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The Primal Blueprint Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss vibrant health and boundless energy

Posted Dec 04 2010 10:05pm

The Primal Blueprint Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss vibrant health and boundless energy

The Primal Blueprint gives you the power to flip the switches that control your weight, health, energy levels and, ultimately, your destiny of a long, healthy, happy life. Combining modern genetic science with the immutable principles of human evolution, Health and fitness expert Mark Sisson presents a revolutionary, easy-to-follow program based on ten Primal Blueprint behavior laws that unlock the secret to weight control, health and longevity.

* Learn about the one concept that will guarantee lifelong weight control-no matter who you are, how much extra weight you carry, or what your family genes are like.

* Learn the reasons you crave sugars and sweets–and easy steps to eliminate those cravings forever.

* Naturally control your appetite-and blood sugar levels-so well that you will sometimes have to remind yourself to eat!

* Burn your stored body fat as a ready source of energy 24 hours a day.

* Discover how popular low-fat, grain-based diets can trigger illness, insidious lifelong weight gain and devastating diseases.

* Learn how a high-fat diet can help you lose weight and why it is actually healthy.

* Reject gimmicks like regimented meal times, portion control, strict caloric ratios, and food point scores. Instead, eat “Primal” foods and be totally satisfied at every meal.

* Discover a complete strategy of eating, exercising and living that is fun and comes naturally-even for the “unmotivated” types!

* Achieve incredible fitness breakthroughs in a fraction of the time (and with a fraction of the suffering!) compared to conventional fitness programs.

* Reduce your risk of developing conditions like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Do all this and more by learning about the precise foods, exercises and other natural behaviors that turn some “health-promoting” genes on and other “health-destroying” genes off.

5 Stars Thought provoking!
I ran across this book almost by accident. I consider myself a fairly healthy 51 year old, but after struggling to loose the 8 additional pounds that I have accumulated over the last 15 years, I realized that something was fundamentally wrong with my approach. I tried varying my caloric intake but with no success. My exercise regime has always been good and fairly consistent. no problems there. After reading The Primal Blueprint and making some simple modifications to my diet, I’ve been able to cut out 4 pounds of excess body weight in about 6 weeks. I am less hungry for snacks and less tired after eating my lunch. The most important thing about this book is that it seems to make sense to me. I highly recommend it.

5 Stars Common Sense Revisited
I very much enjoyed Mark’s book and thought it was well written and humorous, while providing a refreshing dose of common sense. We’re so bombarded with Conventional Wisdom these days through the media, the government, the medical establishment and those like the processed food industry who know there’s a real profit to be made through everyone towing the line, that it’s great to find someone who isn’t afraid to speak out and disagree with the normal advice being thrown at us.

I was surprised with Mark’s advice on exercise but it does make perfect sense. The diet wasn’t a real surprise as I’d read Cordain’s “The Paleo Diet” and Audette’s “Neanderthin”. The only surprises were that Mark found ways to allow the occasional wine or dark chocolate, which are definitely selling points. All in all, an excellent book which I highly recommend.

5 Stars Outstanding!
I can’t remember the last time I read a book that I wanted to share with everyone I care about, but this is definitely it. I’ve been aware of this book for quite some time, but didn’t think I needed to read it due to visiting the author’s blog and similar websites on a regular basis for the past several years. I was wrong. A friend of mine let me borrow it, and for several days, I couldn’t put it down.

Calling this merely a diet or fitness book would be a mistake. The Primal Blueprint is about a complete lifestyle. Sisson clearly and pleasantly explains his ten Primal Laws – not only what they are, but all the myriad benefits that come from applying them.

Personally, I’ve been applying the Primal Blueprint myself for a while now, and the results have been just as promised: the fat has been melting off, I enjoy my food and never feel deprived (okay, I sometimes miss sugary foods, but less so as my body adapts, and I am able to indulge occasionally), and most importantly, I feel fantastic and full of energy.

I would strongly recommend the Primal Blueprint to everyone.

4 Stars Basically good, but too many pitches for other products
Overall I am enjoying this book. I only started the plan five days ago, so it is too early to tell what results will be. Having done well in the past with a diet based on the glycemic index, The New Sugar Busters! Cut Sugar to Trim Fat, I suspect it will work if I can stick to it. Some of the science Sisson quotes, like the Framingham Heart Study and the Nurses Study, are classics that I’ve heard referenced by doctors and the like, and it adds to the credibility. But then he’ll go and blow it by quoting someone like Deepak Chopra or Andrew Weil. Perhaps time will tell on whether those two have the right idea, but I’m not convinced that they aren’t at least partially quacks, and Sisson would be better served sticking to peer-reviewed, replicated studies when he wants to add some credibility to his book.

That being said, he’s not the only one out there touting this kind of change in eating style: see alsoThe New ME Diet: Eat More, Work Out Less, and Actually Lose Weight While You Rest, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto , and sites such as [...]. Either it is the fad of the moment or they’re onto something ahead of the power curve of the conventional farming/eating/fitness industry. Time, again, will tell. What I do like is that he advocates moderation, and it isn’t a no-carb diet: eat lots of fruits and veggies, and some dairy if you want. I think that is a sensible change for any American to make, and this book simply lays out the reasons why it is better for us than high-carb diets.

The most annoying features of the book: 1) how repetitive it is, and 2) constant references to Sisson’s blog and supplement gig. Like quoting celebrity doctors instead of studies, this diminishes some of the credibility in my eyes. Instead of being horrendously repetitive, as if he thinks repetition will make a believer of the reader if science and anecdotes won’t, I’d prefer more useful content. Constantly referencing workouts or recipes or articles found on his blog is annoying, and the space wasted by the repetition of the plan’s basic rules and reasons would have been better used to include that content in the book. (Especially since the blog site doesn’t make it easy to find.) So, in short: good book if you the repetition of the same info doesn’t drive you insane, and if you can get past the ‘go see my blog’ and ‘buy my supplements’ pitches.

4 Stars Mostly good
Humans evolved for centuries to live a certain way. This way of life was disrupted by technological and social evolution. This disruption has caused many of society’s ills. By living as humanity evolved to live, one can reverse many of the chronic ills that plague modern man, such as obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. So goes the hypothesis in Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint.

I don’t disagree with this hypothesis, but I do believe that Sisson has an ideology that he wants to push, rightly or wrongly. I believe this ideology undermines Sisson’s case in some instances. A number of claims in the book strike me as being poorly supported or unsupported by data, or even inconsistent with other statements in the book. The “paleo movement” has its own brand of dogma that it likes to espouse based on what in my opinion is questionable empirical ground.

Some of these questionable claims are as follows:

Sisson discourages the consumption of grains due to “antinutrients” known as phytates; however, he neglects to mention that these are found in significantly greater abundance in nuts, which he encourages one to eat.

He promotes taking a multivitamin, despite little if any scientific evidence that doing so is beneficial to health. Science is full of various supplements that subsequently were shown to have few positive or even harmful effects on the body (beta carotene, vitamin c, etc.) Further, the supplement section reads like an advertisement, and features links to his supplement company. Nor does Sisson present the notion that a supplement, even in multivitamin form, most likely lacks many other nutrients that act in synergy with the nutrient being supplemented. (And it should go without saying that Grok [Sisson's name for the prototypical human] never took supplements.)

The way Sisson presents it, if you have a few slices of bread a day, you are on the fast track to diabetes. He likes to discuss the effect of carbohydrate consumption on insulin response, noting that carbs place higher on the glycemic index than do other foods. But these statements should be qualified by noting that consuming these foods with fat, for example, slows this process. I don’t disagree that most people should cut out nutritionally void simple sugars for more healthy greens and fats, but Sisson needs to offer practicable advice. One can still maintain a healthy carb intake within Sisson’s 100 – 150 g for “maintenance” weight with a sandwich or cheeseburger now and then.

Similar complaints can be lodged at Sisson’s stance on peanut butter being a health risk due to aflatoxin and the relative health benefits of organic foods. Again, where is the data? To my knowledge there is little data demonstrating that whatever latent pesticides exist on non-organic food are harmful in the long-run, nor data comparing nutrient composition in non-organic food vis-a-vis organic food. Nor could I find any sort of study evaluating the risk of aflatoxin exposure. Singling out one particular food seems silly to me; peanut butter isn’t unique in there being potential risks.

So anyway, in conclusion it’s a good primer to a more healthful way of life, but Sisson should make a greater effort to ground what he says in empirical reality.

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