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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Category: 80/20 Principle

Dear Mark: Sugar in Blackstrap Molasses, Eating Cheat Foods All at Once or in Installments, and Healthy Pooping with a Fused Knee

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. The first one concerns blackstrap molasses, a type of sugar I’ve suggested people eat for its rich mineral content. Does the value of the minerals outweigh the impact of its sugar content? Next, say you’ve got a slice of birthday cake you’re committed to eating. Is it better to eat it all at once or piece it out across multiple days? And third, how can someone who’s unable to squat obtain the benefits of squatting while pooping? In the absence of actual squatting, is there anything a person can do to smooth out the process?

Let’s go:

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Why Is Regaining Weight So Common?

It’s an age-old story. A person has a huge amount of weight to lose and gets rid of most of it through a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle modification. And they feel fantastic. They’ve got energy for days, their skin glows, they exude newfound confidence, and they experience other small miracles. Many of you have lived this. But then something happens: the weight loss stops, or, worse, it reverses. They can keep the weight at bay as long as their diet is ironclad and they don’t skip any workouts, but as soon as they slip up even a little bit, they gain weight. And when they gain, they seem to gain it faster and more easily than should be normal. It just doesn’t seem fair.

What’s going on here?

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Dear Mark: More of Your 21-Day Challenge Questions Answered

Today, I’m doing another batch of 21-Day Challenge questions pulled from the ones you asked me two weeks ago. I managed to make it onto the third page of comments. I’d hoped to get through all of them, but with over 200 questions asked, the task proved insurmountable! Since they were by and large really great questions that deserve serious answers, though, I expect I’ll be drawing on them for future editions of Dear Mark. Stay tuned for that in the future.

This week, we’ve got questions about weight machine training, indoor sprinting, eating for drinking “more than moderately,” feeding kids, going Primal with a failing kidney, exercising kids, balancing sleep and exercise, going Primal as a vegetarian, and much more.

Let’s go:

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8 Signs You Probably Don’t Need More Protein

Protein: it’s the only macronutrient everyone embraces. Vegans, vegetarians, SAD dieters, and paleos always seem to be cramming more of it down their throats. And usually, more protein is a pretty good move. Dieters, the elderly, the stressed, the wounded, the burned, and many other populations tend to benefit from more protein. A few months ago, I even talked about 12 signs that indicate a person needs more protein. But there is an upper limit, particularly for your wallet; protein is expensive. If you can find ways to reduce it in your diet without harming yourself or losing the benefits, why wouldn’t you do it?

Today, I’m going to explain the 8 signs that indicate you may have topped out on protein. It’s not that more would necessarily harm you. More just might be pointless.

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Should You Eat Periodic “Cheat” Meals?

I get a lot of questions about cheat meals. Are they allowed on the Primal Blueprint? Is there a reason someone should actively seek to eat unhealthy food from time to time? The allure of the cheat meal is obvious: you get to eat stuff that’s otherwise off-limits and extremely delicious. You get to throw caution to the wind for a night. It’s like vacation and you’re a food tourist. But are there actual benefits? Today, we’ll take a look.

As I see it, there are three arguments to be made for including periodic — that is, scheduled or preordained — cheat meals in your otherwise solid Primal eating plan.

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You Are What You (Think You) Eat

Last week’s post on marketing took me in an interesting turn this week. I stumbled on an article on NPR highlighting a past but very provocative study that I’ve been toying with for a couple of days now. Having spent years researching the placebo effect, Alia Crum, a clinical psychologist and researcher for Columbia Business School, was intrigued by the possibility that food could also be subject to certain physical placebo-generated outcomes. She wondered if our beliefs about a food or drink could influence the effects it physically elicited in us. After all, if what we believed about a sugar pill could make a measurable difference in our physiological functioning, why would a food product be any different? And on that note, weren’t we all being constantly fed (pardon the pun) elaborate messages about the food we bought? Did the variety of labels and claims somehow weave themselves in our mental fabric enough to not only impact our consumer behavior but maybe our body’s responses themselves?

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