Meet Mark

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...

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December 29 2013

Weekend Link Love – Edition 276

By Mark Sisson

Weekend Link Love Pretty much anyone who’s ever tried the tired old “calories in, calories out, eat less, move more” way to lose weight can tell you that doesn’t really work, especially not for the long haul. Jonathan Bailor’s fantastic new book, The Calorie Myth, explains exactly why the old paradigm doesn’t work and shows you how you can lose weight by emphasizing the quality of what you eat and how you move – even if you eat more and move less than before. Enter to win a copy, or just buy the book outright (and get some awesome bonuses exclusive to MDA readers!). I highly recommend it.

There are still a couple days to take advantage of the special offer we’re running for Denise Minger’s Death by Food Pyramid. It ends December 31.

Even though her book is done, Denise Minger remains busy as ever, having recently appeared on three podcasts to talk about her new book: Live to 110, Smash the Fat, and The Smarter Science of Slim.

Research of the Week

Psyching yourself up when stricken with performance anxiety is better than trying to calm yourself down (which, let’s face it, never works).

When it comes to partial meniscal tears, sham knee surgery might work just as well as actual knee surgery.

Interesting Blog Posts

How to go without your phone for a month in a major city (and not go crazy and totally disrupt your professional life).

Turns out coffee won’t stunt kids’ growth. Cool, but I think there remain valid reasons not to dose your toddlers with caffeine.

Media, Schmedia

After ten years of losses, McDonald’s has finally closed up shop in Bolivia. The people there just like actual food too much.

Paleo (or Caveman Diet) was the most searched-for diet term on Google this year. It’s the world’s oldest fad diet.

Satire or Serious?

Who’s ready to welcome the Medium-Chain Sugar Amphiphiles, a new “family of healthy vegetable oil structuring agents,” into our lives?

Everything Else

America’s citizenry are in the unenviable position of suffering an expansion of morbidity even as they experience a compression of life expectancy.

McDonald’s isn’t all bad, though (if entirely bereft of – or, come to think of it, filthy with – self-awareness): in their employee resource handbook, they recommend that McDonald’s employees limit fast food.

Grizzly bears may not be as easy to manipulate as lab rats, but they serve as better models of human metabolism.

Are allergic reactions an evolved defense against toxins and venoms?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Dec 29 ? Jan 4)

Comment of the Week

OK boss I need 30 days off. I think I might be allergic to work and we best reintroduce it slowly :)

Nice idea! I might even humor it if a Worker Bee tried it on me.

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23 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 276”

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  1. A month without a cell phone… what a crazy experience. I hope to be able to pull that off myself some day.

    1. I’m with you!

      My biggest bug bear is people constantly taking photos with their phone of everything they see. Often, being present in the moment and creating the memory feel more important to me than having a picture that I’ll probably only look at when trying to clear some memory…

  2. I can’t imagine there being a good reason to give a toddler caffeine. 🙂

    As for Paleo and Primal being highly Googled in 2013, I think 2014 is going to be the breakthrough year for the lifestyle! I know in New Orleans we have 400 people in a group and the number is rising every day. People are beginning to wake up. It is just a matter of time before the pendulum will swing full force! I’m happy to be a part of it. Grok on!

  3. PRIMAL ROCKS….lets all try to make “Primal” the most searched for diet term in 2014

  4. What if I want to live past 110? Is it still worth it to read Denise’s book?
    Actually I’d like to beat Bilbo but I think I’ll be lucky to make it to 90 or 100.

  5. The article about Bolivia is pretty silly. I lived there & most urban dwellers eat street food on the go, much of which is fried and not exactly healthy. McDonald’s is failing because probably only 30% of the population can afford to eat there, and even then not on a regular basis. Plus, you can get a better burger at a street stand for 1/4th the price.

    When I was there, Subway and Dominos were also starting up in La Paz … Wonder if they’re still open.

  6. I find it hard to believe that the truth is getting so hard to cover up that even McDonald’s is having trouble suppressing it internally!

  7. Holy smokes! At first glance I thought I read “Medium-Chain Sugar Amphetimines”. Checked myself with a second look and then though that amphetamines might actually be less harmful than those amphiphiles.

  8. I think it’s actually sensible that McD’s would advise their employees to avoid fast food. They are surrounded it and they get a discount, it must be tempting to eat it every day and that is quite a bit worse than eating it once a week. I know when I worked at Burger King, I was eating there all the time…

    1. It doesn’t help that most of the workforce only gets 15 or 30 minutes to eat! Unless you bring your own lunch (but where to store it?). or work in a store close to other stores (like a grocery store), you’re pretty much stuck eating there just to save time.

      Did I ever work at Mickey D’s? Yes, while going to college WAYYYYYYY back when. If I had to do it all over again, I would skip those meals because I now can (with the help of a high-fat, keto diet). Honestly, who can’t go 4-6 hours without eating, besides carb-infested bodies?

  9. I totally agree with the “get excited” mentality to overcome performance anxiety. When I feel the nerves, I coax myself to get excited and passionate about my subject matter.
    This is how I’ve managed to go from a rubbish public speaker to a half-decent one.

  10. Growing up in Brazil, I ended up drinking quite a bit of coffee as a child (and yes even as a toddler). My mom wasn’t happy about it, but it happened anyways, cuz that’s what happens in Brazil, as soon as they are eating regular food, children are given coffee in the morning for breakfast and in the afternoon during snack. I’m the tallest girl in my family, so I’m pretty sure my growth was not stunted. Unless, I was actually supposed to be 6 feet tall or something…

  11. I also read today that Kellan Lutz, the star of the upcoming Summit Entertainment film “The Legend of Hercules” (opens 10 Jan 2014), turned to paleo diet to chisel his physique for the role.

  12. Mark, you say you highly recommend The Calorie Myth, so I expected it to be in line with primal eating. However, the amazon description of The Calorie Myth states, ‘When we eat the right foods—plants, lean proteins, nuts, and legumes—our body is naturally able to maintain a healthy set point weight. But when we eat sugar, starches, fats, and other poor quality foods, our body’s regulatory system becomes “clogged” and prevents us from burning extra calories.’

    Is that description of the book wrong? If it’s accurate, why do you highly recommend an eating plan that calls fat a “poor quality” food, and that counts legumes among the “right foods”?

    1. I’ve read Bailor’s other book, “The Surprising Science of Slim,” and I must say he did a great job putting together one of the most comprehensive bibliographies on the topic. He reports based on what’s available in the scientific literature, not purely conjecture and certainly not just opinion. This presents a bit of a limitation in his work, as nutritional science often takes the premise that the USDA food pyramid is “healthy”, and therefore fat is “bad”. Bailor actually debunked the validity of the food pyramid in his last book, and attempts to rebuild the knowledge base from a perspective grounded in fact.

      I also highly recommend that people here read his work (not that you know who I am or should take my recommendations as commands 😉 ), as he pulls together a tremendous amount of literature and spans topics that I haven’t seen covered here or in the Paleosphere often. But read it with a critical eye, as you should read any interpretation of the primary literature, as he made a few leaps of logic in his last book. Also, there is plenty of information in the world that hasn’t been studied or proven yet, and may appear to be missing or overlooked when one reports fact and not opinion.

      The true basis of is diet recommendations has little to do with fat. He recommends eating 10 servings of low-starch vegetables a day, plenty of protein, a few servings of fruit, and “enough dairy to keep you happy”. His exercise recommendations fit nicely with those advocated for here. There are a few minor differences, but certainly no reason to discount his work out of hand.

      1. Correction to the above, Bailor’s last book is “The Smarter Science of Slim”. I apologize for the error.

  13. I’ve been thinking of changing my avatar to a picture of a spiral and my name to The Concentric Eccentric. heh, scratch that.