How Many Potatoes Is Too Many?

Andrew Taylor - Spud Fit | January 9, 2019

Gary asked:
I want to try the Spud Fit Challenge but I’m worried that I’ll eat too much. I know you say it’s hard to over eat on potatoes but I’m an ex-athlete with a huge appetite and I can’t help thinking that I’ll eat too much on this diet of carb rich meals. Portion control has always been my downfall and I’m worried that this won’t work for me simply because I’ll eat too much.

My answer:
As a former elite athlete myself, I can certainly relate to this feeling of insatiable appetite. In fact there was a time when I took pride in my ability to eat more than anyone else, my friends and I would even occasionally go to an all you can eat restaurant and try to out-eat each other!

First of all we need to actually define what it means for this to “work”. Are you worried that this will not have an affect on your relationship with food or that you won’t lose any weight? Given that you are talking about portion control as being your problem, I’m going to assume that weight loss is your focus. In that case I think the first thing you should do is read this blog post on why you should stop trying to lose weight. –

Potatoes are actually a low calorie food, despite what we are lead to believe. They are high in fibre and water content, both of which contain zero digestible calories. They are also highly satiating, meaning they keep you fuller for longer. These factors combine to make it close to impossible to over eat on plain potatoes.

Potatoes are typically eaten with oil, sour cream, cheese, bacon bits etc and this is what causes problems. All the typical toppings and condiments eaten with potatoes are very high in calories to the point where we’d usually get for more calories from the topping then from the potatoes themselves!

These toppings are not only high in calories, they also have the extra problem of triggering ‘foodgasms’ through the release of dopamine in the brain, making you want to eat more and more and thus bringing the problem of portion control into the equation. We are natural pleasure seekers designed who evolved a built in drive to gorge on calorie rich foods whenever we could so that we could build up fat stores in preparation for the winter or a drought. These days winter never comes from a food availability point of view so these high calorie food actually end up hurting us far more than helping.

Plain potatoes are extremely difficult to over eat, you’d have to really try hard to do it. I challenge you to give it a try. Eat some plain, cold boiled potatoes and see how much you can eat before you feel like stopping. Potatoes are really great but to be totally honest, with no toppings they are pretty bland and boring.

You’ll be amazed by how easy portion control becomes when plain potatoes are your only option!

Spud up!

More information on The Spud Fit Academy HERE

The DIY Spud Fit Academy: a how-to guide to tackling food addiction with the humble spud.

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