Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Tag: dear mark

Dear Mark: Bikram Yoga; Stored Toxins Impairing Fat Loss

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answer two questions from readers. First, does Bikram yoga qualify as sprinting or high intensity training? It’s certainly intense, and it’ll make you sweat bullets and work hard to the point of nausea, but does it actually accomplish the same training effects as sprinting or intervals? Find out down below. Next, you often hear that body fat is the main repository for environmental toxins. This is true, but does that mean the body “holds on” to body fat to prevent systemic dispersal of the toxins it contains? Can stored toxins make losing body fat harder that it already is?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Dried Sardines, Pullup Alternatives, and Blood Donation for Women

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First concerns an alternative form of a food I’ve always urged people to consume: small dried whole fish. Are the omega-3s still viable after the drying process? Next, pullups are a fantastic exercise that everyone with the ability should perform, but not everyone has access to a pullup bar. What other exercises can you do to approximate, if not altogether replace, the humble pullup? And finally, in previous posts I’ve mentioned the potential health benefits of regular blood donation for men. Does the same apply to women? After all, they already “donate” blood on a regular basis through menstruation. What about post-menopausal women?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Are Probiotics Useless, Gluten-Free Diets Dangerous, and GMOs Completely and Utterly Safe?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from a single reader who just read an article from Vice. The article makes pretty bold assertions about topics that have already received a good deal of attention here on the blog. First, are probiotics actually useless? A new study cited in the article seems to suggest so. Next, is your gluten-free diet killing you? That’s what the author of the Vice article says. And finally, have GMO foods been conclusively proven to be safe and indistinguishable from non-GMO foods? Is the debate, more or less, conclusively over?

Let’s discuss:

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Dear Mark: Cycling Harder Than Running, High-Fat Football Training, and Orange Theory

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions about training. First, why might cycling feel harder than running at the same heart rate, and what should be done about it? Second, is it safe or smart for a footballer to try to become a fat-burning beast when he’s currently in-season? Are there lessons can we draw from athletes who have given it a shot?

And finally, what do I think about the relatively new Orange Theory gyms that have arrived on the fitness scene? Are they good, bad, or both?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Higher BMI and Mortality Risk, Calories When Meal-Skipping, HIIT After Fasting

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a couple questions from you guys. First, there’s a new paper out claiming that the ideal BMI for overall mortality is an overweight one—27, to be exact. Is this really the case? Should we all pack on a few extra pounds to see us through into old age? Next, should you try to make up for all the “lost” calories when you eat in a compressed eating window? If you skip breakfast, should you try to eat more at lunch? And finally, how does one incorporate high intensity interval training on a low-carb diet that includes fasting?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Lead in Bone Broth, Cooked and Cooled Potatoes, and Stress Strategies

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. First one concerns the lead content in bone broth. A 2013 study reported elevated levels of lead in chicken bone broth. And not the canned or boxed stuff, but the real thing: broth made from actual chicken bits. Should you worry? Second, do cooked and cooled potatoes really make the carbs less problematic for people who typically try to avoid them? How and why should people who otherwise avoid potatoes consider eating cooked and cooled ones? And finally, do I have any good, simple strategies for dealing with stress? Why yes, yes I do.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Is Caloric Density the Answer?, Fat Starving the Brain, and High-Intensity Primal Endurance Training

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, should the primary focus in constructing a healthy diet be caloric density? Is the key to weight loss and optimal health the consumption of bulky, low-calorie foods? Next, a new study seems to show that fat “starves the brain.” Is this true? If not, what’s really going on? And finally, are following Primal Endurance principles antithetical to high intensity performance?

Let’s find out.

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Dear Mark: Saturated Fat Jet Lag, Collagenous Amino Acids, and Different Cutting Diets

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. The first concerns a recent study seeming to show that saturated fat disrupts our circadian rhythms, especially saturated fat at the wrong time of day. Should we—yet again—trade butter for soybean oil? Second, how necessary are the amino acids found in collagen? Aren’t they found all over the place, not just in collagen? And finally, I answer a couple questions about cutting diets (those traditionally low-fat, low-carb, high-protein diets) and if they can be adapted to a primal way of eating.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Just Outside of Goal Weight, Skipping Breakfast and Coffee, and Quark

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions. First up, I discuss what to do—and really, what not to do—as you approach your goal weight but keep coming up short. Second, why do breakfast skippers also tend to be the biggest coffee drinkers around? Is it just correlation or is there a causative explanation lurking within? And finally, what’s the deal with the cultured dairy product known as quark? Is it a worthwhile addition? Is it safe, given its decidedly neolithic origins?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Vegetarianism Causes Cancer?; Glucosamine Useless?; Decision Fatigue Debunked?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answer three questions. First, does long-term vegetarianism cause cancer or alter our genetic code? Some media coverage of the latest vegetarianism study seemed to suggest as much. Next, is glucosamine just totally useless if you’re not going to fork out a ton of money for pharmaceutical grade stuff? Maybe not, but let’s find out. And finally, I’ve written about decision fatigue a couple times before. What’s my take on the new research seeming to debunk one of the central concepts supporting it—ego depletion/finite willpower?

Let’s go:

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