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The Potato Diet....criticisms and metabolic theory

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  • Owly, I see your point.

    Originally posted by Pubmed
    Average weight loss was 10.8+/-4.0 kg, with an average of 32% of total weight lost as lean mass.
    Does that effect remain the same in other populations, not just post-menopausal women?

    Comment


    • All valid points but buried deep in the monster tater thread I mentioned something that's perhaps worth repeating here..

      See, one 'method' and I don't remember the name of it as such but I tried it myself years ago and it does work, is a deliberate yo-yo effect where you starve yourself for a week, then stuff yourself for a week, then starve again, and so on, for 4 to 6 weeks.

      Why?

      Because even without lifting any weights you put muscle mass on during the over-eating phase (believed due to testosterone production among other things), and during the starving phase you lose muscle - but you lose more fat.

      The result is a net gain of lean muscle tissue and a net loss of body fat.

      Yes, the "impossible" Holy Grail.

      Would I recommend it as a long term thing? No, as most people DO have the willpower to eat too much, virtually doubling their calories, while very few people have the willpower to halve their calories for a whole week...

      Doing that yo-yo you do burn fat, and you do lose muscle, and you do gain fat, and you do gain muscle. The secret is how the net result is more muscle, less fat.

      So to me it's no biggie if I lose some lean mass, as it's a short-term hack to dig into my belly fat and I know with some whey protein and German volume training I can rebuild that.

      The alternative is an ongoing calorie deficit that could last for months, with the very real possibility of fat creeping on, rather than off.

      After all, that's how I got this belly in the first place

      So yeah, some short-term extremism to push things back a bit is no problem. The sense of control is a pleasant change from just drifting along 'doing the right things' while your belly grows ever bigger.

      Does that mean we're following a cult? We're the Potato People?

      Nah.

      For me at least, I know I can rebuild muscle rapidly. If anything I'm deliberately smaller than I could be, as to maintain mass I used to eat like a pig, always seeking out protein 6X a day and all that.

      I can't be asked now, I just want to get rid of this belly.



      AC

      Comment


      • Originally posted by AlanC View Post
        One point worth considering is homeostasis.

        If you're just going about your normal activities then once protein resumes there's no logical reason why your body won't swiftly pack muscle back on again to return where you were muscle-wise. In the meantime, you've burnt fat.

        So why not do the potato thing, then boost protein later?

        Of course you can also ask 'why not just do extra protein now?' but that ruins part of the strength of the thing, which is the simplicity and appetite-killing effect.

        My point is that muscle loss, IF it's occurring and my measurements don't seem to support that to any significant extent, is hardly some permanent tragedy. In bodybuilding it's well-accepted that you'll lose some muscle mass while cutting. So?

        Fact is, we're seeing tummy measurements going down. Works for me.



        AC
        Perhaps, but you would have to prove that to me. Outside of beginner gains most of what I read indicates it takes about a month to put 1-2lbs of lean tissue on the body. So if you lost 14lbs eating tators....the question of how much of that coulda been lean mass is very telling. It is by far the most important question for me. If half of that is lean then your talking 3-7 months of work just to get that back. Oh, and during that time eat at a caloric surplus to produce said muscle.

        Comment


        • One thing I noticed, is that was a 20 week study also. 10 times longer than the tator fast. And many ppl only can do tators for a few days to a week and not the 14 days. Would be nice to know the progression of lean mass lost.

          I also couldn't tell, it looks like they lumped everyone into the same "average lean mass lost". I would like to have seen a breakdown of each. I know for me, I have once again started exercising, both ST and tabata. So I can't really say my results are due to any one thing, it is a combination of things that started when I started eating tators.
          Last edited by gopintos; 11-14-2012, 08:58 AM.
          65lbs gone and counting!!

          Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

          Comment


          • Originally posted by pklopp View Post
            For my part, if I have to choose between evidence, and belief, I am going to go for the evidence.
            Don't expect the followers from the "EAT MOAR TATERS!" cult to follow you on that! Weight loss is more like religion to most people, evidence comes in secondary, and perhaps not even so!

            Personally I had hoped to lure some of the tater-cult followers over to my "EAT MOAR EGGS!” cult, but so far I seem to be alone on that track, even if the egg diet is far more evidence based, with sufficient amount of protein and calories and also cycling in carbs in form of potatoes from time to time.

            Eating only potatoes will work well for some dieters though, especially for those that are very fat or obese as also water fasting does. But it is NOT a good way to strip off the last layer of body fat for leaner dieters because there will not be enough proteins and usually there will not be enough calories either, so you will lose weight too fast, unfortunately too much of this loss will come from lean body mass (=muscles and organs) and not enough from fat. Sad but true…
            Last edited by Gorbag; 11-14-2012, 09:04 AM.
            "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

            - Schopenhauer

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
              Personally I had hoped to lure some of the tater-cult followers over to my "EAT MOAR EGGS!” cult, but so far I seem to be alone on that track,
              I have a one-cult track mind.
              65lbs gone and counting!!

              Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

              Comment


              • Originally posted by gopintos View Post
                One thing I noticed, is that was a 20 week study also. 10 times longer than the tator fast. And many ppl only can do tators for a few days to a week and not the 14 days. Would be nice to know the progression of lean mass lost.

                I also couldn't tell, it looks like they lumped everyone into the same "average lean mass lost". I would like to have seen a breakdown of each. I know for me, I have once again started exercising, both ST and tabata. So I can't really say my results are due to any one thing, it is a combination of things that started when I started eating tators.
                But you are also not doing the extended potato feast thing, if I've read you correctly, but have adjusted your ratios instead to include more carbs (including potatoes) and less fat. This likely means that you are not eating at the same sort of protein deficit as someone who's eating only potatoes for a couple of weeks. That's the same sort of thing that makes people accuse Pklopp from not doing the diet right--I don't think you can extrapolate from your results to someone doing an extended period of potatoes only. I would guess that you're getting more protein than you would if you ate nothing but potatoes at the same caloric intake as you have now on a more varied diet.

                Also, adding strength training and tabatas will make your need for protein more imperative, not less, as you are doing damage (positive, but still damage) that your body needs to repair. If you are not eating sufficient protein, then you will end up in a catabolic state that will eventually result in more loss of lean mass, not less. That's the reason that a lot of serious lean marathoners look like beef jerky--they're low on fat, sure, but they've also ripped down all their muscle mass.

                If you are not isolating variables--if you're not just changing to eating only potatoes, or just adding more exercise, or whatever--then it's hard to attribute your new progress to just one thing. I'd guess that like me, you do better with a little more clean carbohydrate in your diet and lose weight better that way, especially combined with fitness. That's not some magical property of potatoes; it's a response to more of the right activity (strength training and HIIT, both notable for their positive metabolic effects) with the right nutrition. Potatoes aren't what's magically making you lose weight. The combination of clean starch and good exercise is.

                And of course that study doesn't look at the potato "protocol" time window because that's not what it was about--it looked at the effect of protein restriction on lean mass loss in dieters, and most good-quality dietary studies are done over a long time period because in the short term, there are a lot of confounding variables including normal human weight fluctuation over shorter time periods. To get statistically valid results, generally you need to look at things over a longer time window.

                I would be interested to see a well-designed, peer-reviewed, scientifically-controlled research study on something like the potato diet as compared to other alternatives, particularly with long-term follow up to see what the rebound effects might be, what body fat percentage impact it had, and so on. I strongly doubt that there's anything more magic here than satiety creating caloric restriction, the same way that those konjac powder capsules create satiety by filling the stomach, plus the monotony of eating the same food for days having a suppressant effect on the appetite, but I could be wrong.

                However, without credible research to back it up, I'm not buying the notion that potatoes are anything more than a filling food. With the attendant risks around the loss of lean body mass, I think I will stick with eating a more moderate and balanced diet. At 20% bodyfat now, I'd prefer to get leaner, not simply lighter, and I don't want to lose my hard-earned muscle for the sake of the scale.
                “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                Owly's Journal

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Owly View Post
                  But you are also not doing the extended potato feast thing, if I've read you correctly, but have adjusted your ratios instead to include more carbs (including potatoes) and less fat. This likely means that you are not eating at the same sort of protein deficit as someone who's eating only potatoes for a couple of weeks. That's the same sort of thing that makes people accuse Pklopp from not doing the diet right--I don't think you can extrapolate from your results to someone doing an extended period of potatoes only. I would guess that you're getting more protein than you would if you ate nothing but potatoes at the same caloric intake as you have now on a more varied diet.
                  True. And that is why I should have stayed on the STFU couch. But the thing is tators is meant to be a short term thing, which I did my short term tator experiment and now I am done. But I do add in a day or two of tators now and then, so I feel like my experience is still valid. Just cuz I am not doing it now, doesnt mean I can't chime in on what my experience was when I did do it

                  But yes, I did tators only at the beginning of October, then switched some things around, so I can not say that my experience in all of October was just from tators, it only started with tators. I can say though, that after I did my days of tators, when I measured my various tummy areas, I had inches lost after just a few days, most noticeably the measurement that is 3 inches below my belly button. And I also lost pounds like crazy pounds. And I was coming off of a fast so I do not think it was anything like water weight. I would have thought just the opposite, that maybe by adding carbs I should have seen an increase on the scale because I always gain after a fast. And once I resumed eating, those inches have stayed off as well as continuing to lose more weight/inches.

                  When I did my tator days, I was just starting to feel like exercising again. And then on October 23, I stepped it up to what I am doing now.
                  65lbs gone and counting!!

                  Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
                    Don't expect the followers from the "EAT MOAR TATERS!" cult to follow you on that! Weight loss is more like religion to most people, evidence comes in secondary, and perhaps not even so!

                    Personally I had hoped to lure some of the tater-cult followers over to my "EAT MOAR EGGS!” cult, but so far I seem to be alone on that track, even if the egg diet is far more evidence based, with sufficient amount of protein and calories and also cycling in carbs in form of potatoes from time to time.

                    Eating only potatoes will work well for some dieters though, especially for those that are very fat or obese as also water fasting does. But it is NOT a good way to strip off the last layer of body fat for leaner dieters because there will not be enough proteins and usually there will not be enough calories either, so you will lose weight too fast, unfortunately too much of this loss will come from lean body mass (=muscles and organs) and not enough from fat. Sad but true…
                    I have to check out your thread, but my wife will probably kill me as pre-potato fast experimentation my go to meal was an 8 egg fritatta, with, gasp, additional protein thrown in for good measure, as well as plenty of low carb veggies, ricotta cheese ... dammit, I'm making myself hungry.

                    My wife thinks I am crazy, but can't argue with my results, or my science, so she tolerates me. The same holds true for our extended family. Nevertheless, they are all concerned due to latent brainwashing from conventional nutrition-y advice about cholesterol, evils of saturated fats, etc.

                    -PK
                    My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

                    Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Owly View Post
                      I'd guess that like me, you do better with a little more clean carbohydrate in your diet and lose weight better that way, especially combined with fitness. That's not some magical property of potatoes; it's a response to more of the right activity (strength training and HIIT, both notable for their positive metabolic effects) with the right nutrition. Potatoes aren't what's magically making you lose weight. The combination of clean starch and good exercise is.
                      Yes for me, that is what I have discovered. I dont feel like tators are some kind of diet unicorn, but when eaten alone, there is something about them and their effects on me that can get things moving along again. And I just feel like for a day or two, or 3 or 4, or even 14, I will be okay and I will be in a better place than when I started. Yes there are other foods that could do the same thing, but now I already know that tators work this way for me. For my diet overall, they (they being the starch/carb whether it be rice, tators, sweet tators) were my missing link.

                      As far as the study, or any study, it would just be nice to know that you lose X amount of lean mass in X amount of time. That study did show us at the end of 20 weeks what you lose, but it would be nice to have something that showed that end of one week and end of 2 weeks, more in line with the tator hack.

                      So if all things were even and just a matter of applying averages, that is 20 weeks, or 10 times longer, so 30% mass loss would be 10 times more also. So 3% of your fat loss might be muscle loss in 2 weeks. So 14 days of tators, and 10 lbs lost, so .3lbs of muscle or organs and 9.7lbs of fat.

                      And someone said you can gain 1-2lbs of muscle per month. Seems like a viable option to get rid of over 9lbs of fat in 2 weeks. Then you still have 2 weeks to build .5-1lbs to make up for the .3 that you lost.

                      OK, I know y'all will rip that math apart. I am just typing outloud, since one was an average all I did was apply the same average & ratios, and I am quite certain it does not work that way and is not that easy. I am just guessing that the largest percentage of the lean mass loss would come towards the end of 20 weeks, and not at the beginning, making 2 weeks of tators an even better proposition.
                      Last edited by gopintos; 11-14-2012, 10:56 AM.
                      65lbs gone and counting!!

                      Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

                      Comment


                      • Just a quick response to the 'beginner's gain' thing, there's also the effect of having previously had larger muscle making it easier to regain that same level.

                        Technically it seems to be something to do with the connective tissue within the muscle having stretched, so it grows bigger easier the 2nd time around but yep, whatever the cause it's a real thing.

                        Again this is why things tend to be personal, because I wouldn't recommend this to a youngster still growing, a pregnant woman etc etc.

                        I should also add I quit my spud session this evening, as my brother in law came visiting with some hot spaghetti bolognese, so just another 3 day session.

                        Yeah I could have refused but then I'd have to explain the whole potato thing



                        AC

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by pklopp View Post
                          You may be confusing claims that potatoes are a complete protein, meaning that they are not deficient in any of the essential amino acids, with meaning that potatoes provide adequate levels of protein. While potatoes may very well be a source of complete protein, you have to eat onerous amounts of potatoes in order to eek out any semblance of a reasonable amount of protein.

                          According to the USDA, 1.5 kg of raw red potatoes is 1000 kcal with a pittance of 28g of protein for your trouble. Nearly 3.5 lbs. of food to yield 30g of protein? I cannot fathom the dietary contortions I would have to undergo in order to get 60g of protein while somehow stuffing myself with 7 lbs. of potatoes. Let's say I were to go crazy and think that 100g of protein might be appropriate for a 185 lb. reasonably active male to ingest ... that would imply eating 10 lbs. of potatoes, which I would more than likely not do due to sheer physical limitations. The net result of that is that I would be getting woefully inadequate protein.

                          -PK
                          You need to consider that while on a potato diet the body will waste no amino acids whatsoever through converting them into glucose.

                          Hence muscle maintenance is easy on the macronutrient ratios you describe.
                          F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

                          Comment


                          • I am not adding in tuna, eggs, or Indian food, diet coke..... and calling it a potato diet and then questioning other peoples results..... and guess what weight is coming off. Also started at a point that I had stalled at for over 2 year's getting down there with Primal/Paleo but then bouncing up 4-6kgs and down again but not getting under unless I did 3-4hrs a day exercise (bike, running etc).

                            Day 9 - 6kgs (13.2lbs) down - at least 1.5" off the waist as I need to drill new holes for the belt. Potatoes, white rice, Hot chili sauce, spring onions, chillies, chives, black tea, coffee, water, thats it focusing more on potatoes than white rice. Had one " cheat" night where I added half fillet of grilled fish mixed into a very bland potato soup....wont make that soup again.

                            Am I over Boiled Potatoes, yes I am... cant wait to have a nice big juice fillet steak and salad that will be this weekend.

                            No loss in energy, strength or fitness. Keeping up or excelling at pre potato activities. I over the moon with the weight loss, starting at 110.9kgs 6'2" and ~+20% BF I have plenty of muscle to spare and BF to consume, which may be different from the other boys who are doing a hacked PD. Been lighter suits the sports I do so dont mind dropping muscle mass, others may have different goals and thats ok. Be interesting to see if the weight stays off after this week as well and for how long. I let you know.

                            Interested if this is more to do with Dr Hays food combining theory's as well, havent read much on that but would make sense
                            "Times fun when you are having Flies" Kermit the frog

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by fat belly frog View Post
                              I am not adding in tuna, eggs, or Indian food, diet coke..... and calling it a potato diet and then questioning other peoples results..... and guess what weight is coming off. Also started at a point that I had stalled at for over 2 year's getting down there with Primal/Paleo but then bouncing up 4-6kgs and down again but not getting under unless I did 3-4hrs a day exercise (bike, running etc).

                              Day 9 - 6kgs (13.2lbs) down - at least 1.5" off the waist as I need to drill new holes for the belt. Potatoes, white rice, Hot chili sauce, spring onions, chillies, chives, black tea, coffee, water, thats it focusing more on potatoes than white rice. Had one " cheat" night where I added half fillet of grilled fish mixed into a very bland potato soup....wont make that soup again.

                              Am I over Boiled Potatoes, yes I am... cant wait to have a nice big juice fillet steak and salad that will be this weekend.

                              No loss in energy, strength or fitness. Keeping up or excelling at pre potato activities. I over the moon with the weight loss, starting at 110.9kgs 6'2" and ~+20% BF I have plenty of muscle to spare and BF to consume, which may be different from the other boys who are doing a hacked PD. Been lighter suits the sports I do so dont mind dropping muscle mass, others may have
                              Hey, long as your cool with muscle loss that's totally up to you. Personally I couldn't conceive of any reason to not hang on to all the lean mass I could as I lost some weight. But, I'm also only 160lbs and just eating in a good ole Primal low carb range.

                              I think you misconstrue the aim of the thread though. It's not to criticize a particular persons results. Its to allow for theorizing about the mechanisms involved without getting personal anecdotes in a tizzy flailing their arms screaming "but it worked! look at all the weight I lost!". To me weight loss is not sufficient. I can hit the gym and skip a couple meals and drop 10lbs today if I like....so what? I may even have to tighten my belt! Is a significant amount of that 10lbs fat though?

                              Sure Pklopp added in some protein (which will surely save him some lean mass), so no his results won't directly correlate. They don't have to though. Its his experiment.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by paleo-bunny View Post
                                You need to consider that while on a potato diet the body will waste no amino acids whatsoever through converting them into glucose.

                                Hence muscle maintenance is easy on the macronutrient ratios you describe.

                                He says 3.5 lbs worth of potatoes give 1000 calories and 28g of protein. Your really think overloading on starch is going to be THAT much protein sparing? I sincerely doubt it. I'd have to look up the conversion rate of protein to glucose via gluconeogenesis, but my understanding is that in the absence of carbohydrate it is fairly consistent and quite slow to boot. In the end I don't you can claim to displace over 100g of animal protein with a bunch of starch. This doesn't give the exact rates I was looking for, but its a good start http://www.ketotic.org/

                                Not to mention it seems you would compare this to a no carb diet, while most primal eaters (just from observation) seem to be in the 70-150g range anyhow. I see almost no room for starch to be protein sparing if your in the upper end of that and following a PB fitness plan.
                                Last edited by Neckhammer; 11-14-2012, 08:10 PM.

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