Would you eat nothing but plain potatoes for a week to drastically lose weight? The potato diet is a popular diet that says just by eating potatoes for 3 days can help you lose weight drastically. But does it really work or is it just another tall claim? Lets find out!
What Is The Potato Diet?
Who would have thought that potatoes were a diet hack? They are fried, topped with cheese, mixed with butter, and have hundreds of other delicious variations. But in 2016, the potato diet emerged as fad. Tim Steele, writer of “Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified” calls potatoes the “best diet pill ever invented”.
Basically, for five days you have to eat nothing but potatoes and this will allegedly help you lose 1 pound a day. There isn’t much science to back up these claims, but we have collected what little science there is to under this fad better.
There have been other writers who too have professed the efficiency of this diet hack. Penn Jillette, the author of “Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear” claimed that he dropped 18 pounds in the first 2 weeks of this diet.
Sound too good to be true? Lets check out the facts.
The Science Behind The Potato Diet
Many popular diets have some kind of nutritional backing or scientific evidence to support their claims. However, very little studies have been done on the potato diet, maybe because this isn’t the best option to lose weight.
Science says that we should be ingesting 2500 calories per day for men and 2000 calories per day for women. With the potato diet you have to eat 2 to 5 pounds of potatoes per day. While this might sound like a lot of potatoes, they only equal out to 530 to 1300 calories.
As long as you are consuming less calories than the daily calorie intake you are required, you will end up losing weight as your body will start to burn stored fat to meet energy requirements. By this logic, the potato diet can work.
Another interesting fact about potatoes is that they have a chemical called proteinase inhibitor 2 which curbs hunger by slowing down the process of digestion. A study was done on mice which saw that the mice treated with this chemical started eating less food, hence, they lost more weight.
On the flip side, low-calorie diets slow down your metabolism and then gradually start tapering off muscle mass. This can be a turn off, because the goal is to lose weight not to go completely skinny. You might also gain all of the weight you have lost with this diet as soon as you go back to your usual diet.
Meaning, once you start, there is no going back. Therefore to ensure the losses are permanent with this potato diet, youll have to make lasting changes to your usual diet once you are done with this week long restrictive diet. Changing your lifestyle always has positive benefits, you can boost your productivity or even take control of your mental health even in lockdown conditions.
The 7 Commandments of Potato Diet
Majority of the details related to the Potato diet exist online and in books. As we stated above, there are few scientific studies and professional advice on the best way to carry out the potato diet. For this reason, we will be using Tim Steele’s 7 commandments from his book.
- 1: This restrictive diet lasts for 3 to 5 days in which you can only eat plain and cooked potatoes.
- 2: As we stated above, you have to eat between 2 to 5 pounds of potatoes each day to have a calorie deficit of your daily intake.
- 3: Avoid using any and all toppings because these heavenly sauces are loaded with fats and calories and would defeat the purpose of doing this diet.
- 4: Only use salt in dire situations. Meaning, you are now fed up with eating potatoes and need salt else the next piece will not go down your throat. If you get through the first week, you are bound to build next level self-control considering how difficult it is eat to only potatoes.
- 5: Control your drinks, avoid sugary drinks. Stick to water, tea or coffee; this does not include espressos and Starbucks, only simple tea and coffee is allowed.
- 6: You’ll be running low on calories, you have to avoid heavy workouts. So conserve your energy by just doing light exercises or walking.
- 7: Do not take any dietary supplements if it is not essential to your health or has been prescribed by a physician. Also, do not self-medicate during this diet.
Spud Fit Challenge is another popular variation of the potato diet created by Andrew Taylor. His diet plan is much more lenient and allows you to use sweet potatoes, minimal herbs, even condiments that are fat free. The Spud Fit Challenge is much easier to do vs Steele’s version.
However, both diet plans greatly prohibit the use of frying potatoes and processed versions of potatoes.
A Sample Potato Diet Plan
Before we look at a sample game plan, here are the type of potatoes that you are allowed to eat.
- Baked Potatoes
- Raw Potatoes
- Steamed or Boiled Potatoes
- Hash brown broiled in the oven
- Air Fried French Fries
- Oven Backed French fries
Remember to avoid all kinds of sugary beverages and to stick to water, teas and coffee.
Avoid these potato variations:
- Potato chips
- Tater tots
- Deep fried French fries
- Sweet Potatoes (depends on whose diet plan you are following)
However this all depends on the potato diet variation you are following. Like the Spud Fit Challenge is lenient and allows more versions of potatoes that other diets prohibit. Try sticking with just white potatoes, which is what all these diet experts claim to work best.
Limit your salt intake and there is absolutely no usage of toppings and condiments. Those are filled with calories and fat and defeat the purpose of this restrictive diet.
This is a three day plan that you can start off with, and once you get the hang of it, you can change it up anyway you want keeping the rules in mind.
A Sample Diet Plan
You will be eating about 10 to 15 potatoes depending on the size, 10 large or 15 medium ones. This should equal out to 5 pounds of potatoes. 5 pounds of potatoes equal to 1,300 calories.
Breakfast: Oven backed French fries with a cup of coffee
Snack: Boil 3 potatoes and then eat them cold
Lunch: Oven bake 3 plain potatoes
Snack: Same snack as above, boil 3 potatoes and eat them cold.
Dinner: Steam 3 potatoes and garnish with just a pinch of salt.
Breakfast: Oven baked hash brown with a cup of coffee, no milk.
Snack: Boil 2 potatoes and eat them cold
Lunch: Steam 2 potatoes and garnish with a pinch of salt
Snack: Boil 2 potatoes and eat them cold
Dinner: Oven bake 2 potatoes
Breakfast: Boil 2 potatoes with a cup of tea
Snack: Boil 1 potato and eat it cold
Lunch: Boil 2 potatoes and mash them with serve chicken broth
Snack: Slice up 1 raw potatoes
Dinner: Oven bake some French fries with a dash of salt.
The potato diet claims that if you eat only potatoes in the variations mentioned above, you can lose a pound a day. This is a restrictive diet, means you are ingesting calories much lower than needed. Also, potatoes have certain chemicals that slow down metabolism and make you eat less.
However, this isn’t the best option to lose weight, see restrictive diet can develop unhealthy eating habits which can cause damage to your body in the long run. While many have claimed that the potato diet is a miracle weight loss diet, there isn’t much scientific evidence to back up these claims.