Experimenting with plant-based dieting?

Just a quick post.

So, I’ve been trying my “potato diet” on and off, in part inspired by Ray Cronise and Penn Jilette, and also by Spud Fit, the guy in Australia who ate nothing but potatoes for a year.

However, I’m not strictly following the diet. I’m off on the weekends, and I eat what my wife cooks for dinner. (She generally cooks rather healthy, Japanese-style dishes – which might be less healthy than some think, but is generally healthier than what most Americans likely eat.)

Now, the problem with not following the diet strictly is, I am exposed to all the flavors of stuff I enjoy on the weekend and in the evenings, but my meals during the day are comparatively bland. Potatoes still taste good, but I try to avoid adding hot sauces and other stuff since they seem to stimulate my appetite more. This leaves my meals during the week being comparatively boring, making it very attractive to binge or to otherwise go off program.

I’m still down around 17 pounds or so from where I started when I first blogged about these recent weight loss experiments. However, I was down around 30 pounds, so that means I’ve gained 13 back. A lot I suspect is water weight from a recent weekend road trip, but I’m sure I have a good number of real pounds in there too. And yo-yoing isn’t good.

At the same time, I’m not giving up. I need to lose weight and get healthier. I’m 34 and my weight is becoming more and more of a risk factor for me, and has likely shaved years off my life already. Having spent time recently thinking of my own mortality and such, I don’t want to throw away whatever time I have left or to lose it to diseases which may be avoidable.

That leads to today’s experiment.

I skipped breakfast due to being busy – and it’s arguable whether that is a good or bad thing; I don’t think it is as bad as many think, based on Ray Cronise’s work. But eventually, I did eat. And, instead of just potatoes, here’s what I had:

  • Late morning: A banana.
  • Lunch: A single large russet potato, microwaved.
  • Early afternoon: Another banana.
  • Later afternoon: A full pound of strawberries.

Let’s say the bananas are around 120 calories apiece, the potato is around 250, and the strawberries are about 150. Yes, that’s 150 calories for a full pound of strawberries. Add that up, and you have roughly 650 calories for all of my food before dinner. …And no vending machine involved, so this was very cheap. The bananas were around 59 cents per pound, and the strawberries were on sale for 98 cents per pound.

Comparing that to if I binge – lately when I binge on vending machine crap, I get about 3 items a day. At roughly 300-400 per item (let’s say 350), that ends up being about 1000 calories in junk food that I frankly did not need. And this is in addition to eating at least 2 large potatoes. In other words, on a binge day I’m likely eating double if not more calories than I ate today when I felt like I was stuffing myself silly with fruit. And I saved 3 to 4 dollars by not hitting the vending machine for crap I didn’t need at all.

I think I’m going to keep trying this. Some people have suggested not to eat more than one banana a day; I’m going to respectfully disregard that advice. At the same time, I don’t plan to go full-on fruitarian, either. Potatoes are still going to be a stable for satiety, fruit added for flavor, and I’ll continue to add other things as needed to add variety and make my diet even healthier.

I’ve read several books by Dr. Fuhrman, have read the free material from Dr. McDougall, read part of “How Not To Die” by Dr. Greger (and saw his full talk), and am currently finishing up Dr. Davis’s “Proteinaholic”. I am slowly putting things into practice. I don’t know whether I’ll go full-on vegan or vegetarian, but I am solidly sold on the benefits of such diets and intend to shift my diet away from meat and more toward a whole foods, plant-based diet.

2 thoughts on “Experimenting with plant-based dieting?

  • How is the diet going? I’m on the other end of the scale trying keto dieting but I did hear Ray Cronise on an old episode of the Rich Roll podcast and he sounds sensible.

  • Hi Mike,
    If you want to cut to the chase, skip to around the last paragraph.
    So yeah, after getting to a low of 236.7 on May 27th, I went up bit by bit and settled around 250ish. I was experimenting with mostly plant based dieting, and I think that was going very well – however, I wasn’t so strict, and I was eating too many snacks at night with my wife (even if “vegetarian”), so my weight wasn’t really going down.
    So, at my second “peak” weight of 253.3 lbs, I decided to get serious – even more serious than I’ve been in the past. If you check my previous posting (“#Cronut?”), you’ll see how I had some fairly decent success doing a Penn Jilette-style potato “famine” with limited feeding windows and cold exposure? Well… I’m back on that, but stricter than before. Weekdays I’m pretty strict about fasting 19 hours a day and eating only 5. My lunch is almost always potatoes with nothing added (russets, sweet potatoes, Japanese satsuma-imo). My dinner is whatever my wife makes, but I watch portions to keep calories at an estimated 1000/day. I likely feel hungrier than I need to be if I didn’t explicitly calorie restrict, but not ravenously so. And the weight is coming off quickly.
    So, let me answer the question: this morning I weighed in at 230.6. I’m looking forward to tomorrow or the day after when I can tell my wife I’m back under 230lbs. Next stop will be 220lbs (100kg), which is roughly what I weighed prior to leaving Japan.
    Hope you get this message – I’m not finding an email address so I’m not able to reply directly, but of course I understand wanting to avoid spam.

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