“Doctors hate her: a local mom discovers how to lose weight effortlessly with this one trick.”

The title is tongue-in-cheek, lifted from the second commenter. Read on. It’s pretty good.

James is up first.

The Potato Diet, and Elixa, has completely cured the chronic diarrhea I’ve had for many years. I started the Potato Diet about four weeks ago and it was slowly alleviating the problem. Today is Day 12 of the 24-day protocol of Elixa and the diarrhea has disappeared. Like, you know, gone, man. Vamoosed. Adios, muhfug. And I’m even losing weight again; six pounds in 10 days.

My practice is to roast the taters at 350°F for an hour then cool and store them in the reefer. I usually warm them in a bit of olive oil, sometimes sautéing onions beforehand. Minced fresh garlic always accompanies the meal. I often heat bone broth with mushrooms and onions, adding the cold, cubed potatoes as you suggest. Occasionally I’ll toss in 1/4-cup of black beans to the potatoes and olive oil.

I eat twice per day usually, occasionally only one meal. I usually take a quaff of kefir after the meal. Yesterday and today I’m drinking a mix of 3 quarts raw milk and 1 quart of kefir. I usually begin and end the day with a shake made of several prebiotics, including of course potato starch.

Tangential: For years I’ve had a small bump on my hip at the belt line. I had it surgically removed many years ago but it returned after a few months. Oddly, after starting the Potato Diet, the bump began to slowly shrink and I think with the addition of Elixa the shrinkage has accelerated.

I owe the paleosphere many thanks for improving my health but you and Karl Seddon are due the lion’s share of my gratitude.

James H

Next up is NvN:

Got inspired by James’s comment. It’s high time I said thank you as well. My family and I went out to dinner tonight, and someone at the table made a remark about “all the carbs” we were eating. It took me a second to process it. Because to me, we were simply eating food. Not carbs, protein, fat, but food. It was really good Chinese. I was thinking about how much I was enjoying the meal when the carb comment came. The fact that it sounded so unnatural to me made me realize how far I have come. Mostly thanks to this blog.

I used to be a skinny kid before moving to the US. Once here, I slowly started putting on weight. I was never overweight but people around me finally managed to convince me that I should get in a better shape, so I started lifting weights and eating moderate/low carb. I got lean but my health wasn’t perfect. Like many readers here, at some point I discovered I was gluten intolerant. I gave up wheat and felt much better.

And then, a couple of year ago, I had a child. Because I couldn’t shake off those last 10 post-pregnancy pounds, my family got me to try keto. Slowly, I started being “that person”. Going on and on about macros, sugar, etc. Still, the weight wasn’t really budging in any sustainable way. On top of that, I had really low energy levels.

I don’t remember how I found FTA. But I did. I was incredibly impressed by the iron article, so I started looking through the archives.

Resistant starch supplementation? I’m always up for experimenting on myself, so I decided to try it. And that’s when I got my sleep back. The thing is, I had never realized how poor my sleep had been before. Restlessness, weird shaky leg sensations… Magnesium was kind-of/maybe-not-really helping. Potato starch fixed it. I was amazed. (And, whoa, those vivid dreams.) Something else got fixed, too. Prior to supplementing with RS, I was starting to have hypoglycemia issues. Initially, I thought it must have been because of pregnancy/nursing. I had no idea I was doing it to myself with all the low carb / keto silliness.

RS was a success, so I kept on reading. Next thing that caught my eye? The potato hack. Whoa, what an idea. I loved it. I tried it. Well, kind of. Ok, don’t laugh. I actually stuck to my usual eggs/seafood/vegetable/fruit/dairy/meat breakfasts and lunches. The plan was to have only potatoes for dinner and late night snacks. So, after 3-4 PM it was just potatoes. I was hoping it would work because I tend to eat most of my food at night. And work it did. The first week I lost 3 pounds. It must have been a fluke, right? Water weight? Natural fluctuations? The following week? Down another 3 pounds. Then 2. And then 2 again. I got leaner than I’d ever been, with some serious ab definition. On top of that, I felt fantastic. More energetic, happier and stronger than, well, ever. How was it possible? How could it be so easy? The line on my weight loss chart looked unreal. I felt like I belonged in one of those ads: “doctors hate her: a local mom discovers how to lose weight effortlessly with this one trick.” The only explanation that made sense was that all those carbs gave me some terrible disease, which caused me to lose so much weight so fast. Either that or, well, maybe low carb wasn’t all it was cracked up to be?

RS worked. Potatoes worked. So I kept reading. Elixa. That’s my current experiment. It’s been great so far. I have high hopes in terms of it making my food sensitivities go away. Most importantly, some things are starting to make sense.

I had hyperemesis in pregnancy. It was like having stomach flu for 16 straight weeks, but without the temporary relief that vomiting gives you when you have a food poisoning. It was 10 times more difficult than an unmedicated childbirth. I remember reading about how populations that ate more grains had less hyperemesis. And I remember thinking this couldn’t have been in any way a real effect. Grains are evil, right? Anyway, that was just a correlation, who cares. So I never pursued that lead. Maybe it could have helped me? Maybe it could have led me to starch, resistant starch, gut bacteria?

Then, I had antibiotics prior to giving birth and my baby was “colicky”. Despite my natural birth, nursing, etc. Maybe I could have helped him? Maybe if I had put my gut flora in order, I could have spared him some of the discomfort? I’m fixing it all now, and it’s benefiting him, too. I’m not sure how, but it is. I’ve noticed a big a difference. Especially ever since I’ve started Elixa. Does part of it make it to breastmilk? If it does, how does it make it where it needs to go? Anyway, we’re both healthier than ever and it’s thanks to RS, potatoes, Elixa and this blog. And I believe this is just the beginning. So much more to learn. (What if the microbiome is the answer to hyperemesis? Colic? Throwing it out there because these two are not likely to be problems Karl or you would be thinking about. But if Elixa, or some future iteration of it, helps with either of them, it will be huge to me and anyone who’s ever dealt with these issues.) So, again, thank you. And I’m looking forward to the microbiome book.

Well, so there.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. Tim Steele on November 7, 2015 at 13:34

    Something I have been thinking about recently…humans (animals?) have several automatic systems to signal satiety. There is a hormone called CCK, that stimulates bile release and also suppresses hunger. Further along, there is leptin, another hormone. Actually known as “the satiety hormone,” many a guru has tried to hack the leptin pathway for weight loss.

    Then there is NYP, ghrelin, POMV, CART, PYY, and GLP-1 to add to the list of hormones and enzymes involved in satiety.

    But, whether this can be found in a scientific journal or not, the most powerful regulator of hunger is a jaw sore from chewing and a full belly.

    These stretched-belly signals must trump, and even make up for, all the other signals. Possibly our modern excess of tasty, high-calorie foods have tempered the capacity of the “alphabet soup” of hunger hormones to do their job. But no food on earth has been developed to bypass the stretching of a stomach when fed to capacity.

    I know for me, a meal of 2 pounds of potatoes and I am D. O. N. E. eating. Stick me with a fork, kinda deal.

    So, the potato diet, in that regard, bypasses the need for a properly functioning set of hunger hormones, or maybe, it helps to reset them. You know, like “zeroing” a piece of test equipment. Something that rarely happens outside Thanksgiving day anymore.

    • chris d on November 11, 2015 at 11:14

      Tim, that’s an interesting concept. I have not experimented with potatoes too much by them selves, but find them to be very satiating depending how they are eating. Anyway the point I would like to make is that it must be something about the potatoes themselves, beyond just causing satiety by filling the stomach. I tried a fiber shake diet following the stretched stomach idea. Worked for about a week or so (just replacing breakfast and lunch) but I would get very hungry a few hours after the lunch shake. After a week the fiber shake pretty much had no effect. You can’t trick your body for very long. I have also had the observation that some foods may cause strong satiety signals, even though only small amounts of food was consumed. Good luck.

  2. Jew Lee Us C Czar on November 7, 2015 at 13:53

    ‘Slowly, I started being “that person”.’

    I remember being “that guy” too. I can laugh about it now, but god I must have been annoying at the time!

    • Bret on November 8, 2015 at 00:45

      “I remember being ‘that guy’ too.”

      Me three. I still have to wince when recalling some of my evangelism. I can remember crystal clear being beyond convinced that everything was settled and I had the right info hands down.

      So now I have a policy of holding my tongue…let others’ dietary choices be their business altogether. It feels good to have reacquired that common sense and humility.

  3. gabkad on November 7, 2015 at 14:50

    For what it’s worth, one of my daughters’ coworkers (and friend) ate yoghurt to keep the pregnancy initiated vomiting and nausea at bay. She gave birth to natural twins this year in March….. poor little woman! But anyway, there you go: probiotic yoghurt.

    And yes, there is a connection, direct from gut to mammary glands. Tim knows what the ‘label’ is for this. I can’t remember. But bacteria from the gut get into the breastmilk via these channels.

    Tim!! Where are you man? Help me out here.

    (This also makes me wonder about ductal carcinoma and the true aetiology of this cancer.)

  4. Duck Dodgers on November 9, 2015 at 11:41

    “someone at the table made a remark about “all the carbs” we were eating”

    Everyone thinks we are eating too many carbs because LCs like to point out that carbohydrates have increased by 25% since the 1980 US Dietary Guidelines were updated. Only, nobody realizes that by the 1960s, carb consumption had declined by ~30% since 1889 and we had one of the lowest carbohydrate intakes of any Western country, by the 1970s. The US Dietary Guidelines were designed (mainly by lobbyists) to reverse that trend.

    Incidentally, the reason why carbohydrate consumption declined is because Americans had begun to figure out that American carbohydates were making them fat. However, this fattening effect wasn’t happening in many other European countries. So, now in the US, we associate carbs with weight gain despite the fact that we still don’t eat as many carbs as we used to. Though, it should be noted that the old American high carb diet was mainly complex carbohydrates.

    • Bret on November 9, 2015 at 13:57

      Well said, Duck. The low carb advice in my mind is useful ONLY because it drives most of its followers to ditch junk food in favor of whole foods. It is the whole foods that are making the difference, not the absence of whole food carbs.

      VLC advocates tend to conflate these separate elements and twist the wording to fit their narrative, but the success of the potato diet for many people (among all the other info you have shared) throws their entire premise out the window.

      But they’d rather not acknowledge such contradictory evidence. They only seem to do so (and grudgingly) when backed into a corner over it.

  5. Haas123 on November 9, 2015 at 12:50

    I wonder why I’m the only one that the potato hack don’t seem to work for. I steam my potatoes (so no nothing on them), and then put whatever I want to eat in a bowl and add salt, ketchup (good one with no sugar added) and malted vinegar and mix everything around so the potatoes are all covered. I don’t add the fat simply because this is the easiest way for me to cook the potatoes, so I don’t need it. Also, I am still drinking coffee with pretend full-cream milk (Canadian 3.5% :) ), so I keep my fat for that (I add a mix of half-maple syrup and half-blackstrap molasses to my coffee). I really like it, but I get completely comatose afterwards. I can eat a giant bowl of white rice without tiredness afterwards, so I don’t think it’s the carbs. I stuck it out for a few days, but it made no difference in weight (and I have enough to go that I will notice), and I kept feeling tired after meals, so I have given up on it for a while.

    • Bret on November 9, 2015 at 14:01

      Haas, I would only suggest trying it with zero seasoning/supplemental ingredient, if you think that is safe for your individual situation.

      Two reasons I would suggest this: 1) It worked for me (which is a caveat as well as recommendation), and 2) If a moderate approach did not work, then an extreme one might.

      Whatever you end up deciding, good luck.

    • Maggie on November 26, 2015 at 08:25

      Haas123 – Mcdougall is all about no added fat. Also no added salt but he says you can add that to taste. But the fat you are adding into the coffee could be causing the camatose effect?? He also says (he is vegan) that butter is better than any vegetable oil including olive oil, especially a pretend full fat dairy.

      • Haas123 on November 26, 2015 at 10:53

        Thanks for the suggestions. :) Maggie, I am still putting dairy in my coffee, it is just that in Canada “full fat” milk is 3.25% milk fat, which is derived from taking all the fat out of the milk and then adding it back at the level you need it. I have tried at various times to cut out coffee (not because I think the caffeine is bad, but because I was trying to cut out/limit my dairy to see if it has an effect), or to take it black/with almond milk/coconut milk/tigernut milk/whatever, but without the milk the coffee “mouth feel” is just not there, and I end up searching for something to eat or drink to make up for it.
        Bret, it was interesting, if I add only salt and vinegar, or only salt and ketchup, I don’t seem to get the comatose effect. Something about the combination of all three seems to do it.

  6. […] “Doctors hate her: a local mom discovers how to lose weight effortlessly with this one trick.” (11 Comments) […]

  7. fani on August 8, 2018 at 05:31

    I owe the paleosphere many thanks for improving my health but you and Karl Seddon are due the lion’s share of my gratitude.


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