Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
13 Feb

5 Things People Assume About Me That Are Wrong

WrongAs Mark’s Daily Apple and the Primal community have grown in popularity, I hear a lot of stuff bandied about. Some of it is positive, some negative, and that’s to be expected. You can’t please everyone – I would probably be surprised if no one ever criticized me. However, I’ve noticed that for whatever reason, some people have a skewed perception of my opinion on certain issues. Maybe it’s my fault for not being more clear. Maybe they just haven’t plumbed the depths of MDA (I don’t blame them; it’s got some deep archives) to find the truth, instead going on what someone else told them. But whatever the reason, I have an obligation to set the record straight. I don’t want people getting the wrong idea about me or my ideas.

In this post, I’m going to describe five common misinterpretations about me and then explain where I truly stand. You may still disagree with me. That’s cool. At least then you’ll be able to criticize me for what I actually said or wrote.

So, what are some things people assume about me that are wrong?

That I support unlimited calories, endless grams of fat, and constant relentless gorging.

To my knowledge, I’ve never claimed that calories don’t matter (cue frantic searching of MDA archives). On the contrary, I’ve held that while calories are the ultimate arbiters of weight management, the beauty of a Primal eating plan is that obsessively counting, tabulating, graphing, and monitoring calorie intake often becomes unnecessary. You’re eating nutrient-dense and calorie-sparse plants, nutrient-dense animals (and their fat), and nutrient-dense and calorie-dense starchy plants (when desired/required), and you just need less food than before. You’re sated, you enjoy the food, you’re sufficiently nourished, and so you don’t eat as much. You’re not telling yourself not to eat X amount of calories; you just don’t get hungry for all those extra calories and so it’s not an issue that requires conscious thought. Some people may even find counting counterproductive to weight loss if the counting intrudes on their enjoyment of normal life and becomes a significant source of stress.

If you somehow find the will and desire to gorge endlessly on multiple thousands of calories of coconut oil and butter and red palm oil and mac nuts and grass-fed beef and wild-caught salmon, you can and likely will gain weight (and fat). All I’m saying is this: why would you ever want to? Calories do matter, though. I’ve always said that.

That I hate carbs in any form.

The reality is that I view carbs as an elective source of calories to be divvied out according to training volume, performance goals, and individual variation in tolerance/desire. If you’re regularly engaging in lots of anaerobic activity (HIIT, sprinting, heavy lifting, mid-to-high intensity endurance training, sports like soccer, basketball, football), you should probably eat more carbs to the tune of 100 extra grams per hour of anaerobic output. If you’re just doing lots of walking, lifting once or twice a week, and throwing in a sprint session every now and then, you’ll probably be fine underneath the Primal carb curve. I gear my recommendations toward regular folks getting regular, but not excessive or elite level, amounts of activity – the people who juggle work, family, sleep, and leisure with exercise. That’s me, that’s most of you, but it’s not everyone. If I come off as a carb basher, it’s only because I assume that most people aren’t doing the kind of activity that warrants carb-loading.

I am a big proponent of eating a macronutrient that works for you and your lifestyle and your needs, whatever those look like. I’m also a big proponent of gorging on in-season berries to the point of stomach upset (not really, but kinda). My point is that I don’t hate any and all carbs.

That I hate gyms.

I talk a lot about the benefits of being outside in nature, particularly being active outside in nature. I often suggest that people go for hikes on a weekly basis, preferably with family members (both hominidae and canid). I discuss spiritual encounters in nature, wherein people experience what seem like “mystical” states of mind simply by leaving city limits and rubbing up against some trees and greenery. I’ve explained how exercising outdoors is not only more effective, but also more sustainable – people are more likely to stick with an exercise plan when they do it outdoors. What wins?

Trail running through a forest of redwoods with the brilliant morning sun shimmering through the canopy overhead or jogging on a treadmill while watching close captioned American Idol?

Sprints on a beach (complete with adjacent natural sea salt cold dip wave pool) or sprints on a track?

Stand up paddle boarding on blue-green seas or, well, there isn’t really a gym equivalent to that one, is there?

I’ll always choose to workout outside if I can. Of course, I live in Malibu, where winter is when surfers wear hooded sweatshirts with their shorts and sandals, so I have the luxury of exercising outdoors year round. Many people do not. Perhaps my perspective is skewed.

That said, I like gyms. I work out in a gym on a regular basis. And bulky, oddly shaped natural objects like rocks and logs are fun to pick up and put down, and you can get really strong using them, but barbells, weight vests, kettlebells, and other manmade fitness tools are arguably better for building pure, raw strength. You know what? Make like Arnold and lug a barbell and some weights out to the forest and get the best of both worlds.

That I hate any and all forms of cardio.

One of my earliest and most popular posts was my tirade against chronic cardio, or the kind of extended mid-to-high intensity endurance training that made me sick, broke down my body, required me to eat an inflammatory diet laden with cheap refined carbs, destroyed my social life, and sapped my will to live. My terrible experience with high-level endurance training helped me find a more sustainable, more Primal path. It got me where I am today, basically. It was the impetus for my search for something better. I guess you could say I’m not a big fan.

I’ve become known for that stance on chronic cardio, but many people assume that distaste extends to all cardio. They assume I roll my eyes at people who ride their bikes to work, who run a 5k every now and then, who use the rower at the gym, who go hiking with heavy rucksacks, who swim laps. I don’t hate all cardio, though. I mean, how many times have you gotten annoyed with how often I tell people to walk, hike, and otherwise move around at a slow pace? That’s “cardio.” I fully support all forms of movement that result in improved health and happiness. I’ve mentioned before that my characterization of an activity as chronic cardio is more qualitative than quantitative. Rather than hewing to some objective standard, it often comes down to your subjective response. For me, running more than five miles or so becomes a race, even if I’m the only one around. I stop enjoying the run and start to focus on how fast I’m going, how far I’ve gone, and how much I can push it. I get sucked in to the competitive tunnel.

I’m not even against running the occasional marathon, if you truly enjoy it and it improves your quality of life. But training for marathons round the clock? Logging 15-20 miles a day? I can’t in good conscience recommend that people do that in the pursuit of good health. Do it to say you can. Do it because you love it. But don’t do it to live forever.

That I romanticize the hunter-gatherer existence.

I don’t romanticize anything (except, perhaps, grass-fed meat). I simply acknowledge the reality of our situation: humans, as a species, have evolved under various selective pressures and environments, and by studying those pressures and environments, we can learn about what lifestyle interventions might work for us, today, in the here and now. Moreover, we undoubtedly did not encounter 10-hour workdays consisting solely of sitting on our duffs, penned in by cubicle walls, isolated from our fellow humans (except by choice). We did not eat sugar, seed oil, and grain slurries out of colorful boxes and plastic packaging. It is a simple fact that some things about our modern existence are screwy and ridiculous, and when we spend our days sitting down, completely isolated from nature, from other humans (in the flesh), from edible plants and animals in their original packaging (absent some fur, perhaps), problems arise.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors spent most of their lives outdoors. One wonders if perhaps spending time outdoors is therefore “normal” for our physiology and we should do it more often. Sure enough, recent scientific evidence shows that being outdoors confers numerous health benefits upon humans. Health benefits that we can verify with actual biomarkers.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors got a decent amount of sunlight (being outdoors), depending on where in the world they lived. One wonders if perhaps sun exposure provides any benefit to modern humans. Sure enough, evidence suggests that vitamin D (which humans make from sun exposure) performs many physiological tasks, like immune modulation and bone calcium resorption, vital to our health. (Also, sunny days tend to make people happy, which counts for a lot.)

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors experienced high infant mortality. High infant mortality is not very good for human health.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors did not have access to modern medical technology. Modern medical technology is good for human health.

Do I think we can gain valuable insight about what makes us tick and what works today by examining the ancestral environment? Yes, absolutely. 

Am I happy to live in the 21st century where babies generally survive and people can hold all the world’s knowledge (and then some) in the palm of their hands and casually implore lightning to do their bidding with a flick of a switch? Heck yes.

To say that certain selective pressures helped determine the physiology of modern humans and that we can glean helpful and relevant lessons from studying (or even speculating about) said pressures is not to say that everything was perfect back then and we need to return to that perfect Edenic (that wasn’t) lifestyle. It’s just saying what it says. Nothing more.

What other misconceptions about me and my message have you seen out there? Lemme know in the comment section! Thanks for reading, folks.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Love this post, Mark!

    Abel James wrote on February 13th, 2013
  2. I am not a fan of paleo and other strict faddish dogmatic eating regimens but have always found you to be sensible and even-keeled. This is why I enjoy your website. You do a great job.

    D wrote on February 13th, 2013
  3. Mark, I think about your comment on carbs, you backed away too much.

    You should’ve been firmer on insisting that grains and processed sugars are still a no-no.

    It’d have been better to “soften” the carb issue by explaining good carbs vs. bad carbs (for example sweet potatoes and pasta are not the same) and also by reminding people that fruit and vegetables are not zero-carbs.

    William in DC wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • +1 on this…newcomers who stumble on this article may get the impression that they can have spaghetti because they’re training for a marathon when in reality, a couple sweet potatoes would be best.

      Step one: Determine how many carbs you need to support your training/goals/lifestyle

      Step two: Make sure to only consume good/Primal-friendly carb sources.

      Chase wrote on February 13th, 2013
  4. Mark,

    Many people say that the only reason that you see (physical) results with this plan are because you are one of those genetic freaks with a great physique..
    PS: I know it isn’t about the physical results (trust me I love my primal life)

    Logan P. wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • ..results with this plan *is* because…

      Logan P. wrote on February 13th, 2013
  5. The question I always get when I tell someone about MDA or the PB is “what are his (Mark’s) qualifications/credentials?” to say what he says? When I tell them, they very quickly adjust their interest level because he’s not a “doctor” or some other such nonsense. I’ve found it difficult to lead these horses to the MDA watering hole, much less get them to drink. I don’t even try anymore. I know what I’m doing for my health and it gives me joy every day!

    J wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • “what are his (Mark’s) qualifications/credentials?”

      There are hoards of experts with qualifications and credentials who can’t, or won’t, challenge prevailing systems.

      How many doctors insist that thyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, MS, cancer, etc., “just happen” to some people? Unfortunately, the scientific and medical communities can be extremely closed-minded.

      Any time a scientific study is published, it should include a complete list of all financial contributors and their relationship to the source of the study.

      Helga wrote on February 13th, 2013
      • Well said, Helga. I remember quickly finding out about faulty scientific studies in my Sociology classes. It really opened up my eyes on how to perceive the research being presented. Some studies are absolute garbage, and some have ulterior motives. To a person who doesn’t research the research, it looks like a golden rule because Science Said So.

        I’m a believer in the intellectual underdog. Having lost 35lb in four months, overcome my depression, defeated my obesity, and finally started loving myself, I truly think Mark Sisson wants what’s best for us. I can’t say the same for some of those “accredited professionals”. Grok on, Mark.

        Zeeko wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • Credentials, schmedentials! We are outliers! Renegades from Conventional Group Think/Education. Grass-roots revolutionaries. I tell everyone that everything they think they know is wrong and upside down. If they look at me sideways after that, whatever.

      I went through this ten years ago when I got a dog and fed him raw meat and bones. OMG she’s crazy! Been a crazy outlier ever since.

      Pure Hapa wrote on February 13th, 2013
      • Pura I have always had dogs and horses which I’ve trained and competed with, my golden rule with them has always been they’re a Dog/horse not a garbage bin feed them only what they were meant to eat (no human tidbits such as bread or crap canned food for the dogs etc). I have always gotten comments about what good condition they are in and how shiny their coats are. Weird that its taken me 40 years to do the same for myself.

        Trish wrote on February 13th, 2013
  6. While I am an avid supporter of MDA and everything that this site stands for I am starting to disagree with the whole “carbohydrate” thing. I was low carb for years eating all sorts of fat with no remorse. While it worked and got me down to a significantly lower body fat I still didn’t feel 100%. I lift heavy weights a couple times a week and really don’t exercise like a fiend. I have added in a significant amount of carbs in the form of sweet potatoes, rice and squashes daily and have had zero fat gain. After reading The Perfect Health diet and monitoring my blood sugar postprandial I notice that clean sources of carbs like I mentioned do not cause any damage. Everyone is different but I think for someone who was never metabolically deranged and active can eat way more carbs from good source. I am rambling sorry but I just wanted to throw it out there.

    Ray wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • I think that was Mark’s point with this post- that carbs are NOT the devil, and that as long as they come from good sources, many people can do very well eating more carbs.

      Alyssa wrote on February 13th, 2013
  7. Great article — its this type of real response that keeps your blog feeling personal and dedicated to us who are exploring the Primal lifestyle. It’s great to see such resilience from someone who touches the lives of so many so please, don’t stop! Grok on!

    Lindsay wrote on February 13th, 2013
  8. Great post, but it doesn’t matter to me what Mark thinks or Mark believes. It matters what I think and believe. One of any size doesn’t fit all. Do your research, listen to your body and obey what it tells you. I searched and experimented with it all and finally, Paleo/Primal worked for me. I will never tell anyone that isn’t Paleo/Primal that they are wrong. I can’t know that.

    Barb wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • Exactly …personal responsibility :)

      Lottie wrote on February 13th, 2013
  9. I was just recently reflecting upon the fact that the recession (depression?) was the best thing that ever happened to me. This is because it gave me the extra free time to actually read about nutrition. I saw an article in our local newspaper that mentioned the Paleo diet as being based on what our ancestors ate and I thought that that made sense. I ended up reading Eades’ ‘Protein Power’ and Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories’ from cover to cover, something that I never would have had the time to do before. I went on to other works and eventually found Mark’s “Primal Blueprint’ and MAD. It has dramatically changed my life for the better.

    My point is that most people simply do not have the time to delve into nutrition to any real extent on their own and seem to bounce around from one point of view to another, hoping to find the holy grail of wellness. And of course most people seem to be set in their ways and often react hostilely to anything that differs from the conventional wisdom. I’ve managed to make peace with myself and no longer get too upset about what other people think and do, although it is sad to see so many people suffering needlessly.

    So it’s not surprising that many people will skim an article or two and come away with a distorted impression of the Primal way of life.

    David Bowers wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • Never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over.

      Nocona wrote on February 13th, 2013
  10. Great post Mark. Reinforces the balanced approach I’ve always felt you take; providing guidance and room for personal modifications. The exercising outdoors is a great example. You provide a great standard to shoot for recognizing that each of us needs to do what we can in the environment in which we find ourselves. I find outdoor hiking in Minnesota challenging and exhilerating. The fabulous peace after a big snow provides calm and renewal.

    Susan wrote on February 13th, 2013
  11. Dear Mark: It must be hard to ‘keep above it” all the time — especially when you are in the public eye and God knows how the folks on these forums, at times, can be ‘in your face’. It’s a tough crowd, for sure! Having said that, I read through your article today and there were no surprises for me. I have voraciously read through MDA over the past 8 months, and learned as much as I can, and I don’t believe I have misconstrued any of the information or your beliefs. There are always going to be those that view information through their own personal lenses and there’s not much we can do about that.

    Thank you for helping me to live a better life. I will be submitting my success story in the next 4 months. Keep on doing what you do, Mark!

    Louisa wrote on February 13th, 2013
  12. Mark Sisson, you are the man!

    Jessica wrote on February 13th, 2013
  13. Thank you for this post, especially the part about “calories count”.

    I think you need to shout this one from a roof-top. Because too many people with hypothyroidism, look to the Paleo diet, and other low-carb diets that promise “eat all you want”, as the answer to their inability to feel satiated. Unfortunately, if you are hypothyroid, like me, you will always have to count the calories, and watch your portions.

    Thank you so much :)

    Denise wrote on February 13th, 2013
  14. I’m grateful everyday to have found MDA.
    Nora and Cate were great,
    but Mark really hit it out of the park.
    Just a groovy little rhyme to express my gratitude. Thanks!

    J wrote on February 13th, 2013
  15. This is a great post Mark. I believe you should have also clarified 3 more things (not for me):

    – the fact that you don’t eat ounces of grass-fed cheese everyday like some people on other blogs say.

    – that you don’t train too much (like hours everyday) to keep up with your toned body

    – that your body is steroid-free in order to maintain such a ripped body at your age.

    Gabriele wrote on February 13th, 2013
  16. “Paleo” in the sense of everything primitive may well be a made up thing, just a political convenience to cover up vast knowledge of our ancestors. We did live close to the Nature, walked barefoot, made clothes out of animal skins and ate organic food, however, we were also civilized enough to have knowledge and technology that beats the most advanced stuff of today’s world. Mark, unknowingly, you might be reviving all that knowledge and actually bringing us from dark ages of junk food and EMF’s back to culture that we were once…(you walk barefoot on the beech and run a website, right?:) if it’s possible today, it surely was possible a million years ago. To validate my “wild” claims, you may want to look into research of Andrey Sklyarov, a Russian historian, who investigated the oldest architecture on Earth and came to really interesting conclusions… He and his team made a movie called “Forbidden Topics of History”. It’s in Russian, but if that sounds interesting, you will find Russian folks to translate it for you. (in Russian, the name of the movie is Запретные Темы Истории, А. Скляров). India has a lot of historical evidence (even written) of the fact that we are the primitive culture now and were extremely advanced and cultured long before and were very close to nature at the same time. It’s not that you can be tech-advanced or live in harmony with Nature. Who said it can’t be both together???
    So, to sum up this whole “weird” thing – regardless of whatever any ignorant person assumes about you, you may well be one of the most progressive and cultured people today. Thank you.

    Kiki wrote on February 13th, 2013
  17. Wow, I can’t believe you feel the need to set the record straight, but that’s the way of things these days.

    For the record: I think you are awesome, Mark! I’ve read The Primal Blue Print and I never got the impression that you were any of the things the “critics” have said about you. You have been quite clear in all of your communications.

    And… I’ve been following your primal fitness routine for about a month and I feel great. I’m also grateful to you for sharing so much of your knowledge and wisdom for free.

    Fronts wrote on February 13th, 2013
  18. I haven’t commented much on here, but nearly two years ago I stumbled upon MDA when researching something else, I’ve been primal/paleo ever since, and my life is so much better for it. Even now, when I follow the debates on carbs or whatever the issue of the day is, I look at the opinions of Robb, Kresser, et al – then I still seek out Mark’s perspective because I trust that it will be non-dogmatic and balanced, as it has been all long. A huge thank you for all that you do!

    Nicole wrote on February 13th, 2013
  19. I appreciate the information you provide and what I consider to be your balanced view. I read the information, experiment and decide what works for me.
    Thanks for all you do Mark.

    Susan wrote on February 13th, 2013
  20. Mark, I have been a follower of the Primal Blueprint for over a year now. I have also turned multiple friends and family on to it, all achieving great success. I have been such a fan that I have had to tell people that I am not paid or compensated in any way by your company! But there is one big question I’ve always been curious about. I THINK I know the answer, but since we’re dealing with misconceptions here, I’ll just ask. Do you believe in God and Jesus Christ? My assumption would be no, since you refer to our “ancestors” a lot. I am a very strong Christian and I believe your wisdom, leadership and gifts in the area of nutrition and fitness are amazing gifts from The Lord that you are sharing with everyone. Your answer will in no way change my opinion of you. I will love you and what you do anyway. I’m just curious. Keep up the great work, and God bless.

    Fred wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • In my experience only Americans and Irish would think to ask a complete stranger about their religion!

      Way too personal……

      Helga wrote on February 13th, 2013
      • Where would you hail from Helga?

        Fred wrote on February 14th, 2013
        • Everywhere (including the US) and nowhere. It’s complicated.

          Helga wrote on February 14th, 2013
  21. Hi Mark,
    just received your news today… and I have to say this: you were the first who introduced me to Primal lifestyle and “Paleo diet”, and that was almost 2 years ago. And I value that more than anything because it changed my life, and my health!

    So now of course I’ve read so many other’s books and websites, but for me it is the mixing of all information that is valuable. So of course I keep reading your news and the other’s, and I don’t bother with critics.
    As someone said higher in the comments, I think you shouldn’t have to bother with the critics of people who didn’t read your works! (but I understand also why you wanted to clear up things)

    And I would like to thank you for all the work done! :)

    Nathalie wrote on February 13th, 2013
  22. My boyfriend is one of those that think that Mark glorifies the life of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. He is very into human history and while reading Primal Blueprint felt that Mark was not 100% accurate in his description of the life of Grok made it sound too idyllic…that was enough for him to discredit the entire book. Personally, I think he was just looking for any excuse to say that the whole Primal/Paleo way of life is full of crap.

    The thing that gets me, is he’s seen how I’ve lost weight and he also sees how eating grains affects me – especially gluten (he has a whole other theory about gluten sensitivities). I put on 5 pounds (ugh!) in January because I ate more grains than I usually do – especially wheat. Our meals are all basically Primal at this point, but he still snacks on candy, bread, and other non-primal foods on a regular basis and wonders why he feels like crap all the time, can’t get out of bed in the morning to go to the gym, and isn’t loosing any weight. I don’t lecture him because I figure I’ll lead by example – he’s a very intelligent man and I’m sure at some point he’ll get it, but until then, it can be very frustrating sitting back watching him do this to himself.

    Carol wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • Young women think “at some point he’ll get it” LOL. After a few years go by, it becomes clear that intellect and discipline are not at all correlated.

      George wrote on February 13th, 2013
  23. I get the same response ( or lack thereof ).
    What I love though,
    My daughter telling people that her mother lost 30 pounds following this lifestyle. She also tells them that I do not adhere 100%, and am not able ( yet )to do the really “heavy/hard” exercise as she does.
    I have never had a problem understanding any of Marks writings. If it wasn’t for this site and Marks enormous gift of knowledge, I’d still be over 200 lbs and miserable as hell.

    Victoria wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • And I suspect I’d have irreversible compromised digestion by now, based on the way things were going for a couple years before I went primal. A life saved?

      Animanarchy wrote on February 14th, 2013
  24. I admire and respect you Mark Sisson, I have read your blog and books for the last two years and I have learned to live and love quality life over quantity. I’m healthier than ever before, I have learned the real meaning of control and moderation in all areas in my life and still working on them. I live a happier life now! thank you for everything you have done and shared with us!

    Patricia wrote on February 13th, 2013
  25. Hey Mark,
    Awesome post…and I recognize how frustrating it must be to be constantly bombarded with people trying to cut you down or misquote you or tell you that you must be crazy because of your beliefs. Sometimes, no, often, , no, ALWAYS, it is hard to be ahead of the curve with new ideas. It’s hard to be different, it’s hard to go against “conventional wisdom” and things like the Food guide or pyramid an buck the trends. I know I struggle with it, as many people in my extended family and friends don’t agree with me trying to live the Primal lifestyle, and sometime I get tired of trying to defend myself. Sometimes I give up, but then I always come back, as I know it is so much better than the alternative. So, I tell my son, yeah, it’s hard to be ahead of the curve and you just have to be strong (when he still mocks me for following a primal lifestyle as he has been brainwashed by his step-mother who is on Weight Watchers), so I just realize that I have to rise above it all and my health and test results are the proof in the pudding, or, should I saw, in the grass-fed beef! Keep up the awesome work and I’ll always keep believing in you…

    Janine wrote on February 13th, 2013
  26. In my experience as soon as you are in the public eye there will always be those that are not plagued by thought that will put the boot in no matter what you say or do.

    Some will go to extrodinary lengths to find fault and spend hours searching information to bring you down. Call it he tall poppy syndrome, you are successful and have helped countless people (myself included) to shake up their make up. Because I have a brain and like to engage it, I take out what I want to put in…I don’t care about exercising inside outside or upside down, I just do it…pfffft I know what works for my body…what about that poster saying its cold outside how can I exercise…FFS what a numpty!! Gee if its cold outside ummmm exercise inside????

    Mark don’t ever feel you have to defend yourself, you will always have these galactically stupid muppets trolling blogs wanting attention and waiting for a reaction..ignore, ignore…

    You along with other great people have helped me regain my health, all your suggestions have allowed me to use my brain and figure out for myself that I ate too much crap especially carbs, cut them down, get my butt moving, and viola a new body has emerged.

    Go you…and to the haters…get a life!

    Viane wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • Last night someone in the shelter I’ve been at lately actually got mad at me for eating salmon and a raw onion.
      I had just cut the ends off the onion and he sidled up to me and pushed my arm and knocked the onion down. I stayed chill out of reason, just picked it up and washed it off. I had a sharp knife in the other hand. Carefully kept it where it was…
      The guy said he’d stomp my teeth in if I went through with eating my meal instead of the junk being served for dinner. So, I took big bites of that raw onion with a smile. Didn’t need to hurt him. He just backed off.

      Animanarchy wrote on February 14th, 2013
      • Before it was a shelter it was a crackhouse; maybe that contributes to some of the bizarre behaviour.

        Animanarchy wrote on February 14th, 2013
        • And maybe all the “cleaning” chemicals contribute.
          Let’s spray Lysol everywhere, multiple times a day, until we can taste it in the air of the house hours afterwards!

          Animanarchy wrote on February 15th, 2013
  27. I find your perspective refreshing!

    AJ Walton wrote on February 13th, 2013
  28. Have you seen this? Confirms what Mark is saying.

    Very convincing.

    Megan wrote on February 13th, 2013
  29. Seen this and couldnt resist having my 2 cents :) I think there are so many haters out, and also the corps are suffering. Across the board they are not making the same money – people are used to the hard sell the soft sell, there bs and mind control. People are waking up and becoming more savvy and no so much the mindless drones of the past. Beware the Agents that are sent into stir things up. Not a conspiracy, its a fact. They want your money and they want your minds. But people are wising up. Thats what i see as ive followed mark for best part of a year. Personally im also gonna say I dont like Gyms, I think mudering yourself in a Gym for 3 hours and paying someone for the privalege is a fools errand. The body, like a car engine has a shelf life, and if you put the pedal to the metal consistantly…well im just gonna say im not in it for the ego but the longevity and i think so are many others. Nothing wrong with working out, but i do 20-30 mins at home most nights and thats enough ontop of walking and “life” *My 2 Cents.

    Reality Check wrote on February 13th, 2013
  30. Mark, I think that much of the criticism directed in your direction is your carb paradigm (the pyramid). Many question its scientific validity, including the insulin hypothesis that I think you’ve since abandoned. I realize that it’s a way of naturally keeping calories down, which is helpful for the overweight. However, it may be harmful for the younger, leaner demographic trying to solve other health issues. A few years ago in college I started eating according to MDA, which was then even more carb-phobic (refeeds and potatoes are quite recent trend). I ran into some common symptoms of restrictive diets (low libido, cold hands, low energy, etc). It might have been from low-carb or low-calorie in general, I can’t say for sure. It might have been due to extremely low leptin levels from low body fat. Either way, I am still fighting some of those symptoms (like the guy from your last post). This is the demographic that eventually goes to Matt Stone of 180 Degrees, who goes to the opposite extreme (junk food!). So what does one do? I would suggest that calorie tracking for the extremely thin is actually a decent idea, along with higher carb intake and frequent carb refeeds (a la LeanGains). The stance you have on carbs now is much laxer than it used to be, but you have to admit that for many years you too were part of the fear mongering, which has led some down the wrong path.

    James wrote on February 13th, 2013
  31. Martin, i hope you are joking. Either that or you truly are a fool. Think about your ancestors. Do you think they would exercise on ice like they had immunity to slipping? If you choose to exercise outside during the short span of icy whether in the year, then use common sense. Stick to the grass or non-icy areas. Think before you post.

    Shawn Schatzman wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • Name-calling? Oh, my!

      Helga wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • Who’s Martin?

      Carla wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • Ice can be a a great surface for exercise. We are all terrain animals.
      Last winter I tobogganed by sprinting down a big icy hill and then continuing with the momentum to slide far distances on my feet, butt, and back, often alternating between them in one run, and spinning too. It was a thrill. Ice is useful for balance practice.

      Animanarchy wrote on February 14th, 2013
  32. Great article. Thank you for writing it. I completely agree!

    Cindy Wilson wrote on February 13th, 2013
  33. This was a good post because it served as a healthy recap of the PB. One problem though…I wholeheartedly resolve never to count calories or carbs. But Mark suggests we stay within the 100 gram thresh-hold if not training hard. How do I know if I’m there without counting?

    Michael Moriarty wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • I think the best way is to just listen to your body! If you feel great, keep doing whatever you’re doing. If you don’t feel great, experiment with increasing or decreasing carbs.

      Alyssa wrote on February 13th, 2013
  34. Oh no, you don’t fall in line with what’s all over the media, but wait, it makes sense and doesn’t involve spending a lot of money. That’s why people put it down.

    Larry wrote on February 13th, 2013
  35. May be a little off subject…When I was first diagnosed with Type II Diabetes I was required by my HMO to attend a meeting (presented by an insulate Manufacture) as to how to control my blood sugar by (1) diet and lifestyle changes and (2)How to self administer injections.

    During the first half of the meeting, we were asked what we were doing at the time to control our condition, I mentioned that I had success by using a High-Protein Moderate-Fat Very-Low Carib Diet.

    Upon hearing this a Nurse-Practitioner, employed by the HMO, exploded in anger, telling me (and all in the room) that ALL diabetics should only eat a High-Carib, Low-Protein, Zero-Fat Diet….All other diets were “Unhealthy” Why? Because THAT is what “she was told”…I explained to her “So basicly.You’re a PARROT! Never looked at any of the studies,and that before the advent of injection insulin, this was a method of treatment”

    Let me give an aside here, My Professional “LOW Point” was that before my disability which caused my retirement,I was a Hospital Administrator, a Director of Radiology. I traded trying to save trauma victims in the ER, for trying to make “Bean Counters” who had NEVER had to empty a bed pan UNDERSTAND….. So, let me say that too many people in the medical profession just repeat what ever the official line is from the Drug Companies. (That,and 99.8% of ALL Nurse Practitioners are idiots…But they work Cheap.)

    So when it came time for the 2nd half of the class (learning how to self-inject) I was the ONLY person in the room that didn’t have to stay….Which I just as loudly pointed out to Nurse Nasty.

    So Mark, If you are “Caching Flack” it just means “Dude, You’re over the target”

    Glen2Gs wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • Well, you had me until you called practically every nurse practitioner an idiot.

      I agree with you that RNs can tend towards being “rule based”. My mother was one. She’s had a life with more downs then ups because she thought life was about memorizing a set of rules.

      On the other hand, Doctors are not always the cream of the crop society likes to make them out to be. I’ve watched MDs struggle with basic math calculations (seriously). Most have never had courses on nutrition and struggle if you’re eating a “weird” diet. (Because the system wastes years training them to be surgeons, even if they never do anything more than a few stitches.) I’ve even had MDs give almost frantic advise based on what amounted to heresay. I had to go look up the numbers myself to make a rational decision on it.

      The difference between those experiences is that a nurse practitioner will at least charge less for a cookie cutter medicine by rote experience then your average MD. And usually with less ego to boot. 😉

      Phew! Having said all that, I tend to think that almost any practitioner has their heart in the right place, regardless of credential. The system puts MDs on the top of the medical “smarts” pyramid, but I’ve found both intelligent and no so much providers are everywhere, also regardless of credential. We’re all flawed people, working in flawed systems, on a flawed planet. I get frustrated, too, but I try to give others some slack.

      Amy wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • A RN is NOT a Nurse Practitioner (but all Nurse Practitioner were at one time RN’s)

      The problems with NP’s Mis-Medicating are well known within the medical community, towards this end The current proposal is that all advanced practice registered nurse programs will require a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree by 2015, thus effectively eliminating the MN or the MSN as an entry to practice degree. However, all state Nursing Boards will be required to revise their current Practice Acts in order for this to become mandatory.

      Please contact your state legislators to force change before you or someone DIES at the hands of people unqualified to provide care.

      Glen2Gs wrote on February 19th, 2013
  36. Mark,

    One of the things I like most about your site is how moderate and anti-dogmatic your views are. You always consider the other side of the coin, even if it goes against your knee-jerk reaction (ex. “is this paleo?” posts allow for grey areas of quasi-paleo foods). I like that you give your perspective on an issue, but tend to ultimately say that if something ultimately makes one feel good, she should do it.

    Keep up the good work! Yours is the only blog I keep up with consistently!

    Agnes wrote on February 13th, 2013
  37. I definitely believe that Paleo/Primal is the most healthy way to go. Am still looking for balance within this lifestyle however as I have a goal to drop some body fat. I am a distance runner by choice because I love it but have noticed with a low carbohydrate high protein diet I definitely feel zapped in my long runs if I slip into ketosis. I am alos curious about caloric intake. On a primal diet I am not cosuming much more than 1000 calories per day on average with deficits of 500-1200 depending on activity but am having a hard time dropping body fat. I guess getting below 20% is just going to take time and I need to be more patient but I just want to make sure I am doing anything to sabotage my goals. Any suggestions would be AWESOME. Thanks :)

    Brenda wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • You may want to try increasing your calorie intake. 1000 seems too low.

      Ara wrote on February 13th, 2013
  38. Great article, but I must admit that I was hoping you’d finally address the testosterone and HGH allegations!

    Ron wrote on February 13th, 2013
  39. You have helped me achieve optimal health Mark!! I always try to absorb as much information as possible from your posts and your great books. They have helped me understand how our body was meant to fuel itself based on our ancestors diet. The Primal Blueprint has changed my life. Thank you. You have a great blog and its sad when people try to tarnish your name with false information.

    Christian wrote on February 13th, 2013
  40. I think at the end of the day we need to do what we know is best for ourselves.

    Do I think I need to be outdoors more? Absolutely! But at the moment I live in New England and being outdoors really doesn’t work for me right now.

    I never take any one thing as absolute. I don’t have to be PERFECT PRIMAL, or PERFECT PALEO, or PERFECT CLEAN – I just have to be Kyra.

    But thank you for being an amazing guide in the right direction!

    the get in shape girl wrote on February 13th, 2013
    • Amen sister……

      Glen wrote on February 13th, 2013

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