Can you lose weight if you eat only potatoes?

Can you lose weight if you eat only a high-carb food, specifically only potatoes? Yes you can. In fact many people have successfully tried this trick.

Here’s one example, Andrew Taylor, 36 years old and Australian. He ate nothing but potatoes for six months (!) and dropped a whopping 94 lbs (43 kg).

He feels that the diet has helped him control his food addiction, in addition to losing weight.

Video report after 6 months of eating only potatoes

Losing weight on high carb?

So how is it possible to lose weight on a high-carb diet? And does this not invalidate the simplified carbs -> insulin -> obesity theory behind low-carb diets? Some opponents have claimed that.

I think all this shows is something that should be obvious: there is more than one way to lose weight. Eating a low-carb and high-fat diet is clearly not the only way lose weight, just a very effective and often pleasurable way to do it.

Sensory-specific satiety

The potato trick I believe uses another phenomenon to lose weight. It’s an extremely monotonous diet, resulting in something called sensory-specific satiety, mening that the monotony results in wanting to eat less food.

After months of eating only potatoes the urge to snack on some more potatoes is quite low, so people end up eating ONLY when truly hungry (an effective way to lose weight).

This is probably extra effective when starting out with a lot of excess weight due to food addiction and processed high-carb foods, like Andrew Taylor apparently did.

If potatoes do not trigger his food addiction and he keeps eating only potatoes, that means he’s getting his food addiction under control, resulting in way less food intake, clearly resulting in weight loss.

How about insulin?

How about insulin? My bet is that if someone would measure Andrew Taylor’s insulin levels before and during the potato eating, they’d be way down, due to simply eating way less food. And if so there’s no problem for the “insulin hypothesis”.

Eating an extremely monotonous diet, resulting in strong sensory-specific satiety, resulting in eating way less, is just another way of lowering insulin levels.

You could do this trick on a low-carb high-fat diet too, and it will probably lead to even lower insulin levels and even faster weight loss. How? Eat only eggs, nothing else.

It’s a nice trick. But it’s probably not very enjoyable for most people long term to eat only one single thing ever, for the rest of their life. So I believe there are better ways to lose weight.

More

How to Lose Weight

Food addiction

Insulin

Crazy ways to lose weight

Insane Dieting: The Bulimia Device

“I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss”

The Biggest Loser: “Everything That’s Wrong With Weight Loss in America”

57 comments

Top comments

  1. joe
    The big question is "will this mate keep the weight off."
    Reply: #60
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  2. Maddy
    Oh for goodness sake, for people freaking out about protein, a medium potato has about 4 grams and if he's eating at least 10-12 per day, which he certainly is as his sole source of sustenance, he's getting more than he actually needs as most nutritionists agree these days that we don't need as much protein as once believed. But calm down. He's taking control of his health and now rather than being a drain on the healthcare system and wasting his life in disease and agony he's living it and enjoying himself. Perhaps you need more carbs?

    Not all of us actually thrive eating the same things, so let's all stop trying to impose our own needs onto others.

    Reply: #10
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All comments

  1. Jane Sanchez
    This guy is a total soft body at 23 % body fat- that is very high. He has no tone. Weight loss is meaningless. We are looking for major body REcomposition .
    Reply: #53
  2. Apicius
    Lile,

    Did I say that vegetarians cannot survive without eating meat? No, I did not.

    I think there is a huge difference between potatotarians and vegetarians.

  3. Apicius
    Jane,

    I wonder what sort of harm he is doing to his body with lack of nutrients. Like no vitamin A, E and B12 being ingested. Very little calcium, iron, folate, zinc and selenium minerals, just to name a few. What little fat he is getting from potatoes (and I mean very little) is higher in omega 6 than omega 3, and the plant form omega 3 is not easily converted to the useful form (which makes the omega 6 to 3 ratio even worse. Makes me cringe.

  4. 1 comment removed
  5. Dan
    The lowly white potato is actually one of the best foods you can eat—for weight loss, health, and several other reasons. Read all about it:

    http://www.finalfatloss.com/2017/02/11/white-potatoes-the-best-food-o...

  6. Austin
    Another reason this might work according to Stephan Guyenet a pioneer in obesity research has suggested that what has caused obesity is increased intake due to increased set points which have gone up due to hyperpalitable foods these days which cause leptin resistance in the brain.

    Hyperpalitable are foods high in sugar, fat, and salt. Along with this comes extreme variety. In any case by eating a bland monotonous diet he claims you can many times get your leptin sensitivity back if you're currently obese.

  7. JennyG
    Vitamins A and E are available in sweet potatoes. B12 requirements are extremely low and the body is good at storing them for a long time, but yes you would eventually need to take a supplement or eat something else.
  8. 1 comment removed
  9. Victor
    You cant ignore the hormonal effects of food. Its not all about calories. Take protein, that has been discussed here so much. Your body actually NEEDS protein for repair, tissue building, etc. If you eat 200 calories of protein, do you really think you are burning it for fuel? Or are those protein calories being used in a different way? And the body treats different types of foods differently, with most health practitioners knowing that some of those effects being differences in insulin production. You can't ignore these effects, they all relate to how the body creates and maintains body fat. Its not all about calories, although calories do have an impact.
  10. Firene
    I believe he has kept it off. He has a website spudfit with recipes (sounds odd when only eating potatoes) . There is also someone who does potato hack, just a 5 day challenge. A bit harder, as it is only potato. They both work. Personally, any diet works, making the commitment that is difficult.
    Currently doing intermittent fasting.
    Yes, weight has been a challenge for many people, but for me at 67 it is my only challenge. My general health is excellent and have moved from 104 kg to 75 kg.
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