I think eating a strict potato diet for 5-14 days teaches us something about ourselves that makes it easier to keep the weight off.
If we were all perfectly operating humans, we would stay within a narrow band of weight. We'd gain a few pounds in the summer and lean out in winter. If we overeat, our bodies should ramp up the metabolism to burn those extra calories as heat. If we undereat, our bodies should burn fat first to protect lean muscle. But we're not all perfect humans, we wear warm clothes in the winter and crank up the heat so we don't get cold, there are no seasonal food shortages or availability issues, our days are whatever length we want thanks to TV, lights, and computers.
Beyond initially adopting a healthy lifestyle like Primal Blueprint, it is still hard to keep in that narrow band of weight we'd all love to be in. Most diets fail and turn into lifelong, unhealthy yo-yo'ing. I like to think that with this potato trick in my back pocket, I can keep myself in a band of weight that shouldn't fluctuate more than 5 or 6 pounds year round.
I did really good maintaining my weight at 170lbs for a year without the potato diet. I just couldn't lose the extra 10lbs I felt I was carrying. Now, I've been at 160 for several months after a couple experimental rounds of potatoes. I'm going to try to maintain this new weight for the next year, but if I see it creeping up to 165, I will throw in a week of spuds to get it were it should be. I don't think this is fadish or un-primal, I think it taps into something ancestral that every culture on earth experienced from time-to-time, a famine with nothing much to eat except starchy tubers. I personally think one could go way longer than 2 weeks, but 2 weeks gives pretty good results and I have an active lifestyle that doesn't really jive with eating potatoes for extended periods.
Anyway, great observations and results, looking forward to pklopp's experiment.
Last edited by otzi; 10-30-2012 at 10:07 AM.
I see what you are saying but I'm not concerned about 'reverting' back to bad habits that will put back on any weight I've lost. If straight calorie restriction helps move the needle, I'm happy with that. My eating habits are very healthy and I don't anticipate gaining back the weight I've lost. I've easily maintained where I am now without any calorie counting or restriction. I'm just shaking up the system a bit - I understand that I could have done that in. Any number of ways, but I think this is harmless for a week.
I know that in my case, adding the starches is what I needed. And I have KEPT them in. I might do a day of tators and then I might do a day of including tators with other foods and I have done days of focusing on protein.
So I guess really, I did not revert back. This was helping me to transition into a new way. My old way that caused my slow progress was even higher fat with low carbs. I think I have since learned that those macros are more maintainence for me, and if I want to lose weight, I had to change my macros around to less fat, more protein and include more carbs like starch. It did not really seem to be about the calories. And it is working for now. I might have to mix it up again at some future point.
But I think for someone else who was maintaining before the hack but just wanted to lose a few pounds, I would think it is okay to hack, lose the weight and then return to their normal eating. Same as with fasting. Fast, drop a few pounds, then go back to maintaining. But maybe fasts don't work that way either.
But I also think that maybe some have learned that once in awhile, they might have to do a tator day or two, or do a fast day or two and that is just the way it is for them to keep their weight in check. That doesnt mean it doesnt work, it just means that is just the way it is.
And maybe that is oversimplified and wishful thinking. I often wonder what it will be like, what I will have to do in order to maintain my weight once I get there. I just know that I want to stay on top of it, and I figured that if I see things creeping up, then it is time to whip out one of these little tricks like tators or fasting.
65lbs gone and counting!!
Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey
I am nearing the end of day 2, I was up .5lbs this morning. And after reading through this entire thread, I feel like I am eating WAY more than anyone else! I come from a fairly low carb (less than 100g a day) strict paleo diet, and have been constantly hungry on just the taters. I ate 1800 grams yesterday and I am at 1300 grams so far today... will this subside? Or should I just keep eating to satiety and not worry about the numbers? At this rate I am probably eating the same amount calorically in taters as I normally do so will this even make me lose weight if I am not in a deficit?
Slightly off topic of potatoes, but regarding weight loss, calories and weight maintenance: I have only been tracking calories since September 10th. I have a feeling I was eating somewhat higher calories prior to tracking. Reducing calories did not seem to impact my rate of weight loss much. Changing the ratio of macronutrients (Eat Moar Fat) seemed to accelerate the rate only slightly. What I am trying to say is that my body likes to lose about five pounds per month whether I eat 1400 calories a day or 1900 calories per day. My metabolism seems to take modest variations in stride.
Since I went Primal in Jamuary I have had no significant weight loss plateaus or stalls. The longest I've gone without a half pound loss is two weeks. According to Taubes's Good Calories Bad Calories this is indeed the way the body should function. Variations in our daily diets shouldn't pack on pounds. In theory, when I reach my ideal weight, I should slow down the weight loss and then maintain it as long as my calories are within a relatively narrow range, say 1700 to 2000 calories a day. It seems that it took something drastic like this potato diet to boost my weight loss outside the five pound per week rate. I really don't think I would gain weight back whether I now ate 1500 a day or 1900 a day. My weight has never increased in the course of a week more than one pound since I started the Primal Blueprint. This may be unusual. I eat low carb and my weight is very stable from day to day. It will be unchanged for a few days then I drop a half pound here and there within a few days.
Last edited by Miss Understood; 10-30-2012 at 02:53 PM.
2) If you really read the Moar fat thread you will see that I gained Moar weight too before I understood how to do it correctly.
3) Being afraid of potatoes is silly. Eating exclusively potatoes is sillier.
As far as #3, the first part, yes I see that now. But the first thing everyone tells you is stay away from white starch. Cut your carbs. So the poor potato is one of the first things to go. And when you are trying to keep carbs low, in the sweet spot or keto, it is a scary thing to think about eating a tator. Will it just throw everything off you have been trying to accomplish? So you just avoid it.
As for the second part of #3, I dont see only tators any differently than only water fast for a few days, or only kraut for a few days, or only coffee & teas & water for a few days, or only coconut oil with coffee & tea & water for a few days, or only bone broth for a few days. Or maybe somebody is short on cash for a few days until payday, so they have to eat what they have for a few days which might be all one food. But that's just me. I just don't do absolute fasts very well. I like any one of those hacks for a fast. And while the tator might not be the same benefits of a fast, it has a different purpose, but it is the same idea to me. Some day maybe I can do an absolute fast for weight loss, but it helps me to have a little something.
Last edited by gopintos; 10-30-2012 at 05:49 PM.
65lbs gone and counting!!
Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey