For months I’ve been left speechless by the latest development in the world of Paleo – the “Potato Hack!”? Based on Chris Voigt’s 20-potatoes a day extravaganza, which was done as a publicity stunt in defense of the potato (somebody’s gotta love it amongst all those tater-haters out there), the potato hack has set the Paleo world ablaze with the last thing it needed?- more weight loss frenzy. Today, I weigh in on the good, bad, and ugly of the blossoming tater trend. And I hope to abuse potato references along the way.
Just so you homefries know, the potato hack is basically a mono diet – meaning your diet consists of one food. That one food is potatoes. Mash ’em, boil ’em, but don’t stick ’em in a stew. A little salt and pepper isn’t recommended per se, but generally “allowed.”? Supplemental fats, meat, condiments, and other foods that might make the potato enjoyable are discouraged. One of its success secrets is keeping the calorie-density of meals low and the palatability of the diet as a whole very low.
I have been hypercritical of the Paleo movement for years, even going so far as to publish a book highlighting the critical scientific and philosophical errors of the movement called 12 Paleo Myths: Eat Better Than a Caveman. But these potato heads have taken things to a point where, to be honest, I’m a little embarrassed for them. I’ve gone down some pretty lame rabbit holes myself and embarrassed myself many times too, don’t get me wrong.
One thing I will say is thatI am ecstatic about what the tater tots have been showing the rest of the Paleo community about carbohydrates – they are awesome, not fattening, can be eaten in unlimited abundance and not lead to “insidious weight gain,” stimulate the metabolism (“Dude, why are my hands so freaking hot?”), and so forth. But that doesn’t mean that this Potato Hack isn’t smeared with a bloody trail of ketchup.
The spud buddies claim that 1/2 to 1 full pound of bodyweight is almost guaranteed to be shed doing the potato hack each and every single day, similar to what anyone who suddenly embarks on a low-fat, low-protein,?low-calorie vegan diet might experience. This is probably the most alarming part about the hack, and where most tubers are likely to?get fried. While certainly a lot of this weight lost is body fat, it’s likely that?losing scale weight this quickly is attributable to large losses of bone, organs, and muscle.
Let’s say your caloric needs for a day are?roughly 3,000 calories. You eat?a 5-pound bag of boiled?potatoes containing 1600-ish calories. That’s a calorie-deficit of 1400 calories. If every single one of those?deficit calories were jerked out of the fat tissue, that would be a loss of 1400/3500 = 0.4 pounds
That would be?close to the maximum amount of fat a typical?person could lose in a day unless they were doing lots of hiking, cycling, or other demanding exercise. So if you are losing more than 0.4 pounds of fat per day, those losses are probably coming from other sources.
Let’s calculate where the losses are likely coming from in someone losing a pound per day. It takes a calorie deficit of just 600 calories to lose a pound of lean mass, something covered in an old post of mine called “Lose 25 Pounds in 28 Days!”?
If you are just looking at a scale with no other metric for success, a 1400-calorie deficit might result in losing 400 calories of lean mass and 1000 calories of fat, resulting in 2/3 of the weight you are losing coming from lean mass, not body fat. That’s not as pretty of a picture, and considering everything that is known about weight loss – most notably that the lower the protein content by percentage of calories while in a calorie deficit the more lean mass is lost in proportion’to body fat, you’re looking at something?a lot less exciting than it sounds like on the’surface (That is, if eating potatoes and nothing else was already getting you excited!).
The potential benefits of the hack is that it is carbohydrate-based, is low?enough in polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) to expel a lot of’those metabolically-suppressive fats out of the tissues, contains no inflammatory arachidonic acid (AA) whatsoever, contains low levels of’the?inflammatory amino acids like methionine, cysteine, and tryptophan, can lower uric acid,??and can otherwise reverse?a lot of the?cumulative problems one can incur on a diet too heavy in meat?and fat like’the standard Paleo approach. In some sense, it’s probably good medicine for Paleoitis. I also strongly feel that losing weight without?being hungry – typical of this?approach, is?far superior to’trying to?deny yourself food in the face of?intense hunger pangs.
What’s annoying and obnoxious about it enough to go to the trouble to hash out a post on the’topic is:
- Just about ANY diet consisting of only one food will trigger similar?weight loss.
- Supplementing’some high-quality protein with these taters is a much more shrewd way to do it.
- It violates the golden rule of “Anything you do to lose weight you better be able to continue doing it for life or?else the weight will likely return plus bring some friends along with it.”
- This approach is already well-known, and many mono diets have been popular at some point throughout the last century.
- Paleo people think that this is special because it doesn’t contain grains or dairy or?refined sugar or any other “nasty neolithic foods.”? Yet,’the?potato hack could probably work just as well, with less loss of lean tissue, if it were the?pasta hack, the rice and tuna?hack, the orange juice hack, the MuscleMilk hack, or the Froot Loops with’skim milk hack.
Fry at your own risk. Don’t?be surprised, even if your intial results are effortless and astounding, that your gnocchi gets pokey within a few months of losing weight on the hack. “I’ll just do the hack again! No problemo! Losing weight is easy!”? You may?find that round 2 is nothing like round 1, to say nothing?of?rounds 3,4, 5 and beyond. ?You can fool the body once with a new starvation trick – be it low-carb, HCG, low-fat, endurance exercise, fasting, liquid diets. But it wises up if you give it?a chance to learn?how to defend itself.
Overall score:? More yo-yo?diet?bullshit
Tip to Paleo Movement:? End the movement immediately and let’s join forces as part of the new fad called?”Let’s figure out how to eat, live, and be healthy in the modern world?in an open-ended and exploratory way without the interference of the religiosity of?one single ideology with one very limited viewpoint-eo.”
Sorry If I sound like I have a chip on my shoulder. I hope I didn’t Ruffles too many feathers with this. Here, watch my nemesis Matt Stonie eat an entire 10-pound bag of potatoes. It will make you feel better.
First! And I am from Idaho…thus I am an expert on potatoes…LOL
Dude, you must obviously know about it’s magical fat loss properties. You’re rocking 3% body fat right now aren’t you?
Ugh I’m so tired of people extolling the many benefits of their spring “detox” diets already. Even both of my parents whom I never knew to be dieters did them… Matt I might need a phone call soon!
Potatoes are great if you mash em up with some butter and coconut oil, lots and lots of salt, some pepper and CHEESE, Praise CHEESUS!
“If you’ve ever looked closely at a potato….it resembles…I don’t know….something…”
LOL love the video.
Yes I found the video mesmerizing. It was also replete with good ideas for alternative titles for this post, the above being only one. See also, “Some people eat chalk” and “I am going to regret this later”.
Matt, great post. Can you give a few examples of “high quality proteins”? Very curious, thanks!
Eggs, milk, fish, whey, etc. Although in the plant kingdom the potato does have some good quality protein and is supposedly high keto acids which can like, aid with protein synthesis or something.
So the summary of how to get lean in a safe way is to prioritize carbs and protein, cut down on the fat, but don’t cut too many calories in an effort to lose all that fat in two weeks? Is 100 grams of protein a day while in a deficit enough? Where do BCAAs fit in? Thanks Matt, love this topic.
Oh, so that’s why previous generations did so well on their meat and potato diet? I had a neighbor once who was in her upper 70s. I asked her once about the food they grew up eating and whether or not it was true that they ate as much foods as books often depict from that time period, including dessert after dinner nearly every night. She said that it was an accurate depiction of how they ate. They ate a lot of food without gaining weight; there was hardly anyone who was overweight. I asked her why she thought things had changed so much since then. She thinks it’s because we don’t move as much as they used to. It was a very interesting conversation. I had always assumed that there was always an overglorification of how people at in the 50s, but apparently not, at least not in my neighbors world.
This is how I ate growing up, and I’m in my 30s. A decent breakfast, juice or milk with every meal, 3 balanced squares a day with dessert every single night after dinner, plus a snack of cookies or the like in the afternoon. We ate a lot. And I was skinny. I started out my life in Europe, so maybe that’s why. When we moved to the US, our habits changed a bit (more junk food) but not that much. There wasn’t fluoride in the water then either, which I sometimes think may be part of it, who knows.
For anyone interested, this is a really interesting synopsis of different food choices through the decades. Check out the home family meals in each one, and you can see people ate well! Lots of food, dessert every day, bread & butter served along with dinner each night, both cereal AND eggs/toast for breakfast, etc.
Don’t move more = labor savig devices and computers
This made my day :)
dude the asian version of you MUST have barfed after that. Wow, that is some ninja eating skillz right thar.
Spudderly clever, Mattato-cakey! haaha! My favorite line: “Tip to Paleo Movement: End the movement immediately and let’s join forces as part of the new fad called ?Let’s figure out how to eat, live, and be healthy in the modern world in an open-ended and exploratory way without the interference of the religiosity of one single ideology with one very limited viewpoint-eo. This is quite timely since potatoes are on the dinner menu for tonight :) Spud on!
The guy in the video is nuts…..still, not everyone could do that! haha
I guess checking your blog once in a while finally paid off.
I am the guy that started the Potato Revolution. I posted about it on every paleo and diet board I could find. I learned of the Potato Hack on Mark’s Daily Apple where people were (and still are) loving it.
Like many paleo-ites, I went low-carb, zero starch, and lost a ton of weight and reversed met-syn. After a few years, though, my metabolism was at a standstill and I still hadn’t lost all the weight I wanted to lose. When I heard about the potato hack, I though the same as you–any mono-food diet would be the same and almost didn’t try it.
Funny thing here. I’m a potato farmer and hadn’t eaten a potato in 3 years because they were evil carbs. I had a sack of potatoes and nothing to lose, so I gave it a shot. 14 days of 2-3 pounds of potatoes a day and I lost 10 pounds. Upon resumption of normal eating, I lost an additional 3 pounds over the next 2 weeks and kept at this new weight for several months. I told everyone I knew and got many people to try it. It worked well for almost everyone who gave it an honest try.
My body readily took to the new weight, which was the lowest I’d been since high school. I was ecstatic. I went back on my old paleo diet and soon noticed my metabolism was still a mess. I started eating more like what you and Danny Roddy suggest and soon had warm hands and felt really good, but alas gained back nearly all the weight I had lost. After eating ‘for heat’ for 3 months, I gave potatoes another try and again lost 10 pounds in 14 days.
Upon resumption of normal eating, this time I did something totally alien to the paleo corps…I included about 1 pound of potato a day in addition to only very simple staples like veggies, meat, fish, and cheese. The only sugar I was eating was from 2-3 servings of fruit a day. No ice cream, OJ, or sugar in my coffee. After a month or so, my weight was very stable. I started creeping up just a bit and stopped putting sour cream on my potatoes–only butter–that halted the weight creep up.
Eating in this manner, my hands were warm, I was full of energy, and I truly felt like my metabolism was on fire for the first time in 4 years since finding paleo. Now, 6 months later, I find I can eat more sugar, carbs, and overeat without weight gain. My weight is more stable now than it ever was on paleo.
At this point in my life, I don’t see myself using the ‘potato hack’ ever again, but if my weight does creep up to where I need to intervene, the ‘potato hack’ is where I’d turn first.
If anyone reads this and wants to try, here is my advice:
– Plan ahead. Buy about 15 pounds of potatoes and eat nothing else for 5-7 days or until gone.
– If you want to lose more weight, do this 2 weeks in a row, but no more.
– Eat 2-3 times a day, 1/2 to 1 pound of potato at a time. Have some pre-cooked potatoes on hand for snacks.
– Salt, pepper, and vinegar are fine. Ketchup/mustard OK, but very small amounts.
– Don’t do this if you have a history of eating disorder or diabetes.
The potato diet works way better than all the other mono-food diets because the potato is such a complete food. It has a full amino acid profile and also a good bit of protein and some fat. It is an extremely high GI food, which works in your favor in this case because the spike in glucose and resultant insulin spike clears the glucose quickly and gets you back into fat burning mode while blunting hunger. There is also a sodium/potassium connection and a bit of resistant starch involved. Most who undertake this diet note they are in ketosis almost immediately.
I’ll admit, the potato hack is a sad off-shoot of paleo, and I implore anyone who tried it to include starch in your diet in large enough amounts to support a healthy metabolism upon resumption of normal eating, or instead of trying the potato hack, just start eating right to fuel your metabolism and work out the weightloss once you are sufficiently fueled.
But, for a quick, fat-buster the potato hack is the ultimate tool to break a plateau or lose a few vanity pounds for a high school reunion!
Thanks for your great comment(s) Tatertot. I think a lot of the internet nutrition scene is laypersons rediscovering what bodybuilders have known for decades, but feeling a lot more self-important about their conclusions.
Interesting self-experimentation! Maybe you’ve proved that potatoes are a good transition food for people to add in between low-carb and a normal diet, before they jump into sugar, etc.
You say not to try this if you have an eating disorder. But I’d go farther than that. You could have the genes for one and this sort of thing could trigger an ED even if you didn’t have one before. So you should also make sure nobody in your family has an eating disorder. Or just err on the side of caution and keep away from stuff like this.
Yeah, sounds risky for anyone, to be honest. Maybe the best lesson is that adding potatoes to a low-carb diet is a good idea!
How does one define eating disorder? The only person I know who I can say definitively does not have an eating disorder, would never consider doing this or any other form of controlled eating.
Interesting question, Nira. My hubby hasn’t dieted a day in his life, and I’m pretty sure he would say I was nuts if I told him I was going to eat nothing but plain potatoes for a week.
this post is extremely punny.
I’ve recently put on a bunch of weight in the gut-area. I notice that my leg and lower back muscles get tired very easily. Is my gut so big that my lower back has trouble supporting it or do i just need to do some strength training?
I think a protruding abdomen can certainly make the lower back super tight. I know at the peak of my calorie-slaying and belly bulging even just standing up and doing stuff in the kitchen tightened up the whole posterior chain.
“a 1400-calorie deficit might result in losing 400 calories of lean mass and 1000 calories of fat, resulting in 2/3 of the weight you are losing coming from lean mass, not body fat.”
Matt, I’m a little confused by these numbers…400 cal of lean mass is not 2/3 of 1400 cals its a little over 1/4, so you would still be losing a lot more body fat than lean mass. Just wondering.
400 calories of lean mass is .66 pounds. 1000 calories of fat is just under .33 pounds.
I had a feeling it was a stupid comment to make, Thanks for clarifying Matt :O
I didn’t want to argue the ‘fat vs muscle lost’ points that Matt made, but from personal experience, I think very little muscle is lost even with 2 weeks of just-potatoes. I think that the amino acid profile of potato is so complete that the body is satisfied and begins burning fat.
A crazy man named Peter at Hyperlipid did a series on Chris Voight, and came up with this:
“How about scaling this up to a massive dose of potato induced insulin and limiting dietary fat? Severely limiting dietary fat. And never mind pussy footing around at 40g of mixed carbs and protein. There is a limit to how low FFAs can be driven, and it seems safe to assume that a baked potato or three might just inhibit lipolysis maximally and keep it that low for rather a long time. But if you deprive beta cells of free fatty acids you blunt their ability to secrete insulin. Very, very high carbohydrate diets really ought to be able to inhibit lipolysis to the point where the knock on effect is the inhibition of insulin secretion, provided you don’t supply exogenous fat. Look at the nicotinic acid treated rats…
Once you get FFA levels low enough to inhibit insulin secretion you will start to move in to the sort of territory where insulin secretion might be blunted enough to allow hyperglycaemia. But the feedback effect of reduced insulin levels is also the re commencement of lipolysis. This will restore enough FFAs to maintain functional insulin secretion and so avoid potential hyperglycaemia, which the body tries to avoid. Of course you have to throw in the increased insulin sensitivity of muscles deprived of exogenously supplied FFAs too.
So is it possible to eat an ad lib, calorie unrestricted diet based on near pure carbohydrate and lose weight? Working from the premise that lowered insulin is a pre requisite for hunger free weight loss, as I always do, the answer is possibly yes. We all remember Chris Voight on his all potato diet (plus 20ml of olive oil, low in palmitate, per day) who lost a great deal of weight over a few weeks, the rate of weight loss accelerating as the weeks progressed…”
Classic hyperlipid overscienced explanation for something that is quite simple. I like the assumptions too, like potatoes will give you a massive dose of insulin. Tater not. A potato will probably send insulin levels down not up. Especially at the very minimal calorie levels that most tater hackers are into.
These are all avenues that I have discussed at absurd length in the past. And it is possible to build lean mass with low protein intake when carbs are high and there are SURPLUS calories as discussed in Maximum Nutrient Partitioning. But not in a deficit. However, if eating a mono diet is special in some way, and can sensitize one to leptin, it is possible to lose a very high percentage of body fat and very little lean mass.
The best thing about the potato in this scenario is that it is well known to be near the top of the satiety chart – high appetite satisfaction per calorie. Other foods would include lots of Neolothic foods like oatmeal, brown rice, tuna, egg whites, yams, and other classic bodybuilder foods.
Lamenting that I can’t find tater tots without that crappy canola oil….
Why not eat the taters with the pufas? If memory serves, you have a similar build to my partner who I have begrudgingly taken along with me on my dietary exploits. Since coming to this site and increasing our consumption of saturated fats he has gone from 150 to 160 lbs on a 6’2″ frame with a 1 degree rise in temperature. He thinks I take the food thing too seriously, but he is feeling better in general as well. Anyway, I noticed he is happier when we eat things like tater tots and I think the weight gain is attributable to a combination of the saturated and polyunsaturated fat combined with a devil may care attitude.
I don’t understand how someone wouldn’t get an electrolyte imbalance from that unless they used a ton of salt. Currently I am recovering from very weak adrenals and even too much water in the morning or tomatoes give me cramps. I have to salt everything, especially fruit, or I get migraines.
Potatoes fortunately take on a lot of salt. It’s probably good to take in a lot of all the electrolytes and that may be another unmentioned benefit.
Yes, my fave for getting in salt is a potato and cheese bake. Freakin delish, and I can pile the salt on much more than most meals.
So, does this mean that people have made a complete 360 and are now back at low fat diets consisting of baked potatoes?
I don’t know how anyone could eat baked potatoes without butter. It would be so dry and unpalatable. There has to be a high level of determination to be able to pull this off.
I agree. As much as I love properly seasoned potatoes, the thought of eating nothing but plain spuds sounds terrible. I’d much rather do the raw vegan thing (lots of fruits and smoothies) if I were trying to achieve the high carb/low fat result.
Yes, you have to go to the 360degree health site for that stuff…
Back when I was in my twenties I ate rocky road ice cream for every meal every day for a week. I don’t remember why I did it. I was probably just being lazy. Anyway, I lost weight. I also lost my love for rocky road ice cream. If you only eat one food for an extended period of time I think you’re bound to loose weight. I’m sure rocky road ice cream was way better than plain potatoes.
Anything that can instantly trigger the “Damn I hate food and would rather trim my toenails instead of eat” is bound to have a short-term weight loss effect.
Lol, so funny. I would rrarf for real if I tried to eat 5 lbs (or 10lbs!!) of potatoes!
Note for any other french paradox nerds: the french traditionally eat lots of potatoes (with proper meals…).
Yes, and lots of pork fat too.
I know this is off topic, but considering a recent post that showed a video by the RawSistas, check out this Fruitarian called “40BelowFruity”. I wonder if 40 below refers to 40 degrees Celsius meaning body temp lower than normal?? hmmmm….
Haven’t watched the vid, but 40C is insanely hot. 37C is equivalent to 98.6F. 40C is 104F.
Unless you meant 40 below…
She lives in a climate that sometimes has -40F and below temps.
Hey Matt! I just found your blog, and clearly I have a lot of reading to catch up on! I’m especially curious about your comment that a potato will probably send insulin levels down, not up. I find that if I eat too much potato without enough protein and fat, I get kinda shaky/lightheaded in a ‘blood sugar is messed up’ kind of way. I’m not sure I could do a potato diet for that reason.
I love this comment: “Tip to Paleo Movement: End the movement immediately and let’s join forces as part of the new fad called ?Let’s figure out how to eat, live, and be healthy in the modern world in an open-ended and exploratory way without the interference of the religiosity of one single ideology with one very limited viewpoint-eo.”
I feel like we kind of need a real name for that movement…I still consider myself Paleo (because that’s how I eat) but it isn’t a religion for me, and I’m always trying to learn more in an unbiased, ‘exploratory’ way. In fact, I actually love the Paleo/ancestral community because it usually IS much more accepting/open minded than other food communities I’ve been a part of! But my food communities for comparison are vegetarianism, veganism, and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, so I guess it’s relative (;
Alyssa! I am curious, how did you find Matt Stone’s blog? We seem to think a lot a like although I no longer consider myself Paleo. I just say that I love to eat Paleo foods. Ha! I love what Matt stone has to say which is why I desperately wanted to include at least one of his ebooks in my bundle sale back in January (and I’m glad he said yes – thanks Matt!) but I also love the Paleo community as a whole as it has completely shifted my thoughts on food.
Paleo has taught me to seek out quality food and to self-experiment while Matt has taught me to let go and live life.
Oh and I love my potatoes of all colors including white.
I agree with you Toad. If you call eating whole foods in all their glory “Paleo” then I’m all for it, but if you think Paleo has to be low carb, high fat, no shampoo, and wearing those stupid looking shoes, then I hate paleo.
Haha what is wrong with no shampoo? I admit that my hair is as short as it can be without me being bald on top but as a super simple dude, I am going to do whatever it takes to have “less.” I personally shave with a one blade razor without shaving cream. Water truly works to perfection for me. I never grow a full beard or anything but I’ll sometimes go up to 2 weeks without touching it.
And I’ve learned to embrace the weird. But yes, I hate when people hate on white potatoes and state that all carbs are bad. Thankfully I am learning that their are many folks who think like me.
It may be ironic but I am going on the low carb cruise in May. My birthday just so happens to land on the last night that we will be in the ocean. And while I am anything but low carb and have never even gone down that path (lucky me!) I am most definitely looking forward to hanging out with those who care about their health. I’ll gladly state that I don’t eat low carb and never have. Perhaps I can inspire a soul or 2 do change their ways if low carb is not working for them or ends up destroying their health.
PaleoFX and Primal Con is on my calendar too. I just wanna have fun.
Toad – You should start spiking your smoothies with Bob’s Red Mill Unmodified Potato Starch or similar (must be unmodified, though) and call them an RS Blast or something. 2 TBS is about 30g of RS, right at the recommended dosage for the full benefits of RS.
I may have to look into that actually. Is the taste non existant then? A potato flavor in smoothies just does not sound good at all.
No flavor, it just picks up flavors around it.
You could also use green bananas or green plantains. Potato starch is just easier because it comes ready-to-use.
Just had a scary thought…with a low carb cruise, if the ship get stuck at sea, with all those bodies on board, it’s a feeding frenzy! How fast of a runner are you, Todd? LOL
Haha! I used to be fast. I don’t run anymore but I think I am a decent sprinter!
I have no problem with the no ‘poo thing, but think it detracts from paleo as a whole. People think they are emulating caveman life, when in reality it’s mainly about avoiding processed foods.
In my opinion, yes and no. I think their are unlimited pros and cons of the hunter-gather life as well as the modern life. Finding the best of both worlds is how I approach my life.
One big, big thing is minimalism for me. Living with only the material things that you truly need is such a freeing thing in today’s crazy fast pace world. And “slow living” is another pro of the past world that I do my best in implementing in today’s life. So is living spontaneously or intuitively.
But we can get into trouble when we go too far with it in all areas of life.
I personally don’t like the word “paleo.”
TOAD! Whaddup?! It’s great to see a familiar face around here! I see you’re no longer “Primal Toad”? ;) I don’t see you around MDA much anymore! I just found this blog kind of randomly through blog hopping, and so far it’s been quite enlightening, although I can’t say I’m ‘anti-Paleo’ yet haha.
These labels are making me crazy though. I’m all about Tatertot’s ‘eating whole foods in all their glory,’ and Paleo’s just a convenient name for it. Didn’t realize it had such a stigma attached to it! But I have to say, I’m a fan of the stupid looking shoes. And no-poo… what can I say, I drank the kool-aid (:
But yes, I think we think a lot alike. I don’t like no-poo because it’s ‘caveman-ish,’ I like it because it makes my mischievous hair easier to deal with. And I like the stupid shoes because they’re comfortable. And while I’m not so sure about this whole ‘eat crap tons of sugar’ deal, I’m definitely pro-potato and pro-carb. But at the same time, there are plenty of people who CAN’T do potatoes or carbs, and that’s fine too. Nobody has all the answers.
And woah I had no idea his e-books were in your bundle!!! Now I’m extra glad I bought it! I need to get to the bottom of this ‘eat for heat’ deal…I’m still skeptical, but looking forward to seeing what he has to say.
Nope, I am still Primal Toad. I think keeping it this way is for the better. If you look up the definition of Primal you will see “fundamental” which is the definition I use as stated in my slogan :)
I’m not anti-Paleo and I don’t see Mr. Stone being anti-Paleo as a whole. He is just an honest dude who is as unbiased as human beings can be and thanks to Mr. Stone I am going more in this direction as well.
Matt agrees that some folks can do better eating lower carb but MOST will do better avoiding this trap. I personally now eat intuitively. I can not digest nuts for the life of me but I seem to digest oatmeal well. :)
I’m stoked to get the word out on Mr. Stone sooner rather than later. That bundle that you mentioned has certainly helped. I am already organizing the next one which will launch in September. It’s going to be HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE!
I’m sorry…did that guy eat 4.5 kgs of raw potatoes??
I’d like to know as well
“Addicted To Spuds” by Weird Al is totally in line here.
The one problem I have with potatoes is the solanine. And I don’t mean as an obsessive nutritional thing — I mean as the disgusting bitter and burning flavor that stays in your mouth for a long time after you eat potatoes. I need to find a supermarket with a good turnover rate. I always pick bags of potatoes that’re below all the others assuming they’ve had the least light exposure, but I still run into this problem a lot. And it’s a bitch. And I don’t store them for that long either. Potatoes should at least be able to last at least a week in a cool, dark place, but I’ve had ones that I bought the same day or two or three days later that had this problem, and I always look at them for green spots or any eyes/sprouts coming up, and feel them to see if they’re firm or have any soft spots.
Then again, I leave the skins on, where the highest concentration of solanine is, and if it’s in the early stages, maybe even all of it. Anyone else eat the potatoes with the skins and ever have this problem?
Sorry, Jib, we take the skin off. My son hates the skins of potatoes. I don’t know why, I’ve never asked him. Maybe that’s why.
Same experience if I buy organic potatoes. Even when they’re stored in a brown paper bag, they always seem to sprout after a few days. Hence, I always peel them well.
that’s cuz they treat non organic taters with sprout-inhibiting chemicals. taters just naturally sprout easily. that’s different than the solanine issue.
I checked out that youtube video. She said she eats 3000 calories a day eating fruit and veggies. How??? I’m having trouble eating 2000 + calories/day on Matt’s raise your metabolism diet. (Is it wrong to call this a diet?) I am eating lots of potatoes and still trying to warm up.
Eating 3000 calories of fruit is not that hard if you focus more on the high calorie fruits like Dates and Bananas. Why are you having trouble getting more 2000 cals following Matt’s eating plan? Matt does favor caloricaly dense foods such as Dates and Maple Syrup. If you add these two items to your eating regimen, its easier to get higher calories because they do not add much volume of food while substantially increasing the caloric density of your meals. Just a thought.
Does anyone else have issues eating dates? For me, I get a mucousy, dirty mouth feel after eating more than a few. That’s the best I can explain it. It happens even with the best quality organic dates I can find. Same with most kinds of honey. I thought maybe it’s because of the lack of water, since I don’t get that with most other fruits and sweets, but drinking some water with them doesn’t make it much better. Or maybe it’s something else. But I definitely can’t see myself getting a significant portion of calories from them.
I was just giving Linda an example of how one can increase their caloric intake without having to eat a huge volume of food. Eating ice cream is another example and so would having a Starbucks Cafe Mocha Breve style (Breve is half & half instead of regular milk – very calorie dense but not much more filling than a regular Latte). You don’t have to eat Dates.
Oh God. A potato centric post. I’ve been waiting for this. I have resistant starch questions!
Also, relevant : http://awesomephilia.com/post/44873118923
Your name reminds me of this video. Have you seen this already?
I’m also an expert in RS. I first learned of it from Matt, actually, http://180degreehealth.com/2010/08/resistant-starch
What I’ve learned since then could fill a library! There is a race on in the food processing industry to bring the donut-eating consumer a healthy bolus of RS every day. Several agencies have declared 20-30g/day of RS to be beneficial in preventing colon cancer and supporting gut health, among other things. The way they intend to deliver this RS to you is through a product known as Hi-Maize, a genetically modified corn (high amylose variants), mixed with flour to produce tasty bread and pastry.
There’s a better way! The highest amounts of RS outside GMO corn are found in green bananas, raw potato, and raw plantain. Green bananas aren’t bad, buy the greenest you can find and eat one every day. A very green banana has 15g RS a ripe banana has none.
A 1/2 pound raw potato has about 50g RS. Cooked it has 2g, cooked and cooled it has 5g. When preparing potatoes, eat a slice or two of raw potato, then cook and eat as normal, but save some leftovers to eat cold the next day.
Raw, green, plantains are the motherlode of RS. An average green plantain has over 100g RS. Cooked it has next to none. The trouble is, nobody can eat a raw plantain. I have cracked the nut! Buy the greenest plantains you can find. Cut off the ends, cut in half length and crosswise and ‘roll’ the meat out of the skin. Now slice it however you like into 1/8th inch slices and dry in a dehydrator, oven or air dry being careful not to heat them above 120 degrees F. Sprinkle liberally with seasalt while still wet. Dried thoroughly, they are almost 100% RS by weight and taste like pretzel chips. A small handful a day provides 20-30g RS. 3 servings per plantain.
Another method, if you like smoothies, is to add a heaping scoop of raw, unmodified potato starch, like Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch. 1 TBS contains about 15g RS.
Combine these methods and you will garner all the benefits RS has to offer. I’m not going to tell you what they are, but RS will be very important to everyone very soon. Just Google ‘Resistant Starch Health Benefits’ and see what I mean.
Thanks for the info on the Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch, howver I’m a bit confused about eating a raw potato. I was under the impression that raw potatoes have atoxin that can be deadly. If so, would this be “dose dependent” i.e. depends on how much you eat or is it just total B.S?
Any toxins would be in the peel. If it is green, it definitely has toxins, but they are removed along with the peel.
I recommend peeling all store bought potatoes. Organic or homegrown peels are fine if you trust the grower did not spray them with anything.
Tatertot, how do potato farmers do to spray the SKIN of the potatoes??
I thought the spraying was done on the leaves, and, hence, that non-organically grown potatoes have traces of pesticides and whatnot in the flesh as well?
Also, in this extremely potato-eating country I live in (Denmark), we’re taught to discard the whole potato if it has green spots, as the solanin is (allegedly) in the entire spud.
But, then again, we also think that babies will be very unhealthy if they don’t get to take their naps in the pram outside, even in cold weather…
Industrially farmed potatoes get a lot of chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides, defoliating agents, and finally are treated after they are picked with a chemical that makes them unable to sprout. Maleic hydrazide is one potato sprout inhibitor chemical. It is applied to growing potato plants in the field where it is absorbed and stored in the underground tubers. Chlorpropham (CIPC) is another inhibitor compound, but applied after harvest onto tubers while being stored.
Potatoes may also be treated with fungicides and pesticides after harvest to prolong their shelf-life.
Fortunately, most of these treatments don’t get past the skin and peeling them removes all harmful traces of factory farming.
If you can grow your own you are much better off. If not, maybe you can find an organic source.
The green color does not effect the uncolored flesh as long as all trace of green is removed. If I have a lot of potatoes, I often toss the green ones away rather than bothering with them, especially it they are very dark green. You should also cut away any eyes that have sprouted as these contain the same poisons found in the leaves.
Wow! That’s food for thought. Thank you :-)
Would it really be necessary to cool the cooked potatoes? By the time it reaches the colon, I’d imagine it would be at body temperature regardless, unless someone has a incredibly fast transit time.
It forms resistant starch when it goes from heated to cooled. A type of resistant starch known as RS3
Will that resistent starch turn un-resistant if the cooled potato is reheated?
Yes it will! Think about it this way: A raw potato’s starch is nearly all resistant. When heated above 120 degrees, the starch swells and bursts turning it into soluble starch–the kind your body readily breaks down in the mouth, stomach, and small intestine…it’s almost all gone by the time it reaches the large intestine.
Cool that hot potato down to about 50 degrees or lower and the soluble starch crystallizes into what’s known as retrograded starch. Reheat it and it just swells and bursts again. Multiple heating and cooling cycles actually increase the RS, but a lot of trouble to go through for a little bit of RS. One 1/4″ slice of raw potato has more RS than a whole cooked and cooled potato.
Interesting! Raw potato juice is a traditional remedy for digestive issues. I wonder if it’s the resistant starch.
TaterTot, I love how I can find you all over the web commenting anywhere there is a potato mentioned. It’s pretty spectacular! :)
I want to clarify a couple things about the “Potato Hack”. It’s sole purpose is to burn through 5-10 pounds of loose, jiggly fat in short order (1-2 weeks). It works whether it’s the first, middle, or last 5-10lbs you have to lose. It will not leave you starved of nutrients, but it will leave you a bit hungry each day and you will not have the fuel necessary to do strenuous exercise that requires muscle repair. Think ‘de-load week’ if you are an exercise nut.
One thing seriously lacking in the diet world of paleo, vegan, Ray Peat, Atkins, Jenny Craig, all of them, is a way to quickly lose that ‘last 10’. The potato diet is the way.
I lost 80 pounds in 6 months on Paleo, then spent 2 years trying to lose the last 10. This is the point that gets people in trouble. They think ‘if low carb was good–no carb is better’ or similar fallacies in dieting that do nothing but kill the metabolism and prolong the agony. Many times when people finally hit their ultimate goal weight, they can finally adopt an eating style that suits their metabolism, but keeping that goal weight just out of reach leads to ruined metabolisms and many give up and regain their hard-lost weight.
Matt’s ‘Eat for Heat’ and Danny Roddy’s methods often (mostly) result in weight gain for people. I’m here to tell you, you can have a great metabolism and lose the weight. Find a stable point following Matt’s recommendations, maintain your weight for 3-4 months, then do 1-2 weeks of the potato diet at a time, with a couple weeks in between if you have more than 10 pounds to lose. You will hit your goal weight and keep it off. If you start to rebound, examine your diet for confounding factors such as an unrealistic goal weight, too much fat, too much sugar, or simple tweaks that can have big impact.
The Potato Hack is not a Paleo invention, even though it got it’s start on paleo forums. It was actually started by Mary McDougall (pure vegan) in 2006 here: http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2006nl/june/marys.htm
Also, J3NN at http://j3nn.net/blog/2012/12/02/the-potato-plus-diet-mary-mcdougall-mini-diet/ has done an excellent job working it.
Anyway, I think the Potato Hack is worth a shot for those wishing to drop a few pounds that are stymying their progress. Once you see how easy it is to drop these pounds, you won’t be so scared to experiment with new eating styles like ‘Eat for Heat’ because you now have a tool in your back pocket for fast fat loss. Also, I see no danger this becoming a yo-yo diet because it takes a lot of effort and is short-term (and works).
The potato diet probably originates from Germany and has been around for decades. In about 2006 my doctor put me on a potato diet for type 2 diabetes (!!). And it did the trick, I lost about 8 kilograms in about 6 weeks and my blood sugar normalized. It wasn’t a very strict potato diet though, there was a little broccoli, cucumber, zucchini involved, along with some sour cream, cottage cheese and milk.
It’s too bad this reply is buried in the comments and won’t get the attention it deserves. A huge bolus of high GI starch does wonders for insulin sensitivity when taken alone. Done over a period of weeks, it can indeed normalized pre-diabetes/T2DM. The hidden implications are even larger…leptin sensitivity and the benefits of short-term caloric restriction are huge in the ‘Potato Hack’.
I’m hoping that Matt takes a harder look and even incorporates it into his anti-diet stance somehow.
That’s been my stance for a long time. I even have a post called “Starch lowers insulin” and recommend high GI starches in 180 Degree Diabetes specifically for the rise it’s interaction with leptin.
There is a valid line of reasoning behind the theory that the Glycemic Index is severely flawed. It is based on the spike in blood sugar following the ingestion of controlled amounts of foods. White bread is 100 and everything else is scaled to that figure.
If a potato spikes your blood sugar quickly, but the same amount of grapes don’t (high vs low GI foods), it may be safe to assume it’s because the potato does NOT elicit an immediate and large insulin spike. The grape, however, does cause a huge, fast insulin spike. The opposite is assumed true when using the GI in CW fashion.
I hope that makes sense. Think of it this way, the only reason you get a big blood sugar reading after a potato is because the pancreas doesn’t release insulin the second it ‘sees’ the starch, allowing your blood sugar to get quite high before attempting to rein it in. The glucose from the starch is quickly sequestered and the insulin fades away.
Compare that scenario to a bunch of grapes: The pancrease releases a huge surge of insulin as soon as it sees the sugar, blunting the glucose before it ever has a chance to build up, then all this insulin circulates around with little to do.
Thanks for your contribution, tatertot. I would add that I also tried Dr. Bernstein’s approach to diabetes (high fat, high protein, very little carb) and my sugar went to the roof. Eventually, I reintroduced white rice in my diet and it helped. I was somewhat puzzled, if I eat no carb, what is it that elevates my sugar? Now I know better.
Why limit the seasonings (mostly fats) anyway? That makes sense from a 1990s “Avoid fat at all costs!” perspective, but why would paleos do this? Normally they’re all about fat and protein. Why not potatoes, a reasonable amount of coconut oil/butter/etc and a little meat and greens on the side?
Most paleos are totally aghast when their buddies try this! This is not paleo, although paleo people have turned to it because paleo failed them. No paleo guru has embraced the potato hack–they are still stuck on high-fat, low-carb. They will have to change when their minions try the potato hack and start to question their dogma!
Paul Jaminet of Perfect Health Diet is the closest to paleo that has embraced the tater. The rest are noticing. This is Jaminet’s take on the Potato Hack:
“…the Potato Diet like all highly restrictive diets is very effective for weight loss in the short term. It is probably better than many restrictive diets because potatoes are a healthy, nourishing food, and have relatively few toxins (thus we classify them as a ‘safe starch? and recommend their regular consumption). They also have a lot of an especially beneficial form of fiber.
Eating potatoes only is a lipid deficient diet, and this will have negative effects within a few months. Chris Voigt was on his Potato Diet for only 60 days and his serum cholesterol dropped from 214 mg/dl (perfect) to 147 mg/dl (severely deficient). This impairs immune function and over time would have negative effects. The Irish were famously healthy on a diet high in potatoes, but they drank large quantities of milk daily and that rounded out the diet, making it healthy.
If one were to stick to the Potato Diet for an extended period of time, two months as Chris Voigt did or longer, nutrient deficiencies would develop and the Potato Dieter would become increasingly hungry. The effect of malnutrition on hunger is discussed in our new edition (chapter 17). This would eventually make the diet intolerable.
So I would suggest that the best strategy is to eat a nutritionally balanced diet from the beginning ? at a minimum, potatoes and milk, like the Irish, but preferably also with eggs, seafood, organ meats, and vegetables ? and use intermittent fasting and conscious effort to achieve a calorie restriction similar to that achieved on the Potato Diet. This more nourishing diet is likely to be equally effective for weight loss and healthier in the long run.
Of course, with those changes the Potato Diet becomes an implementation of the Perfect Health Diet!”
Thanks. I was about to ask if the paleo gurus were really borrowing an idea from the McDougals. If so, what would happen next? The “30 Bananas a Day” hack over at Mark’s Daily Apple? DurianRider’s Youtube response would be epic ;-)
Mark’s Daily Apple is certainly ground-zero for the recent explosion, but the potato hack has reached every corner of dieting from vegan to low-carb. I have a feeling it will be dissected for years.
Ah yes that would be epic.
ICF, LOL!! Well, yeah, technically bananas are Paleo (along with Fruits in general). Maybe Mark should do a Banana hack and he can do it under the pseudonym “AppleRider”, or something like that :)
My vote goes to BananaRider.
Oh Darnit..i am going to have to start distrusting my own instincts, because i didn’t realize it was a trend.
I had been vegan on and off for much of my adult life..as a youngster i ran distance and track, sometimes 15 miles a day, and would be lectured by my family physician about how i needed to watch myself, because i would get fat eating carbs..have been paranoid about carbs ever since…(BTW that was not the greatest thing to tell a self conscious teenage girl.)
Okay so i wasn’t eating enough, my energy level wasn’t great because i was not getting enough calories… I have been RAIL thin most of my life very active…about a month ago, i actually got talked into trying the paleo diet , but after a few days and it made me sick ..literally. My husband got sick too,put his foot down and said we are stopping this nonsense RIGHT NOW! I dutifully went out and stocked the cupboard with pasta, potatoes and cereal..i used to eat potatoes every morning for breakfast..Didn’t realize this was a new trend…darnnit have to switch
Love the Article, love the video, you know I <33 you, and errbody here. Had some computer troubles. Had to build (lil bit of a pc enthusiast) anotha one, and get all settled. I should be payin attention more again. Pretty sure anyway…
One word I have to say about potato’s! “Paraquat’!!( or any other pesticide or herbercide used to grow them! Only eat organic :-)
I am confused by all the info here, esp. in the comments. Are we understanding now that the potato hack is a good thing??? Is there seriously no re-bound binge after doing this from restricting yourself to just one food???
I think Matt just want to poke some fun at the newest paleo craze, but on closer examination, I think we can all see it’s not an ill-conceived, crash diet. The potato was specifically chosen for several reasons, namely, that is had been villified by the low-carb zealots of paleo, and specifically for it’s high GI, resistant starch, satiety effects.
A pure starch diet, eaten to satiety, is low in calories and high in metabolic boosting effects. When done so with potatoes, say, versus rice, you are getting a complete food supply with almost all nutrients. Plug ‘3 pounds of potato’ in a nutrition data calculator and compare to ‘3 pounds of rice’ or sweet potato–amazing differences!
When one gets past the fact that the potato diet is not the cabbage soup diet, one’s fear of carbs disappears along with 5-10 pounds of stubborn fat. The potato diet is the healthiest ‘crash diet’ there is. Of course, the elephant in the room is ‘why should you need a crash diet?’ And, I agree, you shouldn’t, but so many people find paleo and Matt Stone because they are overweight and would literally kill themselves to lose the last 10. Now you know how to do it! Eat potatoes for 1-2 weeks, nothing else, and the weight disappears. Eating sensibly afterwards keeps the weight off. The potato diet also serves as a ‘reset button’ for holiday weight gain and for when life gets in the way. Using the potato diet to keep your weight within a 5-10 pound band is not yo-yo’ing, it’s smart. Much better than yo-yo’ing with 30-50 pounds like so many people are doing. The first thing, though, is learn to eat right!
So who here is tempted to try the potato diet now?!
I hope every paleo, low-carber tries this. The potato hack is soooo not paleo, it’s hilarious!
Once I realized I could lose fat eating potatoes, it made me question all of the paleo dogma, least of which was that carbs were the source of all weight problems.
Languishing for years to lose the last 5 or 10 is what’s keeping most dieters from reaching their full potential as a metabolic powerhouse like we should be striving for. Having a tool as powerful as the potato hack at your beck and call makes one much more open to experimenting with ways to increase metabolism.
I can stand maybe one badly microwaved potato per week.
No thanks, Nola. It sounds horrible.
I posted a farewell in the comment section of the current post, Nutrition Comparison. It may not have been the best place to put it since that post is not generating a lot of comments, but I put it there since it is the current post. I just want to make sure you see it so you don’t wonder where I’m at since I won’t be commenting anymore.
The “potato hack” literally sounds like torture. Now if you were smothering them in butter, whipping them up with raw milk and butter for mashed potatoes, I could consider it. But even then, it still sounds torturous. I’d rather eat, drink and be merry.
I have done it. For about 6 weeks. It is not that bad. You have to be creative though. With a little butter, garlic, pepper and onion you can make a delicious potato stew. Also, baked potato is excellent with sour cream (or kefir) containing a bit of crushed garlic, chili and dill.
Tater tot, have you seen people do something similar to the Mini-Macdougal diet where you use a few different starches like lentils, squash, etc on top of using potatoes to add variety but keep the high starch component. What is your view on using other starches?
Speaking of McDougal, this reminds me of the diet from Chris McDougalls Born to Run where he recommends high starch and then eat a bunch of meat intermittently.
I’ve seen people try. It never works, though. I’ve tried, and watched people try, with rice, sweet potatoes, and squash. The trouble with the other starches is they have such different make-ups from white potato that they: a. don’t supply necessary proteins, b. are more calorie dense, leading to overeating, c. are not nearly as satiating as potato, leading to overeating and/or stopping the diet short.
It’s very easy to eat 2500kcal of rice, almost impossible to eat that much potato.
I have never tried with lentils.
As part of a real food eating plan, all starches are great! For a mono-food weightloss hack, terrible.
After reading about it on Free the Animal I sorta tried it – but I didn’t have enough potatoes handy and I was too hungry even with a tsp of fat per meal. I don’t think I made it through a day. Can’t imagine trying it unless it was with a lot of dairy. Which probably defeats the purpose. Potatoes smothered in melted Havarti…nummy.
With potatoes, you also need to be concerned with acrylamide. Fried or baked have the highest levels.
Boiled has almost none. What I do is boil 5 pounds up at once. Then I use them for home or American fries, mashed, or just heat em back up and top with a bit of ketchup.
Potatoes contain vitamin B6, could be part of why they are so good?
Didn’t I read in a past post about doing a Friday potato binge? Would it be better to eat for heat most of the week then do a 1 or 2 day potato only? Or would the end result be the same?
I am coming for 95 degree temps and it is very discuraging to gain all this weight.
I tried the Ray Peat stuff and gained a lot of water wieght which made me feel worse.
For some of us, sadly, eating to increase metabolism causes weight gain. I have to be extremely mindful of what I eat. I had full-blown metabolic syndrome a few years back with fatty liver disease and hypothyroid.
Eating low carb Primal Blueprint led to almost 100lbs weightloss in 6 months, but also left me cold and still a bit flabby. Body temps were 95-96. Eating Peat style causes me serious liver issues as fatty liver disease may never be truly gone.
What I have found, is eating sensibly to satiety with several servings of starch (potatoes, rice, plantains) daily have gotten me to 98.6 without weight gain, in fact, my weight is way more stable with a steady supply of starch on board.
Here’s a good plan to try: Try to figure your calorie needs with an online calculator, then using a nutrition calculator, come up with a few menus in that calorie range consisting of meat, starch, fruit and veggies. Eat almost the same thing every day for a couple weeks and see what happens. If you are gaining weight, tweak the menu to reduce some extra fat or meat. If you are starving, add some extra starch or meat.
The only way to figure your needs is to try it on yourself. Calorie need and count calculators are extremely inaccurate, but a good place to start.
Have you had your thyroid (TSH/T4) checked? That is more important than diet, IMO. Get thyroid right and eat starch every day and you should be well on the path to eating for heat!
Thanks for the reply. The only test for Thyroid my Dr did was TSH and it was normal. I think that my issue is more a Liver T3 conversion thing anyway and no Dr’s do that test.
I went from high carb/low fat/long distance runner/adreniline to low-carb/high fat.
My sleeping got better, but now perfect and I still urinate in the night(which I have done since I was a child). If I can just get a full night sleep then I know I am on to something. I have never slept for 8 hours straight.
I have tried to go without drinking at night, but I am very dry mouthed and find I need a few sips of something.
I see from the Diet recovery book that I should get regular meal times, but is a night snack OK? I find I am really stressed if I do not eat something before bed. Probably contibutes to my need for fluid and urinating at night.
I have tried the Ray Peat stuff and it does make me less stressed with all the sugar, but I am doing better with sleep once I added potatoes to my food consumption.
Yeah a night snack is great. Probably mandatory for you.
So Matt it’s been 5 years since you posted this article, Have you actually tried the Potato Hack yet? Or are you still talking about something you have never even tried yet? Just curious, as I see so many people on the net talking shit about things they don’t actually know about.
Yeah I got cold as shit, starting peeing like crazy, couldn’t sleep, and quickly gave up.
It’s just a mono diet. All mono diets cause weight loss fairly reliably. Potatoes, bananas, beef, rice, liquid diets, etc.
i’ve been givng the potato hack a try during the day, while still having regular meals at night with dessert. it’s great to get so hungry for dinner and enjoy it so much.
at work, a plain baked potato with salt every four hours keeps my energy level stable so i can focus and get more done. the only other way i’ve been able to achieve that is by not eating at all. and i can tell that i’m becoming less reactive to carbs.
Although I have had awesome success with eating just potatoes to lose weight, I find that eating potatoes daily has helped me keep the weight off, stabilize hunger, and stabilize blood sugar.
I usually skip breakfast, eat a big, plain, baked potato and a can of sardines for lunch, then a normal supper with at least a serving of starch such as potatoes or rice.
sounds like a good plan. trying to eat just potatoes gave me insomnia and extreme hunger, which went away when i added the regular meal.
and i could tell that i needed more protein when i ate a whole can of sardines before getting any of them on the plate. usually i have to cut them up and mix them with something else.
If you ever play around with nutrition calculators, an excellent low-calorie day is 2 lbs of potatoes, 2 cans of sardines (in water), and 1 yellow bell pepper. Comes in under 1400 calories and the nutrition is outstanding.
Think of it like this 2 big potatoes and a can of sardines for lunch, same for supper, munch on a bell pepper throughout the day. Make one of the cans of sardines a can of oysters and it’s even better. Make both cans real fish or oysters and you really got a good thing going there!
i may give that a try next week. nice that none of it has to be refrigerated. thanks!
watch your back, rice.
well, i’ve been hacking for 3 days now. My AM temps are over 98.0 -this is a first time this has happend for more than one day in over 2 years that I have been tracking. My moods are pretty stable and I don’t get super hungry or crashes. I have been eating for heat, but am tired of the spare tire covering my entire body. I will keep doing this for a few more days and maybe cycle on and off.
Post back with results! I think if Matt would have given this a harder look, he’d have seen the beauty in it.
The Potato Hack breaks people’s midsets that carbs were the cause of their problems, it provides ample energy, nutrition, and satiety on mimimal calories, and if used as a very short-term fat loss diet, it helps people get over the weight-gain caused by ‘eating for heat’.
When I first came across Stone/Roddy/Peat (not that they are the same thing) the first critique I saw was “I’m gaining weight”. Weight re-gain is huge turn-off to the formerly obese and cause for panic! What the world needs is a diet that creates an energy surplus and hot metabolism while not gaining weight uncontrollably. “Eating for Heat” until you gain 5-10 pounds, then performing a Potato Hack to get back down to where you want to be seems a good compromise. Upon resumption of Eating for Heat, you can take some pause to figure out why you are gaining too quickly on that style of eating. I don’t see this as yo-yo’ing.
HI Tatertot-I’ve been reading all of your posts on various forums. Very encouraging. I will keep posting here about my progress. Today my am temps were 98.35 (average of 3). WOW that’s never happened to me before! I usually temp at 97.73 or lower no matter what I ate.
I am eating mostly potatoes 3xs/day with a little fat or condiment-baked, panfried, mashed, soup you name it. I am including a small amount of protein one meal of the day. Coffee with c&s a couple times of day. sometimes a piece of chocolate/spoon of icecream . My belly is almost flat again and pants are a bit looser. Nothing magical-just appetite control and satiety. My moods are still even. Seems to be working-I have a weekend coming up so that will be interesting.
My first posts ever were in this forum thread, page 13:
The guy who started this, Otzi, has become a good friend of mine. He has a lot of good ideas on how to use the Potato hack, as well. This is a thread he started around Christmas:
The first time I tried it, I was coming off of 2 years of low carb/zero starch, and about day 2 I was like ‘what’s that strange feeling in my toes? Oh, it’s warmth!’
It’s obvious that you don’t need sugar or starch to survive, but man, it makes a difference when your starch stores are topped off!
When you go back to your normal eating routine, make sure you are eating potatoes every day, if you can. They are a way better food than rice or sweet potatoes in terms of protein and nutrients. Plus they are very filling.
What I found after adding a couple potatoes a day, my weight initially went up about 2-3 pounds over my previous weight, then stayed there, and has stayed rock-steady for about 6 months now. I think the reason is that you have a lot more bulk in your bowels that weighs a bit more, but it’s not fat!
My first posts ever were in this forum thread, page 13:
The guy who started this, Otzi, has become a good friend of mine. He has a lot of good ideas on how to use the Potato hack, as well. This is a thread he started around Christmas:
Hi tater tot- I may have to join MDA just to converse with others lol. Thx for the links-Marthat at MDS is having tremendous success with the PHD. This is day 6 and my morning temps oral past 2 days were 98.48. Fabulous . I’m warm all the time. I’ve even had social dining situations where there were no potato options for two days last week ( 1 meal per day) and my temps were still great. My energy levels don’t fall anymore late afternoon and my dance classes in the eves are more enjoyable because if that. I know I’m losing weight y the fit of my clothes- I never weigh myself too depressing. That’s for the encouragement.
Thanks for the encouragement. Edit
I have not been able to lose weight for 2 years no matter what. Really nothing worked. I was classic salad eating over exercising hypothyroid female for about 13 years and then post appy surgery in 2009, I just gave it all up. Tired of being tired. Started etf past year. :0)
How’s it going now? I started today, with a few rice cakes thrown in.
Still going-Day 9. The weekend-didn’t overeat -still ate potatoes for b&l, added different foods for dinner. Still feeling good, even moods and energy. I am supplementing vit a and vit d. Eating about 90 % potatos with some carne for dinner with potatoes of course. My temps decreased though-days 8&9 my morning temps were consistently 97.9. Could be becasue I am going to get the montly visit this week. Otherwise still going strong. My pants are looser this week! So the whole body spare tire is decreasing AND am not experienceing hunger AND getting reasonable nutrition. I’m going to keep going as far as it will take me. Good luck Tierney!
FYI I am looking to keep my temps up, and therefore my metabolism stoked, but still lose 25 pounds. I have 20 more to go. this has been impossible for me to do for 2 years.
End of week 2. Still going. Definitely need some protein in the evening, but otherwise eating only potatoes for bfast and lunch. Weekends are more of a challenge. I had pizza, sushi, popcorn over the past 2 days for dinner but managed to eat potatoes for bfast&lunch. My energy is good and temps are still in the 98+ (except my monthly visitor which lowers temps to 97.73 again) Interesting note I had no pms. Lots of pluses about this-easy to prepare meals, low cost, lose weight (definitely lost some my bellyis flat). Can get boring though. Eh.
Final update for anyone wo cares-I made it 3.5 weeks. I just couldn’t eat only potatoes for dinner so I started eating a pretty normal meal but including potatoes for last 1.5 weeks. I stopped completely because my body temps were diving into the low 97s. The first week I have 98++ temps, then the last 1.5 weeks my temps were very low. This was weird. I though perhaps the Maffetone elliptical excercise was doing it but now i know know its not. I went off tow days ago, started eating milk lots of oj and fruit a little ice cream normal foods sorta Peaty style still exercising Matthetone method and temps back into the 98+++ range again.
How much weight did you lose? Were there any other effects that you noticed? What has the post mono-ish diet period been like?
I know this is a really old conversation now, but wondering about doing the potato hack. I’ve recently started making potato fries in coconut oil. Would that work for the potato hack? Or will it only work with no fat?
Also, breastfeeding my 10month old – would potatoes be enough to keep up my milk supply?
Only with no fat.