I don’t usually stick a Dear Mark  post in the middle of the week, but it’s not every day that I receive a barrage of questions on a single topic from dozens of insistent readers demanding answers. Immediately after yesterday’s launch  of the 21-Day Total Body Transformation , I began receiving emails from hesitant readers. Some were PB diehards skeptical of the book’s value to them, others wanted it but needed some clarification before pulling the trigger. It was a wide range of questions I received, many of which overlapped with one another, so in today’s post I’ll do my best to collate, condense, and collapse them all into a few select questions that represent the general gist of yesterday’s emails.
Hopefully it’s helpful for everyone.
I’ve been Primal for a couple years now and have things pretty dialed in. Do I need this book?
No. You don’t technically need it. If you’re Primal, content with your health, body composition, stress levels, performance, etc., and pretty much cruising along, you probably don’t need the book. However, anyone will still benefit from reading it, even the most diehard grub-eating, shoe-eschewing, gallon-of-tallow-rendering Primal Blueprinter. Everyone has at least one area of their lives that needs improvement, one aspect that could be tightened up or dialed in a bit further. This book addresses those areas (and everything else). Several commenters  and reviewers  noted that very feature of it yesterday.
Plus, it’s really the best, easiest and least expensive (at the time of publishing this post it’s only $13.77 on Amazon.com ) response to someone interested in learning about the Primal way of life. Just hand ’em a copy of the book and be on your merry way.
Mark, how is this different from the Primal Leap?
Well, I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that it doesn’t include the one-on-one support of the Primal Leap , and there’s no DVD, fancy three-ring binder or CDs. The good news is that it’s a whole lot cheaper than the Leap kit. Both products offer essentially the same thing – a step-by-step, day-by-day explicit explanation of the Primal transformation process – just with different audiences in mind. I created the Primal Leap because some folks simply need the multi-media input and direct, full, personal support to go along with the guidebook. It takes all the guesswork out of this stuff when you can get feedback directly from the source. OTOH, with The 21-Day Transformation  I’m offering a distillation of all this great info for folks who want everything spelled out simply for minimal cost.
The Primal Leap is first class (free premium booze, personal attendant, reclining seat) and The 21-Day Transformation  is business class for next to nothing, but they both arrive at the same destination. And everyone gets to point and laugh at the suckers in coach eating the SAD.
How is this different from The Primal Blueprint?
The Primal Blueprint  takes a broader, more philosophical perspective that requires the reader get deeper into the science, the evolution and the back-story before getting into the “meat” of it. That works well for a LOT of people. For The 21-Day Transformation  we took all the observations and questions we’d gathered from tens of thousands of user experiences through the PB, MDA and the MDA forum , Primal Leapers and PAST seminar attendees and then used that input to reframe the Primal experience for those who prefer to cut to the chase (“just give me the meat, Mark. Just tell me exactly what to do”). It’s a wholly new experience, with new insights, new clarifications on older ideas, and a ton of added value. Plus, it’s more visual and succinct than The Primal Blueprint , making it an easier, quicker read for folks who want to jump in right away.
Most importantly, though, this book tells readers exactly what to do with less (but just enough) of the “why.” It doesn’t theorize; it cuts right to the bone and tells you what to do and how to do it.
You call your seminar series the Primal Blueprint transformation. Any link between that and this book?
Oh, definitely. Transformation  (the book) effectively condenses Transformation  (the seminar) into a print publication. It covers all the same material, plus more, and is designed to give you the direction you need to go Primal. If you’ve already been to one of my seminars, this book picks up where it (and my other books) left off. It will be a nice refresher course of the material, and if you aren’t able to make it to one, this book is a pretty good replacement for what you’re missing.
If you’re worried about missing out on seeing my mug in person, I’ve conveniently placed plenty of photos of yours truly in strategic locations throughout the book, including on the cover (and yes, that’s my wife Carrie (age 55) running on the beach next to me). It’s not quite the same as being at the seminar, but it’s close enough. Sadly, I was unable to effectively replicate the lunch refreshments usually offered at our seminars. I advise nibbling on some jerky as you read.
Mark, how can you call it a total body transformation in 21 days?
You’re not going to lose all the weight you want in 21 days. You’re not going to replace most of your body fat with mostly lean mass in 21 days. You’re not going to reverse type 2 diabetes, get off all your meds (maybe some of ’em, though), and forever correct your skewed lipid numbers in just 21 days.
But that’s not the point. The point of the 21 day period is to reprogram your genes to become an efficient fat burner, so that you can eventually lose all the weight you want, start to heal metabolic damage and arrive at your ideal body composition. It’s to effortlessly lose half a dozen pounds in a few weeks, when previously you’ve struggled to lose that many in four months, so that the road to getting lean suddenly opens up. It’s to show you that it’s never too late to improve your health, that this “getting healthy, fit, lean, and happy” stuff isn’t that hard – or even unpleasant. It’s downright simple, intuitive, and pleasurable.
At the end of the 21 days, you will have learned and experienced what you need to be and stay Primal for life. And once you have that locked in, all those “impossible” goals become possible. Heck, they become likely. The results will come, but first you have to lay the foundations by changing how your genes express themselves. The 21-Day Total Body Transformation  gets your fat-burning gene-expression rolling.
Mark, would this make a good gift for someone curious about the Primal lifestyle?
Explaining Primal living to others can be tough. We tend to internalize all this information so that it becomes second nature. Many of us are Primal without even really trying anymore, so that when we have to explain it to a total beginner, we might miss some obvious stuff. We assume that everyone knows what oils to avoid, which products contain wheat, or why grass-fed butter is better than that weird white stuff that claims to be butter, because that information has been seamlessly integrated into our daily lives. It’s easy to forget that the general public uses a different framework for thinking about health and food.
For those people, this book is perfect. It gives enough of the “why” to satisfy the curious, and it provides all the “what” and “how” needed to actually live Primally.
What does the Action Plan look like for the 21 days?
The entire book is essentially one big Action Plan, broken up into bite-size, extremely palatable (high reward) action items scattered throughout the text. You could actually just scan the book and look for bolded items – that’s usually where I’m giving you something to do, like “don’t check your email every five minutes!”
But really, when you read the whole thing, I think you’ll agree that it’s written in such a way that you’ll be dropping it every other page to go do something, to clean out a pantry or practice squatting or recheck a food label you thought was OK. The action items are integrated into the text, because I think that’s the best way to get people responding to them. Ultimately, the entire book is about taking action. It’s about seizing control of your health, your weight, your fitness, and – in the end – your happiness.
Mark, does the book help someone start the day they get the book?
Yep. Its express purpose is to help people get started immediately. At the beginning of the book, there’s even a “Quick Start” guide that has everything you need to get going. At the end of the book, there’s a 21-day challenge course, where every single challenge you need to commence transformation is laid out. Right when you get the book, you can flip to the back, start with Day 1, and complete the Day 1 challenges.
And from there, you’re off to the races.
I know many health and fitness book publishers release their books at the beginning of January when people are making New Year’s resolutions. Why did you decide to release yours in October?
This was actually a conscious decision. I figure there isn’t a better time to dial in your eating strategy and modern foraging skills than right before the holidays. So it’s a preemptive move. Instead of gaining weight during Thanksgiving and Christmas when Mom’s baked goods are wheeled out and Aunt Betty’s famous dips are center stage on the appetizer table, and then resolving to lose weight in the following months (but somehow never actually accomplishing it), I think a better strategy is to navigate the coming season with Primal skills and tactics in mind. Imagine foraging off the buffet table as much as you want (and you’ll learn what that means) during the holidays and losing weight! Imagine not dreading New Years, but looking forward to being even more fit on the first.
I tried ordering 50 books on Amazon.com, but it looks like Amazon doesn’t allow you to buy more than 30 at a time. Do I need to place multiple orders or am I missing something?
You can only add 30 books to your shopping cart from the main book page , but during checkout, on the final review page you have the option to change the quantity to a number larger than 30.
I think I covered most of ’em, but if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section. Let’s keep working toward our goal of reaching the New York Times best seller list, so that maybe by next year, you won’t be the only weirdos eating steak and egg yolks in the lunch room. Thanks, and Grok on!