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...Tell Me More
Last time, I broke down the faulty Carb Paradigm we live in.
In case you need one, here’s a quick refresher:
Overweight people with faulty carbohydrate metabolisms are told (by doctors, by government officials, by dietitians) to eat more carbohydrates and less fat.
They do it (carb consumption as a percentage of total caloric intake has increased in line with the obesity epidemic, moreso than either fat or protein). They eat carbs and reduce fat intake.
Because their insulin-resistant bodies can’t handle carbs well, they produce lots of insulin to get over the hump. Only problem? Those carbs aren’t sequestered into insulin-sensitive muscle glycogen stores as energy, because the muscle is insulin-resistant. Meanwhile, the excessive insulin prevents the burning of fat, and any extra fat and carbs from the meal are instead sequestered into fat cells. People get fatter.
Since the food isn’t being used and is instead being stored away for later use, the body thinks it’s starving and gets hungrier as a result. People eat more carbs.
The cycle continues uninterrupted.
But no more. It stops here. I think it’s time we shift toward a new paradigm. It’s actually a rather old, classic paradigm that’s been forgotten – but it’s still as valid as ever.
It’s time for the Fat Paradigm. It’s time to start burning fat as fuel. It’s time to move away from sugar burning.
You see, fat is the perfect fuel for us. It’s efficient. It burns clean. And it’s the type of fuel our bodies like to burn. Otherwise, why else would we store it on our bodies for lean times?
That’s what people miss about body fat. It’s not just “there” because we messed up and our body has nowhere to put it. Body fat, or adipose tissue, is stored energy. Sure, the obese have way too much body fat, but the fact is that our bodies evolved the ability to put fat into fat cells because it is effective fuel.
The problem is that many of us are broken. Sedentary living, modern food toxins, too much stress, not enough sleep, and a distinct lack of play for play’s sake (more on this later, if you’re confused about why I’d rank “play” with all the other stuff) have fundamentally changed the way we process fuel. Many of us can’t even access the stored fat, instead running on sugar (and poorly at that). All that stored energy – body fat – is going to waste.
So, if you’re overweight or obese, chances are you’re broken. And – at least for the time being until you’re healed – excess carbohydrates are making the problem worse.
But you can be fixed. You don’t need doctors or medication or expensive treatments. You just need to start accessing your body fat and burning fat for fuel.
By converting to an animal fat-based metabolism, you are returning to the ancestral human fuel source. And the best way to switch to fat burning is to start eating more animals and whatever fat comes with them.
Animal fat, especially from ruminants like beef, lamb, and bison, comes with roughly equal proportions of saturated and monounsaturated fats, with a little bit of omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. Interestingly, your own animal fat – the fat deposited on your body and the fat that your body is designed to burn for energy in lean times – comes with very similar ratios. It’s almost as if animal fat is good for us!
Which brings me to my main point of today’s article: eating animals simply makes everything easier.
With animals, you get healthy animal fat. You get protein, important for building muscles and keeping you full. You get all the micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that the animal ate, in a form that your body can absorb. It’s the perfect package of nutrition for a fat burner.
Now, I don’t hate carbohydrate. They can be useful and even beneficial in certain cases. Eat carbs when you need fuel for endurance activities. Don’t eat carbs just because; eat them because you need the energy. Because you’re actually active and they won’t go to waste.
Fat is your friend.
Fat will fuel your everyday activities, your walking, your shopping, your working and reading. Fat can even provide the bulk of the energy required by your brain. Your brain still needs glucose, mind you, but becoming metabolically healthy will allow you to access both glucose and fat for energy.
Bottom line: if you’re overweight, you’re not utilizing the energy stored on your body. Switching over to the Fat Paradigm and a fat-based diet will unlock that stored body fat and allow you to use what you’ve already got (plus carbohydrates, when and if you eat them). But if you remain entrenched in the Carb Paradigm, your body never gets the message to start accessing body fat for energy.
If you need to lose weight, start by cutting back on carbs and eating more animals (and their fat). That’s all it takes to enter the Fat Paradigm and start burning fat, and it’s as easy (and delicious) as it sounds.
Next time, I’ll give more details on what and how much to eat, but for now, stick with eating animals.
If there is one kind of fat almost all of us could use more of it’s omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately, the best natural dietary sources of omega 3s – cold water fish – are frequently contaminated with mercury and pesticide residues, making it very difficult to safely achieve recommended levels. Therefore, I recommend supplementing your diet with pure fish oil capsules. Primal Blueprint Primal Omegas provide the highest possible quality source of EPA and DHA essential fatty acids derived from the fleshy parts of deep-water fish, concentrated and refined to the highest levels of purity. Grab a bottle today and start getting Primal!
This lesson is the third of a 7-part course on how to achieve lifelong health with the Primal Blueprint. If you are not already a subscriber, click here to gain access to the rest of the lessons. You can unsubscribe at anytime and your email address will never be shared.