Yesterday was week three of doing lots of potatoes most days. It’s going well. Didn’t make the weigh in, as I was busy with other stuff, so perhaps I’ll just relax, keep eating potatoes, and drive it home for the 1-month result next Sunday. In the meantime, let’s check on a few other folks and extend some credit where it’s due, eh?
2-week update: down to 224 lb from 235. I’m 6’3″.
Crazy stuff. I’ve eaten more potatoes in these two weeks than have I have in two years. Biggest things I’ve noticed are:
- less desire to have alcohol – I’m normally a 1-2 glass of red wine guy per night
- less desire to eat meat. I’m almost feeling like I’m vegan (omg…did I just say that)
- I used to do potato starch but it didn’t nearly have any effect on my appetite so I think I can write that off as cool experiment
- been also eating lots of lentils which I think the combo is mighty
- not thinking about food really at all. late night binge of a bowl of cereal, jar of PB, etc. are gone.
- wondering if the magic will continue or if this is just a temporary situation.
This weekend I’m cooking up a huge portion of Chickpea and Potato Curry from the Moosewood Cookbook. Would love to have others share their updates.
Jonathan keeps it pithy:
Went four days and lost 11lbs.
Now, here’s the click-bait post headliner, Coconutty:
Hello! I’ve been following the potato threads here and on MDA with great interest for at least a couple months now and have been meaning to weigh in, so here goes.
A little background. Female, peri-menopausal. Been doing LC on and off for about 15 years, mostly on. While this got and kept me out of land whale territory, it has definitely lost some effectiveness over time. I’ve been doing battle with the same 10 or so vanity pounds for years.
Is that a rather familiar story, or what? …And right along gender and hormonal realities…
I’d been wanting to do the test Kresser recommends on his website where you eat 8 oz of potato and test BG after one hour. Was aware that my FBG is always in the 70’s or low 80’s but wanted to know what would happen if I ate carbs for any length of time and/or if LC eating was masking a problem – T2 runs very strongly in my family. So I bought a couple bags of organic gold taters from TJ’s and a meter from Walgreens. Of course, in the back of my mind was that if my one hour BG result wasn’t outrageous, then I could eat the rest of those taters and do the hack.
Frankly, at first, it seemed y’all had totally jumped the shark, then it only seemed semi-nutty, then finally my curiosity got the better of me. Also, I began to recall how Atkins discussed low-fat eating in a not-so-unfavorable way in the very first edition of his book. Does anyone else remember that?
I sure do. In fact, it’s something I used to mention to people often when I read Atkins 1.0 in 1991. It seems to not be fat or carbs that are the problem when inversely proportional, but when both are high (do the math, though…it’s chronic excess calories owing to the energy density of fat).
…Not to put words in the late great Atkins’ mouth, but my vague memory is he said something to the effect that a very low fat, high carb diet wasn’t all that bad in his opinion as another strategy, where people get in all the trouble with CV problems, hyperinsulinemia, metabolic syndrome, and obesity is with a combo of high carb and high fat (especially garbage fats), especially if the diet is also high calorie. SAD in a nutshell. Then I also recalled some of Lyle MacDonald’s writings, particularly his Ultimate Diet book where when one carbs up before depletion workouts, it is kept low fat as possible. So it all began to make more and more sense to me as a possibility.
Yep, classic serious gym and body builder stuff. Lean protein and low-fat carbs. Someone in comments just a few weeks back mentioned how she used to work in a gym that catered to competitive body builders and when they did their cut before a competition, it was lean, dry, skinless chicken breasts and plain, unsalted, cold potatoes right from the fridge. They dropped scary amounts of fat rapidly.
Since my one-hour BG was 109 after 8 oz of plain spud, and I had the meter anyway, all systems were a go on a 2 day trial of the hack.
- Day 1 – Starting weight 144, size 6 jeans too tight for comfort, though wearable. Ate about 2.5 lbs cooked, cooled and peeled spuds, gently heated with salt, ACV, and/or some fat skimmed bone broth. I used the 2 teaspoons of allowed fat in teas using coconut oil as creamer along with a little Great Lakes gelatin (orange label) for froth. Nothing else but water and 10 BCAA capsules.
- Day 2 – weight 143, ate about 2 lbs of spuds in a similar fashion to day one, except I had 2 T of TJ’s organic ketchup with one meal. Skipped breakfast, wasn’t hungry until about 2. Ate all my taters in a 7-hour window.
- Day 3 – weight 141. Getting a bit bored of eating taters and besides the plan was just two days. But 141! Hard to argue with that especially since size 6 jeans fit perfectly, not overly snug. And there were a few spuds left in the fridge. As with day 2, not much interest in eating until later in the day; finished up last of the spuds which ended up being about 1.5 lbs peeled. Got a little hungry before bed so last meal was a can of boneless skinless salmon from TJ’s, 180 cal/0 g carb/39g protein/3g fat with 2T kraut.
- Day 4 weight 140. Went back to how I was eating before more or less for the next week. Low-moderate carbs, moderate-high protein & fat, portion control, 2 meals a day. Maybe a few more carbs, didn’t obsess too much but generally stayed below 75g/day. Likely hit close to 100g carbs a couple of days.
Seven days post-hack – weight 138.5. Nice! Continued to lose a little w/o even trying, which is the exact opposite of this normally plays out. Size 6 jeans were loose and got into size 4 ‘tho a bit tight. Energy is up, feeling good, mood generally mellow. Time for some more tater days.
Hack #2 – two days, similar food items as before + BCAAs. Again, focus was on cooled RS taters to satiety, minimal condiments and fat. 2.5 lb first day, around 2 lb the second day. End weight 136. Size 4 jeans now fit perfectly, even slightly roomy in the waist. In deep ketosis (80mg/dl dark pink) on the morning of day three. Haven’t been able to achieve that in many years no matter how high fat or low carb I go. Frankly, felt a little lightheaded but wasn’t BG; tested and it was neither hypo or unduly high. Almost like I was losing too fast. Fluid and sodium intake was good in case you’re wondering.
Did you catch that? We’ve seen this before. LC and Keto dieters are trying the potato hack and finding, to their shock, that they’re in deeper ketosis! than when on The Real Thing. Of course, this is perfectly normal, because ketosis is primarily an adaptation to chronic undereating. It’s not an LC adaptation, per se. As I’ve said before, LC dieters have co-opted this physiological adaptation and doing so is a bit gimmicky in my view, to put it charitably.
Of particular significance to my mind is-
- I haven’t been able to lose actual fat at nearly this rate for years. It’s been impossible no matter what I do OR it rapidly returns.
- WHR (waist-hip ratio) has dropped from almost .75 to .723. The last time I was at this weight and clothes size, my waist was over 1/2” bigger and that was about 8 years ago before I was peri-menopausal. Couldn’t be more pleased to see some of that belly fat go buh bye, both for health and aesthetic reasons.
- Energy was high, mood good and I wasn’t ready to gnaw my arm off unlike every other time an attempt at progress was made. Even exercised a fair amount – trail walking up steep inclines most days on hack and even some lifting the first day.
- Got me over the fear of carbs, which is somewhat irrational at this juncture. While I will still likely continue to eat a carbohydrate controlled diet for the most part, it’s great to have something else in the toolbox b/c the VLC tool has increasingly become a dead end.
Started another hack today, about 3 weeks have passed since the last one. Weight is still 136. Ate 2.5 lb straight outta the fridge today peeled as needed with some ACV and salt. Just going to do two days this go-around. Pretty much where I want to be or close, just want 3lbs of wiggle room. No rush for that last 3. Cheers!
Well isn’t that all just wonderfully informative? I hope it inspires others who think we’re all just batshit crazy around here. This woman is someone who clearly understands all the moving parts and pieces. You simply can’t just dismiss her as someone who’s not doing LC right.
I understand well that LC, VLC, and Keto work just fine for many; they like or enjoy it…whatever. But you must admit that by its very nature, it’s predominantly a diet about excluding and not including. It’s defined by what it’s not, and not what it is. It’s kind of like atheism. Rationally, there should be no such thing…but rather, only a word for people who believe in things not in evidence, and that goes far beyond imagined deities. I digress.
With that sort of philosophy baked into the cake—definition by negation or the non-essential—then naturally, everything else becomes heretical. But people being people, forbidden fruit becomes an issue and sinful delights, a problem.
Beyond Coconutty’s vanity weight loss and feeling better about herself, and having a great new hammer in the toolbox, here’s her most important lesson: “Got me over the fear of carbs, which is somewhat irrational at this juncture.”