Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Potato Hack

Fellow Tater Fans - I'm playing around with the Potato Hack, updating the "rules." The Potato Hack is always popular around the holidays, so if anyone wants to give it a try, let's hear your questions and results in the comments!

Alaska Grown!
Here are the new Potato Hack guidelines: 

The rules for the Potato Hack are simple. If you are eating something that is not a potato, you are doing it wrong.

1.     Plan on eating just potatoes for 3 to 5 days
2.     Eat 2-5 pounds of potatoes each day
3.     No other foods allowed (this includes butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon bits!)
4.     Salt, pepper, and vinegar allowed, but not encouraged
5.     Drink when thirsty; coffee, tea, and water only
6.     Heavy exercise is discouraged, light exercise and walking are encouraged
7.     Take your normal medications, but dietary supplements will not be needed

Expected results from 3-5 days of the Potato Hack:

·       Fat loss of 3-5 pounds
·       Reduction in inflammation, joint pain
·       Reduction in digestive complaints
·       Increased insulin sensitivity, lower fasting blood glucose levels
·       Restoration of healthy intestinal bacteria
·       Continued weight loss upon resumption of normal diet

Many people report that, for the first time in a long time, they are not hungry despite eating such a bland diet of restricted calories. People report better sleep and habitual snorers stop snoring. Those that have watched an un-budging scale for months or years report daily losses of ½ -1 pound, and the weight does not come back on, as in other “crash” diets.

Thoughts?

Later!
Tim

246 comments:

  1. I was on the potato diet for two months ( 5 days on 2 off) prior to Thanksgiving week and I lost about 14 pounds. Not as much as some but good for me as I had not been able to lose for years. I did gain back some very easily though. I'm back on now for 3-4 days a week I think. The biggest change for me is the return of joint pain big time. It seems worse than ever. Although I desperately need to lose weight I'll keep doing this for the joint pain relief alone. I love the picture of all those beautiful potatoes.

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    1. It sure sounds like you have some issues with inflammation in your regular diet. Have you tried adding things back in slowly after your potato hacks to see when the joint pain starts back up? Some common offenders are wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, etc...

      The potatoes in the background are from my garden last year! I love the dark purple ones, they store really well, too.

      Good luck with what you are doing, keep us posted!

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    2. Seems like the inflammation could be the source of the weight gain as well. I know I gain weight instantly, like overnight, when I eat foods I know to be inflammatory for me.

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  2. I've always eaten potatoes several times a week. I decided to eat larger amounts when I eat a deficit to stay full. The other day I ate about 2 lbs of cooked and cooled potatoes for lunch. About an hour later I started to feel queasy and it stuck with me the whole day. It felt as if the food wouldn't digest and just felt like a brick in my stomach. I eventually threw it all up. Do you think it's because of the resistant starch? Maybe too much to handle in one sitting? I tend to eat fast. Maybe that contributed. I've been supplementing with raw potato starch for the past 8 months, so I'm not new to the rs. What are your thoughts? Any suggestions? When I got sick, a lot of stomach acid came up.

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    1. No idea. Sounds to me like you picked up a virus. 'Tis the season, you know. How long had the cooled potatoes been sitting in your fridge? They should be good for a week or two, but like any food, they can start to spoil, even in the fridge. Or if you cooked them, and let them cool at room temperature for too long. When I cook and cool, I let them cool down a couple hours, then put them in the fridge. If they were sitting on your counter for a day or two, they could start growing things, just like any food.

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    2. They cooled in fridge for a day. Didn't leave them out. A virus is a good possibility. Thought it was strange how it happened after I ate. I felt fine earlier that day.

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    3. I was going to vote for food poisoning. I think it's common for people to believe that, because a potato can be left at room temp, then so can a baked one. Another possibility is that maybe you wrapped them up and put them in the fridge hot? Then you've got a nice warm and moist environment, along with maybe some spores from the soil the potatoes grew in? It's said, for example, that botulism is a concern when baked potatoes cooked in foil and refrigerated, but I don't know if it is really true.

      I think cooling them is important. Potatoes stay hot for a long time. Some cut baked potatoes up to speed the cooling process.

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    4. Dang it! Obviously cooling them is important, but I meant in an environment that doesn't trap moisture as it evaporates.

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    5. I think potatoes are pretty safe, if I am an indicator, lol. I have left baked potatoes in the oven over night several times after I turned the oven off, because I forgot they were in there. I've cooled them in the fridge and on the counter. Never had a problem.

      Occasionally, I will make a big batch of potatoes and put them in a baggy in the fridge and they somehow get shuffled to the back, behind the ketchup and mayo. When I re-discover them, they look all slimy and gray...these get thrown away.

      My best guess is that Mr. Smith's problem was unrelated to the potatoes.

      One time years ago I got sick after eating pickled herring. To this day, I cannot stand the sight or smell of pickled herring. 4 other people ate out of the jar with no problem, but mind-association is a powerful thing!

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    6. Two pounds of potatoes in one shot? That's a lot of potatoes. Try eating maximum 150 grams of potato at one time. I'd barf if I tried to somehow stuff 2 pounds of spuds down my gullet. It sucks up all the gastric fluid andthen the damn stuff has no place to go. The pyloric sphincter probably said 'nope, ain't going down this was'.

      Why do people think that a little is good and huge more is better?

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    7. Stephen, I think you called it right when you wondered if this happened because you tend to eat quickly. Wolfing down 2 lbs of potatoes without proper chewing is asking for trouble.

      Besides, isn't the point of eating plain potatoes that they're not terribly palatable and you won't want to overeat?

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  3. I usually put the potatoes in the fridge hot, right after I nuke them. Is that bad?

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    1. I should think that would be fine. Just follow standard food handling techniques that have gotten you this far in life. One good thing about potatoes, when they start to go bad, they look bad, gray, slimy, etc... I doubt there have been many cases of food poisoning associated with potatoes.

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    2. In my opinion (and that's all it is), is that it depends. A hot potato stays hot for a long time. I'm guessing that's the origin of the game "hot potato". And if, say, you pile them up or making a whole bunch they are going to stay hot even longer or heat up the fridge above the proper temp.

      It depends on the quality of your fridge and what's in it. I've got a beer fridge that's mostly full, and I put hot food in there to cool confident that the beer will help keep the right temp. I put nothing else that would spoil.

      Are the potatoes wrapped in foil? The spore thing sounds maybe plausible.

      OR, Tim might be right. Maybe it was something else that you ate that not stored at proper fridge temp because of a large amount of hot potatoes warming it up, and that should me thing else made you sick.

      If I were to nuke my potatoes, I'd let them sit out unwrapped probably for an hour or two whole, or cut them up after cooking, let them sit out for maybe an hour, and then put in a container.

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    3. And don't forget about frequency. If you are doing this every day or every couple of days, and the fridge is heating up beyond safe temp for even, say, an hour, then something that you keep in the fridge for a week or longer is going to go through several cycles. The cumulative effect matters here of course.

      Anything you store above the hot potatoes will take the most impact, I presume. If it's thin enough, I bet it could easily get to 70 d F regardless of the fridge temp.

      I'm not seeing the upside here unless, like me, it's in with just a bunch of beer that won't spoil.

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    4. A fridge is designed to Keep food cold, not make food cold, so putting hot food in there is asking for trouble. Of course, it'll get cold faster than if you had left it on the counter, but ideally you'll bring the temp down quite a bit before storing because what'll happen is that your big plate of freshly cooked potatoes will bring the inside temperature of your fridge from 40 up into the 50's for a time; then all kinds of shitty food-borne craziness starts to happen. Since it's winter here my best practice for cooling a bunch of food quickly is to leave it outside, covered, in the wind ideally or with a fan blowing on it (convection is key)

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    5. I have a big appetite and can put away a lot of food usually. I think two pounds of potatoes in one sitting was foolish. I learned my lesson. I think it was too much for my stomach. However, I can put away a pound of meat with 2 cups of rice and a can of green beans and tomatoes with no problem. I think its the density of the potato that makes the difference.

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  4. Well I really love this potato hack. ... I lost 25lb earlier this year doing it and have used it regularly to stick in my preferred weight range. I do eat about 50% sweet potatoes though. Anyway the next 3 days are all potato for me. Maybe I'll back off the sweet potatoes to see if I lose any quicker. Have sweet potatoes caused anyone else problems?

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  5. Has anyone ever tried this with plantains?

    Seems like it might have a similar effect, or am I missing something? Too much sugar in plantains?

    Tim, can I use things like garlic powder or onion powder on the potatoes?

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  6. You could, but then it would be the "plantain hack" and you'll need to spam all of the health forums for a couple years to convince people to try it.

    Just kidding...My gut feeling is that there is a perfect storm of molecules found in potatoes that makes them ideal for this hack. I'll be discussing it more in upcoming blogs.

    Here's the thing with garlic/onion powder, spices, etc... They probably would be OK, but everything you add starts putting new twists on the hack. Salt, pepper, and vinegar I reluctantly added just because they make the hack more do-able, but they also can make you eat more than you normally would.

    The satiety of a plain potato is off the charts, but once you start adding flavors, everything changes. I have long recommended that people should try the potato hack their first time with absolutely no spices whatsoever, and get a baseline for how you do. Then later, try adding a few things and see. I've gone as far as dipping potatoes in ketchup.

    Also, I added in broth. Los of people love pouring broth on the potatoes which do tend to be dry, and it helps them stick to the hack. But much more than that and I am going to have to say, "NO."

    Plus, onion powders and garlic powders may have some additives. I like to keep the potato hack as pure and clean as possible.

    Once you pull off 3-5 days of eating nothing but plain potatoes, you have some bragging rights. It feels good to know you did it. After that, experiment all you want.

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  7. I just have to check in here with what I think is something very positive.

    Ate two organic pork sausages on my way out the door at 9 am on my way to the gym. I typically have two eggs and about 1/4 cup of some kind of beans with them, along with some kind of vegetable, usually what was eaten with dinner the night before, but this morning I was getting picked up by someone else who had time constraints, so I just made do with the sausage.

    Came home and ate most of a LARGE baked potato, with skin, at 12:50 p.m. with a few tablespoons of live apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Didn't actually eat the whole potato because I just got full.

    Checked my blood sugar at 1:50 p.m. - 146

    Checked my blood sugar at 2:50 p.m. - 88 (!!!!!)

    I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to do the potato hack because of prior blood sugar and insulin issues. I'm feeling invincible now!!

    I have an ongoing concern over waking blood sugar levels which are usually above 100, but sometimes less, so we'll see what happens with that.

    At this point I'm ready for the hack to work it's magic!!

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    1. I'm a blood glucose testing junkie. The lowest morning FBGs I ever see are during a week of potato hacking. But people with serious insulin/glucose problems would be wise to do some testing and decide whether PH is for them.

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  8. I wouldn't add garlic or onion powder as anon above suggested.
    Because you won't experience satiety from the potato which is quite high. But rather from the spice flavor it will be more like reg food and not this hack

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  9. Tim sweet potato won't do it?? I'm off nightshades due to I think it makes my psoriasis and joint pain worse. So any sugestions ?

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    1. I just don't believe that sweet potatoes have the same effect as regular potatoes, but you could try. Even the rice diets that Denise Minger wrote about did not seem as effective as the potato hack.

      If you are allergic to potatoes, you are just out of luck for the potato hack. You will have to experiment to find another way to lose weight.

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    2. Although I'm sure no one would recommend this nowadays, my great aunties used to periodically go on the tea and toast diet. Nothing but sugarless tea and cold toast for 3 days. Same principle, bland but no-one starved. Back then bread was different too, so perhaps it was even a form of RS.

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    3. Since back before Ghengis Khan, when military men get in trouble, they are put on "bread and water" as punishment. So far as I know, this is still a valid form of punishment in the US military, called "minimum rations."

      And prisons use this same tactic, but they have developed an even worse fate: "The Loaf".

      http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/01/02/256605441/punishing-inmates-with-the-loaf-persists-in-the-u-s

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    4. Oh that is nasty!

      I've tried the tea & toast routine, it's quite pleasant. Also it's voluntary!

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  10. Well I add garlic, occasional mustard, salsa, dill relish, even ketchup(!) when I do the PH. It helps keep me on track and satisfied with potatoes. Sure doesn't make me overeat! Even with the added condiments I rarely go over 700 calories for the day and only once have hit 800. Down 14 pounds with on-and-off PH over the last month or so.

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  11. I love the potato hack! I lost 10 pounds doing it 4 days in a row and have kept it off. I now use it every other day: Mon, Wed and Fri and then eat low carb the rest of the days. Works like a charm and the weight still comes off! Also, I add fat free sour cream and fat free miracle whip to my cooked and cooled potatoes and it still helps me lose weight!!! Sweet potatoes don't help me with this hack. Great tool to have; works every time I eat off plan to lose the extra weight!

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  12. I don't understand why everyone seems so keen to modify what is clearly a simple, effective, and may I say even elegant hack.

    Stuffing down potatoes til you barf, adding in fat free miracle whip - are we getting trolls in here or are people really just so unable to control themselves?

    Not only are potatoes, by themselves, the perfect food for this for many reasons Tim can and has, if you're paying attention, explained, the other benefit to this hack is that it introduces some self-discipline. Let's face it, in an awful lot of cases it's lack of self-discipline that caused the unwanted weight gain and subsequent health difficulties to begin with.

    //end frustrated snark.

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    1. lol, good rant. I have given up trying to convince people that the Potato Hack requires you to eat nothing but potatoes. It is just human nature to want to tweak everything to suit your desires. I know first-hand that as soon as I start adding in other things, it stops being the Potato Hack and starts just being a calorie-restricted diet where I'm hungry all the time.

      There is a beautiful simplicity to eating only potatoes once you've convinced yourself it is safe to do so. Almost like your brain just gives up on making you seek out new food sources. The average home is chock-full of food, and some people just cannot resist the urge to snack (yes, I'm one of those). When you resolve your will to eat only potatoes for a set length of time, it's almost as if your brain stops its incessant cries for you to eat, eat, eat.

      Could it be that when your brain senses you are eating just potatoes, that it figures you've run into hard times and decides to give you a break? Maybe gut microbes are involved, too?

      The Potato Hack takes a steely resolve. How would that be for a slogan: Keep Calm and Eat Potatoes.

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    2. Hey all - Just starting my first PH (day 3). Loving it. Using just salt. I have very good discipline in general, once I believe in what I am doing. Over the years (I'm 55), I've done extended water fasts, juice fasts, mono-diets, rotation diets, vegan, Atkins, VLC, super-paleo, super-foods, etc (I've resolved very serious health issues through diet hacking - different hacks added to body knowledge and addressed different issues - and my health is now very strong - much better in most ways than at anytime in my 30s and 40s)... Compared to all those interventions, PH is easy and very comforting. I'm thrilled to have found it, and very excited to experiment further. Wish I had found it earlier. Not much discipline required at all. I suspect that most of the trouble people have doing it (keeping the rules), is all mental/emotional/habitual. The body response seems very natural and effortless, and even pleasant - at least so far. Thanks to Tim and all for your research and sharing! It is an exciting time we are living in, with the access to information and rapid pace of health knowledge expansion.

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    3. I went through the exact same path to get here. The PH is mind-numbingly simple, and best of all, cheaper than normal eating, and MUCH cheaper than the specialized diet plans that make you buy bars and shakes and all that.

      I think it is so simple, people resist it, and then make it way more complicated than it needs to be.

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    4. Because not all of us are in a mood for extreme restrictions.
      There are some that like it the purist , spartan way and other(me) , who have turned that into a way of living.
      Just as write i have 6 pounds of peeled golden that are simmering in a mutton degreased stock i prepared yesterday.
      I will have that on evenings only with a bit spices and trust me it is delicious, i don't stare ate the kids dishes, it is rather them staring at mine and i still lose weight.
      So each one his way, but i hate when someone tells that i should absolutely follow the rules when a twist here and there makes it more fun and sustainable.
      Thanks..

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  13. Hi Tim,

    Perhaps this is the wrong place to ask, but I was wondering if you have an email address to which readers can send questions, etc.?

    Thanks for all of the work that you do!

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    1. Tim, if you want to avoid spam give your email address as follows:
      akman2014 at live dot com. Spam machines look for @ in an address.

      We can take away the spaces and replace at by @ and the dot for . so that the email address appears as it should.

      Jo tB

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    2. I realized that's what I should have done the second after I hit "publish".

      One of the best I've seen was an email address written as:

      Joe@hotmail.your pants.com (drop your pants before sending).

      But I had my email listed in a stealthy way before up top, if you remember. I think the spammers are actually real people looking for stuff like that. I'm glad I haven't started getting all the spam comments like a lot of blogs get.

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  14. Hi Tim, thanks for the summary.

    I wanted to ask whether the cooling part is necessary.
    Also, how big of a role does the cooking method play?

    I'm living in Hong Kong, and the only way I can cook a big batch of potatoes is in a pressure cooker, which becomes a combo of boiling and steaming.
    Also, with a small fridge, its hard to fit in many potatoes to cool at once.

    The potatoes that I can get my hands on are Baking Potatoes from the US, and occasionally purple potatoes grown locally. (Sadly no organic potatoes to be had in my price range)

    Can I expect to get results with eating freshly cooked Baking potatoes?
    Thanks for all the info!

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    1. The cooling part is not necessary, I think it helps for two reasons, though. More resistant starch and more cooked potatoes on hand for "emergency use." Potatoes take so long to cook, more than one Potato hack has been called off due to the munchies. If you have some pre-cooked potatoes around, you have all the snacks you need.

      But the important thing is to just eat potatoes. However you can. Freshly cooked baking potatoes are perfectly suited for the Potato Hack. I'd suggest if you pressure cook them, learn to do it so they are just barely cooked through. Even a little raw in the very center. I like them best when a knife stuck into it meets a bit of resistance.

      Good luck!

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    2. I might not fully understand your situation, but maybe a couple of suggestions might work? First, the pressure cooker might be an issue. Because of its higher boiling temperature, sugars/starches are broken down in ways that are different from normal boiling. I use several recipes that exploit this to make things in a pressure cooker that are impossible to replicate at normal atmosphere. The intuition of how starches behave after cooking and cooling might be different. Maybe fuel cost is an issue, but it seems that boiling the potatoes in the pressure cooker without pressurizing is possible?

      Second, it sounds like you'd be cooking your potatoes fresh every day. Can you refrigerate one day's worth? Then you could still cook every day, but eat the previous day's worth and refrigerate the current day's worth.

      Also see the above about trying to cool potatoes in a fridge. A small fridge can be more problematic.

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    3. Tim, Wilbur,
      Thank you for your responses.

      Definitely appreciate the benefits that cooked and cooled can offer for resistant starch (I've been following your blog for a long time).

      What prompted me to ask the question was that in this simplified version of the "hack", you didn't mention the cooling part, whereas in your original version, cooling was an important aspect.

      I was also a bit worried about the cooking method, since from my understanding of resistant starch, its when the food goes "stale", loses its moisture. And since I can only cook it "wet", vs baking, I was curious about its effectiveness.

      (as for the temperature of cooking from the pressure, I thought I read an article where they compared the initial cooking temperate of maize, and the resulting resistant starch created, and higher temperatures created more RS)

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    4. If all you eat is potatoes for 3-5 days, even all cooked and eaten hot, you will be getting a lot of RS. If you assume 1-2g/100g of RS in hot potatoes, 3 pounds, or 1500g, will have 15-30g of RS. If you cook and cool half of them, upping the content to 5g/100g, you are looking at substantially more.

      15-30g is more RS than most people have ever eaten in one day. I don't think RS is the whole story behind the potato hack, but it certainly helps.

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  15. Not sure if anyone noticed, but I just removed "broth" from rule #5. While I do not think a light broth will derail the PH, I don't want people to think it is a great addition. I will admit that a bit of chicken broth makes a bowl of potato chunks go down much easier, but for the permanent record, I'd rather see that as an advanced tweak rather than a main part of the PH.

    Same as salt, pepper, and vinegar...I'm leaving these in because I think people need a bit of simple spices to even give this a go, but note that I do not encourage the use of spices.

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  16. I had to abandon my first potato hack at lunch on day 3 due to severe nausea. Had it on day 2 as well, but mild enough to ignore. No unusual or careless food handling, just pre-boiled organic red, yellow and russet potatoes, cooked fresh each evening and stored in the fridge for the next day's meals. At no point did I over-eat.

    The nausea went away soon after returning to normal eating.

    I would like to try again at some point as I was seeing a definite improvement in morning glucose readings.

    - Kimberlite

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    1. Kimberlite, that is definitely strange. As you are using 3 different types of potatoes, might the combination be the cause? Why not try each of the three varieties separately and see if the nausea comes back or not.

      I tried some deep purple potatoes once and didn't like the taste so stopped right away. It could have been my taste buds saying these were not good for me and could have caused nausea had I continued them.

      Jo tB

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    2. Bummer. Contrary to my best circus side-show act, not everyone can "hack" the hack. Not sure why. No sweat, try again, or not.

      It's interesting what you say about your FBG, care to expand? Were you taking readings throughout the day as well? Is your insulin/glucose well-controlled? Could you have been getting a bit hypoglycemic?

      Negative reports can be just as helpful as positive!

      Thanks

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    3. Yes, some blood sugar disregulation. You were kind enough to indulge an email discussion with me back at the end of May when I couldn't post here. This is, I'm sure, due to my own health issues and not meant to discourage anyone. I had thumb joint pain with raw potato starch last year so it may be a reaction to potatoes. My husband loved this hack and is eager to repeat it.

      Following are blood sugar readings during the potato hack. I didn't skip breakfast, 3 meals daily.

      DAY 1 waking = 5.2 (93.6)
      Bfast: 1 hour after cold red potatoes = 5.9 (106.2)
      Lunch: 1 hour after mix of cold and oven-reheated yellow potatoes = 7.6 (136.8)
      Dinner: 1 hour after grated Russets fried in tiny bit coconut oil + ACV = 8.9 (160.2)

      DAY 2 waking = 5.0 (90)
      Bfast: 1 hour after roasted yellow and red + tiny bit red palm oil = 7.9 (142.2)
      Lunch: 1 hour after cold yellow and red = 6.9 (125.2)
      Dinner: 1 hour after oven-reheated Russets + tiny bit red palm oil = 9.8 (176.2)

      DAY 3 waking = 4.6 (82.8)
      Bfast: 1 hour after mix of cold and oven-reheated + tiny bit salt = 6.0 (108.0)
      Severe nausea 1.5 hours after bfast, abandoned hack.

      - Kimberlite

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    4. Oh, right! I remember you now. Hope all is well. Your BG's look great, too bad the potato hack does not agree with you. No nausea on day 1, a bit on day 2. Maybe if you want to try again, do it for 2 days and see what happens. You can't let your hubby soldier on alone!

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    5. Your blood sugar readings are interesting for me (T2D). All looked well on Day 1. For breakfast you only ate cold potatoes. No oil? For lunch you reheated the potatoes. Again no mention of any oil, did the reheating cause the higher BS? For dinner you fried the potatoes in coconut oil.That could have accounted for the rise in BS.
      Day 2 for breakfast you roasted the potatoes in palm oil. You said you started to feel slight nausea after that.

      So I'm wondering whether the reheating/frying and using an oil is what is causing the nausea. It looks like on day 1 for breakfast you had cold potatoes without any oil. Would that be something to explore further?

      I was going to start my potatoe hack today, but forgot the potatoes boiling on the stove and so burnt them. Will start tomorrow and note my BS levels to give an indication of how this hack affects my blood sugars.

      Jo tB

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    6. If I try the hack again it will be with plain pre-boiled cold red and/or yellow-fleshed potatoes only. No Russets, and no oils (although I could barely get them down that way). I wondered if the reheating with oil had caused the nausea but it was such a miniscule amount. I would like to understand the mechanism of the reheating and/or oil and blood sugar spikes.

      The low stomach acid theory is interesting, too. I have Hashimoto's which tends to slow the entire digestive process down. I like Tim's idea too of a 2-day. Thanks to all for feedback. Jo tB, I hope you will post your results here.
      - Kimberlite

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    7. If it's easy weight loss you are after, maybe try the "potato days" we are talking about down in the thread. Potatoes for breakfast and lunch, and a light, normal dinner. That may be the key for people who have a hard time with this for whatever reason.

      I think I could go the rest if my life with hashbrowns for breakfast, oven-baked french fries for lunch, and a normal dinner.

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    8. Kimberlite, are you using salt? It's an important player to keep those digestive juices going. I can't face the potatoes without it, maybe a little nausea developed when I tried to go without, come to think of it.

      Tim - hashbrowns are part of my breakfast most days now. Today I had them with an egg, a piece of salmon that I rolled in dulse flakes before frying and a generous helping of my latest batch of kraut. Sounds crazy but it was *amazing*.

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  17. I've done the PH twice in the last month. 5 day and 6 days. Combined with intermittent fasting I lost about 4 lbs each time and kept it off. The last time I baked russets and then allowed them to completely cool overnight in the fridge. These were slightly warmed up with just a little oil prior to consumption. Salt, Pepper, Apple Cider Vinegar only. 2 large potatoes each day for 6 days. Will do it again, about once a month

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    1. Vic - I usually ended up doing about "2 large" a day as well. I found I do not need much breakfast, then a big potato at lunch keeps me full til dinner, and a big potato at dinner keeps me full til bedtime.

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  18. This post couldn't have come at a better time. I had just purchased potatoes and had baked some up to start the next day when this post arrived. (Might have something to do with trying to get Thanksgiving weight gain off before another feast time!)

    Wilbur, do you still consume the garlic when you are doing the potato hack?

    Thanks!
    gina

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    1. Gina, I've never done the potato hack! I keep thinking it would be fun, but I've really bought into my philosophy of eating what I want. I'll occasionally eat more potatoes than normal for a few days by desire. Maybe that's my version.

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    2. But Wilbur, you are a gourmet chef. How on earth could you possibly subsist on spuds for days at a time?

      I've got December 23 to January 6 off work. First time in my life I haven't had to work between Christmas and New Year or even more awesome and scary: How many days after New Year's day? Must have been back in university over 35 years ago that I had this much time off at this time of year. What will I do with all this free time? It is daunting. I think I'll do the potato although I do not like potatoes. I will semi cheat and I don't care if Tim whips me with an overcooked spaghetti. There's a limit to anyone's tolerance. (I'm still thinking about it. Talking myself into it. And I have no weigh scale so will rely on if my jeans fall off.) How is it that so many people LURVE potatoes? Since toddlerhood I haven't liked the damned things.... WHY? WHY? How can it be? I feel left out of Potato Love.

      Delete
    3. Try a full day, then another, then another. If your goal is fitting in your summer jeans, there's no better diet. One of my favorite ways to cook them is to slice paper thin and pile in a frying pan, brown and flip once like a pancake. Brown the other side and pull them out before they start to get too brown. The inside of the pile will be gooey and hot.

      Delete
    4. how many layers of spud is that? Cooked, cooled, roasted? No oil?

      Delete
    5. I just replaced one, sometimes two meals a day with potato. I did this over the summer, off and on. I used cold baked potato and just ate it plain with a little salt to dip it in. No way I could have eaten more than one small potato at a sitting. I'm not a fan of the potato either but I kind of enjoyed the simplicity of it. Until I didn't, then I stopped.

      Yes, those few extra pounds fell off. Unfortunately, it meant I ended up with only one pair of jeans that still kinda fit. I guess that was a good thing but I hate shopping.

      Delete
    6. Gab - I have a little mandolin that came with a potato chip making kit. It slices the potatoes paper thin, maybe even thinner, lol. When I make potatoes like this, it reminds me of baklava, you know, hundreds of layers of pastry. I'd say I probably get a couple hundred slices into a pan from 1 or 2 potatoes. Just keep piling them and layering all around the pan. These could most certainly be baked as well, might even turn out better. I always do this in a frying pan.

      Delete
    7. Cuke - I need to do a post on that method. There's a trademarked diet out there called Vegan Before 6, where they have you eat just veggies all day, then you normal dinner. I've tried this many times with potatoes, as you have, and it really seems to give you a new respect for your dinner, and an immediate downward trend in weight.

      I've tried it with "vegetables", but the range of veggies is so great that I think people have a hard time. I've seen lots of vegetarians eating very questionable diets, muffins, candy, fired foods, etc... Plus, potatoes are nicely filling, and when you have committed to just potatoes, you don't find yourself prowling the icebox for something to eat.

      Delete
    8. Thanks Wilbur! This is day 3 for me on the potato diet and the first 2 days after my first meal of potatoes (around 11 a.m.) I put a clove of garlic in my VitaMix with about 8 ounces of water and then drink that down. I seem to be losing weight a little better than in the past when I have tried the potato diet. Too early to tell if the garlic is helping the weight loss or if my gut is just a little healthier on this journey. Either way, I am NOT complaining!

      Thanks again to everyone who comments and shares their wisdom.
      gina

      Delete
    9. Okay Tim, so the potatoes are raw first. Not cooked and cooled. I'd figure it's nigh on impossible to mandolin cooked spuds.

      I've got a mandolin but it's a PITA. Bought it at Costco. Overcomplicated POS.

      Delete
    10. Yep, from raw. But put the leftovers in the fridge and eat cold the next day...still good!

      You can also just slice as thinly as possible with a knife or kitchen grater.

      Delete
    11. You use oil, yes?

      Now that I got into the beans (eat lentils or beans every day at least once)... And it's not boring. Made a Spanish/South American (?) style fish soup today and at the end added cooked a cooled red kidney beans. Since the soup is often served with rice, I figured I'd go for the beans. Supposed to be shrimp and fish but this was clams and cod. Delicious. And it did have potato in it. ;)


      Delete
    12. Normally, yes. When I'm Potato Hacking, no. There are some good ways of frying potatoes without any oil. A good no-stick pan is a must. And also turn the heat down to medium so you don't scorch them.

      ie,: http://www.straightupfood.com/blog/2014/12/22/oil-free-hash-browns/

      Delete
  19. Sorry, this doesn't really belong here, but where else to put it? I thought you might all really like this:

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-12/udg-hc-113015.php

    iz@oz

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that is a very interesting study. I've long thought there was a connection between gut microbes and brown fat/cold. Looks like I was right!

      Delete
    2. How co-incidental! I came across the same study from another blog, (Gut Critters) who referred to it.

      http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-12-gut-microbes-trigger-fat-loss.html

      Jo tB

      Delete
  20. I'd like to try this, but am concerned about weight loss. I estimate I'm around 11-12% body fat (as can see quite a lot of abs). I'd like to try this for gut health w/o any further weight loss. Suggestions? My thoughts were either adding some fat (though may mess the hack) or for shorter time frames (just 1 day?)
    Cheers

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    Replies
    1. Rob, I think you're right to be cautious, I ended up losing a bit more than planned (see my last comment). I think for gut health without weight loss, just making sure most of your starches with your regular meals are cooked/cooled ought to do the trick. But I'm no expert, that's just my N=1.

      Delete
    2. The 1849 model that I use for the potato diet describes prisoners being fed only potatoes for long periods. What they found was that fat prisoners lost weight, skinny prisoners gained weight, and everyone got healthier.

      A couple thoughts...potato juice is also said to be very healthful, get a juicer and drink a glassful every day. Or, just go full-on potato diet and eat to your heart's content. I would not use much oil, try first the potatoes only. Alternatively, try "potato days" where you eat potatoes for breakfast and lunch, then have a normal dinner.

      I have a strong feeling that the potato hack is good for everyone who tries it, but as we see around here, not everyone seems to be able to "stomach" it. So, no worries if you try it and hate it. Call it an experiment.

      Delete
    3. Wow Tim - so the potato diet is an adaptogen for the metabolism, period?!

      My naturally thin-bordering on scrawny husband eats a LOT of potatoes, never puts on an ounce. If I put him on potatoes only will it fatten him up? (LOL, he'd leave me!)

      Delete
    4. Mr. Scrawny Wildcucumber maybe needs mashed potatoes with lots of bacon drippings. But dude doesn't eat THAT much. Come on. I know. Getting him to eat a big meal is impossible. Maybe make potato cookies? (HA HA! Does such a thing even exist? I know there's potato bread.) Potato chocolate cookies. hm. You'd probably need instant mash.

      Delete
    5. Well curiosity got the better of me so had a day of it yesterday. I've got into the habit of IF until around 2pm on saturdays, so after this I had nothing but spuds. I prepared 2 lbs initially, but ended up eating 4lbs.

      I noticed I much preferred the thin, shallow fried, rather than others (mashed etc.), so I kept with these. Interestingly this morning I had put on a pound, so it may well work the way Tim describes.

      I won't carry on today as I'm fitting the gym in (extra work tomorrow means I won't get chance), but thinking I might have it for my weekends in future.

      Initial observations - nothing dramatic, had more extreme bloating, but only in the middle of the night - perhaps suggesting the response was further down my intestines?
      Other than that no issues and I did really like the thin sliced shallow fried ones.

      Delete
    6. Mwahaha! I love the interwebz!!

      http://www.thecandidappetite.com/2014/04/07/loaded-baked-potato-scones/

      Delete
  21. Hi Tim Tatato, I try again and again to take potato starch and fibers. Starting with 1/2 teaspoon Potato starch, and having 1 teaspoon psyllium husks, inulin, Slippery Elm, Kognacpulver, citrus, Lärchengalaktan.
    I have strong inflammation get included heart problems are but disappear in. Yellow undigested stool, dizziness, Müdikgeit, .....
    What should I do to this complaint picture support. Sorry my Englisch ist not good, but i will improve it. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your English is just fine!

      My advice for you would be to stop all of the fiber supplements, and start just eating a high fiber diet. Lots of potatoes, oats, seeds, beans, garlic, onion, leeks, popcorn, etc... Make your diet very high in plants, very low in meat and oil. See how you do eating that way for a while.

      The supplemental powders should be just that...supplemental. Once you've gotten a high fiber diet perfected, and your gut starts acting civil, then use some supplemental powders on days that you feel you need a bit more fiber.

      Your issues of inflammation, heart problems, dizziness and fatigue (Müdikgeit) sound like you may have bigger problems and may need to get some professional help!

      Delete
  22. As a 6'1" 180lb person who has been lifting weights for nearly a decade, I'd imagine I'd lose plenty of weight on this diet... because how on earth could I eat 2500 calories of potatoes with only salt and pepper for 5 straight days?? Dear lord!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Peter - You are not the normal demographic of people interested in the PH, but if you ever wanted to bulk up by eating tons of food while lifting even heavier, then wanted to cut the body fat you gained in the process, I would submit the PH would be a perfect cutting diet.

      Potatoes are loaded with chlorogenic acid, a substance known far and wide to bodybuilders as being very 'muscle friendly.'

      Delete
  23. Tim,

    As a lifelong fat guy I am always amazed to read of people losing "too much weight." I understand the ill effects of emaciation due to disease or starvation but when healthy folk, such as those above, complain of "excessive" weight-loss, just what exactly do they mean? I've always associated thinness, even subjectively-judged skeletons--Oh my! You are so skinny!--as okay as long as one feels good and one's body is operating within normal parameters.

    James H.

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    Replies
    1. I think you are seeing the phenomenon that the entire diet and fitness industry is based on...no one is happy with their body.

      It boggles my mind, too, that there are people in the world who wish they could gain weight. I've never had that problem.

      Delete
    2. Yeah...okay. Works for me.

      James H.

      Delete
    3. Tim & James - For many people it's not about vanity. It can be just a few pounds between thin and too thin, which is perhaps even more dangerous than that line between plump and obese. It's every bit as difficult to slow down one's metabolism as it is to speed it up, andd it's not just a matter of eating more. And of course when thin people get sick, they can have a harder time recovering than someone with a few "extra" pounds.

      The other thing that many thin people will tell you is that friends, family and sometimes even perfect strangers will say, critically, "you're so thin!", offer advice etc., when they would never make critical comments to someone who is overweight.

      It's a funny old world.

      Delete
    4. Sorry! Didn't meant to sound insensitive. It is a funny old world. When I lost weight back in 2011, going from 250 to 160, there were hushed rumors that I "was not well." Someone once even asked me if I had "cancer or something." Others asked if I "had the surgery."

      When I would tell them of my diet changes, I'd just get blank stares and helpful comments that "all diets fail." In fact, I am never impressed when people first lose weight, it's long-term maintenance that is the 'bugger-bear' for the formerly obese.

      I just saw a guy I was in the military with the other day, hadn't seen him in probably 6 or 7 years, I remembered he was always pudgy. He was very thin, I commented, "wow, you've lost some weight! You look great." He acted kind of weird about the comment and quickly changed the subject. Afterwards, I have to wonder if maybe he's "not well."

      Such a shame that in our modern world, the only time someone is thin is when they "have cancer or something," or "got the surgery."

      Delete
    5. Thanks for that Tim.

      What I wonder about is the insistence so many people have on losing that last 10 or even 5 lbs. You never know when you might need it; maybe the body hangs onto it as insurance?

      I do agree there's a body image obsession fueled by the industry.

      Delete
  24. Via Peter Turnbaugh's twitter acount I cam across this site
    http://gutmicrobes.org/

    A Gut Microbiome Conference held September 25-27. with the title "The Neglected Organ"

    And the podcasts can be viewed!! Nice watching.

    Jo tB

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have strong Sibo. Can hardly take food to me. Last year in September since I started with RS and fibers. In January this year I was able to take a lot dose 60g 40g Rs and fibers. I do not know why I am already half a year pest to increase the dose. Can you tell me why I can not stand the fibers so what's the problem. My Ubiome Test had 150 species of bacteria and number of bacteria 155000, and since many clostridia are present. Firmicutes 40%, Bacteroides 56%, Proteobacterien 2,63%, Actinobakterien 0,39%. Thanks for your Input,
    best regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was able to overcome the majority of my SIBO symptoms naturally using organic raw garlic. I tried it as an act of desperation and was shocked that it worked. You can read about it here: http://gutcritters.com/small-intestinal-bacterial-overgrowth-part-eight-treatment-options-for-sibo/
      good luck!

      Delete
  26. Hi Tim,

    I couldn't see a link to an email address so I am just making a comment on the most recent thread - I hope this is OK.

    I have been reading your site for a while and have brought my fibre up to about 70g on an average day with whole foods. The real figure is probably higher as I am cooking and cooling pulses and potatoes to maximise RS3 etc.

    One of the things I have been wondering about for a while is asafoetida (hing).

    In india it is added to reduce flatulence from pulses. I looked it up on wikipedia where they mention that it is used to reduce the growth of microflora in the gut and reference

    S. K. Garg, A. C. Banerjea, J. Verma and M. J. Abraham, "Effect of Various Treatments of Pulses on in Vitro Gas Production by Selected Intestinal Clostridia". Journal of Food Science, Volume 45, Issue 6 (p. 1601–1602).

    abstract
    Studies were performed to find out the effect of different treatments of pulses, like cooking, fermentation, incorporation of spices like raw garlic, and ginger powder on in vitro gas production by selected intestinal Clostridia. All treatments had profound influence on gas production; the amount of gas was reduced between 30–60%. Maximum reduction was noticed at 1.0% concentration of spices. Lag phase of growth was prolonged considerably, suggestive of temporary suppression of gas production. C. perfringens produced the highest amount of gas in all control samples and all treatments had maximum inhibitory effects on this organism.

    I don't have access to the journal, but it makes me wonder if we need to prune our internal ecosystems.

    When we toss in a lot of fiber and some ferments we really are just hoping it all works out, but maybe we also need to take some sort of ancestral approach to the spices etc.

    Richard

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  29. Tim,

    when you, yourself, do the potato hack, do you eat the skins?

    Also, I recently did a uBiome test (two, one in Aug and one in Sept) and I'm trying to understand how to put the results into perspective if you have any tips. I feel like my proteo is kind of high, I'd like to lower it. It's 3.8%, in Aug it was 3.1% Is that high? Anyone have any tips on how to lower it?

    I don't mind for anyone to look at my results though I don't know how to put the info out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I eat the skins, mostly. I use my own home-grown potatoes, I use only organic fertilizer and no chemicals of any kind. Still, some get chewed on by mice or get kind of scabby looking. If there are any sprouts or greeen spots, I peel those away, too.

      If I were buying potatoes just for the potato hack, I'd buy organic and only peel if I thought they needed peeling. If I was forced to buy supermarket potatoes, I'd peel them.

      As to the uBiome tests, I'm really becoming a bit skeptical on their use in predicting or determining gut health. Even the uBiome blog admitted last week that the tests have no predictive power. I hate to say you've wasted your money, but I think it's better to just go by how you feel and try to eat a diet high in fiber.

      Play around with the fibers until you find one or a combination that works for you, ie. no excessive bloating, gas, or digestive complaints. This will indicate that you've optimized your gut flora for you.

      If you'd like to post the results, go into the comments of the "Finding Bifido" post and copy and paste your entire "Genus" list there, I'd love to see.

      Your Genus list is on your dashboard under "Explore Microbes" "See all" "Genus". If you have trouble finding, let me know.

      Cheers!

      Delete
    2. I'll go post it now, thanks.

      When you say your skeptical of their ability to determine/predict gut health, are you saying that the results might not be an accurate picture of what the gut looks like?

      Delete
  30. re: potato diet with no spices, etc.

    I discovered a way to enjoyably eat boiled taters without salt, which I found very difficult to do.

    I use taters boiled in salt water that have been chilled 24 hours:

    Heat a good-quality non-stick skillet to quite hot (I use a T-fal). While heating, cube the cold potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Toss the potato pieces into the un-oiled skillet for approximately one minute, stirring or tossing a few times. Remove taters from skillet, eat.

    The idea here is to get a small amount of browning as quickly as possible while the interior temperature of the potato pieces remain cool to only slightly warm. The slight browning will impart a light flavor of hash browns.

    James H

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've done similarly for years! I find this works especially good if you don't boil the potatoes too long, leave them nice and chewy.

      This also works great if you bake them in a very hot oven instead of frying.

      That slight browning makes a world of difference!

      Delete
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      Delete
  31. So glad you mentioned the mandoline above. I had forgotten about mine and just used it for slices to eat raw. Of course I also forgot about my protective glove and cut myself!. But it seems those very thin slices made it possible to almost....dare I say, enjoy a raw potato.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always wear an oven mitt when mandolin'ing. Those things are sharp!

      Delete
  32. Excuse me for naive question.
    Does Kasha(roasted buckwheat like this http://www.bobsredmill.com/organic-kasha.html) Contain RS3 as Green Buckwheat after cooling?

    It is hard to find green buckwheat here and price is high.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Kasha is a great source of RS3. More than oatmeal.

      Delete
  33. OMG!! The giant potato pancake thing made with mandoline sices is delicious. I don't believe it would be half as good with knife sliced potatoes. Even if it were, it is much easier to slice them with the mandoline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I know! It's the hundreds of layers that must give this dish it's magic. I made a giant pan of it the other night, the next day I was going to reheat the leftovers and ended up eating them all cold. It almost reminds me of the days I used to stuff my mouth full of Pringles, lol.

      I keep seeing another gadget that makes spiral cut potatoes. It turns a single potato into a ribbon about 50 feet long. I'll bet this would be perfect for minimal/no oil frying, too.

      I saw someone posted a comment about Teflon pans, but I cannot find it now. I do not use Teflon, I have a couple of ceramic non-stick pans. I never really like Teflon, they tend to get cuts and also I hear they are dangerous if they get too hot.

      But anyway, with oil-free cooking, just have patience and cook the potatoes on medium heat, takes a bit longer, but they get done just the same.

      Also, I discovered parchment paper this weekend! I made some oven-browned French fries, they turned out perfect. I'd bet the mandolin sliced potatoes would cook up nicely in a reallyhot oven on parchment paper
      Cheers!

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Here is a good post on non stick pans

      http://www.straightupfood.com/blog/2015/09/24/are-nonstick-pans-safe/

      Delete
    4. That pan looks really good! Scan Pan

      I've been having good luck with these ceramic pans, but they only last a year or so. They just quit being "non-stick" don't understand why. But at first they are amazingly not sticky even with the worst offenders like eggs.

      Ceramic Pans

      " Nonstick Ceramic coating is PTFE-Free, PFOA-Free, cadmium and lead free, Ceramic coating provide superior scratch resistant than traditional nonstick."

      Delete
    5. Yes I have the same problem with my ceramic pans. When looking for answers came across this link http://www.chowhound.com/post/6-month-ceramic-pans-starting-stick-757364. Most of the commenters agree that the problem is ceramic builds up a layer that cannot be seen but can be slightly felt. It must be scrubbed off and in the worst cases put back on the stove with a thin paste of baking soda and water and gently cooked off.

      Delete
    6. Well, shoot. I just threw away two ceramic pans and bought new ones. It's amazing how great they work when brand new, almost unbelievable. I remember back in the days when we used teflon, they'd be all scratched and flaking in our food. Thanks, I will try this next time!

      Delete
  34. First time potato hacker and today is day 1 of a 4 day hack.
    I'm a 40 year old male and weight about 230.
    All potatoes (red, yukons and russets) are boiled or baked and are eaten cooked and cooled overnight. Two meals a day - noonish and 6:30 pm. No snacking. Black coffee, green tea and water are the only beverages.
    I'm shooting for 3 lbs of potatoes a day (`1100 calories)
    Today's lunch was 1 lb of boiled yukons with a little salt and malt vinegar. Quite good.
    Dinner will likely be pan fried (scan pan) russets with 1 tsp of oil per pound.
    I don't weigh myself so can't share those numbers but clothing fit and body composition will be the arbiters of success.
    I wore a suit to a holiday party last Saturday and will the same suit to another party this Friday.
    Thanks for all the info Tim.
    EF

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    Replies
    1. Great! Hope it works out for you. I'll have a post up before Christmas about a fun variation of the strict potato hack, maybe give it a try after the holidays.

      Delete
    2. Day 3

      Going great. Clothes fit way better.

      Best recipe is baked yukons, cooled overnight, and reheated in a toaster oven. Then sprinkle with salt and hot sauce or vinegar.

      Question - first meal off the hack is a work holiday party with lots of good food and booze. Two of my favorite things. Any specific advice on eating/drinking coming off the hack?

      Thanks Tim!
      EF

      Delete
    3. Oh, the key is to split the yukon prior to reheating in the toaster oven. Texture galore.

      EF

      Delete
    4. My advice for coming off a hack: Enjoy the food. You will be amazed at how it tastes and makes you feel, almost as if you have a whole new relationship with food. I think this is why many people report that they continue to lose weight afterwards, they are getting a new found appreciation for food and not mindlessly shoveling in unneeded calories. This is what they said in 1849 about this effect:

      "We have tried it not for months, but a few days at a time—long enough to satisfy us of its good effects; long enough, too, to teach us well how good bread and apples and peaches are. We are far from believing that God created wheat, rye, corn, barley, buckwheat, etc.; chestnuts, beechnuts, butternuts, walnuts, etc., etc.; apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes, and ten thousand other delicious things, not to be eaten by man (Potato Diet, 1849)."

      I just love that statement. You'll see!

      Delete
    5. I also had some keto sticks laying around. For fun, I tested myself this morning and around 1 pm today before lunch. I was in seriously deep ketosis. All without consuming ANY fat since Sunday (today is wednesday). I think this shows that I am burning stored fat as opposed to the sticks of butter consumed on a typical ketogenic diet. I'm of course in a serious caloric deficiency (1000 cal for 230 lb man) which explains the ketosis. What is the point of being in ketosis if you are burning dietary fat from a calorically surplus diet?

      Anyway, I think because I'm dressing up my taters with hot sauce and vinegar I won't appreciate "real" food as much as the folks from 1849. But I hope!

      Thanks again Tim

      EF

      Delete
    6. The potato hack ruined my whole pie-in-the-sky view of ketogenic diets as well. Jimmy Moore could use a couple weeks of potatoes, eh?

      I remember once coming off a potato hack and eating a piece of the same dark chocolate I eat almost every day. I could not believe it, I kept checking the package trying to figure out where this wonderful new chocolate came from.

      Funny enough, usually what I want coming off a potato hack is potatoes, but maybe cooked a bit oilier, like bacon grease fried hash-browns.

      Delete
    7. 4 day potato hack done.

      Amazing. Sorry I cannot give pounds lost but I can feel the inches (what else matters). Wearing a suit today that I wore right before the fast and the pants and jacket are noticeably looser. And not just a little. The jacket was too tight to button comfortably. Now it is slightly loose.

      Vivid dreams every night. Must be the RS - all potatoes were cooked and cooled.

      Most impressive was the hunger suppression. I was never really hungry and craved food. And I LOVE FOOD. I ate about 3 lbs of taters per day. The last meal I splurged and cooked home fries with peppers and onions and 2 tsps of oil. I figure about 800-1000 calories a day with NO HUNGER.

      I used salt, hot sauce, mustard and ketchup.

      EF

      Delete
    8. There ya go! Good job, EF. The no hunger part is what most "professional" dieters like best. I've talked to a bunch of people who tried the HCG diet which promises no hunger on 700 calories, they all say the potato hack is better, for both weight loss and hunger.

      Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  35. What happens with rs3 if reheating with steaming or boiling and after that?
    Does it matter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *and cooling again

      Delete
    2. Does it increase RS3 as in reheat with roast and bake?

      Delete
    3. For the potato hack, don't even give RS a second thought. The potato hack is, by default, a high RS diet no matter how you eat the potatoes.

      The issue is "normal serving sizes" over "methods to increase RS." Figuring hot potatoes contain 1-2% RS, under normal eating, you'd be lucky to eat 250-500g of potatoes in a day. Cooked and eaten hot this would be 5-10g or less RS. Cooling would increase this to 10-15g. So, it may be worth it on a normal day.

      When Potato Hacking, 1000g minimum of potatoes, all eaten hot will provide you with closer to 10-20g of RS. Additionally, by eating so much starch at once, some will escape digestion adding to the prebiotic effect. Cooked potatoes also contain lots of fiber, I believe about 50g per kg. This, plus the RS, sets you up nicely for a high fiber intake while PH'ing.

      I like to pre-cook lots of potatoes for the potato hack, but only for convenience. If it adds to the RS, great.

      Delete
  36. Darn it! I just typed out a long question and erased it!!! I'll just get to the point: do you think the potato hack is safe for someone with hypoglycemic symptoms who has adrenal fatigue? I don't have diagnosed hypoglycemia and my fasting blood sugar looked great. I think I might not do well with a glucose tolerance test, but haven't had that done. Chronic hunger and insomnia began three years ago when I became pregnant with my third while I nursed my second and ate moderate carb, high protein diet. I still often cannot make it through the night without eating and have gained 30 pounds! I just discovered your blog, so I am not taking any probiotics or RS and have just started eating legumes but eat a lot more carbs because that is what my body craves. Thank you for any insights and for this super interesting blog!!! Anita.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That's a tough question. If you "think" you have hypoglycemia, you should get that checked out, at the very least, get a glucose tester and see what's going on. Getting pregnant really messes up some women, sorry. Adrenal fatigue is another diagnosis that may or may not be real.

      Sorry I don;t have any really great advice for you. The potato hack should be fine for you, maybe in fact, just what you need. Try it for a day or two and see what you think, but get a glucose meter (they are cheap) and see what's going on with your blood sugar.

      Delete
    2. I would agree with Tim, get yourself a glucose tester. Believe me, nothing is more frustrating than THINKING and not KNOWING for certain that you have hyooglycemia. I'm a T2D and quite often get signals that feel like low blood sugars, but when I test it turns out that the opposite is in order. If I hadn't measured I would have taken the wrong precautions. And while doing the potatoe hack you could see how your body reacts tot the rush of carbothydrates/ starch from the potatoes. You might be surprised at the results.

      Jo tB

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    3. I had hypoglycemia. It is heretitary in my family. In my research on the issue, the reliable way of diagnosing hypo is through a glucose tolerance test. This is a time consuming test involving fasting and various types of sugar water. Also, there are several types of hypoglycemia. It's complicated. In fact, even the diagnosis is controversial.

      Anyway, I had my hypo for over 30 years. I understand needing to eat in the middle of the night. The hypo was one of the most important things I cured with my "Wilbur approach". I have not had a hypoglycemic episode and have not eaten out of necessity after dinner in about 2 years now. There was another poster here from a while back who also cured his hypo following the Wilbur approach.

      If you are interested, my story has been told many times here. Maybe Tim can help with links (not my strong suit).

      As for the potato hack itself, I don't think it will hurt you. I don't know if will fix hypo. I suspect not. But it might be a good way to work into a longer term solution for the hypo.

      Oh, I can eat anything now. I ate store bought birthday cake on an empty stomach at my daughter's party with no effect. I would have nearly passed out before. Good luck!

      Delete
  37. Thanks! I'm planning on doing the potato hack after the New Year! I'll report back! Anita.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll love next week's post then! I'll try to have it up on Sunday. It's called "Have some Christmas PUDDD'ing."

      Delete
  38. So Tim, when I made that first giant latke it was super crispy on the outside and very creamy, gooey inside. The subsequent ones have been good, but not as crisp or as gooey. The first one was made with the last of our Yukon Gold. Now i am using Buttes.
    Do you think that is what makes the difference, straight vs branched starch?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The different potatoes most definitely have different flavors and cooking behavior. I'm not 100% sure which type makes the best hash browns, but Yukon gold's a a great all-around spud. Butte's are considered a Russet potato, developed with a high starch content for baking. The "waxier" types are better for frying. Most any red or yellow colored potato is perfect for frying.

      I made these the other night in the oven on parchment paper and they turned out just perfect.

      Delete
    2. I have just come across this interesting presentation called: Can We Use Bacteria To Treat Disease?

      http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/ng-live/hsiao-bacteria-lecture-nglive

      Jo tB

      Delete
  39. Tim - I love all this potato hacking stuff. I'm waiting for your post on Sunday to start - You are such a tease.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I tried eating potatoes last night as my before bedtime snack and felt satisfied before I went to sleep, but awoke at 3 am starving with a headache and unable to go back to sleep. I ate like I normally do yesterday, but wanted to get a sense of if I'll be able to do the potato hack. It's so frustrating because I want to lose weight but can't because I'm hungry all the time. I've managed it by eating 5-7 times a day....whole grain carbs with fat and have to eat before bed or I can't sleep through the night. Thanks for the insights everyone. What is the Wilbur approach and T2D? Anita

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You have to understand that I did not start this project in hopes that it would fix anything. But it fixed my hypoglycemia and I lose 40 lbs. Lots of other good things.

      The idea is that most of the plants we eat today have nowhere near the amount of fiber (low) and calories (high) compared to a long time ago. Some estimate that we used to eat 130g of fiber per day. I set out to do that. I use real food when possible, but also use supplements. I like to use a small amount of many types that adds up to a lot.

      Here is a post I did about a year ago

      http://vegetablepharm.blogspot.com/2014/12/raw-potato-starch-great-prebiotic.html?showComment=1419030621098#c2852374139532682457

      (I've never done this before.). Tim's original post was great. We had a lot of discussion, so it might be fun to read through them.

      T2D is Type 2 diabetes

      When you say you eat fat, how much do you think? Because fat was demonized, I thought I was eating too much fat. I learned though that it was less the 30% of calories, and THAT is considered low fat. I now eat a lot more.

      Delete
    2. I eat a lot of fat...a tablespoon or two of butter or coconut oil with meals. I think the high carb/high fat combo is what has caused me to gain so much weight (along with poor sleep). I still have to eat in the middle of the night to go back to sleep some nights. I was also eating a lot of grass fed meat, with every meal, but I have cut back the last month and my sleep has improved, as long as I eat a lot of food throughout the day. I will check out the post and give it a try! I have spent thousands of dollars from alternative and conventional docs the last few years trying to help my hypoglycemia/insomnia. Increasing whole grains is what has helped me most, so it seems likely that my body is starving for fiber. Thanks for your help Wilbur. ��

      Delete
    3. I didn't have insomnia before, but I had always been a light sleeper. The slightest noise would wake me. And once awake, my "engine" would get started and that was that - no more sleep for me!

      Now, I sleep hard and long. I like about 10 hours per night. When I can't sleep that long for a schedule reason, I do not have energy problems. I feel just as energetic as usual. I might yawn a lot, and really want to go to bed early, but no energy issues.

      Delete
  41. I explored your blog a bit more and there is so much information! Wow, y'all are investigating some cutting edge stuff here! I have three young kids who keep me quite busy. Can you recommend some basics for me...like a cliff notes version in a few sentences. Maybe a suggestion of top 5 supplements to incorporate. I already have the raw modified potato starch and glucomannon. And I eat a lot of whole grains and I'm trying to eat more beans. I greatly reduced fiber a long time ago because it caused me to have so much gas and bloating so I didn't eat beans for years and years or raw vegetables....just cooked. Thank you for your help. I have had a very crappy existence the last 3 1/2 years resulting from this extreme hunger and insomnia. And the only thing that I discovered that helps the hunger/insomnia is to eat a lot of carbs, which has made me quite chubby! Anita

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Anita, I would try to include a lot of root vegetables for their starch content, as you will be eating the starches in their natural form. You say you eat a lot of whole grains. Are you eating it as bread or porridge?
      I would try to avoid wheat as much as possible and go for the alternate grains, like teff, spelt, quinoa and amaranth. Wheat has been greatly genetically modified and so has a much higher gluten content. Oats and rye have much lower gluten levels.
      Eating good quality sourdough bread might also be a possibility as the rising process is much slower so it becomes a "prebiotic" food.
      With beans, I would advise take it slow. Lentils are a good source of fiber and not as agressive as beans.
      Hope this helps.

      Jo tB

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    2. Thanks for the advice. I feel that I need a lot of it because I continue to suffer despite eating a healthy diet. I'm in a rut right now....because I drank a few beers the other night, which really set me back. Yes, the root vegetables and gluten free grains really help, as does making sure to eat higher fat. But, I continue to gain weight steadily. I used to be very thin my whole life without trying. My third pregnancy shifted something in my chemistry and I have had the hypoglycemia and insomnia ever since. Eating regular meals helps, but I feel like it controls me, that I am just taming the beast every couple hours with food. I am pretty sure the potato hack would be a bad idea right now as I can't go very long without eating or I get nauseous, headaches and wired but tired feeling. I'm hoping the higher fiber supplements will help. I just don't know exactly what to start with. Besides glucomannon and psyllium and RPS (because I have those three), what are the top fiber powerhouse recommendations? Anita

      Delete
    3. My most important three are RPS, baobab, and inulin. Partially hydrolized guar gum is supposed to be helpful for blood sugar control. Flaxseed and chia seed are good. Definitely look into amla.

      I talked to an endocrinologist about my kid's hypoglycemia. He was very enthusiastic about a high fiber diet. He was also in agreement with my idea to use fibers that are shown to help with t2d since both it and hypo are blood sugar problems.

      Delete
    4. In terms of probiotics, I like Garden of Life Raw probiotics. I'd buy someplace reputable (like Whole Foods) that keeps it refrigerated. Probably not online. It is supposed to be kept below 71 F.

      It did make me very gassy when I first started a long time ago. But it went away after a couple of weeks. It's the only one that had a noticeable impact on me, but this was before my gut experiment took off.

      Delete
  42. why wouldn't this hack work with rice?
    it has the RS component,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It probably does but not to the same degree. Potatoes are way more satisfying per calorie. Eat less, lose more.
      EF

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    2. Rice has very little protein and it's imbalanced. While there isn't a lot of protein in potatoes, either, it's high quality and because you are eating a lot of them, you get enough protein over a long haul, even.

      Delete
  43. Has anyone tried a juice fast with potatoes as a back-up for when the hunger gets crazy?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Let's say I do this every day without skipping any days. What can I expect to tell me it's time to cut back on the frequency? I want to lose a lot of weight (30-40 pounds) and I prefer to do it sooner than later which is why I want to do this every day. But what are the pitfalls to that?

    ReplyDelete
  45. Let's say I do this every day without skipping any days. What can I expect to tell me it's time to cut back on the frequency? I want to lose a lot of weight (30-40 pounds) and I prefer to do it sooner than later which is why I want to do this every day. But what are the pitfalls to that?

    ReplyDelete
  46. The pitfall is that you could lose the weight without ever really learning to eat and adjusting for the new, lower weights. Health-wise, it would probably not cause any lasting damage if you just ate potatoes for a month or two until you hit goal-weight, but then what?

    Better, I think, to use a short-term potato hack 3-5 days up to maybe 10-14 days, to really jump start the weight loss, and then eat normal foods in a way that keeps the weight trending downward. If you keep stalling, throw in 3-5 days of potatoes, or 'PUDDD' type eating until you get moving again.

    There is much to be said about losing the weight quickly and safely at about 10 pounds per month. Much quicker than that and the weight never seems to stabilize. Much slower, and people get frustrated. Long-term stalls are a real bear to live with and usually spell the end of dieting. Maybe the potato hack can get you past any stalls. But, learning to eat is paramount here. And eating quality foods is vitally important. Also, in between hacks, take serious note of your exercise routine, sleep, stress and all that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Tim. I agree with all of your points. I do have to learn to eat the right way and like a lot of people, I'm still kinda in the "how the heck do I do that?" phase!

      Delete
    2. It'll be a life-long journey. Any diet that restricts one of the "big 3" (carbs, protein, fat) without talk of real foods is doomed to fail. Reliance on pre-made shakes or meals also a bad idea. Counting calories helps to understand what you are eating, but using 'calories' to decide what to eat never works.

      Learning to cook from scratch and eating most meals at home is a great start. Homemade whole wheat bread and a big pot of chicken soup is never a bad meal.

      Delete
    3. I'm going to echo Tim. I fought weight and health issues for decades under the belief that fat is bad. I had insatiable cravings and blood sugar problems. Now I eat a LOT more fat than I used to. The restriction of fat was a bad diet for me.

      Like Tim says, diet is personal. Tim has had success with his. I've had success with mine. But they are very different. I eat grains maybe every couple of weeks. Whole wheat never. But that's me, not Tim. I read about the various gurus saying "ear this" and that's them. Not me. People still demonize fats, especially the animal fats that helped me, and I still have to override my decades long tendency to agree.

      Here's an idea I have been thinking about. Sort of eat what you want, but turn it into something that at least partially feeds the gut. Examples: Suppose you want chocolate cake. Practically nothing in that feeds the gut. What about a good chocolate bar made with, say, 80% cocoa? Or a full-fat smoothie made with 100% raw cocoa? Eat as much as you feel like. The latter will feed the gut.

      Suppose you feel like eating a cheese tortilla (a former weakness of mine). Make it a strict policy to have something that feeds the gut in it. Onions, peppers, leeks, chiles, cumin seeds, etc. Get whole wheat tortillas, or even better, make your own with organic flour.

      Chicken? Put the breasts back, and do legs or thighs and eat the gristle. That's prebiotic too.

      I didn't know any of this stuff when I started. I researched it, learning what contributes to the gut and what doesn't. Either by awareness or by gut health, I've transformed the way I eat. I know what's healthy - for me.

      Maybe it's a matter of turning you base desires (I want chocolate!) into something good for your gut that'll be the key. Good luck!

      Delete
  47. Tim, I am very interested in this post and am going to do a 3 day potato hack this week. Can I take supplements/probiotics while doing the hack? I have had severe binge eating disorder for many years and really want to have my life back. Thinking this hack may help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Supplements and probiotics are fine to take, but you really won't need to take them.

      I was just reading a new article the other day ( http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-12-liver-hormone-sweets-alcohol-brain.html ) indicating that lack of certain hormones are responsible for making people crave food or alcohol.

      "The researchers report that mice with elevated levels of FGF21 showed reduced preference for sweetener- and alcohol-laced water as well as a marked decrease in levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a central role in reward behavior."

      They found that elevated FGF21 could be created by "extreme dietary changes" and "carbohydrate consumption." of course, the research was about developing a drug to replace FGF21, but I was thinking that maybe a big part of the potato hack's success was due to creating this hormone naturally. The potato hack is an extreme dietary change involving nearly pure carbohydrate consumption.

      If you can go 3 days eating just potatoes and not have symptoms of BED, I wonder if there is a variation of the potato hack that might help you get your life back. I'm working on a post for Friday describing a bunch of different variations, maybe one will be perfect for you, or maybe you can tweak one of them to suit you.

      Searching through medical journals, I see that FGF21 has been implicated in BED for many years. And that many BED treatment diets revolve around increasing FGF21. Wouldn't it be great if the potato hack can do this for you naturally?

      Try three days and see how it goes first, we can talk off-line if you like later on.

      Good luck!
      Tim

      Delete
    2. Wow, thanks for responding, Tim! This is all such great info, I am def encouraged. I noticed a few posts up you said something about PUDDD. Trying to figure out what that is and am wondering if it's like JUDDD (up day down day diet??). Your blog is so informative I have been reading for hours and have a long way to go! Really groundbreaking, interesting work and I appreciate all of the info.

      Delete
  48. After coming off the potato diet a few years back I thought that a piece of beef never tasted so good. Am starting a 5 day run beginning today and will probably use the diet periodically throughout 2016 ... maybe every couple of months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried many times to express how amazing food tastes when you come off an all-potato potato hack. Foods that you eat every single day taste totally different...sometimes much better, sometimes much worse. Cheese tastes way too salty, 100% dark chocolate tastes much sweeter. Meats and fats are just completely undescribable.

      Once I got my weight under control a few years back, I have not had to rely on the potato hack, but one thing about it, it makes you more fearless to try new ways of eating to see if your weight will trend up, down, or stabilize. It's good to give new diet plans a while to settle in. How one eats normally is very individualistic, but the potato hack seems a universal method of cutting weight quickly.

      Delete
    2. Even though I am lean and muscular I do have some smallish love handles that I cannot shake. Maybe this will do the trick. Just finished 5 lbs and am stuffed. I normally only eat one meal a day during the week so this 5 lbs will have 23 hours to digest before the next meal.

      Delete
  49. Does anyone go over the 5 lb daily limit? Even thought I was stuffed after the 5 lb dinner (my only meal of the day), a few hours later I could have eaten another couple of potatoes (not pounds).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 5 pounds is a LOT for one sitting. I usually eat 2-3 pounds in a whole day, like 1 small potato for breakfast, 2 potatoes at lunch, 2-3 at dinner. Potatoes, not pounds. Probably 1/2 pound each or less. I really cannot imagine eating 5 pounds in one sitting.

      I always tell people, the trick is not to eat as many as you can, but as few. Just enough to keep hunger at bay.

      Delete
    2. That was 5 lbs before baking and cooling and then reheating. I suspect the actual weight was lower.

      Delete
    3. Same here. I never weigh the potatoes I eat, just the weight of the raw potatoes to get a rough estimate for planning purposes. In the old journals from Ireland, it was commonly said that the hard-working Irish men ate 10-15 pounds per day!

      Delete
  50. 5 pounds in one sitting sounds impossible to me. I just did my first meal of the hack this morning and ate about 2 potatoes until I was full. Maybe a pound and a half?

    ReplyDelete
  51. As I was making my coffee this morning, I was wondering about artificial sweetener and half and half. I use two Splenda packets and about an ounce of half and half. Any ideas how that might affect the hack?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A suggestion - use stevia instead of Splenda, it's more natural. I used Splenda for years, when I first switched to Stevia, I did not like, but now after several years, I cannot stand the chemical taste of Splenda. I like
      Stevia in the Raw

      As to half-and-half, maybe like 1TBS or less to a cup, and then just in the morning, if you must. Maybe some lower fat milk? Or can you drink it black for a couple days. We try really hard to minimize fat during potato hack days.

      Delete
    2. I'll try both, Tim. Thank you.

      Delete
  52. Hi, well I am on day 3 of the hack. I am a 50 year old woman with 90 lbs to lose. Starting fasting blood sugar, 93. First day I managed 500 grams of potatoes (between 11 am- 6pm). Second day, 800 grams. I'm not starving and this is tolerable - but I've only lost 200 grams (and this is after a December filled with unhealthy eating and drinking). I'm going to keep trying for another few days but weight and blood sugar haven't moved at all. (my 2 hrs post BS is about 110 so nothing to write home about) I am only using salt and pepper, boiled potatoes. Any suggestions ? (visions of dark chocolate were floating in front of me before bed last night :-) - otherwise I'm not really craving anything). Thank you for all you do! Super informative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My suggestion would be to stick with your plan, track some personal metrics, ie. weight, FBG, inflammation, and then resume normal eating. A week later, see where you stand. The potato hack is a very small blip on your life's radar with hopefully lasting impact. The things that happen during the potato hack's 3-5 days are more designed to set you up for future success.

      Let us know how it all works out!

      Delete
  53. On day two and getting used to it. Two questions. 1. Can you recommend a tool for measuring BG? 2. You suggested to monitor inflammation. How so?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure!

      BG tester - $20

      50 test strips, $35

      Inflammation is going to be more observational. Your face may appear thinner, ankle swelling may go down, belly bloat, etc...

      Delete
    2. Thanks as always, Tim. I'm definitely looking and hoping for the face to thin out.

      Delete
    3. Also, in my case, seasonal allergies, joint pain, and skin problems went away.

      Delete
  54. I'm on Day 3 and not feeling great: sluggish, cold, and brain-foggy. I understand these aren't typical experiences, but Tim have you run into these issues from others before?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People occasionally say they feel "like crap" on the potato hack, sure. Eat normally if this happens to you. try again later if you like to see if it repeats itself, or simply forget about it.

      It could be that the potato hack provides too few calories for some people, or it may be completely unrelated to the hack. Impossible to say. But usually it is the opposite, people say they feel very clear-headed, full of energy, and warm from all the carbs. What you describe is what they tell people embarking on a low-carb diet to expect. Not sure why you are seeing it with the high-carb potato hack. Each person is different, I cannot deny that.

      Delete
    2. Cool -- thanks!

      Yeah, strange. If anything it seems like the "low carb flu" in reverse. Certainly feel like I'm eating enough, amount-wise: about 1600g of (cooked) potatoes per day, which amounts to five large baking potatoes. Although perhaps that's not enough, calorically. (I am 5'10" and 175 and fairly athletic.) Hard to tell with online calculators...

      Will suffer through today then return to normalcy!

      Delete
    3. Hi John, I have felt the same way. Been running around the house in thermal underwear and sitting with a huge duvet on the coach. I have lots of extra padding - so no excuse there but hands and feet, especially freezing. I thought it was too low calories so have gone up the last two days (from 500 - 800 - 1000). Blood sugar and weight exactly the same. Sigh. I am going to try one more day - then swing to my 'normal' diet - whole foods around 1200 calories a day. I don't really lose no matter what - but I had hoped the potato hack would kick start my engines somehow. Like Tim said - let's wait a week and see :-)

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    4. Re being cold:

      I'm going to go out on a limb here but my take is this. Excess weight is an inflammatory state and the inflammatory state comes first. The weight gain is due to the inflammation. I don't think we get into that state strictly from excess food so much as a concurrent lack in nutrients. So, when we restrict "calories", we're doing two things. We're sending a starvation message to the body so it does everything it can to hold onto the only thing it has - fat - to protect it. And two, we're depriving it even further of what it needs to calm the inflammation. So, when we go even further with something like the potato hack, we're going to cause even more disruption.

      The RS in cooked and cooled potatoes will feed bacteria, yes? The beauty of the hack is that it allows them to get a better foothold in the gut. But in an inflammatory state it's pretty clear those 'good' bacteria aren't there for us to feed. Without them, the hack is simply starvation.

      So, my advice to those of you feeling worse on the hack is to back off for say, 6 months. Spend that time *not restricting* calories, but intensely re-feeding with nutrient dense foods. Get the inflammation under control that way, and try the potato hack again. I bet you'd see a difference.

      I might be wrong (and if so I'm sure someone will correct me), but I don't think anyone can be feeding themselves properly on 1200 calories a day.

      Delete
    5. Cukey, unless a person uses a good kitchen scale and weighs and measures everything that goes into their mouth, there is NO way they would know that they are eating 1200 kcal per day.

      They would need to refer to a document with reliable kcal information for everything eaten and make sure they are getting enough minerals and vitamins. Unlikely on 1200 kcal without supplements.

      For the average person who is not overweight, spends 24 hours per day in a comfy bed, basal metabolism is about 1500 kcal.

      Plus to stick to a diet that is only 1200 kcal per day, there would need to be utmost vigilance and calorie creep. A dietary log book would need to be kept and there aren't too many people obsessive enough to do that.

      If someone feels cold after trying to live on nothing but potatoes, then yes, I agree with you. The peripheral circulation is being compromised.

      Delete
    6. I think what I'm really trying to say is that calories, while part of the picture, are not the whole picture, and focussing on restricting calories can cause nutritional deficits that do nothing to heal the inflammation that (possibly? probably?)caused the weight problem in the first place.

      Bottom line, I'm convinced it is more important to focus on eating well than eating less. Appetite control is much less of an issue to a well nourished person; cravings disappear when the body has what it needs. (Wilbur, am I right?)

      Unless, of course, there is an emotional aspect to the cravings, but that's a whole other discussion.

      Delete
    7. Yes, wild cucumber! But just for clarity, the cravings that disappear are the one everybody knows are bad. The ones that make you eat a whole bag of chips or a bucket of ice cream. I still get cravings. Just today drove quite a while just to get some kimchi made from scallions that I wanted for lunch. It's fair to say I craved it. In the afternoon, I'll usually get a craving for a small handful of whole pumpkin seeds. I never get cravings for bad food - in fact - I have an aversion to most of it. I'd starve before eating Cheetos. And what cravings I do get are limited in quantity.

      With the dietary guidance just coming out, there's a lot being written. Marion Nestle had a nice article in the Washington Post. Even she acknowledges it's basically restating Pollan's advice. Make an effort to eat more vegetables with every meal and quit eating junk are the two most I,portent things. (She had a few more). This is exactly where I started about 2.5 years ago. That's all I did at the start. I stopped caring about calories.

      I just ate what I felt like eating within those two rules. The things I liked then started changing. I knew things were going well when I craved garlic and liver instead of chips and cheese.

      Delete
    8. Hi, thank you for the replies. Today - day 4 - is my last day for now of the potato hack. My hands and feet are like ice and my blood sugar and weight have not changed at all. Gabriella, to your point about weighing and measuring. Unfortunately, I am a bit obsessive about that. I weigh everything to the gram, log it, keep track of my weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, resting heart rate, etc. etc. (a bit nuts clearly) My doctor, who runs most tests I request, says 'You are really healthy - just overweight.' Gee thanks. I have been eating the perfect health way for some time (a year or more) - with occasional (like a few weeks during Christmas) when I eat off plan. I also do a lot of fasting, trying to keep my calories down. I am only 156 cm and 99 kg. (and that is where I stay regardless of Christmas pudding and red wine, or no) I take all the supplements that Paul Jaminet recommends (but I don't eat liver, so supplement with copper). I don't eat junk food. I don't binge eat. When not counting calories, I probably eat too much protein (our own chickens, or our neighbors cow/pig). I don't eat wheat normally (Christmas was an exception). I don't exercise, really except for some walking. I also try (not always successful) to eat at least 5 servings of low carb veggies a day (mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, garlic, cabbage plus some sauerkraut I make myself). Add on some of our own eggs, some rice or potatoes plus some meat for dinner and that is what I eat in a day. No added sugars. Nothing but water, tea, coffee. (red wine at Christmas)

      I'm not complaining - I don't feel poorly. I just would like to get rid of some weight. I will try the suggestions from Wilbur and WildCucumber and keep trying to up my good fibers and good foods. Maybe I will get rid of the kitchen scale for a while - and then try the potato hack again in a month or so.

      Very interesting conversations and threads! Super informative! Best regards from Denmark.

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    9. Wilbur - haha as soon as I hit publish I knew you would say that about cravings; we do get 'good cravings', don't we!

      Kelly, you have great food sources there (I'm jealous) and it's great to hear you're healthy! Please don't fast though, I really do believe it's unkind to your body and sends confusing messages. Supplements can be confusing to the body too, copper isn't supposed to be taken isolation, nothing is. But that's my pet peeve, (as anyone who hangs around here knows!), isolating nutrients and taking them as supplements puts our heads in charge when nature and our bodies already have it figured out. We're just second guessing her, no matter how much we think we know.

      Btw, Wilbur knows his stuff, you can't go wrong learning from him (although I could never, ever, take in as much fibre as he does, he's kind of superhuman in that way lol)

      Delete
    10. Thanks, wild cucumber!

      Kelly, I have 5 servings of vegetables for breakfast! Plus 2 eggs and 1.5 ounces of cheese. My lunch was vegetables. Dinner will be about 8 ounces of fish, fresh chickpeas, and baby spinach. I've also had figs and a few whole pumpkin seeds. Dessert will be a dried fruit, like apricots or prunes.

      I didn't eat like this 2.5 years ago. And it wasn't a goal to eat like this. It evolved from something close to what you are doing (except add a bag of chips). Starting from making sure that I ate a good amount of real veggies with every meal (forget lettuces). Broccoli, especially the stems, Brussels sprouts, root vegetables, beans, etc. Then eat as much chicken and pork as you want.

      It is my belief that if you ever say the words "eat off plan" you are fighting your body. I never go off plan because there is no plan. If I want cake, I'll eat cake. As much as I want. But I don't want to right now, so I'm not eating any. What I did, and I think it makes a lot of sense, is just eat my vegetables and afterward eat whatever I wanted (aside from obvious junk food). Then the things I ate after my veggies started changing, and here I am. With a little twist on the fiber intake that I don't think is relevant to you, unless you begin craving them like I do.

      I lost about two lbs a week to my present weight. I don't count calories, I drink beer and wine, I participate in celebrations, and my weight barely fluctuates. It is usually water weight. In fact, if I lose a pound or two, I know I need to drink more water.

      A big part of Pollan's advice is to eat nutrition, not nutrients. Carb counting, calorie counting, etc. in my opinion are just constraints that, for some, result in suboptimal equilibrium. For some, that might be too much weight.

      The added advantage is that I am peace with my food. That is worth a lot!

      Delete
    11. FWIW on the "eat well for six months" suggestion from wildcucumber, I embarked on my potato experiment after nearly a year of slow "bulking" -- not counting or limiting calories. I've eaten Perfect-Health-Diet for going on five years as well, so I don't think it's a reaction to undereating prior to this potato hack. Felt otherwise good prior to it. Curious.

      I just ate my fat- and protein-heavy lunch and am enjoying being off the potato wagon.

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    12. Kelly, you are in Denmark? There was a paper published recently that iodizing salt in Denmark has resulted in higher TSH, lower fT4 and fT3. Weird, very weird. It means that people are becoming hypothyroid despite added iodine to the diet. Your symptoms sound hypothyroid to me and I thought so initially when you were describing your response to being on the potato diet. TSH should be about 1.4+/-0.5 in a normal euthyroid person. So check your medical test results.

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    13. John, I think some of us just plain need a little of everything every day to feel good. I couldn't 'hack' the hack as is, which is why I just replaced one, maybe 2 meals a day, pretty casual like. But it worked that way for me, I got myself to where I wanted to be with body comp. It seemed I really needed to have fermented foods to go along with the potatoes, I just 'needed' them for it to work.

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    14. Wilbur, clearly you enjoy the act of eating. Not too many people could eat five servings of vegetation for breakfast.

      Since it's the International Year of the Pulses, my hugely ambitious plan is to eat a serving of pulses every day. Seeing as how I've already been doing it 5 days per week (it's my primary carb source), going full out shouldn't be difficult. Despite my best efforts, I do not like potatoes. Once in a while, okay, but daily? No way.

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    15. Gabriella - Sorry, I was trying to be funny. "I could eat X for breakfast" is a phrase meant to show how tough one is. I thought I was being clever.

      But nearly every morning, I eat about 3 inches of the green part of a leek, a hand full of Chinese chives (the stinky ones), most of a head of garlic, a serving of fermented beets and their greens, 1/2 Tbsp of miso with leeks and dandelion greens, and 3 Thai chilies. Sometimes I have mushrooms too. My fiber drink also has dandelion root powder.

      Yes, I love to eat. Good quality food of excites me.

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    16. Good heavens. My breakfast was a 'fail'. 2/3 cup duPuy lentil stew, 1 duck egg fried in butter, 3 corn tortillas.

      Lunch was eggplant stew (very yummy), cooked butternut squash cubes and rice.

      supper? Lamb kidneys probably. I scored 6 fresh lamb kidneys today! What with? Probably more eggplant stew since it tastes do darn good.

      I guess my variety is not as varietous. Although the stews contain things like tomato, onion, garlic, red pepper.....

      I just keep it simple.

      I discovered that squash plus lentil stew = good poops. lentil stew alone = no poops. HA HA! Experimenting. Cooked and cooled stew made from pulses is supposed to be good for resistant starch and insoluble fibre. But without other vegetables, the good old colon says 'don't bother me'.

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    17. No on the fail! Eggs and lentils are a fantastic combination! I like mine sunny side up so that get lots of runny yolk in the lentils. Eggplant is another good choice. I used to avoid the ones with lots of seeds, but now seeds are my friends. Funny though that I never eat corn or flour tortillas anymore. I dunno why.

      I never have poop issues as long as I get sufficient water. At my level in f fiber intake, I'm regular as a clock. No matter what I eat. Although I've noticed that popcorn is a great volumiser.

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    18. I have to conduct the experiment systematically. Seeing as how lentils on their own provides a less than stellar next day production, I added the squash back today along with the eggplant/tomato/pepper/onion/garlic (eggplant with all the usual suspects) stew. Another day of this combo and that ought to determine 'cause and effect' definitively.

      Popcorn, yes. But I still make it the old fashioned way. Shake shake shake..... This way I put oil, salt, cayenne pepper into the popcorn and don't have to sprinkle anything afterwards.

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  55. "What I did, and I think it makes a lot of sense, is just eat my vegetables and afterward eat whatever I wanted (aside from obvious junk food). Then the things I ate after my veggies started changing, and here I am. "

    Brilliant!!

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  56. Just finished a 5-day round. This was my second potato hack, the first one being a few years back when it was first discussed on FTA. Lost 4lbs this time. Not a lot but I am already lean and muscular and don't really have much weight to lose but do have a bit of stubborn flab on my sides that had increased since last September. And that has been reduced to pre-September levels so I am pleased. Am wondering if I do a 5-day round periodically I can further reduce it ...

    What was interesting is that on Day 1 eating 5lbs of potatoes was easy but by day 4 there was no way I could eat that many. My appetite decreased each day but my energy level stayed the same. Here it is Saturday morning and I have no hunger at all ... and feel great.

    The first time I did the hack eating the potatoes without salt, pepper and vinegar was impossible. This time I often simply ate them plain. And the first time I broke down and added coconut oil but never craved it this time.

    There is one thing that puzzles me. Back in the late 1980s I damaged my gut by taking Accutane and have suffered ever since chronic cracks on the corners of my mouth. It wasn't until PS was first being discussed on FTA that I found long-lasting relief (much gratitude) and by adding glutamine I was healed except the the occasional micro-crack which signaled that something was going on in my gut that needed attending to. I started the potato hack last Monday with cracks 100% healed. By Wednesday afternoon they were back with a vengeance. It couldn't be that I was lacking PS and didn't think I needed a shot of probiotics so I began taking glutamine and the cracks healed right up. What is it in the potato that set my gut off?

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    1. It's great that you are so in tune with your body! Good job!

      This glutamine business, I was just reading that glutamine must be obtained from the diet. Potatoes have a hefty portion of glutamic acid (http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2770/2 ), not sure how that relates to the glutamine you needed to fix your cracked lips.

      From wikipedia on glutamine:

      "The most eager consumers of glutamine are the cells of intestines,[4] the kidney cells for the acid-base balance, activated immune cells,[9] and many cancer cells.[7]"

      This also from Wiki:

      " It is non-essential and conditionally essential in humans, meaning the body can usually synthesize sufficient amounts of it, but in some instances of stress, the body's demand for glutamine increases and glutamine must be obtained from the diet.[2][3]"

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  57. Thanks Tim. Accutane damaged the guts of many people but not sure exactly what it did to mine. And L-Glutamine is often recommended for those with gut issues.

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    1. Re you able to add more to the statement that accutane damages guts? I took accutane many years ago and my gut has been very hard to shift. It has taken me forever to get up to 3-4 tablespoons. I had no idea, and you've just added another piece to the puzzle. Thank you!

      RM

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    2. Sorry, first word is meant to be 'Are'

      RM

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