It’s no secret that the keto diet is rough–first, you’ve got to ditch most of your beloved carbs; then, you realize the plan doesn’t include ice cream; and don’t even get me started on the keto flu.
If only there were a diet out there that could prepare you for the keto diet, right?
Actually, there is. The plan comes from Mark Sisson—founder of the Primal Kitchen food brand—who published The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever in 2016.
What is the Keto Reset Diet and how its it different?
Basically, the two diets work the same way: by changing the way your body fuels itself so that it burns fat rather than carbs. The Keto Reset Diet just gets you there a little slower.
“Essentially, the Keto Reset Diet is a step-by-step guide as to how to get into ketosis,” says Alix Turoff, R.D., a nutritionist and certified personal trainer. “Sisson’s goal is to essentially ‘dumb down’ the ketogenic diet and walk you through how to properly execute it,” she says.
That’s actually not a bad idea when it comes to the ketogenic diet, because it’s not an easy plan to take on. The OG keto diet calls for serious carb restriction and increased fat consumption (60 to 75 percent of your daily calories should come from fat, 15 to 30 percent from protein, and 5 to 10 percent from carbs.)—a big change from the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend people get 45 to 65 percent of their daily calories from carbs.
Instead, the Keto Reset Diet eases you into keto through a 21-day low-carb transition period so the shift isn’t so extreme—think of it as the keto diet for beginners.
For the three weeks you’re on the diet, you’ll eliminate simple sugars as well as refined grains and breads (like the keto diet), but you can still eat eat starchy vegetables like potatoes and some grains (not so much like the keto diet).
“You stay on the first part of the program until your body has become more efficient at burning fat—you’re looking to see if you can go longer periods without feeling hungry and if you feel like you have the energy to get through a workout,” says Turoff. “Once your body has started to become fat-adapted, you move to a full-blown ketogenic diet.”
Once you’re done with the 21-day Keto Reset Diet, the goal is to be in full-on keto mode, where you’ll cut back on carbs even more and nix the starchy veggies. By transitioning slowly, you may even sidestep the keto flu (or at least lessen its hellish symptoms).
Now the real question: Will it help me lose weight?
“All diets, regardless of their methods, are effective for weight loss if they create a calorie deficit,” says Harbstreet. Turoff agrees: “It’s pretty clear that when a ketogenic diet is executed properly, it does lead to weight loss—but most people have no idea how to execute it correctly.”
This is where the Keto Reset Diet has a leg up on the keto diet—it’s a pared down version so it may be simpler to follow, which might lead to a better chance of weight loss.
Still, both R.D.s recommend using caution when starting the diet—reset or otherwise. “I hesitate to recommend the keto diet given that it’s very difficult to comply with,” says Harbstreet.
Turoff adds that it may be even more difficult for people who don’t necessarily know how many carbohydrates they eat in a day to begin with (or how to count them, for that matter). “If you’re interested in a keto reset diet or otherwise, I would highly recommend you work with a dietitian to ensure you’re doing it correctly.”