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Potato diet: How it works

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 420 views

Potatoes are cheap, quick to cook and easy to prepare. The potato diet can therefore be easily implemented in everyday life. But how healthy and effective for weight loss is it to only eat potatoes all day? Find out here how the potato diet works and whether you can use it to lose weight in a healthy way.

What is the potato diet?

The potato diet is one of the carbohydrate-rich mono-diets, i.e. a diet that consists almost or exclusively of a certain food. There are different variants of the potato diet. What they all have in common is that they mainly eat potatoes, often in combination with eggs or quark.

The original idea for this dates back to the 19th century. Tim Steele popularized it again in the US in 2016, creating a three- to five-day variant that doesn’t allow any solid foods other than potatoes and salt. In this case weight loss is likely, but nutrient intake is very low.

Some diet variants also allow low-fat prepared vegetables, salad or some fruit. In addition to the high intake of potatoes, the low-fat preparation of the dishes is the most important feature of the potato diet. Therefore, chips or fried potatoes are not allowed.

This is how the potato diet works

There are different variants of the potato diet. So there is no fixed daily schedule. What they have in common is that the potato is the main food. One possibility is that you eat between 600 and 1000 grams of potatoes with 100 grams of quark or three eggs.

The combination of potatoes with quark or egg results in a high biological value. This means that the body can absorb and utilize the protein it contains particularly well. This in turn ensures long-lasting saturation. At the same time, the potassium contained in the potato expels more water from the body. This is how you lose the first few pounds quickly – a point victory for the potato.

The nutrient composition of this potato diet variant is as follows: two to three percent fat , 10 to 20 percent protein and 80 to 85 percent carbohydrates . This diet deviates from the general recommendations of the German Society for Nutrition (DGE). This advises a higher proportion of fat (30 percent) and a lower proportion of carbohydrates (55 percent) in the daily diet.

In Tim Steele’s variant, no food other than the potato is allowed. He uses up to 2.3 kilograms of potatoes a day. He even forbids butter or sour cream as a topping. Only salt is possible. The recommendations of the DGE can therefore be fulfilled even less.

That brings the potato diet

Potatoes are cheap, quick to cook and easy to prepare – several plus points for the suitability of the potato diet for everyday use. Another advantage: the root vegetables provide a lot of carbohydrates, almost no fat and, in combination with egg or quark, high-quality protein that fills you up well and for a long time. Potatoes are also rich in potassium, which dehydrates the body.

All this supports rapid weight loss through the potato diet. However, keep in mind that losing water means fewer pounds on the scales, but not on your waist.

Potatoes are also rich in fiber. Several studies show that a high-fiber diet promotes gut health and may play a role in preventing obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Risks of the potato diet

The potato diet is one of the mono diets. Such diets rely on one or a few permitted foods, which can cause nutrient deficiencies. This is also the case with the potato diet.

Other risks are:

  • The supply of vitamins and minerals is unbalanced, especially iron is lacking.
  • Fat intake is too low and calorie intake is greatly reduced. This threatens muscle breakdown.
  • The one-sided choice of food also promotes food cravings.
  • After the diet, there is a risk of a yo-yo effect and a higher weight than before.

Potato diet: conclusion

The potato diet fills you up and drains you. That brings a minus on the scales in the short term, but there is a risk of the yo-yo effect in the long term. Prolonged use of the mono-diet is also not recommended because it can lead to a nutrient deficiency.

Our tip: Combine potatoes with quark or eggs with vegetables, lettuce, herbs, vegetable fats, nuts and seeds. This is the healthier version of the potato diet and, in combination with sufficient exercise, still lets the pounds tumble.

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