The Primal Blueprint is more than just a "diet" book. It is a lifestyle guide. We live in a world where we supposedly know so much more than our ancestors in regards to health and fitness, yet we are fatter than we have ever been. Mark takes a look at the Conventional Wisdom on diet and nutrition and shows how it is mistaken. He compares the lifestyles of modern society with those of pre-agricultural society and shows how our predecessors were stronger and healthier.
When I made the decision to start eating better and to try to lose some weight, I decided that I was going to stop eating junk food and eat more fruits and vegetables. The Primal Blueprint espouses doing just that, but also stresses cutting out grains. It could be considered a low carb diet, but unlike Atkins, encourages you to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. Sisson also gives you the leeway to "fail" once in a while in your eating. He stresses that you try to eat primal at least 80% of the time.
On the subject of exercise, Sisson also takes shots at conventional wisdom. He says that the current recommendations for cardio, which he calls chronic cardio, and long weight lifting exercises are actually counterproductive to health. He says that these workouts actually stimulate you to end up eating more food and inhibits your fat burning. I have never been a cardio guy, but have done a lot of weight training programs. I usually found that when on those programs, I was a lot more hungry after than if I wasn't exercising.
There are so many other things that Mark writes about that seem to just make sense intuitively. He wrote in the book how excessive digital entertainment, ie computers and television, late in the evening interrupts and makes it difficult to get the proper rest. Shortly after reading that, a news story came out that said that people who watch TV late at night tend to be more prone to insomnia. I have been wanting to cut down some on the amount of time I spend on the laptop and in front of the tube. Now maybe I have a reason to actually try to cut back.
The Primal Blueprint basically has 10 Primal Blueprint Laws to use as a guideline for living. Maybe we could even call them the new 10 commandments for nutrition and exercise. They are listed below.
1. Eat lots of plants and animals
2. Avoid poisonous things
3. Move frequently at a slow pace
4. Lift heavy things
5. Sprint once in a while
6. Get adequate sleep
8. Get adequate sunlight
9. Avoid stupid mistakes
10. Use your brain
My goal is to try to implement these laws in my life on a daily basis. Some I know will be easier than others. One of the things that Mark espouses is the idea of intermittent fasting. It is OK to skip meals or go without food. Yesterday, I was traveling, and had nothing to eat until I met an old friend for dinner last night. I did not feel stressed the whole day by not eating. The other thing that I have noticed as a bit of a benefit to my new eating routine is that the arthritis that I have been suffering in my hands is much less noticeable. I won't say it is completely gone, or will go away forever, but it is a lot better than it was.
I encourage you to try The Primal Blueprint. You can find more info at Mark's Daily Apple. Go Primal!