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Potato Diet, Fall 2013

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  • Potato Diet, Fall 2013

    Time for a new Potato Diet thread...thanks, Terry H., for the prompt!

    After Mark Sisson's post today on tubers, I'm not sure what Mark thinks of them. I think potatoes are a good source of vitamins, nutrients, carbs, and protein. They are certainly a staple for me, I probably eat 2-3 pounds a week, not with every meal or even every day, but I consider myself a regular consumer of potatoes.

    Throughout history, people have survived--and thrived--on a diet consisting wholly of potatoes. Prisoners of War were often fed just potatoes for months or years and they came through it in fine shape. Criminals in prisons were often fed only potatoes and thrived. People in famines or times of war were often forced to eat potatoes and survived well.

    A couple of articles from the 1840's recently surfaced at Free The Animal and I'd like to repost them here:

    NEW-YORK, APRIL, 1849.


    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.
    And another:

    Eight different forms of diet were prepared, and a class of prisoners was placed on each diet, and confined to it for one month. Before commencing, each prisoner was examined as to the state of his health, and weighed; and the same was done at the end of the experiment. The following were the different diets, and the results of the various trials of them:...

    ...Eighth Diet:

    Breakfast.—Two pounds of potatoes, boiled.

    Dinner.—Three pounds of potatoes, boiled.

    Supper.—One pound of potatoes, boiled.

    A class of ten young men and boys was put on this diet. All had been in confinement for short periods only, and all were employed at light work, teasing hair. At the beginning of the experiment eight were in good health and two in indifferent health; at the end, the eight continued in good health, and the two who had been in indifferent health had improved. There was, on an average, a gain in weight of nearly three and a half pounds per prisoner, the greatest gain being eight and a quarter pounds, by a young man, whose health had been indifferent at the beginning of the experiment. Only two prisoners lost at all in weight, and the quantity in each case was trifling. The prisoners all expressed themselves quite satisfied with this diet, and regretted the change back again to the ordinary diet. .
    So, here's the gist of the potato diet: As a quick way to lose fat, eat nothing but potatoes for a week or two. As seen above, you can gain weight if you eat too many, so don't overeat. Try to eat 2-3 pounds per day as plainly as possible. No butter, sour cream, no milk, no eggs--just potatoes. Nearly everyone who tried this last year in the numerous threads and on many different website forums found they could effortlessly lose 1/2 to 1 pound per day and keep the weight off afterwards. It's not water-weight, it's fat!
    Last edited by otzi; 11-02-2013, 07:30 AM.

  • #2
    I think I might jump on board this time around. I half heartedly tried the egg diet (couldn't make it past 6 days). Kinda got to the point of gagging at the thought of eating 10-12 a day.

    Hopefully my Irish heritage will help my willpower and I'll be able to eat potatoes for a couple weeks

    I may need some help remembering all the different ways to prepare them though.

    When do we start?
    Some people just need a sympathetic pat... On the head... With a hammer.


    • #3
      It's back! I need my wife to go on a business trip for a week so I can do this again without fear of being institutionalized. I have a bit of fruit chub from indulging this summer that I want to disappear.


      • #4
        Otzi, how are you eating your potatoes? Just baking and boiling?


        • #5
          Well, here's my story...

          I did a few rounds of the potato diet last fall and leaned waaaaay out. Seeing how easy it was to lose 10 very stubborn pounds, I decided to do a decent bulk this summer. In the past, I was always scared to gain any weight, but this year I worked out like a demon and ate like a weightlifter should. After nearly 6 months of near daily strength building exercises, I had gained close to 10 pounds and considerable strength.

          I weighed 180 on Oct 1st, did 6 days on all-potatoes, and now, 3 weeks later, I weigh 175. I plan on doing 1 week the first of each month until I am under 170, then just eating to maintain that weight while doing more Low Intensity Steady State exercise through the winter, and picking up again on strength building next summer.

          What I find works best for me, and many others have agreed, is to eat potatoes as plainly as you can. I grow my own, but you should try to get the best quality potatoes you can find. No eyes or green spots, organic if possible. Type doesn't matter--just not sweet potatoes.

          Plan on using up the best part of 20 pounds for a full week. Wash and boil 5 pounds to start with, put these in the fridge for snacks and lunches. I usually IF til noon, so I keep that up. I eat 1 or 2 potatoes for lunch, and 2 or 3 for dinner. If I need a snack in between, I munch on a cold one, but usually I don't need to. Just go by hunger, not by quantity or calorie. Eat as few as it takes to stave off hunger--not as many as you can.

          I sometimes use salt, vinegar, or ketchup...but like they said in 1849:
          Eat, of course, no salt, no butter, or condiments of any kind.
          This actually makes it easier.

          Other variations of the potato diet have been to use a minimal amount of fat to cook with, to add a few crunchy veggies like onion or green peppers, to add bone broth to mashed potatoes, to eat a few bites of liver or bacon alongside, or to drink milk throughout. I personally think these things just add an unneeded element and could lead to over-eating, but many have tried them and succeeded.

          Some of the best recipes were done by Richard at FTA last year. Hashbrowns, Poutine, and Mashed for instance.
          Last edited by otzi; 10-23-2013, 03:53 PM.


          • #6

            What a coinky-dink! I just bought 50# today! I am on a losing streak, finally... and wanted to give it a boost!
            65lbs gone and counting!!

            Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey


            • #7
              Thanks for reviving the topic. I am wondering if you had any thoughts on the IF advice to only consume low GI/GL foods on fasting days and yet we know that potatoes are known to be highly satiating. Is this not inconsistent?

              Thank you.....


              • #8
                Oh dear god, it's back.

                Potatoes are magic by the sounds of it, if "lean men grow fat, and fat men become lean"
                If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                Originally posted by tfarny
                If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least


                • #9
                  What would the nightshade-free version of the potato diet be?
                  Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jammies View Post
                    What would the nightshade-free version of the potato diet be?
                    If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                    Originally posted by tfarny
                    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jammies View Post
                      What would the nightshade-free version of the potato diet be?
                      The Rutabaga Bikini Slimdown


                      • #12
                        This potato diet is really bothering me. It works 'too well', that is, I can't understand it(!)
                        I've read all the posited explanations here and on other blogs last year, but when I do it and vary one parameter at a time, protein or fat, I still am no closer to a clue as to what's really happening because nothing is explaining the original mystery : the weight loss at low fat-protein amounts even for 1200kC worth of potatoes is as if I ate NOTHING the previous day. Zip. No calories.
                        Here's what I've got so far :
                        _3-4 lbs a day of boiled or microwaved potatoes, as long as using only 1T of fat per 2lbs, always give me about 0.6-0.7lbs loss daily. It's as if I ate nothing at all (my daily reqs are only about 1800kC).
                        ___add up to 2T of fat per 2 lbs potatoes, get less weight loss but still about 0.4 lbs loss per day.
                        ___above 2T it shuts off on me, no loss.
                        _add 7-10gms protein (eg. ham, minced meat, even liver) to each 2 lb meal, same large 0.6-0.7lbs loss.
                        _add more than that protein, loss moderates kinda linearly, until I can't detect it anymore at around 40gms protein a day.

                        It isn't water loss, none of it. Impedance scales are useless for absolute numbers but relative numbers are fine - no change day to day. Plus, none of the usual changes you get on dehydration or on starting a ketogenic diet (urine color, skin suppleness, water consumption/frequency...). Of course, it's not expected either, since gorging on starch/glucose in potatoes so plenty of glycogen. But hey, nothing else about this works as expected, so I made sure to check the hydration state.

                        Anyone have similar observations re. inexplainable large weight loss?


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by moluv View Post
                          The Rutabaga Bikini Slimdown
                          Yikes! Pretty sure a rutabaga diet would slim down just about anyone
                          Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )



                          • #14
                            The mashed potato diet might however, have some truth to it. Have you heard of the sweet potato diet plan? That is actually a certain part of a well-known diet, that I have used in the past to lose all my weight.


                            • #15
                              Where is the evidence that at least some of this isn't muscle loss?
                              Crohn's, doing SCD