Our Story

I'm a logical,
rational person

So why can't I lose weight and keep it off?

For decades the diet industry let me believe I was broken. I couldn’t stick with their diets because there was something wrong with me. The abject despair of yet another failed weight loss attempt ended in a moment of clarity one day on my couch, where I finally understood that in fact it was dieting itself - and the mindset that goes with it - that had caused all my problems.

G'day, I’m Andrew,

and, together with my wife Mandy, I will show you how to change your life by changing your relationship with food.

Ancient biology. Modern world.

The truth I discovered is that, behind weight gain are several biological and psychological mechanisms that are not set up to deal with the current food environment. Never before have so many empty calories been so readily available to us. Never before have we had to make such an effort to resist them. Humans evolved needing to put all of our time, effort and resources into finding more calories. Now we spend all of our time, effort and resources fighting these instincts.

Everything we do at Spud Fit is designed to teach you how to work WITH your instincts, instead of fighting against them.

Andrew Taylor

Day 1/366: Fat, depressed - and viral!

I still don't like watching this video. It makes me feel how I felt back then: exhausted, lost and sad from years of trying and failing at every diet under the sun.

But from the very beginning, 'quitting food' was the only logical course of action for a food addict. Little did I know how it would lead to me being able to help so many others all over the world.

Nobody can tell me that this is living

NUMBERS. Weighing. Tracking. Measuring. Counting.

Counting calories. Points. Macros.
Counting how many times you chew each mouthful.
Counting down the minutes until you can next eat again...
Trying to ‘eat mindfully’ when you’re hungry and just want to cram in six doughnuts as fast as possible.
Trying to ‘eat intuitively’ with an intuition that is beaten and busted from decades of dieting.

Nobody can tell me that this is living.

The Scoop

Today is day 70!!! I can't believe that I have been eating only potatoes since January 1st. I feel amazing! No cravings, no bingeing and a calm brain. This is the BEST way to deal with food addiction and this is the BEST group with BEST leadership...thank you Andrew Spud Fit Taylor and Mandy Van Zanen !!

Chris Prevost

Spud Fit Challenge 2020

I lost 17 pounds and am feeling great. I'm walking past my old triggers at the grocery store and don't feel a pull toward them at all. My cravings are gone and I really want this feeling to continue.

not all who 'can', can teach

Empowering you to change your life requires more than simply telling you which foods to eat. It requires more than just 'telling' you anything. It requires a deep understanding of how different people learn and are motivated. It requires skill and experience in breaking down and effectively communicating complex information.

Our superpower lies in our combined 30 years of experience as expert educators. Over the years, we were drawn to students who needed something more. Who needed help that was outside the scope of the mainstream box they were in. Spud Fit began because people saw my story and started asking for help. It's still going because helping is both our profession and our calling.

Results are typical

Meet some of our 'Super Spuddies' - people just like you

Wendy Swiger

Marty Ritz

Mark Dixon

Karen Laurvick

Julie Simiana

Adam Morgan

Mary-Jeanne Smith

Arthur Gooch

Lynn Howie

Professional bio - Andrew

Andrew Taylor’s story went viral when the world caught wind of the then-36 year old Aussie dad who had embarked upon a quest to eat only potatoes for the entirety of 2016.

But to assume – as most did, at first – that this was some clown doing something crazy and unhealthy on a whim for 15 minutes of fame, was to miss both the perfect logic of the experiment itself, and the exceedingly powerful and timely message Andrew brings. Hint: it’s not about the potatoes.

In late 2015, the former junior Australian Champion marathon kayaker was in the depths of despair after yet another failed attempt in a lifetime of dieting that had left him even heavier than before – 151.7kg.

From his black hole of clinical anxiety and depression, desperate to be the man he hoped his young son could look up to, he had an epiphany: he was a food addict.

Logically then, to Andrew, who thinks outside the square, he should treat his food addiction the same way you would treat any other addiction: through abstinence – or as close to it as you can get.

Armed with a degree in Applied Science (Human Movement) and a fascination with all things nutrition-related, the former high school physical education/health teacher spent six weeks researching ‘the perfect food’ before he settled on the humble spud – just in time to begin a whole year break from thinking about food on New Year’s Day, 2016.

With the media frenzy that followed his 'Spud Fit Challenge' story came the opportunity to help thousands of other food addicts deal with their own food psychology issues while losing weight and getting healthier along the way.

Andrew’s first short book, 'The D.I.Y. Spud Fit Challenge: a how-to guide to tackling food addiction with the humble spud’ was co-authored by his wife Mandy van Zanen and has helped many people to break the shackles of food addiction. His second book, ‘Spud Fit: A whole food, potato-based guide to eating and living’ is a collaborative effort between him and over 90 contributors, many of them giants in plant-based nutrition science from around the globe.

Since 2016, Andrew has spent his time coaching others through food addiction with his courses, informal and informative Youtube videos, blog and his steadily expanding Spud Fit community, along with Mandy. He is a sought-after speaker and natural interviewer, hosting groundbreakers such as Rich Roll, Dr Kim Williams, Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhamer for his podcast.

As of 2020, Andrew has returned to university full time, where he is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Health Science with a double major in Biomedicine and Nutrition. His ultimate ambition is to open his own food addiction rehab clinic.

In his spare time, Andrew doesn’t have spare time - he instead wrangles his two young sons. One day he hopes to be able to have a minute to think in peace so that he can think about what he might like to do with that peace.

Professional Bio - Mandy

Mandy is intensely passionate about education and has spent the better part of 20 years learning from a broad spectrum of students in the full gamut of schools around Australia and in The Netherlands.

In remote indigenous schools, exclusive private schools, schools for at risk youth and international bilingual schools, her ability to relate and connect with people from all walks of life has been evident to anyone who has seen her in action.

Mandy can make anyone believe with all their heart that not only are their wildest dreams possible, they are within reach. She can talk to anyone about anything; people feel instantly at ease and comfortable baring their soul to her. Telemarketers hang up the phone having sold nothing but having gained a whole new perspective on life!

Mandy is by far the most passionate, excitable person I’ve ever met and she’ll go to the ends of the earth for anyone willing to work as hard as she does. She loves nothing more than seeing people push their boundaries and expand their horizons. When I first informed her of my crazy idea to eat only potatoes for a year, Mandy didn’t bat an eye. When my story went viral and the whole world thought I was a freak show, she stood proudly at my side.

When I give her a break from Spud Fit, she reminds me that I’m not that one who gets to decide when she has a break! She loves to run, write, sing, talk, play, laugh, talk, cook, eat, make music, learn, talk, do yoga, sprint and talk. She likes to do all of those things fast, though she’s learning to at least back off the pace a little for yoga!

Mandy has a Bachelor of Music from the Melbourne Conservatorium, with a major in classical singing. She also talked them into letting her do two minors, in orchestral percussion and the clarinet.

Her day job is singing what she calls 'vintage pop' - 1920s-60s popular classics, show tunes, standards and the odd aria to the people who grew up with it: her treasured senior citizens all over Melbourne.

It's only in recent years that she's really found her creative niche as a musician, in working on reimagining her first love - obscure classical art songs - as contemporary works. One day, she might have time to actually finish something! In the meantime, you can follow Mandy's musical adventures on Instagram and Facebook.