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: Weight Loss Plateau

Dear Mark: Your Challenge Questions Answered

Last week, you guys asked me a ton of questions as part of a contest. Today, I’m going to answer an initial batch. (If you don’t see yours, check back on Mondays to come when I’ll take up others.) First, can excess fat be stored as body fat? If so, how? Second, can this way of eating help with seasonal allergies? Third, what’s the proper pushup progression for someone who can’t do a full one? Fourth, when should I take my probiotics, vitamin D3, and fish oil? Fifth, is canned fish a viable way of obtaining omega-3s, or does the canning process damage the fats? Sixth, is there a trick to beating a weight loss plateau? Seventh, is there a way to make sardines palatable? And eighth, if you can’t walk one day, can you make it up the next?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Osteoporosis, Body Fat Gain on Caloric Deficit, and Stalling on Primal

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter. First, I try to help out Karson, a guy who’s trying to convince his osteoporotic, sun-starved mother to try a few lifestyle interventions that may improve her condition without coming off as smug. Hopefully I’m persuasive enough. Next, is it really possible to gain body fat on a caloric deficit, or is something else going on? And finally, Dawn seems to be doing everything right, but she’s not losing any more weight — weight that she feels should be coming off. What can she try next?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Fish Oil Study, 1500 Calories, Breaking a Plateau, and Bulletproof Coffee vs IF

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions. First up is from Milad, who wonders about the recent research seeming to show that fish has little to no effect on heart disease. Is it right? Are we wasting money and enduring fish burps for nothing? Next, how low is too low? If a person’s eating 1500 calories and feeling completely satisfied, should he preemptively increase calories before bad things start happening? After that, I give a couple tips for breaking through a weight loss plateau. And last, how does Bulletproof coffee “fasting” compare with actual intermittent fasting? Is it a better alternative?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Moonlight and Melatonin, Exercise Non-Responders, and Is Weight Loss Impossible and Unhealthy?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got three questions and three answers. First, the full moon sure is pretty and big and bright at night, but can it produce (or reflect, rather) enough light to disrupt our melatonin production? Should we be blocking out moonlight, too? Next, do exercise non-responders exist? If not, what else can explain the curious case of a lifelong heavy lifter who has nothing – physique-wise – to show for it? And finally, a recent article in Slate makes the claim that weight loss is basically impossible and not even all that good for you. Is the author right? Is the author wrong? See my thoughts on the matter down below.

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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9 More Calorie Myths We Should All Stop Believing

Yesterday’s post introduced the major myths surrounding calories, weight loss, and human regulation of body weight, but there are some other serious misconceptions surrounding the topic that need clearing up. People can really get down on themselves when they listen to all the “experts”. They’ll weigh, measure, and count themselves into oblivion only to experience middling weight loss. Or maybe they lose weight but their energy tanks, their performance in the gym suffers, and their belt size doesn’t get any better, suggesting muscle loss. They’re basing their decisions and actions on myths, and myths just don’t work. These myths do real harm, so it’s important to destroy them.

Today, I’m going to focus on nine more.

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Dear Mark: CrossFit and Carbs; How to Lose Weight as a Teen

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got two questions. First, I handle one from Heidi, a full-time CrossFitter with low body fat, a love for carbs, and a desire to burn more fat than sugar. Find out whether her love of CrossFit is compatible with her desire to stick to a low carb Primal way of eating. Next, I cover a question from Sam, a 14-year old teen who wants to drop about 15 to 20 pounds. He’s currently eating Primally and following the P90x routine, but is there another, perhaps better way?

Let’s find out:

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Dear Mark: Why Hyperglycemia Is Bad and Those Stubborn Final Pounds

Today we’ve got a fairly short one with just two questions and answers. First, I tackle a big topic: the specific effects of hyperglycemia on the body. That hyperglycemia is bad for us is implicit, but it’s important to understand why it’s so dangerous. Today, I give a brief but detailed overview of the negative effects of chronic high blood sugar. Next, Carrie gives a female reader a few thoughts on how to (and whether to) lose the last few stubborn pounds. Her unique advice involves sprinting, reframing, rethinking, and restating.

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10 Psychological Hurdles Keeping You From Losing Weight (and How to Overcome Them)

A few weeks back, I discussed nine (more) reasons you might not be losing the weight you want, and I got a lot of responses. Those were mostly “physical” reasons grounded in physiological terms we usually use to describe weight loss or gain. In other words, they were the ones you expect, things like eating too little and tanking the metabolism, suffering from “hidden stress,” disordered eating, or training too hard with inadequate nutrition. Today, I’m doing something a bit different. Instead of couching everything in the body, I’m focusing more on the ways in which our minds (which, of course, are part of the body, but we typically separate the two in common parlance) trip us up and prevent us from losing weight.

Let’s jump into it.

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9 More Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

A few years back, I wrote an article explaining 17 possible reasons why you’re not losing weight. It was a troubleshooting guide of sorts, aimed at helping people identify some of things they may be doing (or not doing) that’s causing their stalled fat loss. The etiology of obesity and weight gain is multifactorial, and can be complex. Additionally, we’re all unique human beings. So it can be difficult to pin down one simple cause – or even seventeen simple causes. While unwanted fat loss comes effortlessly to most people that eat according to the Primal eating strategy – as the success stories and hundreds of thousands of positive user experiences indicate – sometimes we inadvertently sabotage our best efforts, stray from best practices, or don’t fully grok what we need to do to become efficient fat-burners. So let’s take a look at nine more possible reasons, shall we?

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