Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple and WellnessFX Founder Jim Kean – Webcast Part 2



Welcome to Part II of our conversation with Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple. Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint and creator of Mark’s Daily Apple, and Jim Kean, WellnessFX founder. This time, they talk about vitamin synthesis, ketone and fat burning, plus the truth about calories.

Check out the replay of Part II of our webcast below and pass along to your friends.

Still need Part 1? Go here.

Questions from our audience

Jim: What’s the best way to deal with the lack of sunlight in winter? How do you get enough vitamin D?

Mark: Ideally we would all get a daily dose of sunlight (unprotected from clothing or sunscreen), but the reality is that many of us just don’t get enough sun exposure. Knowing that, it’s best to simply take advantage of modern technology and take a good vitamin D3 supplement.

Jim: It’s also important to take a vitamin with your biggest, fattiest meal of the day, as it’s a fat-soluble vitamin, along with vitamins A, E, and K.

Jim: How does someone achieve a state of ketone bliss?

Mark: Ketones are the fourth fuel, although many in the dietary community have not formally recognized this. Ketones are a byproduct of fat metabolism so when you become good at burning fat, you (almost as a side effect of that) become good at burning ketones. The problem is when people build a metabolic system that depends on sugars.

Conversely, when you become good at burning fat, you build hyper-effective metabolic machinery that doesn’t depend on carbs. Part of this is a result of mitochondrial biogenesis, (increasing the number and the efficiency of your mitochondria), which can burn fat and ketones and extract energy from them, without requiring that the body use carbohydrates or stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. So you can reduce your carb intake to about 30 grams per day and the rest of your energy comes from ketones. The brain is very efficient at burning ketones. Lower your dependency on glucose and the less you’ll need.

Jim: How do you keep your blood sugar in check while traveling?

Mark: First of all, I do it by starting with a more efficient metabolism so I can go long periods of time without eating. One more benefit of become fat- and ketone-adapted is that your appetite diminishes and you can go long periods time without eating. Often times, when I’m traveling, I will fast, knowing that my body can handle it. When I do eat on the road, I can usually find some beef jerky or some nuts. The fact that it might contain a little bit of sugar does not derail me. This lifestyle is about broad-spectrum choices over a lifetime. A little sugar is not the end of the world; I don’t lose my Primal card. I do tend to pack macadamia nuts when I travel. These are a great source of protein and crunch and provide a great snack on the go.

Jim: Is a calorie a calorie?

I like to talk more about the context of calories. While a protein has four calories per gram, the first 10, 15, or even 35 grams of protein you take in might be going toward repair and might not be burned as fuel at all. Or the carbohydrate from kale might not even be digested or assimilated by one person in the same way it is in another. Actual calorie intake depends on the form of the food, if it’s processed, how much a food affects your insulin, or what time of day you eat.

Jim: What is the role of alcohol in our lives?

There are pluses and minuses. I’ve allowed red wine to be included as a “sensible indulgence” in the Primal Blueprint food pyramid because I think I can point to research that says people who drink a glass or two of red wine a couple nights a week are healthier than those who don’t. Again, these are all ways of extrapolating data and using it toward your own needs. Ethanol is still a poison, so the question becomes the dose, but I don’t think a little bit is bad, especially in terms of an anti-stress component. All I want people to understand is “what are the ramifications of my choices?” Just be cognizant.

Jim: There’s also the social lubricant that alcohol provides, which can lend itself to having a fun time and getting to know new people, both of which are positives. I think there’s a biological component to that.

Update made 9/24/2014: Thanks for watching, everyone! You can learn more about Mark Sisson and Mark’s Daily Apple on his website. You can also view additional deep dives we held with nutrition and performance innovators like our webcast with Dr. John La Puma, and our webcast with The Calorie Myth’s Jonathan Bailor, in Part 1 or Part 2 (lots of information).

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.