From Sugar-Burner to Fat-Burner: A Transformation Story

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. 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!


As a chiropractor, I thought I’d been taught everything I needed to know about nutrition. The “studies” prove it, right? Whole grains are king, aren’t they? My vegan nutrition professor who was so incredibly thin couldn’t be wrong. I have a strong background in nutrition, yet as I aged, I felt crappier every year.

After my doctorate program was over, I was left with the gifts of bad eating habits: “healthy” carb-up and caffeine-up through exams, regular sickness, chronic fatigue, migraines and mental fog that made working out like I used to almost impossible. It was a worse version of what I remember feeling as a teenager on the tennis court. Horrible low blood sugar after the first set, poor focus, SUGAR BURNER! Yikes! And I had a doctor for a dad who I still argue with over the new rules that you promote. (His belly and visceral fat has been an issue since he was 40 on his Mediterranean diet).

Something had happened to me in my late twenties. I even went raw vegan for a few months to try and fix it to no effect. I felt lighter and clearer, right before I got worse. After years of worsening symptoms and the introduction of GERD to that list for the first time in my life, I started doing my own research.

The short version is, I had no clue about Primal living, so I conducted my own extensive and unbiased nutritional research. Everything seemed to point to carbohydrate and grain as a significant problem in our culture. (Besides processed foods in general, I have major MSG sensitivity.) The big pill to swallow was the wrongful demonization of fat. But every time I tried to find causal evidence, not just correlative evidence, it didn’t exist. Once I saw the truth, I changed my diet. I lost 23 pounds in two months while adding no fitness of any kind, but for occasional walking with my wife. The results were, in all honesty, so fast to make me giggle hysterically on the scale when I weighed in. My personal experiment was also tracked via blood work. Then, I kept digging and found your book among the rest of the pack once I realized that many others already knew this incredible way of doing things. I personally believe, based on the evidence I’ve seen, your specific approach appears to be the best when examining the entire “paleo” trend as a whole. Your early focus on emphasizing fats is way ahead of its time. Fat can only clog arteries if you have inflammation, and grains and excess glucose are the cause of that for sure. And we are now just scratching the surface on how important a cholesterol of at least 200 is in combating stroke and improving immunity. Also, I probably went too low on the carbs, maxing out at no more than 50 g a day and I now weigh around 190. I think your charts are accurate.

Needless to say, I feel 18 again, never ever have headaches, fatigue, or stomach issues. I haven’t been physically sick at all since switching over, possibly due to the immune benefits of HDL and LDL cholesterol. Some fundamental shift occurred in my body. I don’t even get cold sore viral outbreaks, which were rare, but happened a few times a year. No more.

Every time I read a new study, I see the connection now to what you teach. And my personal blood work? My Triglycerides are lower than when I was mostly vegetarian. My HDLs went up finally, after not being moveable on any other diet. And most importantly, I am now a FAT BURNER. And after about a year of being Primal, I have begun intermittent fasting because it just feels right to my body. I have been a huge fan of reducing calories for life extension, but never tried it seriously because it seemed so impossible as a sugar burner.

I have taken the Leangains approach, something I learned about via your posts. I like the overnight fast through to lunch as I take my lunch at the clinic around 1 pm. I am now attempting to get better definition than I have ever seen. Two months ago I also fell prey to the awesomeness of CrossFit. And thanks to my fat-burning, I often work out fasted, and never lose my energy because I take rest weeks and allow myself time to get stronger. I came back from my last rest week and practically doubled my strength on pull ups.

I prescribe your plan and your book to many patients in my office. I have consistently seen the removal of GERD, all types of IBS symptoms, weight loss, headache removal, blood pressure reduction and more. I might have to start tracking these as case studies in the future.

My biggest personal problem is, I’m on the last loop of my belts I’ve had for ten years, and the new slacks I bought after losing the initial weight are already bunching up around my waist from being too big after just a couple weeks adding in the fasting. I’ve always had what my wife calls “the bagel” at my navel. It is gone. And for the first time, I have a much higher fitness goal than I ever imagined, to get to 10% body fat or maybe lower. So far, it feels easy. I don’t work too hard, I have fun and play and walk, and don’t stress if I need a Haagen-Dazs bar. The occasional indulgences haven’t hurt a bit.

Finally, I can be the optimized example my patients need to help them be their best. Thank you for creating a packaging that appeals to all people and has a laid back, positive approach. Maybe I’ll sit behind you one day at the ancestral health symposium!

Dr. Jason Bussanich

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  1. Thanks for Sharing!
    I always look forward to reading these friday success stories.

    1. Ahh fellow chiro. Similar effects here. 17% to 10% bodyfat in 3 months. Telling a lot of patients about it. Want to start lecturing on it

      1. yes – good to see those of you in the current med ed system getting it right about diet and nutrition —

        i can only encourage you-all to bone-up really good on the nutrition stuff and help all your patients as you seem determined to do. this is a breath of fresh air—!

        1. … i find that without the MD or something as flashy behind my name, people politely listen but regardless of our blatantly obvious successes with diet, they just don’t take us seriously – and off they go to their MD to get the conventional crap-treatment and nutritional ignorance that has us in this quagmire–

        2. Ravi, I, too, have found that to be the case. People say, “You look great. How do you do it?” Then when I explain that it’s the result of my own online research, and that, no, I didn’t check with my doctor first–in fact I don’t even have a doctor–their eyes glaze over and they change the subject. If I say it’s my low-carb diet, they invariably look at me like I’m nuts and say, “Isn’t that kind of unhealthy?”–this after just having told me how great I look! Needless to say, I don’t try to convince anyone any more. Let them cling to their sugars and grains and prescription drugs.

        3. hysterical isn’t it Shary??

          we have fat relatives, sick and overweight acquaintances and as soon as they ask and we start to tell them – you can tell they wish they had not asked – SO SAD! cause we so much want to share–

          you can lead a horse to water…..

        4. My in-laws say “I could never live without bread”. IBS, GERD, high blood pressure, fibermyalsia, not to mention overweight with mobility issues. Getting into their mid-sixties, I have a feeling they’re going to be testing out that hypothesis sooner than I’d like 🙁

    2. I should point out, excessive fructose is significantly more damaging than glucose as exposed on this site and others. I only mentioned glucose…

  2. Has your great success motivated your dad to try the primal approach?

    1. Ya know, he’s asking more and more. We just had a big discussion yesterday about it and he seems open, but then I don’t see him making changes. I think it’s the volume of it, you know, modifying your macronutrient focus is a big deal.

      I recommended 7-Keto DHEA to him and he want on it immediately, but that’s just another pill to take. He is going to do a blood test and I think that may be the motivation he needs to make some effort.

  3. I needed to see this today.. got to get back on the primal mammoth…

  4. Wow this is super good, congratulations

    This part matches my own experience:

    “The big pill to swallow was the wrongful demonization of fat. But every time I tried to find causal evidence, not just correlative evidence, it didn’t exist.”

    That happened to me: I started researching into the low carb (at that time Atkins diet, years ago) to convince my son into not doing that “evil thing”. But my research turned me into an Atkins devotee. Years later I got Mark’s book and it really clicked with me. And the rest is history!

    Way to go Dr, very inspiring story!

    1. +1!! I also think this is the best “short version” I have read in a while: “Fat can only clog arteries if you have inflammation, and grains and excess glucose are the cause of that for sure.”

      Ergo, lose the grains & glucose, and enjoy the fat.

      God I love this stuff.

      1. Yes, I was struck by that line, too. I don’t think I’ve seen it put so succinctly before.

      2. +2, I will be quoting that one!

        Very exciting to hear your story and know you are out there changing lives!

        1. +3, Yes, perfect, concise explanation that I will be borrowing, and I am so glad you are educating your patients. We need more docs like you! Congratulations on your success!

      3. TRANS FATS from pre oxidized adulterated vegetable oils and the body’s cholesterols that are oxidized by veg oils clog arteries, whether you have inflammation or not.

        Natural saturated fats and the body’s natural REDUCED form of cholesterol are used to form patches over damaged arterial & endothelial cells for repair, and then WASH AWAY, re-emulsify or are removed by macrophages.

        See French cardiologist Dr. Guy Andre Pelouz “Paleodiet and atheroma: A cardiovascular surgeon’s Perspective” on Vimeo and You Tube.

        Endothelial cells are like shower tiles, they line up next to each other and have a little space between them. Shower tile gaps are filled with grout to prevent water infiltration and damage to the substructure, but endothelial spaces are OPEN.

        “Sub endothelial space measures 26 nanometers, small dense LDL particles are SMALLER than 25nm” and can get between and under endothelial cells and infiltrate the arterial Intima & Media layers.

        “The body’s native LDL (and reduced cholesterol) is not atherogenic, without oxidized LDL it’s difficult to have arterial plaque formation.”

        Oxidized LDL cholesterols carrying & corrupted by TRANS FATS are comprised of straight molecules that pack together tightly like a bundle of straws and form dense plaque deposits because molecular cross linking & co-valent bonding properties and become an organic polymer (plastic) and are difficult to emulsify with blood & plasma fluids. The reduced cholesterols in organic meats on the other hand have a different structure and do not harden & cannot pack together to form plaque deposits and are easily emulsified.

        From Wikipedia, Unsaturated fat: “Trans unsaturated fats are particularly risky because the double bond stereochemistry allows (changes) the fat molecules to assume a linear conformation, which leads to efficient packing (i.e., plaque formation). The geometry of the CIS double bond (of natural saturated fats) introduces a bend in the molecule, thereby precluding stable formations. Natural sources of fatty acids are rich in the CIS isomer.”

        From Wikipedia, Trans fat: “Trans fat is the common name for unsaturated fat with trans-isomer (E-isomer) fatty acid(s). Because the term refers to the configuration of a double carbon-carbon bond, trans fats may be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated **but never saturated**.”

        This is why natural saturated fats and cholesterols made from them are superior to artificial fats.

        Also, high spectrum chromatography studies of arterial plaques found over 10 different compounds but NO saturated fats. Again, this is due to the different molecular form (structure) between oxidized fats & cholesterols as opposed to good natural saturated fats and cholesterols.

        1. Very clearly written! I actually read for understanding instead of skimming, which I do all too often.

    2. Thanks! This community is so supportive. I’m touched.

      I’m doing my blood work again soon to assess what has happened after 3 months of crossfit AND mostly paleo. Should be interesting.

  5. The pic speaks for itself.
    And as for your problem – in my opinion there is NOTHING quite like the feeling of loose clothes on your body, I personally love it!:D

  6. That ice cream bar your having is probably having a carb back loading (John Kiefer carb night) affect anyways which is doing yourself a favor in the fat loss and working out category. Ahh the power of insulin manipulation.

  7. Great that you discovered this on your own! Bravo! And then to have it confirmed I’m sure was a wonderful feeling.

  8. Another great example of someone that looks pretty good and fit, but isn’t…until he really gets good and fit on the Primal Path. Great job!

  9. Congrats! You’re not alone. My drawback on this whole primal thing is that I’m now down to a 34B. (sigh!)

    1. I can only hope that going primal has that effect on me! I’m a 34H and trying to reduce naturally instead of having invasive surgery. I will probably never be a 34B, but at least something a bit more manageable.

      1. I was there for awhile while nursing. 34H is not a good place to be. Good luck and give it some time.

    2. I’ll take it. Since my second pregnancy, I’ve been a 34 Double D on a small frame. With my small waist, all tops either look like a mumu or a showgirl outfit.

      They’re FINALLY starting to shrink after 6 months on paleo. About time.

  10. Can someone tell me, how long does it take, to see a cessation in digestive issues? I have been dealing with GERD for a number of years, and that was one of the things that most prompted me to take up paleo eating. But, its been 2 months of quite strict observance, and I still can’t sleep through the night without medication. On top of that, in the last month or so, I’ve started getting really bad gas/bloating in the late evenings that causes even more pain when I try to sleep.

    Its so frustrating!

    1. Check out Chris Kresser’s series on GERD and heartburn. It may take a little more than just going primal. My husband is off all his meds after following guidelines in Chris’s Get Rid of Heartburn and GERD forever in Three Simple Steps and following an autoimmune paleo protocol (no grains, dairy, or nightshades).

    2. I had GERD for several years, and then it basically stopped. I suspect I did something to interrupt the bacterial / fungal overgrowth that was going on.

      Are you eating any fruit? Do you have fruit for breakfast? I have recently found (through N=1 experimentation) that fruit for breakfast doesn’t work for me. After years of having fruit for breakfast every day, I tried a few days (now a few weeks) without. My sleep is markedly better. I suspect it has something to do with when what I ate for breakfast gets to a particular place in my intestine.

      Interestingly, I seem to tolerate a bit of fruit later in the day. And I also tolerate bit of starch (potato, sweet potato, rice) for breakfast.

      I haven’t yet figured out whether it’s the sugar (probably), or the fiber, or the yeast, or what. If I have four raspberries for breakfast, I wake up in the middle of that night with my stomach growling and uncomfortable.

      Still experimenting, but for the first time in a few years, I’m basically sleeping through the night whereas I used to wake like clock work after five hours.

      1. +1 on fruit. For me, no fruit other than berries = IBS gone completely. I also cut back a bit on nuts at the same time, so it could also partially be that for me. On the other hand, I’ve eaten way too many nuts twice since and had no return of symptoms. This is a recent change after being paleo/primal off and on for years without full cessation of IBS. Could it also be more difficult to digest raw veggies in the evening? I have some bloating if I eat a big salad with lots of raw veggies with dinner but no problem with cooked veggies.

        1. To clarify, since GERD was the crux of your question, no reflux either.

      2. I do, possibly eat more fruit than I should, it being summer, and all. On an average day, I have a half and apple, or a couple prune plums at lunch, and a bowl of berries with coconut butter in the evening.

        1. Now that I think about it, I gave myself reflux by overeating strawberries (like a container in one evening, not something I normally do by any means) about a week ago (only reflux in a long time). It doesn’t sound like you eat a lot of fruit, but it could be the combination with the coconut in the evening. I personally can’t do more than a bite of any fruit other than berries or I have issues (fructose intol?). Good luck! Hope you feel better.

        2. I think it’s a YMMV situation. I used to have reflux years ago. My triggers seem to be too much coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, cinnamon and usually on an otherwise full stomach. I have my last meal 3- 5 hours befor bed, too.

    3. another thought – if you read up on GAPS and other such diets and research, you see that a badly damaged gut lining can take waaaay more than 2 months to heal – up to several years – in fact, Wolfgang Lutz – the austrian doctor who wrote Leben Ohne Brot (life without bread) about his 50 years or so treating patients with a low carb diet states that the worst cases (much worse than yours i think) coud take up to 5 years to hear – sad but true – such damage as you get older is pretty debilitating-

      i’d advise looking at the suggestions here, tweaking it and giving it more time – you may still be suffering from the residual symptoms of a damaged gut that was more damaged than you thought –

      it’s like a roof – once it starts leaking, it’s way worse than having maintained it when it was just a bit worn out—

    4. Have you tried baking soda for your GERD? My chiropractor told me to mix a bit with water and drink it down – it will cause burping but it’s all air (no acid) and is a huge relief from the bloating. For me it works immediately, works better than any med I tried, it’s cheaper than meds or OTC “cures”, I only have to take it once and it lasts a long time. For me the diet took a couple months to work, but I seldom have problems since I got things under control. When I do have an issue (usually due to slipping off the diet) I go straight to the baking soda and I’m good again.

      1. Yes, and it does help, thank you. Its just frustrating to need to, ya know?

        1. if you do the baking soda thing alot, do get aluminium-free baking soda (Bobs Red Mill has it)

        2. something i just found duende:


    5. I’m not even sure what GERD is, but the best thing I ever did, digestively, was stop eating high FODMAP foods. Basically, they’re foods high in insoluable fiber. Some people have trouble digesting them.

      Search Mark’s blog – he’s written about them, as has Chris Kresser.

      Once I went low FODMAP, I felt so great so fast that I’ll never eat high FODMAP again. Yeah – there are a lot of good veggies and other foods I’ve curtailed or cut out, but it’s so worth it.

      Also keep in mind that chocolate (not sure where it is on the FODMAP scale) is pretty acidic, as is coffee, so you might want to try cutting those out as well (or cutting down on them).

      I’ve had great results with all of the foregoing. Again, I didn’t have a GERD problem, but I had enough issues to make the experimentation well worth it.

      1. @Susan, Duene and all GERD sufferers:

        My sister suffered from GERD, IBS, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, uterine fibromas, and so on for about 20 years. She went grain-free, low-carb last July. Advanced to paleo/primal last December. Went low-FODMAP (at my suggestion, based on a previous Friday Success Story) in March. She had to educate her doctor and nutritionist every step of the way — to their credit, they took notes!

        Conclusion: GERD gone, IBS gone, chronic fatigue under control, fibromyalgia gone (and her uterus has been gone for years, so we’ll never know on that one).

        Oh, and about 35 pounds gone. She is back to college weight, her lovely cheekbones are back and so is her energy!

        1. To follow up: My sister actually told me in June of this year, after three months of low-FODMAP, that she had always thought that abdominal pain was basically “normal”, that everyone felt like she did after eating, so she never complained much. What sent her to the doctor and changed her diet was increasingly urgent diarrhea and losing consciousness a couple of times when travelling.

          She is 56 years old, by the way. It is never too late.

    6. @ christina. Paleo has taught me examine what I eat when I have digestive issues. My heartburn and bloating diminished over time. I have heartburn triggers even eating primal so I am careful not to eat certain foods on the same day.

    7. Thank you for the kind words. If your flora is off, it may be bad enough that you require more help. Go buy a 12 day supply of bio-k. Think of it as a cheap medication, but its a potent and expensive probiotic. I get it at local whole foods. If that doesn’t help and it only happens when you recline, you may have unique anatomy. It may require you can’t eat after a certain hour to avoid it. This is rare, but possible. This must be stopped as its a risk factor for esophageal cancer way down the road. Any fluids like alcohol still in your diet???

    8. Hang in there duende. I was diagnosed with GERD and a tiny patch of Barrett’s cells about 10 years ago and have been scoped every 3 years since. Started Primal June of 2010 and everything improved rapidly except I still needed daily Prilosec. About 8 months in I was feeling like I could quit them, and tried, and the burn was bad the 2nd day. So I figured that was one medication I would be stuck with for life. Well, a year after that I forgot the med one day and felt just fine. So, I chanced not taking it the next day. And the next. And holy @#&*, I was done with them! And to make things better, I was scoped for probably the last time and there was no sign of Barrett’s cells. Doc said I was good to go. So, yeah, give it time…

    9. My husband had GERD for years and was on meds for it. He’s completely off them now..try these things…diegestive plant-based enzymes with each meal (you can get them at health food stores); and probiotics 2x day. Also, keep sugar/grains to a minimum…but you’re probably already doing that:)

  11. Duende, have you tried eliminating dairy from your diet yet? Might wanna give that a go…

    1. Hmmm. No, not entirely. I’ve cut back, but not given it up altogether. I generally have a bit of whipping cream in my morning coffee, and sometimes use a little butter to cook eggs or on veggies. Its a good suggestion, though, if only to rule something out.


      1. Hi
        my 2 cents here:
        Do not cut butter. Maybe you are not eating enough fat. And the veggies may add up to a bunch of carbs. In my case I cut milk completely, but I kept yogurt, cheeses (for me it works great). Suggestion: replace your veggies (at least for a while) by salads, add tons of coconut oil to everything, double up in the butter and buy some more bacon! Some fruits are ok

        1. Because you made me wonder, I checked what my average counts have been, over the last two months. I seem to average about 90g fat, 70g carbs, and 80g protein, daily. I don’t use butter all that much, but do consume a fair amount of coconut oil and coconut butter.

  12. I’m noticing from these stories how incredibly quickly youngsters can turn their bodies around. I started at 38 and it took a few years, I’d say, to get bullet-proof.

    It’s nice that it’s never too late, but try to start early!

    1. I think that age does indeed play a role. I’m in my early 40’s. After 1.5 years, I’ve certainly improved, but I still have ways to go before I arrive at my goals. Weight came off fairly quickly at first, but then it really slowed down. With that said, I probably cheat a little bit more often than I should & I am also a bit hit & miss when it comes to exercise. Even so, I’m significantly lighter & I feel better than I was when I started.

    2. Heh. That could be part of my problem. I’m 52, so maybe it will just take awhile.

  13. Duende:

    I had IBS also, but it cleared up within two weeks of going 100% primal AND replacing coffee during those two weeks with green tea. Try it. I drink coffee now, but without the cream that I enjoyed so much. No more IBS.

    PS to Judy: Don’t worry about it. Anything more than a hand or mouthful is wasted, anyway.

  14. I have to say, you LOOK nearly 18 again. I saw a doctor today who told me I needed to get under 30 grams of fat a day for a health condition, and I just smiled and kept my mouth shut.

  15. Congrats! And hooray for rest weeks! Always a good reminder that our bodies need time to recover.

  16. It’s always AWESOME and inspiring when someone in the medical profession truly experiences the benefits of the paleo/primal way of living which goes against all they have learned during their careers.

    I just don’t understand why the “powers that might be” – the USDA and the rest of the medical profession – still insists on recommending a diet which is killing the human race little by little, whilst making big pharma and big agra unbelievable profit. That truly makes me sick! Or perhaps it is just a deliberate method of controlling the population on the planet whilst making piles of cash.

  17. You know what I love about Jason’s pictures? His Before picture looks so NORMAL. He looks like 90% of the men I see on my street, and 96% of the men I see at work. They think they are “a few pounds” overweight, when in fact they could stand to lose about 15 pounds more than they think they can. The After picture proves it. And I have seen this over and over and over again at MDA: losing the last 15 pounds. CW will NOT do that.

    1. Something like this happened at work today. My boss said his doctor told him he was 22 pounds overweight, and everyone insisted he was not overweight (probably being polite, but still). In reality, he could probably stand to lose 30 pounds or more. People’s perspectives on what is a normal weight have become seriously skewed.

      1. Very very true:

        “People’s perspectives on what is a normal weight have become seriously skewed.”

        If you are normal these days (by current standards) you are in bad shape

      2. For a reset on what consitutes normal weight, folks should get in the habit of watching classic movies. Even the extras in pre-circa-1960 movies were slender and fit compared to everyone but the stars of current films.

      3. So true! I am a 60yr old, 6’2″ woman…i have never been “fat”….but i got up to 190lbs…there was some serious chubbing going on…no one said a thing…until……da da da….I lost 40 lbs going primal…no one can believe how good i look and they all say so…! Living in the tropics with pool and beach…i am in bikini heaven now! We just get used to the big bellys and thighs that don’t really have to be there, at any age!

    2. Haha. Thanks! This is wild to see the community support me! So wonderful yeah, I keep asking why no one told me I was fat. It’s because I was still leaner than most my friends. Not guilty by association!

      1. There is a documented social phenomenon along those lines: if you hang out with overweight people you are more likely to be overweight, and if you hang out with fit people, you are more likely to be fit. Needless to say, if we hang out with Primal people… 😉

    3. I’ve been following a primal style diet for the last 6 months, and found exactly the same thing. I figured I had maybe about 5kg (11 lbs) to lose as I felt that I was reasonably slim, and certainly not someone you would call overweight or fat. I’ve actually lost nearly twice that ~9kg (20 lbs) in those 6 months, with a bit more to come given that I don’t have a properly visible 6 pack yet 🙂 .

      I was truly surprised to have had that much spare body fat lurking on me, so would agree with the idea that perhaps we have upped what we consider normal. It also puts to bed the idea of middle age spread being somehow inevitable. I’m 44 and haven’t been this lean since my early 20s.

  18. The good old ‘giggle hysterically on the scale when I weighed in’ moment… 😀 Your story is inspiring and you look great!!

    1. Yeah, I loved that moment when I read it, too! Totally related! That brought me back to last January! And then again a week after I’d pigged out on my cruise and then dropped the weight within a week.

  19. Really needed this motivation today! Thanks! Great story, cant wait for more medicals to see the power of paleo/primal lifestyles!

  20. Great story! Fat loss, gained strength, blood levels improved and most important, general well-being went up. Awesome!

  21. I wished there was a doctor like you a round Watertown SD . I would go to you. I have not been to a doctor in a few years. It wouldn’t hurt to get a check up every once in a while.

  22. Fantastic! Soooo inspiring and affirming to this lifestyle … I love these Friday stories!

  23. I would really like to ask a very important question if I may…….I am a bit bothered with the statement that “fat can only be artery clogging if inflammation is present”. Most (if not all) overweight/obese people would have some degree of inflammation BUT following Primal we are recommended to eat a diet of around 60-70% fat. Couldn’t this do us more harm than good? I personally want to lose weight and have high levels of inflammation (due to an autoimmune disease) so shouldn’t I be restricting fats and not making them the cornerstone of my diet?

    1. Hi:
      I think you ended up in the wrong website. For what you are looking up do searches in the web for Dr Ornish diets, vegan diets.
      But stay here! If staying in this area this is a good link:

      “3. Your Body Prefers Burning Fat Over Carbohydrates

      We’ve evolved to be fat-burners (must be why we’re so adept at storing it on our bodies!). It’s easy to see why. Fat burns slow and evenly, providing all-day steady energy levels. Carbohydrates burn quickly, and they’re gone in an instant, leaving you groggy and depleted unless you “carb up.” Furthermore, carbohydrates are an inherently unreliable and fleeting source of energy for our body, with most people only able to store about 400-500 grams of carbohydrates on the body at any one time. Our storage capacity for fat, on the other hand, is virtually endless. Just ten or fifteen pounds of body fat, which is the bare minimum available on even the leanest individuals, can provide tens of thousands of calories. Luckily, reducing carbohydrates and increasing fat intake sends the epigenetic signals necessary to help us revert back to fat-burning, and it only takes a week or two to get things moving in the right direction.

      Become fat-adapted, enjoy boundless energy. Free yourself from the shackles of a carbohydrate-based metabolism/dependency.”


    2. You should really check out Jack Kruse’s blog at and read about Leptin posts 1-5, 13, 14, 16 is a good start.

      Also check out the posts I linked to in my other comment on this article.

      I also missed some other great articles.

      Make sure to watch the video on the saturated fat post on eatingacademy

    3. Hi, Tarni.

      Most overweight/obese people would have inflammation caused by their food choices, not by any fat they are eating. How many obese people do you know that eat only fat-free versions of SAD foods and never lose weight? I know a lot of them! It really is a matter of which foods go into your body and how your body reacts to them.

      I also have an autoimmune disease and an trying to follow the autoimmune protocol of the paleo diet: no grains, no dairy, no nuts, no eggs and no nightshade veggies. It’s helped quite a bit.

      As for the fear of fat clogging your arteries, your body doesn’t work like the plumbing in your house. Pouring fat down the kitchen sink is a recipe for a big plumbing headache, but your body doesn’t take fat from your stomach/intestines and dump it right into your blood to attach to artery walls. It’s been covered quite a bit here on MDA, but I’ve found 3 articles you might want to read to help settle your fears about it:

    4. Hi, Tarni, I am still overweight, have autoimmune conditions, eat low carb/high fat and my CRP is 0.3. It used to be quite a bit higher when I was eating “healthy” grains. Just sayin’. You can do it!

    5. Tami,

      My wife is autoimmune with Crohn’s. Her mom is also autoimmune. Your issues are COMPLEX to say the least. Maybe you’ll hear me more than my lovely wife does.

      I can’t tell you how misunderstood the inflammatory pathways are in general. Universally, it is impossible to be reactive to fats from an immune perspective. So, all the good fats like HDL and Omega-3 are only heavily concentrated in animals, fish, etc. Fish is still by far the best, but grass fed meats aren’t horrible. Good sources I eat regularly are also chia seeds, walnuts and flax seed. It is very questionable, however, how many of these anti-inflammatory fats we absorb from the plant sources. The animal sources are much more bioavailable. Grains constitute the single most agitating category of food for auto immune, but being primal does not promise perfect resolution. I might also recommend you research DHEA and get your levels checked and work with a doctor familiar with these concepts. Those can help manage things for sure.

  24. I’ve come to the conclusion that men’ bodies respond to this lifestyle much faster than women. I lost 10lbs in the first 2 weeks but have since stagnated for the past 2 months. 🙁

    1. That is true and a little sad. That is why I appreciate a lot more the results women get. In short: it takes them longer
      But the results are usually amazing
      Hang in there and don’t worry too much about the weight and more on how you feel

    2. That wasn’t the case for me. I’m a 32 year old woman and I’ve lost 74 lbs in 6 months on Primal. I do a VHF (very high fat) and VLC (very low carb) diet of about 70% daily calories from fat and about 40g carbs per day. My average daily calories are usually between 1200-1400, but sometimes as high as 1600-1700. Have you ever tracked your daily intakes to see where you’re at? I think a lot of people forget that even when eating Primally, you still actually have to “diet” to lose weight. Those first 10 lbs you lost could have been water weight and bloating, and you’re not losing anymore because you aren’t cutting enough carbs and calories to spark excess fat burning. It’s something to look into, anyways…

  25. ‘Fat can only clog arteries if you have inflammation’
    Thank you for your words which provide me with an easy way to explain the benefits of primal eating. You’ve clearly and simply answered many of the questions folks often ask me which I can’t really answer. Your story says it all.

    1. If this is true though Karen, alot of us are screwed as nearly everyone will suffer with even low grade levels of inflammation at some point in their lives and this way of eating recommends high fat so wouldn’t we all be in trouble if this is the case? Would really love it if someone could explain this as my inflammatory markers are quite high and I have been on Primal but after this comment am beginning to question it’s safety for myself………

  26. Jason have you read Jeff Volek, Jack Kruse, or Ron Rosedale? They have some ideas on what may be causing issues for those who go really low carbohydrate.

    This is a good post on it.

    I also highly recommend The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living/Performance

    Jack Kruse’s blogs are great and he talks about many important things including some issues pertaining to very low carb. You should really take a look at his whole brain gut series.

    Also for working out I really like Body by Science its only 12 dollars on Amazon and the writer supports Paleo so that’s a plus.

    Congrats on being much healthier but if you’re like me than you like learning new things so that’s why I’m linking all this.

  27. Mega-congrats, Jason, on questioning what you thought you “knew”.

    I’m trained as veterinarian, with lots of pre-vet courses in animal nutrition. You would think I would have made the connection between eating grains and fattening, as that is essentially the goal of all animal nutrition programs. But no. I believed what the “experts” said. I even wanted to work for the USDA at one point (forgive me!).

    I call this blindness among medical professionals the “good student effect”: we qualify for professional school because we are good at scoring well on exams. How do you score well? By regurgitating the “facts” that were presented to you by the prof, who is familiar with the work of the so-called experts.

    Unlike, say, literature and philosophy majors, we are not supposed to question, to debate, to critically analyze what is presented to us. Science majors are supposed to absorb a thousand “facts” a day and spew them back on exams.

    1. Chica rocks very very much.

      Love your term “good student effect.” Have often wondered how all these very intelligent boys and girls who got into med school were trasnformed into dogmatic morons by the time they’d finished their residencies.

      It would appear regurgitation crowds out what is called critical thinking.

  28. “I feel 18 again.” Me, too, except I didn’t feel 18 when I was 18 over half a lifetime ago!

  29. Dr. Jason, thank you for sharing your journey! I’ve received tons of practical advice from my chiro over the years. You are an inspiration to your patients. I wish you the best.

  30. Great success story! One thing though, skip the Haagen-Dazs, they use milk from RBGH cows (growth hormone) which is known to cause cancer!!

  31. hey Doc! fellow chiro here, i was a vegetarian up until the nutrition class in 7th tri. at the time i went back to eating eggs, at least. I love the primal lifestyle! Great Story.

  32. I am pretty sure I had the same professor for nutrition as you did…western states?

  33. Another person like myself that eats primal AND does IF. Like the Jason says “it just feels right.” I lost so much weight using this method it’s ridiculous.

  34. Nice work, thanks for sharing!
    You look great- at least 10 years younger! love it.

  35. Amazing success story with Going Primal. Truly inspiring, way to go Doc. Looking forward to reading more success stoires like this one.