The Potato Diet – Everything Explained


People think that dining potatoes will make them obese. But is it a truth or a myth? Go on browsing this article to understand if the potato diet is good for your health.

Potato Diet

As the term suggests, the potato diet is a crash diet and focuses on eating nothing but – you understood it – POTATOES.

Potato Diet Rules

The potato diet comes with relatively little instruction. Though several riffs exist, Tim Steele summarizes seven basic rules in his book:

Rule 1. Feast only on simple, cooked potatoes for three to five days.

Rule 2. Consume approximately 2–5 pounds (0.9–2.3 kg) of potatoes daily.

Rule 3. Do not add sauces like ketchup, cream, cheese, etc.

Rule 4. Salt is alright if you want it, but try to avoid it.

Rule 5. When thirsty, only drink water, plain tea, or black coffee.

Rule 6. Avoid heavy exercise. Instead, stick to a dull routine and walk.

Rule 7. Take your usual medications as prescribed by your physician, but abstain from any unprescribed dietary supplements.

Potato Diet Plan

Following is a three-day sample meal plan that obeys the potato diet rules.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
The first day allows 9 medium-sized potatoes that will supply around 780 calories The next day you can eat 12 medium-sized potatoes that will give approximately 1,050 calories.The third day 3 has 15 medium-sized potatoes that will provide around 1,300 calories. 
Breakfast : 2 boiled potatoes with a mug of black coffeeBreakfast : baked hash browns with a mug of black coffeeBreakfast : baked home fries with a cup of tea
Snack: 1 boiled cold potatoSnack: 2 boiled cold potatoesSnack : 3 boiled cold potatoes
Lunch: 2 boiled, mashed potatoesLunch: 2 boiled potatoes spiced with a speck of saltLunch : 3 raw, baked potatoes
Snack: 1 raw sliced potatoSnack: 2 boiled cold potatoesSnack : 3 boiled cold potatoes
Dinner: Baked, oil-free fries with a bit of saltDinner: 2 plain, baked potatoesDinner : 3 boiled potatoes with a bit of salt

This model meal strategy uses 9–15 medium-sized potatoes per day. These give 780–1,300 calories daily.

The Potato Diet Recipes

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Potatoes are the only food on the potato diet, and you can cook them in several ways:

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  • Baked potatoes.
  • Boiled potatoes.
  • Steamed potatoes.
  • Raw potatoes.
  • Oven-baked, oil-free hash browns.
  • Oven-baked, oil-free fries.

Potatoes: Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits

Potatoes are not only tasty but also rich in essential nutrients. This vegetable (per 100 grams) consists of Potassium, Sodium, Dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Iron, Vitamin B-6, and Magnesium. Thus, it is a nutritious food.

Potatoes have a medium glycemic index, and just a high amount of it will increase the sugar level. The starch content in potatoes leads to weight gain.

Around 100 grams of potatoes have 16 grams of carbohydrates and 0.2 percent fat. And this nutrition yields about 75 calories. Thus, there is no need to worry because it includes only a tiny part of your day-to-day diet.

Roughly 2.2 g of fiber is in 100 grams of potato.

A Study reveals that adding potatoes to your diet can boost nutrition.

Potatoes are a good source of fiber and help you lose weight by keeping you full longer. Fiber can stop heart disease by maintaining cholesterol and blood sugar levels. 

Can You Survive Only On Potatoes? 

Potatoes are rich in protein if you eat enough, about 10 per day. But you might lack vitamins A, B12, and E, and calcium and selenium if you take just potatoes.

Potatoes are a little toxic, too. The toxin is in the stem and leaves, but fraction amounts can be in greenish spots on the potato itself and can cause illness if you eat sufficiently.

In swallowing any single vegetable, you are surrendering nutrients. 

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Does Potato Reduce Belly Fat?

Potatoes are rich in fiber, supporting losing weight and belly fat. The high fiber content makes you feel ‘full’ after your meal, helping you stick to a calorie-restricted diet. 

The root vegetable also has a distinct kind of fiber named resistant starch.

How Potatos are Responsible for Weight Loss?

If you maintain a nutritious diet and avoid excessive consumption of junk foods, swallowing potatoes may not gain weight.

Potatoes enable you to drop weight because they are nutritive. They are full of Vitamin C, which is vital for boosting immunity. Moreover, they are excellent healthy carbohydrates, protein, and fiber sources. 

Potatoes also have proper potassium, vital for making muscle and regulating blood pressure. They are low in fats and are very filling as well.

Expected Results After Eating Potatoes for 2 Months

Feasting approximately 3kg of potatoes per day will give over 2000kcal, a reasonable portion for a man of his size desiring to lose weight. 

Potatoes are a source of carbohydrates and fiber but do not provide the right amounts needed.

Proteins are composed of amino acids, and potatoes have sufficient essential amino acids. 

Potatoes are also low in fat (only 9g per 3kg), so potatoes will not supply enough of the two essential fatty acids (linolenic and linoleic acid), nor enough fat to absorb vitamins: A, D, E, and K.

A potato diet will lend several Vitamin B’s, Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper, even allowing for losses of these nutrients during cooking.

Minerals lacking in this diet include chloride, selenium, and iodine since these levels rely on the potatoes’ soil.

Using an iodine-enriched salt would be helpful in terms of chloride and iodine, lower immunity and reproductive capacity, and impact thyroid function and antioxidant status.

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How Would Mash, Boiled, And Steamed Potatoes Affect You In The Long Run?

The potato diet is effective for short-term weight loss, it is not a long-term remedy. Potatoes are healthy, but they do not have all the nutrients you require for optimal health.

Besides, you will recover weight when you return to your ordinary diet.

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Cons of the Potato Diet

It Slows Down Your Metabolism

You dine a few calories a day on the potato diet, and your body learns to survive on fewer calories by reducing its metabolic rate.

Once you stop the diet, the low metabolic rate stays. The chances are that you will gain weight if you eat more than your reduced metabolic rate.

Causes Muscle Loss

If you lose muscle, you increase insulin resistance, have restricted mobility and strength, and have lower energy levels.

You May Experience Protein Insufficiency

A potato diet lacks protein, which is vital for weight loss and sound health.

If you ingest potatoes alone for a lengthy period, you may develop protein deficiency which causes malnourishment, fluid buildup, and a bloated belly.

Compromises Your Immunity

Your body requires essential fatty acids from fish, olive oil, soya oil, chia seeds, and nuts which the potato diet cannot give.

A compromised immune function results from eating potatoes. Skin dryness, liver and kidney abnormalities, and depression are also the outcomes.

Could Cause Eye and Bone Problems

Feeding on potatoes alone can cause a deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins like A, B, E, and K.

If you lack Vitamin A, you may have problems with your eyesight. Vitamin E aids with antioxidants, while vitamin K deficiency leads to bleeding.

Potatoes also lack calcium, which helps in bone formation. As a result, you may retain a higher risk of fractures and bone-related disorders.

Is Tough to Follow and Leads to Attrition

Human beings derive joy from food, so you will probably get bored with only one type of food, and boredom may cause you to get off the diet.

Baking and steaming are dull methods of cooking, which take the delight out of such a regular part of life.

It Leads to Continuous Hunger

One of the potato diet outcomes is poor submission due to lower satiety. If you only consume 2-5 pounds of potatoes, you will crave more food (usually not potatoes).

It Can Cause Constipation or Bloat

If you feast potatoes without the skin, you would have too much starch in your system and little fiber, resulting in constipation.

However, many have experienced bloating from ingesting the skin.

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Low Energy Levels

Inactivity and exhaustion are familiar potato diet side effects. 

Possibly, you will not have the fuel to exercise. Also, you will feel dull throughout the day.

You May Develop Anemia

When you stay on a diet for a reasonably long time, like one month or more, you could become inclined to anemia.

Mood and Irritability

A highly restrictive diet that lacks folic acid and iron makes you helpless to mood swings and poor cognitive functioning. Occasionally, this can cause depression.

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Also, ongoing hunger changes the chemical serotonin, regulating sleep and appetite. Feasting low calories raise cortisol, which is a hormone that heightens stress.

Blood Sugar

If you have problems with your blood sugar or diabetes, the potato-only diet is not good.

Unlike sweet potatoes, white potatoes have an increased glycemic index, which can spike your blood sugar levels and develop insulin resistance.

Potato Diet And Diabetes

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Munching several potatoes can pose problems for blood sugar control diabetics. Still, potatoes are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and people with diabetes can enjoy them as part of a healthy diet.

The Sweet Potato Keto Diet

Sweet potatoes are full of carbs and are removed from keto diet plans because they can make it hard for many people to retain ketosis.

Baked Potato Diet

Baked potatoes loaded with choline, an essential nutrient that most people do not eat enough. 

Choline reduces inflammation and disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. 

Baked potatoes are plentiful in fiber and support digestion. High-fiber nourishment can benefit both diarrhea and constipation.

Sweet Potato Diet

The excellent water content in sweet potatoes makes them considerable for weight loss. Dehydration slows your metabolism, causing weight gain and additional health issues. 

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The Bottom Line

You dine only plain potatoes on the potato diet for three to five days. It loses weight, rebuild gut health, and improves immunity. 

Though it helps to lose weight, it lacks certain nutrients and may lead to unhealthy eating attitudes.

The potato diet lacks calories, nutrients, and variety. While the potato diet may have short-term advantages, the side effects are unhealthy. 

Featured photo by Franco Antonio Giovanella on unsplash

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Dr. Neha Shoaib Saya

Dr. Neha Shoaib Saya

Dr. Neha Shoaib Saya is an author at Nearmonk.com. She is a bachelor of dental surgery (BDS) and currently working as a general dentist. She has a good knowledge of public health, and she helps people take proper care of their health.

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