Back in 2012 when FreeTheAnimal was discussing the Potato Diet, I didn’t pay too much attention. I was doing my own experiment to gain weight using ice cream and dairy kefir. But this year I’ve been more interested in the role food volume plays on satiety. So I looked it up again.
I read The Potato Diet guide on Vegetable Pharm and it made sense. Fill your belly full of heavy low-calorie nutritious potatoes and you’ll create a caloric deficit and do so without feeling hungry. Yesterday I decided to test it out for one day.
First I wanted to check the math. After running numerous online calculators, I determined that my base metabolic rate is between 2,100 and 2,400 calories. To be conservative, I will use 2,100 calories as my number. A pound of boiled white potatoes is 354 calories. This means I could sit on my ass and eat almost 6 pounds of potatoes without gaining an ounce. But the potato diet works on the premise that one gets full sooner.
The day before I boiled about 6 pounds of medium-sized potatoes and placed them in the refrigerator overnight. Eating the potatoes cooled increased the amount of resistance starch, which according to the Potato Diet post can further help with gut health and hunger signals. No salt or spices are allowed. The potatoes are to be consumed plain. Adding flavor would increase their satiety.
I decided to let hunger be my guide and not try and restrict consumption to achieve a certain level. If I was hungry, I would eat. If I finished all my potatoes and was still hungry, I would end the experiment.
During the day, I weighed the potatoes. At times my belly was full but I felt false hunger. Meaning I craved color, flavor, and variety, but I wasn’t really hungry. It was a gray rainy day in Seattle. Not part of the day. The entire day. I picked a tough day to try this experiment. To get my flavor stimulus, I consumed more coffee than usual. I’m not sure if that is allowed or not, but one battle at a time.
Before heading to sleep, I added everything up. I consumed 5 pounds of potatoes and nothing else. That works out to 1,770 calories. If my metabolism is 2,100 then that works out to a 15.7% deficit. If I’m at 2,400 then it is a 26.3% deficit. Very interesting.
One of my concerns would be that I’d wake up in the middle of the night hungry. That didn’t happen. In fact, I wasn’t even hungry when I woke up. I had already decided to extend the experiment another day. Perhaps my lack of morning hunger was partially due to the fact I had removed the flavor stimulus?
Also, my inner economist was pleased. I purchase a 15-pound bag of potatoes for $3.99. Yesterday I fed myself for just $1.33.
I haven’t decided how deep I will go into this experiment, but yesterday was a great learning experience. Have you tried the Potato Diet? What were your results?