Penn Jillette is a famous magician, but the Las Vegas performer credits potatoes, not magic, for losing about a third of his body weight in a very short amount of time.
A few years back, as Jillette was approaching his 60th birthday, he weighed in at 330 pounds and was battling high blood pressure. Realizing he may not live to see his two young children grow up, he decided to make a drastic change.
In late 2014, he went on an all-potato diet. They could be mashed, baked, or even sweet potatoes, but nothing else could be eaten. No other fruits, vegetables, proteins, or even exercise. Just potatoes.
He eventually added more items to his diet after a few weeks, but maintained an incredibly strict eating regimen. Even without exercise, the 6’7″ magician says he lost 75 pounds in the first three months.
While the weight loss was rapid – far faster than experts recommend – Jillette says he had regular doctor visits along the way. He says for him, the extreme approach was necessary to make major change.
“I’m not good at moderation. I wanted to do hardcore stuff,” Jillette told Good Morning America.
He says the strict diet helped him break his bad eating habits.
“I wanted to lose the sense of eating socially,” said Jillette. “It was just a way to lose all the habits I had gotten into.”
With files from the Associated Press