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“I designed this program asa 21-day adventure.Reading and putting the programinto action will take less thanan hour a day—really!The results of your genereprogramming will benefit youfor the rest of your life—as long asyou remain on the Primal path.”- Mark SissonMalibu, CA. October, 2011


DISCLAIMER e ideas, concepts and opinions expressed in this book are intended to be used for educational purposes only. isbook is sold with the understanding that author and publisher are not rendering medical advice of any kind, nor is thisbook intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, condition, illness or injury.It is imperative that before beginning any diet or exercise program, including any aspect of the Primal Blueprint program, you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician. Author and publisher claim no responsibility to anyperson or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of theuse, application or interpretation of the material in this book. Sorry, but that’s what my lawyers forced me to say inorder for me to be able to offer you my insights. If you object to this disclaimer, you may return the book to the publisher for a full refund.THE PRIMAL BLUEPRINT21-DAY TOTAL BODY TRANSFORMATION 2011, Mark Sisson. All rights reserved.Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, reproduction or utilization ofthis work in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafterinvented, including xerography, photocopying, and recording, and in any information storage andretrieval system, is forbidden without written permission of Mark Sisson.Library of Congress Control Number: 2011915858Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataSisson, Mark, 1953–The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation / Mark SissonISBN: 978-0-9822077-7-21. Health 2. Weight Loss 3. Diet 4. Physical FitnessWriting/Consulting: Brad KearnsDesign/Layout: Caroline DeVitaProject Manager/Pie Charts: Aaron Fox, Primal NutritionPhotography/Cover Model: Carrie SissonCover Design/Photo Editing: Farhad MostaediFront Cover Design: Ralph NacepoText Editor: Greg BrownSlackline: Kyle SissonFor more information about the Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation, please visitprimalblueprint.comFor information on quantity discounts, please call 888-774-6259Publisher: Primal Nutrition, Inc.23805 Stuart Ranch Rd. Suite 145Malibu, CA 902654The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation

contentsCONTENTSINTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6KEY CONCEPTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Yes, You Really Can Reprogram Your Genes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22The Clues to Optimal Gene ExpressionAre Found in Evolution. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Your Body Prefers Burning Fat over Carbohydrates. . . . . . . . . 3380 Percent of Your Body Composition Success IsDetermined by How You Eat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44Grains Are Totally Unnecessary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Are Not Your Enemy. . . . . . . . . . 67Exercise Is Ineffective for Weight Management. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75Maximum Fitness Can Be Achieved in Minimal Timewith High Intensity Workouts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79ACTION ITEMS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86Eliminate SAD Foods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89Shop, Cook, and Dine Primally. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Make the Healthiest Choices Across the Spectrum. . . . . . . . . . . 101Exercise Primally - Move, Lift, and Sprint!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125Slow Life Down. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13921-DAY CHALLENGE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148Contents5


e 284-page Primal Blueprint (released in September 2009) took three years of research and writing,and over 30 years of immersion in the world of diet, fitness, performance nutrition, and elite athletics. Iwas honored by the resulting critical acclaim and sales popularity, as it climbed to the #2 best-selleroverall on in March 2010. Personal satisfaction aside, the popularity of the Primal Blueprint,, and the Primal/paleo/hunter-gatherer movement in general sends theclear message that people are tired of flawed Conventional Wisdom and are ready to embrace the lessons of our past when striving to lead healthy, happy, active lives.“Going Primal” offers an appealing alternative to the distorted message conveyed by Conventional Wisdom—that we have little control over the aging process or our genetic predispositions to health problems and excess body fat. On the contrary, you can actually reprogram some of your genes, press the“reset” button on the runaway decline in human health throughout the modern world, and reconnectwith your personal recipe for optimal health, ideal body composition, and longevity that has beenmolded by two million years of human evolution. In fact, as you will soon discover, it is your birthrightto be lean, strong, fit, healthy, and happy. I’m here to take you through the steps to regain that birthright.A er the Primal Blueprint was released, I started receiving recurring backhanded compliments alongthe lines of “Wow—really comprehensive work Mark, great detail and excellent research. But.whatexactly do I do now? What are the precise steps I can take to start living Primally today?” e Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation is the answer to that question. It’s a practical,action-oriented guide for how to eat, exercise and live Primally—a “cut to the chase” resource to makea smooth and quick transition to a Primal lifestyle. First, we will cover eight Key Concepts—“thingsyou need to know”—to succeed. ese Key Concepts represent the most important day-to-day elements of the Primal Blueprint and address some of the common questions posed by readers. Once youare armed with the knowledge and understanding of these Key Concepts, you can proceed with confidence and focus to tackle the five Action Items—“things you need to do.” Finally, you will jump intothe 21-Day Challenge—“time to get to it!” is step-by-step journey of daily challenges (categorized asDiet, Exercise, or Lifestyle challenges) relates to the Action Items and features corresponding journalexercises.‘‘“ e Primal Blueprint is about getting the greatest health and fitness benefits you can with theleast amount of pain, suffering, and sacrifice.So, when I ask you to throw away a large percentage of the food that currently occupies your fridge andpantry—staples that probably have sustained you for your entire life—you’ll be buoyed by a clear understanding of how these dietary shi s will profoundly improve your metabolism and health. Likewise,when I explain why you really don’t need to spend that much time exercising, you won’t be inclined todoubt me (or try to sneak in some “extra credit” workouts!).8The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation

A 21-DAY TRANSFORMATIONTHAT WILL LAST THE REST OFYOUR LIFEYour genes are extremely sensitive to environmental influences, many of whichyou control directly, so you really can make great progress toward reversing yearsof adverse lifestyle habits in just 21 days. By eating and exercising Primally, youwill transform from a sugar-dependent, fat-storing organism that constantly battles hunger, illness, depression, and weight gain, into what I call a “fat-burningbeast” who burns stored body fat day and night, at exercise and at rest, as yourprimary energy source. By recalibrating delicate hormonal processes that havebeen thrown out of whack by hectic modern life, you’ll be able to manage stresssmoothly, avoid burnout, enjoy elevated immune function and high energy levelsall day long, fall asleep easily each evening, and awaken refreshed each morning.Twenty-one days represents a benchmark in the gene reprogramming process,and, not coincidentally, is also believed by many experts to be the length of timerequired to eliminate old habits and replace them with new ones. Make a sincereeffort to follow this program for 21 days and you’ll be transformed for life—aslong as you remain on the Primal path.If you visit and check out the success stories link, you willsee that profound changes in body composition happen quickly when you go Primal. A few of my favorite success stories are presented here. It’s reasonable to expect a reduction of three to seven pounds of excess body fat in your first 21 days,and to continue at that rate safely until you reach your ideal body composition.I’m confident that the benefits you’ll experience will promote a transformation innot only how you eat and exercise for the rest of your life, but also in how you thinkIntroduction9introductionUnlike many other diet and exercise “programs,” the Primal Blueprint philosophyoffers tremendous flexibility for personal preference, and even the hedonistic enjoyment of comfortable modern life. You can be sure that I walk my talk, but I’mno ascetic or tightly wound fitness freak. As I detailed in the Primal Blueprint,I’ve been there and done that during my career as an elite marathon runner andironman triathlete. Today, my goal is to look super fit without having to follow anexhaustive, time-consuming exercise regimen, to enjoy the heck out of my mealswithout the slightest hint of deprivation or restriction, and essentially to neutralize the aging process by engaging in lifestyle behaviors that promote optimalgene expression. I want you to experience that kind of freedom and empowerment as well.

about diet, exercise, aging, immune function, prescription medication, and numerous other Conventional Wisdom elements that have been surreptitiously compromising your health for decades. One ofthe most common testimonials on MarksDailyApple is “I’ve lost 50 pounds effortlessly, but it feels likeI’ve also lost 1,000 pounds off my shoulders, because I know I can live like this for the rest of my life!”While you’ll hopefully experience an exceptional first 21 days, it’s possible that you’ll have some difficulty out of the gate, depending on your particular history and lifestyle circumstances. If you’ve spentyears eating the Standard American Diet (let’s call it “SAD,” shall we?) marked by heavy consumptionof processed carbohydrates, sugars, and certain unhealthy fats, and if you’ve been immersed in what Icall a “Chronic Cardio” exercise pattern, you may struggle with occasional swings of hunger and energy for the first 7-21 days of eating Primally. Have no fear; these symptoms will dissipate with eachpassing day as you gradually repair some of the metabolic damage from SAD eating, normalize yourinsulin levels, and reprogram your genes to burn stored body fat for energy.Shoot - Just For Kicks!Consider taking a “Before” photograph at the outset of your 21-Day Transformation. This isnot about winning a trip to Hawaii by starving yourself and snapping an amazing “After”photo. Rather, it’s recording for posterity—and for fun—the starting point of a long-termlifestyle transformation. Please don’t feel any negativity about your starting point—justgrab a camera and snap a full-body shot in private. In 21 days, you will likely be down afew pounds of excess body fat (if desired), a jeans size or two, and may noticeadded/toned muscle. However, you should emphasize enjoyment of the process overphysique changes, allowing results to happen at a comfortable pace. Who knows? In threemonth’s time, or a year’s time, your improvement may be dramatic enough to submit an“After” photograph to!Marie Bencivenga from San Francisco went from 157 lbs to 123 lbs on her Primal journeyin 2010-201110The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation

introductionTAKINGRESPONSIBILITYYour Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation will be characterizedby flexibility and personal empowerment. I hesitate to use words like “program,” “regimen,” or “diet” when talking about the Primal Blueprint. Really, thisjourney is about understanding the behaviors that promote optimal gene expression, and taking responsibility for the consequences of your day-to-daylifestyle choices. When you embrace this mentality, you will be able to skirt theall-too-common phenomenon of diving enthusiastically into a program, regimen, or diet, becoming fixated on a specific result, and then losing momentumfor various reasons. Perhaps you’ve lost motivation with past “programs” because they were too difficult, impractical, or physically and mentally stressful tosustain long term. Perhaps you didn’t achieve the result you expected and didn’thave any fun in the process. Worst of all, you probably experienced a decline inhealth despite devoted efforts to do the right thing by Conventional Wisdom.Your Primal efforts must be fun, energizing, and easy to maintain at all times,otherwise you are destined to fail. What are the best workouts within in theparameters of the Primal Blueprint Fitness principles? Whatever is the mostfun for you—seriously! What are the best foods to eat within the parameters ofthe Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid? e ones that you enjoy the most!‘‘“Your Primal efforts must be fun, energizing,and easy to maintain at all times, otherwiseyou are destined to fail. ere is no greater feeling of empowerment than truly comprehending howmuch influence you have over your health, fitness, and well-being. Once yourealize that your genes respond to environmental signals that you largely create, you are no longer at the mercy of your parents’ legacy, your doctor’s nebulous warnings, or the tremendous momentum against health and balance inhectic modern life. Everything changes as soon as you “own” the Key Conceptthat you can influence gene expression on a day-to-day basis. In many cases,you can choose which genes to flip on and which to flip off through your foodand activity choices! is is a profound responsibility to reflect upon. We live in a world of suchabundant choice and freedom that we can direct gene expression away fromhealth and still not suffer any penalty in the traditional “survival of the fittest”evolutionary sense (today, unfit humans are not eaten by predators, and furthermore, are able to reproduce freely!). For two million years, humans wereIntroduction11

subjected to unimaginably severe selection pressures, and adapted and thrived to enjoy a position atthe top of the food chain. Since the advent of civilization 7,000 years ago, the typical evolutionary selection pressure ceased to the extent that we are literally “devolving” from the pinnacle of humanhealth represented by our hunter-gatherer ancestors.I strongly support taking advantage of free choice, but I’d like you to reflect for a moment on the obligation you have to yourself, your loved ones, and the planet to take good care of yourself. Today,cloaked in the veneer of affluence and rampant consumerism, there is far too much unnecessary, expensive, and totally preventable pain and suffering caused by poor health practices and unconsciouslifestyle choices. is program entails making informed choices and exercising personal responsibilityand empowerment!WHOM TO TRUST? HOW ABOUT YOU!I must admit that some of the Primal Blueprint Key Concepts are hotly contested, with respected scientists and health professionals passionately defending their life’s work on both sides of the debate. Itcan be quite disconcerting to absorb conflicting advice when determining the best course of action foryour health. I don’t want to force dogma down your throat and urge that you simply take my word forit with so much on the line, particularly since I’m not an accredited scientist or doctor. Instead, I’llpresent you with my interpretation of a variety of scientific, medical, and anecdotal data relating to theKey Concepts and let you decide for yourself. But the anecdotal evidence of the success of my 21-DayTransformation approach is there: I have had the pleasure of seeing thousands of people lose fat, increase energy, and regain excellent health by following the Primal Blueprint.‘‘“Regardless of your starting point, pastfailures, or bad luck with familial genes,you can turn things around quickly—starting with your next meal and nextworkout. Your genes expect you to belean, strong, energetic, and healthy.First, you might want to take stock of how things are working for you right now. For example, are youone who enjoys engaging in chronic exercise—always balancing on the edge of burnout, illness, andinjury? Do you enjoy strictly controlling fat intake in the name of weight control, avoiding some of themost delicious foods on the planet (steak, eggs, bacon, butter, macadamia nuts, avocados, etc.)? Doesportion control and the hassle and regimentation of trying to balance calories consumed with caloriesburned each day work effectively for you? Do you already enjoy optimal health, fitness, and body com12The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation

introductionposition, and have you managed to avoid the overstress/burnout syndromethat is epidemic in our hectic modern world, or could things be a little—or awhole lot—better?It’s clear that even today’s most devoted health and fitness enthusiasts strugglewith weight control, recurring fatigue and minor illness, chronic pain in jointsand muscles, increased risk factors for lifestyle-related diseases, and an agingprocess that is vastly more accelerated and debilitating than it has to be. What’salso apparent from recent scientific advances is how readily and efficiently ourbodies embrace behaviors that promote optimal gene expression. Regardless ofyour starting point, past failures, or bad luck with familial genes that predispose you to excess body fat and other health problems, you can turn thingsaround quickly and build momentum for lifestyle transformation—startingwith your next meal and next workout. You can literally recreate, rebuild, andrenew your body using the Primal Blueprint principles. Based on two millionyears of human evolution, your genes want—and expect—you to be lean,strong, energetic, and healthy.I have great respect and interest in science, medicine, epigenetics, evolutionarybiology, and exercise physiology, but I default to personal experience whenever I’m conflicted about what is the best course of action to promote myhealth. I strongly encourage you to do the same. If you aren’t having fun atworkouts, then whatever you’re doing is dead wrong for you. If you’re not enjoying meals, then your diet is literally unhealthy. One caveat here: I aim to behealthy, happy, and energetic, and I want to achieve that with the least amountof pain, suffering, sacrifice, discipline, calorie-counting, and portion controlpossible. I will make the assumption that you do too.Introduction13

THE PRIMAL BLUEPRINT 21-DAYTRANSFORMATION: KEY CONCEPTS ANDACTION ITEMS e eight Key Concepts create the framework around which you will smoothly transition into acustom-designed Primal lifestyle. Once you understand these concepts, you can implement the fiveAction Items with confidence, dialing in your eating, exercise, sleep, and play for the rest of your metabolism that has supportedhuman survival for two million years.This shift is the most liberating aspectof Primal living.{ {KEY CONCEPTS

8 The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation e 284-page Primal Blueprint (released in September 2009) took three years of research and writing, and over 30 years of immersion in the world of diet, fitness, performance nutrition, and elite athletics.

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