February 4, 2016 11:54 am
Updated: February 4, 2016 1:15 pm

Australian man eating only potatoes for a year to lose weight, curb food addiction

WATCH: An Australian man who says he’s battling his food addiction by eating only potatoes in 2016 says he’s already lost 22 pounds in the first month of his experiment.

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Hash browns, mashed potatoes, French fries — does this sound like a diet that’ll help you lose weight? An Australian man who says he’s battling his food addiction by eating only potatoes in 2016 says he’s already lost 22 pounds in the first month of his experiment.

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In what he’s dubbed the “Spud Fit” plan, Andrew Flinders Taylor says he’s committed to eating potatoes for 99 per cent of his calories for the entire calendar year. The remaining one per cent will come from seasonings, garnishes and sauces. By Feb. 1, he said he’s already dropped 22 pounds from his 334-pound frame.

He announced his plans on Jan. 4 and has been documenting his progress on Facebook and YouTube. His story has gone viral, garnering headlines around the world this week.
The weight loss isn’t his priority, Taylor said in his videos. Instead, he’s hoping to change his eating habits and reliance on processed fare.

“The last couple years I’ve not been anywhere near as fit and active as I’d like to be,” he explained.

“[I thought] perhaps I could choose one kind of food and just stick with that, so I’d be close to going cold turkey off food while I can still eat nutritious, healthy food,” he explained.

Potatoes are cheap and filling. He’s playing around with different recipes and preparations, but he says he won’t use oil in the cooking process.
“I’m eating at least three kilograms a day, usually closer to four kilograms in a combo of all different types of spuds, including sweet potatoes,” Taylor explained.
He’s also relying on a bit of calcium-fortified plant-based milk for mashing potatoes and he’s taking B12 supplements. To make sure his health isn’t falling to the wayside, he’s taking blood tests every three months.
He said, ideally, he’d stick to the plan for all of 2016, but he’s “not 100 per cent stuck on that.”

Potatoes are packed with potassium, vitamins B6, B3 and C, manganese and fibre. Kate Comeau, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Dietitians of Canada, says that eating 11 baked potatoes – about three kilograms – equals just over 2,000 calories.

“Consuming this amount of potatoes would also meet or exceed nutrient requirements for many vitamins and minerals. Potatoes are quite nutritious,” she told Global News.

“However some key nutrients are missing or only available in small amounts,” she warned.

READ MORE: Eating healthy may cost $1.50 more per day or $550 a year, study suggests

Protein – 11 potatoes would provide only about 55 grams; fat, which is needed for key functions in the body; and vitamins A, E, B12 and calcium would be missing.

She cautions anyone trying to lose weight and eat healthily not to stick to one ingredient as their miracle food. Healthy eating and forging healthy habits is about learning to cook from scratch and with a variety of produce, proteins and starches.

“It’s important to remember that there is no one food that can meet all our nutritional needs. That’s why dietitians recommend a variety of foods to make up a healthy diet,” she explained.

READ MORE: 6 misconceptions about nutrition and healthy eating

She asks clients if they can see themselves maintaining their weight-loss plan long-term. If it isn’t sustainable, dieters may be setting themselves back.

“The focus should be on nourishing your body to be as healthy as possible. This potato plan doesn’t seem to fit with these objectives,” she said.

carmen.chai@globalnews.ca

© 2016 Shaw Media

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