555: Paleo Blogger Richard Nikoley Addresses The Low-Carb vs. Paleo Controversy


Paleo blogger and author Richard Nikoley is our guest today on The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore!


Bombastic, controversial and irreverent (with a trademark potty mouth from time to time), everybody in the Paleo/low-carb community knows about the work of Richard Nikoley from the “Free The Animal” blog. It’s been a couple of years since he was on the podcast and now he’s back to promote his brand new e-book and book entitled Free The Animal: Lose Weight & Fat With The Paleo Diet. Richard shared about a very special deal his publisher is running right now during the podcast and here are the details: purchase a copy of either his e-book or the paperback and you will have the opportunity to give five e-book copies way for FREE! Purchase the book and full details are inside the book. Don’t miss this exciting interview where Richard talks about his recent experimentation eating more starchy carbohydrates in the form of potatoes and his unique firebrand take on the low-carb vs. Paleo vs. food reward theory that is lighting up the blogosphere. It’s never a dull moment when Richard Nikoley is on the show. ENJOY!


NOTICE OF DISCLOSURE: http://cmp.ly/3

– Support our sponsor: Ben Greenfield’s The Low-Carbohydrate Guide For Triathletes e-book
Richard Nikoley bio
“Free The Animal” blog
Free The Animal: Lose Weight & Fat With The Paleo Diet paperback book
Free The Animal: Lose Weight & Fat With The Paleo Diet e-book
Jimmy’s book review of Free The Animal
– RELATED PODCAST: 347: Richard Nikoley From ‘Free The Animal’ On Primal Health

66 Responses to 555: Paleo Blogger Richard Nikoley Addresses The Low-Carb vs. Paleo Controversy
  1. Chuck Johnson
    March 6, 2012 | 8:09 pm

    Minute 17-22 or so
    Here’s the magic happens in this interview. Some relief for my poor broken record.

    Minute 30
    More energy = more interest in moving = more calories burned. 

    This stuff isn’t rocket science people. Quit trying to make it that.

    The thyroid issues aren’t bullshit and they aren’t new, but I loudly applaud your shift though Richard :)

    • Anonymous
      March 7, 2012 | 8:05 am

      I’m all for people experimenting and finding what works just as Richard has. Otherwise you become as dogmatic as the vegans we like making fun of. 😀

      • Richard
        March 7, 2012 | 10:48 am

        Jimmy. John McDougall MD is out with a new book “The starch solution”. I want to have him in your show. Is that possible?

        • Anonymous
          March 7, 2012 | 1:09 pm

          Oh, I’m well aware Dr. McDougall’s new book is out…he was so smug about how low-carb is lunacy, but he’s too chicken to come on my show to talk about it. What’s he so afraid of?

          • Jill4535
            March 7, 2012 | 10:35 pm

            Last night I watched a documentary about traditional people living in Kaktovic, Alaska.  Seems they managed well on low carb.

      • Chuck Johnson
        March 7, 2012 | 3:39 pm

        I don’t make fun of vegans. They’ve got some great info. Not eating animals isn’t part of that 😉

    • Richard Nikoley
      March 7, 2012 | 8:44 am


      Actually, I was a bit hyperbolic on calling all the thyroid issues BS. What I was trying to get at is that one needs to eat a variety of real foods first, including a reasonable amount of quality carbs from starchy tubers, and only THEN take a look at endocrine function. There’s this sort of deconstruction I see where people get these various tests including obsessive body temperature measurements and attempt to tweak isolated variables rather than dealing with the body as an extremely complex system.

      Also, on the cold hands and cold feet issue, it’s my experience that stress causes that more than anything else.

      • Chuck Johnson
        March 7, 2012 | 3:34 pm


        That said, perhaps “I get” what the said person is trying to do a little bit more clearly. I agree (and can relate to) the idea that this said person’s message often comes across quite muddy.

      • Pauncho Gonzales
        March 12, 2012 | 1:35 pm

        How about deconstructing that paunch you’re still carrying around?

  2. Eric
    March 6, 2012 | 10:59 pm

    Maybe one of these days Jimmy will actually take the advice of one of his podcast guests. Stranger things have happened.

    • Anonymous
      March 7, 2012 | 8:04 am

      Not sure what “advice” you think I should be following, but I appreciate your comments.

      • Eric
        March 7, 2012 | 11:25 pm

        Advice – like Richard’s and Dr. Kurt Harris’ and Melissa McEwen’s – that might actually result in you losing weight again. You’re advocating  for a way of eating that has demonstrably failed you – along with many, many others. That’s real reason for the supposed ‘antagonism’ toward low carb from Paleo circles: It doesn’t work! (And it’s not Paleo, either.)

        • FrankG
          March 8, 2012 | 9:13 am

          Why are you ignoring the many, many people ( I am one) where low-carb DOES work… and has continued to work for over 3 years in my case?

          Richard’s initial success was with a low-carb approach.. he has now adjusted that — perhaps by losing excess fat mass and resting a strained metabolism he has now increased his tolerance for good quality carbohydrates. Woud he be in the same or better state, if he had started this journey eating as he does toay? I guess we will never know but I’m not making any assumptions… we only have the observed evidence to go on.

          In my case (and I suspect Jimmy’s) there has been what appears so far to be irreversible metabolic damage; such that I am still (despite having lost over 100lbs excess fat mass and improved every other health marker) I am still unable to tolerate starchy vegetables. Why is it hard to accept that each of us can have a different level of tolerance?

          I am NOT telling you how you should eat. Read, learn, experiment and make up your own mind.

  3. James
    March 7, 2012 | 4:13 am

     I have done the same lately. Protein, fat and sweet potatoes fries have made for the best meals. Lowers the GI, keeps me satiated, adds some variety and leaves me with more energy.

    • Anonymous
      March 7, 2012 | 8:03 am

      Awesome! Glad it works for you buddy.

      • Tim
        March 13, 2012 | 4:52 pm

        Hey Jimmy, did you end following through with trying Paul Jaminets recommendations back in october? I remember reading on his blog that you were going to give it a week long go

        • LLVLCBlog
          March 19, 2012 | 10:13 am

          Not yet. Working with another doctor right now. But I talked with Paul at PaleoFX and am willing to give his protocol a go if what I’m doing now doesn’t produce results.

  4. James
    March 7, 2012 | 4:43 am

    Also. I think that’s where a lot of low carbers go wrong when they try to add in carbs without thinking about food quality. There’s the simplistic notion of how “a carb is a carb it all turns to glucose and that’s all there is to it”. So instead of adding a few quality satiating potatoes to their meals there more likely to eat a croissant made with shitty oils just because it has the same carb content and wonder why it fails.

    • Anonymous
      March 7, 2012 | 8:03 am

      Exactly James. Food quality matters and I’ve tried to communicate this to my low-carbers. Although I don’t know anyone who eats a croissant for their carbs.

    • GalinaL.
      March 7, 2012 | 9:00 pm

      Rubbish, James, don’t view your opponents as idiots.It kills discussions.  People discuss adding potatoes not croissants. I am LCarber myself and it really annoys me when LCarbers are presenred like people with irrational fear that morsel of carbs will poison them. We have our reasons rather than irrational impulses to do what we do.

  5. Mrfreddy
    March 7, 2012 | 5:54 am

    meh. I ate less meat for lunch the other day and added a potatoe, with some butter and sour cream. A bit later I felt the same sugar rush-that odd queasy feeling-that I would feel if I had just eaten a candy bar.

    I didn’t notice feeling any less hungry than normal, or any other difference.I gained two pounds overnight.

    No thanks!

    • Anonymous
      March 7, 2012 | 8:02 am

      Me neither.

    • Richard Nikoley
      March 7, 2012 | 12:50 pm


      You’ve given me a new idea to coin a new phrase: “The Starch Flu”

      • Mrfreddy
        March 8, 2012 | 5:39 am

        ha ha could be. Guess what you’re sayin is that I would need to give it time and let my body adapt to eating starches. But I’m not sure why I’d want to do that?

        Btw, I’ve played around with a low carb version of a “simple foods” diet. It does seem to work, but I haven’t managed to stick with it long enough to know if it helps much beyond the initial water weight loss that comes with cutting down on salt.

  6. M.
    March 7, 2012 | 8:10 am

    I think you can be low-carb and ancestral, but
    just being low-carb doesn’t make you ancestral. By the same token, someone can
    be vegetarian and ancestral, but being vegetarian doesn’t make one ancestral.
    There is no particular natural affinity between ancestral and low-carb.

    I think
    low-carbers (and everybody else) would be better off if they were to adopt
    ancestral principles (real food and no vegetable oil), but I think there will
    always be a level of antagonism when people try to insist that the demonization
    of an entire class of macronutrient is somehow a significant element of eating
    real food and avoiding vegetable oil. It can fit within an ancestral framework,
    but it is not fundamentally part of the ancestral framework.

    • FrankG
      March 7, 2012 | 11:34 am

       No-one is “demonizing an entire class of macronutrients”… it is all about the *quality* and the *quantity*. But so long as people continue to misrepresent this as the low carb view, then I guess the antagonism will continue to be stirred up.

      Funny how there has never been any outcry about “demonizing an entire class of macronutrients” during all these decades of low fat.

      • Richard Nikoley
        March 7, 2012 | 12:49 pm


        Well, I kinda have to disagree. Now I think the last time I scanned through the comments on Jimmy’s post about the LC / Paleo antagonism, there were like 60 or something. I looked very hard and all I saw was carb carb carb, which is actually where I got my Wonder bread vs Potato analogy (making a distinction) I used in my Food Reward post and repeated in the interview. Go take a look yourself.

        • FrankG
          March 7, 2012 | 3:36 pm

          Thanks Richard, I guess I overstated in writing “no-one”… clearly there are some who characterise “low carb” as “NO Carb” but I do not, nor do I believe that any reasonable person does… including those at the forefront who tend to bear the brunt of criticism. 

          It’s like those who claim Dr Lustig says “all fructose is poison” when he is quite emphatic that it is “dose dependant” — much like alcohol: where a little does no harm and could well be beneficial but above a threshold it starts to cause damage.

          The threshold may vary from person to person just as our individual tolerance to carbohydrate does. I am 53, have Metabolic Syndrome, including Type 2 Diabetes and my carbohydrate tolerance is very low — even for good quality carb-rich foods — but for my 21 year old son at University, who has also embraced a real whole food diet, I encourage him to eat sweet potatoes, wild berries etc… beer and pizza on occasion, as I consider it to be more important what you eat day to day rather than on occasion.

          I wonder how much of this is simply shorthand — we have no neat sound bites yet
          like “you are what you eat”, so especially in a blog’s comments
          someone might write “avoid carbs” when they really mean, the much more long-winded but more precise “limit your consumption of
          manufactured/processed/packaged frankenfoods that contain an high proportion of sugars and refined
          starches; used as cheap filler to replace the natural fats”. Perhaps I
          am being an apologist but I do think there is a germ of truth to this
          idea. For example there was a great deal of discussion over that recent
          graphic which said something like “carbs are killing you”. Attention
          grabbing to be sure but obviously imprecise; although not necessarily
          wrong, in every case.

          • M.
            March 7, 2012 | 7:29 pm

            Uhmm…did you read the whole “safe starch” thing. “Safe starches” are not really safe. The low-carb “experts” have declared it – officially non-safe. Jimmy’s medical experts warned him of dire consequences if he even attempted to experiment with them.  All carbs get turned to glucose so they are all bad…sound familiar?

            • FrankG
              March 8, 2012 | 4:37 am

               “All carbs get turned to Glucose…” perhaps, but as a person who is frequently checking his Blood Glucose (BG), I can tell you that the rate at which that occurs, and the effect it has on the BG (and by association insulin level) varies tremendously between different types of food. For example if something is more slowly converted to glucose, then my body has a greater chance to successfully manage my BG to within normal levels.

              As I said above: tolerance to carbs varies between individuals and mine is much lower than my son’s, for example… but I still occasionally eat wild berries with plenty of cream (which helps to slow the absorption of the fructose and glucose). Starchy root vegetables unfortunately, are not safe for my BG… as I am trying to avoid the long-term complications of Diabetes. But that is just a fact I accept… I don’t judge them to be “bad”, in the same way that I don’t consider a shark to be “evil”… it is what it is.

              From what I have read, Jimmy shares my poor tolerance to pretty much any carbohydrates but as I seem to constantly have to remind others, low-carb does not equal NO-carb.

              All carbs may be converted to glucose (although they may also be stored as fatty acids which cannot be converted back to glucose) BUT it does not follow that all carbs are “bad” (or “good” for that matter). Quantity and quality count… I can tolerate smaller amounts of carbs, especially when they are in real whole food.

              And I’m pretty sure I would get agreement on those statements from the likes of Gary Taubes, Dr Eades etc…

          • Galina L.
            March 7, 2012 | 8:45 pm

            Hey, Frank, my 19 yo son is also in university and decided to eat Paleo after watching me getting read of basically all my heath issues on LC paleo, his version is gluten-free but not LC .

            • FrankG
              March 8, 2012 | 4:44 am

              That is good news Galina :-) As above I encourage real whole food in whatever form suits you best.

              Unfortunately genes do seem to count in the mix and Type 2 Diabetes is in my family… we also seem to tend toward excess fat mass storage :-(

              My son is keen and enthusiastic — as many are at that age — and I find I have to sometimes temper his approach to be more balanced… he is at University after all! That may be one reason it ticks me off so much when all LC’ers (I even dislike that term) are painted as extreme carbophobes who think any amount of carb is bad for everyone and insulin is the greatest evil ever invented. LOL

  7. FrankG
    March 7, 2012 | 10:34 am

    Very many thanks to both of you gentlemen for a rational and sane discussion :-)

    I don’t see the point of in-fighting between LCHF and Paleo… anything that encourages folks towards real whole food is a winner in my book.

    And I very much agree that the way to promote one position is *not* by constantly knocking another position. Either your own position stands on its own, or it doesn’t… attacking the “opposition” simply suggests to me that the “attackers” must feel they are on shaky ground themselves.

    Thanks again Jimmy and Richard.


    • Anonymous
      March 7, 2012 | 1:09 pm

      THANKS buddy!

    • Geoffrey Hamilton
      March 8, 2012 | 9:38 am

      Frank, I went into more detail in my own comment, but the point of the “in-fighting” is that the science behind low carb is not scientific. The mechanisms behind low carbohydrate dieting are not in line with the empirical evidence. Being associated with the low carb community hurts the credibility of the ancestral health movement.

      • Anonymous
        March 8, 2012 | 12:39 pm

        Actually, the science behind low-carb is pretty solid. Check out THE ART AND SCIENCE OF LOW-CARBOHYDRATE LIVING by Steve Phinney and Jeff Volek for more info.

        • Geoffrey Hamilton
          March 8, 2012 | 7:11 pm


          Like Richard, I appreciate and respect everything you have done for the ancestral health movement, but I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you. The proposed mechanisms by which low carb diets are supposed to work just don’t hold up to empirical scrutiny. It was a good theory in the 1940s, but we know better now. We know that the brain runs ish.

          The ancestral health movement and the low carb movement are like the pre-civil war north and south respectively, with the carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis being slavery. We started out unified, both owning slaves so to speak, but the rift has been growing as more and more of us ancestral dieters have come to terms with the reality that macronutrients don’t matter. It’s fine and dandy to maintain an open dialog, but at the end of the day, there is no room for both points of view to coexist, Science requires rigor, and part of rigor is rejecting bad hypotheses.

          • Anonymous
            March 9, 2012 | 7:24 am

            Fair enough. Thanks for sharing your comments.

        • Chuck W.
          March 9, 2012 | 1:11 am

          Get real, Jimmy. All that’s been debunked over and over by some of the best minds in the field – from Stephan Guyenet to Kurt Harris. I totally understand why you’re hanging on like you are, but low carbers – and adherents to the insulin hypothesis (CIH) in general – are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

          • Anonymous
            March 9, 2012 | 7:23 am

            Hanging on? Hardly.

            • Chuck
              March 18, 2012 | 7:22 pm

              Come on, Jimmy… There’s nothing wrong with making a living pitching a certain lifestyle (even, I suppose, if it doesn’t work for you), but at least be upfront about your reasons for doing what you do – e.g., dropping the menus/weights, abruptly discontinuing the n=1 experiments, promising certain big-name personalities for the cruise and then quietly changing the story, the censorship on your blog, etc., etc. Perhaps the reason for all the supposed ‘antagonism’ from the paleo crowd is that they look at low carb and honestly don’t like what they see: masses of failed dieters doing the same things over and over and OVER again, with the same results. People like Richard and Dr. Kurt Harris at least had the intellectual honesty to change their approach when the evidence warranted it. Your advocacy of LC, all the impressive-sounding jargon aside, is completely non-scientific. I suppose that’s not surprising when one comes from a worldview that denies certain phenomena like evolution (and God knows you can’t get more Paleo than that).

              • LLVLCBlog
                March 19, 2012 | 10:10 am

                Wow, that’s a lot of blowhard opinions about me from someone who’s never even met me. Tell me how you REALLY feel! LOL!

                • Chuck
                  March 20, 2012 | 9:10 pm

                  OK, Jimmy, then why not have some of the people back for encore podcasts who’ve now become critics of low carb/the insulin hypothesis? People like Don Matesz, Matt Stone, Dr. Kurt Harris, Melissa McEwen, CarbSane (who REALLY got the expose of orthodox ‘low carb’ rolling), etc., etc….

                  • Erika
                    March 21, 2012 | 6:09 am

                    Better yet, Anthony Colpo. For someone who “became irrelevant a long time ago”, he still manages to have quite the readership…

                    • LLVLCBlog
                      March 21, 2012 | 6:52 pm

                      I’ve asked him on my podcast for years, but he’s refused.

                  • LLVLCBlog
                    March 21, 2012 | 6:51 pm

                    I constantly have people who oppose low-carb on my podcasts.

  8. Anonymous
    March 7, 2012 | 12:06 pm

    I’ve been dieting in some form for most of my life. For years I followed the party line – low fat, low calories, plenty of whole grains, etc. I tracked everything I ate for years – first by hand, then on the Daily Plate and now on Fat Secret. Doing the higher carb, low fat, lower calorie thing I had to keep my calories at or below 1000 per day in order to lose weight. If I wanted to maintain then I would have to keep it at about 1200 calories. I was constantly hungry and couldn’t sustain that level of intake indefinitely. 

    When I did some research and decided to give low carb a try I continued to log my intake everyday. This time paying more attention to the amount of carbohydrates consumed rather than the fat and calories – but still, I’m the same person, using the same means to record her intake. 

    What I discovered astounded me. On low carb I can easily consume an average of 2000 calories and sustain a steady weight loss. I’ve lost just over 50 pounds in the last 11 months. Nothing earth shattering compared to some but the difference is that I’m losing without having to resort to starvation to get there. That’s HUGE for me. 

    So, I guess my point is that for some people it’s not all about how many calories we’re taking in but rather about the composition of those calories. 

    • Anonymous
      March 7, 2012 | 1:08 pm

      Preach it Rhonda! And the level of difference will vary from person to person.

    • Geoffrey Hamilton
      March 8, 2012 | 9:35 am

      Rhonda, which carbs? Not all carbs are created equal. Foods containing wheat  are less satiating on a per-calorie basis than just about any other type of food, including popcorn, ice cream, potatoes, rice, and others.

      • Anonymous
        March 8, 2012 | 9:51 am

        When I ate a diet heavier in carbs it tended to be things like: baked white potatoes (sometimes with a bit of butter, most of the time plain), rice (sometimes brown but most of the time white since I could never manage to get the hang of properly cooking brown rice), breads (rye, wheat and white), and cereals (oatmeal for breakfast, etc.) and of course tons of good veg. 

        For years I tried to follow the doctor prescribed guidelines – but if I ate an average of 2000 calories a day following those guidelines I put on weight at an absolutely alarming rate. So I assumed I was just consuming too many calories. I cut them bit by bit (over the course of 6 – 8 months or so) until my daily intake was slashed to an average of just around 600 a day. That’s when my body decided to start dropping weight. Unfortunately i was unable to sustain that level of caloric intake for very long. I was tired, hungry, obsessed with food  and calorie counts – it was horrible. So I would just “give up” and go back to eating a higher amount of calories (still trying to eat healthy according to recommendations). 

        When I decided to give low carb a try (because I was really at the end of my rope) it was absolutely amazing. Yes, I missed my carbs BUT the difference was incredible. Suddenly I was able to eat what I considered to be a reasonable amount of calories and still lose weight. I had more energy and I was no longer completely obsessed with food. For ME it has worked extremely well but I understand that it’s not the answer for everyone. 

        • Geoffrey Hamilton
          March 8, 2012 | 11:41 am

          So that’s all fine and dandy, I’m not really trying to offer you any type of advice. I was merely pointing out that looking at “carbs” in general is basically entirely useless from a scientific standpoint, as real food carbohydrate sources contain things other than carbohydrates, and just because counting carbohydrates was an effective heuristic for you does not mean that one cannot design an effective weight loss diet for you that includes carbohydrates.

          • Anonymous
            March 9, 2012 | 9:57 am

            Fair enough – and my current diet does include carbohydrates. I follow a low carb (not a no carb) diet. I get my carbs from berries, assorted veg, etc. The difference being that now I limit the amount and type of carb I consume. I try to stay under 50 total carbs a day and avoid ‘starchy veg and breads as much as possible. If I don’t make those dietary adjustments my body begins to stall and gain weight unless I drop my calories to a very low level. 

  9. Anonymous
    March 7, 2012 | 1:10 pm

    Again, I asked…again he declined.

    • Chuck W.
      March 9, 2012 | 12:02 am

      When will JIMMY MOORE be interviewed on a podcast? This seems to me to be a glaring omission. I think there are thousands out there who would love hearing Jimmy on the other side of the microphone for a change. Someone like Dr. Kurt Harris or perhaps even CarbSane could do it, and we could finally get some answers on all those pesky issues from Cruisegate to why the menus blog disappeared to the real reason for suspension of the n=1 experiments… Just sayin! :)

  10. Justin Ross
    March 7, 2012 | 6:21 pm

    That’s just Don Matesz, isn’t it? 

  11. Geoffrey Hamilton
    March 8, 2012 | 9:28 am

    I would like to interject on a specific point that I think Richard missed with regard to calorie restriction on low carb. He voiced the correct opinion that you can’t really calorie restrict low carb and expect the same results as the spontaneous calorie restriction that he experienced by adding back starch to his diet, but he didn’t do a very good job of explaining why. He sort of danced around the issue, talking about how it is difficult to avoid snacking on a calorie restricted low carb diet. 

    This point is exactly where the synthesis of food reward and fat mass setpoint ideas come together to make a complete model. The idea that the reward value of food can influence the fat mass setpoint in the hypothalamus is essential to an understanding of why calorie restriction is an EFFECT rather than a CAUSE. 

    There are some very famous studies in rats involving pushing a button to get food. Offhand I don’t recall who did them or when, but one example that I do recall very vividly is an example where they put two buttons in the cage, one attached to a food dispensary device and the other attached to an electrode feeding directly into the reward centers of the rat’s brain. The interesting finding in this experiment is that the rats keep pushing the electrode button, and eventually die of starvation as a result.

    What is interesting about this finding is that reward chemicals were able to completely override the hunger mechanisms, causing the rat to starve itself without knowing it. I suspect that there is a similar mechanism in play in anorexia nervosa. If you’re confused as to how starvation in rats relates to overeating in humans, allow me to explain. In the rat experiment, it was the button pushing that was reinforced by the pleasure chemical release, but with food reward, it is food consumption that is reinforced by pleasure chemical release. The concept behind food reward, which has been supported by a number of mutually buttressing lines of evidence, is that the amount that you are able and willing to consume is directly related to the psychological reward value of that food. If you eat below that level, your body will think it is undernourished and will upregulate hunger signaling, which causes a number of downstream effects, including inactivity, slowing down of metabolism, etc. Basically all of the things that the body does to “defend against fat mass changes” as Stephan describes it.

    The reason that Paleo has become somewhat antagonistic to the low carb community is because the mechanisms behind low carb are BUNK. They seemed plausible at one point, but there is now a well understood body of evidence that cannot be explained by the low carb mechanisms. We in the paleo community have no tolerance for implausible pseudoscience, so while we can find agreement on many things; like the lipid hypothesis and counting calories; being grouped in with you takes away credibility from our movement.

    • GalinaL.
      March 8, 2012 | 12:50 pm

      you said ” He voiced the correct opinion that you can’t really calorie restrict
      low carb and expect the same results as the spontaneous calorie
      restriction that he experienced by adding back starch to his diet”
      It strikes me that it is not the case for the people for whom a general carbohydrate limitation works, like me and Rhonda. It is amasing for me to read how people were constantly hungry eating meat and fat and greens untill they reintroduced starches into their diet because I have a very different experience, whatever some research said. I think we all are mixed it one pile of people who are get surrounded by a food excess. I think some , probably majority , are fat now only because they have an access to a Western food 24/7 and would be thin 70 years ago. For them eliminating such food and replacing it with simple things like meat, potatoes, dairy, fruits  and veggies is enough. In order for  me to stay at the weight I am  now, I also have to limit my portion sizes and practice IF. Eating eggs, butter, meat, veggies and under 50 grams of carbohudrates makes it easier because I am not hungry eating such food. Different people have to use different restrictions, and they have to find which food will allow them to eat less without being too hungry because  it woud result in spontaneous calorie
      restriction .

      • Geoffrey Hamilton
        March 8, 2012 | 5:08 pm


        Neither your case nor Rhonda’s case has anything to do with the discussion at hand. The point that I was making is that eating to satiety is essential. If you are satiated eating 2600 calories a day of meat and fat, but you would still like to lose another 10-20 pounds, the way that you do that is by finding a diet that is satiating at 2200 calories. It is specifically NOT voluntarily choosing to calorie restrict your current diet. The fact that you have to limit your portions and IF in order to maintain weight means that your diet is not working for you, full stop. 

        I have zero interest in trying to speculate as to what changes you would need to make to your diet in order to get onto one that does work for you, though I will say that boiled potatoes are a pretty good place to start, as they are about twice as satiating per calorie as any other food that has been measured. The fear of potatoes based on a defunct carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis is entirely baseless. More to the point, talking about carbohydrate content at all is totally unhelpful and obfuscating.


        • Richard Nikoley
          March 8, 2012 | 5:42 pm


          You’ve done Yeoman’s work today.

          There’s your experiment, staunch LCers. Eat your fill of baked or boiled potatoes without anything on them and tell me you gained weight.

          Or, are you afraid to falsify your idea or, God forbid, be wrong. Hey I’m a high profile blogger who takes delight in being wrong. Still may not be all right, but a little closer is always good enough.

        • GalinaL.
          March 8, 2012 | 6:15 pm

          Each time in a past when I tried to change my diet eating more carbs it didn’t work for me. It put me into indulgence mood, I also was more hungry. I am not a sugar addict, but could be too interested in food. May be I am a food addict, less so now. I read about Richard’s experience on his blog. It absolutely didn’t match mine. He just couldn’t make himself start eating after consuming starch with his meat or eggs. I experienced something like that only in situations when I made two lamb chops instead of usual one, or cooked too big stake out of greediness, but couldn’t eat it all. I have to control myself in order to make long intervals between meals without snacking, it is easy on LC, very difficult with more balanced diet. Normally, if I have a big meal of any content, next day I am more hungry . There is no spontaneous reduction in calories for me, but easier control. After IF I can’t eat much so I mostly use it to dial down my interest in food . Probably it is the reason why I have been chubby to different degree all my life. I have been always cooking all my food, I don’t know, what would became of me if I had been eating in cafeteria and drinking soda. Luckily, I am at my desirable weight right now, and  I also use LC diet to manage some medical issues.

          • Geoffrey Hamilton
            March 8, 2012 | 6:24 pm

            Have you tried restricting every meal you eat to 3 ingredients? In other words, you can make a steak with salt and pepper, but you can’t put butter on it, because that would be a fourth ingredient. Or you can use salt and butter, but no pepper. What about 2 ingredients? 1? Have you tried eating your lamb chops tartar rather than grilled? Have you tried changing to red plates? Boiling potatoes rather than baking them? Overcooking vegetables to remove the crunch? Clipping your nose when you eat? All of these are factors that signal to the body as to whether it should be eating more or less of a particular food based on its reward value. Your consumption will vary accordingly.

            But again, the point is that if you have the right model, you can play with the different variables and find out what works for you. Right now you’re living in a paradigm that does not reflect reality. In any case, I wish you the best of luck in your ongoing health journey.

            • GalinaL.
              March 8, 2012 | 6:58 pm

              Thank you, Geoffrey, good luck to you too.

  12. Kelly Mahoney
    March 10, 2012 | 8:01 am

    Did I hear Richard say that Sisson described his 200gram daily carb experiment as low carb? Isn’t 150 g daily carbs his max on the carbohydrate curve above which insidious weight gain is experienced?

    • Anonymous
      March 12, 2012 | 9:00 am

      Yep, it’s 150g carbs.

  13. Gina
    March 10, 2012 | 10:24 pm

    Aloha Jimmy! Loved your interview with Richard. One of the things I really like about him is his larger view. To consider integrating all the great information we are uncovering nutritionally is a powerful idea and seems most logical :) Otherwise aren’t we digging another single focus paradigm like the one we are crawling out of?
    Thanks for having Richard again…he keeps me on my toes :)

    • Anonymous
      March 12, 2012 | 8:59 am

      He’s certainly an interesting character. 😀

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