Skip The Left Navigation



Site Search









How the Biggest Loser makes Millions of
Heavy People even Fatter

Powerful Patient, 2010 Week 5

Host: Joyce Graff,, 800-767-4845


Beginning February 4, 2010

Audio fileListen
Program guide for this show

Subscribe in a reader


Mark Sisson

About our guest:


Mark Sisson has been interested in health since he was a teenager.

"I excelled at cross-country and distance track events in high school and at Williams College, where I was a pre-med candidate and received my degree in Biology.


"In fact, the running was going so well after college that I decided to forgo medical school for a few years (it's at 31 years now) and concentrate on a running career. I trained seriously as a marathoner for another five years, racking up well over 100 miles each week in training. The effort culminated in a top 5 finish in the 1980 US National Marathon Championships and a qualifying spot for the 1980 US Olympic Trials. Unfortunately, by then the inhuman amount of training and weekly racing was taking its toll and I found myself constantly sick or injured. (Note to self: too much exercise is not a good thing). In fact, in my last year of competition, as a world class, extremely "fit" athlete, I experienced eight upper respiratory infections! Clearly I was ruining my immune system and my joints doing too much exercise. That's when I started exploring nutrition and supplementation as a way to enhance my performance and to support my damaged body and bolster my immune system."


He finished fourth in the Hawaii Iron Man Triathlon.  "I finally retired from competition in 1988 and decided I would do whatever I could to help others avoid making the kinds of health mistakes that I had made."


About Mark's Primal Blueprint


The Biggest Loser television program pushes us to extraordinary lengths to lose weight fast.  Sisson says, "Every day, millions of us wake up in the morning and try to do the right thing: eat what we believe are healthy foods, control portion sizes (check those labels for fat grams!), and sweat the calories away by pushing the pace with a consistent workout regimen. I'm here to tell you there is a better way.


"'Hard work pays off', right? Not in this case. Look no further than our beloved <>Oprah, who has once again ballooned to over 200 pounds despite having top personal trainers, chefs and health counselors at her disposal 24/7. She's tried almost everything health professionals and the government recommended, and it's been a disaster.


Instead, Sisson looks at the way humans have evolved, and how our bodies respond to stresses and the foods we eat.  He suggests that if we understand what foods do to us and for us, we will make better choices that will "reprogram" our bodies to maintain and healthy weight without struggle.  He encourages people not to make extraordinary short-term efforts that are not sustainable, but to make healthy lifestyle changes that we can live with our whole lives.

What do you do on a daily basis?


"Every day is a mix of business, family, and activity. I try to get enough sleep and maintain a healthy, stress-free balance (no one is perfect). I do travel a lot, both for business and for pleasure. I do a little bit of everything: I coach, consult, teach, write and speak on a frequent basis. Of course, I run my company, Primal Nutrition. I also read voraciously - mostly history, science, and medical journals (hey, someone has to)."


What is your health philosophy?


"Really, my health philosophy is surprisingly simple. I follow a diet based on an understanding of evolutionary science. I think it's more important to eat, move, and live according to how humans are designed and not according to society's artificial developments of the last 100 years. Fortunately, this regimen is not only incredibly healthy, it's quite simple. In a nutshell:

- fresh, organic, unprocessed food
- no junk!
- daily activity
- whether it's the gym or a walk along the beach, it all counts
- plenty of quality sleep
- plenty of water, no soda or sweetened drinks
- antioxidants galore
- the key to limiting stress
- a good fish-oil supplement
- lots of essential fats, reckless amounts of vegetables, and clean protein
- time for fun
- don't take anything too seriously
- ethical behavior
- because what goes around comes around
- taking responsibility for yourself and your life
- openness to new things and ideas

"For more on my health philosophy see my book-"


Mark has published several books, the latest of which is Primal Blueprint,


His blog and websites may be found at


Joyce Graff, Executive Director
VHL Family Alliance
2001 Beacon Street, Suite 208
Boston, MA  02135-7787
617-277-5667 or 1-800-767-4VHL

Follow  us at:
Check out the Powerful Patient series of interviews:
Learn about the VHL Family Alliance:http://www.y
Join the Facebook awareness group: Spreading Awareness of von Hippel-Lindau
Find person-to-person support at