11

votes

Is the Potato Protocol™ the latest rage in the Paleo community?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 05, 2012 at 5:50 PM

As you can see by my title I've trademarked the term Potato Protocol??? and you must pay me a handsome sum if you wish to use it.

Just joking, of course, but hear me out.....

There is a low rumble right now in parts of the Paleo community that might end up being the latest rage at the rate things are going. (People are reporting success as advertised.) Basically, Ray Cronise has stated that eating ONLY potatoes for 10 to 14 days is quite healthy and a guaranteed way to drop 1/2 to 1 pound per day while on it.

Looks to me like he's saying that it can be a temporary hack to drop pounds, stabilize blood sugar, appetite, etc., and then you can go back to your regular eating ways.

You'll have to sign up on his site to read his comments, but here's the link: http://hypothermics.com/2012/06/no-guts-no-glory-part-2/#comments

People are discussing it on MarksDailyApple.com here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread67137.html

Looks like Richard Nikoley is about to give it a go: http://freetheanimal.com/2012/11/the-latest-diet-exercise-hacking-towards-a-goal.html

Actually, Nikoley has really furthered the discussion quite a bit. See, e.g., http://freetheanimal.com/2012/11/the-potato-diet-hack-observations.html#comments

I have NO experience whatsoever with the Potato Protocol??? but I know a possible hot trend when I see one. Anyone here tried it?

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C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(753)

on March 19, 2013
at 09:54 PM

I've found, even though this apparently works based on the idea that it's a pure starch diet, that if i eat the potatoes plain, i become ravenous. If i eat them with a T of butter though, I am immensely satisfied for hourrrss. It still allows me to be low calorie, and my digestion is better. Just thought I'd share.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 28, 2013
at 12:49 AM

extremely skinny may not be healthy. I know several people who have gained weight after switching to paleo -- and every one moved to a healthier weight than they were previously. Also, Paleo is not low carb. You can do higher carb low fat paleo.

3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on February 07, 2013
at 04:00 PM

@carly While I cannot speak for the OP I assume he means that the starches are acting as a prebiotic.

46cca8ea7b1325c286c470182aef053b

(111)

on December 30, 2012
at 08:48 AM

Er, I'm actually asking if there are any lean people who have tried this- most of the data I've found seems to be from people with weight to spare.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on December 30, 2012
at 12:16 AM

I don't know of any non-lean people trying this, as it's a "hack" for weight loss. At least that's my understanding of it.

E565e11cf32b38ab1f45086c1e0205f7

(613)

on November 30, 2012
at 12:54 AM

Could you expand on what it means to "improve gut flora signaling"?

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on November 21, 2012
at 02:02 PM

Hah, I think that this is definitely the biggest plus the potato dieting offers, destroying the LC myths, even though people have been trying to tell the LC folks these things for years.

Dbb5aa7255854a20dfc6459d31cd25c3

(172)

on November 13, 2012
at 09:55 PM

I ate 3 or 4 medium potatoes, about 2-3 pounds worth, daily. After a few days, you kind of lose the hunger cues you are used to and just kind of put them in your mouth and chew because you know you should, not cause your hungry.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(753)

on November 13, 2012
at 08:48 PM

Congrats !! I've experienced great results too, but only did it for 2 1/2 days. How many potatoes did you eat each day?

0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 13, 2012
at 08:26 PM

70 years ago potato chips were advertised in newspapers and on signs as healthy Alkaline food. They are high in K; potatoes (not chips) are higher pound for pound in K than the often admired potassium/alkaline bananas.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2012
at 07:02 PM

Actually, I can't cite the source but I remember reading of a study in which people ate nothing but buttered potatoes for many months and thrived on them. Let's say you'd last a lot longer on potatoes than grapefruit. :-))

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2012
at 07:00 PM

+1 for the Mr. Potato Head.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 05, 2012
at 06:31 PM

Potato has complete protein (albeit relatively small amount) and some fat as well as a fair amount of micronutrients, with little fructose.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 05, 2012
at 06:30 PM

^ I read some of that too. Guess we came away with different things. I saw that the couple of people who tracked the most meticulously gave it up after 5-6 days due to somehow gaining some weight even only eating 1100 calories a day. Of course some do seem to lose weight on a bland monofood diet of only about 1000 calories a day......go figure ;)

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 05, 2012
at 06:24 PM

From what I read on MDA, the guys who didn't lose weight either didn't stick with it for more than a couple of days or tried to insert their own tweaks. Reading what Cronise actually wrote, this really doesn't allow any room for tweaks, if that's what the non-weight-losers indeed did.

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13 Answers

10
Dbb5aa7255854a20dfc6459d31cd25c3

(172)

on November 13, 2012
at 08:16 PM

I can attest to the effectiveness of the Potato Protocol, or Primal Potato Diet (PDD) as they call it on Mark's daily Apple.

I have been primal for 3+ years, I'm a 48yo/6' guy, went from 275 to 180 over those years. I was full-blown metabolic syndrome at my heaviest--no meds now.

My weight has been stable at 180lbs for about a year. I have tried everything to lose a little belly flab and extra fat. I tried IF'ing, carb refeeds, ketogenic, Warrior diet, and some others. I'd lose a little, but then go right back to 180 plus or minus 3 pounds.

I first read of Ray Cronise' success with losing fat eating just potatoes last summer. I gave it a go for 5 days and lost 3lbs. Not a big deal, right? But then I did it again a few months later when they started talking about it on Mark's Daily Apple. I did it for the full 14 days and lost 12lbs. I ate just plain baked potatoes or shredded hashbrowns cooked in a waffle maker with no oil. I drank black coffee and water.

Bottom line, I lost 12 pounds in two weeks. Then I resumed my normal paleo/primal eating and in the month since, I regained 2 pounds. My weight seems pretty firmly set at 170 now.

Here's where I think the magic lies:
- Potatoes have a really good amino acid (protein) profile, so you aren't wasting muscle as you would eating only cabbage or grapefruits.

  • According to studies on the satiety of food, plain potatoes blow away every other food. Google it, potatoes are at the top of every study.

  • Eating a huge starch bomb 2-3 times a day spikes insulin, the blood glucose is quickly cleared, and fasting blood glucose ends up lower. Fat burning can only occur in an insulin-depleted state. Eating lots of fat and protein slow the digestive system down with release of pancreatic CCK, eating starch is a fast digestive act--it starts in the mouth and finishes mostly in the stomach. Protein and fat digestion starts in the stomach and finishes in large intestine.

  • Eating a plain high GI diet for 1-2 weeks improves gut flora signalling. This is probably the most important thing I said in this answer!

  • Losing fat with a potato diet, when done simply, is repeatable, predictable, and painless.

I see myself using the Potato Protocol once or twice a year at most as a means to keep my weight within the narrow band that makes me feel healthiest. If someone wanted to abuse it to become a walking stickman, they could.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(753)

on November 13, 2012
at 08:48 PM

Congrats !! I've experienced great results too, but only did it for 2 1/2 days. How many potatoes did you eat each day?

Dbb5aa7255854a20dfc6459d31cd25c3

(172)

on November 13, 2012
at 09:55 PM

I ate 3 or 4 medium potatoes, about 2-3 pounds worth, daily. After a few days, you kind of lose the hunger cues you are used to and just kind of put them in your mouth and chew because you know you should, not cause your hungry.

E565e11cf32b38ab1f45086c1e0205f7

(613)

on November 30, 2012
at 12:54 AM

Could you expand on what it means to "improve gut flora signaling"?

3fc95bca9e723edfbbb72b172798ab49

(1354)

on February 07, 2013
at 04:00 PM

@carly While I cannot speak for the OP I assume he means that the starches are acting as a prebiotic.

C23148e16a4dd05351d1902a69097d65

(753)

on March 19, 2013
at 09:54 PM

I've found, even though this apparently works based on the idea that it's a pure starch diet, that if i eat the potatoes plain, i become ravenous. If i eat them with a T of butter though, I am immensely satisfied for hourrrss. It still allows me to be low calorie, and my digestion is better. Just thought I'd share.

6
44894358c1cd33674c22850cc9368959

on November 21, 2012
at 07:32 AM

One of the positives is that it destroys 2 beliefs or atleast former beliefs in the paleo community.

1) carbs make you fat, to lose weight you need to eat low-carb

2) All low fat diets leave you hungry and unsatisfied

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on November 21, 2012
at 02:02 PM

Hah, I think that this is definitely the biggest plus the potato dieting offers, destroying the LC myths, even though people have been trying to tell the LC folks these things for years.

6
8bdbf060209f35b52087992a3cbdf4d7

on November 13, 2012
at 09:57 PM

Long live potatoes.

6
449e19bbd371a87b653b9b8b56736005

(1567)

on November 05, 2012
at 06:25 PM

Substitute potato for grapefruit or cabbage soup or any other crash fad diet. Sure, you'll lose weight, but it's by no means healthy.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 05, 2012
at 06:31 PM

Potato has complete protein (albeit relatively small amount) and some fat as well as a fair amount of micronutrients, with little fructose.

5
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 05, 2012
at 06:09 PM

From what I've seen some lose and some don't. Its a crash diet. Nothing new.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on November 05, 2012
at 06:24 PM

From what I read on MDA, the guys who didn't lose weight either didn't stick with it for more than a couple of days or tried to insert their own tweaks. Reading what Cronise actually wrote, this really doesn't allow any room for tweaks, if that's what the non-weight-losers indeed did.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 05, 2012
at 06:30 PM

^ I read some of that too. Guess we came away with different things. I saw that the couple of people who tracked the most meticulously gave it up after 5-6 days due to somehow gaining some weight even only eating 1100 calories a day. Of course some do seem to lose weight on a bland monofood diet of only about 1000 calories a day......go figure ;)

3
0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 13, 2012
at 08:22 PM

I have seen potato diets promoted as a type of hypoallergenic restricted fast... that can give a higher satiety because of the relatively high volume but low concentration of calories and nutrients.

My Irish rural ancestors supposedly lived on 10-15 lbs of potatoes a day if they were working in the fields.

Another factor to consider is that eating cold potatoes has greater health benefit, lower glycemic, higher dietary fiber, because of the resistant starch effect.

0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 13, 2012
at 08:26 PM

70 years ago potato chips were advertised in newspapers and on signs as healthy Alkaline food. They are high in K; potatoes (not chips) are higher pound for pound in K than the often admired potassium/alkaline bananas.

3
153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on November 05, 2012
at 07:48 PM

There is always some fad going on, not saying that this fad isn't working for some etc.

It just gets tiresome, or funny, depending on how you look at it, like a rollercoaster for lost people.

I personally think that people would be better off listening to themselves, and trying to heal mentally, as well as physically. Like jimmy moore for example, I truly feel sorry for people like him, always trying something new, but no long term solutions because the issue lies deeper than his body.

But anyway, my point was, that this a new fad, monodieting can be healing in someways, but I don't know if it offers any long term solutions, monodieting (like eating only bananas) is rarely a success long term. Funnily enough both fruit and potatoes are loaded with potassium, that might explain some of the progress when starting a monodiet?

1
028e70a250f38bd61fa81b0e0789bb6e

on November 05, 2012
at 11:18 PM

Problem is always 10-14 days. By the end of day, you will have to follow that diet forever or switch back/to other diets.

Switching back to an unhealthy diet and you'll gain the weight back. Switching back to a healthy diet usually means the 10-14 day diet is unnecessary.

And it is impossible to live on only potatoes forever. Lack in essential nutrients. Besides, it's boring.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 13, 2012
at 07:02 PM

Actually, I can't cite the source but I remember reading of a study in which people ate nothing but buttered potatoes for many months and thrived on them. Let's say you'd last a lot longer on potatoes than grapefruit. :-))

0
C4432146b826e262555ed526916b23f7

on February 27, 2013
at 03:24 PM

eating carbs does not make you fat. at least, not everyone. people cant make generic sweeping statements like that. a lot of obese or very overweight people have had great success going low carb, but i spent 7 years on a very high carb low fat diet and i was extremely skinny. when i went paleo and switched to high fat low carb i gained 20 lbs. the only way i can lose that is going back to high carb low fat.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 28, 2013
at 12:49 AM

extremely skinny may not be healthy. I know several people who have gained weight after switching to paleo -- and every one moved to a healthier weight than they were previously. Also, Paleo is not low carb. You can do higher carb low fat paleo.

0
0da6b050781604989f411721819afa55

on February 07, 2013
at 11:43 AM

i tried baked potato slices with garlic and extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top for 2 weeks back in 2004 and it worked brilliantly to get rid of some pretty nasty rashes and blemishes due to skin allergy. besides that i lost approximately 4-5 pounds. just goes to show you that cleaning up your diet and getting your act together can work wonders for the body beautiful. potatoes with the skins intact are especially good for they keep the stomach and body ph alkaline instead of acidic which is verty healthy.

0
46cca8ea7b1325c286c470182aef053b

(111)

on December 01, 2012
at 02:28 PM

Any already-lean people tried this? I was thinking about trying it, as it's a very interesting premise, but my calorie intake is already pretty low at around 1000 (I'm very petite- 5'1, 109 lbs.)

Any thoughts on whether any dropped weight would be due only to caloric restriction?

Thanks!

46cca8ea7b1325c286c470182aef053b

(111)

on December 30, 2012
at 08:48 AM

Er, I'm actually asking if there are any lean people who have tried this- most of the data I've found seems to be from people with weight to spare.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393

on December 30, 2012
at 12:16 AM

I don't know of any non-lean people trying this, as it's a "hack" for weight loss. At least that's my understanding of it.

0
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on November 13, 2012
at 08:20 PM

So are we admitting now that Dr. MacDougall might be right... Just takes it too far by making it a permanent lifestyle?

-2
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on November 05, 2012
at 07:36 PM

I'm not quite sure how loading up on starch will help stabilize blood sugars. That seems to be a huge stretch.

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