Keto is fantastic, everyone says. It’s a great way to lose weight, improve cognition, and stave off degenerative disease. It may help your performance in the gym and on the track. It could even give Grandpa some respite from Alzheimer’s.
But it’s hell on your thyroid. Right?
Keto detractors and proponents alike often warn that remaining in ketosis will tank your thyroid. The thyroid’s an important gland, exerting major influence over essential systems like fertility, energy, metabolism, body temperature regulation, blood lipids, and general wellness. It controls the metabolic rate of every organ in the body. We want it working well, so this is a major blow to keto—if the criticism holds true. Fortunately, there’s much more to this story.
Gaining mass and building strength while CrossFitting should be a breeze. You’re lifting heavy things using compound full-body movements like squats, deadlifts, and presses, providing a potent growth stimulus to your muscles. Yet, many people fall short of their goals, perhaps losing weight and improving performance but failing to really gain any real muscle or strength.
Today, I’m going to explain how going Primal can help you achieve both goals.
First, you must understand the very Primal reality of your body’s hormonal systems and their relation to the environment: Acknowledge that you are an organism whose endocrine system is acutely attuned to the inputs it receives. It’s actively engaged in the world around you, making predictions and taking actions based on your perceptions. If your body thinks it’s living through a famine, it will conserve energy and eliminate wasteful extravagances like big muscles and 2x body weight back squat. If your body thinks it’s living through plentiful times, it will be more liberal with energy and allow the growth of extracurricular tissues, like big muscles. Create an environment of abundance—or even the impression of one—and you will be more likely to gain muscle and strength.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering/addressing four questions/comments. First, will my new Keto Reset book provide detailed meal plans or vague recommendations? Second, is there a better weight scale than the scale? Mathieu thinks there is, and I agree. Third, if you’re doing the Primal Blueprint Fitness program, do the recommendations I made in the Crossfit and carbs posts apply? And fourth, what’s the best fish sauce?
For today’s edition of Dear Mark I’m answering a pair of great questions. First, Vaughn asks me about a recent study where ethnic Chinese participants were placed on several different diets, and those on the “low-carb, high-fat” one actually did worse than those on higher carbs and lower fat. Should you give up your low-carb approach? Then, I explore the bone-strengthening effects of prunes and discuss the Simon and Garfunkel diet.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering questions from the comment section of last Thursday’s post on CrossFit, Primal, and carbs. First, I use a comment from Dave to expand on the idea of earning your carbs and eating the carbs you earn. Second, I discuss the notion of athletes using cyclical low-carb diets. Would their performance suffer? And finally, I go over a few more starchy carb sources allowed on the Primal eating plan that I forgot to mention last time.
By far the single most common criticism levied against paleo by CrossFitters is that it’s too damn difficult to eat enough carbs to maintain performance during workouts. There is definitely truth there.
First, let’s establish something. Do CrossFitters indeed need more carbs than your average Primal bear?