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“Just cut calories.”

Are you tired of hearing this? “Use a little willpower. Push away from the table. Eat fewer calories or get on that treadmill.”

Wrong. If it was that easy, about the only fat people in the world would be sumo wrestlers. There are lots of overweight people with great willpower. Exercise generally won’t result in a weight loss. Fewer calories won’t necessarily either. (Actually, you can increase your willpower, as Mark explains. But that won’t help unless you use it the right way to live primally. Anyway, why use up your willpower pushing away from the table when the Primal Blueprint can make healthy living easy. OK, mostly easy.)

Researchers recently compared the total energy expenditure of patients on four-week isocaloric low-fat, low-glycemic, and low-carb diets. Although activity levels and caloric intake remained the same across all groups, the low-carb group burned 300 more calories per day than the low-fat group. More

Increasing your exercise beyond what the Blueprint recommends will have very little effect on your weight. For one thing, studies have shown that you probably will eat more. Even if you don’t, you will do more harm to yourself than good. If you haven’t done so, read Mark’s Case Against Cardio. And you would have to do a huge amount of cardio to lose much fat.

Furthermore, it is not simply calories in, fat on your waist. For example,

“Researchers found that mice exposed to a relatively dim light at night over eight weeks had a body mass gain that was about 50 percent more than other mice that lived in a standard light-dark cycle.”

“Although there were no differences in activity levels or daily consumption of food, the mice that lived with light at night were getting fatter than the others, . . .” Ohio State University (2010, October 12). Too much light at night at night may lead to obesity, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 18, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2010/10/101011173249.htm

OK, they were mice not humans. I don’t think it matters in this case. See also Gorillas Go Green. Zoo gorillas eat twice as many calories and lose weigh on Big Assed Salads (that’s a technical primal term).

How do you lose weight? The short answer to losing weight is “follow the Primal Blueprint.” The much longer answer is found in Mark’s The Context of Calories.

Here is a brilliant analysis of the “just eat fewer calories” idea.

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Mardi gras maskMardi Gras is on Tuesday, February 21. No need to feel left out just because you are on Primal and don’t eat beans, rice or wheat flour roux. There are plenty of options for Primal Cajun food.

  • Try my “Gumbo” Stir Fry. Now that you are off wheat, you may like it better than “real” gumbo. Lots of my other recipes would work just fine for your celebration too. (I like spicy food.)
  • Primal Jambalaya sounds good, although I have never made it. Honestly, though, I would use rice not cauliflower. It’s Mardi Gras after all!
  • How about Spicy Shrimp?
  • Add some greens cooked in bacon fat, with plenty of red pepper flakes or other heat.
  • Yams/sweet potatoes with lots of butter.
  • Oysters?
  • Personally, if I wanted red beans, I would have them but considering the above, why?

By the way, in New Orleans and other places with Mardi Gras celebrations, they don’t wait until Fat Tuesday to start partying. Let the good times roll!

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Did your friends and relatives shove an article in your face that seemed to say a high fat diet causes brain damage? Read the two following blogs and learn the truth. The study mentioned wasn’t about the effect of high fat diets. It was about how the brain changes when an animal (in this case rats) becomes obese. The researchers added fat to the rats’ normal lab chow to get them fat. (Dr. Guyenet was one of the authors of the study.)

Does a High Fat Diet Cause Brain Damage? Mark Sisson, Mark’s Daily Apple, 1/9/2012.

High Fat Diets, Obesity and Brain Damage, Stephan Guyenet, Ph.D., Whole Health Source, 1/2/2012.

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Moved to ancestralhealth.info/vegan-to-primal.htm

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1950s Thanksgiving dinner

[Warning: Rant]

“All things in moderation, nothing in excess.” Pericles (or some old Greek).

This has to be the most tiresome quotation of all time. None of the world’s great achievements have come from people taking that as their motto. Steve Jobs started creating Apple with the idea of making something “insanely great” – the Apple computer. He continued to be a jerk about demanding products beyond Microsoft’s moderately good. He tried to live every day like it was his last.

Mark Sisson is not going to bring health to a million people by being moderate. He got his credibility by being an immoderately driven athlete. There is nothing moderate about his daily Big Assed Salad. Our ancestors haven’t eaten daily big assed salads since they came down out of the trees. The Primal exercise concept could be called “moderate,” but Mark would probably immoderately spend 60+ hours/week in “play” exercise if he could.

Doctors and other health “experts” infuriate me when their automatic, cover-your-ass reaction to everything is nervous nelly caution. When I am exposed to a virus or feel like one is trying to get me, I take a totally immoderate dose of vitamin D3, like 40,000 IU daily for three days. The “moderate” approach would be to take “a little extra” D. Why? For any scientifically valid reason? No, just because they have a namby-pamby attitude.

True, something like moderation is often the best course. Kurt Harris articulates it well for me in William Munny eats his vegetables. Harris is definitely not namby-pamby. The title of this blog entry comes from him being called the Clint Eastwood of nutrition. “I’ve killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I’m here to kill you, Ancel Keys, for what you done to nutrition.” Hehe. I love it.

Don’t tell me this is “Moderation in all things, including moderation.” Grrrrrrr! That’s a swell namby-pamby slogan for living in 1950s suburbia. Screw moderation. Screw moderation in moderation.

On a practical level, I am thinking about people who would benefit from primal but take the attitude “Sprints are fine, but we shouldn’t get close to our maximum heart rate. Lifting is good  but I play it safe and use the isolation machines at the gym. I take a multivitamin for insurance. Red meat can be part of a healthy diet, just eat it in moderation. Eat bread but watch your calories. And so on.” (Of course, they think it’s fine to eat a vast amount of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, although, if pressed, they would call this moderation.) Ok, these people are going to be healthier than folks pigging out at McDonald’s. But not as healthy as they would be on the “dangerous Primal diet.”

Chose wisely when to be immoderately passionate. But be passionate about some things. I should note that I often see this attitude in Mark’s Daily Apple forum members.

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Bye BAS! See ya in the spring!

I don’t understand how Mark can eat Big Assed Salads all year round. I know he lives in Malibu, but it does get cool and overcast there in the winter. For me, salad is strictly a spring and summer romance. Oh, I might have a few side salads when going out to dinner or at someone’s house. And I will have have lettuce with tacos a couple times a week. But a whole dinner based on lettuce, I don’t think so. In the winter, I want my veggies roasted or in a soup or stew. Or stir fried. Or something hot anyway.

My understanding is that Mark thinks we need big assed salads for antioxidants. I’m not so sure. See Kurt Harris’ William Munny Eats His Vegetables.

Come spring, though, I’ll be starving for a big assed salad. Grok and Grokina didn’t eat salads, but I’ll bet they were nomming greens in the spring. I don’t understand people who have no interest in salads in the spring and summer.

[I realize that the salad should be bigger and have some meat on it. Hehe.]

See also Did Grok eat big assed salads?

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Steak, potatoes and veggiesWhen I was a child 60+ years ago, I ate “meat and ‘tatters” and heard “eat your veggies” and “cut back on the bread and other starches if you need to lose weight.” Milk was whole. We put butter on our bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, etc. Fruit and vegetables were eaten in season. Variety was the spice of life. (Living in Southern California, we also ate simple Mexican foods.) We “worked up an appetite” instead of snacking all day. (“Don’t spoil your appetite!”)

What have I learned from 60 years of food fads – low fat, whole grains, Mediterranean diet, macrobiotics, veganism, Atkins, low sodium, avoiding cholesterol, strict paleo? Not much. I have learned to mostly avoid grains and go easy on fructose. (And, of course, I have learned the reasons for eating as I do.)

So I eat meat (real not processed), potatoes and other starches to the extent I can, a few servings per day of different colors of veggies, some fruit, butter, whole pasteurized milk and other dairy. Frequently, the dishes are traditional ones from other cultures, or fusions of them. I’m doing fine.

Food fads – Pfft!

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