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
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?
First, Vee asks:
I’ve read the article above [Definitive Guide to Keto], and quite a bit of the comments below, but what I would like to know is just how detailed is this book going to be? I’m one of those people who need a plan laid out with measurements, not with eat this per so much per lean body mass, etc. I need amounts like tsp, tbsp, cups, oz, etc. Also, I pre-ordered Dr. Mercola’s book, Fat for Fuel, and was completely disappointed when I got it. i thought there would be a definitive plan to follow, but I shut the book, never to look at it again when I read about all the testing he suggested on a daily basis,as well as many blood tests that he suggested in addition to that, as well as ‘keeping your doctor apprised’ of what you’re doing. Huh? I avoid doctors as much as possible except in emergency situations, pretty much I need to be unconscious to go. (many bad experiences with MDs), so I was very disappointed with his book – drs. pretty much just throw RX drugs at you if you have a “medical” condition, so the best thing I can of is try to take care of myself thru diet, exercise, and relaxation.. I just don’t feel that eating should be so darned complicated. Making a short question long, does your book have a detailed eating plan so I can easily come up with menus I’d like to follow?? Thank you!
Oh, yeah. I include not just one, but two 21-day meal plans. Each is incredibly detailed.
The first is for the 21-day metabolism reset—which helps you build the necessary metabolic machinery to make keto work better and go more easily. The second 21-day plan is for actually going keto—for getting into and staying in nutritional ketosis. Both remove the guesswork. If you eat the food and follow the recipes and portion recommendations, you’ll establish a good rhythm that will help you reach your goals.
While you very well could stick to the 21-day meal plans laid out in the book for the rest of your life, I’d urge you to branch out a bit. You might want to pick up a new sport or attempt a new physical challenge where you experiment with different macronutrient intake patterns. You might get tired of the same meals. Basically, you should be able to adjust on the fly depending on what you need out of your body. My upcoming book provides that information, if you’re willing to give it a shot.
Stay tuned for it. It sounds like it’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Mathieu made a great comment that I had to build upon and support with evidence because I think it’s so important:
That’s also why the best weight scale is a mirror ?
Or a belt. Or a tape measure. Or that one article of clothing you’ve been trying to fit into.
People may think Mathieu and I are being flippant, but we’re not. Subjective impressions are often more reliable and representative of a person’s health than objective measurements. Take apparent age based on facial appearance—it’s a better predictor of health and longevity than objective biomarkers.
Mark, this was a GREAT post. I’m wondering how or if this advice applies to those of us that are doing the Primal Blueprint’s regular type of strength + sprint training combo – i.e., a PEM 2x per week plus a sprint session 1x every 7-10 days, plus low-intensity activity every other day. Does the “highER carb / lowER fat” on PEM / Sprint days apply for those of us NOT engaged in HIIT? Guess I’m wondering if all training session days deserve this consideration, or if it’s just applicable for CF’ers and folks engaging in HIIT. Signed, Legitimately Scared of Carbs…
There’s a big difference between true sprints (where you’re achieving full or close to full recovery in between sprints), HIIT (where you keep rest periods short to promote endurance adaptations), and strength training.
You can sprint quite effectively on low-carb, especially if you stick to shorter sprints (10 seconds and under). At that length, you’re primarily hitting the ATP-PC pathway. That’s when you convert the creatine phosphate stored in the muscle directly into ATP. It doesn’t last long—we can’t store much creatine phsophate at once—but it produces incredible power and refills rather quickly with adequate rest. Longer sprints will start really tapping into the glycolytic (sugar-burning) pathway.
Lower-rep, higher-intensity strength training with longer rest periods is also very effective on low carb, as it, too, primarily targets the ATP-PC pathway and allows sufficient rest to replenish it. Higher-rep training will veer into glycogen-burning. Intensity matters, too. High reps with moderate weight will burn glycogen pretty quick. High reps with bodyweight give you more leeway.
Low-carb is fine for the program you describe.
Can someone please recommend a variety of fish sauce that I can get in Canada that does not have any sugar in it????
You, half-starved, in a daze after slamming your head during the storm that destroyed your ship, stumble down a mysterious beach chasing a scent. It rises above the usual briny rankness, reminding you of that time at the 4 AM tuna auction in Tsukiji market, where you realized “fishy” wasn’t always a bad thing. You come upon a fisherman. He’s squatting in front of a bowl of rice and dried pork, and the sun is overhead. It must be lunchtime. You bring your fingers to your mouth, miming, trying to convey hunger. He looks you over, squints, takes a drag on his cigarette, then fishes out an old mason jar full of murky liquid—homemade fish sauce—from a plastic shopping bag and splashes it over his rice. He hands the bowl over. You dig in, and it’s the best thing you’ve ever tasted.
The way that fantasy fisherman made his fish sauce is the same way Red Boat does: fish, salt, and time.
That’s it for me, folks. Thanks for reading and be sure to give you input down below. Have a great rest of the week.