Dear Mark: Rapid Fire Answers to Your Most Pressing Primal Questions

Last week I said “ask me anything” and you came back with nearly 300 comments! From funky-smelling Vibrams to Primal supplementation to training recovery, it was a mixed bag. Below you’ll find rapid fire responses to more than a dozen of them.

Check back later this week when I’ll be providing more solutions to your Primal predicaments.

Thanks for reading, everyone, and keep your questions coming!

Here’s my question: When you say not to count calories, is it because you believe that calories don’t matter? Or just that you won’t need to because a primal diet is so filling?

A little of both. See my Context of Calories post for the details. A Primal Blueprint eating style will definitely satisfy you on fewer calories once you have truly acclimated to it. Calories do matter if you are trying to lose weight, and you will want to create a bit of a deficit to accelerate your fat loss if you have a lot to lose, but it’s where those calories are coming from that makes all the difference. 1800 calories from protein and fat have a far greater impact on getting there comfortably and quickly than 1800 calories of carbs. And once you get to an optimum body composition, you can pretty much eat all you want of Primal foods and maintain that weight effortlessly. Of course, because it’s so satisfying AND by then you will have reprogrammed your genes to derive more energy from stored body fat, you won’t be so hungry all the time and you won’t “need” to eat so much so often.

I was checking out your Damage Control product and saw that it contains No Flush Niacin. I’d done some research recently concerning Niacin intake and it’s lowering effect on Triglycerides. All the information I could find said No Flush Niacin has very little positive effects and regular Niacin should only be taken. What are your feelings on this?

Not a fan of using Niacin (vitamin B3) to lower lipids. I recommend using your diet (the Primal eating strategy) as the main means of bringing your blood lipids into a healthy range. The amount of Niacin required to have a therapeutic effect on lowering LDL cholesterol – if that’s what you intend to do – is quite high (1500-6000 milligrams a day of flushing Niacin) and not without side-effects and possible dangers. It can make some people very uncomfortable. That’s the reason we use 500 mgs of non-flushing niacin in Damage Control Master Formula, which is plenty to provide all the other benefits of niacin.

What can an endurance athlete eat going out to train or compete more than 4 hours without carbs or gels? What can I eat during a long bike ride 3 hours or more?

This is a very complex equation. I have athletes who have gone fully Primal (eating 150 or fewer grams of carbs a day while training) and who now race well without much more than a high carb meal the night before a race and the carb gels they use regularly during the actual event. If you insist on doing long rides or runs while Primal and want to try this method, I suggest you stick to a fairly low carb regular eating routine and train at much lower heart rates for a few months as you reprogram your system to preferentially burn fats. It’s a long process (much more than the three weeks we suggest for “regular” conversion). On the other hand, if you are not training Primally (that is, you are engaging in Chronic Cardio) then at the very least try to limit your daily carb intake to only what you need (maybe 100 grams for every hour you’ll be on the road) and try to get them from non-grain sources (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, veggies, fruit, etc.).

I have a question about recovery. I play competitive ultimate frisbee and most of our tournaments are two days long (Nationals is four days). What should I be eating/drinking to make sure that my body is ready for the next day of competition?

During multi-day events that require hours of sprinting, you will need to top off glycogen stores during and after competition, mostly to set you up well for the next day. In this case, eat your normal Primal fare when mealtime rolls around, but add in some starchy tubers and fruit, and certainly avail yourself of some of the standard maltodextrin/glucose replacement drinks.

Are you aware of any research programs that are specifically testing the benefits of a primal lifestyle vs. the stereotypical american lifestyle? Many of your posts include links to research articles that support the advice you give, but often the studies weren’t designed with the intent to test primal lifestyles specifically and the conclusions you draw are secondary inferences from their data.

I guess another way to ask this question is, are there any research publications that include an introduction along the lines of “…[primal law #] according to fitness afficionado Mark Sisson of – to test this, we devised a randomized controlled trial with double blind…”? If not, would you be interested in rigorously testing your interpretation of modern health? Thanks!

As you note, there are no real studies looking at a full Primal lifestyle. There are a few short-term studies that compare low-carb, Mediterranean and SAD diets and look at changes in weight and blood lipids, but no one to my knowledge has done a full-on Primal study that includes diet, exercise, sun exposure, play, sleep etc. I would love to do one as you suggest, but it’s impractical. First, the costs of doing these types of studies properly (for peer-reviewed, prestigious journals) are outrageously prohibitive unless you have a potentially lucrative patent at stake. Furthermore, you couldn’t possibly randomize or double-blind such a study (and forget placebos altogether). Ultimately, all I ever need to do is look at the hundreds, maybe by now thousands, of incredible life-altering testimonials and other success stories we have received on MDA to know that living and eating Primally is the best way to achieve optimal health and fitness.

In my previous Korg carb loading distance running life I balanced my glucose with distance running and 13.1 training and got into great (but burned out) shape. I coupled that with “downtime” by using P90X and Jillian Michaels. I was always tired and hungry and struggled with my weight and ITBS, arthritis in my joints and BURNED OUT.

Now that I am practicing my new and improved Grok lifestyle, I am struggling with hitting my target zone heart rate. I barely feel like I am moving when I jog (in my Vibram Five Fingers) and I am out of the 60-80% target heartrate range.
In Primal Blueprint, you mention “athletes” can work at an 80-90% maximum heartrate range. Could I consider myself an “athlete” or would I be working against myself?

Whereas I used to be a 8:30/mi gal, if I feel like I’m barely moving at 9:40/mi but am hitting the 85% range, am I negating the work? I’ve dropped my runs to 3-4 per week and between 4-6 miles.

First off, let’s reassess some goals here. “Great but burned out” shape is not my idea of in shape at all. Tired, hungry, ITBS and arthritis-ridden make it that much closer to insanity. No offense, but 8:30/mi is not an athlete pace, especially when it’s done at higher heart rates. I’d look at starting from scratch as a barefooter (or in your Fives). That means hiking, walking and easy jogging in the 55-75% range for a few weeks. Then your main strength and speed gains will come from your sprint sessions once a week (maybe once every five days if you can handle it). If your goal is better health, more energy and a leaner body, your lower mileage in the Vibrams will more than offset the stuff you used to do in shoes, meaning 20 miles a week in Fives is the strength equivalent of 40 miles a week in running shoes.

Do you plan on getting rid of the SOY protein and the artificial sweetener in your protein powders anytime soon? Soy is DEFINITELY not primal, as you said yourself on the “Underground Wellness” radio show so why use it in your formula?

Short answer: yes.

Responsibly Slim was formulated seven years ago as a great-tasting alternative to standard protein-rich meal replacement powders (MRPs). Thousands have used it as an assist in losing fat when they incorporate it into a daily plan that is based mostly on real foods. Designing these products is a real challenge because the major components generally taste horrible on their own. Even if it had the best nutrition profile imaginable, an MRP would fail if no one liked the taste. Understand that any meal replacement is a compromise over real food. But when real food is unavailable, I want people to have a viable alternative. The question is how much of a compromise should you make in the name of truly helping someone with a lot of weight to lose? In this case, per your question, 10% of the protein source is soy protein isolate (90% is whey). That’s 2.5 grams of an amino acid profile that had soy as its origin, but now bears little resemblance to actual soy. The use of sucralose was the choice over other artificial sweeteners or HFCS because there is still no credible research that would indicate it being harmful. I’d prefer not to use it, but for this product it was the best compromise.
Having said all this, I am nearing the completion of a two-year R&D project that will result in a radical new formulation that will blow your socks off. And I’ve found elegant (albeit costly) solutions to many of the compromises that the “old technology” required. The product should be available in a few months.

When your workout consists of
Swim 2500 yds.
5×5 Routine
1/4 mile sprintsx8, under 1:25 with a set of pullups or pushups between sprints.
6-10 mile run, 7-8min/miles
Is it necessary to include grains to keep up with the amount of energy your body is expending?

It’s never necessary to include grains to keep up. Even if you think you require more glucose/glycogen, there are far better alternatives.

How much Vitamin D will be in the new supplement? And will it be in an gel capsule with oil?

2,000 IU per capsule, 60 capsules per bottle. It will not be an oil gel. All you need to do is take it with or near any meal that includes fat (which, in the case of Primal, is just about any meal or snack).

Will the Primal Blueprint DVD and audio book be available separately from the Primal Leap Kit package?

The Audio Book will definitely be made available separate from the Primal Leap Kit. The DVD will not.

You’ve touched on this in the past, but could you explore Bodyweight Exercises more? I’d like to move beyond just pushups/burpees etc (even though your ‘Prison Workout’ post has been a Godsend!) but there’s a lot of weird information out there. I’d like to get some from a trusted source, and by that I mean you.

Stay tuned for Primal Blueprint Fitness, due out (for free) in early July. Bodyweight routines are the foundation of PBF Lift Heavy Things.

I would love to see some workouts for the less … buff among us. I’ve never managed a real pushup in my life. Can you give some of us ways to work up to pushups, pull-ups (also never managed one), etc, without a gym?

Progressions to master bodyweight movements will be provided in Primal Blueprint Fitness. You’ll be doing pushups and pull-ups in no time.

I’d like to see you address the primal lifestyle specifically as it relates to our children.

I’ll keep this request in mind for future articles. In the meantime, enjoy these archived posts:

Raising Healthy Seedlings Category

I’ve had my Five Fingers for a few years now and love them. But they stink. Badly. Any ideas? I tried washing them in the laundry and it didn’t help much.

In my experience just throwing my FiveFingers in the washing machine and then letting them air-dry does the trick. If that doesn’t fix the funk check out this article over at Birthday Shoes:

The Definitive Guide to Cleaning Vibram Five Fingers a.k.a. How to Get the Smell out of your Vibrams!

Thanks again for all your questions. Send me more and I’ll try to get to them all. Grok on!

TAGS:  dear mark

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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55 thoughts on “Dear Mark: Rapid Fire Answers to Your Most Pressing Primal Questions”

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  1. I find putting a dryer sheet in my vibrams after use keeps them smelling pretty good.

    1. I soaked mine in lukewarm water with baking soda for an hour, then tossed in the washing machine. Got rid of some pretty strong-smelling odours. To prevent them just sprinkle a tiny bit of baking soda in them after you take them off.

    2. I will have to try this. My vibrams are satrting to smell somewhat after one month. I have not washed them yet and will have to do so soon too.

    3. Dryer sheets are loaded with chemicals you’re no doubt absorbing through your feet after they’ve been in your shoes. Have you considered trying baking soda instead? I’d also recommend avoiding dryer sheets in your laundry as well.

    4. I think the answer might be soaking. I wore mine in a dunk tank at a fundraiser, and after ten minutes of soaking in the (thankfully) warm water of the dunk tank and a nice air dry after, they smell fine!

      And trust me, they were getting FUNK TASTIC.

      1. Soak them over night in a bucket of luke warm water with a couple cups of white vinegar, then let them air dry, in the sun if possible. The vinegar not only deodorizes, it kills off the bacteria that causes the oder. Also prevents things like foot fungus or warts from spreading. My mom taught us this trick as kids when we would go all summer wearing Keds with no socks, just sweaty bare feet. This is also what the kayak rental/lessons places around here do to clean the water shoes they provide for the customers to use.
        I am betting the dunk tank had chlorine in the water which would also kill bacteria but is not as eco or health-friendly as vinegar.

        1. Ok, I’m trying vinegar next. I was thinking vinegar would leach the colors out, but after looking it up it might have the opposite effect of protecting the colors.

          Letting them air dry in the sun would fade bright color and black pretty quickly though.

    5. I soak mine periodically in a mixture of hot water, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide(not too much because I don’t want to “bleach” them). I also occasionally pop an effervescent denture cleaning tablet in each and soak in hot water. Between those two methods and occasionally tossing in the washer, I have tamed my once funky VFFs.

    6. I’ve found that the best way to keep my Vibrams (which I wear 90% of the time I’m wearing shoes; to work, to the gym, hiking, etc.) from getting stinky is just to invest in toe socks. I like the Injinji, but I’ve been told Feelmax are quite nice as well. Previously I was having to run my Vibrams through the washer every few days to keep the smell tolerable, now I wash them about once a month (and not because they stink, but just because they need washing).

      Another bit of advice that might help you: put them in the freezer. For this to work they need to be dry, then stick them in a ziploc bag and freeze them for about 12 hours. This kills most odor causing bacteria.

  2. Get some of the enzyme cleaner that divers use to soak/clean their gear periodically. That works well on clearing funky smells that have an organic basis.

  3. Thanks Mark, for taking the time to answer so many questions.

    I’ve got one: I have a lot of friends who are jumping on the low carb train, which is great, but I’m not sure if they’re seeing the whole picture. They find out that saturated fat isn’t bad for you and grains are, so suddenly meat is the main attraction of every meal. Is this really what you suggest? I was under the impression that meals were really centered around vegetables; huge servings of meat aren’t necessarily the basis of the diet. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, a burger for lunch, and a steak or chicken breast for dinner isn’t exactly what I was seeing the Primal Blueprint as. Maybe you could touch on what the ideal balance of vegetables, meats or proteins, fats, and primal carbs should be?

    1. I know your question is for Mark but I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents.
      Everybody evolved at one specific place at some point.
      Coastal tribes would have had more fish, crab, etc than anything else.
      Wood Tribes would have had more deer, boar and forest berries like blueberries, etc and along tree lines vegetation. And perhaps short grass fields would offer lettuce types (dandylion is still made into salad in europe btw).
      Just follow your cravings. If your brain tells you to eat meat…then eat meat.
      I am not following the 60% vegetables/30% meat and 10% fruit rule at all.
      My body tells me something different every day. 1 day I eat steak in the afternoon with nothing else and in the evening a pork chop with chopped parsley.
      The next day all I consume is a salad (raddishes, lettuce, chives) and perhaps a plate of mushrooms and onions fried in coconut oil on top of the stove.
      The next day i’ll binge on fruit until I pop, then boil bone marrow and pour it over my left over salad.

      So after 1 week total it would look similar to what is suggested here:
      40-60% meat source, and a basic 25-25% vegetables-fruits.
      And 40-60% could be 1 week of 45% and the next week of 61% meats.
      An eskimo in the modern world would probably consume 80% meat (fish) without even thinking about it…and it would be just right for him.

      1. “Just follow your cravings”. quoted from above. This has definitely been my experience also, but didn’t happen right away. When I first started paleo eating I was eating more veggies and nuts than anything and my brain(I wasn’t talking to my self, I dont think) told me to start eating more meat and fat. Now, for example there are days when I eat 3 pounds of meat one day, skip food all together the next day and the next day I’ll eat veggies. I guess I just eat whatever I want whenever I want naturally. It’s a great lifestyle that allows freedom to food!

    2. I think you are close… Meat with veggies is key, and as it’s a high fat diet you can’t keep the ratios where you want them with less protein and more veggies (not much fat in these, last time I checked; and don’t forget about seeds and nuts either).

      It’s that initial and fast weight-loss phase that is all about very low carb meals. I am guessing that is why the focus you bring up is on protein intake alone (hopefully with some vitamin / oil supplementation); but once the optimum weight is achieved bigger salads and more berries seem to be a preferable MO by most. (That’s just the scuttle-butt, of course.)

    3. Dunno if this helps everyone, but the prescription for performance/athletics (weight loss?) is something like 1 g. of protein (Zone-style, only meat and eggs need apply) per lb. of body weight per day. Keep carbs around 100 for maintenance, 50 for weight loss. Fill in the corners of your appetite with various fats at each meal until you’re satisfied.

      It’s pretty easy after awhile to eyeball your protein so the only thing you really need to watch is carbs, if you aim for higher carb sources like fruit, certain veggies, and nuts.

      Hope this helps!

  4. I found a mineral-based spray (I think it’s called “Crystal”) at the drugstore that is for foot and shoe odor. It works great on my Nike Frees. I spray my feet before putting them on and then spray them inside after I’m done. And they can get pretty darn funky.

      1. What about cashews? They aren’t technically a nut either, are they?

        1. They’re their own thing, I believe. And to be avoided generally as they are higher carb.

    1. Loaded with O6’s! Of all the “nuts,” peanuts are down there with pine nuts.

  5. Thanks for addressing the issue of calories. There are definitely some calorie nazis in the forums that think any of us who pay attention to our calories have it all wrong. I wonder if they read the book?

  6. I would love to eventually stop counting calories, but for now it’s working for me in terms of weight loss. This post answered a lot of questions for me.

  7. This answered a lot of my questions too. Thanks Mark! You should do these more often. I think twice a month is a good number… anyone?

  8. I’ll be looking forward to more bodyweight workouts as well! Thanks Mark!

  9. Bodyweight exercises are great but can be difficult for some people. I like that Mark mentioned that progressions will be taught for building up to the real thing. There’s a course that talks about progressions really nicely call Convict Conditioning (the title is a little cheesy). Good info. I wrote about a little article about it on my blog

    It’s pretty good stuff and I look forward to seeing Mark’s Primal Workout. Grok on!


  10. Scott Sonnon has produced a lot of good body weight workout DVD’s, but I look forward to Mark’s new blueprint as well.

    I just received the Primal Blueprint and find it fascinating. The big pharma bull#$%^ is unreal!

  11. Mark,

    Speaking to workout recovery in today’s outstanding post, what about the male gender like myself, that are tested low in testosterone, and are in their 50’s. What can we do to naturally increase the T-level?
    I for one, seem to take twice as long to recover than a few years ago even with eating Paleo and PB. Will increasing my starches and good carbs create more energy? I increased my good fat intake by double (100g to 170g a day) and flt really good for a week but no longer do.

    1. @David. Depends on what you call low testosterone. T levels drop linearly in even healthy males as we age. 50 is no longer 19. Recovery from a minor injury may have taken three days when you were young and now takes three months. Same goes for a workout. That’s just the way it is (circle of life and all that crap). Yes, you should do whatever you can to raise T naturally (and a high-fat Primal eating style will help a lot. It’s not about eating more carbs as much as it is about giving yourself at least twice the recovery time between hard workouts. Train mostly to stay uninjured and let go of some of those new PR goals that can leave you fried. In fact, over training is the biggest factor in many men with low T.

      1. Thanks for the good reply. The testosterone range for men is from 220 whatever to 800. My level is at 190. A year ago it was at 110 but increased with testosterone shots up to 350. Yet, there seemed to be no benefits to improving muscle growth or enhancing my energy level.
        Felt worn out from crossfitWODS. Currentlt doing 2 to 3 crossfit workout weekly and try to run sprints once a week with one 2 mile run on another day.

        1. I am 57 and also have low testosterone (and take Androgel). According to my endocrinologist, even 350 would still be too low a level – something around 450 would be better. I was on the maximum dose of androgel when I started primal and my first lab after beginning went from around 280 to 660. We’ve backed off on the meds and my levels are 500-550.

    2. David, one thing that might help with your recovery is to never train to failure. Approach your workouts as practice. This is how old-timers used to lift well into old age.

  12. Mark, you answered the smelly Vibram question, but nothing on the prospect that humans were first evolved for long distance hunting (endurance hunting). What gives?

  13. Mark, I am definitely aware of this article. Anyway, thanks for your response. Looking forward to more rapid-response answers.

  14. I’m new to primal, reading the Primal Blueprint right now. I am also a type 1, insulin dependent diabetic, and have read a lot about how great primal is for type 2 diabetics, but literally nothing on how it can help, or possibly even hurt a type 1 who produces no insulin naturally. Any thoughts or anyone out there that is dealing w/ this would help, I’m really wanting to try this lifestyle, but do not want to end up in the hospital.

    1. Erika: Check out the book Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. It has lots of information on “low carb” living for type 1 diabetics (which he is), and it pretty much follows primal principals.

    2. Erika, I am a Type 1 too. Follow Nancy to Dr. Bernstein, then Dr. Ron Rosedale. I have travelled with him ( Dr. R) throughout India. Primal and very low carb are the way to go. Follow Mark, Dr B. and Dr. R…I will walk you thru, I am a Certified Personal Trainer as well. [email protected]

    3. I second Erika’s recommendation for Dr. Bernstein’s book. A type 1 who eats a low carb diet can more readily avoid lows and highs because if your insulin calculation is off (for any number of reasons) the consequences are not as great. In other words, if you are attempting to cover 12g of carbs and your dose is off, it can’t effect you nearly as much as being off when you are trying to cover 150g. There is a lot of helpful information in this book. Dr. Bernstein is a Type 1 also.

  15. Re: What to eat for endurance athletes trying to eat primally.

    I would recommend reading the Paleo Diet for Athletes. Its an easier read if youve already read The Paleo Diet, but its good all by itself too. It goes into very specific details about what to eat and when according to the length of your endurance race.

    I myself as a general rule will allow sweet potatoes into my diet for dinner after gym nights…you need a lil something after exerting yourself pretty hard for an hour+. Otherwise you run the risk of under eating and giving in to cravings.

    Thats the key to me, always control hunger.

  16. Mark, you talk about the benefits of a continuing primal lifestyle on fat burning for efficient weight loss. I typically follow a primal diet, but i have been in Europe for the last month and have indulged (both moderately and sometimes excessively) in non primal foods so that I can enjoy my european experience. The usual suspects include pizza, baguettes, rice, croissants, and gelato. I know you don’t approve of this type of behavior typically, but I want to know what the repercussions are of eating a little bit of grains and sugar daily for a limited period, and what it will do to the benefits the body has seen from a year of primal living… will it take a lot to get back?

  17. Two questions. The first one which I am sure has not been addressed, but if I’m wrong, for anyone who would care to enlighten me, I would appreciate it!

    1. What kind of hormone imbalance would result in irregular – or in the case of this particular friend – complete loss of menstrual cycle?

    2. I started primal living 30 days ago (tomorrow :)) and keep my carbs at about 50 grams per day (mostly from nuts and berries). I have used urine test strips a few times and apparently have still not reached a state of “ketosis”. One of my old college nutrition textbooks (which is responsible for my rich knowledge of Conventional Wisdom…great, talk about a waste of time) suggests that a three-day fast can jump start the utilization of ketone bodies to 30%.

    I’m wondering if this is a silly and unnecessary idea (which is likely) and ultimately asking how accurate the urine tests are?

    1. Did the hormone problems just start or have they been their since puberty? I had PCOS – polycystic ovarian syndrome – for most of my life and didnt have regular cycles. About 6 years ago, I had breast cancer and had my ovaries out so now I just have menopause issues. 🙂 Your friend might want to be tested for PCOS if this has been lifelong. Usualyl people become obese or overweight if they have it, but I was reed thin for most of my life until now.

  18. For people looking for great body weight exercise books, read building the gymnastic body or convict conditioning or is also a great source of workouts or even!

  19. Also, checkout one of PB’s links!

  20. Thanks for the links! Looking forward to any posts in the future about about our children and the primal lifestyle. Mine is still young (he’s two) and it just seems like it’ll be so much easier to just teach him the PB way from the beginning rather than to go back and try to correct bad eating habits later. As always, I’m trying to lead by example and I’m also trying to follow his example in areas where young kids seem to know best (ie. how to play, how to nap and wake rested, how to stop eating when you’re satisfied and how to eat when you’re hungry and not to satisfy some emotional need or craving). Any future words of inspiration would be appreciated!

  21. I’ve used the following trick to de-funk running shoes as well as getting rid of the awful stench of rotting squid juice spilled in my wife’s car (don’t ask!)

    Cat Litter. Wash the shoes, dry them to a reasonable point and then bury them in cat litter (without the cats) for a few days.

    Hope this works for VFFs, I don’t have a pair seeing as I’ve never seen them here in Dubai.
    Being born and raised in South Africa I’ve been lucky enough to grow up barefoot, so even VFFs are more shoe than I prefer.
    If this works for VFFs please let me know!

  22. I have attempted two “casual walks” …the attempt part came where my HR started out close to upper fat-burning zone. I made sure my monitor was correct by doing a manual check several times. I literally have to walk so slow that there’s no point. I look lost or drunk if I walk at a pace that keeps me in fat burning zone. (55-75% of 180-age) How can I manage to go on a walk at even a normal pace without getting my HR too high? My regular “doing whatever” HR is usually bordering my lower fat-burning zone. Can I assume that I am just in my fat-burning zone just by” derping” around the house? I really enjoy walks with my dogs…according to my HR monitor…(and manual checks) … my casual walk gets my HR up to an avg of 119 – 125. (max is 137) but at this pace, I can comfortably hold a conversation without huffing-and-puffing. How do I successfully do this 3X/wk?