About 5 1/2 years ago Chris Voigt, executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, decided to live on nothing but potatoes for 60 days.
He did this to make a point.
The paleo and low carb movement have demonized potatoes…
…and Chris wanted to show that potatoes are nutrient dense and actually have a positive impact on health.
He wound up losing 21 pounds (he wasn’t even trying to lose weight).
Not only did Chris lose weight, his HDL, triglycerides and fasting glucose levels improved dramatically.
Shortly after his experiment…in late 2010…the butterfly effect began.
Richard Nikoley was the first major paleo blogger (as far as I recall) who challenged the paleo diet rule of avoiding potatoes.
Richard led the charge, but a guy by the name of Tim Steele began commenting on Richard’s site about “Resistant Starch” in potatoes.
Some time after that…
Richard and Tim teamed up on podcasts discussing how resistant starch makes the potato an incredible food for gut health and weight loss.
Tim eventually started his own blog in 2014.
Tim has finally released a book on the subject of using potatoes for rapid fat loss.
The Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified (Kindle)
This blog post is s summary of this awesome book, and a few tips and tweaks I’m currently using.
Before I get to that, time for a music break.
Here’s a good 1990 track from the Manchester band, the Happy Mondays.
The most awesome thing about the Happy Mondays was that they hada band member that did nothing but dance.
His name is Bez…and you know you want to party with this guy!
Okay, back to the Potato Hack.
A Brief Summary: The potato hack is a short-term 3 to 5 day diet where you eat nothing but potatoes. You can expect to lose around 1/2 to 1 pound of fat per DAY over 3 to 5 days. Repeat this 3 to 5 day hack each week until you reach your target weight.
It’s not uncommon to drop 10-15 pounds of body fat in one month following this protocol.
We are talking body fat loss, not just glycogen and water (like many other diets).
The Simple Rules:
- Plan on eating just potatoes for 3-5 days.
- Eat 2-5 pounds of potatoes each day.
- No other foods allowed (this includes butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon bits).
- Salt is allowed, but not encouraged.
- Drink when thirsty: coffee, tea, and water only.
- Heavy exercise is discouraged; light exercise and walking are encouraged.
- Take your normal medications, but dietary supplements will not be needed.
I know what you might be thinking?
A potato-only diet won’t cover all of your nutritional needs.
Tim covers this concern in great detail in The Potato Hack.
I highly encourage you to pick up Tim’s book on Kindle, to see how all of this works (it’s only $6 right now).
Note: Tim also follows my High Carb Fat Loss diet and mixes in the occasional potato hack.
…you are only doing this in 3-5 day stretches.
Lot of people throughout history have proven that potatoes can sustain human life for months or even years at a time.
Ireland comes to mind.
[My grandfather was from Ireland, and I still need to make a trip to this beautiful country.]
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.
In part 2, I’ll cover some tips I’ve learned after a couple of rounds of the potato hack. I’ll also talk about how to do this if you are strength training, the tastiest ways to prepare the potatoes, etc…