow evening habits with a high energy morning routine (plenty of ideas included).

You’ll also turn your attention to proper recovery, both from fitness regimen and workplace overstimulation. You’ll learn about specially designed “Rebound Workouts” that can actually speed recovery in comparison to total rest by stimulating parasympathetic activity. And you’ll learn how to get better about focusing and prioritizing during the workday to avoid the dreaded cognitive middle gear, where you’re busy but ineffective. Finally, you’ll learn the importance of disconnecting on multiple levels to deliver profound hormonal and psychological benefits, stuff we have overlooked and disrespected with our warp speed technological progress.

21-Day Biological Clock Reset

After a comprehensive education and practical instruction about the 4 Pillars, it’s time for a transformative challenge: The 21-Day Biological Clock Reset. The reset features daily action items representing each of the Four Pillars. The journey, while short in duration, is designed to be highly focused and demanding. This is the only way to stimulate lasting lifestyle transformation and release you from the powerful pull of decades-old ingrained habits and powerful cultural forces pushing your out of a balance and stuck in carbohydrate dependency.

You’ll be exposed to a variety of strategies and concepts over the 21 days, and the idea is that you will pick and choose your favorites to integrate permanently into your lifestyle. You’ll be challenged to perform breakthrough workouts, increase daily activity, actually sit down and do stuff like a gratitude journal and create dark, mellow evenings instead of maximum screen time. It’s going to be fun, but it’s also going to be intensive, not to mention life-changing. Completing the Biological Clock Reset once a year is an excellent way to fine-tune your longevity muscles and clarify your focus amidst the constant distractions of modern life.

Recipes

But the food… Folks always want to know about the recipes. The 80+ Keto For Life recipes are a collaborative effort among numerous authors, coaches, chefs and well-known keto experts, including Dr. Cate Shanahan, Keris Marsden and Matt Whitmore of The Paleo Primer series, William Shewfelt of the carnivore diet movement, Dr. Lindsay Taylor and Layla McGowan, my co-authors on the Keto Reset Instant Pot Cookbook, Tania Teschke, author of The Bordeaux Kitchen, and more.

You’ll find everything you need for beginning, recommitting or reinvigorating your keto eating enjoyment with this diverse selection of dishes, from gourmet to quick and easy, from breakfast to beverages, snacks to side dishes and everything in between.

Let me share one today that might appeal….

Sneak Peek Recipe: Keto Cheesecake

Prep Time: 40 minutes (plus refrigeration time)

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

FOR THE FILLING

  • 16 ounces (453.59 g) organic cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup powdered stevia or 1-2 tablespoons honey

FOR THE CRUST (OVEN METHOD ONLY)

  • 1 cup (96 g) almond flour or 1 cup (128 g) coconut flour
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1–2 tablespoons powdered stevia
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

FOR THE CHOCOLATE CRUNCH TOPPING

  • ¼ cup (34 g) macadamia nuts or assorted nuts
  • 1 bar (3.5 ounces/100 g) dark chocolate (85% cacao or greater), broken into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 2–3 tablespoons fine coconut flakes

Instructions:

Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice, sea salt, eggs, and sweetener. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer on low speed.

Choose between the Instant Pot Method and Oven Method and proceed as directed.

Instant Pot Method: Pour the filling into a round glass bowl or springform pan that can fit inside the Instant Pot. Cover the bowl carefully with foil. Pour 2 cups water into the Instant Pot. Place the cheesecake on the handled steam rack (or in a steamer basket accessory if you have one), and lower the cheesecake into the pot. Cook on High pressure for 25 minutes. When the Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally, about 15 minutes, then lift out the cheesecake.

Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Make the crust: In a bowl, combine the almond flour, butter, stevia, and vanilla until well blended. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan or round glass or ceramic baking dish.

Bake until the crust darkens slightly, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes (leave the oven on). Pour the cheesecake filling mixture into the pan and smooth out the top with your hand (just kidding, use a spatula).
Bake until the middle is almost firm, but not quite, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

While the cheesecake is cooling, make the chocolate crunch topping (use for either version): In a small food processor, blend the macadamia nuts until they resemble a crumbly flour. In a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and coconut oil. Mix the nuts and coconut flakes into the melted chocolate.

Drizzle the topping carefully across the top of the cooked and cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate the cheesecake until the crust feels hard, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Slice and serve.

Macronutrients Per Serving:

Instant Pot Method: 323 calories; 29 grams fat; 8 grams carbohydrate; 7 grams protein

Oven Method: 459 calories; 42 grams fat; 12 grams carbohydrate; 10 grams protein

Final Thoughts

I realize that there is an overwhelming amount of content hitting us today from books, magazine articles, blogs, podcasts, YouTube and streaming media, and it’s easy for a new book to get lost in the shuffle or buried on a “read later” list. That’s why I want to reiterate what a hugely expansive and life-changing this book Keto For Life represents. My longtime writing/publishing partner Brad Kearns and I joke that we always underestimate the difficulty and duration of a book project by half, and this was no exception. Keto For Life represents an intensive project that took an entire year to complete, with devoted efforts from a sizeable team of researchers, editors, agents, publicists and publisher. It’s designed to stand proudly for years to come as an owner’s manual for longevity. I hope it can help you claim your fullest and longest life.

Now For the Keto For Life Pre-Order Bonus Gifts

This is always my favorite part. For those who order the book early, I have a few gifts for you (available right away even though the book itself comes out 12/31/19).

Bonus Audio Summary

Enjoy a detailed overview of every section of the book to get you excited and prepared to begin your Keto For Life journey. My co-author, Brad Kearns, describes the 4 Pillars in detail.

Sneak Peek Excerpt Booklet

Read some choice excerpts to give you a feel for the comprehensive nature of the book, where you obtain a deep education and scientific rationale for the 4 Pillars, as well as get practical, step-by-step guidance to implement, and (finally) enjoy a few of the delicious 80+ recipes from the book.

$10 Discount at Primal Kitchen®

Grab some of your favorite keto-friendly products to add variety and ease to your keto cooking ventures.

That’s what I got today, and I’m thrilled to offer it up to the community where it all began and where it’s still evolving. Folks, I hope you enjoy reading the book and putting it into practice as much as Brad and I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for being here.

Reprinted from KETO FOR LIFE by Mark Sisson with Brad Kearns. Copyright @ 2019 by Mark Sisson. Photos copyright @ 2019 Jennifer May. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

 

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The post Introducing Keto For Life: Leveraging Metabolic Flexibility To Pursue The Ultimate Goal of Longevity appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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