And other answers...
What did you eat during the Spud Fit Challenge?
A combination of all kinds of potatoes, including sweet potatoes. I used minimal dried and fresh herbs, spices and fat-free sauces (such as sweet chilli, tomato sauce or barbecue sauce) for a bit of flavour. I also use some soy milk (no added oil) when I make mashed potatoes.
What did you drink?
I drank only water and the occasional beer. I didn’t drink any tea or coffee but I’ve never liked them anyway. If you want to drink tea or coffee I think that would be fine as long as you use a low fat (no added oil) plant based milk.
Did you exercise?
For the first month I did no exercise and still lost 10kgs. After that I tried to do around 90 minutes of training every day. I DID NOT exercise for weight loss, I did it because for the first time in years I had excess energy to burn, enjoyed it and it made me feel good. I think that whatever the amount of exercise I did, my body adjusted my hunger levels to make sure I take in enough food. If I didn’t let myself go hungry then I was fine.
What are the rules?
Rule 1: Do your own research and make educated decisions – don’t just do things because you saw some weird bloke on the internet doing it! Also get medical supervision to make sure everything is going well for you, especially if you are taking any medications.
Rule 2: Eat a combination of all kinds of potatoes, including sweet potatoes. I have minimal herbs, spices and fat-free sauces for a bit of flavour. I also use some soy (or other plant-based with no added oil) milk when I make mashed potatoes. Also take a B12 supplement if you plan on doing this for longer than a few months. Definitely no oil – of any kind – or anything fatty such as meats, cheeses, eggs or dairy products (even lean or low-fat versions).
Rule 3: DO NOT RESTRICT OR COUNT CALORIES. I eat as much as I like, as often as I like, I do not allow myself to go hungry if I can help it.
Here is a video I made which explains my rules. – click here to watch
How did you cook without oil?
I used a non-stick granite pan and fry in water or salt reduced vegetable stock. When I used the oven I just put the potatoes straight on the tray. I also liked to cook potatoes in my pressure cooker and my air fryer.
How did you feel?
I felt amazing and incredible and I still do! My sleep improved, joint pain from old football injuries went away, I gained energy and improved mental clarity and focus. Also I lost 52.3 kilograms (117 pounds) over the course of the year. By far the best part is that I no longer suffer with clinical depression and anxiety.
How did you prepare your potatoes?
I tried to keep it as simple as possible. I didn't own an air fryer or a pressure cooker or any other special gadgets. Most of what I ate was either boiled, baked or mashed potatoes. I would make a really big batch of one type and then eat it for a day or two until it was gone and then repeat.
What did you have for breakfast/lunch/dinner?
I didn’t have set things that I made for each meal. I usually make a big batch of one of the meals I mentioned in the question above and I eat it for a few meals until its gone.
Did you eat the skins?
I did but if you don’t want to that’s ok too.
Can I eat (insert random food here)?
You can eat what ever you like! If you’d like to know what I’m eating then look above to my own personal rules. You can also watch this video to see how I ate on the day I made it.
What was your favourite meal?
I’m a simple guy, a good old-fashioned mash was and still is my favourite.
Did you use any supplements?
Yes, I took a vitamin B12 supplement and nothing else.
Where did you get your protein?
From potatoes! The World Health Organisation recomends we get at least 5% of our total calories from protein. Potatoes contain 6-8% of calories from protein, so as long as I ate enough calories then I got enough protein. I averaged around 70 grams of protein from 3.5kg of potatoes each day. Potatoes also contain an excellent balance of all essential amino acids.
Where did you get fats?
From potatoes! Potatoes provided 2-3% of their calories from fats and in a good balance of omegas. I also had plenty of stored body fat to use up!
Where did you get vitamin C?
From potatoes! (see a pattern developing here?). Potatoes are very rich in vitamin C, I’m currently getting over 600% of my daily vitamin C requirements.
Where did you get iron?
From potatoes! Potatoes are very rich in iron, I’m currently getting over 500% of my daily iron requirements.
Where did you get vitamin A?
From potatoes! Sweet potatoes in particular are very rich in vitamin A.
Where did you get fibre?
Potatoes have heaps of fibre. I’m getting way more fibre than the recommended minimum.
What about other vitamins and minerals?
I didn’t worry about any vitamins or minerals. Diets similar to this have been done many times through history, both voluntarily and involuntarily, by both large populations of people and by small groups of prisoners and scientific study subjects. Diets like this have only resulted in people having great health, I don’t see why I’d be any different. Just to be sure I had medical supervision including regular blood tests.
Did you get bored?
This is the most surprising thing of all, I can’t explain why but I’m not at all bored of my potato meals. Actually I quite enjoyed it. Here’s a blog I wrote about my attitude to dealing with boredom.
What if you get (insert random deficiency here)?
I experienced only positives from my Spud Fit Challenge. I had medical supervision and blood tests throughout the year and they only continued to improve. I have yet to hear from someone who has developed a deficiency from following my rules.
Are you sponsored by the potato board?
When I started I had no sponsorship, nor did I think that was a possibility. For the last eleven months of the year I was sponsored by Tesoriero and Luca Bros fruit and veggie shop at 250 Carlisle Street Balaclava, in Melbourne (shameless plug). The amazing and generous Brendan and Elliot kindly supplied all my potatoes for the year! I’m currently not sponsored by anyone, though I am open to it, but only if they fit in with my ideals and my reasons for doing this. Don’t bother contacting me if you’re from McDonald’s, however if you’re from Spud Bar then I’d be happy to hear from you (I’ve paid 10 bucks for a plain baked potato many times now)!
Have you maintained your weight loss since finishing the Spud Fit Challenge?
Over the month of January, following the completion of my Spud Fit Challenge, I lost another 2kg (4lbs). This took my total weight loss to 55kg (121lbs) and meant I weighed the same as I did when I was 15 years old – 96kg (211lbs)! Since then I’ve stopped weighing myself so I can’t be sure of what I actually weigh, my new clothes still all fit though and I still feel good so I guess my weight is around the same (nearly 15 months later at the time of writing this).
Did this change your food addiction?
In short, yes! In the last 15 months I have not eaten any junk food whatsoever, I didn’t even have cake on my birthday. I don’t have any desire to eat any of the foods that got me into the mess I was in. This is not purely because I ate potatoes for a year though. From the beginning I’ve always said potatoes are great but in the end they are just a vehicle that has allowed me to take a break from food. The Spud Fit Challenge gave me the time and space I needed in order to do some important internal work. I learned many lessons from The Spud Fit Challenge and I continue to put them into practice daily in order to maintain my new, healthy relationship with food.
Will this help my diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis, cholesterol, IBS etc?
Yes I expect that it will. I’ve supervised many people through their own Spud Fit Challenge and seen amazing improvements in all of the above conditions and many more. I am yet to hear from someone who followed the rules properly and didn’t have major improvements in their health. As stated above, you should do this under medical supervision.
Does this work for women too?
Yes, this works for all humans.
Do you have a book?
I thought you’d never ask! You can get it here and also in the shop page of this website.
Do you have another question that I haven’t answered here?
Contact me and I’ll do my best to answer it and add the answer here - email@example.com