7

votes

What's your opinion of Mark Sisson?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 20, 2012 at 6:42 PM

I'm listening to a great podcast of an interview of Mark. I know he's big in the primal scene but I just find it funny that he promotes a primal lifestyle but his blog is steeped with "meal replacement" powder and his own line of "protein powder". Most anthropologist agree that the Paleolithic man didn't run around with protein shakers, chewing on Met-Rx protein bars. This guy is very knowledgeable and I know that if you're promoting a lifestyle that revolves around living like a caveman you're limited to the type of products you can promote.

Anyways, I'm a fan of Mark, and I can only hope that when I reach Mark Sisson's age I can look half as good as this guy but I just find it funny that he promotes "meal replacement powders" and other-in my opinion-non-paleo products.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 01, 2012
at 11:12 PM

I'm not morbidly obese, I'm barely obese by BMI standards, and hardly even close to look at. QED.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 27, 2012
at 09:14 PM

Can I just say that critiques from a place of failure have very little weight. You hate low-carb and low-carbers, we get it. But ya know you'd sound a lot less bitter if you weren't morbidly obese yourself. Get healthy and lean on your moderate diet and lead the way, as you see it. You've got no credibility either in your education or your personal success. Maybe just stop deflecting and spend some time working on yourself.

F850d793ff83a8deac524a459e520bf3

(108)

on August 28, 2012
at 11:36 PM

PRIMAL ™ - gotta get that superscript going!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 11, 2012
at 06:10 PM

+1 because your head is screwed on straight and you experience the power of gratefulness and the courage to express it! And congrats!

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on July 08, 2012
at 03:59 PM

How has she not been blocked yet?

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on July 08, 2012
at 03:04 PM

Your vocabulary is terribly limited. Like you are a robot or artificial intelligence. Who programmed you. Was it GULLIBILE MORON. Or OPPORTUNIST SHYSTER?

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 08, 2012
at 03:39 AM

+1 for a class act.

88a669ef87f8138d6bbfbdace533a482

(425)

on July 08, 2012
at 02:54 AM

He's probably reading all of this and laughing.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:48 AM

You know what scientific "shit" I'll buy into? An N=1 trial of Mark Sisson's recommendations that drops 35 lbs, eliminates snoring, eliminates GERD, eliminates headaches, eliminates dry skin outbreaks, eliminates mental fog.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:33 AM

Don't hide behind flimsy excuses, you're a hater because he's beautiful.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:12 AM

Trolling? Stuck in on a Saturday night? Poor thing...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 28, 2012
at 06:00 AM

I got several upvotes for it, so obviously some people liked it.

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on May 28, 2012
at 03:51 AM

Same thing for me, Nance. I went from primal to paleo (to deal with GERD and autoimmune issues), but I still think when it comes to attitude and exercise, Sisson wins hands down. Plus, as much as I enjoy Robb Wolf, he can be very off-putting to some people. Hard to sometimes talk paleo when people think the guy you're quoting is a jerk...

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on May 27, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Too many people get caught up in the caveman fantasy aspect and miss the bigger picture. That's why Mark uses the idea of a blueprint. Being Paleo (or Primal in this case) is also about using the critical thinking capacity that Grok had to use every day to survive. For us it is less about survival than quality of life, but using your own personal judgment is still a critical element to determine what is best for your own good health today.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on May 27, 2012
at 04:22 PM

Humor must apply well to the situation to be funny. This comment falls a bit short. But we all like humor, right? Give it another shot.

Cdbfa5e332dc69db6505f803bd2df63a

(90)

on May 06, 2012
at 05:33 AM

Hmm - you must have missed the Kurt Harris death spiral into puffed rice & cream (egads, maybe it was plain milk! ;)Folks freaked. Anyway, coconut milk and sliced bananas for breakfast - yummy!

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on May 06, 2012
at 03:29 AM

I dunno. Different strokes for different folks. I started out Primal and have gotten progressively stricter as time has gone on. No supplements, not a shake-meal-replacement type. I don't think he's offering shortcuts at all, I think he's getting folks in the door and showing them what's possible. He knows that once they're there, they'll want more. Just get them in the door.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2012
at 05:52 AM

I just feel sorry for them.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

(1867)

on April 27, 2012
at 05:29 AM

Warren, I didn't personally vote you down, but you have to understand why folks did: Sisson's been great for both the movement in general toward healthier lifestyles, as well as for many individuals here. Some folks' stories are quite personal and meaningful to them, so maybe you can forgive them for not having a sense of humor about it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 23, 2012
at 04:30 PM

LOL. More -1's.

97ffbac59e88bdff6495d0a9b6f70ff7

(555)

on April 22, 2012
at 12:08 AM

Fantastic answer. Mark just seems like someone I'd enjoy hanging out with.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on April 21, 2012
at 10:11 PM

And vice versa I'm sure Michael. Because we hear very little from those who can't adhere to the diet ... and it is a diet if not "dieting" from a calorie counting POV. I think you misunderstand what I'm saying with the analogy. The MDA website was never about giving out free info, it has sold stuff from the beginning. Nothing wrong with that, I repeat, but please realize it's a business operation selling supplements and meal replacements and now T-shirts, Primal Con admission fees and whatnot. I think it's wonderful if a fairy tale Grok gets young folks especially off refined crap.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:58 PM

I hate to name drop but when you compare Mark just selling some protein powder Vs. Bullet Proof (Upgraded Paleo??) and the constant fear mongering of toxins and the crap he is selling....Mark looks like a friggin' saint.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Yeah but Mark deals with lots of people who are just a bit chubby, a bit tired and want to savor life. That's his thing. Wolf deals with autoimmune problems, gut problems, people who are way, way, way sicker.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:10 PM

He never sold me anything except a book, the book that got me on the path that has allowed me to drop to and maintain a good weight for three years without dieting, truly a record. I'm not a biologist or biochemist, so I don't know if the science was exactly right, but it sure as hell has worked for me! I know people who have bought Jillian Michaels' books, and it hasn't done a thing for them.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:02 PM

Exactly, and more so! He honestly makes it clear who his supplements and powders are for (not most of us), and for those people who need what he has, his stuff is very high quality. And of course his website is unequalled. Go Mark!

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on April 21, 2012
at 08:45 PM

That's the problem with paleo in general. WHAT is it? Trying our best to mimic how our ancestors ate and behaved in this modern world, or trying our best to mimic the composition of the diet with modern foods (Cordain and canola oil come to mind), or just making stuff from supposed paleo ingredients.

E4faef53346e45f644ef905ab99ccb28

(83)

on April 21, 2012
at 07:47 PM

I do admire Mark for backing his research with sound science, and then presenting it in a way that is accessible to the average Joe.

E4faef53346e45f644ef905ab99ccb28

(83)

on April 21, 2012
at 07:43 PM

@LikesLardinMayo - Primal isn't necessarily more lax than paleo, but Mark seems to have more of a carefree attitude towards cheating. Robb Wolf, Whole9, and others are wayyy more emphatic about giving paleo a 100% try, for a significant period right off the bat - I think for someone just starting with paleo, this second approach will ultimately work better. I discovered "primal" first and found it wayyy too easy to justify cheats as part of my 20%. Upon further research into the paleo scene as a whole, I've been able to eat cleaner and cheat less, and that's what works best for me.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on April 21, 2012
at 03:45 PM

Who cares Chris, maltodextrin is maltodextrin whether it comes from corn or casava.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 21, 2012
at 10:29 AM

perfect answer Nance. +1 for "many of their posts read like science fiction"

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 21, 2012
at 10:28 AM

"lax" is an interesting choice of words, with a kind of moral connotation. I don't see using dairy/fruit as lax, but perhaps a "relaxed" version of paleo that's viable for a significant proportion of the population who don't have issues with blood sugar or lactose intolerance and don't wish to complicate their lives by adding unnecessary restrictions.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 21, 2012
at 10:26 AM

I like his viewpoint a lot. And to his credit, he doesn't tout his supplements at all in his blog. I never read "and, lastly, the key to good health is in my supplements". He just did a post on supplements, and didn't mention anything he sells! He's trying to make a living doing this, and the supplements are just part of that.

F690de6e86fda05bf1b4c2ed834c477b

(180)

on April 21, 2012
at 07:55 AM

Same here. I'm 60lbs lighter because I stumbled onto MDA looking for bodyweight workouts after I broke a finger. I've ditched the CW in the gym and now I'm as strong as I ever was when I was doing bodybuilding/power lifting type workouts, but I spend a lot less time in the gym and I've dropped all the extra weight. No more chronic cardio or can't-walk soreness after leg day for me.

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 21, 2012
at 02:00 AM

Maltodextrin can come from any starch and the maltodextrin in his protein powder comes from cassava root. See FAQs. http://primalblueprint.com/products/Primal-Fuel.html

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on April 21, 2012
at 01:41 AM

Quite frankly, I'm not sure where the "no fruit" thing even came from. Fruit is perfectly paleo. I think it's the people who came to paleo as the latest "weight loss miracle" fad diet came up with it.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on April 21, 2012
at 01:08 AM

the stance on dairy is certainly more lax

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 21, 2012
at 12:19 AM

I am poor in a rich SoCal city and I agree, those protein shakes are exppensive. My roommate who is primal doesn't want to pay for organic or grass-fed, but he gladly pays a lot of money on metRX and other packet powders.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 20, 2012
at 11:49 PM

+1 I totally agree with this viewpoint

1ce9661622ba354c61669ffe900a01ab

(552)

on April 20, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Sisson is a voice of reason/sensibility when it comes to trying to get folks off SAD eating (and he does a good job at it). Protein powder (if not filled with garbage) is a great supplement (those eating or not eating Paleo/Primal). While I don't use Sisson's protein powder/meal replacement, I wish him continued success with his supplement sales and his website.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 10:43 PM

Cordain, Wolf, Harris etc... all have some sort of 80/20 equivalent. All of 'em. I don't really see that "Primal" is more lax than "Paleo". I guess I wonder what you see as laxity built in?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 10:36 PM

MrsD? Are we related? lol

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:40 PM

I voted you up because I have a sense of humor :-P

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:28 PM

My sentiments exactly!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:05 PM

Thanks for the down votes. Get yourselves a sense of humour. lol

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on April 20, 2012
at 08:28 PM

Exactly what I wanted to say.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:15 PM

"I can almost guarantee that if on day one someone told me no grains, no sugar, and on top of that nothing with so much as a single preservative in it or any fruit whatsoever I would have told them to go screw themselves and given up completely only to return to my pathetic SAD lifestyle." THIS - So true. I evolved into eating paleo/primal and have futher tweaked and improved my diet because I was motivated by my initial success. I think that is true for many folks here. No point in scaring off the newcomers.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:08 PM

This past week I've been happily starting my days with some berries cooked in some butter and cinnamon, with a lovely dollop of homemade yogurt. Yes, I dare to! This response totally resonates with me, I'm not a super-athlete who micromanages my intake, so a lot of other blogs are hard to relate to. Mark's is one of the better ones I find!

Medium avatar

(30)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:34 PM

If nothing else, it is surely expensive for just a months worth. Although, when you do that math, it's like $2-and-change per shake, which isn't cheap to pay all at once, but it is cheap for a meal replacement. Go to 7-11 and buy SlimFast or whatever crap and it's $4/$5. Definitely a deal by comparison, and certainly a better product.

Medium avatar

(30)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:32 PM

If nothing else, it is surely expensive for just a months worth.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:31 PM

"and just sort of ignored the banners about powders and supplements" I totally agree. I am a huge fan of his blog but I use Adblock Plus to block those elements. It cleans up the page and I don't have to see ads for for something I am not going to buy. I do recommend his books to others though so I hope that I am helping him some in exchange for the knowledge a get from his site.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on April 20, 2012
at 07:26 PM

Love him and love his success stories.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:08 PM

And, for those that were paying attention, he got a boatload of crap in the commments of his own blog on his last version of the stuff. Half said that people shouldn't do protein powder and the other half complained that it was too expensive!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:05 PM

The ad for Kellogg's Crunch Nut cereal on the PH banner is pretty ironic, don't you think? Seriously, you can't find something more interesting or important to whine about than Mark Sisson sells protein powder?

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26 Answers

66
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:19 PM

Mark's is the moderate, sensible voice that enrolled me into leaving SAD. He seems to understand that supplementing your whole foods with a little home-made yogurt or a piece of fresh fruit isn't a "paleo fail" that deserves a stern scolding. I happen to agree his products fall in the "processed" category but I never felt I "had to" use them.

On some other sites, I feel like I "have to" be physically capable of intense athletic workouts to belong, or putting a little honey in my coffee is as bad as eating the french toast with maple syrup (or doughnuts, or highly sweetened cereal) I used to start my day with. And "how dare I" start my main meal with that well known evil, fresh fruit?

While I respect the young, lean and highly active "strict paleos" many of their posts read like science fiction to me as a woman in my 60s. Mark is at least from the same planet.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:08 PM

This past week I've been happily starting my days with some berries cooked in some butter and cinnamon, with a lovely dollop of homemade yogurt. Yes, I dare to! This response totally resonates with me, I'm not a super-athlete who micromanages my intake, so a lot of other blogs are hard to relate to. Mark's is one of the better ones I find!

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 21, 2012
at 10:29 AM

perfect answer Nance. +1 for "many of their posts read like science fiction"

97ffbac59e88bdff6495d0a9b6f70ff7

(555)

on April 22, 2012
at 12:08 AM

Fantastic answer. Mark just seems like someone I'd enjoy hanging out with.

Cdbfa5e332dc69db6505f803bd2df63a

(90)

on May 06, 2012
at 05:33 AM

Hmm - you must have missed the Kurt Harris death spiral into puffed rice & cream (egads, maybe it was plain milk! ;)Folks freaked. Anyway, coconut milk and sliced bananas for breakfast - yummy!

E8dd83fe24a0879d8b16ab4ca92b72dd

(1307)

on May 28, 2012
at 03:51 AM

Same thing for me, Nance. I went from primal to paleo (to deal with GERD and autoimmune issues), but I still think when it comes to attitude and exercise, Sisson wins hands down. Plus, as much as I enjoy Robb Wolf, he can be very off-putting to some people. Hard to sometimes talk paleo when people think the guy you're quoting is a jerk...

52
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:52 PM

He's no greasy salesman. Fiercely devoted to helping others understand and interpret biochemistry and proper nutrition. He posts every single day, without fail.

The powders and supplements? Take it or leave it. There's no pressure or severe advertising going on, but there's quality supplements there if one feels they need that extra oomph. Everyone has to make a living somehow. I've seen far worse in terms of the supplement category.

Given his experiences, I'd say 95% of everything he's provided so far is completely free of charge, and is solely dedicated to helping others not fall down the rabbit hole of chronic cardio, SAD-eating, and nutrition-fails.

C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on April 20, 2012
at 08:28 PM

Exactly what I wanted to say.

E4faef53346e45f644ef905ab99ccb28

(83)

on April 21, 2012
at 07:47 PM

I do admire Mark for backing his research with sound science, and then presenting it in a way that is accessible to the average Joe.

35
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 20, 2012
at 06:52 PM

I know he's big in the primal scene...

He is the "Primal^TM" scene. The guy literally wrote the book on it. Colloquially, we all tend to throw around paleo, primal, etc, but "primal" is definitely his branding.

I tend to agree with all your points. I do take supplements and vitamins (in a training phase now, so more than usual), but I cringe when I hear or see people eating shakes and all that sort of fake, non-food food products. IMHO, a McDonald's hamburger is less processed than a shake mix, regardless of how "natural" the ingredients in the shake claim to be.

However, a lot of people gravitate towards "primal" over "paleo", as "primal" has a more lax approach to healthier eating and lifestyle baked right into it. Sisson is also big on the 80/20 rule -- and I don't think he'd advocate anyone getting 20% of their food intake from the shakes he sells. (Granted, I can't speak for him, but I sure hope he wouldn't).

Overall, I find him to be a really smart guy, and I feel that he is dedicated to his blog that he offers freely to the public ... a blog that has a great wealth of information. So he sells some shake mixes, too -- it doesn't outweigh the good he's brought to the paleo/primal/etc community.

My 2??.

E4faef53346e45f644ef905ab99ccb28

(83)

on April 21, 2012
at 07:43 PM

@LikesLardinMayo - Primal isn't necessarily more lax than paleo, but Mark seems to have more of a carefree attitude towards cheating. Robb Wolf, Whole9, and others are wayyy more emphatic about giving paleo a 100% try, for a significant period right off the bat - I think for someone just starting with paleo, this second approach will ultimately work better. I discovered "primal" first and found it wayyy too easy to justify cheats as part of my 20%. Upon further research into the paleo scene as a whole, I've been able to eat cleaner and cheat less, and that's what works best for me.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on April 21, 2012
at 01:08 AM

the stance on dairy is certainly more lax

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 21, 2012
at 10:28 AM

"lax" is an interesting choice of words, with a kind of moral connotation. I don't see using dairy/fruit as lax, but perhaps a "relaxed" version of paleo that's viable for a significant proportion of the population who don't have issues with blood sugar or lactose intolerance and don't wish to complicate their lives by adding unnecessary restrictions.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 10:43 PM

Cordain, Wolf, Harris etc... all have some sort of 80/20 equivalent. All of 'em. I don't really see that "Primal" is more lax than "Paleo". I guess I wonder what you see as laxity built in?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Yeah but Mark deals with lots of people who are just a bit chubby, a bit tired and want to savor life. That's his thing. Wolf deals with autoimmune problems, gut problems, people who are way, way, way sicker.

F850d793ff83a8deac524a459e520bf3

(108)

on August 28, 2012
at 11:36 PM

PRIMAL ™ - gotta get that superscript going!

31
0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:21 PM

If selling some protein powder lets him do what he does full time, awesome. He is an exceptional writer and one of the few prominent figures in the paleosphere I really identify with; things like his articles on forest bathing, connection, dance, yoga... you don't find this stuff on your average biochemistry researcher's site, nor on a physical trainer's blog. He has a unique perspective that has made him one of the most popular figures in our little sphere.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on April 20, 2012
at 11:49 PM

+1 I totally agree with this viewpoint

29
8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

on April 20, 2012
at 07:21 PM

Not only is he offering really good, smart, free advice that is highly accessible to folks (and thus stands a greater chance of reaching and impacting more people than stricter paleo-luminaries), he's also making it simple and easy. I also don't hear him promote his own food products all too often. He promotes his books quite a bit, but those tend to be lifestyle-oriented, not powder-oriented.

I think it's also worth noting that many of the folks in the paleo/primal "choir" (to whom many like Mark and Robb Wolf are inevitably partially preaching) are athletes who are going to work with some sort of protein powder/supplement regimen regardless of their attachment to the principles (e.g. crossfit folks and other training-nuts who tend to gravitate toward the lifestyle anyway and are often its early adherents). Sisson is at least making an effort to make these powders as nutritionally compatible with paleo/primal as possible, and I think that's worth respecting.

26
4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:02 PM

His website is what got me into the whole primal/paleo scene. I think he's great.

I'd have an issue with him if he were constantly hocking his protein powder in his blog posts, but I've read almost all of them and he pretty much never mentions it. I don't see what the big deal is.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:02 PM

Exactly, and more so! He honestly makes it clear who his supplements and powders are for (not most of us), and for those people who need what he has, his stuff is very high quality. And of course his website is unequalled. Go Mark!

99aca1e07394135ea1e040582ce54b4d

(334)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:28 PM

My sentiments exactly!

F690de6e86fda05bf1b4c2ed834c477b

(180)

on April 21, 2012
at 07:55 AM

Same here. I'm 60lbs lighter because I stumbled onto MDA looking for bodyweight workouts after I broke a finger. I've ditched the CW in the gym and now I'm as strong as I ever was when I was doing bodybuilding/power lifting type workouts, but I spend a lot less time in the gym and I've dropped all the extra weight. No more chronic cardio or can't-walk soreness after leg day for me.

14
464e1c66609d402615ae2b3cf72d53fb

(1472)

on April 21, 2012
at 01:33 AM

His book and Dr. Bernstein's were the first two books I read when I started this trip at 324lbs. Today I'm 220lbs and I'll be forever grateful to Mark Sisson for getting me started with something I could do to begin with.

Thanks Mark.

Jeff H.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 11, 2012
at 06:10 PM

+1 because your head is screwed on straight and you experience the power of gratefulness and the courage to express it! And congrats!

11
1bbcd2122d9c75b07440f22ef57d6448

(2934)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:56 AM

I like the guy. He writes high quality, well researched articles on just about everything under the sun, and he practices what he preaches. He was my first introduction to paleo, and after some experimentation with others' philosophies, his is the one I returned to. He's pragmatic, and understands that people don't have the luxury of hunting down an elk every time they're hungry (or even hunting down some grass-fed beef). He was a supplement designer before he wrote The Primal Blueprint. He rarely, if ever, promotes his products in his blog posts, and I don't mind that I occasionally see a jar with Grok on it in the sidebar.

10
37d5f39209d102473197de2943a70904

(130)

on May 06, 2012
at 02:33 AM

It is unfortunate that a number of people I have talked to seem to get the same first impression of Mark's site - that it is all about selling his products.

There is an incredible amount of free info on the site and aside from the ads in the sidebar, he rarely toots his own horn.

I initially learned everything I needed to know about Paleo/Primal from Mark's site. I eventually bought a book but only to give away.

Also, echoing what a few of you have said, I like Mark because he seems to be a very balanced, calm, reasonable voice in the community and his information the best synthesis of the whole. I send new people to his site because I don't want them to get bogged down by some of the debates over minutia going on elsewhere (not that these aren't important).

10
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on April 20, 2012
at 08:02 PM

I agree with a lot of what's been said, Mark Sisson is a pretty reasonable and straight forward guy who advocates a more tolerant approach to nutrition than some people might advocate with a strict paleo diet. Personally, I started out with just being exposed to his books which opened up the world of "Primal" eating habits and how I could fairly effortlessly maintain ideal body composition without counting calories or stressing over whether I was getting enough complex carbohydrates or low fat meats. I was under the spell of a lot of unfounded conventional wisdom in the fitness world. I think Mark's 80/20 rule made eating better seem a lot less daunting. I can almost guarantee that if on day one someone told me no grains, no sugar, and on top of that nothing with so much as a single preservative in it or any fruit whatsoever I would have told them to go screw themselves and given up completely only to return to my pathetic SAD lifestyle. Eating a high fat moderate protein diet is what helped me realize that I really didn't know anything about nutrition or weight loss despite years of dieting and reading nonsense online.

Now I have personally decided to try and take my fitness, and body composition, as far as possible and this has involved further restricting my diet (cutting out most fruit and dairy, which I ate regularly for the first three months) and researching ways to adhere to a more Paleo diet. However, without starting out on the 80/20 rule I don't think I would have been open to changing my eating habits and I would still be where I was last year. What's wrong with being slowly introduced to a lifestyle that, if we're honest, is a fairly significant deviation from what 90% of Americans seem to do on a daily basis? Most people I try to describe a strict paleo diet to stop listening before I'm even done explaining it, it's just too drastic of a change and it seems mentally impossible to a lot of people. I think they're missing out, but hey it's their health not mine.

As far as his shakes go, I've never bought them. Even from a nutritional stand point if you just bought straight whey protein with no additives it would technically be more Primal than his brand (no sugar, no significant carbs which if you look at the labels on his Primal Fuel are pretty high if you were to have it on a daily basis) it would just taste like crap mixed with water. A lot of people get worked up over his line of supplements, but I'm pretty sure that's the business he's been in for a while. At the end of the day, he has to make money too and he already provides a wealth of free information on his website. You really don't even need to buy the books to start a Primal diet all the guidelines are right there in his blog. I think that's a pretty sweet deal. Here's the key to a happier, healthier you and oh by the way IF you happen to be interested I also have a line of supplements that I enjoy and you might too. Nothing wrong with that. Business is business and not everyone can just spend hours educating the masses without investing a little time into their own income.

It's not for everyone, but for what it's worth I think he's personally responsible for opening up a whole new world to me and many others. Just look at his page of success stories and most of those people aren't out to market his line of supplements. Let him sell his powder, if it helps people avoid a snickers or some other crap from 7/11 then let them have a protein shake as a snack here and there. That's just my opinion.

9
Cd7f36574ef26694787e20188396333c

(300)

on April 23, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Mark Sisson not only convinced to change my lifestyle (something I'm INCREDIBLY stubborn about - I research like a fiend), but he stressed that I could actually ease into it, rather than go cold turkey. That one element made all the difference for me and it's completely contrary to every single other diet/lifestyle out there. Sure, I went through withdrawal hell along with everyone else and probably for longer as I took my time weening myself off of grains and get adjusted to purchasing paleo friendly foods, but he offered a lot of real support throughout because he has a very logical and sound approach to not just food but to life.

Honestly, when I first noticed all of the drink mixes and things I was personally offended. I couldn't believe he'd be trying to make money off of the community. But I decided to really think about it and I really can't fault him for taking advantage of a great opportunity. Like others have said above me, he needs to support himself somehow and he has great visibility. Plus his products are better than a loaf of bread.

I'm most definitely a loyalist despite any minor reservations. After best selling books and products, he STILL takes the time to answer my (2?) emails personally. I find that insanely admirable.

My advice? Go to the very last page of his blog and work your way backwards. You can go through the journey of learning Primal with him as he hypothesizes and changes his mind with scientific evidence and develops the blueprint framework. Very cool.

7
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on May 06, 2012
at 11:39 AM

Sisson brought me here, once I crack the diet I'll be sure to send him a thank you email for changing my life

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 08, 2012
at 03:39 AM

+1 for a class act.

7
451114d9ae1e0f9e1a028cce5538e790

(226)

on April 23, 2012
at 02:24 PM

An excerpt of Mark's response to this question in his own words:

It???s tough going full Primal today. While there are many things we can do (or eat) today that very closely approximate what Grok did to trigger positive gene expression, there are also a number of obstacles that can thwart our attempts to be as Primal as possible. Artificial light prompts us to stay up too late and sleep too little. Electronic entertainment competes for our time when we should be out walking and basking in sunlight. We don???t always have access to ideal foods. We shower too much in water that???s too hot. We use medicines to mask our symptoms instead of allowing our bodies to deal directly with the problem. You get my point.

One of my tasks is to find the shortcuts ??? the easy ways to get the same genetic expression benefits Grok got ??? but by using 21st century technology or just plain old common sense.

4
6dc4a6b95e53f8c5c3616246d47eec37

on May 06, 2012
at 12:02 PM

If you don't like the products, don't buy them.

As an entry point to healthy, conscious living MDA is without peer. People can take note of the 'glaring errors' themselves, if they aren't as hyper-critical as some they'll simply take the good and leave the bad. If they don't possess the knowledge or drive to find said errors, they will still be MUCH healthier than they were before they found the site.

The biggest problem in 'all of this' are the people who are so eager to tear down, but make no effort to rebuild amongst the wreckage.

3
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on April 21, 2012
at 08:42 PM

I wasn't going to answer this, but decided to after having mentioned him in today's blog post. (http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2012/04/neat-part-about-moving-more.html for anyone interested)

On the face of things what's there not to like about Mark? By all accounts he's a very nice man and doesn't turn his nose up (quite the contrary I hear) at fans who approach him at events like AHS to introduce themselves. Overall it would be difficult to argue that Mark has not had a positive influence on the whole debate over what constitutes a healthy diet and exercise regime. Especially when others like Cordain don't really address exercise much (I don't have his books, but does he?) and others revered in this community routinely minimize it (ahem ... Gary Taubes). He's a nice looking guy, looks amazing for a man approaching 60 and walks his talk. Surely (as many have stated here), he's also responsible for bringing folks into the fold of a general lifestyle that has benefited them greatly. Mark makes healthy eating cool.

So what if he's not right about every little detail, right? Well, in the comments on my blog Beth cited this piece by Mark: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/case-against-cardio/ I cringed reading it because Mark has a degree in biology wherein presumably he learned that both fats and carbs and proteins are broken down to produce ATP which is the energy currency in all cells. This is such a glaring error. I've encountered so many in the couple of years that I've been reading his "definitive guides" it's not even funny. I find his carb curve notion of >150g carb leading to insidious weight gain to be laughable on its face, and I first read that back when I was still eating VLC 90% of the time. His science is piss poor and I've rarely read something from him that didn't contain at least one glaring error.

I also wondered when I first "stumbled" on his blog if I was the only one to pick up on the blog being a marketing vehicle. I mean really. Daily posts of the sort he makes (linking to his other blog posts for references and almost never to primary sources) are not very time consuming. Sure he doesn't "push" his stuff on anyone, but write enough about the importance of this or that supplement, and have "Sponsor" notes at the bottom of posts, etc., the message is clear. His supplements used to be far more expensive than they are and hats off to Mark for being able to sell a packet of who knows what quality supplements for several times the price of buying generics at CVS or Vitamin Shoppe, but this is his bread and butter ... erm ... butter and butter.

I'll never forget his response to Jimmy Moore about insulin and how it was "all about the buy in" -- http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2010/12/insulin-wars-ii-mark-sisson.html

Next money maker will be online course to be PB certified in nutrition. This will make him a lot of money for not a lot of work. And if they're lucky, make some money for the PB Certified folks who paid for the class, but not most.

I think when people are helped by others they presume that person is in the business of helping them. When someone makes money helping others -- be it doctors, nurses, teachers, trainers, therapists -- it doesn't negate their motives for doing so, but folks do need to keep perspective and realize that most aren't doing this to help others, they are doing it to make a living. NOTHING wrong with that, and no doubt helping others in the process is gratifying and motivating for them. But it is what it is.

Mark Sisson is the Jillian Michaels of paleo. Different schtick, same day. I envy both for being able to make nice livings off of their passions. But most here probably loathe Jillian for her nasty ACT on Biggest Loser. You do realize it's an act, right? Jillian puts a lot of free stuff out there too folks, and sells stuff like gangbusters on her website. http://www.jillianmichaels.com. Mark is no different, and he's got marketing savvy up the wazoo. He could probably sell ice to an Eskimo and jerky to a Hindu. That makes him both a huge asset and potential liability in all of this.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on April 21, 2012
at 10:11 PM

And vice versa I'm sure Michael. Because we hear very little from those who can't adhere to the diet ... and it is a diet if not "dieting" from a calorie counting POV. I think you misunderstand what I'm saying with the analogy. The MDA website was never about giving out free info, it has sold stuff from the beginning. Nothing wrong with that, I repeat, but please realize it's a business operation selling supplements and meal replacements and now T-shirts, Primal Con admission fees and whatnot. I think it's wonderful if a fairy tale Grok gets young folks especially off refined crap.

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on April 21, 2012
at 09:10 PM

He never sold me anything except a book, the book that got me on the path that has allowed me to drop to and maintain a good weight for three years without dieting, truly a record. I'm not a biologist or biochemist, so I don't know if the science was exactly right, but it sure as hell has worked for me! I know people who have bought Jillian Michaels' books, and it hasn't done a thing for them.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 27, 2012
at 09:14 PM

Can I just say that critiques from a place of failure have very little weight. You hate low-carb and low-carbers, we get it. But ya know you'd sound a lot less bitter if you weren't morbidly obese yourself. Get healthy and lean on your moderate diet and lead the way, as you see it. You've got no credibility either in your education or your personal success. Maybe just stop deflecting and spend some time working on yourself.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 01, 2012
at 11:12 PM

I'm not morbidly obese, I'm barely obese by BMI standards, and hardly even close to look at. QED.

3
48b3a3fac68ce4e0b80d8d29a584cc93

(242)

on April 21, 2012
at 02:26 PM

Eating Paleo shouldn't be some kind of goofy experience where we fantasize about being cavemen. If something is made from paleo products in a paleo way, why shouldn't we consume it?

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on April 21, 2012
at 08:45 PM

That's the problem with paleo in general. WHAT is it? Trying our best to mimic how our ancestors ate and behaved in this modern world, or trying our best to mimic the composition of the diet with modern foods (Cordain and canola oil come to mind), or just making stuff from supposed paleo ingredients.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on May 27, 2012
at 04:28 PM

Too many people get caught up in the caveman fantasy aspect and miss the bigger picture. That's why Mark uses the idea of a blueprint. Being Paleo (or Primal in this case) is also about using the critical thinking capacity that Grok had to use every day to survive. For us it is less about survival than quality of life, but using your own personal judgment is still a critical element to determine what is best for your own good health today.

3
3ab5e1b9eba22a071f653330b7fc9579

on April 20, 2012
at 11:31 PM

My biggest problem with his protein powder is that it contains maltodextrin, a corn byproduct that might as well be high fructose corn syrup when you consider how safe it is to eat. While i understand that many of us are not always up to cooking or need to supplement our protein a bit but I prefer to do it without putting that crap in my system.

24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on April 21, 2012
at 03:45 PM

Who cares Chris, maltodextrin is maltodextrin whether it comes from corn or casava.

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on April 21, 2012
at 02:00 AM

Maltodextrin can come from any starch and the maltodextrin in his protein powder comes from cassava root. See FAQs. http://primalblueprint.com/products/Primal-Fuel.html

2
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:01 PM

I like him, he's the voice of reason and against fanaticism, in my opinion. What I don't like is all these powders and supplements he's trying to sell all the time. Chill on that, and he's cool.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Mark Sisson and his powdered foods were the thin end of the wedge that later brought us paleo pasta and all the other pretend paleo foods. lol

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 10:36 PM

MrsD? Are we related? lol

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:05 PM

Thanks for the down votes. Get yourselves a sense of humour. lol

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:40 PM

I voted you up because I have a sense of humor :-P

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 23, 2012
at 04:30 PM

LOL. More -1's.

8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

(1867)

on April 27, 2012
at 05:29 AM

Warren, I didn't personally vote you down, but you have to understand why folks did: Sisson's been great for both the movement in general toward healthier lifestyles, as well as for many individuals here. Some folks' stories are quite personal and meaningful to them, so maybe you can forgive them for not having a sense of humor about it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2012
at 05:52 AM

I just feel sorry for them.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on May 27, 2012
at 04:22 PM

Humor must apply well to the situation to be funny. This comment falls a bit short. But we all like humor, right? Give it another shot.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 28, 2012
at 06:00 AM

I got several upvotes for it, so obviously some people liked it.

2
2a0f1afde303eadc422d015fc22f7512

(1118)

on April 20, 2012
at 06:57 PM

I think his approach is appealing to a lot of people but I worry that for the masses, it's going to cause many to miss a great learning opportunity. I think going full, strict paleo for a couple months is good for people. It's not so much that I think his supplements aren't useful or beneficial but I think everything you get from those, you can get from real food. I think people should do paleo first, then primal. If you go from standard american diet straight to primal and you're a complete newbie, i'd venture to say you might miss the point and lead yourself to believe that being healthy is about finding the right powders and supplements and magic pills and not about nutrition and real food. Do the legwork and educate yourself before you take the shortcuts he offers.

That said, he's a man with a business and I can sorta respect that. Most of what he says is about nutrition and I don't hear him promote his products that often but yeah...they can be misleading. I followed him closely on his blog for a long time and just sort of ignored the banners about powders and supplements and never felt like i'd picked up bad info or bad habits. All in all he's a great man who is still helping this movement tremendously.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:31 PM

"and just sort of ignored the banners about powders and supplements" I totally agree. I am a huge fan of his blog but I use Adblock Plus to block those elements. It cleans up the page and I don't have to see ads for for something I am not going to buy. I do recommend his books to others though so I hope that I am helping him some in exchange for the knowledge a get from his site.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on May 06, 2012
at 03:29 AM

I dunno. Different strokes for different folks. I started out Primal and have gotten progressively stricter as time has gone on. No supplements, not a shake-meal-replacement type. I don't think he's offering shortcuts at all, I think he's getting folks in the door and showing them what's possible. He knows that once they're there, they'll want more. Just get them in the door.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 06, 2012
at 06:34 AM

I have always thought the book title "Primal Blueprint" seems a little odd because "Primal" basically means "First" yet when you read brief descriptions of the diet, people say it's basically "Paleo with dairy". I think we can assume that a diet similar to "Paleo" was more likely to be first or at least before a "Paleo with dairy" diet. :)

0
Medium avatar

on December 03, 2013
at 09:10 AM

personally im a fan! Im another person who got into the whole primal/paleo thing from finding marks site, and this is the first time in my life that ANY differing lifestyle attempts have actually stuck. hes the man i say :)

0
92c2ed40cf1145f8b8085cb4c5e81d36

on December 04, 2012
at 12:58 PM

I regularly read Mark's blog. To me it is definitely streets ahead of all the other blogs out there. I have only bought his books, no supplements, and feel like others that there is no pressure to purchase anything if you don't want to. Sure he mentions the products here and there, there is the a banner down the side promoting his books but it's not all gare and flashy like many websites today.

For all the information he has given me, I feel I have repaid him very little in the purchase of two books.

0
59fa7cd87fb9d669adf21e5cf3e7ada5

on July 08, 2012
at 12:44 PM

He lives in Malibu and has a personal chef, hats off to him for making large sums of money off of what is essentially a low carb diet.

-4
D8b749b431ceb2bfc9563394b846cf4a

(-43)

on July 08, 2012
at 12:49 PM

Fraudulent, Internet OPPORTUNIST SHYSTER with a profound ignorance of how science works. Science cannot "prove" ANYTHING.

Only gullible morons read that Colpo and Sisson. The most stupid peopel I have ever seen in my life. Their followers are complete losers.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on July 08, 2012
at 03:04 PM

Your vocabulary is terribly limited. Like you are a robot or artificial intelligence. Who programmed you. Was it GULLIBILE MORON. Or OPPORTUNIST SHYSTER?

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on July 08, 2012
at 03:59 PM

How has she not been blocked yet?

-5
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 08, 2012
at 12:58 AM

Scientifically illiterate fraud, huckster opportunist plain and simple. All of YOU gullible morons buy into his shit.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:33 AM

Don't hide behind flimsy excuses, you're a hater because he's beautiful.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:48 AM

You know what scientific "shit" I'll buy into? An N=1 trial of Mark Sisson's recommendations that drops 35 lbs, eliminates snoring, eliminates GERD, eliminates headaches, eliminates dry skin outbreaks, eliminates mental fog.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 08, 2012
at 01:12 AM

Trolling? Stuck in on a Saturday night? Poor thing...

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