I found the Spud Fit potato mono-diet while cruising YouTube for whole foods diet inspiration. I was having trouble with food cravings and wanted to find a way to stay on a healthy whole foods diet and get free of sugar and processed food for good.
The Spud Fit Mono-Diet
After watching an inspiring interview with Andrew Taylor, I was excited to try a mono-diet myself. He lost 110 pounds in 8 months and recovered from chronic depression. I knew changing my diet was what I needed to do.
Andrew realized he was a food addict and decided to do something about it. He realized he “couldn’t do moderation” when it came to processed food. He needed to come as close to quitting food as was humanly possible.
Spud Fit might be easier than water fasting
Instead of going on a fasting or juicing retreat, he chose a mono-diet that he knew he could do long-term while working and living his life. He ate only potatoes for a whole year, but he only challenges you to do 3 weeks.
He chose potatoes because after doing a lot of research he found out they are extremely nutritious by themselves, containing all the vitamins and macronutrients and fiber you need to survive in a pinch. The only thing lacking is B12 which he supplemented. Though I imagine other vitamin deficiencies can develop with going too long on a mono-diet.
Learn how to get free from food cravings for good and up your energy
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- My Junk Freedom Food Journal
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Spud Fit was safe and I felt confident that could do it
I really liked his book the DIY Spud Fit Challenge. Andrew has a very healthy low key attitude about life that I wanted to emulate. This was something that was safe and affordable that I could do.
I signed up for the Spud Fit online course and watched all of his videos. He goes into the emotions that lead to food addiction, the mindset you need to conquer food addiction, what to say to the family, and what to do about social engagements. He also interviews nutrition experts to help you prepare for life after spud fit.
Make your food dull and your life exciting
The philosophy of Spud Fit is to drop our obsession with food, stop thinking about what we are going to eat next, and get on with life.
I like this idea of food minimalism because I spend way too much time and energy on trying to get satisfaction out of my food instead of my life.
This is a good program if you do it for three weeks or less, and it works for some people while others treat it just like another diet and then go back to their old habits as soon as they stop the mono diet.
It is very simple and easy to do. You simply boil or bake lots of potatoes of any kind including sweet potatoes and bring them with you to work or events and eat whenever you feel like it.
You are allowed to use a minimal amount of spices, non-fat and non-sugar sauces like sugar-free catsup, mustard, salt, and pepper, etc.
Don’t overthink it
Andrew is smart and well-meaning and admits he is not a health professional though he has taken the Starch Solution Certification with Dr. McDougall.
Some people find the Spud Fit challenge an easy way to reset their habits. But once you join the spud fit challenge course you see many comments from people who only made it a few weeks or a month and lost some weight and then gained it all back plus more.
The Spud Fit challenge is easy until it isn’t
I did two weeks of all different kinds of potatoes and did drop weight immediately. You don’t have to think about food all the time so you start to get a lot of other things done. At first, it was quite tasty.
But after about two weeks, I found that the potatoes tasted like glue in my mouth and I decided to stop. I couldn’t gag them down anymore.
Depending on how bad your diet was before the mono-diet challenge you may experience more or less withdrawal and cravings. And just getting off all the processed food is a great way to lose weight fast.
I didn’t experience a lot of detoxing though I did have cravings for other foods a lot. I felt pretty good the whole time I was on the Spud Fit Challenge.
Transitioning from a mono diet
When I stopped the Spud Fit Challenge I tried to eat a healthy diet but I didn’t have a good plan that was easy to follow in place of Spudfit, so I gained the ten pounds I had lost right back.
What I didn’t realize was that certain foods I was still eating were too refined and were triggers for me to overeat. I thought eating a low-fat high-fiber diet with lots of greens was good enough.
But somehow I kept going back to junk food late in the evenings. I would find myself irresistibly pulled to walk to the whole foods down the street and get a pint of ice cream or some cookies.
I also ordered Chef AJ’s book around the same time I found Spud Fit, so I finally read The Secrets to Ultimate Weight Loss and realized that I needed to go off whole grain pasta and bread for a while as well as getting rid of dairy and oil. Flour products, in general, were out, and smoothies were also out for now because they seemed to cause cravings and binging for me.
Once I found a way to automate my food decisions without eating a mono-diet I was on my way and have lost 25 pounds in the three few months.
I eat very simply because it is easy and takes less time and it reduces cravings. I have another 40 pounds to go, but I know it is doable to get to a permanent healthy weight.
Spud Fit is just a tool not the answer to food addiction
Andrew admits that Spud Fit is a tool and not an answer. It just stops you from using food as a drug.
It worked for him to break the dopamine pleasure cycle. He also had a year to research and prepare for regular life, post-Spud Fit.
Personally, I will probably not do Spud Fit again, not because I think it is a bad program. But because I would rather start practicing how I am going to be eating for the rest of my life.
Spud Fit feels like another diet because at some point it is going to be over and you are going to have to deal with eating a wider variety of foods.
I would rather learn how to get used to eating those foods, preparing and shopping for them, and seeing how much of them I need and what combinations are going to work for me in everyday life.
High nutrient whole foods replenish our starved bodies
The thing about mono diets, as Dr. Joel Fuhrman points out, is that you are not getting the full variety of phytonutrients.
Spud Fit isn’t really optimal and that may be why people still struggle with cravings at times on Spudfit.
Most of us are malnourished from eating a diet of refined foods that strip your body of nutrients, and damage your immune system. It is important to start replacing those nutrients as quickly as possible with the highest quality foods you can afford.
When I was on the spuds diet, I had a lot of cravings for junk foods.
The minute I started adding greens and other high nutrient veggies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with legumes and small amounts of fruits and seeds my cravings vanished.
Life after Spud Fit
I still eat a lot of sweet potatoes every week, but I also try to eat a huge plate of salad or steamed greens and other non-starchy veggies at every meal.
Within a few days of starting Chef AJ’s recommendation to eat a pound of vegetables for breakfast(!), my cravings for the old processed foods went away.
Spud Fit taught me to stop obsessing over food.
It was a good jump-start to build a new mindset about food. But knowing more of the brain science behind food addiction has been another piece of the puzzle that has been very necessary for me.
Is the Spud Fit mono diet right for you?
You might find that the program is perfect for you. It can be a great mindset tool for resetting your ideas about food.
Also, it is much healthier than eating the standard American diet (SAD). Just make sure you do your research and have a plan for after you come off the Spud Fit Challenge.
Knowing what I know now about veggies for breakfast, I might skip the Spud Fit mono-diet and go straight to a diet high in non-starchy green veggies, and legumes as well as starchy veggies and fruits and a small number of nuts and seeds and avocado.
Dr. Fuhrman is one of the best experts on high volume, high nutrient, low-calorie diets.
He can be a little hard to stick with at first, so I would also read Dr. McDougall’s starch solution or Chef AJ’s book and then experiment and see what works for you as far as ratios of starches to greens, nuts and fruits, and whatever else you decide to include.
Contraindications for Spud Fit
Potatoes are high in nutrients and fiber contrary to popular belief. Spud Fit is based on eating white potatoes. These are considered to be high on the glycemic index, so they absorb into the bloodstream more quickly than other veggies, especially if you take off the skins. sweet potatoes might be safer.
Any time you are not eating a well-rounded whole food diet with adequate carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, your body may become susceptible to cravings and binging to compensate for the imbalance.
For instance, if you eat an extremely low-fat diet your body looks for what is missing. If you find that the diet ups your cravings it may be recommended to eat a wider variety of whole foods.
Something as simple as adding a small handful of sunflower seeds to a meal can make all the difference.
Losing weight safely and quickly
If you have a lot of weight to lose and you want to get going quickly you can cut down on your grains and potatoes and eat more squashes for your starches at first and then add more variety as you get going.
Dr. Fuhrman is a master of fast but safe weight loss while cutting your cravings.
Depending on where you fall on the food addiction susceptibility scale you might need to let go of flour, sugar, oil, and refined foods for good to keep cravings away. But this isn’t hard once your taste buds adapt.
Once all the old foods are out of your system, and your gut microbiome resets, natural whole foods taste really delicious and satisfying.
A lot of people feel so much better and happier that they don’t want to eat the standard American diet (SAD) anymore.
But it can take a while for your body to let go of the old cravings. For some, it only takes a few weeks while others, like myself, have to struggle with it for a few months.
Getting back on unprocessed when you fall off
I have been on Chef AJ’s recommendations for a few months now and at first, I was surprised at how easy it was. I had zero cravings and no hunger.
But then I got busy and lazy about preparing and eating my meals regularly and I got hungry. The cravings came back and slipped up.
Once I tasted refined stuff again, I have had to really be strict about eating enough healthy high fiber whole-food three times a day to keep from getting hungry and slipping up.
Plan ahead: Automaticity is key
As long as your routine is not broken it is easy. But I had a few days on the road and did not prepare ahead of time.
You have to make sure you make enough healthy food every day and know what to do when you have to eat out. Keeping a cooler of healthy foods in your trunk can be a lifesaver.
Learning how to travel with food and where to pick up clean foods on the road is important for success.
Get the automaticity down, and eventually, you will be free of cravings. It can take a week or a month or even six months. Be patient and it will happen.
Spud Fit is a mono-diet of all kinds of white and sweet potatoes with limited condiments.
- The mono-meal mindset cures you of needing fancy food rewards.
- A fast way to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and get off meds without doing a water fast.
- You have a book and an online program to choose from.
Cons: like fasting, it may be too extreme and throw you into binging later. It all depends on your personality and physiology.
Chef AJ’s vegan food addiction program
Pros: Delicious recipes without oil, flour salt, nuts seeds, animal products. You have a book and an online program to choose from. There is also a weight loss summit with lots of experts that Chef AJ hosted.
Cons: Zero overt fats may be too restrictive without additions causing cravings or imbalances, Long term this low level of fats can be unhealthy for vegans.
Whole foods diet allows blending, whole grain flours and is pretty liberal about dried fruits. Does not use oil or any animal products.
Pros: great for people low on the food addiction spectrum. There is a book and a weekly online recipe program. You are encouraged to eat whole grain and sprouted flour products so there is a lot of freedom.
Cons: may be too loose for highly addicted people so adjust or avoid blended smoothies and recipes with flour and sugar, maple syrup, etc.
Allows oil, meat, salt, and dairy. Does not allow blending or processed foods like sugar and flour. Strict about portion control, great for learning automaticity. You have a book and an online program to choose from.
Pros: Lots of science-based info on food addiction, strategies for automaticity, great for extroverts to eat out without going off the plan. Strong Facebook community for daily check-ins.
Cons: Brightlines encourages weighing and limiting portions for faster weight loss. Everyone gets the same exact portions of food for the weight loss portion of the program no matter what body size. I think that is insane.
This could cause rebound binging and cravings. I tried the program but adjusted to higher portions and adding a pound of non-starchy veggies to every meal was my strategy with this program.
She allows animal products to make the program accessible. But you could try cutting down or cutting them out and see what works best for you.
It is a bit robotic in that you eat all of the weighed food and don’t skip meals even if you are not hungry. So you never get out of “addict mode” or learn to eat more intuitively. She admonishes people to eat all of the food three times a day even if you are not hungry.
Dr. Fuhrman’s food addiction program
Mostly plant-based with no oil, no flour or sugar or processed foods, and only about 10% animal products. You have a lot of books and online programs or residential stays to choose from.
Pros: Incredible knowledge base and track record helping people heal from disease and diabesity.
Cons: Fuhrman uses some blended foods and dates, so you may need to adjust recipes. He is anti-starch or very low starch from whole potatoes and grains, and some people have trouble sticking with his stringent recommendations. I personally add more sweet potatoes and have found his other ideas very helpful.
Joan Ifland Ph.D. uses a whole foods diet with meat, cuts out dairy, soy, and high glycemic fruits, white potatoes all blended foods, and processed foods.
Pros: Great for those who want to continue to eat meat, very knowledgeable about the science behind food addiction.
Cons: Suggests cold-pressed oils, which are high in fat and are a highly processed food. if you find oil is triggering cravings adjust her recipes to leave it out.
Doesn’t allow potatoes, many fruits, or allow bananas and seems to fear starches, which seems a little extreme considering the Spud Fit program is helping thousands of people get free from food addiction.
She suggests higher amounts of animal products than a lot of experts feel are healthy. You may want to experiment and see if replacing some of these with beans works better for you.
The Spud Fit Challenge might be just right for you to jumpstart your health journey. Everyone is different so I have presented a few alternatives and I keep digging for more ideas to help you be your happiest and healthiest.
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