You understand by now that The Potato Diet is not magic. It’s perfectly explainable and logical, based on the observations.
It happens to turn out, rather ironically, that unlike chips and fries which are crazy go-to hyper-palatable rewarding foods that people flock to and overeat by heaps and bounds, plain potatoes are the most satiating food ever measured in controlled conditions (for most people).
I’ll show you the conspicuous chart, once again.
Funny how an orange is on par with a steak, both being roughly four times as satiating as potato chips. But plain potatoes blow everything else out of the water. Not by an exponential factor, but certainly by orders of magnitude.
Anyway, various readers have been finding similar satiation with a couple of other things, primarily oats, and legumes. While lentils and baked beans are on the chart and toward the right, they aren’t as clearly outlying. However, here’s where art comes into play, in my book. Essentially, we’re looking at an experiment where you get a bunch of people off the street and have them test various foods, pretty much blindsided.
But how about to the aficionado? The potato artist? The tater-Tot!?
What if the practice and discipline to eat nothing but plain boiled potatoes for a few days to a week causes some profound changes, where other common, peasant-like staples—such as oat groats and legumes—do the same thing: help you feel full for more hours. And being in an energy deficit for some hours to days is no longer as big of a deal to you?
Isn’t that what it boils down to? For whatever reason, you don’t seem to be getting the same hunger signals or impulses to eat at the same intervals, or at the same amplitude. It’s as though it’s all attenuated or dampened. I’m very curious to explore the potential psychological, neurological, and physiological underpinnings of all of that and wish to use my new podcast platform to do that the best.
I wrote this simply titled short post in January of 2009: HUNGER.
The longer I go down this path of paleo-like eating, the more I am convinced that hunger is the key. I tell people, now: ultimately, this is not a battle of the bulge, fat, or weight. This is a battle over hunger and ultimately, your hunger is going to win in the long run unless you simply have the rare constitution to be miserable all the time — like many of the calorie restriction folks do.
Unfortunately, my vision as to the solution was still very incomplete:
Fortunately, there is a solution, and that solution is to eat a natural diet of plenty of meats, fish, natural fats (animal, coconut, olive), vegetables, fruits (moderation), and nuts (moderation too).
The post continues. Lot’s more wrong or incomplete stuff. But it also got an essential thing right, and we know that’s right because it’s prima facie. You can only get fat by eating. Not eating does not make you fat. Not being hungry all the time has you eating less, less often; quod erat demonstrandum.
So to some extent, I was still embroiled with the idea that so long as it’s a “paleo” food, then it’s going to solve hunger, and you’re not going to overeat it chronically. Uh, yes, very many of you will. Whether it’s pastured eggs, nuts, huge fatty cuts of meat, avocados, coconuts, or whatever. Unlimited access, combined with a carefree budget, all licensed by a Paleo or Low-Carb green-light card, will have very, very many of you overeating these foods (and if not paleo, add butter, bacon, and cheese to the list—and if paleo-ish, add nut butter and nut flours).
We’re so very invested in defending all of these great foods and indeed, they are great. All of them. For decades, they’ve been unjustly maligned, and it’s understandable now, that we feel a huge sense of relief in seeing butter in the cold section again, and news articles telling us that perhaps bird and reptile exo-wombs aren’t so bad.
But unless we have pocketbook constraints, or have to hunt, gather, and fish these foods, or otherwise go to the work of pasturing and producing, then yes, we can overindulge in them. And so it comes down to eating like a poor peasant.
Here’s the next recipe. It’ll set you back a few bucks, but it will also delight and satisfy.
- 1 lb smoked pork necks (alternatively: smoked ham hocks)
- 1 lb package bean soup mix (mine was 15-beans)
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 1 bunch fresh parsley; chopped leaves, discard stems
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3-4 small carrots, diced, with skins
- 1 small head green cabbage; 1/2 – 2/3 chopped about 1″
- 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes (I use the ones with oregano, garlic, etc. herbs)
- 1 quart Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock
- 1 quart Kitchen Basics Beef Stock
- 1 TBS ground black pepper
- Salt and additional pepper to taste when finished
- Bring pork necks, chicken and beef stock to a boil. Add water to make sure they’re covered and stay covered. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat falls off the bone with a fork poke. About 2 hours.
- Remove the necks to a bowl and let them cool so you can handle with bare fingers. In the meantime, strain the cooking liquid and run it through your Fat Separator batch by batch. Pick the pork necks thoroughly, breaking up all the lean meat into small bits and toss them into the pot with your fat-separated cooking stocks.
- Add in the beans, onions, garlic, parsley, carrots, tomatoes, and pepper. Use water as necessary, but careful. Cooking releases moisture from the veggies. You can always add water.
- Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover. About 2 hours.
I pictured this bowl with only minimal soupiness to illustrate what’s in play.
Here’s what it looks like as just plain old soup.
For the “gluttons” out there, this recipe is adapted from one of my mom’s that’s a super quick & easy (like 30 minutes or so). It’s a pound of Polish sausage chopped up, a couple of chopped onions, 2 cans diced tomatoes, half head of chopped cabbage, salt & pepper to taste. Enough water to cover, boil until done. Crazy delicious.