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The Potato Diet....criticisms and metabolic theory

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  • #31
    Not everyone loses weight being primal. I've been primal for almost 2 years now and the only weight I lost was water weight when I first tried it. Then I jumped back to my normal weight, I started cutting my calories. Didn't work so I kept cutting even more calories and I was then gaining weight on as little as 800 cals a day. I cut that shit out and started eating 1500-1600 cals a day, felt a whole lot better and luckily didn't get any heavier either.

    I then went to Japan for 2 weeks, I stayed mostly primal there, my calorie intake was about the same, but ate a ton of steamed rice (first time in two years most of my calories have come from carbs). I was totally expecting to gain 10 lbs from all the rice, but instead I lost 6lbs. Over these past two years my diet has been mostly meat/fat, a lot of low-starch veggies, little starchy veggies, very low fruit/sugar. In Japan I was mostly eating rice (every meal), moderate fish/meat, moderate to low amount of veggies, low amounts fat.

    Its been making me question how great VLC is with weight loss. Works for some obviously, but never did with me. I'm going to try out the potato-thing, going higher carb after I came back has helped me keep the weight I lost off. I've done just potatoes for almost 2 days, no weight loss yet but oddly I do have more energy. First time in awhile I've actually felt like working out AND doing housework over the weekend. :P

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    • #32
      Although low protein diets can have their benefits, I don't know why people don't add a bunch of broccoli and other high protein vegetables. You could increase you're satiety, meet you're protein needs and increase flavor/variety. I would have no problems living on potatoes for a few weeks if I had some vegetables and spices to keep things interesting. That's pretty much what the maximum weight loss phase on the Mcdougall diet involves which is why it works so well.
      Last edited by Forgotmylastusername; 11-12-2012, 12:09 AM.

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      • #33
        Well you can slather them in spices; I certainly do.

        I'm also in the camp of people who have been VLC for some time and found it no longer getting results. It does work eventually but no, I'm not willing to keep on getting nowhere slowly.

        As gopintos said, we could fast and eat NOTHING, which is considered primal, so how's it such a bad thing to fast apart from quite a few cals from starch and some complete protein?

        In a nutshell you can call it the extremely low-fat calorie-restricted diet that leaves you feeling comfortably stuffed.

        We all know with the number of 'low fat' products and fat people out there that such an approach doesn't work. But perhaps it does work, when taken to it's logical conclusion of NO fat, rather than low fat?

        Your body certainly needs fats, no doubt about that and I don't think anyone here would argue that point, right?

        Our bodies use fat for all sorts of purposes every day. SOP.

        So if we don't give it ANY fat as food, which is it such a stretch of the imagination to think that maybe a body that needs fat and isn't eating any just might turn to the 20 or 30lb of fat it has in storage?

        Isn't that the whole point of any kind of 'slimming' diet? To get the body to actually use its stored fat?

        Your body doesn't crave fats purely for the calories as energy, it uses fat for cell membranes, for fat soluble vitamins and all sorts of stuff, true?

        Someone mentioned that perhaps this is dodgy because there's not enough lipids (fats) but dude, I have PLENTY of fat already! Pounds of the stuff swelling my belly, making some love handles and even beginning to create moobs - what the heck you mean, "not enough"?

        Seems to me it's almost a balanced diet, you've got a fair bit of protein, plenty of carbs - and all the fat you can eat!

        So my guess is it's not just the calorie restriction, it's perhaps due to the zero fats through your face, forcing your bod' to use the stuff it has in reserve for just that situation?



        AC
        Last edited by AlanC; 11-12-2012, 01:23 AM.

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        • #34
          All theory here... I think it has a lot to do with thermo effects on the body, this is all a guess and based on what I have read on Rays site, i recommend every one read his site, if only to get a better understanding of how the body converts food to fuel.

          Anyway heres my guess.. and thats all it is

          Either full starch (Potato) or full protein (meat) diet would work to drop weight, add in good fats to either and the weight lose slows or in some cases stalls. I think there is an increase in the bodies metabolic rate which in turn increases the thermo load (similar to Cold stress theroy, remember where this idea came from and the research Ray Cronise is doing, read his blog for some great insights, but no solid answers.....)

          Say for me at 6'2" and 235lbs my BMR is ~ 2200 now with exercise and an increase due to thermo effects from converting a Starch in the case of Potatoes or Protein in the case of Meats into amino acids (AA's) and energy that the body can use. Now this affect may be in the order of 50% remembering that sitting in 27 deg c water (80f) increases the BMR by at least two times. So if all of a sudden my BMR is increase by 1.5 times for 24 hours I need 3300 cals plus any activity say 1.1 multiplier so I am up to 3600 cals. Now after 6 days on the Potato, rice and hot chili sauce diet I am eating an average of 1200 Cals. That leaves a deficit of 3600-1200 = 2400 meaning that I would lose ~ 2400/3500 * 2.2lbs fat = 1.5lbs of fat or energy needed per day.

          Now I am 6 days in and have lost 10.8lbs, 10.8/6 = 1.8lbs per day pretty close to the above calcs.

          Now again from my understanding if we are all ready fat adapted to burn fat from a pretty clean Paleo/Primal diet then I should access the fat in my body first, why would the body try and get energy from burning inefficient muscle mass, bones or organs?, surely it would access the BF first over a short period, long term starvation mode may kick in and there might be a reason why it would target Muscle and bones, but at ~20% BF I dont see why it would. So even through I am eating no fat I am actually on a high fat diet, my own body fat.

          Now if your are on a high fat, low starch and medium Protein diet, then the body will use the fat first? From what I understand its easy for the body to burn and convert to fuel (note I need to read more about this). This will mean that the thermal affects to convert Protien or Starch to AA's and energy is lower. So the mutilpier may be as low as 1.1 or less. Using my example above 1.1*2200*1.1 = 2662 Cals, I know for a fact that I dont feel full on 1200 cals on a LCHF diet so would eat typically 1800-2000 cals giving a deficit of 2662-1800 = 800cals or ~ 5 days to see a 1lb loss

          I do think some of the weight loss is water, glycogen, muscle mass and fat. I think a good percentage of it is fat as that is what the body would burn first. I think you could replicate the same weight loss on just a meat diet or green veggies, or vegan diet, or banana, if you keep the Calories to low enough deficit, Converting these to AA's or energy may not take the same thermal effort as starches or protein...

          Interested to hear you opinions, pro or not on the above, as like most people on this site we are are here to learn, or if I have the science wrong some pointers would be great.

          Cheers Not so Fat belly Frog
          Last edited by fat belly frog; 11-12-2012, 01:37 AM.
          "Times fun when you are having Flies" Kermit the frog

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          • #35
            Thanks for this thread- good to have a neutral spot to discuss, without bringing down those using the potato thread to get support for their efforts.

            I've read some of the potato threads, but just from interest to see what people were talking about, not from a desire to do it myself. One thing that puzzles me is the talk of satiety. I know you can eat a good VOLUME of potatoes on this plan, but is no one having difficulties with the insulin reactions causing cravings for more food, regardless of physical FULLNESS?

            I know that when I am riding the sugar/starch rollercoaster, I can want to eat, even if my stomach is physically full, because of what my insulin levels are telling me.

            But I don't see this discussed.

            And about the autophagy: eating the quantity of calories on a potato plan, even though a considerable deficit from what you need, is too much to allow you to enter autophagy. (Hmm, is the grammar on that correct? Does one 'enter' autophagy, like a warm bath, or 'do' it, like jumping jacks? Must consider.) When people speak of little bits of kraut or oil to help them on their fasts, they are speaking of seriously small amounts, approx 20-30 calories.

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            • #36
              That's probably the weirdest aspect of it, for I find the boiled spuds are so satisfying that I really do lose cravings per se.

              If you do get a craving..? Eat more spuds!

              I've just whipped up another quick batch, 3 medium sized tators, skinned and boiled for 15 mins, semi-mashed and in two bowls, one I'm eating now, one for later. In this bowl I have quite a lot of ginger and some parsley, in the 2nd bowl mostly turmeric and some apple cider vinegar. Spuds are such a blank slate that there's load of taste variations and combos you can play with...

              If I crave something salty, spuds n sea salt

              The one and only taste you can't have is fat but cooked enough and the spuds are quite creamy, so the texture is there.

              So is the desire for more spuds a craving or just plain hunger? Dunno but who cares, when my entire calorie intake for today is 6 medium-size taters, at less than 1000 calories and zero fat? I'm sitting here with a stuffed belly full of warm taters and another bowl for later, which I couldn't eat right now if I tried.

              Cravings? Nah.



              AC

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              • #37
                No cravings for other foods except salt... In fact this has been the easiest part of the potato feed, normally when I go LCD or whole30 I crave cheese and dairy and fruits. On potatoes hunger levels are dropping daily and I have no cravings for more food.

                Don't confuse starch in potatoes or rice that gets converted to glucose with high fructose or processed sugars which get burnt fast and can produce cravings.

                Cheers
                "Times fun when you are having Flies" Kermit the frog

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by fat belly frog View Post
                  Now again from my understanding if we are all ready fat adapted to burn fat from a pretty clean Paleo/Primal diet then I should access the fat in my body first, why would the body try and get energy from burning inefficient muscle mass, bones or organs?, surely it would access the BF first over a short period, long term starvation mode may kick in and there might be a reason why it would target Muscle and bones, but at ~20% BF I dont see why it would. So even through I am eating no fat I am actually on a high fat diet, my own body fat.
                  This is what I figured. And I figured this is why I was not doing well on LC/HF. I wasn't getting much to my own stores. Others said on here but they were usually shot down, but now I see how it makes sense for me, but something like you have to burn through dietary fat then get to fat stores. I have plenty of fat in my stores to run on for a good while yet. I just always thought that is why we store fat, for a rainy day, so that we dont have to start eating ourselves after a short period of time when there is still plenty of fat. To suggest otherwise would mean that you could potentially starve to death while still being obese. Just a big pile of blubber left.

                  Originally posted by Sabine View Post
                  I know that when I am riding the sugar/starch rollercoaster, I can want to eat, even if my stomach is physically full, because of what my insulin levels are telling me.

                  But I don't see this discussed.

                  And about the autophagy: eating the quantity of calories on a potato plan, even though a considerable deficit from what you need, is too much to allow you to enter autophagy.
                  I have zero problem with cravings. Maybe it is because I don't keep that stuff in the house, I dont know. But tators are completely filling. There is just no way to stuff one more bite of anything in.

                  On autophagy. That makes sense if it is a calorie thing. I did not know if it was a calorie thing or a lack of protein thing. A TBL of CO alone has more than 20-30 calories though, but it is MCT so maybe treated differently? And since I eat more than 20-30 calories of kraut, broth, and CO, I might never be benefiting from autophagy either. So okay, I will buy that you do not benefit from autophagy. I still do think though, that it is still okay to compare it to fasting for purposes of weight loss if that is your goal for fasting in the first place.
                  65lbs gone and counting!!

                  Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                  • #39
                    As I understand it, autophagy is a calorie thing.

                    And definitely, for the weight loss. I think it is interesting that fasting can be for some many different things: weight loss, cleansing/autophagy, meditation, control, reduction/elimination of troublesome ailments. I am getting more and more interested in learning about it.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by gopintos View Post
                      I still do think though, that it is still okay to compare it to fasting for purposes of weight loss if that is your goal for fasting in the first place.
                      I guess I mean it is the same as fasting as far as just having something else to try now and then. I don't see anyone getting in a wad over someone fasting for a few days to a few weeks for weight loss. So I only mean to compare the two for purposes that fasting and IF are a hack, carb refeeds are a hack, I even think ketogenic diets are a hack since that is not what is considered the "norm". It might be one person's norm, and that is okay, same as this little hack now and then is another person's normal.
                      65lbs gone and counting!!

                      Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                      • #41
                        I think that this has to be an individual choice--and that some people cannot function on a 'potato' diet--I know because I'm one of them.

                        I originally began eating very low carb when I discovered how carb sensitive I am--a sensitivity that kept me morbidly obese for most of my life. Any excursion into eating potatoes (or any other starchy carb) would create chaos for me in terms of both appetite and weight gain. The idea that "potatoes are surprisingly satiating" works only for those who don't have my metabolic problem.

                        In my experience, effective weight management involved learning about oneself and how one's body functions best. For me, it's very low carb, and I'm sure it's very different for others.

                        I'm just surprised to find such interest in crash dieting on a site that I came to because of the healthy focus in Primal eating.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by emmie View Post
                          I'm just surprised to find such interest in crash dieting on a site that I came to because of the healthy focus in Primal eating.
                          I was with you right until you said crash dieting But I guess maybe Fasting and IF and ketongic diets and carb re-feeds and Steak & Eggs, really are all a Crash Diet, and I do/have done all those with Primal foods, in fact I only started doing them when I came to MDA and learned about Primal - trying to find what works for me so I just don't like the terms crash or fads when referred to the way I have embraced eating. One day I might do this Crash of tators, the next day I might do that Crash of VLC, one day I feel like only steak & eggs. Maybe I really am just crash dieting. I just know that when I stuck to one plan all the time of LC/HF all the time, it was not working. I had to mix it up for it to work for me.

                          wiki says: A crash diet is a diet which is extreme in its nutritional deprivations...

                          So yes, I guess that by definition that includes fasting, IF, steak & eggs, VLC, and even Grok stumbling on a pile of something like apples (or heaven forbid tators) like Mark talks about with his seasonal eating blogs.


                          I definitely agree that with health issues, this is not for that person. Like Chris says:
                          • Let’s define the terms: are we debating whether starch is “safe” in healthy people or people with particular health conditions like diabetes or small-intestine bacterial overgrowth? These are very different conversations. People with hereditary hemochromatosis (a disorder that causes iron overload) should not eat iron-rich foods like liver and mussels; does that mean everyone should avoid these foods? Even if starch/glucose is “toxic” for diabetics, should everyone avoid starch/glucose?
                          • If the argument is that starch is not safe for healthy people, I would say there’s little to no scientific or anthropological evidence to support that idea, and overwhelming evidence opposing it.
                          • There are literally billions of people eating high-starch diets worldwide, and you can find many examples of cultures that consume a large percentage of calories from starch where obesity, metabolic problems and modern, inflammatory disease are rare or nonexistent. These include the Kitava in the Pacific Islands, Tukisenta in the Papa New Guinea Highlands and Okinawans in Japan among others. The Kitavan diet is 69% carb, 21% fat, and 10% protein. The Okinawan diet is even more carb-heavy, at 85% carb, 9% protein and 6% fat. The Tukisenta diet is astonishingly high in carbohydrate: 94.6% according to extensive studies in the 60s and 70s. All of these cultures are fit and lean with low and practically non-existent rates of heart disease and other modern chronic disease.
                          65lbs gone and counting!!

                          Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by emmie View Post
                            I think that this has to be an individual choice--and that some people cannot function on a 'potato' diet--I know because I'm one of them.

                            I originally began eating very low carb when I discovered how carb sensitive I am--a sensitivity that kept me morbidly obese for most of my life. Any excursion into eating potatoes (or any other starchy carb) would create chaos for me in terms of both appetite and weight gain. The idea that "potatoes are surprisingly satiating" works only for those who don't have my metabolic problem.

                            In my experience, effective weight management involved learning about oneself and how one's body functions best. For me, it's very low carb, and I'm sure it's very different for others.

                            I'm just surprised to find such interest in crash dieting on a site that I came to because of the healthy focus in Primal eating.
                            Good post. I was rather shocked when a poster who described herself as one who has some sort of metabolic issue was being coached and encouraged by a prominent advocate to do the potato juju. When I made a disparaging comment - eat more twinkies, huh?- I was told that I wd.n't have T1 d but for my own inability to put the twinkies down. This statement was edited out a little later. Wouldn't want to interfere with the narrative of Tuberism as a religion of peace, now would we? I suppose in the heat of religious fervor we sometimes say things that we don't mean and hopefully regret later. It wd. really irk me if the potato diet was just to use MDA as a springboard for someone's new website/book/video launch all along.

                            I'm just surprised to find such interest in crash dieting on a site that I came to because of the healthy focus in Primal eating.

                            Me too.

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                            • #44
                              I think there's a serious conflation of two things going on here.

                              First of all, there's the question of whether LCHF is the best way for everyone to lose weight. Like many people posting in this thread, I also found that the lower carb I went, the more my weight loss stalled and the worse I felt. That didn't mean I went back to CW diet mode--it meant that I added primal carbs back in and saw success. Absolutely, I think some of us do better with more potato, sweet potato, and other starch (even rice!) in our diets. After returning to eating starch and fruit along with a focus on heavy lifting, I've seen far better results and continued leaning out. I don't dispute that this is a good option for some people who find VLC isn't working for them.

                              Second of all, there's the question of whether eating *only* potatoes for a couple of weeks at a time is a healthy way to lose weight. This is the one I feel concern over (for the record, I also question the wisdom of multi-day fasting for weight loss). I don't argue that people are getting results, but I worry about the health effects and what kind of weight is being lost since it's quite possible that the astonishing numbers seen on the scale are partly attributable to loss of muscle and bone mass as well as fat loss. I think it's reasonable to question the mechanism at play here, just as it's reasonable to examine the mechanisms behind the huge initial losses seen on VLC (in that case, loss of water weight along with fat loss).

                              When we try to debate these two issues at once without picking them apart as two different questions, then we end up with people upset because they feel like they're being attacked for adding potatoes back into a primal diet and dropping back their fat intake (gopintos and others, who I empathize with) when the people criticizing the diet are actually questioning the wisdom of eating only potatoes and nothing else for a couple of weeks at a time. While there's a relationship between those two discussions, I'd guess that Neckhammer is trying to question the latter, not the former, in this thread.
                              “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

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Dirlot View Post
                                @ sbhikes...and tell us how your tastebuds are fairing....lol
                                I don't understand where this comment is coming from. You tell me if my menu is depriving my tastebuds:
                                Scrambled eggs
                                Crio bru
                                Pumpkin pie spice coffee

                                Salmon
                                Sweet potato
                                Broccoli
                                Dried figs

                                Roast chicken
                                Purple carrots, cauliflower, onions and sweet potatoes in butter and rosemary
                                Dark chocolate

                                Originally posted by gopintos View Post
                                I did post my measurement decreases for last month. I lost 10 inches in the places that I measure. Now... I did not do days on end of tators. I came off my LC/HF and I was transitioning into starches via PHD recommendation. Then the tator thread hit so it was perfect timing. So I did a couple days of tators. Since then I have just included more tators - most daily, or start out eating tators but end up with steak for dinner.
                                Hey congrats on the weight loss. Sounds like you didn't do the 14 day plan. Neither did I. I have enjoyed adding potatoes to my diet again just like you. Also added lifting heavy. Wow, talk about a drastic change there! (Not so much in my size but in everything else about me.)

                                I'm sorry you were offended by my post about "why so many crash diets" or whatever the title. I actually was disturbed that there were 4 or 5 potato diet topics and 2 African mango topics right on the first page and it was like WTF? Whatever happened to just eating nutritionally dense food in adequate portions and following the PB Fitness to whatever ability you have?
                                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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