Going Primal Will Change Your Life for the Better!

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!

real_life_stories_stories-1-2I’d like to share my success story as one of your biggest overseas fans! I don’t have many pics showing the differences in appearance before and after my shift to a Paleo/Primal lifestyle that I really want to share with the world. As you may imagine, I’m not particularly proud of my old appearance back then, if you know what I mean…

Since I wasn’t very happy with my heath (high body fat percentage, many allergies, food intolerances, frequent headaches, blood pressure, etc.), I first tried the Zone Diet by Barry Sears. Before adopting a Primal lifestyle I was quite overweight and I was plagued with many health issues: allergies to pollens (a lot of them) and dust, frequent joint and back pain, frequent (almost daily) migraine attacks, difficult digestion, gastric reflux, sleep apnea…just to name a few.

Just by cutting all the “white carbs” like bread, pasta, pizza, biscuits, potatoes and rice, I was able to lose about 10kg of body fat in about a year. But then I hit a plateau and the weight loss stopped. I was looking for something to push through this plateau and then I found the “Paleozone” as an apparently more effective version of the Zone Diet. I went pretty much cold turkey and also cut dairy products, legumes and any kind of packaged food or food containing artificial ingredients, preservatives and/or vegetable oils and trans-fats. I had never drank alcohol in my life (I mean 100% zero alcohol) so it was easier for me on that front, but I was a pretty heavy consumer of sweets like chocolate bars, sodas, biscuits and alike.

At the beginning, what helped me stay away from those kind of addictive sweets was organic fruit, and tons of it. Then, after about six months (once I got rid of my “addiction” to sugary artificial products), I managed to cut back on fruits and lower my carb intake even more by eating tons of vegetables with lots of Italian extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil. In that phase I also found it very helpful to take a spoonful of L-Glutamine powder in water to beat the occasional night sweet cravings.

With this new approach I lost another 10kg of body fat while gaining some lean muscle mass in about a year and a half. Then, intrigued by the “Paleo” concept, I dug into it further by listening to some paleo podcasts like “Latest in Paleo” by Angelo Coppola. And, thanks to him, I was introduced to the main Paleo stars like Lorain Cordain, Robb Wolf and, of course, the great Mark Sisson.

After reading The Primal Blueprint by Mark and Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf (which I bought both in the English iPad versions and then as regular books when they were available in Italian), I added the right kind of exercise: daily long walks and stretching, weekly sprints, weekly resistance and body-weight training. From there, I was able to shed even more fat and gain some more muscle mass.

Also, after being totally keto-adapted from years of pretty low-carb dieting, I started experimenting with intermittent fasting (IF). Now I usually eat only once or twice a day to satiety. When I’m deeper in ketosis because of my IF, I feel my brain is even more focused and sharp, having access to my residual body fat as a stable source of energy all day long. This is a sharp contrast to the energy roller coaster I used to experience before my transition to this healthier lifestyle.

Now, compared to 2011, I’ve lost 22 kg of fat and gained about 10 kg of lean muscle, which show pretty well on my 170 cm of height! All the health issues that plagued me almost all my life disappeared completely (allergies being my biggest surprise), and my blood numbers have all been back in an optimal range since adopting this lifestyle. I also got rid of all my antihistamines, antacids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs forever!


Now I don’t take any other supplements other than Omega-3s (I take 6 grams a day) and some Vitamin D during the fall and winter. My only treats now are a couple of dark chocolate squares once in a while. That’s it and I truly don’t miss anything.

By becoming a “Fat Burning Beast” I now enjoy constant energy levels all day long. And, if convenient, I can go even 24 hours or more just drinking pure water and I’m totally fine—with no sugar crashes or food cravings at all! As for my physical activity, I just walk at least an hour every day in the woods, I do sprints twice a week and a 30 minute total bodyweight workout on alternate days in the park.

I recommend this Paleo/Primal lifestyle to everybody: men and women, young and old, healthy and not so healthy. It will change your life for the better, believe me! All you need is some will power to get rid of (and then stay permanently away from) all the processed food and drinks. Plus, stick to real whole food and plenty of natural water. Then, couple that with the right HIIT exercise and get enough sleep. That’s all!


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82 thoughts on “Going Primal Will Change Your Life for the Better!”

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  1. Awesome job. And your before picture would have been my dream picture a couple of years ago. Being between 270-300 lbs most of my entire adult life, I was hoping to be less than 250. And possibly avoid the worst chronic diseases, heart attack, diabetes, dementia, cancer.

    But with Primal now at 165. It truly is amazing and literally life saving. At least for morbidly obese folk like me.

  2. One story at a time, the evidence just keeps piling up that this path is good to follow. Thank you for sharing your experience. Be proud of your decisions. I hope others read this and follow behind you.

    1. Yeah! That’s the only reason why I accepted the invitation to post my story by Mark…

  3. Congrats on your success !
    You look healthy now compared to the ‘skinny-fat’ photo from before.
    Nice abs 🙂

    1. You’re very kind Lilia… And thank so much you for your compliments! Love from Italy.

  4. Very inspirational, Federico! You look fantastic and thank you for telling your story.

    1. Thank you Walrus for the compliments! It feels good to have the chance to inspire other people to become the best version of themselves… 😉

  5. Congratulations, you look amazing! You’ve got great muscle definition too!

    1. Thank you Kerrigan! I’m about 9% body fat at the moment and I’m now working to achieve a 7-8% in the healtiest possible way… 😉

  6. deve essere difficile con tutta la pasta e riso in Italia, no?

    Excellent job and congrats on the transformation.

    1. At the beginning, being in Italy with all the pasta and pizza crazyness all around me it was probably a little more difficult but you can achieve everything if you really put true commitment into it… 😉

  7. From Pillsbury Dough Boy to Grok. Great job. You look very healthy.

  8. Just curious how old you are? Don’t think I missed your age in your story but would love to know.

    1. Sure Aaron, I’m 42 years old but now I feel like I’m in my twenties!!! LOL!

  9. Great job Federico! I’m happy for your success! I think it’s awesome you got rid of your allergies!

    1. You’re right Emily… Getting rid of all my allergies I suffered for my entire life was definetely the best single “side effect” of going Primal. 🙂

  10. Congratulations, thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for sharing your exersize routine. You look amazing.

  11. “residual bodyfat” LOL. You don’t seem to have much of that one. Congrats to the success!
    How do you fill your glycogen stores once depleted by HIIT? Leave it to the liver to produce enough glucose fm proteins?

    1. Exactly… I tried carb back loading after HIIT for a while but now, being in ketosis most of the time, I feel too lousy after it so now I do not increase at all my carb intake after a HIIT or bodyweigt session. I actually adopted the opposite strategy, keeping myself in a fasted state for many hours even after intense exercise and leaving to my liver all the gluconeogenesis work from my normal daily protein intake. I just eat to satiety so if the intensity of my phisical activity was higher in a particular day, I just eat some more protein and a lot more good fats (coconut, egg yolks and avocado) to compensate.

    1. Than you Karo! You are very kind… I love Beautiful Scotland! Ciao from Italy!

      1. Thanks for your story. It is very inspiring. My husband and I have been primal for over a year now. I am still struggling to loose the last little stomach fat and side handles. Any suggestions for me?

  12. Grazie Federico,
    It’s so great to see another Italian giving up the sickening pasta diet.Evviva!

  13. Great story, very happy for you! Very similar to my own going Primal tale, I can relate!

  14. I think this is the best short plug I have read about Primal:

    I recommend this Paleo/Primal lifestyle to everybody: men and women, young and old, healthy and not so healthy. It will change your life for the better, believe me! All you need is some will power to get rid of (and then stay permanently away from) all the processed food and drinks. Plus, stick to real whole food and plenty of natural water. Then, couple that with the right HIIT exercise and get enough sleep. That’s all!

    1. Thank you so much Wildgrok… I’m glad that my lousy English didn’t get too much in the way… LOL!

  15. Way to go, man, you look great! And you’re a walking advertisement for not killing oneself with exercise. Congratulations and I wish you all the best!

    1. Thank you so much Tina! It’s true… In my personal experience I’ve found that excessive exercise is actually pretty detrimental in the long term. Cortisol skyrocketing may even stop or compromise improvements in body composition!

  16. What an awesome and motivating story!! Reading your plan of action has motivated me to kick it into high gear and get back onto the primal way of life. You look amazing, true, but you also look so much happier and content in your “after” picture. Amazing job! Hope to write my own testimonial here in the next few months. Congrats & thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. I’m glad that my story had inspired you so much Shannon! That’s exactly the reason why I accepted Mark’s invitation to share my own story… Now I can’t wait to read your success story on MDA soon! Cheers!

  17. So well done! I wonder why have you never had any alcohol? Was that a decision you made as a young person?

    1. I suppose I’ve been a “health nerd” all my life and since I was a teenager, toxic alcohol simply never had a place in my life. Never touched. 😉

  18. This is like the ideal paleo track I love hearing about. Cut the sugars and whites, leaning on fruits and veggies usually dauced in fat, plateu a bit, start tweaking till you realize the amount you can handle, then really start realized how much physical and mental energy you have incorporating some weight training and IF and boom. You are a new machine. Great job man!

  19. I hope that common-sense stories like this really help convince people to try this lifestyle. I have been Paleo for three years, and your stories and others help me stay inspired each week. Thanks for helping others while you make your life the best it can be!

    1. Thank you Lisa! I’m just trying to “pay back” here and give my little contribution to the Paleo/Primal movement… Keep it up! Cheers! 🙂

  20. Federico
    I take my hat off to this kind of story.
    Great to hear this worked for you

    1. Thank you Mauricio! You are very kind. It can work for just everybody: all you need are dedication, commitment and perseverance… Just like in every other aspect of life! 😉

  21. Sorry for the language, but it is warranted:

    Holy crap, dude that transformation is fucking awesome!

    I really hope soon I’ll have something to show (I’ve been toying with primal life for years, but I started doing it seriously 3 months ago), and it its just half of what you’ve accomplished here I’ll be happy.

    CONGRATULATIONS on this amazing story.

    1. Thank you man! I admit it takes a lot of commitment and self-discipline… For me the last thing to go were the cravings for sweet… Now since Jan 1st. I also gave up the minimum quantity of dark chocolate and any other food containing an added sweetener, including honey and stevia… It was hard the first weeks but now I feel so empowered to be finally 100% sweet free! 😉

  22. Well done Federico! What a great positive change. You look like a totally different person….amazing.

    1. Thank you Ivan! I actually am and I feel like a different person now! 😉

  23. Just have to ask regarding your comment on Omega 3 intake. Is that correct, 6 grams per day? Seems like a lot…just curious.

    1. Yes, I do take 6 grams of pharmaceutical grade Omega 3 every single day… In my experience the usual maximum dosage suggested (3-4 grams a day) is actually quite conservative. In order to have a real anti-inflammatory effect with my body composition and level of activity, My ideal dose is 6g. Just be careful to increase the amount you take very very slowly, starting with maybe just 1g. a day and giving your digestive tract enough time to adapt to increasing amounts… I gave my body about 1 year to adapt progressively to the present dose and with this quite prudent approach I had no problem at all and I feel great!

      1. Thanks for that explanation Frederico……keep up the good work and all the very best to you.

        1. Here in Italy the best product that I’ve found is Enerzona Omega 3 RX. It is a five star IFOS top quality product with an advanced patented gel capsule that allows you to ingest even big quantity of fish oil without any even minimal side effect like “fish burping”. Really no other product that I’ve tried so far is as good in preventing this kind of unpleasant side effects.

        2. The special patented technology of the gel capsules that Enervit the producer of Enerzona Omega 3 RX uses is called “Entericare Technology”. I just want to make clear that I’m not affiliated with them nor sponsoring them and actually I think their product has only a real big downside: the price which is definetely very high! 😉

  24. This is an incredible story about an Italian who doesn’t eat sweets or eat pasta or drink wine. You must have super human willpower! Bravo! I am sure you will help a lot of people by sharing your story. Congratulations on taking charge of your health!

    1. Many thanks for your very nice comment Jenny… Grazie mille! I guess I’ve always been a pretty driven kind of person in all aspects of my life and being a filmmaker this quality helps a lot… Stay tuned for my next brave endeavor: a revolutionary comedy film project titled “Surfing Sicily, Live Fearlessly” aimed at saving children lives all around the world. For more information and to support our project, please visit https://www.facebook.com/surfingsicilyfilm

  25. congratulations, awesome job.
    I’ve just completed 100lb weight loss over 1/2 of that was done on paleo. or modified paleo. I am diabetic and my blood sugars run in the 90 range now, my occasional treat is a dark chocolate covered strawberry, yumm. I still have 100lbs more to go, but i will do it, slow and steady. I’m so happy I found paleo, and now this website. keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you Heidi!
      Mark’s Daily Apple is a fantastic and quite unique resource of wisdom and inspiration for the growing Paleo/Primal international community. Glad to have you onboard with us! Go girl!

  26. ciao Federico complimenti ! ma cosa ti dicono amici parenti … se non mangi più la pasta ?

    1. Ciao Anette, complimenti per il tuo perfetto italiano! Gli amici veri ti sostengono sempre, quelli un po’ “meno veri” in genere tendono a cercare di farti cambiare idea… I parenti inizialmente dubitano ma poi vedendo gli indubbi risultati sono portati almeno ad accettare la tua “stranezza”… Tendenzialmente, non devi curarti molto dell’opinione altrui o del “sapere comune” quando c’è di mezzo la tua salute… Fidati principalmente della Scienza e soprattutto dei segnali che ti manda il tuo corpo… In bocca al lupo! 😉

      1. certo Federico sei veramente convincente col tuo “six pack” e il sorriso da vincitore ! io sono ancora alle prese con la paura di offendere qualcheduno rifiutando la pasta fatta in casa o un pane fatto dal loro grano … come si fa ? senz´altro c´hai ragione, c´è da seguire i segnali dal proprio corpo, solo che a volte il mio cuore parla più forte della ragione
        grazie e crepi !

        1. Sai Anette, se proprio fai ancora così fatica a dire: “No grazie!”, quando ti propongono pane, pasta, pizza o biscottini vari, è sufficiente che tu dica ogni volta qualcosa del tipo: “Lo adoro, mi piace davvero molto ma purtroppo ho scoperto di avere una certa intolleranza al glutine e per un po’ non devo più mangiarlo…” E’ semplice ed efficace… Nessuno insisterà sapendo che ti farebbe male, soprattutto le persone che ti vogliono bene.
          In fondo, come abbiamo scoperto, TUTTI gli esseri umani hanno un grado (seppur variabile) di intolleranza al glutine che come minimo causa permeabilità intestinale (leaky gut) e aumenta l’infiammazione generale delle nostre cellule quindi diresti semplicemente la verità! 😀

    1. Hi Eugene!

      My bodyweight workout usually consists of about 25-30 max. intense minutes of push ups, pull ups, single arm chin ups, single leg squats, burpees, etc…

      By the way, I like to change often my routines in order to keep my body “guessing” and as soon as I feel some degree of adaptation to a particular exercise, I change again. 😉