If you’re looking to drop a few quick pounds, there are so many short-term cleanses and detoxes out there to choose from. Most recently, we stumbled across the potato diet, which promises to help you lose weight in just a few days time.
The Potato Diet — How it Works
The concept of eating potatoes for weight loss dates back all the way to 1849. It made a resurgence onto the scene in 2016 when author Tim Steele wrote a book called Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified (Buy on Amazon, $15). In his book, Steele goes as far as to claim that potatoes are the “best diet pill ever invented.” Furthermore, he claims that the diet can boost your immunity and gut health, too!
The potato diet, or potato hack as it’s sometimes called, is pretty straight forward. There are some different variations, but on Steele’s version, there are seven major rules to follow:
- Rule 1: Eat only plain, cooked potatoes for three to five days.
- Rule 2: As a general rule, eat two to five pounds of potatoes per day.
- Rule 3: No other foods including condiments and toppings, such as ketchup, butter, sour cream, and cheese.
- Rule 4: Some salt is okay, but try to avoid it.
- Rule 5: You can drink water, plain tea, or black coffee.
- Rule 6: Heavy exercise is not recommended. Light exercise and walking are encouraged.
- Rule 7: Take your usual medications as directed by your doctor. Don’t take any unprescribed dietary supplements.
For this version of the diet, you’re also only allowed to eat white potatoes. Other versions (for example, the Spud Fit Challenge) include sweet potatoes, russets, and gold potatoes as well as herbs and spices for flavoring.
So can the potato diet actually help with weight loss? The short answer is yes — but there are a few caveats. All in all, the potato diet is considered a crash diet, since you only follow it for a short amount of time. While eating two to five pounds of potatoes might seem like a lot, it actually only amounts to between 500 and 1300 calories per day. This is ultimately less calories than most people eat, so the deficit can lead to weight loss. Potatoes also contain a nutrient called proteinase inhibitor 2 that has shown to help decrease hunger by slowing down digestion.
Potatoes contain many important nutrients like potassium, fiber, vitamin C, folate, and iron. However, your body needs a multitude of different nutrients to meet all of its need, so following a diet of only potatoes wouldn’t be considered safe or beneficial to your health in the long term. That being said, always check with your doctor before trying any new eating plan.
So if you’re looking to drop a few pounds quickly and easily, going on a potato diet for a few days could be a good option. Remember that sustaining the weight loss from an eating plan like this will require that you adopt a healthier lifestyle overall, which is simple to do with the right tools and tips. For some additional guidance, check out our comprehensive list of the best and worst diets for weight loss.