Potato Hack Info

Welcome to Potato Hack central!  I've been playing around with an all-potato diet for the past 6 years or so, ever since Chris Voigt pulled his 2-month potato diet "stunt" in 2010. Lots of bloggers circa 2010-2012 were talking about the all-potato aspect, and nearly all of them decided there was nothing special about potatoes, and they dropped it.  Not me!  I saw great wisdom in using potatoes for short-term weight loss. Full details of the Potato Hack found here.

TONS more potato hack articles and discussion at my new blog: The Potato Hack Chronicle

Link to Amazon


The potato is the perfect food choice to use as a diet "hack." Of this, The Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified was born. The more I researched potatoes, the more I realized that this story must be told. I posted around the interwebz for several years, and after rousing success after success, I decided to write a book. You don't need the book to do the potato hack...if you are committed to eating nothing but plain potatoes for 3-5 days.  It's that simple.

Most people, however, have tons of questions!  That's why I wrote the book. If you want to read all about potatoes, resistant starch, calories, potato recipes, and the science...buy the book.  Otherwise, just try it for yourself:
  1. Eat potatoes; 
  2. Repeat.
Alaska Grown!


The Potato Hack in Seven Simple Steps

Just quickly, here are the "rules" for the Potato Hack:


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, andvinegar 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.

Related Blog Posts

Potato Hack Variations

If anyone is considering some serious potato hacking for the new year, here's some inspiration: Seven different variations of the original potato hack. Whether your goal is weight loss, maintenance, or healing a troublesome gut, these variations might help you stick to the potato hack.

Aside from all these variations, the potatoes themselves are another source of variety. Don't just buy the cheapest bag you can find, try all the different types. Each potato cultivar has its own unique tastes and texture. Maybe just using a different type of potato each day is all the variety you'll need...Read more.

Potato Hacking for Weight Loss or Maintenance

It's been fun so far seeing lots of new folks around here, and even some old-timers, trying the potato hack. We'll get into the science later in the year, I wanted to start out with the practicalities of using the potato hack to lose some weight. Later, we'll discuss using the potato hack to reset your metabolism, reduce inflammation, and other effects, but for now, we'll focus on weight loss.

The potato hack has undeniable physiological effects on the overweight body. We can use these effects to lose and maintain weight effortlessly. Weight loss is normally achieved through some strict calorie counting scheme or manipulating the macronutrients (protein, fat, carb) to force a calorie deficit. Weight loss without a change in diet or a deficit is usually an empty promise...Read more.

The Potato Hack Book!

Hi all - I set a goal this year to write a potato hack book. I figured it would take me a while and I'd be ready to publish it in November to coincide with graduation. Well, I had a little too much time on my hands this winter and finished the book early. It has 55,818 words, or about 240 pages worth of potato hacking information...Read more.


Some cool reviews of the book:

Paleo Britain on the Potato Hack book.

The Potato Hack is written with great humour, and considering it’s a whole book about essentially just eating potatoes you’ll be surprised how entertaining it is and how much you will learn.

I am a bit of a geek when it comes to nutrition so this book was right up my street!

I love learning new things that we can try that will have a positive impact on our health, particularly our gut bacteria, and I’m always looking to add things to my bank of resources for helping people lose weight and get healthier.

Rusty Moore of VisualImpactFitness on the Potato Hack Book:

Here are my experiences so far with the potato hack.
I have only done two rounds of a 3-day potato hack (currently on round 3).
I lost 3 pounds on round #1 and 5 pounds on round #2.
I regained a little bit of weight after resuming with normal eating, but not as much as when I go low carb.
There seems to be less of a rebound effect with potatoes.
I’ve kept 6 of the 8 pounds off…and feel I will hit my goal weight in just a few weeks.
My face and mid section are noticeably leaner.
I really didn’t expect that to happen so quickly.


One other blogger also saw the wisdom in the potato hack...Richard Nikoley at Free the Animal has written extensively!  Have a read:

Re-Hacking the Potato Hack

Potato Diet Practicalities

Make Potatoes Great Again!

Dozens of blog posts with thousands of comments, hope you take a look.  Thanks, Richard!


OK...that's enough to get you started!  Use the search function to find hundreds of more blog posts with useful potato information.

Potato Video Collection


Here are some cool videos you may enjoy, just to get you pumped for a week of eatin' potatoes:



                                                     If you don't believe me yet, listen to this Olympian discuss the Potato Diet





The famous 1849 Potato Diet article...read the book, you'll get it!

Few are aware of the great value of the potato as an article of diet. It may astonish some of our readers when we assert that potatoes alone are sufficient to sustain the human body in a state of firm and vigorous health. Prisoners in the old country have in numbers been kept upon the potato diet for months, and what may appear singular, the majority of such have gained in flesh during the experiment. Lean men grow fat, and fat men become lean—lean as they ought to be. And so all grow better in health. 

Strange enough is it that the potato diet cures almost all who are subjected to its influence a few months; and what is yet more strange, after two or three months of this regimen, prisoners regret being put back upon their ordinary or mixed diet. 

Let those who have dyspepsia—and that means a multitude of ills which the American people in their luxurious habits are fast bringing upon themselves—try for a time the potato diet. 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. 

And yet, as before said, we advise our dyspeptic friends to make a trial of the potato diet. Eat, of course, no salt, no butter, or condiments of any kind. Our word for it, the experiment will prove a good one; and the prescription costs no money, but, what is incomparably better, an amount of self-denial which is possessed only by a few. And making this experiment for one week will greatly increase the self-denial and perseverance of those who go through with it. We do not, of course, recommend this prescription to those who have to labor very hard, for a sudden change, of whatever kind, does not answer well with such.   

Well, you found me!  I hope you enjoy my blog and the Potato Hack...drop a comment and I'll get back as soon as I can. I you are shopping for Potato Diet-related items, check out my "potato-hack approved" Amazon shopping list.
Later!
Tim


201 comments:

  1. Hey Tim, very cool, will give this a shot this week for three to five days and report back.

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  2. Ted! Good stuff. Wish I had read his sooner, maybe I'll stick it in later.


    "Mosse says that potatoes are generally held to be injurious in diabetes, and are usually placed in the list of forbidden articles. He believes, on the contrary, that they are not only permissible, but even useful. Potatoes may, with advantage to the patient, be given in substitution for wheat bread in the proportion of 2.5 to 3 of the former (weighed raw) to one of the latter. In his dietetic experiments he allowed his diabetic patients to have the enormous amount of 1 to 1.5 kilogrammes of potatoes (weighed raw) daily. In some instances the amount was increased up to 3 kilogrammes, or about six pounds.

    Wheat bread contains from -47 to 55 per cent, of starch, whereas fresh potatoes contain from 16 to 24 per cent., or an average of 20. The potatoes may be given in various ways, but in all his cases Mosse had them baked.

    In his experiments usually from 1 to 1.5 kilos of potatoes were substituted for about 350 to 500 grammes of bread. After the potatoes were substituted there was always a definite drop in the curves representing the urine and sugar excretion. In none of his cases did the sugar entirely disappear. Mosse states [that there was also a marked amelioration in the patient's symptoms. The thirst became less, nem-algias disappeared, and the strength increased. He found that after potatoes had been substituted for bread for several days, and then the patient placed on the original amount of bread, the excretion of sugar never reached the limit attained previous to the potato regime. The writer consequentlv holds that a potato diet has a similar beneficial efifect to the " hunger-day " of Naunyn.

    Good results have followed the use of the potato regime in not only the mild, but also the severe forms of diabetes. Mosse claims that traumatic wounds and those following surgical operations heal much more rapidly on a potato diet, and cites cases attempting to demonstrate this view.

    Mosse advances two hypotheses to explain the beneficial effect of the potato diet. The first is that the potato produces a sugar more easily warehoused than that produced from bread; and second, that it introduces a substance into the organism which favours the glycolytic function of the body. The thirst is attributed to a greater amount of water contained in the potatoes, increased glycolysis is believed by the writer to be due to the much greater quantity of potash introduced into the system as a result of the potato diet.

    From the series of charts published it seems quite certain that potatoes are better tolerated by diabetics than wheat bread. " Irish Journal of Medical Science, 1903

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  3. Fascinating - gut bugs are fascinating! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with the masses! I am attempting the potato diet now – today is day 3 and my plan is to go 5 days. I NEED to get some healthy gut bacteria! I don't understand a lot of the science but am very thankful that you share this stuff!

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  4. Just a quick FYI: In No. 4 above about the JUDDD diet, you say "eat normally for 5 days and then restrict calories severely for two days." JUDDD is actually this:

    "[E]very other day you will limit your calories (Down Days), and on alternate days you will be free to eat what you would like (Up Days)." The 5 day/2 day diet is some other iteration, not JUDDD.

    I love this post. I have never seen such a thorough approach on the potato dieting idea, and I really appreciate your effort and caring to put it all out there. Thank you so much, Tim.

    Jennifer

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  5. Tim, very interesting!

    How does Grace feel about this? I am desperate to lose weight. I did LCHF last year. Didn't lose anything. I read Dr. Ar Ayers and I considered protein powder fast, but it seems so dead. Tred it for two weeks and it didn't work.

    Now, I am looking at either doing a raw milk "cure" or this potato only diet. Just to lose weight... My concern is which will work and which is healthier.

    Thanks, Natasha

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  6. You'd have to ask Grace that!

    Give it a try, what have you got to lose? I think the potato diet is very healthy...it's gut friendly and good nutrition. Did you watch Denise's Video? She makes a compelling argument for the potato diet.

    Also a bunch of folks on MDA doing right now, too. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread109763.html

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  7. Just lost 15 pounds. Took me a little bit to believe it was easier just to just follow your strict rules. For me, I eat boiled, cooled potatoes for lunch and for dinner M-F Saturday and Sunday I eat a nutrient dense diet including leaner grass-fed meat liver,eggs,vegetables,rice and all the fruit I want. Last weekend I had buckwheat pancakes for breakfast one day and fermented oatmeal porridge the next day. When I am satisfied I stop eating. I really like this diet. I eat my satiating potatoes for the week I am at work and it is so easy to forgo all the doughnuts and treats that are a regular part of the office. I just know M-F it is potatoes. I don't tired or hungry. I have plenty of energy. So much easier and comfortable than HCG or ketosis. When I was low-carbing I had so many problems with sleep. Now, I can't stay awake even if I want to! I don't have to wear orange glasses or stay away from screens. Thank-you. Thank-you!

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    1. Thanks. Glad you like it! Don't these words ring true?:

      "Our word for it, the experiment will prove a good one; and the prescription costs no money, but, what is incomparably better, an amount of self-denial which is possessed only by a few. And making this experiment for one week will greatly increase the self-denial and perseverance of those who go through with it."

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    2. I find that once you commit to it, it's easy. The self-denial and perseverance part is key! It gives you confidence that you are not 'broken' and gives you a tool to use when you like.

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  8. Tim - skins on or off?

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    1. It really depends. If they are storebought, commercially grown potatoes, I usually peel. If I grew them and there are no green spots...peel stays.

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    2. I don't care. I boil them in the skins. Eat the skins. Mehh.

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  9. Thanks for all your research Tim. I've been successful using potato starch & soil based probiotics (also eliminated wheat and artificial sweeteners) to lower my A1C in three months from 6.3 to 5.8. I'm prediabetic or early type II and take 3 x 500 mg metformin daily. I also need to lose 50 lbs, but in this 3 month time frame I just lost 3 lbs. I am a very large, but active 59 yr old man. Would the potato diet be dangerous for me to try with my insulin resistance? Thanks again for all your research!!

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  10. Here's what I'd suggest. For the next three months, eat absolutely no grain of any type (wheat, oats, rice, corn, etc...), absolutely no vegetable oil (olive oil/coconut oil OK), and absolutely no refined/added sugar.

    Skip breakfast, eat a light lunch (salad, lean meat), and a big enough dinner that you don't feel like snacking in the evening. No snacks between meals. No gorging when you do eat.

    I've heard this referred to as 3G plan (no grains, gorging or grazing) or the SOW plan (No sugar, oil, or wheat), just for an idea to keep in mind as you go through the day.

    Do eat plenty of fruit, fatty meat cuts, veggies, potatoes, squash, plantains, nuts, dark chocolate (80%+), honey, garlic, onions, and anything else that is real and you can recognize. No processed foods! No fried foods. Nothing from a box.

    Try tracking your calories for a few weeks using a free FitDay account

    Don't freak out over calories or macro ratios (carb-protein-fat) but just get a feel for where you are and what your diet looks like, and plug in foods from your old, normal diet to see how it compares. I found doing this very enlightening and helpful.

    If you look like the standard middle-aged, big-belly, 50 pound overweight guy, you surely have metabolic syndrome which in part comes from having excess adipose fat (around your organs). This fat does all kinds of nasty things to your metabolism and it's imperative you lose it ASAP. Luckily, it seems to be the first to go.

    I'd really recommend you work on the 50 pounds and an overhaul of your diet before attempting the potato diet, but, if you wanted to try, just make sure you use your BG meter and adjust accordingly. I'm not sure what happens when you are on Metformin and you do a potato diet, so be careful! I know for me, with normally very low A1C and FBG in the 80's, after 2 days on the potato diet, my FBG is 65.

    If you find you can just do the regular diet tips I gave you and you start losing weight and correcting your BG naturally, you will want to pay particular attention to gut health and start getting good fiber in your diet, and I don't mean Metamucil or Benefiber. Read all my fiber and RS pages!

    Good luck...report back!

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    1. Forgot to add -- start doing pushups, pullups, squats and walk 60 minutes a day. Set a goal of being able to do 25 pushups, 25 squats, and 10 pullups. By the time you get there, your world will have changed!

      When I started all this 4-5 years ago, I couldn't do 1 pullup no matter how hard I 'bicycled' and kicked. Now I can do 25 in a row, no problem. I think upper body strength is way overlooked by older guys, but easy to achieve, and it helps hide your belly!

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    2. That's pretty much my diet now, except for potatoes, beans, and rice at dinner-plus potato starch and probiotics. I walk 2-3 miles every day plus lots of chores. I took a lot of antibiotics as a child and have fought my weight all my life. I think my gut flora has been off balance since childhood. I've had to fight psoriasis, toenail fungus, athletes foot, thrush, etc., and even with really trying to eat right and get exercise my gut flora fights me every step of the way. I'm still a large strong man, but my Doc agrees with you about resistance training, and since I'll be retiring in a few months-I have no excuse not to start! thanks again for sharing your research, I think Hippocrates would be proud of you!

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    3. If you hate the gym like me, just install a pull up bar at your house somewhere. I have one I built between two trees in my backyard. It seems like a daunting task, but I think it is vitally important to maintain strength as you get into your 60s and beyond. Start doing pushups, you'll soon find you enjoy it.

      All that fungus is worrisome! Have you tried PrescriptAssist and Saccharomyces Boulardii? Those both have some anti-fungal probiotics, but also there are lots of antifungal foods that may help more.

      Start eating garlic every day, onions, too. Learn to make turmeric paste add drink with milk or mix in your food.

      Also maybe you can talk doc into doing some gut tests, especially for pathogens and yeasts.

      Congrats on the retirement...

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    4. @ronpozonomo

      Alternatively, "do Wilbur". It is someone who posted here and at FTA and elsewhere... he simply ate A LOT of fiber, anything he could find, a lot of garlic, probiotics, sauerkraut... His comments are worth reading.

      Have you ever tried to eat a raw potato, say one a day? (another person noticed a great antifungal effect after one week).

      Yes to exercise! Start today with some push ups, and not in a few months :-)

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  11. I've gone through 2 bottles of Prescript Assist and am on my second bottle of Primal Defense Ultra in 3 months-also Bubbies Sauerkraut. My fungus/yeast problems are improving but still there. Do you think beer and liquor are bad for gut flora? I'm not a heavy drinker but have a couple of drinks most nights

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    1. Drinking is fine... so is smoking! You didn't know I worked for your pension company did you?

      Hey, seriously. Quit drinking. It's bad for gut flora and health in general. Lose the weight, learn to do 10 pullups, then reward yourself with half a beer. A microbrewery stout. Not Bud Lite.

      Also, how is your sleep? Do you snore? I hope you don't smoke!

      You worked for what, 40 years? You could have another 40 years on this planet...make your second career your health. Work your way to the top!

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    2. I don't think y'all are getting my point. Too many antibiotics, too much processed food, not enough exercise, etc. have created a whole generation (and Lord only knows how many of the next) with metabolic syndrome. I have struggled with diets, low fat, low carb, and everything in between to fight off diabetes. I've been somewhat successful for 7 years, but it's a hard battle. It may be nearly impossible if we have the wrong gut bugs! I've read research that indicates that they might make us crave the food they crave. If I can drop my A1C 8% in three months by supplementing and feeding better bugs, and by avoiding the foods that the bad guys like-maybe this would be part of a cure for the metabolic syndrome. I know my cravings have greatly diminished! I got on the scales this morning and I'm down another 3 lbs. Not a lot, but at least I'm moving in the right direction.

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    3. Nope! We get your point.

      Every single thing we have mentioned, from diet to exercise to lifestyle and sleep is all directly tied to the microbiota.

      For instance, a popular diabetic drug, Cycloset works by restoring your circadian (sleep/wake cycle) signals to the brain. Another way to do that is by ensuring you are sleeping well and have a full set of gut microbes.

      Exercise is also important, and not just so you can one day be on a beefcake calendar, but because exercise has been shown to lead to better diversity of gut flora.

      Also, should have also mentioned...another great retirement project would be to start a big garden! And that's also aimed at your gut flora.

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  12. Tim, how do I find this study?

    This study, “Resistant starch: a promising dietary agent for the prevention/treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and bowel cancer,”4

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  13. thanks, Tim. that worked.

    Am on day three and very pleased with the degree of satiation. Was orignially planning on starting with just three but now may shoot for five.

    By the way do you know this song?

    the old cold potato and wait

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    1. "Take an old cold 'tater and wait" was what my mother & her sibs & cousins were told to do when waiting for the grown-ups in the family to finish eating Sunday dinner (or any large family gathering). They always made the kids eat last, after the adults had their fill. TAOCTAW has been a saying/laugh line in my family for as long as I can remember. My uncle used to threaten us with it when we were kids, if we were being bad before we ate. "I'm-a make you take an old cold 'tater and wait if you don't stop [whatever we were doing]!" :-)

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  14. The "notify me " button does not seem to be working

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  15. Quick question for ya Tim... If I was going to try this potato diet would I continue with the fiber supplements I have added? I see that it says we can take our supplements and so I will continue my vit K2 and my fermented cod liver oil but am not sure what to do with the fiber supplements since I have just recently added some trying to work up to the recommended amount.

    Thanks for all you are doing here. I do not know how you keep up with it all. I can't even get caught up on reading all the blog posts and the comments and try to decipher it all with my limited understanding. I find it all very interested but sure get lost and muddled by it all. Your time and attention to it all is very much appreciated!

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    1. Sure! Keep taking the fiber supplements if you like. No problem. I don't really think they are needed though. If you are eating all potatoes, with many of them from pre-cooked and cooled potatoes, say 2-4lbs a day, you will be getting 50-100g of RS.

      Maybe a better plan is to eat about 1/2 a raw potato daily while 'hacking.'

      If I were to make some changes to the 'potato diet', and I probably will one day, one would be to include at least 1/2 a raw potato daily.

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    2. Cool! Thanks for the info and adding that about the raw potato... I had just written myself a note to get more potatoes when I am in town today so that I can eat a raw one - perhaps before bed...

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  16. Coffee? Just one cup in the A.M.? O please say yes. :) No sugar, no milk added; just coffee.

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    1. Unlimited coffee! You could probably even get by with a drop or two of cream and a non-sugar sweetener like Stevia...

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  17. I started eating a very small raw potato after you mentioned that you would add that to the potato diet. I had tried raw russet potatoes and couldn't choke it down. This week I marshaled my courage and tried a Yukon Gold from my friendly, neighborhood Costco. I was surprised that it was actually quite okay neighboring on good. I also learned that it tasted better if the Yukon's were kept in my cold storage room, not room temperature. Don't know if that helps. :)

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  18. Hi Tim, just started the diet today. Wondering about raw honey, just take it at night. Thanks

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    1. You can get away with a lot of variation, but for the sake of experimentation, try it for a few days with only potatoes. I find that when adding other little things makes it a lot harder. When you tell yourself 'potatoes only' it makes it much easier for some reason. You aren't continually weighing things in your mind like, "let's see...I'll eat this apple and not that potato." Eating just potatoes completely takes 'reward' out of the equation.

      Make a game of it. See how long you can go on just potatoes. I have done 5-7 days many times. Usually as soon as I give in and eat something non-potato, it's 'game-over.'

      Give it a try, 1840 style. Then, in subsequent rounds, try it your way.

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  19. I get it, makes sense. Didn't take it last night and slept well. The hubs had to have a little salt on his spuds yesterday, and was hungry. I was very full all day and could not eat 2# of potatoes. For dinner I had 2 cups of boiled reds and put on a tiny amount of salt(himalayan). I was sort of hungry when I went to bed but when I woke up not hungry. I will say it was an extremely long day on the Ranch, even by our standards. Also I was diagnosed with Celiac and Hypo thyroid first of August. We ate pretty "cleanly" but I always had chronic infections and "stomach problems". Mom would say eat a soda cracker, they were always with me, ha! Started gaining weight for no apparent reason 8 years ago, (don't drink pop and rarely sugar)tried LC would lose and gain back twice the weight. Pretty frustrating. Anyway, gluten out , no prob, gluten free processed foods, no way! Allergic to soy, my beloved dairy doesnt like me now either. Fermented foods, histamine reaction now. Can't consume much in a day, 1200 cal daily, I'm full. Makes it harder to feed the gut bugs... Maybe I don't have an issue in that regards, Ranching is filled with dirt and poo. Raise our own Veg, too. So have found I don't feel deprived and it's not what I can't eat but what I CAN. So just having Potatoes at this point, no big deal. Hoping to clear out the system and reboot. Just sharing info to maybe help others. Thanks for the great info here! Will be delving into the leaky gut info and may wade in there!
    Thanks Tim!

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    1. Soon I will have the results of a fecal bacteria test I did after a week of potato-only, and I did some pH readings, too. I'm sort of planning to revamp this potato diet page eventually, but I really think that doing this sort of 'resets' your gut biome. I just hate sounding like a snake-oil salesman when talking about it too much.

      To me, it's just a fun way to really make yourself think hard about what you eat and how it effects you. I was deathly afraid of 'evil carbs' until I did a couple rounds of the potato diet a few years back.

      When I get the results of my potato diet gut test back, I will do a blog post on it, some recent reflections, and maybe try to get people interested in this again. It's fun when a bunch of people all do the potato diet together and post their weights and ask stupid questions, like 'is it OK if I eat honey?'

      Just kidding.

      Let us know how you make out!

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  20. I know, I know! silly question! But hey, thought you'd say no to the coffee another person asked about! Happy about that answer!
    Looking forward to your results, off to cook more spuds...

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  21. Today I planted two 40' rows, one each of red and white potatoes in the garden. First thing planted this year with help of my trusty Sears tiller. Years ago my neighbor and I planted them by the sack with the help of his tractor. I took them for granted back then but now I am more enthusiastic even on a much smaller scale. Rain expected here in a day or so.

    Two pounds of chufa seeds and 30 or so cushaw transplants await warmer weather. First attempt at both. Then summer squash, okra, and all the usual suspects. Can't wait.

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  22. hmmm...having read this whole thread (for the first time), I think I'm going to give the potato diet a try. I was on some prescription meds last year that caused me to pack on pounds in a crazy way - in less than 3 weeks I went up 3 clothing sizes. Even using resistant starch and IF, weight loss is bizarrely slow. I've never had body fat that was proportioned like this or that refused to come off like this. Makes one wonder just how toxic that drug was, that my body reacted to it this way!

    The potato diet is highly complimentary to health & diet approaches I'm currently doing (gut flora restoration and IF), so why not give it a try? I do loves me some potatoes - my Irish genes must be sending me reeeeally positive feedback there :D

    A question for you Tim, since you've been using the potato diet approach for a longer period. Do you continue intermittent potato-only-week here and there to maintain weight? I'm just curious what your longer term approach has been :) (aside from eating ridiculously healthy, which I certainly get the impression that you do :D)

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    1. I've kind of been holding back a bit on the potato diet. I did an American Gut test before and after a week of potato-only. I want to see the results and will then write about this some more. I have some ideas about why it is so effective, but want to look at gut results first.

      It's fun doing a potato diet. Make a game out of it, not a punishment. Try for 2-3 days at first, then extend to 4-5 days or plan for a longer run next time around. The biggest reason for failure is lack of planning...not enough potatoes, no pre-cooked potatoes, and too many leftovers in the fridge.

      I did 5 days back in Sep or Oct when I did the gut test, lost 3 pounds, I think. Haven't done any more this winter because I'm part of a gut bacteria study and trying to keep my diet very stable between weekly gut tests. I am planning to do 14 days of the potato diet soon, to get a really good feel for what it does to the gut biome, as I will be getting daily gut tests to track the changes when I do it. The results of that will take about a year to get back, unfortunately. My AmGut results should be ready any day now, I believe.

      But, yes, as a long-term weight check, a monthly period of 3-5 days of potato only prevents that dreaded winter weight gain so many of us tend to get when cooped up indoors for months.

      Lots of good potato diet threads over at MDA, if you want to read more:

      Does this link work? Potato Diet search results

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    2. Yes! Your link works great! (I have been wading through threads at lightning speed - good info in the crowd sourcing over there!)

      Thanks for laying out your approach - very helpful to have a slow-and-steady sustainable approach to something that's so effective, and yet periodically radical. And I'm *very* curious to see what your gut bug test results show!

      I've got a pot of cold potatoes in the fridge, yukon golds, my favorite of many years, and will be nibbling away at them when the urge strikes (even when not IFing my usual 1-2 24hr periods per week, I've never been a breakfast person. Just gimme my coffee and my potato starch/AOR!)

      Since simply testing fat-loss isn't fun enough, I'll now be testing the anti-inflammatory effects. My oldest son made evil evil peanut-butter fudge topped with gooey milk chocolate last night. I died and went to heaven, the bad bad child! I'm wickedly intolerant of nuts - like, my stomach blows up like a balloon for days and days afterwards. So I am now going to test the anti-inflammatory nature of the potato diet, as well as the insulin/fat aspect of it!

      *rolls up sleeves, prepares to get to it*

      Delete
    3. Good luck! Don't be discouraged if the scale doesn't show massive losses, it's hard to show much weight loss in just a day or two. Just do it with no expectations and see what you think. It also helps to keep in mind it's not a contest to see how many potatoes you can eat, but how few you can eat and still feel full and energetic. Know what I mean?

      Some people try it and absolutely hate it, some people love it. For me, it gets tedious after day 4, but if I stick with it for 5 days, I usually see the scale drop 3-4 pounds and it doesn't come back when I resume regular diet. It helps that you are weight-stable to begin with.

      The most amazing thing you will find is how the first foods taste when it's over. You'll be like, 'holy crap! this is the best banana I've ever eaten!' But it's just your taste buds being woken up from a nap.

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    4. Thanks for the well-wishes :D No worries on the weight-checking, cause I do not own a scale. Several years of anorexia in my 20s made me swear off food restrictions, calorie counting or weighing. I'll be watching my waist line/lower abdomen with great curiosity - that'll be the sign that I'm not only losing fat, but that I'm losing that really typical insulin-resistant-pattern fat.

      As you described in a post over at MDA several years ago (speed reading your links has been my day thus far :P), I do really well when I've got a 'no options' scenario. I can IF for 24-60 hours without much issue, because the groundrules are - no eating. No problem. Whereas if the groundrules are "eat only good stuff, deprive self of bad stuff" - I'm screwed :P

      Because of that, I suspect "eat only potatoes, don't bother thinking about food cause there are no other options," will work well for me on a 'food interest vs boredom' level.

      Reading back through your posts, it's also really encouraging to see how you and many others lost food cravings using potatoes. Whether it's regulating the complicated insulin issue, feeding good bugs or kicking off a deep primal eating pattern somewhere in our hominid brains, it sounds like it's pretty common. I'd love to lose this sweet tooth Prescript Assist kicked off - it's hurting me on a lot of levels, yk?

      Delete
    5. Oh hey there counter-top grilling machine that gets used 2x a year - how bout we make some hashbrowns? (I 'hashbrown cut' my potatoes with a Spiralizer - a kitchen device no paleo house should be without. Damn that thing's handy!)

      The potato diet - giving new purpose to your old dusty kitchen appliances since, er, the 1800s :D

      Delete
    6. @Terra I have never been big on breakfast either. Coffee and then a little lunch and a bigger diner. I gave up caffeine and realized I felt pretty shitty. It was the caffeine giving me a lift that was minimizing how I really felt. But as far a breakfast and a big one at that, I have slowly switched over to that way of eating as recommended by my acupuncturist who is a Doctor of TCM, figuring what the heck. I do feel better but it took a while before I didn't feel like a slug after breakfast. Coincidentally, CaloriesProper had this very interesting study which might help persuade you that breakfast, light in the morning, and the longest fasting period are all tied together:

      http://caloriesproper.com/meal-timing-and-peripheral-circadian-clocks/

      S.

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    7. @S. Very interesting stuff!

      Yeah, I've done many many rounds of giving up caffeine (for every possible reason, too - my adrenal health, my TCM kidney/speen/liver health, my mood health...) and the upshot is, with my chronic fatigue issues I simply cannot function without it. Like, at all. Years of not using it and eating like a saint and doing Everything Right according to the dictates of multiple health perspectives never made a bit of difference to my energy level. So finally I settled for figuring out what *medium* of caffeine I could get away with without turning into a monster while on it or as it wore off....and just went with that. It's crappy, because for me I definitely pay a price - but no other option has presented itself despite years of trying. I'm glad some of the newest studies are showing health *benefits* as well as draw-backs, so there's that at least!

      mmmm - hashbrowns for 1st meal of the day :D I'm wanting other foods (principally sugar, which has been an overwhelming craving for a few weeks), but I'm in no way tired of potatoes. so odd!

      *raises hashbrowns in a toast* Cheers, fellow potato-o-philes!

      Delete
  23. I hadn't read this thread either. I love the passion you have for the potato diet. I think I might try it too. Two things I wonder about: Would eating the skins be detrimental? I love the skins. Also, I wonder if I could continue doing a Wilbur while eating potatoes? There's one way to find out, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I update this, it will say to eat the skins as well. And, yes, I think you could keep 'doing a Wilbur'.

      Skins are fine as long as now green or sprouts (eyes). Even better if they are organic or homegrown, but even commercial spuds from Safeway should be OK to eat the skins, but can see why people may want to peel those type...probably lots of chemicals used on them. But, if washed well and cooked, should be OK.

      Delete
    2. You know a lot more about potatoes than I do. I read - it might be propaganda - that many commercial potatoes have a chemical applied to them while still alive so that it kills the plant. This allows the farmer to harvest an entire field at once. As a side benefit, the potatoes do not sprout.

      Whether true or not, I can keep commercial potatoes for months without them sprouting. Organic ones, only a week or less. I stick with organic.

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  24. @Wilbur - after reading Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire, I've never again knowingly eaten a commercial potato! Organic, and I just pare away the sprouts with my potato peeler as I peel!

    I plan to continue my 'doin' a Wilbur' as I potato-diet this week. Reports forthcoming!

    I look forward to your report-backs as well :D

    (If you haven't read The Botany of Desire, run - do not walk - to the bookstore!)

    ReplyDelete
  25. What about herbs? It sounds like they should be stopped too, yes?

    Cheryl

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    Replies
    1. I don't think they are necessarily troublesome. But the blander the better. I still find myself using lots of salt and some vinegar, but probably best to not go overboard with anything.

      Eating only potatoes, with absolutely no spice or condiments (as they say in 1840), really is a trip. It's just about eating to satisfy your hunger and not about enjoyment at all. I don't think I ever really experienced that before I tried the potato diet. We are brainwashed to believe that eating is about enjoying the experience and loving every bite we put in our mouths.

      Don't get me wrong...I love food and love eating. But something really amazing happens when you take the whole 'pleasure' thing away from your daily eating routine. All of a sudden, your hunger signals work as they should as the reward centers are shut off.

      I always like to ask people to try it at least once with nothing added, then tweak as they like later. Most people end up liking the purist version better, or pretty close to it.

      Delete
    2. The whole 'bland is a good plan' aspect is one I've had to drop, simply because the appetite suppression is so profound. If I'm not ever so slightly seasoning (salt, pepper, smoked salt, tabasco, tiny amts. of ketchup), I wouldn't eat at all. And that's not going to let the hack do its thing! C'mon insulin effect, pull that fat outta them there cells!

      And indeed it must be, because I'm seeing fat-loss on the subcu level already. :D

      Delete
    3. I appreciate your updates. I plan to do it next week or so when the wife is out of town. All baked taters.

      Delete
    4. Whoo! Potato diet in company :D Tim's going to need to start a forum to keep up with all these great conversations on his blog tho LOL!

      I'd like to go a full week, or do 5 days take a break and do 5 more days - so one way or another we'll probably overlap :)

      Delete
    5. I'm following! Just biting my tongue for a little while longer, lol. I just checked, it was on Aug 29th I sent the AmGut sample in. They are crazy with response time, some people wait nearly a year, it depends on when they run the batch. Soon, I hope!

      When I get it back, I will write a quick blog and maybe we can do some potato diets there. You saw those MDA threads...I hoped not to turn these comments into a 500 comment thread, makes it too hard to navigate, but keep going, Terra--we're watching!

      Have you seen the book: Potatoes Not Prozac?

      I've heard people say good things about this protocol:

      Reminds me of your sugar-junkie story: http://www.radiantrecovery.com/

      The Seven Steps of Potatoes Not Prozac

      Eat breakfast with protein
      Journal what you eat and how you feel
      Eat three meals a day with protein
      Take the recommended vitamins and have a potato before bed
      Shift from white foods to brown foods
      Reduce or eliminate sugars
      Create a new life

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    6. 1) turns out I really *do* react to palm kernel oil. Check.
      2) damn, I comfort eat way more than I realized. Le sigh.
      3) figuring out a way to make non-savory flavored potatoes is so far a bust. But my experimenting *is* keeping me eating, so there's that :P
      3a) never combine cloves with potato ever ever again. ever.

      Freaked myself out when the roof of my mouth swelled up last night - omg, reacting to potatoes? noooo! nah - had to be the slight coating of palm kernel oil I'd put on the oven fries. OW.

      Delete
    7. @Terra

      3a) cracked me up. I've sprinkled cinnamon on hash browns. If they're really crispy/caramelized it's not too bad.

      Good luck, I'm thinking I might give this a try at some point.

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    8. Ooo - good idea, wildcucumber! I'll have to give that a try :)

      Currently I feel like I'm on the Lewis & Clark expedition:

      "Day 4: Have lost all interest in available fare. Only wish to see the end of this journey. Life has lost all its savor. Nothing more to report." ROFL!

      Well, it's not that bad - but being in ketosis has never been comfortable for me. My IF's that last 24 hours are a non-issue, but going 48 is an endurance event, not because of hunger but because of the sudden plummet of ambition (here translate: ability to goad myself into doing ANYTHING) and brain fog. I *could* be normally active and get life done (without feeling weak, dizzy etc), but just cannot break through the foggy dullness, yk?

      I have no problem switching to fat burning, I have no problem shutting off appetite by several different mechanisms - but ketosis kicks my ass. Though I never have symptoms of blood sugar instability, I never have any sense of wellbeing or clarity, either. Where's the justice? :D

      At any rate, for documentation purposes, Wilbur & Tim - last vestiges of my appetite vanished yesterday around dinner time (day 3). No way could I eat. So I took my potato starch & probiotics and tried not to fret :P Today I woke up, made GF chocolate chip muffins for the kiddos (no temptation to nibble - man, appetite suppression that can last through BAKING is something to write home about!), made hashbrowns and munched through them without any trouble. No *interest*, but no trouble. It's weird - I enjoy eating while I'm actually CHEWING (which I do like a cow with cud-weird, cause I don't usually chew enough), but cannot summon up any interest when *not* eating. At this point hashbrowns with ketchup is the only way I can get 'em down :) (other intake=coffee with splash of goat milk to replace my BP coffee and tons of water which I'm craving much more than usual)

      Lewis & Clark, signing off :P

      Delete
    9. Hey Tim :) Looking at that protocol, I've tried several variations of it over the years - alas, no results to report. But all tips and thoughts are always welcome! Though I no longer hope for a miracle, even incremental increase in my health has been immensely welcome :)

      Delete
    10. Terra

      Although hilarious, I find your results troubling. Maybe it's time to slide some bone broth in there? Total lack of appetite combined with brain fog isn't a good sign! (oh no, now I'm doing the granny thing again ..) Or maybe you just need some more salt on those spuds or a sprinkle of dulse. Extra water may be messing with your sodium levels, and that'll give you brain fog, sure as shootin'.

      Delete
    11. @wildcucumber - I hear ya, friendly neighborhood granny :) I'm watching carefully and keeping track, trying to suss out cause and being conscious of when it's time to be done.

      I've had so many different waves of die-off fogginess over the course of learning IF, improving gut flora and introducing cultured foods that i always give a symptom time to play out, to gather as much information as I can. Die off fades - nutritional imbalance doesn't. Flora readjustment fades - stressing the adrenals doesn't.

      I had tentatively set the end of today as an assessment point - keep going through the weekend (socially more difficult), try to decide if this felt right for my body & use it again in the future. So no worries - I'm paying attention :)

      Delete
    12. Yeah, you sound like a smart cookie. My inner granny is now standing down :-)

      Delete
    13. LOL! Well never underestimate the ability of a diet-hacker to go far to far! It seems dietary hacking appeals to the obsessives among us - telegraphs from the realms of sane moderation are always welcomed :D

      Delete
  26. Ha! I should have been more specific. I was referring to herbal formulas (medicinal), though I'm glad to have further clarification regarding hunger signals.

    Also, I've been thinking what a pleasure it would be to take a bread from meal planning, prep and clean-up.

    Cheryl

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  27. My favorite sauce for cooked or raw potatoes- original use was for pulled pork. Simple, but cheap and better than store bought:

    North Carolina Vinegar Sauce

    Ingredients

    2 cups apple cider vinegar
    2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    2 tablespoons ketchup
    1 tablespoon Texas Pete's (or any hot sauce- tabasco is good)
    1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    Whisk it all together in a bowl

    Keep it in a squeeze bottle. Lasts for months in the fridge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *salivating* That sounds amazing, Thomas!

      Delete
  28. Hi Tim Terra and Thomas!
    Hubby and I did the PH for 5 days. He had to have a little salt. Fav way to cook was skin on, baked(yukon golds, reds and russets) overnight in the fridge then sliced 1/4", into bowl of 2 tbs EVOO(for 4 lbs spuds) mixed and spread onto cookie sheet. Convection baked @ 475* for 15 min. Crunchy, yum!
    Hubs could over eat on these, me not so much., I was only able to eat 1.5# a day.
    So he lost 3 lbs, me 2lbs. I was dying for red meat and my bone broth by day 5! Interestingly, I cooked a 1/4# beef patty (our own grass fed) and dug in but could only eat half of the patty! And I am a MEAT eater! Still can only eat 4 oz meat at a time. Or for the day...Have kept eating cooked cooled spuds, really need the gut help!
    I'm the one posted above with CD. I had been getting terrible chapped lips and cracks in the corners of my mouth, by day 3 they were cleared up and other skin bumps were gone! Had about 4 oz of a sweet potatoe and my mouth burned and chapped lips and mouth cracks back!
    Felt great, had plenty of energy and was never hungry
    Planning to start a regime of 5 days PH 2 days healthy eats.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Tim

    I watched the speech that Denise Minger gave and was blown away. How could people lose so much weight on a High Carb Low Fat diet, such as the rice diet that Kempner gave to his patients? Low Carb logic says that high carb causes a blood sugar high and preciptates the insulin spikes that causes fat storage. And these patients didn't seem to be calorie controlled and were eating rice, sugar and fruits!

    Minger seemed to finish her talk saying that at the extremes of food intake, ie HCLF or LCHF lies the secret to weight loss. What do you think Tim? I'm bamboozled to be honest.

    Regards

    Rohan

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    Replies
    1. Rohan - I am going to leave this up to Denise Minger to explain! I hear she's working on a firecracker of a blog post!
      Tim

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    2. So, this is a year later, but Minger's report on very low-carbohydrate diets is similar to studies that find that poly-unsaturated fats can spike blood sugar higher than, well, sugar can. In short, there is a type of oil and fat that can make diabetes much worse, and taking this fat out of a person's diet, which would happen on a very-low carb diet, would result in weight loss and better sugar control.

      Delete
  30. Hi, Tim.

    I tried to post a comment, but I'm not sure if it was posted. Have you heard the news that boiling rice with some fat (like coconut oil) and then cooling it seems to increase the RS quite a bit? Google "boiling rice with oil" in the News section. I'm not sure how significant is the effect of the oil, though.

    What's your opinion on this? Do you think adding fat to the water when we boil potatoes could increase the RS?

    ReplyDelete
  31. I realize I'm incredibly late to the party here, but I had a quick question. (Possibly not so quick but it sounds better to say it that way.) I'm 7 months pregnant at the moment, and healthy in all respects, currently still doing kettlebell workouts and transverse ab workouts and all that good nifty stuff. My weight gain is fine (with my first I think I gained 60 lbs which was not ideal! This time I'm at around 12 lbs of gain), and while I don't necessarily want to lose weight while pregnant, I do want to lose some of the excess body fat I had before getting pregnant (does that make any sense?). Thing is, I had gone up three sizes after my first was born and couldn't shake the weight in the almost 3 years it's been. Probably not the best time to consider such things but ultimately I'd like to get back down those 3 sizes before another 3 years goes by. With all that being said, is this safe while with child, should I alternatively wait for after having baby boy number 2 (and if so will that greatly affect milk production? Because I can tell you with my son I was a veritable diary cow and way overproduced, although having a freezer full did help when it came to clearing up a plethora of illnesses, infections, and two dogs' rattlesnake bites!), or should I just pass altogether until the whole thing is said and done (which will probably be a little over a year if he breastfeed a as long as my first.)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. During the last month of gestation, the fetus gains about 1/2 pound per week. 1/4 pound per week during the 8th month. Given that usually pregnant women are really hungry during the last while, it's better to NOT try to fight nature at this time. (There are peoples in Africa with a tradition of starving the woman at this time so the baby is smaller and easier to birth........ I doubt this is a good thing especially for the brain development.)

      You didn't say how much overweight you were when you got pregnant this time around, but after 6 months, even if you are breastfeeding, by then the baby is eating other things as well, so if you want to increase your physical activity level (go swimming...that really burns calories) and decrease food intake in an intelligent way, you should be able to lose about 20 pounds from month 6 to 12 postnatally.

      Delete
  32. Starting 5-day experiment TODAY. Potatoes have been cooked and are cooling now. Gonna go plain jane cold spuds only, maybe reheat a few later in the week. TIM -- any harm if I drink some Apple Cider Vinegar/Water before eating?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vinegar is fine with this. Enjoy. But why drink? Pour it on your potatoes as you eat...along with some salt. Potatoes and salt/vinegar seem to be a natural flavor combo to me, anyway.

      Delete
    2. Vic - Will you post your results? What results are you looking for specifically? I'd love to know how its going day by day. I am trying to figure when I can do this myself. Very interesting.

      Delete
    3. Good sharing, yes, apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps to boost metabolism, blocks the body’s storage of dietary fat plus breaks down and dissolves existing body fat. A study at Australia’s University of Sydney in which subjects who consumed two tablespoon of ACV daily experienced fewer surges and crashes in blood sugar levels. Read more at:
      http://kidbuxblog.com/apple-cider-vinegar-acv-helps-to-boost-metabolism/

      Delete
  33. Tim - What is the reason behind not exercising while doing the potato diet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just to give your body a rest. Walking is fine, and maybe stretching/yoga/balance type stuff, but heavy lifting or jogging is probably too taxing on a body with a calorie deficit and almost no protein. It's only a week! Every exercise guru in the world recommends week-long breaks now and then, right?

      Delete
  34. Just completed a 5-day Potato Hack. Each day I ate approximately 2lbs (750-800 cals) of red or russet potatoes. Boiled, cooled and reheated with a little oil. 1 meal per day (yes boys and girls, that's a 23.5 hour fast each day). I measured BG pre-meal and 2 hours after. Exceedingly small sample size, but noted between a 17 and 76 pt rise in BG post meal. Two smallest increases occurred when I consumed Apple Cider Vinegar with the potatoes.

    I maintained my exercise routine (boxing, weightlifting, trail biking) throughout, but did notice that energy was down slightly around day 4 (hey, its 750 cals a day). I also consumed a daily RS concoction of Psyllium, Acacia, and Potato Starch but that was the only additional "foods".

    Net result: lost 4lbs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations! Now the trick is to keep those 4 pounds off (assuming you are trying to lose weight). Most, me included, find that when you go back to your regular diet, the pounds will stay off. But, if you were steadily increasing in weight before, you will start again.

      I think the trick is to maintain your new-found insulin sensitivity and also weed-out anything in your normal diet that was causing inflammation.

      Let us know in a couple weeks how it's going, please!

      Delete
  35. Kind of some random thoughts here, but today on the Authority Nutrition Blog, a post about satiating foods.

    #1 on the list, as you can imagine:

    Boiled Potatoes

    Potatoes have been demonized in the past, but are actually very healthy and nutritious. Cooked, unpeeled potatoes are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium (13, 14).

    Potatoes are high in water and carbs, and contain moderate amounts of fiber and protein. They also contain almost no fat (15).

    Compared to other high-carb foods, potatoes are very filling.

    In fact, boiled potatoes scored a 323 on the satiety index, which is the highest number of all 38 foods tested. They scored nearly 7 times higher than croissants, which scored the lowest (1).

    One study found that eating boiled potatoes with pork steak led to lower calorie intake during the meal, compared to eating the steak with white rice or pasta (16).

    Some evidence indicates that part of the reason why potatoes are so filling is because they contain a protein called proteinase inhibitor 2 (PI2). This protein may suppress appetite (17, 18).

    Bottom Line: Boiled potatoes are very filling, and scored the highest of all the foods on the satiety index. They can fill you up and help you eat fewer calories in total.



    OK, sure. We all knew that. BUT, the points about potatoes containing special protease inhibitors got me to thinking!

    The potato protease inhibitors are being studied because they do a very surprising thing: Stimulate the gallbladder; something normally attributed only to fat.

    So, it almost looks at if the potato diet has another trick up its sleeve: Stimulating a chemical called CCK which is normally stimulated by eating fat, causing a concurrent gallbladder contraction and feelings of fullness.

    This is good news, because low calorie, low-fat diets have been implicated in gallstone formation, but not, apparently, when eating potatoes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Tim -

      I forgot where you discussed diet diversity, potatoes, and gut bug diversity. Here's a new study suggesting that "Everything in moderation" might be questionable in the context of waist size and T2D.

      http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0141341

      Delete
    2. This is good, good news!

      Since January I've lost over 70lbs by eating PHD style and IF. But there was a few months when it was really dropping off very, very fast. NOt intentional, it just happened that way from what I was doing. And then I started having gall bladder attacks when I ate fat. Since I'm hyperglycemic (resolving) I thought it was my pancreas, since I'm always afraid of permanent, irreparable damage there and my former lifestyle was conducive to beta cell death and scarring inflammation. But then after some research I realized it was probably gall bladder. I've taken steps like drinking apple cider vinegar and chanca piedra tea to try to eliminate attacks and dissolve the gallstones, but it's really nice to know that something as fat free as potatoes will stimulate the gall bladder and get stuff moving, too.

      In other potato-related news:

      This is the second day of my second potato hack (first one in July or around in there). I'm STARVING. I hope that CCK kicks in soon. ;-p

      But the good news is my blood sugar is doing very good. During the first hack it would skyrocket to scary (like 180) levels after I ate, and come down rapidly after I ran up and down a few flights of stairs a few times. But never as rapidly as today.

      Not only was the spike considerably lower than the spikes I got the last time, but IIRC the reduction in blood glucose from going up and down the stairs was more. It went down 47 clicks (149 to 102) from less than 10 minutes on the stairs.

      Plus, I just checked again at the two hour point and it was 90. Yay insulin sensitivity! :-)

      So maybe people with hyperglycemia can do the hack, but they have to do some fairly intense short burst exercise 20 minutes to an hour after eating.

      Delete
    3. Another gallbladder stimulator is coffee. Even decaf.

      You really should go and get an ultrasound to see if you have gallstones, then you will know if your attempts to dissolve them are working.

      One of the best herbs for liver/gallbladder troubles is Milk Thistle. You can buy Milk Thistle Seeds and grind them and make tea (or eat whole, chewed well) using 2-4TBS daily. And also try Milk Thistle Extract, 2-3 pills a day.

      Then there is a plant-based terpene pill called Rowachol that has been shown to dissolve gallstones in 6-12 months, but you have to take 2 pills, 3 times a day. You can buy on Amazon w/o a prescription.

      Additionally, you can use Actigall (ursodiol) a natural bile substance that will also dissolve gallstones, but needs a prescription.

      Seriously, get an ultrasound and then demand that your doctor use dissolution therapy first instead of surgery.

      I hope to hear back from you!

      Delete
    4. So, another update.

      Cold boiled potatoes really do taste better if they're a little undercooked. I overcooked the batch I ate Mon. and Tues., and this new batch is still a bit firm in the middle. Much yummier, and I can eat them without a bunch of salt. So I'll be paying more attention to cook time from here on out.

      I ate less than normal yesterday because I was running a little low on potatoes, and I think the smaller amount of potatoes may have been what positively affected my blood sugar. Yesterday the spikes were not that much, but today 1.5 hours after eating my glucose was *190*. Yikes! I was hoping to get away without doing the stairs today because my calves are sore from the previous two days, but no such luck. However, after a couple rounds of the stairs it did come down 57 clicks to 133. So there's that. Right now, four hours later, it's 98. Which is good even if not ideal for 4-hour post prandial. Even so, all is well, except the spikes that high are really scary. Not scary enough to get me to stop the hack, but some time in the future I hope I get to the point where it just doesn't go that high, period.

      Tim, have you ever checked your post-prandial (1-hour, 2-hour) sugars while doing a hack? Do you know anyone who has that's posted here?

      I did get an ultrasound back in July that found "evidence of calculi in the gall bladder but no evidence of cholestasis." Problem with getting another US is I think I have to still be having problems in order for insurance to pay for it. I do plan to try, however, but since I'm no longer having symptoms it's just not been a priority. With the holidays coming up I'll probably wait until after the first of the year.

      Thanks for the tip about the herbs. I have some milk thistle extract but don't take it regularly. I'll add it to the mix.

      I WILL NOT HAVE SURGERY, so no worries there. My doctor is actually a MD that skews natural so I don't have to worry about pressure to have unnecessary lamestream medical procedures from her. She'd rather give you a supplement than a prescription. I told I was going to address it and she gave me an order for the ultrasound and a couple things that may have helped make it better. At that point I was throwing the kitchen sink at it (including non-prescription TUDCA [tauroursodeoxycholic acid instead of ursidol]) so who knows what exactly worked the best? Too late I learned that ACV really does help diminish symptoms when they appear, but I haven't had an attack in several months so that's been a moot point. All is well for the time being.

      We'll see how it goes.

      I'll keep posting blood sugar updates here since I think that's important for people with hyperglycemia to know about when considering a hack. The trend seems to be a fairly big spike around the 1-hour mark that easily comes down when you do a short burst of intense exercise utilizing the big muscles of your body (quads, glutes, etc.). But the spikes do kind of "go". Worth noting is that I have been eating clean and working pretty hard for almost a year to get my cells sensitized to insulin and glucose again, so I have no idea what the hack might do to sugar in someone with acute Type II coming off a SAD. In any event, it would be nice to know what someone who isn't troubled with hyperglycemia experiences as a comparison.

      Delete
    5. lol, I am addicted to graphs and charts! I just added 3 charts I made in 2013 after eating 1 pound of potato on an empty stomach (see end of main post above). Now mind you, at this time, I was eating VLC and my FBG was not all that great, ave 100.

      I should do this test again. Just need some strips. But I think post-prandial readings are mostly meaningless unless you are taking a reading every 15 minutes or so. 30 and 60 minute readings can miss A LOT of activity, as you'll see from my charts.

      Thanks for the update! Sounds like you have a great doctor.

      Delete
    6. Hey Tim, great charts! I love them too! ;)

      FWIW, the second potato meal of the day my spike was MUCH, MUCH less when observed in the same time frame, without the stairs. That may have something to do with the fact that immediately after the second meal I was up and moving around, whereas the first meal was lunch and I immediately sat my ass back down at my desk, didn't move much. I do agree with you about missing glucose activity unless readings are taken very frequently, but the fact that my sugar can go so very high in the first place, even if the spike is ephemeral, is kinda scary to me. It wasn't just a blip, either, because it went that high once before during my last hack. That's like getting into scary diabetes territory, not just oh, that's kinda high territory.

      Even with that, though, I wouldn't say that the hack is something people with Type II should stay away from. BTW, I prefer the term hyperglycemic because less stigma, but honestly, I was just undiagnosed Type II. That is changing, and sugars are coming down nicely across the board with lifestyle interventions like these. But if I'm honest I was Type II. Still am, mildly, but if I continue on as I have been, I expect by this time next year I'll be cured. We'll see

      Anyway, instead of being terrified of the hack, it's just something that people with blood sugar issues should be educated on and prepared for some scary readings if they choose to take readings while they're doing it. The reason I don't think hyperglycemics should be terrified is the sugar does come down to normal very, very fast, especially with some short burst exercise. And even without the exercise it seems to normalize much more quickly than a regular meal.

      Tim, are you still on board with a 3-5 day hack, or have you extended your ideal length of time any?

      Delete
    7. I think 3-5 days is just right. You could do it as long as you wished, the Potato Commissioner, Voigt, did it for 60 days! I would just caution that if you want to do an extended version, make sure you are eating 1000+ calories of potatoes a day, it's easy to get into the 500-800 calorie range, which I think is counter-productive in the long run.

      But 3-5 days once a month or so is a great way to lose long-term and stay well-nourished.

      Delete
    8. I know! I can't imagine being able to eat only potatoes for that long. The guy must have a will of iron.

      I actually think I may try doing a hack a couple times per month for a while, to build up my gut as well as to lose weight. We'll see how it all sorts out. I'm definitely eating tomorrow. I was going to try for a solid five days but I'm getting a feeling it's time to eat so I'm going to listen to that.

      Incidentally, in just 4 days of the hack I'm already seeing a little positive difference in the quality of the skin on my feet, which has become my barometer for butyrate production. I do take c.butyricum (Miyasarin or AOR3) once per week, and the skin on my feet is in good shape generally speaking, but the little difference is definitely due to all the potatoes/RS3. It can show up fast.

      Incidentally, before I started all this gut therapy my feet were quite hard and kind of scaly. Sometimes the heels would crack. They required a lot of daily maintenance with a file board to keep them pretty, plus a lot of moisturizer that ruined the insoles of all my work shoes. I spent 10-15 minutes per day on foot maintenance. But after just a very short time using raw PS and AOR3 they started to improve. All my skin improved, but because my feet were so horrible it really showed there. I didn't realize the improvement was due to butyrate production until I added in the high-dose Miyasarin every day for a while, and things got a lot better really fast.

      Now days I use a light file board every day just to ensure my feet are very clean to start (I go barefoot a lot at home so soles get dirty), and maybe some moisturizer once per week. It's cut 10 minutes out of my daily routine that is a very welcome gift of time to do other things when trying to get out the door.

      So...yay potatoes and butyrate production! :-)

      Delete
    9. Amy, thanks for making a butyrate connection to the skin on the feet! I'm going to have study this. I too had thick, dry, scaly heels for many, many years. At least 10 years ago my MD wanted me to go to a dermatologist. He was worried that I'd get an infection in a crack.

      The funny thing is, though, I started this gut bug thing almost two years ago. I completely forgot about my heels until maybe a month ago. It's all gone except for scars from picking at them (wish I hadn't now, but oh well). They are otherwise perfectly normal skin. Amazing.

      Delete
    10. Wilbur, good for you! Integrity in the sole is a thing of joy, no? ;-)

      It's about the same for me. Nary a heel crack all year since I've been doing gut therapy. I also used to get these kind of cracks/flaps of loose skin on the balls of my feet (from wearing heels and the downward friction of the shoe where my toes bent to hit the flat part, if that makes sense), and those things were painful! But those too are a thing of the past. It's delightful. I hated having hurty feet that begged me peel them at the same time they were giving me grief. I got to where I could forebear to pick, but occasionally I would give in, and for days afterwards I would hate myself with every limp and gimp.

      Delete
    11. "Integrity in the sole..."

      Are you the same Amy posting in Richard's Fundamentalist Baptist post? If so, I enjoy your posts. Fun!

      But, yeah, I've noticed many, many improvements since starting my gut bug experiment. Silly things like this that most will find hard to believe. I eat more fiber, so now my feet are perfect!

      Delete
    12. Yep, that's me. :-) Thanks, Wilbur! I really enjoy Richard, not the least because sometimes commenting (or even just reading!) on his site can be like poking the bear. ;-p

      Delete
  36. Wow.
    Straight Potato Diet since the 1st of November. Figuring to finish out the week on only potatoes. Started the first by fasting until Supper time, then only potatoes since. I have been eating only boiled (Russet, Yukon, and Red) potatoes with salt and spice for lunch and supper. I started at 206.8 lbs on Sunday(1st) morning, and this morning I weighed 201.6 lbs. Figuring to finish on Friday and eat something else on Saturday and Sunday. I may start again on next Monday, we'll see. I'm amazed at the weight loss. I've been plant-based for 4 months and had lost 18 lbs, but was stalled and a few bad habits had crept in.
    This has been a great reset and jump-start at the same time to get me off the plateau where I had found myself not able to get off the 205ish for a while.
    Loving this. Honestly, the potatoes still taste good to me. I usually do just plain, cold, boiled reds for lunch, then for supper I cut the boiled russets into fries and then just bake them to crispy and eat with malt vinegar (per your suggestion, thank you). Tastes great every time.
    This is great!

    ReplyDelete
  37. So, Tim says no spice, but I see lots of comments mentioning vinegar, salt, etc. How big a deal is this? It sounds like the biggest reason for no spice is to kind of re-set your taste buds, palatability kind of thing. Which would be great, I often over eat for the sheer joy of taste. But in my individual meal experiments with only potatoes, I really think the only way I could stick with this for 5 days is a little spice. Maybe some hot sauce or something. Even with that, I really cannot see that making it yummy enough to over eat, just to stick with it. Now, if I were throwing cheese, yogurt and butter on it? Yeah, I would go nuts. Do I lose any of the "magic" from adding spices? Also, anyone ever done this in the style of the every-other-day-diet, one day on, one day off? I was thinking of doing that. Maybe start with a 5 day, and then go to every other day. I really have to lose a ton.
    SteveRN

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The original 1849 diet is the one that called for "no spice nor condiment of any kind!" I think it is fun for people to try, and it may make a bit of difference in the satiety. I use seasoned salt, salt, pepper, and vinegar when I'm potato dieting, maybe even a dab of ketchup (Shhhh!).

      Delete
  38. Thanks! That is what I figured, just wanted it confirmed. Yeah, I might try a 5 day stretch of plain old potato down the road, but I just think if I tried it right now, I would quit after about..... 3 hours? Damn my modern, spoiled taste buds.
    SteveRN

    ReplyDelete
  39. Tim, I thought you might find this interesting or be able to make a connection with the potato diet and what causes all the benefits. I don’t know if you are familiar with Suppversity.com, I found it through links from Richard, as I recall. He does not seem to really buy into any big hype, reads the research, looks for what it says, not what he wants it to say. Not a big believer in supplements, other than some creatine, Sodium Bicarb, supplemental protein (he is a bodybuilder at heart). He has had several articles on the dangers of acidosis/low grade acidosis. I mostly have thought the whole Ph thing being the root of all our ills was silly, but maybe there is a little something to it. The study he talks about here seems to be saying it is not as much the acidosis, as it is the efforts the body goes to in order to maintain a proper Ph. Could some of the results we see be due to the alkalizing effects of the potato, in addition to the effect on gut bugs? The Paleo lifestyle, high meat, would be acidotic, as is the standard western diet. Maybe it’s nothing, but you seem to be good at connecting dots, so I hope maybe this will be another dot for you.

    http://suppversity.blogspot.de/2015/10/low-grade-metabolic-acidosis-may-eat.html

    http://suppversity.blogspot.de/2013/11/high-dietary-acid-load-doubles-risk-of.html

    SteveRN

    ReplyDelete
  40. Will eating all of those potatoes in a day cause some Gastrointestinal distress?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Considering that potatoes are in the nightshade family, is there any consideration for toxicity issues when consuming this many potatoes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't believe there is any concern, especially if potatoes are carefully inspected for green spots and eyes are removed. Modern potatoes are inspected for glycoalkaloid/solanine levels.

      In commercially available potatoes, the solanine content is required by law to be less than 20mg per kilogram. At this level, it is considered non-toxic; however, the solanine can accumulate in green spots and eyes. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences determined that the average consumption of solanine and other potato toxins was 12.75 mg per person per day, and that the lowest dose that showed toxic effects in humans is 5 times that at 1mg per kg of bodyweight, or about 50-70mg per day (Tice, Chaconine and Solanine; Review of Toxicological Literature, 1998). Some estimate that you’d have to eat two pounds of fully green potatoes to receive a fatal dose of solanine and chaconine.

      A day of potato hacking, using potatoes that are at the extreme upper end of safety, with five full pounds of potato, could mean ingesting approximately 40mg of glycoalkaloids. This is below the threshold shown to produce toxicity. These glycoalkaloids are concentrated in the skins of potatoes, so carefully removing all hints of green from each potato is recommended. The danger of ingesting green potatoes needs to be emphasized, there have been several documented cases of potato poisoning.

      Here's a good write up of the GMO 'Lenape' potato invented a few years back. It made great potato chips, but was so high in solanine that nearly anyone who ate it got sick.

      http://www.tested.com/science/weird/454414-dangerous-genetically-modified-potato/

      "The average Russet potato, for instance, contained about 8 mg of solanine for every 100 g of potato. Lenape, on the other hand, was closer to 30 mg of toxin for every 100 g of food. That made it nicely resistant to a lot of agricultural pests. But it also explained why some of the people who were the first to eat Lenapes — most of them breeders and other professionals in the agriculture industry — ended up with severe nausea, like a fast-acting stomach bug."

      So, bottom-line, the potato hack is as safe as potatoes.

      Delete
  42. Could one mechanism of the Potato diet be that it lowers Uric Acid Levels? The potato is rich in a type of Keto acids. These keto acids are converted into amino acids in the body by taking nitrogen from uric acid. So Potatoes, and potato juice especially, will lower uric acid levels. High uric acid levels make people fat and also cause hypertension as well as many other problems. Perhaps the success of the potato diet is in it's lowering of uric acid levels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd not considered uric acid, I will have to look into that, thanks!

      Potatoes are rich in kyneuronic acid (KYNA) a powerful antiinflamatory agent and some other antioxidants.

      Delete
  43. Should I rinse them off after boiling?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No need. Unless they are dirty. Sometimes I will put them in a strainer and run cold water over them to cool quicker before putting in the fridge.

      Delete
    2. I'll go with the cold water rinse just to get them closer to temp. like you suggested. I was making sure I wouldn't be rinsing off anything I don't want to. Thanks a lot.

      Delete
  44. In case this isn't posted somewhere on this site, here's a really easy and cool way to peel a long of potatoes in about 1 minute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yo26zln8wps

    ReplyDelete
  45. General question: Why does calorie reduction sometimes cause problems falling asleep? That's a small area where I'm struggling, but it's not impossible, just takes an hour or so longer. I was curious about the mechanism at work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hopefully you got some sleep since this was posted! I suspect that it's because your body needs a certain amount of glucose to work. When calories and glucose get low enough, the body may start to make it out of fat by a process called gluconeogenesis. This requires cortisol (the stress hormone), and often leads to insomnia when it's elevated. That's why many low carbers suffer from insomnia, since they are deriving almost all of their glucose from gluconeogenesis. If you get sufficient glucose from your diet, i.e. the potato diet or the perfect health diet, you will likely sleep much better since your body doesn't need to activate that pathway.

      Delete
  46. I first saw references to this a couple of months ago. I thought it interesting, but I had been losing weight through another method. Not long after that, my weight loss stopped and I've been stalled since then. I'm going to try the previously mentioned 'Potato Days' (I think that was how potatoes for breakfast/lunch, normal dinner with the family was referred to) to see if I can get things moving again.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I found that I lost weight while eating the potatoes (3 days) but gained it back to the almost exact same weight once I stopped! (2 days) Why is that? Did I not do the hack for a long enough time?

    I stopped the hack earlier than I wanted to because I have constipation while only eating potatoes. I'm regular when I have fat in my diet. Is there something I can do to prevent the constipation and still do the hack?

    Also, in regards to low fat, wasn't one of the things we found out by eating Paleo that after years and years of super low fat diet, the GallBladder can have problems because it's not regularly flushing out, and so when you do start eating fat again, you develop GallStones? Realise that this is only a short-term 'hack' and not a lifelong diet, but how about the Aussie guy who's going to only eat potatoes for an entire year? In your opinion is he setting himself up for GallBladder problems down the track? Is there a risk for GallStones by omitting all fat completely?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you need more water/coffee/tea to help with the constipation, but I'm no expert on that problem. I have never heard anyone complain of constipation, usually the opposite, in that constipation resolves. But, possibly if your diet is normally high in fat, you've become accustomed to that and it may take some time before the potato hack works well for you.

      Regarding gallstones, there is a real danger of low fat, low calorie diets causing gallstones. One reason I stress short-term is to ensure this does not happen. However, potatoes are well-known powerful inducers of CCK and cause gallbladder contractions just as if you'd eaten fat, strange--but true. I think even the scientists don't understand it, part of the 'magic' of potatoes. Also, coffee has the same effect, which is why coffee is avoided by people with gallstones.

      CCK which is released when you eat potatoes not only stimulates the gallbladder to contract, but also sends "fullness" signals to the brain. How cool is that?

      The Australian guy is not really doing the Potato Hack. Despite what the news says, he is also drinking soy milk and eating sweet potatoes. His calorie intake is relatively high at 2500-3000 per day.

      Delete
  48. 36-year-old Australian eats nothing but potatoes for a year: https://theconversation.com/can-you-survive-eating-nothing-but-potatoes-54262?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20February%2018%202016%20-%204322&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20February%2018%202016%20-%204322+CID_1b589b8bf2d7e935f5efd82175f72a21&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=Can%20you%20survive%20eating%20nothing%20but%20potatoes

    ReplyDelete
  49. Replies
    1. No. It's possible they might work, but I have not tested nor researched enough to say conclusively that sweet potatoes will work. They are a completely different plant species and have a completely different nutrient profile. If a person absolutely cannot eat regular (white) potatoes, then give sweet potatoes a try.

      Delete
  50. Tim, I'm sorry if this isn't strictly about this topic of the diet, but I can't figure out where else to ask you. I've read tons of your comments on forums and just read most of your book (wonderfully helpful), but am still not clear on two things about RS. You say it's okay to cook, cool, reheat and eat things, but is there a limit to how hot you can get the food before eating it in order to retain the RS? Also, why doesn't it work to bake with potato starch and or potato flour and then eat the baked goods cold? wouldn't that starch also be turned back into RS? Thank you so much for your help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Normal cooking does not seem to destroy the RS3 formed by cooling starches, but there is an upper limit of about 400 deg F, if I remember right.

      Baking with potato starch would destroy almost all of the RS2, and it would turn into RS3 when cooled. But if you are doing this to get a supplemental dose of resistant starch, it's pretty much a waste pf time. Every 100 grams of potato starch you started baking with would end up being only 1-3 grams of RS3.

      As a gluten-free alternative, potato starch is a great choice, but you will never get very much RS when you use raw potato starch in cooking.

      Delete
  51. I decided to give this a go and am sort of failing on Day 1. I'm not overweight, but I am skinny-fat (and female). I was mostly interested in seeing if this potato hack would help with my constantly bloated belly.

    I did 1 pound steamed red potatoes (salted) at 11 am and then 1 pound steamed yucon potatoes (salted) at 3pm. Both experiences were OK, though it does take me about 45 minutes to complete a meal. Each time I felt full of food towards the end, to the point where I really didn't want to eat any more, but I still felt hungry so I finished the meal. Then I continue to feel vaguely hungry afterwards. This full-but-hungry feeling is something I'm not unfamiliar with. A lot of whole foods, especially fermentable/prebiotic foods will cause this feeling and I have not found a way to cure it.

    Throughout the day I felt pretty normal for me but around 6 pm I started feeling light-headed. My blood pressure tends to be on the low end of normal (like 90/60), but it rarely causes physical symptoms. I started to wonder if the low calories or total lack of fat was making my blood pressure or blood sugar low? The only other factors was I had done some VERY LIGHT exercise for like 15 minutes while watching TV and also drank a cup of Earl Grey tea (which has caffeine). After that was when I started to feel light headed.

    I quickly cooked a bit more of potato and ate it, but still felt weird. I thought I just needed more calories asap, so I had a leftover slice of cooked bacon.. and then 2 TB of peanut butter. Not sure if those were the best choices, but they were easy to consume and I felt a bit better in minutes.

    Then I went back to my dinner of 1 pound steamed fingerling potatoes (multi-colored).. but its taking over 2 hours to eat them. I still have this 'hungry-but-full' feeling.. and I want to eat more but plain potatoes are so thick and dense. Am I the only person that finds them difficult to eat? I really wanted the gut health and inflammation benefits of this hack, but I'm not sure I can eat enough potatoes to keep my calories up to a healthy level for me.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I like to recommend that people try an exploratory day or two to decide if the potato hack is for them. Some people have no problems jumping right into a weeks long hack and others can barely make it a full day.

    Possibly a better plan for you is outlined in the book, called "Potatoes by Day." I actually love this method and do it myself from time-to-time.

    I am going to put this whole comment on my Facebook page (The potato hack) for others to see. Thanks for taking the time to write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Tim, thanks for the suggestion. I had planned on reading your book anyway (I'm a big fan of Latest in Paleo and heard the recent podcast), so I'll definitely pay attention to the section you pointed out.

      I felt a little guilty cheating with the bacon and peanut butter ("If you are eating something that is not a potato, you are doing it wrong." ;) but I also didn't want to stubbornly stick with it if I was feeling lightheaded. It is just an experiment after all and I can try again another time.

      Also I figured I'd never be able to face my friends if I passed out and woke up in the hospital and had to explain that the only thing I'd eaten all day was up to that point was 700 calories of potatoes ;)

      Delete
  53. Do you have any idea how long it takes for the RS to form in cooling potatoes? The directions are always "overnight," which could just as easily mean 8 hours as 16 if cooked in the afternoon.
    I'm asking for those days when I've got enough potatoes for breakfast but not enough for lunch. Is there value in cooking potatoes when I get up and cooling for 8 hours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 8 hours at 40 deg F seems to be the sweet spot for RS3 formation. So, "overnight in the fridge" is a good rule of thumb. Stored for 30 days at -30 does not get much more RS than 8 hours at 40 deg.

      4 hours at room temp will undoubtedly form some RS3, but the effect is time and temperature related. Longer time, lower temp results in best retrogradation of starches with 8 hours and 40 degrees being the standard to use.

      Delete
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  55. Hello Tim,

    I have given your hack a go and it certainly works as promised. It's very interesting. I am curious however as to why precisely the same effect would not be achieved if you add more flavour - apart from the palatability theory you talk about. I don't get hungry at all on the potato hack and as you suggest don't start eating them till lunchtime.

    My thoughts/ ideas are this. There is a long tradition of making potatoes palatable say, within Indian cuisine: spicy potato balls anyone?

    The same flavours can easily be reproduced in a bowl of mashed spuds without the addition of any fat: add a teaspoon of curry powder, sprinkle of salt, a tablespoon or two of chopped onion (or less minced garlic or powdered garlic), a 1/4 of a cup of garden peas (thrown in boiling water or microwave for a little bit) - mix it all up and you have delicious aromatic flavourful, fatless mash with negligible increase in calories. I don't get why this sort of approach would not be encouraged by you as it just makes the experience more pleasurable with (as far as I can figure) exactly the same effects?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good thing you posted anonymously...Chapter 2 starts out:

      "...the first variation I’ll describe is a spiced-up version of the 1849 potato hack."

      It really is a good book, with all the bases covered. I read it twice, and I think it completely answered all my questions except, "Can I use sweet potatoes?" (just kidding)

      Delete
  56. Yeah I've read it cover to cover. But the "rules" say what's allowed is:"Salt, pepper, and vinegar allowed, but not encouraged". When they could have just said: "Potatoes allowed, with any spices and herbs as long as they don't add fat or significant additional calories".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The basic rules, presented in the first chapter are based off of the 1849 Potato Diet experience. I like for people to try it this way, at least once.

      Based on personal experience and hundreds of reports, spices are not so bad. I did not want to present this as a super-tasty potato treat, and some people prefer the plain-Jane version, without even salt and pepper.

      I like to keep the potato hack as simple as possible, if I had encouraged spices in the very first chapter, it would have been completely against the 1849 potato diet.

      Spices can make it easier to eat more potatoes than you normally would eating to simple satiation. But as a "variation" I think it's worth trying.

      Another variation that I really like, but kept out of the basic rules, is added broth. You can make really great mashed potatoes and even potato soup with no fat veggie or beef/chicken broth.

      Thanks for the question!



      Delete
    2. Thanks for the answer Tim - it's a good one. I guess for me, it's pretty hard to eat too many potatoes in two sittings so the problem doesn't really arise - and a bit of spice can sure lift your mood. Cheers

      Delete
  57. If someone miscalculates and runs out of overnight cooled potatoes, would freezing freshly cooked ones for a few hours increase the RS?

    Rose

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    Replies
    1. In that case, just eat them hot. The added RS is not worth the hassle when you are potato hacking. You are getting plenty of fiber and RS eating hot potatoes if you are eating 1+ pounds a day. The cooling during a potato hack is for convenience, with an added bonus of RS. But even if you ate all of the potatoes all week long as freshly cooked/hot, you are getting 10's of times more fiber/RS than normal.

      Delete
  58. Tim you need to check out Vinnie Tortorich's tweet about not being a fan of potatoes. I think you need to be on his show!!

    Rose

    ReplyDelete
  59. I stumbled across your website quite by accident. I have been on LCHF forever and have gained and lost the same 30lbs. over and over again. Don't care for meat so I know that was part of the problem! I'm off to the market right now with my food list in hand and am considering myself "signed up" and ready to eat potatoes. This website is fantastic and all the comments are informative. I haven't had a potato in so long ... Thank goodness I found you : ) Candace

    ReplyDelete
  60. Wow!!! This is amaging tips for losing weigth.
    It is as good as the previous site which i follow
    to lose my weight. Anyone can follow it.
    Howtoiloseweight.com

    ReplyDelete
  61. Can you cook the potatoes how ever you like as long as there is nothing added? Also how often is it recommended to keep doing this?

    ReplyDelete
  62. Can you cook the potatoes how ever you like as long as there is nothing added? Also how often is it recommended to keep doing this?

    ReplyDelete
  63. Breaking a pet-peeve and asking whether adding something to a 3 - 5 day potato hack would be either beneficial or detrimental--

    thanks to you, Tatertot, and the ever-bombastic Mr. Nikoley, I occasionally down a psyllium/BRM PS/inulin "shake" with the recommended 3 probiotics.

    It seems that would complement a "naked potato" hack.

    Apologies in advance if this has been answered--I'm still only about a third of the way through the mega-thread on MDA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, no prob!

      You can add your shake if you wish, but it really is not needed. If you are eating only potatoes, you are getting AMPLE fiber and RS.

      One thing that people forget, we should strive to get our fiber from real food, only resorting to supplemental inulin and PS on days when we eat low-fiber foods. Many people find it works best to supplement daily as it is very hard to continually eat fiber-rich foods in a "busy work-week" environment. The potato hack is a real-food intervention that needs no supplementation of any kind.

      Delete
    2. Cool. Thanks. BTW, back in the early '70s, Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution book had some "other weight loss diet" ideas at the end of the book. One was ONE naked baked potato a day, plus about a quart of cultured buttermilk. In those days, no mention of gut health, just rapid weight loss. I was able to stick with it ONCE for about two weeks. Just wanted more potatoes. My former father-in-law was a nationally recognized food scientist (Stanford Research Institute) and said it was one of the few fad diets that "probably won't hurt you."

      Delete
  64. Maybe I'm just a freak, but I'm not satiated in the least.

    I love plain potatoes, always have.

    My typical WOE is LCHF to address insulin resistance. I'm on day 2 of the potato hack and I'm STARVING. I have plenty of potatoes and I love potatoes. I don't mind eating them without butter and cream... a little salt and pepper and I'm golden. I don't feel deprived. And even though I know I can eat more potatoes if I get hungry (and I DO eat more) I don't understand why I'm SO HUNGRY.

    As a LCHF advocate, one of the things I love is how it suppresses hunger. I often go til early afternoon before eating my first meal and I always wait until I'm hungry. I don't mind getting hungry. But this is crazy. For example, I ate 3 whole red potatoes at 5pm last night. By 7, my stomach felt like it was eating itself, so I ate 3 more. By 9, same thing. I ignored it went to bed with hunger pangs. When I got up this morning, I thought I might eat my arm before my potatoes were ready so skipping breakfast wasn't even an option and I NEVER eat breakfast on my standard WOE.

    This is not 'false hunger', I'm not missing flavor, color and texture, I have hunger pangs that feel like my stomach is twisted up in a knot. I can't eat this way at work and I need to know if this is how it is every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're just a freak.

      lol, just kidding. If you have been low carb/high fat (LCHF) for quite a while, you are possibly simply not suited to do the potato hack. No worries. You tried.

      Is there a reason you want to experiment beyond LCHF? Most LCHF'ers say it is a perfect way to eat and they never get fat and their digestion is perfect, why would you even want to try the potato hack, just curious?

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    2. Hi Tim! Thanks for responding. =)

      Most LCHF'ers are making it up. lol Doesn't everyone think that their WOE is the best way? They all have a downside. The real magic in LCHF is satiety, and for most, that means a significant and spontaneous drop in calorie intake under what they were eating before they started. But with the exception of 2 or 3 (and a few athletes), every LCHF person I know stalls when they get within 20-30lbs or so of "ideal", unless they start consciously restricting.

      I've seen convincing data on both sides of the argument. Both LCHF and LFHC have great success in balancing blood-sugar and managing insulin. Before LCHF I spent some time following 80-10-10, but I was always hungry. I ate enormous volumes of food, it seemed like I was constantly eating, I never stopped thinking about food, my days revolved around food. That resolved instantly with LCHF.

      Beyond that, as a member of the ancestral community, it makes sense to me that many early human diets probably fluctuated between high carb and high fat annually (along with some periods of fasting) and I believe that switching from one to the other probably keeps each metabolic process sharper and keeps our guts healthier.

      I also have a strong interest in eating locally and I live in a Northern climate with cold Winters, so that means very little fresh plant-food (since I don't eat starches when LCHF) and I'd like to have more options.

      I'm not ready to give up yet, I was really hoping you'd tell me that it happens to some people and it resolves itself. (damn) I like food, who doesn't? But I also pay attention to hyper-palatability traps. A handful of plain raw almonds is perfect when I'm distracted by hunger at work, but I can't stop eating dry-roasted, salted almonds so I don't buy them. Switching to whole food impacted my "false hunger" tremendously. I still love the food I eat, but I don't "crave" it any longer.

      It's just this hunger that's killin' me.

      45 minutes ago I ate a cold potato and I can hear my stomach growling now. If it's going to stop, I'll push through it. But I can't imagine anyone feeling like this for 5 days on purpose!

      Sara

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    3. haha, OK.

      Well, the responses range something like this. If they did not, there would be no "potato hack."

      60% - Wow! I was not hungry at all!
      30% - I felt hungry, but just ate more potatoes until it went away.
      10% - Gah! I was starving the whole time. This sucks!

      Here are a couple of Amazon reviews for an idea:

      5.0 out of 5 starsHelps with my Binge Eating Disorder
      By Mojo on April 1, 2016
      Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
      I'm going to come out with a bold statement - I believe this is the closest I have come to achieving the management of my binge eating disorder.

      I've done all kinds of counselling/therapy, read just about every book there is, meds with nasty side effects, and nothing..nothing.. comes close to this. Anyone who has endured a true binge eating disorder will know the misery of this horrible affliction. The hack does something...I don't know what...but it re-sets my hungry brain, maybe it signals that I'm in a fed state, or satiety hormones or maybe I feel full and satisfied without that bloated yukky feeling that triggers BED. Who knows, all I know is it works for me. I start each week with a 3 day hack and then am able to spend the rest of the week eating like a normal human should, no thoughts of binging and craving only healthy meat and veggies. It is different to every mono diet hack out there. Who would have thought POTATOES would have this effect; it's crazy beyond belief.

      Thank you so much Tim; I'm so grateful to you, you have no idea how much. Please anyone out there with any binge eating issues maybe consider this hack. It goes well beyond the weight loss; in fact for me the weight loss is icing on the cake (or butter on the potato) it's the regulation of brain/head/hedonistic hunger that is it's true worth. Please, if you suffer from BED or have a loved one battling it, perhaps give this a try, nothing to lose.


      And another:

      3.0 out of 5 starsPotato Diet.
      ByMya Borgmanon May 27, 2016
      Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
      I did this diet. I did loose weight. But then my sysem went wacky and it caused a lot of stress. I had to quit

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    4. Wow! I suppose like everything else, YMMV, right? After my first comment here I poked around a little and found a blog called freetheanimal talking about the diet. The author insisted it works for everyone and the way he responded to people who asked questions or had problems with it was so ugly that I was afraid to ask any questions there myself.

      I don't mind a little discomfort for a great outcome so I'm still sticking with it. Seems there isn't much harm that potatoes can do me in a few days when I eat a nutrient-dense diet already and I love the idea of bio-hacking.

      My son just looked at the remaining potatoes from yesterday's cooking (6lbs to start) and after checking the calorie count to decide if he wanted to eat a few, he asked if it was possible that I just didn't eat enough. All 6 pounds represents only 2400 calories (assuming every last one is bioavailable and they wouldn't be after cooling) and I ate just over half of them. Could it be that simple or is that the whole idea-- a "fast' of sorts?

      (And my apologies, I haven't read your book. I didn't realize there was a book until I found this thread. I certainly will though if I get through these next couple of days. lol)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.

      Sara

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    5. Sara,
      I have successfully lost weight doing the potato hack for a few days even though I have added about 4 ounces of raw goat milk kefir. Even though I know it is just potatoes (that's what I do 90% of the time) and I understand the reasons, having added some kefir in the past has not caused me to stop losing so I don't know if you are interested in trying that to see if it helps with your hunger or not. Most often, I would drink some with some potato starch in the evening before bed. Unlike others, just potatoes is NOT enough fiber for me and I can go several days w/o a BM if I do not add more fiber/RS. Other times, I would have the kefir as a morning smoothie with potato starch or a raw potato, some garlic, and some salt. It might help control your hunger.... Just a thought for what it's worth.

      gina

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    6. Thanks Gina,

      That's something to consider. I wondered if simply adding a small amount of cultured butter or cream would provide enough fat for satiety. Maybe an extra 100 calories worth a day. But I didn't want to start tweaking until I gave the original advice a go. Nothing makes me crazier then when someone doesn't follow a plan properly and then blames the plan.

      I'll keep your suggestion in mind. I appreciate it. =)

      Sara

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  65. Sara,

    I agree - the plan is explained and then someone sends a question, "can I add....?" There's something about the kefir with garlic and sea salt that I almost wonder if it doesn't enhance the results... But that's just me!

    gina

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    Replies
    1. It's all good! I have been answering/discussing this stuff for a long time, hence the book. I included 10 or so "variations" that people have tried successfully over the years, but I still like for everyone to try the original 1849-inspired plan at least once to have something to compare against.

      Kefir, garlic, salt, broths, spices, yogurt, cottage cheese, all seem to be very good additions, just as long as they don't overwhelm the spuds.

      I like seeing people have fun and make their own tweaks anyway.

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  66. This morning's weigh-in shows a 9lb weight loss. I gotta say, I'm impressed. As someone who low carbs, I didn't really have any water-weight to lose. I can't imagine doing this for more than 5 days in a row because though the hunger improved some, it was ever-present. By days 4 and 5 I'd added an oil-free, homemade vinaigrette in hopes that the vinegar would help with the hunger, it seemed to.

    I'm back to low-carb today. I'm hoping that after 5 days of super-high carb, the transition back to low-carb doesn't make me want to die. lol I'm looking forward to seeing whether my usual WOE has been made more effective by the hack.

    =)

    Sara

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  67. I would like to say I have been on the Potato Hack for about 16 weeks now. I have not only lost weight but feel so much better. I love this diet and usually do the diet for 3 days a week. Usually with my life style it is easy for me to do it Monday through Wednesday. I usuall lose 3 lbs a week but found about 10 wks in I didn't lose anything. I did feel like I lost inches though. As of today I have lost 34 lbs. The biggest thing I like about this diet is that I am off Prilosec for indigestion. I tried getting off of it before this diet and couldn't. I really wanted to get off of it because I don't like taking pills but I was told it may cause early dementia. After 1 week on this diet,I decided to try to go off of it. My surprise I have had no indigestion. Thank you Tim for writing this book !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ann Overhulse, everybody! The lady behind the lens of The Potato Hack book.

      Thanks for the note, Ann. 34 pounds is great! And being off heartburn meds even better.

      You're still my favorite aunt!

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  68. My Daughter and I are both overweight by more than 100 pounds. We are going to London in April and I desperately want to lose weight. We are both food addicts. After reading so many things about the potato diet from different sources, starting with Penn of Penn and Teller, we are going to try it. I am excited and it will be a huge plus if it helps us with our food issues. We are going to go only potatoes, B12 supplement and we put 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in a glass of water and drink it every morning for iron and fiber. We hope to go as long as possible. I will keep you posted!

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  69. I came across your post today. I have had nothing but potato now on my 7th day. Planning on shooting for 14. Feel great no hunger. Suprised that no hunger or cravings. I have a bad sweet tooth.

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  70. Dear Tim,
    I started using raw ps when I was pregnant to lower my bg and it worked. But after pregnancy I gained a lot of weight. I did a couple of potato hack rounds some time ago and it did work: I've lost weight and my gut got better. But I have recently been diagnosed with severe sibo (methane) and I am wondering what is your take on whether rs1 vs rs3 work for or against sibo. I would appreciate your answer because I find very conflicting opinions online. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SIBO is not well understood by anyone. Curing it relies mostly on trial and error. When afflicted, it's impossible to say how any food will effect it because it could be one of thousands of bacteria species, or even yeast, causing the overgrowth. Good luck, I'd follow the doctor's orders who diagnosed you. If things get worse, find a different doctor.

      Delete
  71. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  72. Hi,
    The Amazon review by Mojo about overcoming her Binge Eating Disorder with the Potato Hack really 'hit home' for me. I've been feeling the same way (i.e. grateful) and it's funny how I described the hack to my friend: I eat plain potatoes, remind myself that it is not a potato eating contest (love that line:)), and if I'm not hungry enough to eat a plain potato, I'm not really/physiologically hungry!
    After the three days, I ate like a human being. A human being! With normal servings and no compulsive over-eating. This was a big success in my world of COE. I bought the book. I read over half of it in one day.
    I lost weight (4 lbs!) and I'm planning another 3 day hack starting tomorrow.
    My challenge is - I'm training for a half-marathon and I'd like to continue running long distance with enough fuel in the tank. I will only hack on non-running days.
    Thank you! :-)
    Gil

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  73. my son and I are doing the potato hack together. I'm trying to find the organic yukon gold potatoes here (FL) but having a hard time. Seems no grocery store or produce market sells them. Will keep trying. I have a question. Can I boil the potatoes to start off for maybe 15 to 20 mins. cool them overnight in the fridge and go from there - like make mash potatoes, broil, etc. I have read that you should steam them first. I don't have a steamer and wonder if I should invest in one right now. Thanks

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  74. my son and I are doing the potato hack together. I'm trying to find the organic yukon gold potatoes here (FL) but having a hard time. Seems no grocery store or produce market sells them. Will keep trying. I have a question. Can I boil the potatoes to start off for maybe 15 to 20 mins. cool them overnight in the fridge and go from there - like make mash potatoes, broil, etc. I have read that you should steam them first. I don't have a steamer and wonder if I should invest in one right now. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Viridiana - There are myriad ways to go about the cooking, but just do what you like and is convenient. The magic here is in the potatoes, not how you cook them or even what you buy. You and your son should commit to 1 full day of potatoes and see how it goes and what you would like to buy for next time, ie. steamer, air fryer, etc.

      And while you and your son are doing your day, get my book and have a read through it, all of these type question are answered there ;-)

      Delete
  75. My wife and I just finished the potato hack after reading your book, and it's simply beautiful. After 3 days she lost 10 pounds while I lost 6. We followed it to the letter and it was so easy. No insane hunger pangs like before. I actually didn't have much of an appetite at all during this, and it was liberating. We're going to continue doing the modified hack where we have taters for breakfast and lunch. We just want to thank you for showing us the way.

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  77. Tim,
    I've read elsewhere that resistant starch is in raw potatoes, but it turns into regular starch when you cook them. Then, when you let them cool it forms another type of resistant starch - but THAT is destroyed if you reheat them. I see you write that it's OK to reheat them!

    So, what's the skinny on resistant starch RE: heating/reheating?

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    Replies
    1. yes, I've read that, too. Can't recall where.

      Delete
  78. Hi Tim, I just wanted to say that I love your book. I've read it twice now and done a couple hacks so far.

    I notice the satiety and increased energy right away, but something has me stumoped and I'm wondering if you might have an explanation. I can usually do a 3 - 5 day hack no problem, but by the 4th day and in the days following a return to my normal diet (paleo w/plenty of carbs), I start to break out pretty aggressively. I thought it was a unrelated the first time, but it seems to be happening again since finishing this last hack. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'd hate to think I have to avoid potatoes :(

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  79. Skylar - I wish I had a good answer, but I have not heard this complaint before. Changing diets often does cause people to break out for various reasons. Try 3 days next time and see what happens, or longer, 14 days, if you have substantial weight to lose.

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  80. This is a tip for those of you who are older and having a battle to lose weight. The potato hack can work for you even better if you tune up your liver. I have just turned 70 and was diagnosed with fatty liver disease which is common once you start putting on weight at my age. Sadly fatty liver makes it nearly impossible to lose weight and it can lead to cirrosis of the liver. It can develop from habitual drinking, which I don't, or from having metabolic disorder and gaining weight and being insulin resistant which is my problem. Doctors tell you you're unhealthy but they have no "cure" for it. I researched all I could and started taking milk thistle supplements but my liver enzymes didn't seem to improve and my cholesterol and triglycerides were off the charts due to fatty liver. Then one day while watching a youtube video on fatty liver, under comments where everyone was bemoaning that there was no quick fix for it, one person commented "years? How 'bout 6 weeks" and then said to take NAC, Inosital Choline, and TUDCA. I'd never heard of this combo, but I ordered the supplements right away and received the next day. I have taken them daily for about 2 months and when I went in to see my doctor again, she said my liver enzymes were better. Meanwhile I'd also begun the potato hack and lost 7.5 lbs in 5 days. But after 5 days I was feeling weak even drinking 2 quarts or more of water a day. So I added some meat which helped my stamina. I am preparing to do another 5 days of potatoes. But if you have gained weight recently and suspect your liver isn't functioning well, I highly recommend the supplements that were suggested: 3 NAC caps, 4 Inosital Choline caps, and 4 TUDCA daily. Hope this helps someone out there.

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  81. Hi Tim, just read your book and am on day 2 of potato hack. I read on another blog that a raw potato has the most resistant starch? I am wondering if eating them is acceptable on the hack? This may sound weird, and not many do but I LOVE raw potatoes. Have since I was little, just wondering if I can incorporate them for a little more variety.

    Thanks again!

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    Replies
    1. Sure, eating raw potatoes is fine, anytime. You certainly do not need to eat them raw to make the potato hack work, but getting into the habit of eating a slice or two raw is very healthy.

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  85. I have been following the potato hack for about 3 months. I have lost about 15 pounds. I frequently share with others how easy it is...I do potatoes for breakfast and lunch about 5 days a week. Dinner is potatoes for about 3 days a week. I still eat other foods on the weekends and when socially important. I still eat ice cream and have adult beverages. I have noticed that when consuming non-potato food I am eating smaller portions. I want to succeed with this plan and truly believe I can follow it for years to come! The best part is not having to decide what you are eating for lunch and dinner!! It is truly simple---eat potatoes and repeat!! LOVE IT!

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    Replies
    1. Ha! Way to work it, Chris! I've been using the potato hack off and on since 2011, and it never stops working. I think it's especially useful for people (like me) who have a big appetite and tend to gain weight easily. It's nice to have a way to blast off 5-10 pounds without much pain. The alternative is cutting calories or whatever for months and months and being disappointed in the slow results.

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  86. Tim:

    Started Potato Hack a week ago, at 308 pounds, 6'4". Came to the program via Penn Jillette/Ray Cronise. Tried various methods before, as Cronise points out, you can do anything for 90 days, and fell off of other approaches before (Atkins, calorie counting). At one point got to 269.

    Penn's journey from "it's genetics" to where is now struck me as "if he can do it, so can I." And I should, for the same reasons, though he seemed to having more serious health issues--my BP is only about 130/80, no meds.

    So after 7 days, I am down 10 pounds, and the amazing thing is how easy it is. How just "not hungry" I am. How good the potatoes taste (except for my attempt at hashbrowns). No spice, salt, oil.

    I am NOT craving, and walking through a mall food court and all the smells doesn't drive me insane. What keeps me going is the daily progress. In the past, it used to kill me--on a day I was "good" the scale goes up. On the day I cheat--it goes down. Daily fluctuations within the margin of error make it very frustrating to know "Am I doing it right?" Potato hack so far has been good news every morning on the scale. First day was 3 pounds, assume that was water, 1 pound or so every day since. Hoping that continues--thinking that it's just 90 days away from my target, not 90 weeks. And per Ray Cronise--you can do anything for 90 days, and if you can get the benefit upfront, you're more likely to make the changes to keep the benefit.

    Oh, and one more thing--the other amazing thing about Potato Hack is how much MONEY it saves. $5-$6 for an egg mcmuffin here, stop at Cornery Bakery for BLT for $15--I am sure this approach saves a couple hundred bucks a month or more.

    Question for you about what Penn/Cronise call "rare and appropriate." A day no more than every two weeks where you can go nuts. Any thoughts on that?

    Alex

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  87. Hi, Tim--Love your book, which I have now read twice...and I just now discovered your blog! I did the potato diet twice--lost several pounds the first time, and did not lose the second, but did not gain. I only did it for a couple of days each time, though. Recently I have been experimenting with adding potato starch in water twice a day, along with soil-based probiotics. I assume it is fine to keep this up along with the potato-only diet? Thanks in advance for your help.

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    1. We are just all over the internet tonight, aren't we? lol. Glad you found me here! Your supplement routine sounds fine, go by "gut feel," though. Everyone is different. If you are feeling good, pooping good, and your weight is doing what you want it to, then you are doing the right stuff. If things are not quite right, then tweak a bit. I'm not a huge fan of soil-based probiotics, only because I think that we get them for free from the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the dirt we lick off our fingers. But again, if they make you feel better...keep it up!

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    2. Thanks, Tim (and yes, you must have felt like I was stalking you across the internet LOL!). I actually have not noticed much of a difference in how I feel, so maybe I will skip the soil based probiotics for now and just keep the potato starch up with the potatoes and see how that goes. I wouldn't expect the additional potato starch to affect or impede weight loss, but I guess this is all part of the experiment. Anyway, I am glad to have found your blog.

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  88. Hey, Tim, if you're there, I need a word of encouragement. Finished three days of the Potato Hack with NO weight loss. I ate around 2 1/2 - 3 # unpeeled Yukon Golds a day plus salt. Salt is recommended by my MD to address hypotension. Drank morning coffee with a little cream: That was the only cheat. Am really sick of potatoes and struggling with motivation to continue, especially given no weight loss. Bought the book from Amazon, still waiting for it. Any ideas, suggestions, encouragement? I've read an enormous amount about the Hack on blogs and comments. It seems to work for everyone else!

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    Replies
    1. Just wait until the book comes, read through it, see section on "troubleshooting." Sometimes people see long term weight loss and not so much short term as the cycle potato diets in 3-5 days a week. It's a long-term decline we are after if there is a lot to lose. As long as potatoes are 95% or so of total calories, you are doing it right. Some cream in your coffee is OK. Good luck!

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    2. I bailed on the Potato Hack after 5 complete days: net weight GAIN of 1 pound. Very disappointed, I did it cleanly and had high hopes. Am reading the book anyway, though the troubleshooting section didn't seem to explain my situation. I'm glad it works for so many folks, sorry it didn't for me. Thanks for your help anyway, you've got good science here!

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    3. My initial impression is that with only 5 pounds to lose, your diet and body are in good shape and hanging onto that last 5 pounds stubbornly. But thanks for trying and reporting your experience! Merry Christmas

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  89. Thanks so much for the encouragement! I've stuck to it again today, making day 4. I feel rather bloated and fatigued for some reason, even though I am drinking a lot of water and urinating frequently. I'm not really hungry, but am fantasizing about eating protein! I don't have a lot to lose, around 5 pounds or so. Had hoped I could knock it off quickly. Am hoping my energy level improves, that will determine whether I can keep going for longer or not. Trying to hold out until I get the book (supposed to come later today!)...I'm a quick reader, and hope to find some answers. Thanks again!

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  90. December 27th. I am a 64 year old woman that is in reasonable health and reasonable active. Need to lose 30 pounds. I believe I will try this diet. What about boredom? Any answers that could help me? Am I too old?

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    1. I'm a 56 yr. old female, healthy and active. It didn't work for me: I gave it 5 good days, and gained one pound! But I was only trying to lose 5, maybe that had something to do with it. But I've read the book, and the science seems sound, so give it a try. I was bored by day 5 of potatoes, but I was too lazy to try different recipes. Hope you have better luck than I did!

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    2. 64 is definitely not "too old." My aunt (60) and mom ("under 70") have both lost well over 30 pounds this year by eating potatoes 3 days a week and not even being particularly careful on off-days. Boredom is actually part of the magic, embrace it. Pick up a copy of the book, it will help you get started. The potato hack works especially well for people who can stick with it for a while. It's not for everyone, I'll be the first to admit!

      In the book I give several different ways of getting to your goal, try out a couple of them, play around with it. What have you got to lose? Except 30 pounds, that it.

      Good luck!

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  91. Good to read this potato diet! Look forward for more future posts about diet and fitness hacks!

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