The Ultimate Guide to the Amazing Potato Diet Hack

Are you fed up with your weight but can’t follow all those complicated diets with expensive and hard to obtain ingredients? The Potato Hack is an easy solution that lets you lose weight without having to buy weird things, spend hours exercising, or feel constantly hungry.

This guide to the potato hack will answer all your questions and get you started on your weight loss journey.

What Is the Potato Hack and Where Did It Come From?

When you first hear about the potato hack, it can sound like a fairly confusing fad diet. However, it is actually very simple once you learn a few key basics about the diet.

The potato hack is all about listening to your body’s guidelines, so you can follow it for just three days or repeatedly do it for months.

How to Follow the Potato Diet

At its most basic level, the potato hack is just a diet where you eat nothing but potatoes.

According to bodybuilding expert Rusty Moore, this diet is very easy to follow (1). It just has a few key rules:

  • Eat only potatoes for a period of three to five days.
  • Have somewhere between two to five pounds of potatoes per day.
  • Drink only coffee, water, and tea.
  • Take all normal medications.
  • Lightly exercise as desired, but avoid intense exercise.
  • Repeat weekly if desired.

The Person Who Created the Potato Diet

Who’s the man behind the potato hack? That’s actually a fairly complicated answer.

The potato hack goes back to 1849 when a dietician recommended a potato only diet for people who had grown fat and dyspeptic from eating too many rich foods (2). Nutritionists found that potatoes contained most of the essential nutrients needed to live, yet they are low in calories.

This idea was further transformed into the potato hack by author Tim Steele (3). Steele refined the potato only diet to make a plan that was easy to follow and sustainable for as long as necessary.

Potato Diet Success Stories

Can you really lose weight just from eating potatoes? Don’t just assume that the potato diet is a good idea because it works in theory.

Check out these fascinating success stories to see how real people manage to take control of their own health by following the potato diet.

Tim Steele

Of course one of the most popular potato hack success stories comes from Tim Steele himself. On his own social media posts, you can see just how much weight Tim Steele has lost with the potato hack (4).

Around 2009, Steele was a fairly beefy 230 pounds, and he suffered from all sorts of resulting health issues. After he managed to define his nutritional ideas into the potato hack, Steele dropped down to about 160.

In addition to losing weight, his doctors also found that he went from being pre-diabetic to having perfectly healthy blood sugar levels.

Kevin Smith

Director Kevin Smith is known for cult classics like Clerks, and he recently scared many fans by suffering from a heart attack at the young age of 47. Following this wakeup call, Smith decided to finally get healthy.

His doctor recommended that he shed 50 pounds to avoid a fatal heart attack, and Kevin Smith decided to launch his weight loss journey with the potato hack.

The beloved director reported that he managed to lose several pounds easily with the potato hack, and he now uses Weight Watchers techniques to maintain his weight loss (5).

Penn Jillette

Another celebrity supporter of the potato hack is magician Penn Jillette. At 6’7″, Jillette was always known for being a fairly hefty man.

However, when his weight reached over 320, his doctor got concerned and recommended the potato diet. Jillette has had one of the most impressive results from the potato hack, by losing 75 pounds in 83 days (6).

Kate Vidulich

It’s not just heart-attack prone celebrities who do good on the potato hack. Regular people like Kate Vidulich have also found that the diet works well for them (7).

Kate wasn’t morbidly obese, but she just had a couple pounds she wanted to shed to tone up her body. After a shorter run of just three days on the diet, she lost almost five pounds.

According to Kate, the diet was a great way to just get a little more ab definition without feeling hungry or tired all day.

What Are Some Variations on the Potato Diet?

This diet might not be as rigid as you think. Here are a few ways to mix up the potato diet while still sticking to the key ideas.

Alternate Between Potato Days and Normal Days

The traditional version of the diet has three to five days on the diet and then four to two days off the diet every week, but you don’t have to follow that style.

Some people find it helpful to alternate between days where you eat nothing but potatoes and days where you have other food.

Add In Other Starches

Tired of potatoes but don’t want to give up on the diet just yet? Consider blending in other types of starchy vegetables that are high in resistant starches.

Good options like yams, green bananas, and certain legumes contain a lot of starch and provide you with a new flavor to try out.

Eat Potatoes With Fat

Normally, the diet doesn’t allow sour cream, cheese, butter, oil, and other types of fats to be included. If your main goal is just resetting your insulin sensitivity, then fat can be a decent choice to add to your potatoes.

Just try to keep it to small amounts of a tablespoon or two a day to avoid accidentally gaining weight on the diet!

Tasty Potato Diet Recipe Ideas

Remember that the only seasoning you should use for your potatoes is spices, like salt, pepper, vinegar, or paprika. Avoid cooking your potatoes in fats like olive oil or butter because this counts as a food, so it is not allowed on the diet.

You might worry that this is bland, but not everyone who follows the potato hack just eats plain boiled potatoes. There are plenty of delicious ways to cook meals without falling off the potato diet.

  • Bake whole potatoes and enjoy.
  • Roast bite sized pieces covered in seasoned salt in the oven to make oven fries.
  • Boil potatoes and mash them with the boiling water, salt, and pepper.
  • Grate potatoes and fry into a hashbrown in a nonstick pan.
  • Turn into potato pancakes.

The Ultimate Guide to the Amazing Potato Diet Hack

The Scientific Reason the Potato Diet Works

Weight loss is essentially about eating less calories than you consume, and the potato diet is an easy way to do this. Potatoes are mostly just carbs, protein, and fiber, so they are fairly low in calories.

Though modern fad diets tend to treat carbs like they are evil, a massive 2018 study published in JAMA found that both low carb and high carb diets could result in weight loss as long as the diet was low in added sugar (8).

In addition to being low in sugar, potatoes help with weight loss by being full of fiber which keeps you from feeling hungry.

Nutritional Information for Potatoes

Potatoes might not seem healthy on the surface, but when you take a look at their nutritional content, you will be pleasantly surprised.

For example, if you eat on the lower side of three pounds of potatoes per day, you get:

  • Calories – 1034
  • Carbs – 244 grams
  • Protein – 22 grams
  • Fat – 1.4 grams
  • Sugar – 3.3 teaspoons
  • Fiber – 32.7 grams
  • Nutrients – B vitamins, vitamin C, copper, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc.

This means that the average man can drop several pounds a week without getting malnourished.

Half the Success of the Potato Diet Is Mental

This diet helps you to rethink how you eat and break the habit of stuffing yourself with sugary, fatty foods.

A huge 2014 study found that the most effective predictor for whether a diet works is whether you can stick with it for a long time (9).

With the ability to still eat normally half the week and use a basic grocery store item the other half of the week, the potato diet is sustainable. You don’t have to hunt for bizarre foods, yet it still gives you enough breaks to keep you from cheating on the diet.

Benefits of Resistant Starch

What Is Resistant Starch and How Much Is In Potatoes?

Resistant starch is a special type of starch found in potatoes. Like fiber, it is not easily digested by the stomach, so it instead feeds your gut bacteria.

Interestingly, resistant starch levels vary depending on how you cook it, though according to a study from the United States Potato Board, all varieties of potato have roughly the same levels of resistant starch (10).

At 3.6 grams of starch per 100 grams of potato, baked potatoes have the most starch, and cooling increases resistant starch to about 4.3g per 100g.

Top 4 Benefits of Resistant Starch

The potato hack lets you enjoy these four great advantages of resistant starch.

  • Improve insulin sensitivity: Just 15 grams a day can improve insulin sensitivity by up to 50 percent (11).
  • Boost probiotic bacteria: Resistant starch helps to promote the growth of useful gut bacteria that help to reduce cancer risks and boost digestion.
  • Feel full longer: Thanks to the delayed digestion, you still feel full hours after eating resistant starch.
  • Decrease inflammation: Through its effects on gut bacteria, resistant starch reduces inflammation throughout the body.

Potato Diet FAQ

If you have more questions about the potato diet, check out the answers to these frequently asked questions!

How do you hack a potato?

Remember, to follow the diet, you simply:

  • Eat only potatoes for a period of three to five days per week.
  • Have somewhere between two to five pounds of potatoes per day.
  • Drink only coffee, water, and tea.
  • Take all normal medications.
  • Avoid intense exercise.

Can you eat potatoes and still lose weight?

If you eat the recommended amount of potatoes, your overall calorie intake will be less than your calories burned.Due to unique properties of potatoes, you still feel full while you eat a caloric deficit.

There is a huge community of people who have lost weight with the potato hack, ranging from celebrity Penn Jillette to Youtuber James Cox.

What kind of potatoes can you eat on the potato diet?

You can eat all sorts of potatoes, including russets, idahos, fingerling, Yukon Gold, Adirondack Blue, or white potato.

Can you drink coffee on the potato diet?

Coffee is allowed as long as you don’t add cream, milk, sugar, or any other flavor changers.

What can I drink on the potato diet?

Feel free to drink plenty of water, coffee, green tea, black, tea, or herbal tea. Just don’t add sugar!

Can you eat sweet potatoes on the potato diet?

Keep in mind that sweet potatoes are actually a type of yam, so they are not allowed on the diet.

Is the potato diet safe?

Of course it wouldn’t be safe to eat nothing but potatoes for weeks, so the diet lets you have four to two days a week where you can eat other foods. As long as you eat plenty of nutrient rich foods during this time, it is perfectly safe.

Further Reading

Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Want to learn more about the potato diet? There are a few great books you can read that go into all the details of the diet.

“The Potato Hack” by Tim Steele is the essential text for anyone who wants to try the diet. As the creator of the diet, Steele’s book has a lot of nutritional information, troubleshooting tips, and recipes you can follow.

Another great option is “Presto! How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear.” This book by Penn Jillette details his weight loss journey on the potato hack.













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