A groundbreaking self-experiment

I ate only potatoes for an entire year

So you don’t have to

January 1st 2016. Day 1/366. Rock bottom. When I filmed this video I’d been battling with food for two decades. I was in the worst physical shape of my life.

But even worse was my mental health. I was clinically anxious and depressed. Sad, lost and exhausted after decades of trying and failing to stick to a healthy eating plan. Sick of wondering how I could be smart and successful in other parts of my life, but so unable to control my behaviour around food.

Would you say to an alcoholic: "just one little bit, just this once, won't hurt"?

Hi, I’m Andrew

Every time I managed to white-knuckle my way through a week on my latest diet, I’d hear the voice in my head saying “Go on, have the cake. You’ve been so good, you deserve a reward. A little bit, just this once won’t hurt“.

Any every time, that ‘little bit’ was the beginning of the same old slippery slope. But it wasn’t my voice in my head. It was the voice of every mainstream diet ever.

“Save up enough points during the week and you can let loose at that wedding on Saturday!”

“You don’t have to give up your favourite foods!”

“Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures! Any diet that encourages you to leave out whole food groups [meaning junk food] is BAD.”

The gold standard treatment for any substance addiction is the Abstinence Model. Yet people who struggle with addictive behaviours around food are encouraged – bullied – by the food and diet industries into returning over and over again to the source of their pain and misery.

An alcoholic can quit alcohol. Obviously it’s really, really hard, but you can avoid consuming alcohol ever again. But you can’t quit food, can you? You have to eat.

Well it turns out you kind of can. Eating only potatoes was my way of applying the abstinence model to food. The same as an alcoholic only has ‘drink’ or ‘don’t drink’, my only choice became ‘eat’ or ‘don’t eat’.

You would never tell an alcoholic that a little bit won’t hurt, because you know very well that it will.

So you encourage them to stay away. You cheer them on when they succeed. And you help them find alternative ways to cope with whatever they’re using their addiction to escape from. And eventually, gradually, the cravings become less and less. A drink starts to lose its appeal. The shame of the latest binge is replaced by pride and self-esteem. One day, the idea of a drink sounds more like a punishment than a reward.

And so it was for me. Because plain potatoes aren’t physiologically or psychologically exciting, I could eat as much as I wanted without ever triggering the exaggerated dopamine response that comes from eating exciting foods – or having a drink.

Over time, my neural pathways changed. Over time, junk food lost its appeal entirely. Eventually, I came to see the pizza, the cake, the [insert your trigger food here] as a punishment – not a reward.

I could eat anything I wanted, because I changed what I wanted.

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.

This works without potatoes!

I chose potatoes (and sweet potatoes) because they are spectacularly nutritious – they’re the best single source of nutrition on the planet. And they’re cheap, filling and versatile. They’re definitely the best choice if you want to try a short-term mono-diet. And a mono-diet – even a single day – is an amazing tool for changing your relationship with food.

But they’re not the only choice. And in the longer term we want to include more foods. Well the good news is that there are quite literally thousands of foods that you can eat as much as you feel like while losing weight and creating those neural pathways that mean you are no longer a slave to your cravings and triggers and emotional eating. And they’re all whole, real foods that are nutritious, cheap and easy to find and prepare.

Results are typical

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