We all love our potatoes, but do you love them enough to only eat only potatoes for a whole year? Andrew Taylor, otherwise known as Spudfit did just that and the result? He went from from couch potato, to a spud who's healthier than ever before after dropping a whopping 55kg/120lb!
We took 4 minutes to have a chat to Andrew about his journey on his one year potato diet.
What was the driving force behind eating a potato diet for a whole 365 days?
I realised that all of my previous efforts to lose weight had focussed solely on the number on the scales and that in doing this I was only dealing with a symptom rather than the cause of my weight gain. The root of the problem was that I was a food addict.
I wanted to stop dealing with symptoms and focus on the cause and I figured that if the best way to treat alcoholism (and most other addictions) is to quit entirely, then perhaps that would also be the best way to treat food addiction. Obviously we can't quit food entirely though so I wanted to get as close as I possibly could and see if that would have some sort of effect on my food psychology.
Why only potatoes?
I did a lot of research, read scientific studies and books, watched on line lectures from the world's leading nutrition scientists and looked at the history of human nutrition. The potato simply had the weight of both scientific and historical evidence behind it. Many, many people in various parts of the world have thrived off a diet of almost only potatoes - think of the Irish before the potato famine - and I couldn't find a reason why I would be any different. Everyone knows that potatoes have plenty of carbs, but they also have a good amount of protein and fats along with lots of fibre, vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy and strong.
Was there a lot of research put into trying this kind of diet?
I spent six weeks researching and by the time I was satisfied that this could be done, it was only three days until January first. I was going to start straight way but everyone who has ever done a diet before knows that diets don't start until Monday, right?! My original plan was to do either two months or a hundred days but while I was waiting those extra few days to start, the idea came to me that perhaps if I was going to start on January first, maybe I should just keep going for the whole year? I thought about that a lot and it scared the crap out of me. I had no justification for doing it that long as I thought my mindset would be changed well before a year was up. In the end I figured that I needed a big change in my life and that if I could do this for a year then perhaps my life would be different by the end. I was really scared of failure but I decided that the only true failure in life is in not trying, so I gave it a shot!
What were some of the biggest challenges and obstacles you faced when you began the diet?
The biggest challenge and obstacle in this whole thing was overcoming my own mind. I was clinically depressed and anxious and my life just felt like it was totally out of control and spiralling downwards with a total absence of hope. I was full of fear and self doubt, limiting beliefs and self sabotage. A huge part of me was always looking for the easy way out and trying to stay in my comfort zone.
The first two weeks was the hardest thing I've ever done. Dealing with cravings and negative self talk all day every day was very stressful. My emotions were out of control and I had to learn new ways handle them now that I could bury them under a large pizza and a box of ice cream!
After a couple of weeks things got much easier, I settled into a groove and the rest of the year wasn't too hard at all.
How are you helping others to change their relationship with food and reclaim their life?
This is the best part of the whole experience to me, I never expected that anything I did would be able to help others! Every day I get messages and emails from people with all sorts of questions and also from many people telling me how I've helped them to change their health and their life, lose weight, get off medications and change the way they think about food. I can't describe how good it feels to be able to positively impact lives like this!
I continue to share my life and some thoughts and advice on various social medias. I also run my own Spud Fit Challenge support group, I have a book and I can't wait to run my first retreat in February next year! Info on all these things is at www.spudfit.com
What was/is your favourite potato recipe to date?
I like to keep it very simple, my favourite is what I call a mash cake. Basically you take yesterday's left over mash out of the fridge and squash it into a non stick pan about 2cm thick and cook it until its brown on both sides.
Another favourite is potato waffles. Just boil some potatoes until they're soft and the squash them in a non stick waffle iron and cook them for 15-20 minutes until they're crispy.
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