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Sarah asks Mark Sisson: what’s your morning routine?

By Shayl Prisk |


Mark Sisson

There was quite a crowd at last weekend’s  event in Sydney, headlined by Mark Sisson. Mark is the former elite athlete, author and founder of  and , and enjoys a huge following of fans who are keen to emulate his take on ancestral living.

 was also a guest speaker at Thr1ve and seized the opportunity to grab some face time with her long-time friend. In the first of a three-part series, Sarah asks Mark how he sets himself up for the day.

Mark Sisson’s morning routine:

Sarah Wilson: I’m a big fan of a simple morning routine to kick off your day in a healthy way and I’ve heard you’ve got quite an exacting morning routine. Care to share more?

Mark Sisson: Absolutely. It’s not so much a regimen as it is a ritual for me, and I think humans are sort of inclined to embrace rituals. I wake up at 6.45 or 7 o’clock, fix a great cup of coffee, with a little bit of cream and a little bit of sugar and read the newspapers. [Ed’s note: Sarah asked Mark about the sugar! It’s the only sugar he adds to anything and his diet adds up to less than four teaspoons a day.]

I spend 20 minutes doing all six crosswords in the LA Times. I use it as a mental exercise to wake me up for the day and also for my enjoyment. After that I typically go out in my backyard and I’ll embrace the sunshine, or the rain, or whatever’s going on, and spend a few minutes in what I call a gratitude exercise.

“It’s about allowing myself permission to proceed into the remainder of the day with some wins – specific things that I’ve done that I have deep gratitude for.”

SW: A lot of people are “on” digitally, answering emails and such, from the moment they wake. When do you kick into work mode?

MS: I don’t do any work until after my coffee and gratitude. Then I’ll come inside the house and commute down the hall, because I work from home. I have a stand-up desk and there’s a pebble mat that I stand on barefoot and a leaning post behind me that I lean on. And I attend to emails, answer phone calls…

But I take frequent breaks. I’m in a business where I need to be creative. Creativity – you can’t force it, it has to happen on its own. So mid-morning I might take a break and go to the gym, go for a hike, or go down to the ocean and do a paddle.

SW: Do you eat breakfast?

MS: Most days, the coffee will be enough to take me into maybe 12.30 or 1 o’clock where I’ll have my first meal of the day. How I’m able to do that is I’ve trained my body to become really good at burning fat so I wake up in the morning and I’m energised by my own body fat.

“One of my mantras is, if you’re not hungry, why eat.”

I’ve been able to alter my fuel partitioning, from relying on sugar to becoming reliant on fat instead of “another meal, another meal…”

That’s just one of the great things that happens when you give up sugar.

If you’re keen to hear more from Mark Sisson’s health habits, stay tuned as we roll out part two. 

How many meals do you eat a day? Do you need a solid breakfast, or do you hold off like Mark does? Let us know below:

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