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This Week’s Guest:
As an athlete, author, and blogger, Mark Sisson has an impressive track record in several fields. He is the best-selling author of The Primal Blueprint and The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation, and his site, Mark’s Daily Apple, which offers tips and advice for “primal living in the modern world,” boasts 1.6 million unique visitors each month.
On the athletic side, he is a former world-class endurance athlete with an impressive 2:18 marathon time. Equally impressive is his fourth-place finish in the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. Even now, after his realizations about how excessive endurance training can lead to health problems, he likes to stay active through high-stakes ultimate frisbee tournaments.
He is also the founder of Primal Nutrition, a company devoted to providing health education and designing state-of-the-art supplements.
In this episode:
- [02:01] – Mark talks about the physical effects of endurance training. Some amount is positive, he tells us, but beyond a certain point, too much endurance training can have a negative physical effect.
- [05:16] – After experiencing health issues and seeing them appear in his friends, Mark started to look at how endurance training impacts the body.
- [06:53] – What is the solution to the question of finding a balance of training enough but not too much?
- [11:37] – Mark explains his views on caloric restriction. He doesn’t believe that calories need to be restricted as much as glucose.
- [18:06] – Our host, Stephan, asks Mark if he’s off sugar completely. Fortunately for listeners with a sweet tooth, Mark still consumes sugar, and explains how he views moderate sugar consumption.
- [19:24] – Sugar has a profound impact on the immune system. We learn just how much of an impact it can make–not only on colds and the flu but even possibly on cancer.
- [20:37] – We learn about Mark’s thoughts on the books Grain Brain by David Perlmutter and Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, as well as his perspective on eating grains.
- [23:42] – Mark offers a spectrum of grains, revealing which are worse than others.
- [24:38] – Mark talks about vegetarian-eating strategies in the context of minimizing grain consumption.
- [26:15] – We learn more about Mark’s eating schedule. He tends to eat all his calories within a compressed period of around 6 hours per day but prefers to reserve the term “intermittent fasting” for periods of at least 24 hours without eating.
- [28:02] – Mark gives a scenario about cell divisions in relation to longevity and diet.
- [30:50] – Instead of planning fasts, Mark may decide to fast for a day if he realizes he has already skipped breakfast and lunch, and isn’t hungry for dinner.
- [36:08] – Mark dislikes the BMI concept, and he explains why: it turns out his own BMI says that he’s borderline overweight because of his muscle density.
- [38:36] – Since BMI is not a good metric, what would be better? Mark says that body fat percentage is the best metric.
- [41:38] – What should listeners pay most attention to in their blood work results?
- [43:03] – Stephan asks Mark what he thinks of being super oxygenated. Mark answers that he isn’t a biohacker and is more interested in intuitive methods for the average citizen.
- [44:35] – Mark tells us what the best strategy for building muscle mass is.
- [48:38] – Stephan asks Mark about the difference between primal and paleo diets. We learn what the differences are but also how the two diets are getting closer together.
- [50:24] – Is there a way to undo damage to the body?
- [51:46] – How should people start following Mark’s advice? His books are one option, but all the information he has to offer is also on his site for free.
Check out this awesome testimonial from my friend Greg, on a simple yet profound transformation he had simply from listening to this episode of The Optimized Geek:
Links and resources:
@Mark_Sisson on Twitter
Mark’s Daily Apple
Mark’s Daily Apple on Facebook
The Primal Blueprint
The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation
Primal Health Coach
Ironman World Championship
Dr. William Davis