#39: Evelyn Kocur – Food Restriction & Food Addiction

Evelyn Kocur of CarbSane Asylum

This is episode 39 of Evil Sugar Radio. In this episode, we interviewed Evelyn Kocur of The CarbSane Asylum about the concepts of food restriction and food addiction. Evelyn is a professor of math and chemistry with a background as a research scientist.

We also get some opinions from her on Gary Taubes and the insulin hypothesis, eating disorders, low-carb, and nutritional ketosis.

As always, if you’re enjoying the show, please rate us in iTunes.

Episode 39 Overview

Here’s an overview of what we’ll be talking about in this episode:

  • What does the name of your new book “Restriction Addiction” mean?
  • Are these physiological or psychological addictions?
  • What about the idea that the same reward systems are activated between food and street drugs?
  • Did your own background with an eating disorder give you the idea for this book?
  • What’s your opinion on Gary Taubes?
  • Is insulin a fat-storing hormone and is that its primary job?
  • What is NuSi?
  • Do low-carb diets require you to eat fewer and fewer carbs to lose additional weight or maintain weight loss?
  • What are your thoughts on people misrepresenting traditional diets to further their diet dogma?
  • What do people need to know to break the restriction/addiction cycle?

Show Notes

The CarbSane Asylum (http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/)

Intro music from Baba Brinkman’s Revenge of the Somatic. Purchase any of Baba’s music at http://bababrinkman.bandcamp.com/

Let us know what you think in the comments


  1. Carbsane in her interview just gives directions how to stay fat and not to worry about it – look at the thin people and think they are thin because they have an eating disorder, eat anything you want, throw away your scale, buy loose clothes in order to ignore permanent weight gain as long as possible. Not doing so would be unhealthy. She is a member of the fat acceptance movement, not a diet blogger, and all what she writes qualifies her as the member of such group. If you don’t want to be fat, don’t read her blog.
    She also absolutely misrepresented in her interview even some hard facts like details of the Bellevue Hospital experiment with the participation of Vilhjalmur Stefansson (http://www.biblelife.org/stefansson1.htm) – for example she told that the few day experiment on the lean meat in order to replicate the “rabbit starvation”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_Starvation) – Inuits and others who tried it got sick on a lean meat, and only adding fat to it resulted in a cure – was the unsuccessful attempt to replicate Inuits diet. It looks like she did it intentionally, pretending she failed to find the actual records of that study , which is absolutely shameless dishonesty at the time of Google.

    • Wow, somebody didn’t listen to the interview properly!!

      There’s a world of difference between eating for weight loss or maintenence and eating for metabloic recovery!!

  2. I suggest you get your information from unbiased primary sources “serova” as opposed to “Bible Life” accounts promoting distorted low carb propaganda.


    “During the first 2 days his diet approximated that of the Eskimos, as reported by Krogh and Krogh (3), except that he took only one-third as much carbohydrate. The protein accounted for 45 per cent of his food calories. The intestinal disturbance began on the 3rd day of this diet. During the next 2 days he took much less protein and more fat so that he received about 20 per cent of his calories from protein and 80 per cent from fat. In these two days his intestinal condition became normal without medication. Thereafter the protein calories did not exceed 25 per cent of the total for more than 1 day at a time. The high percentage of calories from protein may have been a factor
    in the production of the diarrhea. “

  3. Vilhjalmur Stefansson did live with the Inuits and ate their high fat (but not necessarily ketogenic) diet, as we’re finding out. But Stefansson was not a doctor nor an academic; he was a professional showman and an explorer who did things for publicity. He did live to his 80s but what people don’t realize is that he ended up with health problems down the road and died after multiple strokes. You’ll never know because bad news doesn’t travel fast, if at all, in Low-carb Land. If we ever knew what kind of health problems these low-carb health gurus are suffering from, we’ll have a scandal on our hands. Hint: many of these guys are on bioidentical hormones after years of long-term low-carbing.

    • Stefansson had a stroke at age 73. What does that have to do with his eating habits. He lived a long time for that era.
      Exactly what health problems are low carb gurus suffering from???

      Oh yeah, Atkins died from a heart attack and did not slip on an icy street in Manhattan….right.
      I doubt you have any answers.

  4. The website I gave the link to contained actual “Adventures on a diet” by Vilhjalmur Stefansson
    Harper’s Monthly Magazine, December 1935, not any sort of propaganda.

    During the lean meat phase in the Bellevue Hospital they didn’t try to replicate a normal Inuit diet, but the extreme condition when Inuits got sick when they had to eat a very lean meat , if you have trouble to look , here is the page of the citation – http://www.biblelife.org/stefansson2.htm

    “For I had published in 1913, on pages 140-142 of My Life with the Eskimo, an account of how some natives and I became ill when we had to go two or three weeks on lean meat, caribou so skinny that there was no appreciable fat behind the eyes or in the marrow. So when Dr. DuBois suggest that I start the meat period by eating as large quantities as I possibly could of chopped fatless muscle, I predicted trouble. But he countered by citing my own experience where illness had not come until after two or three weeks, and he now proposed lean for only two or three days. So I gave in.

    The chief purpose of placing me abruptly on exclusively lean was that there would be a sharp contrast with Andersen who was going to be on a normal meat diet, consisting of such proportions of lean and fat as his own taste determined.”

  5. The point is that I misrepresented nothing as I was talking about the experiment and if one familiarizes themselves with the complete literature on the Inuit (hint: more than VS), ketosis was not the norm, let alone the ridiculous “nutritional ketosis” some are promoting. There are very few who need to do that die for very specific reasons — neurological and perhaps certain cancers.

    • Mrs.Evelyn Kocur,
      Of course, we can leave that VS with hardly to pronounce first name alone because his legacy was not your main point.
      My main issue is that your advice would cause a fat gain, not just a mere water weight gain, in everyone who is prone to it, especially after being on a diet. You have said absolutely correctly that loosing weight is very hard, and the people registered in the National Weight Registry in US have to be absolutely OCD about their diet and exercise to keep their weight loss. It is impossible to be successful in a weight loss without being restrictive. Is you advice to let it go?
      I agree with you that the “nutritional ketosis” is not natural very restrictive. I don’t actually care much about paleo movement except that I appreciate the fact that they think that meat is a healthy food. I have no medical reason to be in ketosis myself, except in order to be merely not obese, I have to eat mostly fatty meat and vegetables. It is for the better or for the worse the only food restriction which do not cause hunger. Is being restrictive about food more unhealthy than being obese? I guess many people may found caring about body shape to be very unnatural after turning 45.

      • Your main issue with my advice … But you felt that those were best voiced by attacking my integrity and accusing me of “absolutely misrepresenting” Stefansson, that I did it “intentionally”, and “pretended” that I failed to find the actual records? I don’t even know where you get that last notion, but I don’t take lightly to having my character assaulted by anonymous people on the internet with accusations of “shameless dishonesty”.

        As to your “main issue” — you do realize that there are more than two states of body weight, right? One does not have to be obese or rail thin, there is all manner of states between, including “weighing more” because of lean mass. I’ve read the NWCR and I did not get “absolutely OCD about their diet and exercise to keep their weight loss”. You like to throw absolutely around. Yes for many, probably most, we are talking some mindfulness to maintain.

        You *absolutely* are misinterpreting what I am talking about with restriction. I am specifically addressing a couple that travels the globe wanting to “change your life” by convincing people that a food will make you more healthy or less healthy and there is no in between. People who preach against any moderation because they cannot eat one cookie without finishing the whole bag because they are addicted to carbs. My book is about the science of why the latter is not a physiological addiction. Bingeing is an eating disorder. If regular diets weren’t enough you now have all manner of “detoxes” designed to “free” you of addictions, when the vast majority of those who try those end up worse off a few weeks afterwards. The advice on stretchy clothes is not a blanket for everyone, it is specifically aimed at those caught in that cycle for whom a little tightness will set off a cycle of restricting. It’s not a free for all, but I suggest you familiarize yourself with the ED literature and treatments and understand the underpinnings of that advice. No responsible ED counselor counsels restriction.

        As to water weight, you again take me out of context. Of course one can gain fat, I was speaking specifically to that overnight weight gain from a binge, especially if one is glycogen depleted. I’m happy for you that keto works. The more one reads on this metabolic state, however, much of it from the LC gurus glorifying LC as a high calorie diet that cures all, one realizes that perpetual ketosis is the true “internal starvation”. Look around at how many women especially need to count calories after all and keep them at very low levels to lose weight after many years on LC. While I have no doubt some underreporting is involved, I know first hand that LC really tanks metabolic rate in some. If you feel you need to remain LC, I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise as your mind is apparently closed. There are far more I’ve heard from over the years who welcome the truth about how the human body works. Knowledge really is power.

  6. EatLessMoveMoore says:

    Tell ’em, Evie. You know what I’d REALLY like to see? For you to take on troublemaker Wooo on her own turf. She might even let a comment or two stand. She really needs to be put in her place – and who better to do it? 🙂

    • I would appreciate it if you would stop “helping”. Wooo doesn’t need to be put in her place, she is there. At a blog frequented by a hand full of whack jobs and a few others that can’t help but rubberneck at the scene of a crash (metaphorically speaking). Anyone who takes her seriously should have their heads examined.

      I would just encourage any NJ residents or visitors to print out a picture of her and carry it with them if they are ever hospitalized so they can make sure they aren’t in her care.

      If the guys don’t mind, this is my favorite link to her blog: http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/2012/04/humans-are-unthinking-useless-insects.html
      Complete with comments from Tess and Galina.

  7. I did came with an impression that you misrepresented the experiment with Steffansson while listening the podcast. Most probably, I will listen it again to clarify the matter.
    Dieting to loose weight tanks metabolic state, and LC diets are not the exception. The exception of such diets in creating the sense of satiety, which prevents binging in many people.

    • EatLessMoveMoore says:

      I find it interesting that Wooo, Tess, and Sean are MIA in this whole debate. Not a one of them wants to take on Carbsane on her turf – or on forums other than their own.

    • Relisten away all you want. I did not misrepresent the one paper that was published in peer review literature on VS’s experiment, nor the peer review literature on the content of the Inuit diet. I don’t really feel like listening to myself again so perhaps the paper I said I couldn’t find (if I used those words) is Krogh & Krogh. It is not available online. It is sufficient, however, that 45/55 pro/fat is attributed to them and that of Heinbecker. http://www.jbc.org/content/80/2/461.full.pdf

      Low carb mimics the metabolism of starvation even in the face of excess calories. I would love it if Taubes/NuSI spent their money following 30 hard core VLCers from start to finish over 5 years and watch the metabolic rate vs someone eating SAD or even an 80-10-10’er.

    • I listened the whole interview again. Around 51-th minute it was said they tried to replicate Inuit’s diet in a macro-nutrient content and got sick, while during the experiment VS got sick eating “chopped fatless muscle” meat, and he predicted the trouble because he had the experience of eating a very lean meat already while living with Inuits – for Inuits it was the unnatural way to eat called the “rabbit starvation”.

  8. Wow. With Evelyn there’s never anything succinct and to the point. I think she thinks the more wordy her argument is the better chance you’ll die of boredom before you finish reading her massive, circumlocutory posts. Oy vey.


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