Let’s face it, when it comes to carby goodness, you won’t find a more versatile and delicious form of carbohydrate than the humble potato, right?
Potatoes have been a dietary staple for centuries upon centuries, and not only that, if you look back in the history books at events such as the Irish Potato Famine, you’ll see just how important this humble carbohydrate really is.
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who can get away with eating what you like, when you like, in vast quantities and still lose weight, there’s a chance that you, like millions of others around the world will have struggled with your weight at some point. Weight loss is tough, especially when all of your favourite foods are high in calories and deemed bad for you, right?
When people talk about carbohydrates, the general consensus is that high carbs will result in weight gain, and that the only way to lose fat is to go low carb. That’s not the case, as the potato diet has emphasized.
What is the potato diet?
We keep mentioning the potato diet, but it’s all well and good talking about it but it’s not much help if you don’t know what it is.
Whereas there are some complex and scientific diets out there which require precision planning, weighing your meals, and timing your eating windows, the potato diet is not one of them. The great thing about the potato diet is the fact that it is so simple and straightforward to follow.
The potato diet is a way of eating in which you will consume nothing but good old potatoes. Who could have guessed?
Sometimes known as the ‘Potato Hack’ or the ‘Potato Hack Diet’ this is a diet that is designed to be followed for the short-term only to provide speedy results. As you might expect, the diet itself has been tweaked over the years, but the basic premise remains the same.
Those who endorse this diet have found it can potentially burn off as many as 7 pounds in an entire week, that’s 1 pound each day!
What’s the story behind the potato diet?
The concept behind the potato diet can be traced back to the late 1800s, though the diet we’re talking about today only came to prominence back in 2016, thanks to a man named Tim Steele.
Time published what is known as the ‘Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified’ and it really took off. For years, people avoided potatoes in large quantities as they were considered to be fairly high in calories. Tim however, claimed that potatoes were basically the ‘best diet pill ever created’ as he found that they could promote fat loss while improving immunity and general health.
As we mentioned, the diet has been tweaked over the years, and if you’re familiar with world-famous magician Penn Jillette – One half of Penn and Teller, you may have heard of the diet. Penn published a book entitled ‘Presto!: How I made over 100 Pounds Disappear’.
Penn did indeed lose over 100 pounds of weight and he looked amazing for it. What’s interesting is the fact that, for the first two weeks of his transformation, the big man consumed nothing but plain potatoes. He lost a staggering 18 pounds during this time, and people started to take notice.
How do you do the potato hack diet?
If you’re thinking of trying the potato diet, you must first familiarize yourself with a series of potato diet rules.
The diet is designed for short term use, so don’t worry if it looks a little extreme and “out there” because it isn’t designed to be used as lifestyle change or anything like that.
If you want a very brief explanation, the basic idea is that you will consume between 2 and 5 pounds of potatoes each day, and that is pretty much that.
There are however, a few rules which must be taken into consideration. These include the following:
- For five days, you should only consume whole, plain, cooked potatoes.
- Each day you should aim to consume between 2 and 5 pounds of potatoes.
- You cannot consume any other foods, and that includes condiments and toppings.
- You can use a small amount of salt, pepper, spices, herbs, and seasonings.
- Potatoes can be boiled, baked, or mashed, but not roasted in oil or fried.
- Only drink water, black coffee, or plain tea.
- You can exercise on the diet, but avoid high intensity exercise and instead aim for low intensity exercise such as walking.
- You can of course use any prescription medications, but you should avoid using dietary supplements.
Other potato diet considerations
Okay, so, we’ve covered the basics of the diet, but as mentioned, there are different variations of the diet currently out there and consequently there are a few other things to consider.
Type of potato used
One of the main considerations when it comes to potato diet rules is what type of potato you should use. If you’re following Tim Steele’s diet program, you’ll find that you are only permitted to consume white potatoes. If however, you’re following a different variation, you’ll find that other potatoes are permitted.
For example, you could also switch up the diet by consuming Yukon Golds, or Red Potatoes, or even White Russets.
Are sweet potatoes permitted?
One common misconception surrounding the potato diet is that sweet potatoes are permitted. If you are following Steele’s diet, sweet potatoes are off the menu.
However. One variant of the diet created by a man named Andrew Taylor, is called the ‘Spud Fit Challenge’ in which sweet potatoes are permitted.
What about a tiny bit of ketchup?
In order to make the potato diet work, you need to make sure that you stick to the diet properly and do it as instructed.
The original potato diet does NOT permit any condiments, so that means no ketchup, no mayo, no mustard, no BBQ sauce, and not even any fat free dressing.
If you want to be a bit more flexible, if you follow Andrew Taylor’s version of this diet, you can get away with a small dollop of ketchup or any other condiment, if you absolutely cannot manage without.
How can the potatoes be prepared?
As this is a potato diet, does this mean that you can get away with eating huge bags of potato chips, or bowls of fries deep fried in grease and tossed in salt? Sadly not.
When preparing your potatoes, you can either boil them, bake them, or mash them. You may NOT add any butter, sour cream, oil, or fat to them, and if you use salt and seasonings, keep them to a minimum.
What are the benefits of the potato diet?
Okay, so, we’ve established that the potato diet is indeed fairly simple to follow, and we now know the basics, but what is it about this diet that people find so interesting and engaging? After all, with so many diets out there, why would people choose the potato diet?
Here’s a look at several key benefits of the potato diet.
Fast weight loss results
First and foremost, we aren’t trying to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes here, the potato diet is designed as a short term fix for people who want/need to lose weight quickly.
If you follow the diet correctly, you could lose as many as 5 pounds in 5 days.
The diet is nothing too complex, it is a caloric restrictive diet that is rich in nutrients, but because it is so extreme, results will come very quick, and they will also be very impressive.
Potatoes are nutritious
Another great reason to consider trying the potato diet is simply due to the fact that potatoes are so nutritious.
Potatoes are packed full of vitamin C, they contain folate, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and plenty more besides. The body needs these nutrients for a whole host of different reasons, so the more potatoes you eat, the more nutrients you’re providing your body with.
It’s very simple to follow
One of the best things about following the potato diet is simply the fact that doing so is so simple.
We’ve already looked at the various potato diet rules and protocols a little earlier on, and as you can see, it’s not complicated at all.
Basically, for five days, for every meal, you will eat potatoes and that is pretty much it. You can prepare them in different ways, but each meal should be potatoes with minimal additions and seasonings.
If you’re a potato lover, you’ll be in your element when following this diet.
It’s over quickly
As mentioned, this is a short term diet that is designed to offer a fast solution for people looking to kick start their weight loss and start losing those stubborn pounds.
Make no mistake about it, dieting sucks, and being hungry sucks, and if you’re faced with the prospect of several months of bland food, low calories, low energy levels, and hunger, of course you’re going to feel awful, especially as you’ll have nothing to look forward to.
The good thing about following the potato diet is the fact that it is over quickly so you only need to get through a few days and you’ll then be all set.
It’s very affordable
Some diets, paleo or keto for example, require you to stock up on expensive ingredients such as meat and fish, which, over the course of a week, can be very costly.
The potato diet, though, is one of the most affordable diets in existence. Remember, other than a few herbs and spices which can be grown at home or purchased for nothing, all you will be eating for the duration of this diet is potatoes.
Potatoes are very affordable, especially if you purchase them in bulk so a large 45-pound pack of potatoes should last you a considerable amount of time and will cost a fraction of what a more expensive diet plan would.
The potato diet is good for the gut
Finally, when talking about the benefits of the potato diet, you can’t overlook the fact that the potato diet is packed full of fiber which is great for the gut.
Fiber is great for the gut, it reduces LDL cholesterol, it provides cardiovascular benefits, and a whole lot more besides.
Is the potato diet good for weight loss?
Okay, so we’ve answered the question of what is the potato diet, we’ve looked at the rules, and we’ve looked at the benefits, so is the potato diet good for weight loss?
Well, the answer is yes. Those who follow the diet correctly can potentially lose a pound per day, if not slightly more, while also eating a healthy and nutritious food as well.
Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t the healthiest diet in the world and it can’t be followed long-term but if you’re looking for a short-term fix, the diet is perfect.
So, with that, we’ll wrap this guide up today and will bring proceedings to a close.
The potato diet is easy to follow, it’s cheap, you get to eat potatoes every day, and it provides very impressive results for people who are looking to lose weight.
If you feel like you’ve tried every diet under the sun but still haven’t got anywhere, the potato diet could the solution to all of your woes.