It's always interesting to me that people can succeed on extreme diets like this rather than adjust their lifestyles to whole food home cooked healthy eating. Like almost no one can tolerate ketosis but they can do extreme diets like day+ fasting or fad diets.
The shower thing is completely off base but whatever, this is all extreme. No salt / olive oil on the potatoes is off base too, there's no reason the diet needs to be that boring.
They don't actually succeed. They succeed for a short time, because of the motivation rush, and will post about their success; then they will lose the motivation and consequently their shape, but then obviously won't post about that.
Restrictive diets are bound to fail, because it's like fighting gravity, and it's impossible to succeed for one reason or another - burning motivation/mental health being another factor.
Dieting is something successful in the extremely long term, ie. decades.
- overweight person loses weight in the short term: interesting blog post (for uninformed readers)
- overweight person loses shape in the medium/long term: uninteresting because it shows that silver bullets don't work.
- fit person stay fit through exercise and balanced diet: uninteresting, because it goes against the silver bullet approach.
When they ask me how I managed to keep the weight off for such a long time, I simply answer "eating what I always have, and calorie counting". Nobody likes to hear that for some reason.
Many people don’t like to attribute their failure, or others success, to personal responsibility.
That'll be because of the human condition of cheating which is roughly a combination of "I'll do it next week" and "It wont hurt me if I do this a couple of times (a week)" and the worst of all "I don't have to count this if I apply some magical condition to it".
It only doesn't work if you don't do it which all of the above are. And people don't want to hear that because they don't like hearing that they're failing, especially when they are.
>People on a very low energy diet (VLED) were more successful at dieting that people on a hypocaloric balanced diet (HBD) which is basically a normal diet with slightly lowered calories to allow for weight loss. The average weight-loss maintenance on a VLED was about 15 pounds (29% of the total weight they had lost), compared to about 4.5 pounds (only 17% of the total weight they had lost) on a HBD. Basically, very low energy diets result in more weight loss and you’re likely to keep more of it off.
Summary quote from:
Whose generally has good reputation in the science based fitness circles.
Personally, I endorse this method.
Hacker News is supposed to be a well-unformed place, no? Why does the dieting BS make its way here?
> If I’m going to do something, it’s all-in baby.
That's the problem right there. A healthy lifestyle does not work like that.
I think that is the idea. If it's boring you don't over eat that much.
Also if you eat different things people can eat more. Can't eat any more fries? Most people can fit in some ice cream.
The entire idea is that this diet is incredibly boring and will make a well-balanced vegan diet seem for more appealing by comparison. This way, the author's new diet will seem more exciting and interesting than if they jumped straight from steak and ice cream to rice and beans.
A diet of pure potatoes is obviously unsustainable and unhealthy, but this is only temporary. (IMO the keto diet that I've seen other commenters pushing is also unsustainable, but whatever works for people.)
231lb to 157lb here this year doing just that. 1600 calorie cap and regular exercise, mostly walking. After weight was gone, calories back up to normal and maintain the exercise.
I should note that this was achieved by eating less potatoes and fruit and eating more broccoli and cabbage. 99% of it was replacing my broken relationship with food with a healthy one, not an even more broken one.
Well, that's the catch, isn't it? The meta-technique is where the problem is. "Study hard for the exam. If you can't study, that's the problem". Useless advice to the guy addicted to games.
And we know one true answer for effective weight loss: pharmaceuticals. Ludicrous success rate. All of this other stuff is slow.
Cheat. Life's too short to play fair.
My doctor wants me to look into bariatric surgery but the side effects of that look horrifying long term.
Also smoking is effective for some. Again, bad side effects.
Not going to name the drugs, sorry, but your doctor will know of them. He knows your situation better, so I'll leave it to him.
I found myself regularly having to eat more carbs to make up what I wasn’t eating.
Exercise does nothing in losing weight. (If you've seen the people doing physical labor for 10 hours a day, you know they're not necessarily thin.)
But the sentiment is correct. 90% of losing weight is eating less calories. Exercise is still good though, without it a lot of the lost weight is going to be muscle.
Not if the increased appetite after the exercize (and the "I exercized for now I'm entitled to some nice food") gets you to gulp more at lunch/diner....
Not really. The human body doesn't have a power saving mode like computers do. The vast majority of burned calories are burned simply by the body existing and keeping its metabolism running.
I really watch what I eat.
Never heard of this potato diet before... Human metabolism is complex!
If I don't lift, I'll get fat. It definitely has significant effects on metabolism, body fat % and building muscle.
I imagine that most peoples 'exercise' doesn't come close to 1k calories burned though.
Your physical labour people probably consume more calories than they use.
It really comes down to this at the end of the day. Assuming someone is reasonable about what they eat (not garbage), if you consume more than you expand, you're gaining weight that is mostly fat, unless you're doing some type of resistance exercise like barbells, which would result in both fat and muscle gain if, again, you don't eat trash diet.
I can run a 5k now. Now that has some calorific consequences.
That's the easy way.
Of course the only thing that matters is calories in, but that doesn't mean it's a valuable instruction for most people.
But overall I agree..
If people are tempted to cheat... then the diet isn't working, is it?
An otherwise brilliant diet that drives everyone to cheat is useless.
That's what their diet plans are supposed to help them fix!
If people could just magically decide to be perfectly disciplined and motivated all the time, then we wouldn't need any diets would we? We'd just say 'great now just eat healthily all the time'. But people struggle to do that, so we have diet programmes to help them.
The diet plan is there to help work around the laziness and ill-discipline which is a natural and eternal part of being a flawed human being.
One of my friends used to work backstage in Las Vegas, and got invited to Jilette’s mansion for a party. Besides being obese (at the time), he is also very tall, 6’6”. According to my friend, the entire mansion is built to his scale —- every light switch is 6” higher than you expect. Every counter is high. Every chair is a little too tall. It has the effect of making folks feel a bit crazy.
He wrote a pulp mystery novel called Sock. It is told from he perspective of a detective’s plush sock monkey. The last sentence of every paragraph is a line from a classic rock tune.
He used to write a tech/humor column for PC/Computing magazine back in the nineties. In one column, he described a practical joke wherein one could write an autoexec.bat file that would print a countdown to detonation for airport security dudes who snooped in laptops to find.
(As for the efficacy of this “diet,” most of you are overlooking the fact that, like everything Jillette does, it’s a trick. Some folks just need a bit of psychology to get on the track, that’s fine.)
I really do think some people can mentally handle an "extreme" diet more easily than a moderate adjustment. It's just more exciting I guess. And the weirdness of it makes it feel like you've discovered some secret that nobody else knows. In the end, just realizing that you can in fact change your bodyweight is a huge mental win. And as long as you transition into something less stupid after a month or two, I think the net benefit can actually be very positive.
...but seriously; of the three macronutrients, carbs are the only one you don't need to stay alive. It's fine for a while, but I just don't get why if you're going to cut calories to below 1k per day you wouln't instead eat some fats and protein. When you realize that a good part of your weight loss is muscle mass disappearing the whole thing gets a lot less exciting.
If you want to lose body fat effectively, why not copy the diet of bodybuilders that get lean for a living!?
Because bodybuilders (a) also have strong wills in dietary matters and everyday regimen, (b) tend to follow complex diets strictly, (c) tend to get supplements, including non-healthy ones, (d) also do hard exercize to go along with the diet, (e) getting lean is basically what they do 24/7.
So, yeah, if (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) being the same for someone, then it would be a good idea for them to follow a bodybuilder diet...
Suggesting that an average person tries the extreme diet of a body builder of putting on excess fat and then trying to "cut" it is really bad advice.
For example a diet of 10-30% carbs, 40-50% protein, 30-40% fat, with a 400Kcal deficit isn't extreme by any measure! That kind of die, avoiding alcohol and sugar, seems pretty reasonable?
- they dope themselves to death (in some cases, literally)
- they, in general, spend lots of time in the gym, although this is not a requirement to get fit in general
- they are gifted in genetic terms, which makes their practices incompatible with regular people.
Probably, the best role models are regular people who keep fit with a balanced lifestyle, and even better regular people who do so in shortage of resources (ie. time), since they have to be very effective.
I would argue that the idea of being genetically gifted is largely a myth, as anyone that appears gifted is most likely taking performance enhancing drugs.
You can't just copy third of someone's lifestyle. And let's not forget that lots of bodybuilders eat clen and tren hard. When you get a nice cocktail of all kinds of shady substances to modify your metabolism it also makes difference.
"Putting in less energy than your body consumes" is an unhelpful thought that you should stop using. It's both too obvious and also too obtuse. It completely ignores what certain types of foods do inside / to your body. It's possible to gain weight on a caloric deficit and it's possible to lose weight on caloric excess. People who struggle to lose weight while intentionally under eating and trying to exercise more and end up failing, feel terrible about themselves because they believe this unhelpful statement you keep repeating.
The thing about scientific studies is they're generally looking for something that works for everyone. If a small number of people in a small study have good results from a fad diet, and they can stick to it, that's good for them, but the study is going to show no significant difference between control and test.
The key is finding something you can stick to, has good results for you, and doesn't cause other problems. For a lot of people, that's easy, and for some people it's hard.
That's not a problem, because scientific studies have also failed to produce any great way of losing weight (including the "sticking to it part"), whereas non-scientific diets have worked wonders for individual people...
I know it’s not easy to do this and expose yourself on the web for others to see and read what you are and what you’re trying. But your courage and updates will hopefully inspire someone else.
Try not to get disappointed if you hit a plateau in your weight loss journey. It’s not very difficult to lose the first few (or few tens of) pounds, but later it may seem more and more of an uphill battle (depending on many factors). Just stick to the program and keep working on it.
People, please, do not copy.
If your aim is to loose weight you absolutely have to provide a varied, balanced, healthy diet. If nothing else, learning to provide it without calorie restriction is already going to help. Your body has to extract what it needs from less food so the food has to be more rich in quality content.
Also eating only carbs will mean opening a can of other problems. Your body needs to exercise various metabolic pathways every day. Avoiding fats and proteins in your diet is only good if you are fasting.
I have issue with people advocating uninformed and frequently dangerous practices and spreading that misinformation on the internet.
There exists no magical diet. This is just cranking dials on your body and see what effects it has with regards to your weight, without understanding what it actually does.
Obesity is a symptom of unhealthy diet. The solution to this is a healthy diet.
A year later, mom is now the healthiest of us. Her blood work is perfect and she feels great. Rest of the family is in the same situation we always have been.
I have nothing against vegan diet. You just need to know what you are doing and be committed to be balancing the diet yourself. Meat is an easy choice that gives everything the body needs plus some stuff that it doesn't.
Meat is an easy choice as it roughly contains what you need in roughly right proportions. It is not the best solution to the problem (I don't want to say eating meat exclusively is healthy or better than vegan) but it puts you in roughly safe spot in that you can be extremely lazy with the diet.
With vegan diet you can quickly cause a lot of damage to your body if you are not paying attention to what you eat.
If you don't want to spend your days with calculators and tables the safest bet is to just vary everything -- eat a little bit of everything every day or different things every day.
One tip I would give even if you don't want to pay a lot of attention to details is to still try to manage proteins / carbohydrates / fat content of your food. Just add olive oil when you don't see enough fat in your food, etc.
Listen, if you change your diet drastically it is possible that just reducing amount of salt in your diet is going to cause drop in amount of water in your body and reduce your body mass.
Yes. This is his first day of a 2 week potato-only diet. So?
>Listen, if you change your diet drastically it is possible that just reducing amount of salt in your diet is going to cause drop in amount of water in your body and reduce your body mass.
If only that wasn't covered already in the book/diet...
It's an account of the first day of his two week diet.
Perhaps he has issued a mea culpa.
As he himself says though, this is not a man to follow on this subject.
Best wishes to the author here though; moderation and discipline over the long term will be key.
It's easy to do (and probably, one good way to enjoy yourself however it is) when you're younger...
After an age though, the consequences of obesity get worse than the fun of eating...
Plus, who woulnd't sneer at vegeterians, skinny or not?
A few additional points to consider:
* First weight you lose will be water (it's why most of these diet programs make big claims in just a few weeks)
* As you burn fat, you'll need to drink more water and you'll flush out your electrolytes - take supplements
* If you don't workout and eat a certain-ish amount of protein (not too much or less) you'll lose muscle mass instead of fat
* Fasting helps you burn fat rather than food intake
* It's better to consume fats than carbs - if you can get your body into ketosis then you'll burn almost exclusively fats
* Don't underestimate the importance of exercise, even walking (for a heavy person, you're burning a lot more to move the additional mass around)
With every gram of muscle you build your lean/fat ratio improves, you BMR improves, any kind of health markers.
I have to admit I'd rather stick with normal diet. Just recude the intake or increase the consumption.
This also requires virtually no change in diet, except ensuring you're reaching your protein goals every day.
I'm guessing that the potatoes-only period is to make it more likely that the new diet will stick. A cleansing of the old eating habits before establishing the new ones.
EDIT: Also, potatoes have a lot of vitamin C in them apparently, however cooking does reduce the content. Does eating an ungodly amount make up for the cooking loss?
for me 13kgs dropped off in about 5 months after lifestyle changes.
Stopped adding sugar to drinks (and drinking sweet drinks/ artificial or no)
Fast between 8pm and 11am
go for a 1 hour bike ride a few times a week.
be conscious of how much food i was eating (quantity) I dont have a sweet tooth but savory food I have bad habits of eating until I'm full.
My problem is the same though; I eat till I'm full, so I've been curtailing that by eating more proteins and really watching what kinds of food I'm eating. Still a work in progress though.
Your best bet is to fast (water fast) for as long as you can, if you can't then add protein (not carbs).
Potatoes is very rich in carbs, your body won't go to ketosis (using fat as fuel) thus you won't see much impact.
I also recommend getting smart meter and measure your fat percentage daily so you can tune your diet.
Or ask fruitarians or vegans who don't exercise and are dangerously underweight.
Also, I don't know. Maybe it's because:
- The body needs fats for more than just the krebs cycle (building hormones and cell walls, namely)
- In low fat diets, the body is starved of this critical macronutrient, so it uses its own stored fat to perform critical functions
Or they're pooping it out for all I know. Chopping off a leg will help you lose weight without "burning" calories.
Either way, the hypothesis that carbohydrates raise blood glucose which raises insulin which tells your endothelial cells to pull in fat for storage and fat cells, and that ketosis puts your body in fat storage release mode, is clearly not the whole picture.
But my understanding of ketosis is that it is a metabolic state during which the body uses the stored fat as a fuel and ultimately all roads must end up at that state for the stored fat to be depleted.
I've fasted for 35 days and lost 15 kilos in 2 weeks, I think I know how to lose weight effectively.
Here is my data
If you want to stay at the low body fat, you can just reduce the food intake after the 2 week and not bulk up again. The fact is I did lose 15 kilos in two weeks and that is effective.
You could also use less extreme fast and make it gradual, but the mechanism of losing body fat became very systematic to me.
Also the countless many youtube videos on fasting how it got results. It is really hard to argue with facts.
If you want to lose weight for the long run you've to eliminate the environmental, habitual and emotional factors that resulted in gaining it in the first place.
Any arguments against those sources?
Aren't potatoes "plant based, vegan"? I swear people go from one extreme terrible diet to another. Going from one terrible diet to another is only gonna cause more problems.
What is so difficult about eating a balanced meal. Veggies, bread/rice/pasta, meat/fish/poulty, fruits, etc?
If you are fat and want to lose weight, just put less on your plate and only eat that. And move/exercise more. Rinse, repeat. That's it. It's not rocket science.