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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Category: Weight Loss

Dear Mark: Fasting, Training, and Growth Hormone; Wear and Tear on the Arteries

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a couple of questions from the comment sections of the last couple weeks. First, it’s been established that fasting and exercise both raise growth hormone. What about fasted exercise—does that have an even stronger effect? And what about continuing to fast after your fasted workout? Then, I discuss the inevitability (or not) of wear and tear on the arteries from blood flow-induced shear stress. Is shear stress “bad,” or do certain factors make it worse?

Let’s dig in.

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How to Accelerate Weight Loss with Fasting

Folks, you know I’m a believer in intermittent fasting for longevity, autophagy, mental clarity, fitness performance, metabolic health, and more. So, when I heard that Dr. Jason Fung, a world expert on fasting, and his team at Pique Tea were putting together a Fasting Tea Challenge this month, I wanted to know more. And I think you will, too. You can check out the details and sign up here. (There’s more info and the sign-up link at the bottom of post, too.)

The Challenge looks to be a great experience for anyone interested in intermittent fasting—including those trying it for the first time and those who have done it before but want to make it more of a regular tool in their healthy lifestyle routine. I’m also thrilled that Dr. Jason Fung has stopped by the blog today to share a bit about fasting for weight loss. Enjoy—and be sure to share any questions you have on the comment board. 

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Are All Calories the Same?

As you and millions of other people embark on new dietary journeys, you’re going to hear a ton about calories.

“Calorie counting is everything.”

“If you aren’t counting calories, you won’t lose weight.”

“Just eat less calories than you expend.” For one, it’s “fewer.” Two, that’s not the whole picture.

These statements aren’t wrong exactly, but they offer an overly simplistic picture of the relationship between weight loss and calories. They ignore context. And context is everything, especially when you’re talking about calories and weight loss.

Most people (even many scientists) believe that the body composition challenge is a relatively simple equation: to lose weight you must reduce calories (either eat less or burn more), to gain weight you must add calories (eat more or burn less), and to maintain weight you keep calories constant (eat and burn identical amounts). Calories in over calories out.

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How to Restart Keto

Last month, I gave a heads up about what I’m calling the Keto Kickoff—a quick and comprehensive 7-day dive into the ketogenic diet, a pure distillation of the lessons contained in The Keto Reset Diet book. That starts next Monday (sign-up closes Sunday night 1/6/19), and it assumes, but does not require, an audience without any formal experience in the ketogenic diet.

What about a similar-but-different-enough population—those who have tried keto, stopped for any number of reasons, and want back on the wagon? Should those looking to restart keto do or know anything different?

First and foremost, the basics still apply. Anyone looking to restart keto should pay attention to all the stuff I’ve covered in previous posts and books and will be covering in the Keto Kickoff email series (so sign up today!). Going keto is going keto.

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Dear Mark: Broth, Fasting, Coffee, and Metformin (and More)

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a bunch of questions from comment sections. First, did I get AMPK and mTOR mixed up in a recent post? Yes. Second, I give a warning for those who wish to add ginger to their broth. Third, is it a problem that we can’t accurately measure autophagy? Fourth, how does coffee with coconut oil affect a fast? Fifth, is there a way to make mayonnaise with extra B12 and metformin? Actually, kinda. Sixth, should you feel awkward about proposing hypotheses or presenting scientific evidence to your doctor? No.

Let’s go:

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Does Bone Broth Break a Fast?

This is a surprisingly common question.

To get it out of the way: Yes, it does. Bone broth contains calories, and true fasts do not allow calorie consumption. You eat calories, you break the fast.

However, most people aren’t fasting to be able to brag about eating no calories for X number of days. They fast for shorter (often intermittent) periods of time for specific health benefits. It’s entirely possible that bone broth “breaks a fast” but allows many of the benefits we associate with fasting to occur.

As is the problem with so many of these specific requests, there aren’t any studies addressing the specific question. The scientific community hasn’t caught up to the current trends sweeping the alternative health community. But we can isolate the most common benefits of fasting and see how bone broth—and the components therein—interact.

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