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Where is the evidence that at least some of this isn't muscle loss?
Good question. I may try the hack just to see if I can get rid of a little stubborn fat around my navel (I don't mind the fat though). I will certainly add a little duck fat to my oven baked taters, I am not masochist either . I was on a potato "diet" like 18 years ago due to finance issues but I was not doing this in a controlled way or as an experiment. Reading otzi-tatertot ad nauseam lately made me curious ...
Thanks for reviving the topic. I am wondering if you had any thoughts on the IF advice to only consume low GI/GL foods on fasting days and yet we know that potatoes are known to be highly satiating. Is this not inconsistent?
Every single thing about the potato diet is inconsistent with the way we think things work! Last year we tried to break it down, but this year we need to just focus on the results.
Where is the evidence that at least some of this isn't muscle loss?
Some of the weight loss is surely muscle loss. One area where I consistently screwed up over the last few years was trying to get strong and lean at the same time. The two just aren't compatible, IMO. To get strong, you need to accept a bit of fat on your body--to get lean you need to accept you may lose some hard-earned muscle. I think that eating potatoes for a week will result in minimal muscle loss, minimal water-weight loss, and mostly fat-loss.
If only I could find a way to mimic imprisonment during that time I think I could have some real results combining this with the Convict body weight exercises.
Otzi- do you think it would be worthwhile to insert a day or two a week of just potatoes into my current slow cutting plan?
I also can't figure out a way to sneak this past my husband as he will surely think eating only potatoes is the craziest thing I've ever done, especially if I cite prisoners of war as examples.
There is a whole on-line community of people doing the potato diet in a 5-2 fashion. They even have a recipe thread for the potato diet. I joined in with them for a while, but got banned from the site because I linked to MDA a couple times...I hate that site, moderators gone wild. But, yes, basically just eat potatoes for as long as you can. 5-7 days is easy, 10-14 days gets a bit rough. Also, don't work-out like a fiend when doing this. Try to combine it with a de-load week. If you don't do those, this could be a good time to start. Yoga, walking, fine, but lifting, and hard bodyweight stuff needs to stop. There's just not enough protein to handle muscle repair, but plenty of protein to handle normal maintenance.
What would the nightshade-free version of the potato diet be?
Seeing as Otzi pointed out prisoners and the poor in times of famine can survive on just potatoes, I would say the nightshade free version would be the colonial New England prison/servant staple... lobster!
Way back then lobster was so cheap and plentiful it was fed to prisoners and slaves/servants.
This potato diet is really bothering me. It works 'too well', that is, I can't understand it(!)
I've read all the posited explanations here and on other blogs last year, but when I do it and vary one parameter at a time, protein or fat, I still am no closer to a clue as to what's really happening because nothing is explaining the original mystery : the weight loss at low fat-protein amounts even for 1200kC worth of potatoes is as if I ate NOTHING the previous day. Zip. No calories.
Here's what I've got so far :
_3-4 lbs a day of boiled or microwaved potatoes, as long as using only 1T of fat per 2lbs, always give me about 0.6-0.7lbs loss daily. It's as if I ate nothing at all (my daily reqs are only about 1800kC).
___add up to 2T of fat per 2 lbs potatoes, get less weight loss but still about 0.4 lbs loss per day.
___above 2T it shuts off on me, no loss.
_add 7-10gms protein (eg. ham, minced meat, even liver) to each 2 lb meal, same large 0.6-0.7lbs loss.
_add more than that protein, loss moderates kinda linearly, until I can't detect it anymore at around 40gms protein a day.
It isn't water loss, none of it. Impedance scales are useless for absolute numbers but relative numbers are fine - no change day to day. Plus, none of the usual changes you get on dehydration or on starting a ketogenic diet (urine color, skin suppleness, water consumption/frequency...). Of course, it's not expected either, since gorging on starch/glucose in potatoes so plenty of glycogen. But hey, nothing else about this works as expected, so I made sure to check the hydration state.
Anyone have similar observations re. inexplainable large weight loss?
I had to save you for last! Glad to see you here. I know we tried hard to explain it last year, there are so many connections it's impossible to pin it down. Some theories were: magnesium/potassium/sodium interactions, short chain fatty acid metabolism from resistant starch, simple calorie restriction, complex insulin/body fat mechanisms, super-heightened insulin sensitivity, complete shut-down of 'reward circuits', exaggerated leptin sensitivity, gut-microbe interactions, and probably a few more I forgot.
People who had done HCG commented that the potato diet was almost the same effect--very low calories, little hunger, and fast weight loss without going into 'starvation mode'.
At any rate, I think that what really happens is that the potato diet 'changes' you. I was blown away when I read the passage from the 1849 article that said:
And yet, as before said, we advise our dyspeptic friends to make a trial of the potato diet. Eat, of course, no salt, no butter, or condiments of any kind. Our word for it, the experiment will prove a good one; and the prescription costs no money, but, what is incomparably better, an amount of self-denial which is possessed only by a few. And making this experiment for one week will greatly increase the self-denial and perseverance of those who go through with it. We do not, of course, recommend this prescription to those who have to labor very hard, for a sudden change, of whatever kind, does not answer well with such.
First I was surprised that people were 'dyspeptic' in 1849, dyspepsia commonly meaning, 'people with digestion problems'. Secondly, the talk of 'self-denial' and 'perseverance' really struck me, because that is exactly what the potato diet is about...learning a new relationship with food and hunger. The humble potato seems like a very 'whole' food in that it can sustain you in good health indefinitely. I could never eat enough potatoes to maintain my weight, nor would I want to, but as a means for some quick weight loss, hell ya!