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

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  1. #1
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    The Potato Diet....criticisms and metabolic theory

    So, I see a tator thread with the stipulation that its for people who have taken the challenge....and a tator thread that introduced and it seems both are a bit "chilly" to those who would postulate on the mechanisms through which the diet works. So post em here. Vent your questions, concerns, and metabolic theory here without fear of being labeled some sort of diet zealot/tator hater! Why do some not see any loss of weight even when eating at a very obvious deficit? How can you lose 1lb a day (3500 calories)? Does that mean there is a thermogenic effect to all that starch? Is it water weight?......Hey there is lots to explore. Have at it without fear!

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    It reminds me of the cabbage soup diet, which I did once and felt like absolute shit doing.

    PS I did ask that question in one thread about using cabbage, but no one clued in that I was actually challenging the idea. I don't see how it can be good for you. I mean if the idea is that Grok ate tubers because there was nothing else, then weren't the Groks eating them to simply survive - as in keep from imminent death - cause there is no meat around. Sure I'm not going to die if I eat potatoes for 10 days, but that doesn't mean it's good for my health or optimal. And if they're supposed to be eaten with no fat... aargh that would be awful...
    Last edited by jojohaligo; 11-11-2012 at 06:10 PM.
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    Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
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    Ok, how about this?

    And there are documented cases of people losing significant amounts of weight and improving metabolic parameters by eating nothing but potatoes. For example, Chris Voigt lost 21 pounds over the course of two months by eating only potatoes and not deliberately restricting calories. Furthermore, his fasting glucose decreased by 10 mg/dL (104 to 94 mg/dL), his serum triglycerides dropped by nearly 50%, his HDL cholesterol increased slightly, and his calculated LDL cholesterol dropped by a stunning 41% (142 to 84 mg/dL).
    That was from Chris Kressler http://chriskresser.com/is-starch-a-...ent-or-a-toxin

    OH wait, that's a pro. Sorry.

    Ok, how about this from our one and only Mark?

    Fall Foods: Why Seasonal Eating Primes the Body for Fat Burning | Mark's Daily Apple

    OH wait, that's a pro also.

    Ok, how about this also from Mark?

    Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple

    Oh wait, that's a pro also. I guess pros are all I got so I won't post those here.
    65lbs gone and counting!!

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopintos View Post
    Ok, how about this?



    That was from Chris Kressler Is starch a beneficial nutrient or a toxin? You be the judge.

    OH wait, that's a pro. Sorry.

    Ok, how about this from our one and only Mark?

    Fall Foods: Why Seasonal Eating Primes the Body for Fat Burning | Mark's Daily Apple

    OH wait, that's a pro also.

    Ok, how about this also from Mark?

    Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss | Mark's Daily Apple

    Oh wait, that's a pro also. I guess pros are all I got so I won't post those here.
    Nah, you can post here! I'm just trying to make it OK to theorize and even question without being told that your just being hateful. I would love of for the fella who started this (forgot the name Otzi posted) or anyone with a word on metabolizm to join!

    I missed the one by Chris, but the two from Mark are in the context of a primal diet and surely do not exclude all other foods for just tators for two weeks. This isn't about potatoes as a PART of your diet....its about potatoes exclusively. I don't even think its gonna hurt you to do it for two weeks.....heck I've fasted for near that time. I'm just opening up the line of opinion and theory without hurting anyones feelings (hopefully).

    Oh, and I heard that Voigt fella had to discontinue his experiment due to "accelerated" weight loss....something that would fit with Pklopps statement on lean mass.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 11-11-2012 at 07:00 PM.

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neckhammer View Post
    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.
    Ok, I know this is going to come as a shock from my posts, but I am not a scientist nor do I know all the technical this's and that's and big words that most of you use ... I know shocker.

    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopintos View Post
    Ok, I know this is going to come as a shock from my posts, but I am not a scientist nor do I know all the technical this's and that's and big words that most of you use ... I know shocker.

    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.
    Perfectly good point! Maybe a periodic potato fast isn't so bad in the sense of what they call "autophagy". This is when your body does the cleaning you speak of gopoints. To be quite honest I don't know. I know that with fasting autophagy occurs and does the cleanup....a big plus for the IF crowd. Does this event happen with a steady supply of starch though? Does it only require a reduced amount of protein? Or would the consistent supply of glucose and insulin from the potatoes nullify that effect. A lot of study on longevity seems to indicate that lower insulin levels (carbs AND protein) along with low blood glucose levels to be best.

  8. #8
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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.

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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?
    65lbs gone and counting!!

    Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

  10. #10
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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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