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

What Does It Mean to Be a Fat-Burning Beast?

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. I’m excited to be able to bring you this story today. As much as I’m not a fan of Chronic Cardio, I understand that a lot of people are interested in pursuing endurance events. I get it. I used to be one of them. More and more, now, I’m convinced there is a way to do it in a low-carb environment without sacrificing health, and I’m working on a book due out at the end of next year entitled “Primal Endurance” that explores how to do it. Stay tuned!

If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

real life stories stories 1 2My wife Cynthia and I embarked on a six month journey and discovered what it means to be Fat-Burning Beasts. We have been intrigued with discovering answers to questions like “what is the protocol, how would we know if we have achieved Fat-Burning Beast status, what is the body’s response, and ultimately, how far can one push the limits of a Fat-Burning Beast? On our journey in answering these questions, we lost weight…our percent body fat dipping by 7 points, we improved sleep, seasonal allergies all but disappeared and we improved our mental acuity. But the greatest gift of all has been passing on the keys to better health and ultimately happiness to family, friends, and co-workers who we have inspired enough to explore for themselves the Primal Blueprint.

Before we begin, a short introduction of our Primal journey to date is in order. Cynthia and I consider ourselves triathletes. Mind you not to the stature of Mark Sisson’s trophy room, but accomplished in our own right with a combined 35 years experience culminating in 25 Ironmans combined with the last two of these scheduled for later this summer. Over the years, we have come to center our lifestyle to compete at multiple distances with a typical gearing up in early spring, racing through October and taking off two months to enjoy the holidays (or season of gluttony). Interestingly enough, every year it has been the two short months of November and December which have caused us greatest concern in reflection. Pre-Primal we would indulge ourselves with all of the grain-laden, sugary-coated treats packing on 15 to 25 pounds each only to find ourselves feeling miserable by January and looking for ways to drop the weight. It was this past January where we once again found ourselves struggling in miserable physical condition and embarking on a new year of training. We were again researching for ways to best lose the effortlessly gained weight. Yes, effortlessly gained.

Sugar Burners

After hours of internet searching through all of the so called diets, we ultimately landed on Mark’s Daily Apple. Cynthia and I are trained scientists who were completely amazed by the information we were reading about The Primal Blueprint. It all seemed to make sense biologically, and besides, who doesn’t like bacon? We were hooked from the beginning. We even traveled to PrimalCon 2012 traveling across the country where we could meet the Guru Mark himself along with so many other amazing individuals seeking (and finding) good health with an ancestral approach to eating and playing. As it turns out, this conference changed our beliefs for living and has further solidified this new (old) lifestyle we were adopting.

Skipping ahead in our story, we have been Primal for 6 strong months and have found our race focus changing for this year. We no longer focus on a PR, but more so on how to do a race Primally, with clean energy, and to get in touch with our inner spiritual selves, ultimately accomplishing the same distances with less training and more fun time. Who wouldn’t like that? Our bodies, as many of you have discovered for yourselves, have changed in so many ways. Of course we lost our effortlessly gained holiday weight, but we also realized more advantages. As I said, our percent body fat dipping by 7 points, improved sleep, seasonal allergies all but eradicated, more motivated, and improved mental acuity (we think…).

So let’s talk about being keto-adapted. Our first opportunity to test and see if we achieved Fat-Burning Beast status arrived late April in the form of a marathon. Up to this point, many of our longer training runs consisted of fueling with a typical low-carb (50 g or under) Primal meal the evening prior and training the following morning in a fasted state (no breakfast and no gels/bars to fuel during). We learned very early on in our Ironman training the importance of maintaining electrolyte balance to avoid cramping or even worse, hyponatremia). We found running on coconut water (VitaCoco) contained the perfect balance of hydration and electrolytes…yes we know it is low in sodium so we carried salt/electrolyte tabs just in case. But how would we fuel on race day? Our next struggle was to answer this question as our marathon quickly approached. From our readings and discussions with others online, we decided to add additional carbs the few nights leading into the event with acceptable starchy tubers such as sweet potatoes to fill our muscle glycogen stores. We also decided we would use gels and drink the offered course “sports” beverage (Gator…you-know-what) to fuel during the event. We struggled with accepting our decided meal plan and fueling because ultimately we did not feel we were remaining Primal. As it turns out, our plan was a big mistake! We both found ourselves “bloated” at the start line by having rapidly increased our daily carb count with sweet potatoes. Our bodies simply were not adapted to the unexpected surge. The gels and on-course sports beverages were equally a poor choice. Coincidentally, we both were bonking by mile 15. This was unexpected and not experienced in our low-carb training for the race. Even worse, for days following we both felt horrible with a distended bloating feeling in our guts. We simply had shifted our metabolisms to a keto-adapted low-carb state and confused our bodies by asking them to process the added sugars/starches.

From what we had read, we were supposed to digest the carbs and gels with no issue since we would be pushing ourselves to our aerobic limits as we attempted to PR. Not wanting to feel this way again, we decided to test the other side of this equation. Again, from our readings we learned individuals with a body fat of 10% has access to over 40,000 kcal from body fat alone as compared to the average sugar-burner with access to 2,000 kcal in the form of stored glycogen (J.Volek, S. Phinney; The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance). The “trick” to utilizing this plethora of energy would be to remain in a controlled aerobic keto-adapted state, which we would gauge by being able to comfortably carry on a conversation during the event. Coincidentally, many of our training runs were accomplished in this manner (who knew?). Adding to the challenge of being a Fat-Burning Beast, we decided to compete in a fasted state during the event after eating a standard Primal dinner of good fats, proteins and vegetables the evening prior. By doing so, we would be assuring our energy supplies were in fact due to our keto-adapted abilities. We would later call this Primal endurance. Unlike our ability to open the refrigerator to a smorgasbord of meats and vegetables, I’m sure Grok had to deal without fueling from time to time.

Our first Primal endurance test was a half Ironman just a few weeks ago. Incredibly, we competed in this fasted state only taking on water and electrolyte tabs for the entire event. By gauging where our aerobic threshold was and keeping our effort slightly below, we were able to comfortably finish without putting in any of the sugary gels, liquids and without the typical carbo-loading pasta party the night prior. Naturally, we would not experience a PR but hopefully something much more (in our opinion) magical…the ability to be master of our metabolisms. Not only did we finish in a strong state, this particular event offered roasted chicken, salad greens and fruits, at the finish line…simply heaven for Primal Fat-Burning Beasts like us. Whoo hoo! We even ate hunks of butter meant to accompany the bread basket (without the bread of course!). After finishing our Primal fare, we loaded our bikes up, drove 7 hours home arriving after midnight, and arrived on time at work the following day. We asked ourselves, could a sugar-burner have “burned the candle” on both ends as we have? We obviously felt incredibly better as compared to our sugar-carb laden race experience earlier in the year.

So what about recovery you ask? Well, I had an annual bike ride I’ve participated in for a few years now planned for the following Saturday (only six day later). Oh yeah, the ride was from High Point, NJ to Cape May, NJ in a day (207 miles). Unfortunately, Cynthia could not join in the fun since she had to stay home and take care of our four Show Boxers and old lab mix (but that’s another story). Wondering if I could expand my personal Primal endurance time, I repeated the experiment. This time, however, I doubled the exercise while fasting time and covered 12 hours worth of cycling on mostly water, coconut water, and electrolyte tabs. I had pedaled 170 miles before partaking in what was the most delicious tasting avocado, bacon, grass-fed burger ever (without the bun of course). It is amazing how the taste buds come to life after a long fasting. I am perfectly content accepting a slightly slower pace while staying in the aerobic zone so long as I can remain Primal. Furthermore, our future goals include increasing our aerobic threshold in order to compete at even higher intensities while remaining keto-adapted. In the beginning, we were of course skeptical as we felt drained and tired as our bodies were morphing from our sugar-burning days into capable Fat-Burning Beasts. It’s a process where small modifications over time can help achieve success. We do not use the 80/20 rule as we have found we feel better and don’t feel the need for the “20” simply because we feel so good. Cynthia and I are not sure where this journey will take us other than knowing we have experienced feeling super fit and healthy all while training less and being true to our Primal selves.

Fat Burning Beasts

[Cynthia Carey (age 45), and Paul Grosenstein (age 40)]

In the short six months we have been Primal, we have been most humbled by the number of family, friends, and co-workers we have inspired to explore the Primal Blueprint for themselves. Perhaps this is the greatest gift of all – passing on the keys to better health, and ultimately happiness. We have personally witnessed others reclaim their health, drop medications, and in general, just feel better about themselves. Life is good.

Wishing you all many success stories of your own and to those you may “pay it forward” to.

Grok onicon smile

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. after a year of being Paleo/Primal, I’m just now tinkering with fasting. I also am considering riding a bit more (miss it) and running more. Again maybe just a ride a week or a run here or there. This is inspiring!

    craig almaguer wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  2. Great job Uncle Paul and Aunt Cindy! Dad showed us this. See you at Steve’s wedding!

    Kelsey wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  3. I loved this story. I do stand up paddle on rivers and the sea near where I live. Often I find it is in the slow movement zone (if I’m going downstream and there is no wind) but a lot of it ends up in the cardio zone – getting back upstream, portaging up over rapids, coping with sea swells etc.) You can’t have one without the other, I find. Slow movement leads to cardio. When I spend a lot of time in the cardio zone, I get super hungry. When I get back to the car I just want to eat. And all the rest of the day I feel hungry. I’m going to try the coconut water thing. Never tried it before, and perhaps having a big meat and veges meal afterward, instead of just a salad and some tuna as I’d usually do.

    Mary wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  4. From a safety standpoint, perhaps good to point out don’t experiment with fasted endurance while swimming! I almost drowned when I bonked 1/4 mile from shore. D’oh! I open water swim with a float now.

    Mimulus wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  5. This is great… I am still confused about how exactly diet-wise and metabolism-wise how to become fat adapted…

    Meagan wrote on June 22nd, 2012
    • Meg, if you’re interested, read Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories. In the first part of the book, he takes the major studies of weight management and loss for the last 50 or so years and breaks them down. He explains the politics behind the subsequent policies and the bias in the science. In the second part of the book, he explains the science and literature supporting low carb diets(a range of carbohydrate intakes, depending upon the individual). It is a pretty dense read, but very worth it.

      Emily Mekeel wrote on June 22nd, 2012
    • The Phinney/Volek book is an excellent primer on how to do this. “The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Performance.”

      Peggy Holloway wrote on June 23rd, 2012
  6. My husband Simon cycled with Paul from High Pt to Cape May and following the exciting day and many discussions on the diet, we, as a family decided to try the diet. We had a lot of fun emptying and rearranging the pantry and fridge, shopping for organic and grass-fed produce, and trying the recipes from the Primal Cookbooks. It has really bought us together as a family and we have all started loosing weight without feeling we are on a diet.
    I have chronic RA and am hoping that in the future I maybe able to reduce my meds, and enjoy better health. We have also been surprised how many of our friends have expressed an interest in the diet

    Melanie, Simon Oliver and Tim wrote on June 22nd, 2012
    • We are excited for you all!!! “Paying it forward” already I see. Thanks for Posting!!

      Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 22nd, 2012
    • I also have RA. I take Plaquenil, but was still experiencing symptoms and my doc wanted to add methotrexate. I started doing strict Paleo for Auto-immune conditions (no dairy, no nightshades)and my symptoms are GONE. It’s been 5 weeks… no pain, no swelling. I am seronegative and my case is pretty mild so your mileage may vary… but it seems to work for me. Good luck!

      sarah wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  7. Yummo! Bacon avocado burger is also MY favorite post-race treat!!!

    Jess wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  8. I really need to get some pictures and post our story – “we” are age 59 and 70 and are ketogenic cycling “geezers.”
    We are amazed at how fast and strong we are. We just completed the “Bike Ride Across Nebraska” and often rode 30 or 40 miles in a fasting state, stopped for steak and eggs, finished the ride, and then ate hamburger patties or steaks for the evening meal. No snacks, definitely no sports gels, bars or drinks. We flew past the SAG stops, and only stopped for water. We joined the National Biking Challenge and are # 6 and 7 on the leaderboard in our city and 255 and 277 in the country (out of 27,000) for the month. We leave tomorrow for a 4-day trip and will add another 260+ before the month is over.
    I am a huge fan of Phinney and Volek and was pleased to see the link. The new book was actually what convinced my partner to go ketogenic this summer (he’s a retired physician and was impressed by the science) and he now preaches out lifestyle to everyone. Sadly, most ignore it and continue to carbo-load. We got bad news about our bike mechanic, who was part of the support time for our last ride and is a “character” in the cycling community. He has the muscled look of someone who lives on a bike (which he does) without an ounce of body fat. Everyone assumes he is the picture of health. Last week, he had stents put in two blocked coronary arteries – so much for “carbo-loading?”

    Peggy Holloway wrote on June 22nd, 2012
    • Simply fantastic Peggy!! Sorry about your mechanic friend.

      Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  9. I think something is getting lost in translation here. This is not a story about competitive performance. These triathletes prove that they can finish an event and stay true to their beliefs. Admirable, for sure, but people should not infer that their performance improved when they went Primal. Performance is not their priority, so good on them, but the take away message from this should not be “You can be a competitive age-group triathlete on a low-carb diet.”

    Mike wrote on June 22nd, 2012
    • That may not be the message, but it is, however true. Read Peter Attia’s blog and the Phinney/Volek book.

      Peggy Holloway wrote on June 23rd, 2012
      • No, it’s not true, Peggy. If it were true then low-carb athletes would be dominating Ironman, the Boston marathon, and the Tour de France. Even Paul writes that he is not PR’ing on this style of fueling. Mark agrees as well, if you want to search this site.
        I have not read Volek’s book, but I am familiar with his research and I have interviewed him on more than one occasion. I don’t see anywhere were he recommends going low-carb for endurance performance. (Attia’s blog looks very cool. Thanks for the tip.)
        I love the lifestyle espoused on this site, but low-carb/Primal cannot be all things to all people.

        Mike wrote on June 23rd, 2012
  10. You both look 20 years younger in the below picture!!

    DEBRAKADABRA wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  11. Photos are good, but they feel great, that is most important thing.

    Cow wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  12. I think you should be called “fat burning babes” – you look amazing!! Thanks for sharing your story. You do look younger and most importantly vibrantly healthy.

    Kimmy wrote on June 22nd, 2012
    • :-)))

      Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 23rd, 2012
  13. Thank you for sharing. My husband and I have been dealing with some questions in this area. Helpful and timely! Great Job and inspiring.

    Valerie Kerr wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  14. Haha, I’m guessing that for marathoners in the US the term ‘bonking’ doesn’t mean what it means for a non-marathoner from New Zealand (hint – it’s not done alone, most times a least one person is lying down, and performance is vastly improved on Primal). . . I had to reread that part of the story a couple of times before I could get rid of the image of a mid-marathon ‘pause’. *snort*
    Inspiring story – even without the additional exercise!

    Jac wrote on June 22nd, 2012
    • I like your proposal for this new event :-)

      Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 23rd, 2012
    • Ha ha, I thought that too, I was thinking wow, these guys find the time and energy to do a spot of bonking at the 15km mark!!!! Oh, does bonking mean something different in other parts of the world???

      Sandra from NZ wrote on June 23rd, 2012
    • My thoughts exactly, coming from Australia ‘bonking’ means a much different sport, had to read it twice before I understood what you guys were talking about. You both look fantastic by the way, thanks for sharing your story with us. Look forward to seeing what you get up to in the future.

      natalie wrote on June 24th, 2012
  15. Congrats you guys that’s a great story! I do have a quick question: I was wondering if you just eat your protein with real food or if you’re supplementing a protein shake. I’m just curious, as I too, am a bodybuilder and just switched from taking a protein shake to just eating food.

    Thanks!

    Rob wrote on June 22nd, 2012
    • Great question….our goal has been sticking to real food (not that we are against it…..). We have also been dairy-free during this same period…so whey protein wasn’t exactly acceptable. We have tried hemp protein before we went Primal and there are a few without added sweeteners on the market. It’s challenging to find these types of items without added sweeteners….frustrating!

      So, we are all real, non processed, and no pills/vitamins. Just our preference….

      Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 23rd, 2012
  16. Thanks for your story guys. I love how you have figured out how to FEEL good and perform the way you want to.
    And just for the record, I have NEVER spent one cent as a result of following this website, but I have lost 9 kilos in 5 months, lost that bloated face & stomach, learnt to dead lift 50kilos and feel FABULOUS – and I am 53 years old. Don’t try to tell me this is not a GOOD THING.

    Hilly wrote on June 23rd, 2012
  17. Great story.

    Joe wrote on June 23rd, 2012
  18. Hi folks … thanks for sharing and a ‘very well done” on your primal success. I too have am experimenting with the primal blueprint. About 30 grams net carbs for 1500 calories / 24 hours … all very healthy eggs, raw veggies, coconut oil and standard supplements. Ketosis confirmed with urine dip stick, weight loss, and general physical improvement. However, along the way, I have encountered what I would describe as symptoms of acidosis. Let me be clear, that is low-carb-moderate-protein-high-fat-diet-related ketoacidosis and not diabetic ketoacidosis. Sx: shortness of breath on limited exerction, tiredness, and a general overall weakness. I did not confirm the acidosis with a blood test, however. Nonetheless, based on the symptoms, I added 4 grams bicarbonate/baking soda in water, 3-4 times daily. The bicarbonate has helped attenuate the symptoms mentioned above. Curious if you have experienced diet-induced acidosis yourselves?
    My regards, StanO

    somk wrote on June 23rd, 2012
  19. Fantastic story!

    For me primal endurance still means more like trail ultra running rather than competing in 21k, 42k, triathlons, etc.

    It’s all about preferences, though. The fat-as-fuel principle behind stays the same. Phinney and Volek’s latest book is a must read in this topic. Looking forward to Mark’s book!

    Martin wrote on June 23rd, 2012
  20. Hi guys,

    Thanks for the post, I think its sold me on trying this Primal approach properly. I just finished my second Ironman recently, and I think had a similar epiphany to you guys about halfway through the race, as I struggled through a BSL low (I hadn’t “fueled” enough on the bike) – “I’m doing this to help promote a healthy lifestyle”, as I chug through my 8th cup of coke…. This was followed post-race by McDonalds, pancakes, m&m’s, etc! Then a sinus infection and two weeks of feeling like sh#t! Have been doing Primal/Paleo approach for about 2 and a half weeks and feeling awesome now.

    I would love to learn more about the specifics of how you approached this lifestyle and particularly your training/diet – I was close to pulling out of my upcoming ironman race in 5 months time but this is my new goal, to do it without eating crap, training 20-30hours a week, being chronically tired and sugar-craved all the time. Essentially compete in an ironman and be healthy (and awake!)…..

    Thanks again!

    Neil wrote on June 24th, 2012
    • Excellent Neil!! Sounds like you are exactly at the cross-roads we found ourselves staring down. In an earlier reply, we commented a bit on our diet / training and how we are now looking to spend less time training….no need to embark on such chronic cardio to compete at these distances.

      Wondering which IM you have coming up?? We will be doing Mont-Tremblant in Aug……would be great to meet up with other Primal enthusiasts if anyone is interested.

      Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 24th, 2012
      • Hi Paul, I’m competing at an Ironman race in Busselton (Western Australia) in December. Its a flat and fast course but usually really hot, and probably a long way from you guys!!!! I have read all the posts and replies but still have some specific questions which I might email you about if thats ok?

        For those scientific sorts that are saying that you can’t maintain the same level of performance or PR on this apporach, I will be your guinea pig – I’m racing the same race a year apart. Same course, same bike, same wetsuit, shoes and underpants if I have to!!! Just a wildly different approach to nutrition and training. Three weeks after my last ironman race, and about two and a half weeks after starting to go primal, energy levels are back up, needing less sleep, can concentrate, and back into training with no need for sugar! :)

        Neil wrote on June 25th, 2012
  21. Inspiring post, congrats to you! Some of the comments here brings up a question I’ve had for a while: Some people here are commenting that they are 90%-95% primal, or 80% primal, etc, and I remember Mark posting that 80% is an ok goal to shoot for, which I’d like to do.

    But what exactly is 80% primal? I tend to be an ‘all or nothing’ person – I’m either 100% primal but then go on vacation and just eat a bunch of pasta and bread which then takes me a few weeks to get ‘back on the wagon.’ Consequently I don’t have great results (not surprisingly.) I guess I’d just love to hear what other people who are 80 or 90% primal do? Is it one cheat day a week, or is it a couple glasses of wine a night while remaining primal in every other way? I’d like to be more moderate so that I can get the results I’m looking for without careening from 100% to 0% back and forth constantly.

    Jenny T wrote on June 24th, 2012
  22. Thank you for sharing. I’m new to the Primal diet and am about to start training for a half marathon in November. I am NOT an endurance athlete, but my friends and I have done a few just to challenge ourselves. I’ve been worried about training and how I will handle my running schedule in the heat without goo’s and electolyte drinks. Your article makes things a bit less scary and gives me hope that with some trial and error I will eventually figure out.

    MsPickle wrote on June 24th, 2012
  23. thanks for sharing! was a great read and ive been wondering about going totally low carb too, since ive been losing my taste for most sweet things.

    pixel wrote on June 24th, 2012
  24. WooHoo! you guys look Great! Man, looks like you are really leading the way in figuring out the primal endurance forumla.
    It was great to meet you both at PC2012, look forward to next year already! Maybe if I am real fast and camp on the sidewalk for a week I may be able to get signed up before Lars ;-)

    -mark

    Mark wrote on June 25th, 2012
    • Hey Mark!…..thanks for reading and for your compliments. We are loving the lifestyle….see you at PC2013 for sure!….and yes, Lars is already at the park waiting :-)……good times.

      Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 25th, 2012
  25. Congratulations and hope you stopped by our store in Cape May. Cape May Organic Market we are huge supporters of the paleo movement.

    Cape May Organic Market wrote on June 25th, 2012
  26. Awesomely inspirational story! And may I add I was SHOCKED to see your ages (listed under the last picture) – you two look like you’re in your late twenties! Beautiful couple. I loved reading this one.

    Sam wrote on June 26th, 2012
    • Awesome Sam….thank you for your kind words!

      Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 29th, 2012
  27. Truly inspired by your story and your picture – wow you guys look AMAZING!!!

    I started eating primally in mid April – felt great on my 21 day challenge but a week later had to have an emergency gallbladder removal (unrelated – i’m sure caused by years of poor habits)
    Anyway getting back to primal has been a bit of a journey as I ate nothing for a week, then liquids, then slowly solids etc.. and no lifting or running for a month :(

    Now it’s July and I’m finding myself motivated again but horribly out of shape – My BF and I are starting to train for a marathon – i’ve run two, very slow, painful marathon’s in the past and I want to redeem myself.

    I found your experiments very interesting as my past running life was laden with sugary gels and liquid “sports” drinks – I love coconut water and did carry that during one marathon which worked quite well but I’m always nervous about running out of steam – I was planning to make nom nom paleo’s version of Lara bars – dates, macadamia nuts and coconut flakes, and carry that with me – any thoughts on the effectiveness of that as fuel?

    Robyn wrote on July 11th, 2012
  28. You both look absolutely amazing and radiate health. One of my favorite things about the Paleo lifestyle is how it makes people look 10-20 years younger than their peers. My friends (who are living Paleo) and I are now fitting into clothes that we haven’t worn since our high school days. One of my skeptical friends even insinuated that there was no way I could be this muscular at 41 – without being on testosterone injections! Thanks for yet another inspirational story to cement my confidence in this life path.

    Jason F wrote on July 15th, 2012
  29. Great story. I have been about 90% primal for the last 4 months but thought i needed some carbs as I have recently taken up cycling. I will now try to be just a fat burning beast.
    Roger (54) UK

    Roger wrote on September 2nd, 2012
  30. Ow Ow!! That’s all I can say! Look at those 2 hotties. You guys are looking awesome. Did you rip that slit in your shirt with your hands or your pecks? LOL! Keep up the great work, really inspiring.

    Jonathan wrote on October 9th, 2012
  31. We are convinced We’ve look at this very same kind of declaration in other places, it must be gaining popularity with all the people.

    xenon wrote on April 9th, 2013
  32. Wow, paranoid? Most people don’t embark on paleo or PB eating with a plan to submit before and after photos to a website. So B/A pics are rarely going to match perfectly. People send photos that they happen to have. The people telling their stories here don’t have any motivation to lie. They aren’t getting paid. They are simply sharing their success to inspire others.

    Decaf Debi wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  33. I would have liked to see a full-body before shot, too. However, it seems unrealistic to take the before and afters in the same spot/lighting/distance. I don’t think most people take formal before or after photos, just candids that represent how they look. And they are looking great! (Plus, the main point of this story was performance, not weight loss.)

    Les wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  34. I happen to know both Paul and Cynthia. These are legit before and after photos. And the other person that replied is right…when the first photo was taken, they had no idea they’d be submitting “after” photos for this in 6 months. They are rockstars and have always looked fit…which is why the transformation in them is even more inspiring and incredible. The changes in their family and friends (myself included) are also amazing thanks to them turning us on to Mark and his base of knowledge. You can believe, join in the PB way of life, and watch yourself transform and achieve…or you can remain skeptical. It’s your choice.

    Not skeptical wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  35. my before and after were in the same bikini…. and the same distance…. just saying… :-)

    Jane wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  36. :-) Excellent reply! We welcome the skeptics….but encourage them to try an experiment of their own (or not….). PS – be sure to take that before photo.

    Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  37. Thanks M.S…….so excited for you guys BTW

    Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  38. Do you rely on big industry’s scientific studies to explain long-term weight gain? Do you think weight change is always one-way? Use the power of N=1 experiments.

    What does ‘very long term’ in your question mean? 25 years is a long time to conduct a scientific experiment. We don’t want to end up with another Ancel Keys like theory.

    I don’t need their full-body photos. Their faces say it all.

    Keerthy wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  39. So people can’t lose weight? Care to explain then how a quack internet salesman got into my bathroom and adjusted my scale down 35 pounds in the last 5 months?
    Just because you don’t know what Mark is talking about doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Oh, since you’ve clearly never read anything on this site, Mark is the author of it. FYI

    Joshua wrote on June 22nd, 2012
  40. ;-)))

    Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 23rd, 2012
  41. Conspiracy! You must certainly work for Weight Watchers… oh wait. ;-)

    Casey wrote on June 25th, 2012
  42. Paul,

    I tried to find you to send a private message…can you ping me- I was to talk BOXERS!!!

    D

    David Cole wrote on June 25th, 2012
  43. Wife and I are on fb if you would like to im there……not sure how to “ping”.

    BOXERS!!

    Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 26th, 2012
  44. IM here….

    Paul Grosenstein wrote on June 29th, 2012

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