In today’s health culture, short-term diets have become a go–to for many to try to lose weight quickly. Many of these fad diets, like the Potato Diet, encourage extreme modifications and restrictions for rapid results.
Everything You Need To Know About The Potato Diet
The Potato Diet is a plan to consume only potatoes for three to five days or longer to create a calorie deficit while also feeling satiated. Research has shown that potatoes, especially plain, boiled potatoes, are highly satiating, and the diet is centered around satisfying your hunger using a filling food with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. However, potatoes won’t meet your full nutritional needs and consuming only potatoes isn’t sustainable long-term from a health or enjoyment standpoint.
What does the Potato Diet entail?
While there are different modifications to the Potato Diet, like adding in low-calorie whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains as well as condiments and spices, in its purest form, dieters eat only plain boiled, baked or mashed potatoes with either black tea, black coffee, herbal tea or water.
There is no specific schedule for eating, and the amount of potatoes consumed depends on the individual, though it’s typically between two and five pounds of potatoes per day to get enough calories and nutrients.
How is the Potato Diet beneficial?
Studies proving weight loss from this specific diet aren’t available, but the setup of the diet is conducive to losing weight. Two to five pounds of potatoes amounts to only 530-1,300 calories daily, which is far less than the recommended average of 2,000 calories per day. The most basic version of the potato diet claims to help you lose up to 1 pound per day.
Potatoes are also rich in antioxidants, which can help improve your metabolism, and the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in potatoes will help support your body during the diet. Potatoes help your body convert resources to energy, produce red blood cells and improve neurotransmitters.
Where the Potato Diet comes up short
While the Potato Diet will likely cause you to lose weight in the short term, there are a lot of nutrients absent from your diet if you’re only consuming potatoes. Extremely restrictive diets also have negative impacts on eating habits, potentially leading to unhealthy or disordered eating and your body not being able to absorb all the micronutrients.
Very brief, extreme diets are also not sustainable for keeping weight off in the long run. After returning to eating your normal selection and amount of food, it’s easy to gain back weight you may have lost. A study showed that 90% of people who followed a diet bounced back to their previous weight following the end of the diet. If you’re looking to see lasting results, incremental and sustainable lifestyle changes help reduce weight and keep it off.
More than just focusing on weight, though, the Potato Diet doesn’t account for the ways meals – the food and the experience – affect and add to our wellbeing from a mental, social and emotional standpoint. Your diet strategy can focus on healthy balance, intuitive eating and building a diet that feels good to your mind and body while still making choices to help you lose weight in the process.
Intermittent Fasting vs. the Potato Diet
Intermittent fasting as a lifestyle change has been proven to provide benefits beyond the scale. Rather than focusing on losing weight fast by restricting your diet to one food, you can adapt your eating to work with your day-to-day schedule and to benefit your body at the same time.
Where intermittent fasting proves incredibly effective is giving your body the time it needs to keep your organs and digestive system healthy and improve your metabolic fitness. With time for proper and complete digestion during fasting periods, your body can get rid of sugars, burn stored resources and prioritize processes in your body that would otherwise be put on hold when you’re consistently eating and digesting food.
Ultimately, this way of eating helps your body:
- Reduce inflammation
- Strengthen memory and recall
- Improve skin and immune function
- Expand energy and focus
- Increase fertility
- Enhance physical endurance
- and much more in addition to maintaining a healthy weight
A 2014 study even suggested that intermittent fasting is equally as effective as restricting calories for weight loss and reducing fat.
Essentially, making drastic changes to your diet that are unsustainable isn’t going to help your health, overall, and it may cause more hurdles than it’s worth. If you’re looking to make healthier changes, choosing a strategy like intermittent fasting that works with your lifestyle along with tools and resources to get you to reach your goals is a more successful approach than a lose-weight-quick scheme.