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Thread: The Potato Diet....criticisms and metabolic theory page 7

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timthetaco View Post
    Right, insulin suppresses lipolysis because its purpose is to get energy out of the blood and into tissues where it belongs. When you need energy again and you don't eat, your body releases fat from adipose tissue. Normal physiology. "High insulin" is only a problem in the context of hyperinsulinemia, which is brought about by insulin resistance, and I'm not aware of any evidence for the idea that if you eat too much starch, your pancreas simply gets tired of producing insulin and ends up breaking. That's low carb speculation.

    What I'm interested to know is just how much lean mass a person could lose doing this. If you're eating half your normal calories, obviously your body has to make up the difference, but it seems like it would be far more efficient to break down fat than deaminate protein for energy...
    It seems to me that if you have body fat to spare, you'll burn that before any muscle.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    I'm gonna go ahead and debate myself just in case nobody with positive tator stories show up. I actually hope they do. I'm not looking to just bash the deal, but I would like to have a place where people don't think we are just being hateful or something. I have questioned the low protein portion of the diet. Pklopp made an interesting metabolic observation here into how weight loss may actually occur through a mechanism of lean mass break down. If I find it I might repost it. I think that is actually the scariest proposition.....that all this very fast weight loss is through muscle, bone, and organ....rather than fat. I'm not saying it actually is, but the speed of loss .5-1lb/day is nothing short of miraculous. Its either water weight, increased metabolic rate, or a lot of lean mass IMO. Most current studies indicate protein as the key to retaining lean mass. Although potatoes contain "complete" proteins (10%) you are still eating only 10% or calories at a SEVERE deficit.....this is still a huge deficiency in protein.
    Not to worry. My n=1 study so far, after 1 week of potatoes at 1500 kcal. daily intake ( significantly below my BMR ) and miraculous weight loss has failed to materialize. I may have an issue with a low level potato allergy, I'm still investigating ... more details on the potato blog.

    -PK
    My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

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

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklopp View Post
    I may have an issue with a low level potato allergy, I'm still investigating ... more details on the potato blog.
    Tator allergy would suck. Kind of throws a wrench in things?
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopintos View Post
    So in basic terms that I understand, I really do not see a difference in eating tators for a few days to a few weeks, and straight up fasting - either absolute or with things like CO, kraut - all of which do not have any protein, right? Is it not true that in the absence of protein that your body will do a little housekeeping first before it goes after your muscle? I can't remember the number of days now, but seems like there was a rough guess as to the number of days that it was safe to fast before you saw any detriments to your muscles.

    Would this not be the same? I just dont see how eating a only one food is so much worse than eating NO food when fasting. Or only eating bone broth when fasting. Or only eating CO or kraut when fasting.

    Not trying to be hateful. And maybe I am just overly simple minded.
    There most certainly is a difference.

    For example, if you fast for more than 24 hours and you are relatively lean, you will see on the order of a fivefold increase in secreted growth hormone. This has a twofold effect :

    1. It promotes lipolysis ... mobilizes fat stores to make them available as an energy substrate.
    2. Related to the first point, this is protein sparing, as tissues that can use fat now rely on the increased FFA availability for energy, lowering overall glucose needs, and attendant gluconeogenesis from protein substrates.


    But let's assume that we consider fasting and potato fasting equivalent, so we eat nothing but potatoes for a couple of weeks, as you mentioned. We will bathe our metabolism in glucose periodically, resulting in elevated insulin levels throughout the day. An interesting question to ask is what would be the effect be on growth hormone? Well, according to Ji. et all:

    ... we found that insulin pretreatment for 824 h downregulates GHR levels and inhibits the acute effect of GH on STAT5B phosphorylation via the GHR/JAK2/STAT5B pathway ( Ji et al. 1999).
    A subsequent investigation led them to conclude that :

    The present studies indicate that prolonged hyperinsulinemia, such as that found in some obese patients or patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus, may have profound effects on GH signaling via STAT3 and STAT1.
    So, these studies tell us that after a mere 8 hours of elevated insulin, the number of growth hormone receptors starts to get down regulated. Well, so what? Not much, except that this is the exact opposite result of what happens when you fast. Overall, then, when you potato fast, you are less responsive to growth hormone effects. The one effect that is most bothersome here is the absence of the protein sparing benefits of growth hormone that result from mobilizing fat.

    On the all potato diet you insist on forcing your metabolism to subsist on glucose, and if you eat conventionally, where that means multiple meals, you effectively maintain high insulin levels throughout the day, suppressing fat mobilization. Potato proponents have also advised that you do not count calories, so you may be eating well below maintenance requirements, or maybe you aren't, but you don't know because you are oblivious to your caloric intake.

    So what happens if you don't get enough glucose? Well, you're going to have to find it somewhere, because you are forcing your metabolism into an "all glucose, all the time" mode. Your energy options are therefore severely limited at this point to glycogenolysis or gluconeogenesis, and if you keep at it long enough, you are explicitly forcing your body into gluconeogenesis. And a very nice substrate for gluconeogenesis in the presence of suppressed fat metabolism is protein.

    But isn't this the case with fasting as well? No, it isn't, because if you keep at it for prolonged periods, as a direct consequence of increased fat metabolism, your body becomes ketone adapted, which grossly reduces your glucose needs to about 1/3 of what they normally are. Of the substrates that the liver can use for gluconeogenesis, a very nice one is glycerol, which happens to be the backbone of triglyceride molecules, which the fasting metabolism is furiously stripping down to provide FFAs for energy for the tissues that can oxidize fats, whereas the liver is furiously churning out glycerol based glucose for those tissues that absolutely must have it.

    Whenever I mention to people that I habitually fast for 48 hours, I can hardly get the words out of my mouth before someone starts pestering me about the "starvation response" and muscle wasting nonsense. If I were to go off the deep end and suggest fasting for a couple of weeks, they would seriously question my sanity, of that I have no doubt. But, when you look at that monster potato hack thread, you will see people blithely advocate just potatoes, with indiscriminate calories, for weeks on end because they are "a complete protein." As if that actually makes a difference when you are consuming starvation levels of it.

    But have I not been exploring the "magic" of potatoes as a side project? Yes, I have, but I have modified things to correspond to my understanding of metabolism. Specifically, I eat only one meal a day, which limits me to one episode of elevated insulin levels, rather than chronic levels throughout the day. Second, I make sure to eat sufficient protein, well in excess of what would be possible with potatoes only. Third, I measure my caloric intake fastidiously, as well as my weight, my caloric expenditure, and my body composition via both bioelectrical impedance and ultrasound measurement. I am not interested in weight loss at any cost. I am, however, avidly interested in body recomposition and how to best achieve that.

    -PK
    My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

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

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklopp View Post
    There most certainly is a difference.

    But have I not been exploring the "magic" of potatoes as a side project? Yes, I have, but I have modified things to correspond to my understanding of metabolism. Specifically, I eat only one meal a day, which limits me to one episode of elevated insulin levels, rather than chronic levels throughout the day. Second, I make sure to eat sufficient protein, well in excess of what would be possible with potatoes only. Third, I measure my caloric intake fastidiously, as well as my weight, my caloric expenditure, and my body composition via both bioelectrical impedance and ultrasound measurement. I am not interested in weight loss at any cost. I am, however, avidly interested in body recomposition and how to best achieve that.

    -PK
    Thank you for taking the time to share all that.

    I only briefly scanned your blog, and saw no weight loss but I didnt look closer to see if any redistribution or recomposition? I would think that a person of low fat would not see the same kind of weight loss as a person with more to lose, but if it is doing anything for you, it might not be weight loss but you are more likely to see some definition?
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabine View Post
    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.
    Probably because when you remove sugar in all its forms, the urge to eat more and more is also removed. That is why after a bellybusting CW Thanksgiving meal, people are struggling to add more calories as sugary desserts and still feel the need. Sugar is addictive and has definite effects on the brain. Then there's the very low carber who can eat a decent quantity of fatty meats and green veggies and leave the table w/o a backward glance. I have read somewhere that satiety accompanies a full stomach, that the pressure helps. Obviously there is more to satiety than that; so I'm wondering if the tater experiment provides enough pressure in the absence of sugar (before digestion) to keep one satisfied. Add in cold cooked potatoes reputed "resistant starch", and it may be that simple. Just my 2 cents worth of speculation.
    Last edited by Paysan; 11-12-2012 at 04:29 PM.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklopp View Post
    Not to worry. My n=1 study so far, after 1 week of potatoes at 1500 kcal. daily intake ( significantly below my BMR ) and miraculous weight loss has failed to materialize. I may have an issue with a low level potato allergy, I'm still investigating ... more details on the potato blog.

    -PK
    Hey PK, you are not realy on the Potato only diet, adding in tuna, egg whites, oil, indian food etc will all have affects on starch conversion. I suggest that to get a true representation try just plain rice (brown, white, wild) or sweet potato, minimal extras... Try it for 5 days.
    "Times fun when you are having Flies" Kermit the frog

  8. #68
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    PK, about what would you say is the difference in insulin levels between your average insulin sensitive potato faster and a hyperinsulinemic type II diabetic (eating normally, I suppose)? Also, are you aware of any high carb calorie restriction studies that measure loss of lean mass?

    I kind of have a hard time believing this little potato hack would have essentially the same effect on GH, lipolysis and muscle wasting that you would see in a diabetic.

    By the way, can you provide a link to that study you quoted?

  9. #69
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    That was interesting to read how it works. So I guess you can starve to death eating only carbohydrates or only lean meat. I don't remember if you can starve to death eating only fat. You can live indefinitely on just lean and fat meat. Meat eaters are we.
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  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklopp View Post
    There most certainly is a difference.

    For example, if you fast for more than 24 hours and you are relatively lean, you will see on the order of a fivefold increase in secreted growth hormone. This has a twofold effect :

    1. It promotes lipolysis ... mobilizes fat stores to make them available as an energy substrate.
    2. Related to the first point, this is protein sparing, as tissues that can use fat now rely on the increased FFA availability for energy, lowering overall glucose needs, and attendant gluconeogenesis from protein substrates.


    But let's assume that we consider fasting and potato fasting equivalent, so we eat nothing but potatoes for a couple of weeks, as you mentioned. We will bathe our metabolism in glucose periodically, resulting in elevated insulin levels throughout the day. An interesting question to ask is what would be the effect be on growth hormone? Well, according to Ji. et all:



    A subsequent investigation led them to conclude that :



    So, these studies tell us that after a mere 8 hours of elevated insulin, the number of growth hormone receptors starts to get down regulated. Well, so what? Not much, except that this is the exact opposite result of what happens when you fast. Overall, then, when you potato fast, you are less responsive to growth hormone effects. The one effect that is most bothersome here is the absence of the protein sparing benefits of growth hormone that result from mobilizing fat.

    On the all potato diet you insist on forcing your metabolism to subsist on glucose, and if you eat conventionally, where that means multiple meals, you effectively maintain high insulin levels throughout the day, suppressing fat mobilization. Potato proponents have also advised that you do not count calories, so you may be eating well below maintenance requirements, or maybe you aren't, but you don't know because you are oblivious to your caloric intake.

    So what happens if you don't get enough glucose? Well, you're going to have to find it somewhere, because you are forcing your metabolism into an "all glucose, all the time" mode. Your energy options are therefore severely limited at this point to glycogenolysis or gluconeogenesis, and if you keep at it long enough, you are explicitly forcing your body into gluconeogenesis. And a very nice substrate for gluconeogenesis in the presence of suppressed fat metabolism is protein.

    But isn't this the case with fasting as well? No, it isn't, because if you keep at it for prolonged periods, as a direct consequence of increased fat metabolism, your body becomes ketone adapted, which grossly reduces your glucose needs to about 1/3 of what they normally are. Of the substrates that the liver can use for gluconeogenesis, a very nice one is glycerol, which happens to be the backbone of triglyceride molecules, which the fasting metabolism is furiously stripping down to provide FFAs for energy for the tissues that can oxidize fats, whereas the liver is furiously churning out glycerol based glucose for those tissues that absolutely must have it.

    Whenever I mention to people that I habitually fast for 48 hours, I can hardly get the words out of my mouth before someone starts pestering me about the "starvation response" and muscle wasting nonsense. If I were to go off the deep end and suggest fasting for a couple of weeks, they would seriously question my sanity, of that I have no doubt. But, when you look at that monster potato hack thread, you will see people blithely advocate just potatoes, with indiscriminate calories, for weeks on end because they are "a complete protein." As if that actually makes a difference when you are consuming starvation levels of it.

    But have I not been exploring the "magic" of potatoes as a side project? Yes, I have, but I have modified things to correspond to my understanding of metabolism. Specifically, I eat only one meal a day, which limits me to one episode of elevated insulin levels, rather than chronic levels throughout the day. Second, I make sure to eat sufficient protein, well in excess of what would be possible with potatoes only. Third, I measure my caloric intake fastidiously, as well as my weight, my caloric expenditure, and my body composition via both bioelectrical impedance and ultrasound measurement. I am not interested in weight loss at any cost. I am, however, avidly interested in body recomposition and how to best achieve that.

    -PK
    Very interesting, but I believe you may be working from an incorrect assumption. Earlier in this thread, it was postulated that an entirely fat free all-starch diet would knock insulin levels down to the point where the body would begin to devour its own fat. If this is so, where are the chronically elevated insulin levels that would depress the growth hormone release? Short of each tater person being tested by a mobile lab at frequent intervals , that is a question that can't be answered at this time. BTW, I couldn't do an all-rice diet because I have low level allergy to rice.

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