In the interest of full transparency, I have a confession to make. I’ve fallen off the wellness wagon! Not only have I fallen off, but the horses spooked and ran away with the wagon trailing behind! So, basically I’m saying I’ve lost control of my eating…again…😢 It’s so frustrating as this is a pattern that has repeated over and over again my entire life. I have some success at diets with resulting weight loss, only to be distracted or derailed by my old eating habits. I’ve spent countless hours thinking about what my root problem is, and why I have such an incredibly difficult time committing and following through with a healthy living lifestyle. What I finally realized is that I’m a food and sugar addict!
Hello. My name is Lisa, and I’m addicted to food.
23 years ago I quit smoking – cold turkey! I was newly married and I knew we’d be wanting to have a baby so I had a pretty appealing carrot dangling in front of me! And while quitting smoking was hard, and I felt horrible the first couple weeks, it was NOTHING compared to the struggles I have with my diet. And you know why that is?!? It has only taken me 30 years to figure this out, but it’s because when I quit smoking I could resolve to never ever have another cigarette. Recovering alcoholics and former drug addicts can resolve to never have another drink or take another drug. I know that’s an over-simplification, because we all know there’s much more to ending addiction than just never smoking, drinking, or shooting up again! However, with a food addiction that’s not even an option. If I never eat again, I will die. Pretty strong deterrent to that particular method of weight loss!
Flash back to last week after I made my astounding self-realization that I was a food addict…I stumbled upon something on the interwebz that caught my eye…a moment so serendipitous that I could not ignore it. I read about a gentleman from Australia named Andrew Taylor, who ate nothing but potatoes for an entire year and not only lost 117 lbs., but also improved his health by lowering his cholesterol, his blood pressure, his triglycerides, and his blood sugar. He also experienced a reduction of inflammation and pain in his joints. As I was reading his story I was drawn to a line about how he realized he was a food addict, and that while he obviously couldn’t stop eating all together, he could certainly simplify his life by eating only ONE food – and that food was potatoes! Brilliant, right?!? I was intrigued, so I bought his book, “The DIY Spud Fit Challenge”, and read it in about an hour.
After reading Andrew’s book, and feeling so inspired and actually hopeful for the first time, I found another resource in a book called “The Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified”, by Tim Steele. This book took me all afternoon to read, and it’s much more detailed as far as the scientific reasons why a potato diet can be an effective, and most importantly, healthy method of weight loss! Suffice it to say, after reading both these books, and many anecdotal testimonies as to the diet’s effectiveness, I’m ready to jump in with both feet and see if I can make this whole ‘potato hack’ thing work for me!
I think it’s amazing that Andrew ate nothing but potatoes for an entire year! But realistically – I’m not even going to try that! I know myself well enough to know that I’d probably never manage a year on strictly potaoes! Tim’s book actually has several different hacks or ways to approach a potatoes only diet, but what they both have in common is this: a potatoes only diet means only eat potatoes! No oils of any kind, no dairy – this means no cheese or sour cream on that baked potato, no meat, and actually no other vegetables or fruits. Seasonings are limited to a tiny bit of salt and perhaps some dried herbs. I recommend that before you start any kind of a diet such as this that you read both the books I linked to above – and nope…not being compensated in any manner…just endorsing them for their knowledge and experience in regard to this particular diet hack. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say you should check with your doctor before beginning any diet of this kind – especially if you intend to maintain a potatoes only diet for an extended period of time!
After thinking long and hard about my lifestyle, my level of commitment, and my personal issues with food, I’ve come up with a plan for the next 4 weeks – a modified, personally suited ‘Potato Hack’ that I’m determined to follow through with. I’m going to post weekly about what I’ve eaten, and how much weight I’m losing, as well as my mental and emotional health during this time! I’ve set some goals for myself which include losing 10 pounds or more by the end of 4 weeks, reset my metabolism, and most importantly for me, to kick my sugar habit again! I’m also hopeful that my overall health will improve, resulting in a significant reduction in inflammation! That will enable me to amp up my exercise routine again to include a minimum of 30 minutes on the elliptical or a brisk 30 minute walk at least 5 days per week.
At this point, I know you’re probably thinking I’m totally nuts – and that’s ok with me! And in case you’re wondering how a diet consisting solely of potatoes can be healthy, let me share some nutritional data with you before I outline my plan for the next 4 weeks. The World Health Organization recommends that we get at least 5% of our calories from protein, and 6-8% of the calories in potatoes comes from protein. Potatoes are rich in iron, calcium, Vitamin C, and fiber. Potatoes also contain a good balance of omega fats in healthy amounts, and they contain zero saturated fats which make them extremely heart healthy!
As for my modified Potato Hack Diet, I have it planned out as such:
Days 1-3 ~ Potatoes and potatoes, and then some more potatoes…but nothing else other than a teensy bit of salt and pepper. Beverages to include unlimited water, black coffee, and unsweetened tea throughout the next 28 days.
Days 4-14 ~ Potatoes and only potatoes for breakfast and lunch. For dinner I’m planning to dress my potatoes with onions, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes in any combination that appeals to me. At this point, I’ll be adding more dried herbs and seasonings, as well as vinegar and lemon juice to flavor my potatoes. I will also be making a gravy with organic chicken, beef, or vegetable stock and potato starch. I’ll pass along that recipe on social media and in my next post.
Days 15-28 ~ All meals to include potatoes with onions, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes, and gravy made from stock and potato starch as desired. I’m also going to add in Sweet Potatoes at this time. I realize they are a completely different food, but in the interest of maintaining enough variety to make this Potato Hack doable, I feel like it’s a good compromise. 👍
After 28 days I’ll re-evaluate progress I’ve made and the struggles I’m sure to encounter to see what worked and what didn’t. But I’m so confident and pumped up about this Spudtacular Adventure that I know it’s going to be a positive experience for me! Hopefully after this 4 weeks I’ll be able to judge better how often to include a Potato Hack in my regular (healthy) diet! At this point, I’m thinking at least one day per week of only potatoes, and perhaps one or two days of the Days 15-28 protocol!
Am I crazy?!? Oh for sure!!! But for trying this Spudtacular Adventure for 28 days…not so much! 😉 If anyone has tried a Potato Hack, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! If you’re interested in trying it with me – also please comment and send me an email or Facebook message so we can connect one to one…we can do this…but it never hurts to have a friend along for the adventure! 😀