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Fun With Potatoes, Fun With Food, Fun With Life

I have crazy amounts of fun since incorporating plain old and lots of potatoes into my daily fair. The Funny thing is, it’s not much to blog about concerning alluring food. On the other hand, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, as they say, and the word I’m getting is that more and more are doing just that and learning a great deal about themselves and food, as I have. I think just the mental rewards themselves are enough to me. Wish I knew all the elements but those, combined with a calm, sound sleep, stellar energy, never feeling run down, heightened productiveness and more are plenty for me.

Of course, there will come a time soon enough when you know you’ve conquered your Stupid Dog Brain and are ready to incorporate some additional food elements, but ones that keep with the theme. It has also changed the way I prepare regular meals. The biggest thing there is that I now cook with or add little fat of any kind. For this post, I’ll focus on the addition of beans and oats to your list of tools. In a subsequent post, I’ll cover some of the other food I’ve been preparing and how.

But first, a bit of a good-natured dig at paleo. I’ve had to have a laugh the last two mornings when I saw my own daily Paper.li come out (RSS), which is auto-generated from those I follow on social media and what of their stuff has been popular.

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And, yesterday’s paper featured a gluten-free Carrot Cake, and Cordain had this recipe, Paleo Curried Cauliflower Soup. It’s all fine and great, I suppose, but in what world is it an awful idea to use potatoes instead of cauliflower, but it’s A-OK to include both of the naturally occurring 2 TBS of olive oil, and a cup of full-fat coconut milk? Who doesn’t know that olives & coconuts grow together all over the world? Ah, Cordain and the narrative…

Too mean?

So you already have My Potato Soup in your toolkit, and it’s crazy good. I’ve done a couple of days where I eat just that, am fully satisfied, and I easily come under 1,200 calories.

So now, I give you an equally awesome White Bean and Potato Soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb smoked pork necks
  • 1 16 oz package white beans (I used Great Northern)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 TBS dried parsley (3x for fresh…6 TBS)
  • 1-quart chicken stock (Kitchen Basics)
  • 3 medium russet potatoes peeled and diced small
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cover the pork necks with water by a couple of inches, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer, adding water as necessary to keep them well covered. Simmer until the pork falls off the bone (3-4 hours; this rendered about 6-8 oz of meat). Strain into a pot to preserve the cooking water. Pick off all the meat, shred with your fingers, and return to the pot with the cooking water (basically, the same way you make chicken soup from a leftover carcass).
  2. Add beans, chicken stock, onion, garlic, parsley, and additional water as needed to keep everything well covered (beans will absorb).
  3. Bring it all to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are soft (1 1/2 – 2 hours). After an hour, monitor soup consistency and uncover and increase heat as necessary for evaporation if too watery.
  4. When the beans are soft, add diced potatoes and simmer only until soft (about 20 minutes).
  5. Add tomato sauce, milk, and salt & pepper to taste. I found I needed to add no salt at all.

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This dish will remind you of bean & bacon soup in the can if you loved it as I did growing up—but this is infinitely better. It’s another thing I can eat on any day for all meals, be just fine, and bring in a big caloric deficit. Seriously give this a try. Of course, you could double the smoked pork and still be fine, but I am quite coming to love using small amounts of meat to enhance, not dominate flavor. The tomato sauce and milk put it over the top, creating a sort of bisque groove.

OK, so one reader reported losing 26 pounds in a month (with six days ad libitum eating) using a combination of beans, potatoes, and oats. So let’s cover oats. Tim Steele, in that comment thread, suggested using Bob’s Red Mill Oats Groats (which are crazy cheap), so I got some. To make a comparison, I did some Bob’s Steel Cut Oats I had on hand first.

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I fancied that one up with a little half & half, half a banana, and honey since it was a weekend and I made it for both Beatrice & I. They’re great! Better, even, than corn flakes. But you know what’s better? Way better? The groats. Damn. I can really get looking forward to eating them 2-3 mornings per week.

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It looks like soupy brown rice, eh? So, Tim had talked about cooking them less than recommended for a sort of a nutty, al dente vibe. Bob’s calls for 50-60 minutes. I did 30 minutes which turned out to be so damn perfect I’d never bother with trying to remember another number. Here’s the kicker, though. To bump the nutrition, Tim talked about adding oat bran (Yep, Bob has that too). To not be outdone in the slightest, I also got Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Germ. If you’ll recall, the germ is where a lot or most nutrition are found, in grains (stripped out of 99% of that which the enlightened world eats). I like to think of it as analogous to the egg yolk.

So, the recipe is simple, for one serving as pictured above.

  • 1/2 cup oat groats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS oat bran
  • 1 TBS wheat germ
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp raw honey

Combine oats, water, and salt in a medium pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the bran and germ, cover and let sit for a few minutes. Serve with your small pat of butter and plop of honey. Of course, cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup, milk, etc., are other variations that can be tried.

Never cared much for oats that weren’t in the package, took only boiling water, and tasted like maple and dates. When we had it as kids, it was called “mush.” Hated it. Have eschewed oatmeal ever since. I love this, however.

I ran a nutrition profile for that recipe.

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Not bad at all for a 500 calorie breakfast. The germ and bran help out. That’s quite a decent number of minerals you’re getting near a day’s worth in a single meal.

So one final thing is how about the other days. Here’s one of my go-to 2-3 times per week.

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It’s usually about 2 boiled and cooled potatoes from the fridge, diced up. I used exactly one tsp of bacon drippings to fry them up in this marvelous new pan I just got: T-fal E93897 Professional Total Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Fry Pan with Glass Lid. It’s ideal, and the lid makes it easy to get the potatoes hot. Cover on high about three minutes, uncover and toss & finish another three minutes. I also often dice up a slice of onion, and that goes in first for a minute or so. I just scrambled the 2 pastured eggs in the residual bit of oil. Sometimes, I’ll add a tsp of butter. It just doesn’t take much, so you can use far less fat, just for flavor.

I also got this pan at the same time: T-fal E93808 Professional Total Nonstick Oven Safe Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Fry Pan. You can click the links to see the difference. I get so much stuff from Amazon now, because I can easily find best sellers for things with lots of great reviews from customers using the stuff. For inexpensive non-stick, those two were top in every category.

…I’ve been crazy about fried potatoes all my life, but they were always cooked from raw, and always with lots of fat or oil (bacon drippings, usually) to basically deep fry them almost—because they take so long raw, and to make them brown and crispy. But doing them from your boiled and cooled potatoes makes such a difference (and it’s the German way of fried potatoes too). First, they cook quickly, and second, you don’t need much cooking fat at all. Just a little for flavor enhancement, and a nice bit of browning.

And they taste like potatoes and not a delivery device for fat. Just potatoes being their magical selves, again.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

61 Comments

  1. Jason Curry on March 15, 2016 at 18:09

    I can’t wait to see how it has worked for you as far as weight loss. I too have broadened out to beans and oats in addition to the normal potato hack and I’m having great results.

    • sassysquatch on March 16, 2016 at 02:33

      Yes Jason. The potato ‘hack’ is great, sometimes that’s all I eat for a day or 2. But I think this is much more of a ‘starch hack’. Beans, potatoes and oatmeal are my staples. My weight, health, body comp and grocery bill are all improving!!

      I like this oat groat idea, sounds TASTY.



  2. wallycat on March 15, 2016 at 20:01

    I’m all for healthy, whole, nutritious food but would love to hear how this is affecting the pre-diabetic (who test) sub-group. I’m assuming the lower fat is to limit calorie intake. Looking forward to replies.

  3. Kevin King on March 15, 2016 at 21:22

    I lived in an RV off the grid for many years, and learned a lot of tricks to save energy. One way I did that was making steel cut oats without having to cook them forever.

    I’d start at night. Put oats and water in a cooking pan. Bring up to boiling. Turn off burner. Put lid on pot. In the morning, heat and eat. They were always perfectly done.

    Steel cut oats done in minutes (of your time) without using much electric or gas. I’ve heard people do the same using thermos bottles, or leaving in a crock pot on simmer all night. But those are unnecessary. And I never had heat in the RV, and if it was cold out, it made no difference. Nothing fancy needed.

    As a bonus, I would find ‘Ginger marmamade’ or ‘ginger jam’ and put a big dollop in it. I never met anyone who didn’t love my ginger oatmeal.

  4. Mycroft Jones on March 15, 2016 at 21:38

    sassysquatch, can you give us a measure of the beans by weight on the days that you eat beans and potatoes? What is the ratio? Pound of beans to a pound of potatoes?

    • sassysquatch on March 16, 2016 at 05:02

      MJ – I use a pound of whatever beans – and about 2 and 1/2 pounds of cut up taters, with the skins still on – throw in a pint of organic salsa – water and seasoning. I cook in crock pot on low all day.

      After they are done, I will refrigerate for a day – and reheat when I’m ready to eat. That gives me 2 BIG meals (2 days) of eating.

      I only eat one BIG meal a day at night, so it works great for me. And no, this is not about IF. It’s just what works for me – and a way I’ve eaten for years before the term ‘IF’ even existed
      (thank you Ori Hoefmeckler).



    • Glenn Beeson on March 16, 2016 at 11:52

      Your recipe sounds incredible – so trying this!



    • Mycroft Jones on March 16, 2016 at 11:59

      Thank you!



    • Mycroft Jones on March 16, 2016 at 12:02

      And when you say “whatever beans”, that answered my next question. Although… do you extend “beans” to include lentils, mung beans, etc?



    • sassysquatch on March 17, 2016 at 03:10

      I just use beans……mainly pinto, black beans, great northerns, ect……



  5. LaFrite on March 16, 2016 at 02:31

    Spuds, beans, oats : typical foods here. Add rice and fruits to the bunch and that’s my staple, the rest is condiment (fats, meats, dairy, herbs, leafy greens, veggies, etc).

    Once in a while, I will fancy a pizza which I will make from scratch with left-overs (slices of boiled spuds, broccoli, fresh crushed garlic and sliced onions, chopped tomatoes, etc) and a sprinkle of grated cheese if I have around.

  6. Amy on March 16, 2016 at 02:31

    wallycat, I’m in your group. My FBG has been hovering around 110 – 120 for at least nine years…maybe more, although I can’t say for sure since I didn’t monitor until about 9 years ago and also never went to the doctor.

    I have had several stints in my life of VLC and have been a starchy carb phobe ever since reading Sears’s Zone books back in the mid-90’s. However, I’ve also been a notable junk food addict, alternating wildly between a lot of processed crap and strict adherence to ostensibly “healthy” eating styles like VLC and the Zone.

    Then after years of pre-diabetic readings (and some diabetic readings, never told my doc) my FBG spiked a few years ago after an iron transfusion to between 160-200 *every single day* for over a year. Yikes.

    After a year of that I decided I’d had enough, and began to seriously look for ways to address it. For the last couple of years my FBG has been coming down thanks to a lot of interventions, most notably the addition of whole starchy carbs and high quality fat a la the Perfect Health Diet eating style. Then, after success with PHD, getting over my carb phobia and more into whole starchy carbs via potato hacking and ultra-high-carb/low fat like the Rice Diet helped further. Tim and Richard’s work on this has been invaluable to me. Thank you, Gentlemen. 🙂

    Yesterday I ate only boiled, cooled potatoes, gently nuked, with a bit of butter and coconut oil (for bile stimulation, I have developed gall bladder issues due to rapid weight loss in the last year). Total of 6-8 potatoes for the day. Last meal was at 6:30p, now 4:30a. I just checked my FBG and it’s 93. 😀

    When I first started potato hacking last year I was also monitoring my post-prandial spikes closely because I was scared to death that teh carbzzzzz wuz gonna send me into teh diabetik shoxxx n’ stuff. But while I found that potatoes and high carb will make my 1-hour post-prandial readings go a bit high (160-170), they come down rapidly, especially if I throw in a small bit of post-prandial exercise like climbing a few flights of stairs for about five minutes. By two hours readings are completely normal or even below normal. After I experienced this phenomenon repeatedly I quit wasting my expensive testing strips on post-prandial carb readings, since they’re not covered by insurance because I never got an official diabetes diagnosis and I pay for them out of my own pocket. Like Richard, I’ve become mostly untethered to the meter these days.

    Worth noting is that I experienced an identical phenomenon experimenting with high-carb/ultra-low-fat a la the Rice Diet regimen. More weight came off with this than even with potato hacking, although a lot of it did come back on again when I resumed eating fat and salt, unlike with potato hacking which seems to cause a more static weight loss, at least in the short term.

    Also worth noting is that my FBG isn’t copmletely normal yet. It can fluctuate, and it seems that the higher fluctuations have a lot more to do with fat intake than with carb intake. But I have some long-standing observable liver issues from a lifetime of crappy lifestyle choices, as well as recently discovered genetic liver and bile acid weaknesses that I am addressing. High carb and low fat are essential to resolving liver problems. I have complete confidence that I will ultimately normalize my aberrant blood sugar readings over time and with some applied discipline. I also find it interesting that I just took an oral bile acid supplement for the first time last night, and then this morning had my best FBG reading in a while. But that’s a whole other topic.

    Hope that helps. 🙂

    BTW, my favorite way to eat oatmeal is Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oats with honey, dates, and bananas. No added fat. And a glass of skim milk and a couple of soft-boiled eggs on the side. YUM.

    • Glenn Beeson on March 16, 2016 at 12:01

      I am T2D and I appreciate your post.
      I ‘dabbled’ in high carb/low fat for perhaps a couple days and was using a meter before and after every meal. My big mistake was relating this to my health care providers; to say they flipped out would be a gross understatement. They, since I am still relatively new to all this, scared me back into carb control and so on. Then I started thinking and reading. And here I am.
      Your favorite way to eat oatmeal is something I dreamed of. Seriously.



    • Amy on March 16, 2016 at 13:07

      Yeah, Glenn, I’ve never checked my sugar after eating a bowl o’ that oatmeal, though. 😉 As my dear departed grandfather used to say: “This is ugly on my face, not stupid.” 😆



  7. wallycat on March 16, 2016 at 08:50

    Amy, thanks so much for your generous post. My fasting was climbing in my 30s. It hit 102 at some point and stayed there for a bit. (I personally think, for me, it was the low fat/highest carb diet.) This is what we were taught in dietetic school and I gave up being an RD because there was no wiggle room for them and people are simply not all the same. Stricter low carb helped me lose some weight and my fasting for the last 2-3 years has been at 97. I had my A1C tested and was surprised that it was 5.9 . Yes, that is normal, but for low carbing, I thought it should be much lower. Gluconeogenesis is what I suspect (from proteins), so this year, I plan to start adding back some whole-food type carbs. I suspect my A1C will go down (reactive hypoglycemia) and my fasting will go up….but time will tell. As long as I don’t get that ravenous, shakey feeling, which I ALWAYS got eating high carb/low fat, I’m good with it.

    Amy, not my place to say, but you really ought to find a doc or a gyn/nurse practitioner to give you the Dx of pre-diabetes. It follows then that all your meters, lancets and strips will be 100% covered by insurance! At least that’s how things had been working.

  8. Tami on March 16, 2016 at 08:52

    Depending on how chewy you like your steel cut oats, I prepare them by soaking for 24 hours in water with a tbsp of buckwheat. They get soft enough to eat with a nice chewy texture with no heating needed. Overnight is not enough to soften them, it pretty much has to be 24 hours.

  9. Tim Steele on March 16, 2016 at 09:26

    Yep, oat groats are the best!

    Amy – you said, “Yesterday I ate only boiled, cooled potatoes, gently nuked, with a bit of butter and coconut oil (for bile stimulation…”

    Potatoes stimulate bile all on their own. Scientists don’t even understand it, but potatoes cause a spike in CCK which is the bile-release hormone.

    More specifically, it appears to be potato protease inhibitor, a compound found in potatoes, that causes the release of CCK. CCK not only causes bile to be expelled from the gallbladder, but it acts as a satiety hormone, making you no longer hungry.

    This effect of potatoes is undoubtedly one of the many reasons why the potato hack works so well amd people report they are not hungry.

    Read more: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20820171

  10. Dan on March 16, 2016 at 09:52

    Richard,
    For a real treat, take your steel cut or whole groat oats and toast them in a frying pan (I use a little bit of butter for this but I think you can also do it dry), by tossing the pan or stirring as you heat them. Do this till they are golden brown, it only takes a few minutes. This really brings out the flavor and imparts a nutty taste to the oats. Cook them regular afterwards.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 16, 2016 at 09:58

      Yea, I had actually intended to try that. I’ve done teff porridge before and that’s Bob’s recommended way.



  11. John on March 16, 2016 at 10:46

    I like to toast the oats a little first, and use buttermilk in addition to milk.

    (A little Alton Brown style).

  12. Glenn Beeson on March 16, 2016 at 11:45

    This was timely.
    I am currently all spud <800cal a day and I have been wondering about rice, beans and oatmeal. I shall wonder no more.

  13. Corey on March 16, 2016 at 13:00

    Richard, what substitute would you recommend for the soup for those of us who can’t handle dairy? I was thinking coconut milk, but that’s “full-fat” of course.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 16, 2016 at 13:44

      Corey:

      Have you tried the lactose-free products? Like Lactaid, or perhaps the lactose-free kefir would be good in some applications.

      Otherwise, you might try almond milk. Of course, the creaminess isn’t required, either.

      At any



    • Corey on March 16, 2016 at 17:06

      Thanks for the suggestions. I last tried the Lactaid many years ago, and it gave me ridiculous gas. But maybe the kefir is an option.

      Almond milk seems like it would be too watery and somewhat defeat the purpose.

      But this looks so good, I’ll have to try something.



    • Jer on March 18, 2016 at 11:07

      If you want a silkier texture without fat, try collagen powder. I use about one ounce for 4 pounds of potatoes. Also get a nice Glycine boost. Good addition to gravies as well.



  14. Natalie on March 16, 2016 at 13:12

    Nothing can beat duck fat for potatoes. (use sparingly or you _will_ overeat). Lard is not bat either.

  15. Madeleine on March 16, 2016 at 14:00

    If my sources speak truly, there’s about 30g of fat in 6 ounces edible portion of smoked pork necks, plus 16g fat in 2 cups of whole milk. A tablespoon of duck or bacon fat has 13g of fat.

    Since I’m completely dairy-free and don’t have access to smoked pork necks, I’m going to try this with some fully rendered bacon and some fat added back in. I’m also going to puree some of the beans to get a creamy texture.

    Since I don’t tolerate tomatoes, my soup will hardly resemble Richard’s. But it’s a great template to work from.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 16, 2016 at 14:13

      Absolutely Madeline, and please post the recipe here in comments when you get it how you like it.

      Incidentally, got the pork necks at Safeway. Was going to get smoked ham hocks, but these area a bit meatier and less fat.

      That 30g looks a bit high for me, and especially, I picked it pretty well to get just the lean meat. At any rate, when the whole pot is eaten over the space of 5 days or so, no big. Used to go more fat than that for breakfast on any given day.



    • Madeleine on March 17, 2016 at 08:35

      I gain weight if I eat much fat with carbs, and I don’t tolerate dairy or tomato. I’m OK with potatoes as long as they’re peeled.

      Potato Bean Soup

      Soak overnight, 1 lb great northern beans.
      Peel, cube, boil 2lbs russet potatoes. Save the water, chill overnight.
      A. M. Rinse beans, cook in 1 quart chicken bone broth (I didn’t skim the fat) for about 2.5 hours.
      Slowly cook 2 yellow onions and 4 minced garlic cloves for about 1/2 hour in 1 TBS any fat (bacon or duck recommended). Near the end add 1TBS dried savory, 2tsp salt, 1tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp thyme.
      Puree most of the beans and mash half of the potato.
      Add onions and all of the potatoes to the beans.
      Use the potato cooking water as needed to keep the onions from sticking and to thin the soup.
      I was going to add the meaty part of cooked bacon, but this is so delicious that I’m leaving it alone.



  16. Mycroft Jones on March 16, 2016 at 16:20

    Experiment report: Mixed 2 pounds of potatoes with half pound of lentils, half cup of water, 1 teaspoon of salt. Blended up using the Kitchen-Aid mixing stand. Got it to a creamy consistency, no milk or fat added. The lentils did NOT increase the palatability. On their own, the potatoes and lentils are slightly MORE palatable. Together, they are edible, not bad, but about equal in palatability to the potatoes alone. By themselves, I find the lentils definitely more palatable. Didn’t even notice there was no fat/oil in them. I used to put in 1/8 cup of olive oil for every cup of lentils. Super fattening.

    • Jazzy on March 16, 2016 at 21:48

      I found black bean spaghetti in the store for the the latter days of my hack – listed ingredients BB & water only; boil 8 mins. I thought I would cook and refrigerate overnight but I’m thinking they might just glug up and be a sticky clump if I can’t put any oil or sauce on them. One 100g serve is 45g protein and 21g fibre. Hope they taste ok 🙁



    • gab on March 19, 2016 at 14:43

      Totally agreed. Mixing lentils and potatoes is gilding the lilly. Or beans and potatoes….. same.



  17. wallycat on March 16, 2016 at 21:56

    Jazzy, the “black beans” are black soybeans. Everything I”ve read indicates they taste great. Wish I could find them where I live.

    • Madeleine on March 17, 2016 at 08:42

      No, this pasta is made from black beans. If you’re in the US you can order this from Vitacost. The red Adzuki bean pasta is also good.



  18. kayumochi on March 17, 2016 at 06:16

    Here is a menu from the acclaimed novel “Devil in the White City” which is supposed to highlight a decadent power dinner of the 1890’s. Fans of this novel always comment on how unhealthy it must be with fat, etc with the subtext of how much more healthy we eat today. But if you take deeper look at it it is an improvement over today’s standard fare:

    Blue Points a l’Alaska.
    Sauternes.
    POTAGES
    Consomme printanier. Creme de Celeri.
    Amontillado.
    HORS D’OEUVRES
    Rissoles Chateaubriand. Amandes salees. Olives, etc.
    POISSON
    Bass rayee, sauce hollandaise. Pommes parisiennes.
    Miersfeiner. Moet et Chandon. Perrier Jouet, Extra Dry Special.
    REFEVE
    Filet de Boeuf aux champignons. Haricots verts. Pommes duchesse.
    ENTREE
    Ris de Veau en cotelette. Petit Pois.
    SORBET
    Romaine fantaisie. Cigarettes.
    ROTI
    Canard de Tete Rouge. Salade de Laitue.
    Pontet Canet
    DESSERT
    Petits Moules fantaisies. Gateaux assortis. Bonbons. Petits-fours. Fruit assortis.
    FROMAGES
    Roquefort et Camembert.
    Cafe.
    Apollinaris.
    Cognac. Cordials. Cigars.

    What were they actually eating? This:

    Oysters with white wine
    Beef, potatoes, almonds and olives
    Bass with hollandaise, more potatoes and champagne
    More beef with green beans and potatoes
    Veal with green peas
    Sorbet
    Duck with salad and red wine
    Pastries and cakes
    Cheese, sparkling water, cognac and cordials

    • Jeffrey Bergman on March 20, 2016 at 17:33

      sounds delicious.



  19. Pam Roberts on March 17, 2016 at 08:44

    I am on my 3rd day of the potato diet. Was up 2lbs this morning. Terrifying! Been working on weight loss since Aug. 2014, weighing 250 plus. Lost by calorie reduction. Then in May, 2015, at188, started Keto diet with help of yourself and Maria Emmerich. Today, I weigh 151, 5’3.5″ tall. Should I expect more weight gain before a loss? I am just trying to get down to 144.

    • sassysquatch on March 17, 2016 at 10:41

      Unfortunately for women, because of water retention issues, it’s always tougher to lose weight, as compared to men. Though I will say, a 2 pound gain on the potato diet is very unusual. What happened (weight wise) on the first 2 days?



    • George on March 17, 2016 at 11:00

      Same here 🙁 Not sure why this would happen. Richard? Any explanations?



    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2016 at 12:30

      Did you measure so that you have an idea of calories?

      IN such a short time, probably water. If you were keto prior, you may have pretty depleted glycogen, and if your calories from potatoes was sufficient, then you may have replenished some and it has to be bound with water.



    • Pam Roberts on March 17, 2016 at 12:55

      I’ve been keto since last May. Ate 21-27 oz of boiled potatoes.



  20. Corey on March 17, 2016 at 12:08

    Stupid question here, but liberally salting my potatoes shouldn’t make any difference in this process, correct? I’m looking for any reason why I’ve lost only 3 pounds in 10 days. On some of those days I substituted equal calories of oats or black beans, but I would still expect to see a bigger drop than this. Sticking to hardcore potatoes only now, max 3 pounds per day.

    Maybe all the added salt gets in the way of losing more water weight (or maybe not), but just 3 pounds? Got on the scale this morning and thought “now that I’m strictly potatoes, I should starting going down again,” only to find I was actually up a pound from yesterday. Not good for my morale…

  21. Pam Roberts on March 17, 2016 at 12:47

    Somehow I missed your diet change away from LCHF. Do the archives have this info? Would love to read about how you came to the decision to change and eat potatoes and other carbs.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2016 at 13:29

      Lots of info. Search potato hack.



  22. Pam Roberts on March 17, 2016 at 12:51

    I lost 1 lb each of the first two days. Ate a total of 2 lbs of plain boiled potatoes (warmed).

  23. Mike on March 17, 2016 at 13:59

    Long time reader, first time poster….
    My wife has recently tried the ‘hack’ on two occasions for 4 days each, with little to no success. Over the last few years, her weight has been stuck (about 30 lbs over her goal) even though she is very good about eating a ‘whole foods’ diet. I encouraged her to try the ‘hack’, as nothing she’s tried (e.g. LCHF, WW) has worked for her. She does have thyroid issues, which she has addressed through her doctor, so hopefully that’s not a factor. What I’m wondering is ‘did she give it enough time?’; as she’s one to easily get discouraged when she doesn’t see immediate results. Does she need to give it 10-14 days straight to get things kick started? Would appreciate any suggestions or similar experiences.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2016 at 15:45

      I’m going to defer to Tim on this one.



    • Pam Roberts on March 17, 2016 at 15:52

      Mike, I am having the same problem. This is my first hack, and lost 2lbs in 2 days then gained 2lbs on the 3rd day. I ate between 1.5 and 2lbs of cooked potato each day with 70-80 oz of water.
      I am trying to lose 8-10 lbs to reach my 2.5 yr goal from 250 plus to 140-144( current weight is 151).
      I do not have a gall bladder or uterus. I used to be diabetic and high blood pressure. Have been diagnosed with fatty liver cirrhosis. This year is the first in 20 yrs to have normal liver enzyme levels. It is very important to me to meet my goal and maintain that weight. I would love input from everyone on good maintenance ideas.



    • Texasleah on March 17, 2016 at 16:47

      Pam, So you’re at net zero weight gain after 3 days of eating almost 2 pounds of potatoes per day? That does not sound like a reason to fret over the scale just yet, instead how do you feel? Are you hungry? Are you craving junk food? Are you satisfied? Do you feel energetic and sleeping well? I’m 45 yo, (decades eating LC) and the first time I ate potatoes for 3.5 days I only lost one pound and promptly gained it back over the weekend (eating PHD style–not going back to LC ever if I can help it). The second week I ate potatoes for 3.5 days I lost 2 pounds and this time it stayed off. After 2.5 years of eating HFLC/ketosis to expect immediate sustained weight loss is wishful thinking. IMO many people are trying this aptly named “hack” for weight loss, but for those who are trying to reverse serious medical conditions this is more about getting off the HFLC train into a more sustainable, filling and long-term nutritious way of eating (not just a hack to lose weight). Ignore the scale for a few weeks, this type of diet really can cause strange water retentions and reductions in the space of a few days. And not to make light of your goals, but honestly why worry over 8 pound when reversing fatty liver could add years to your life? 🙂



    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2016 at 16:54

      Pam, now I see that gain was in one day.

      Water. No question.

      See this post and look at the squiggly graph:

      https://freetheanimal.com/2016/03/the-potato-diet-day-10-update-weigh-in-meals-workouts-and-blood-glucose-measures.html

      Don’t weigh every day. It’s like trying to understand a whole story from a snapshot. And realize this: if you weighed in the morning, but peed a few times over evening and maybe some during the night, you may have had a 4 pound “gain” had you weighed after dinner.

      Try to get smart about this process and chill. It’s months long for some, splattered with a bunch of hacks along the way.

      Aslo check out my podcast with Coppola, who finally figured out how to drop that last 30.



    • disqus_ymD6KeowUr on March 18, 2016 at 05:57

      Pam, “weight” loss on LCHF/keto/Atkins-style diets can be deceptive due to water and glycogen depletion. Just as one typically loses a lot of weight initially (say, in the first week or two) on such diets, you will typically rapidly regain those pounds when you transition back to carbs. It’s not real fat loss or gain, though. FWIW, I lost 7 lbs in the first week of ketosis, most likely one real pound of fat and the rest water and glycogen. When I transitioned back to carbs after a year and a half of strict ketosis, I gained 6 lbs in one week. It’s demoralising to see the number on the scale jump up like that but it’s inevitable medical reality.



  24. Jazzy on March 17, 2016 at 19:02

    I wish there was a like button! Great advice. It sounds you well understand the struggles or walked the talk. How many of these obesity experts have ever truly struggled with weight and food issues. Their advice “don’t keep bad foods in the house”; when the dog takes over and we enter that food trance, nothing stands in the way.

  25. Pam R. on March 19, 2016 at 10:24

    After 4 days on potato hack, thought I would check ketones. Disappointed to see .2. Weight is plus 1 lb. Pants are not looser. Have been eating around 2 lbs potatoes a day. Not feeling newly energized. What is a fair test period for women?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 19, 2016 at 10:57

      How much is your caloric deficit from what would be normal?

      Not sure why you should care about ketones, but not having many signals you’re not running a significant caloric deficit. Remember, this hack isn’t magical. It’s about using foods (potatoes in this case, but legumes and oat groats work for many) that leave you fairly nourished and satisfied even though in energy deficit. But you’re still going to need to run a deficit. For rapid loss, I think you need to run at 600+ average deficit. Should come off at about a pound per week like that.

      Most of the swings over a few days are water.



    • gab on March 19, 2016 at 14:38

      Pam, ‘around 2 pounds of potatoes’ can be 1,000 kcal. How many kcal per day do you normally need in order to lose weight? I would assume that someone of your height and weight would function at base line, provided zero physical activity at about 1500 kcal per day. Walking, jogging or running 1 mile will generally require 100 kcal. Most people who have been obese allegely have slightly lower metabolic rates than people who have never been obese. If your diet pre-potato hack was low sodium, then the potassium in the spuds is not going to drive out any edema. Mostly when people lose a lot of weight after a couple days it’s water weight because they’ve tipped their sodium/potassium dietary balance in heavy duty favour of potassium.

      The only way to scientifically determine caloric intake would be to weigh everything including everything else consumed besides potato. Don’t just eyeball and guesstimate.



  26. Rick Bauer on April 29, 2016 at 16:01

    What kind of weight are people losing on a potato intense diet? Muscle mass? Bodyfat?

    • George on April 29, 2016 at 18:08

      I tried it and didn’t lose a damn thing. I am on Wheat Belly so this really not for me but I tried it for 2 weeks.



  27. […] Fun With Potatoes, Fun With Food, Fun With Life […]

  28. Mark on November 13, 2016 at 13:13

    Hi Richard, another great subject. I myself am currently looking at recipes and i came across something which kind of shocked me and i did not know if it was true or not? so thought i would ask your opinion on it if you don’t mind. I was looking at proteins to go with my starchy carbs, and, naturally, i was looking at ‘complete’ proteins but i was just curious as to see if any ‘complete’ proteins could be found in the vegetable/plant kingdom. So, whilst i was looking for this i came across some links which said that ‘complete’ proteins are a myth and that you do not need to combine grains with beans and peas etc to create complete protein. The links said that complete protein is found in all foods! Therefore i just wondered if you knew this to be true or not? I was always of the belief that complete proteins were found via animal sources, or a combination of grains, beans, peas and legumes??? If we do get complete protein from all foods then our protein levels will increase dramatically throughout the day and i will have to look again at how much meat, dairy and fish i consume.
    Thanks for any thoughts on the matter,
    best,
    Mark

    • Richard Nikoley on November 13, 2016 at 14:30

      As far as I know, lots of plants don’t have complete proteins. Some have virtually no amino acids. Potatoes are complete, of high quality…but not quantity…about 5-10% depending on which kind.

      Not sure about beans, though. Maybe lentils….I just made lentil soup yesterday…with about 7 oz of chopped up Polish sausage in it, though.

      You might Google around. Personally I just eat a variety and never worry about it.



    • Mark on November 19, 2016 at 23:33

      Hi Richard, I think it would just be beans, peas and legumes I would look at, as the protein content of vegetables is really low per weight, but it just surprised me to read that according to these links, you don’t need to combine the grains, beans and peas for complete protein as they are complete proteins. Just something I had never believed etc. Going for a blood ferretin test tomorrow as I am curious to see what my levels are like after reading duck dodgers’ iron overload post…..and, I would like to give blood as I think it is a good thing to do. Take it easy and thanks again for your reply



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