Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS • Nutritional Periodontist
July 18, 2016
You know me. I’m a periodontist. So, why would I be talking about weight? The reason is that my patients ask me about their weight. Certainly, they are interested in getting their gum disease treated. But, when I talk about nutrition (which I always do with my patients), they frequently move to a discussion about losing weight.
The truth is that a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet like a Paleo-type diet will often result in weight loss along with a host of other health benefits. However, some people will still have trouble getting their excess weight down – especially those last 10 pounds or so.
Simple & Unusual Diet
Here is a short-term diet that may just be the answer for those who are having problems losing weight. It is based on a diet that goes way back to 1849. However, more recent science has rekindled an interest in this unlikely one-food-diet to lose unwanted fat. It’s called the Potato Diet. Tim Steele has brought this idea into the 21st Century with his science-based book, The Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified, published in February 2016.
The biology is interesting, and the plan is simple. For the details of the biology, get the book. You can find it on Amazon. While the author does not embrace a Paleo-type diet in his own life, the science described in the book for decreasing fat and reducing chronic inflammation is eye opening to me. It is a short-term diet to reset your metabolism by resetting your “body fat set-point”, which is described in the book.
Here are the simple steps to make this short-term diet happen for you while still basically adhering to a Paleo-type diet and lifestyle:
- Eat nothing but white potatoes for three to five consecutive days – steamed, boiled, roasted, or baked. For the remainder of the 7-day week, go back to a Paleo-type diet.
- Eat two to five pounds of potatoes until comfortably satisfied each of the “potato-only” days.
- Do not eat any condiments with the potatoes. You can add some sea salt, but salt-free is the best.
- Drink only black coffee, unsweetened tea, or filtered water.
- Take a multivitamin supplement during those days that you only eat potatoes. Make sure the multivitamin is from a whole-food and organic source – no artificial chemicals!
- Perform only light exercise such as walking, yoga, gentle cycling, or swimming.
The science suggests that you could expect to lose three to five pounds over each three-day to five-day potato cycle weekly. You could continue this way of eating week after week until your weight-loss goals were achieved.
As a variation of this diet, the book suggests “Potatoes By Day”. Each day, from the time you woke until dinnertime, you would eat only potatoes as I described above. However, for dinner every night you could eat a normal Paleo-type meal. You would keep this schedule until you lost your desired excess fat and weight.
No matter what the research said, I would never recommend something that I had not tried myself. I did not have to lose excess weight since I had lost a little more than 30 pounds once I began my primal eating and lifestyle in April 2013. But, I wanted to experience how it felt to eat this way. So, for 1 week, I ate only potatoes for 3 consecutive days and then my normal Paleo foods the following 4 days. The only negative I found was that it was boring to eat the same food all day long for 3 days. Yet, I was never hungry because I always could eat more potatoes. My energy level stayed the same as it had been previous to this experiment, and I lost almost 3 pounds by the end of my personal trial. I don’t think the weight loss was just “water weight”, but I don’t know for sure.
If you are trying to lose fat but feel stuck where you are, then this may be a method to try. Again, purchase the book to understand the science behind it.