Boiled potatoes can help you lose weight. Now, I know what you’re thinking…its a potato! A common misconception among people is that the only forms of fruits and vegetables are raw ones. Boiled potatoes are equally good as raw ones. Boilings limit the starches in plants and make them easier to digest. The process also breaks down complex sugars into simple sugars if done right.
Potatoes: Nutrition Facts
Potatoes are rich in starch and fibre, and have a moderate amount of carbohydrates. They are also a good source of micronutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins. Potatoes are also rich in antioxidants like polyphenols, carotenoids, tocopherols, selenium, etc. Red and purple potatoes also have antioxidants called anthocyanidins.
The following is the nutritional profile for 100 g of raw white potatoes (with skin) according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
|Total Lipids (Fats)||0.1 g|
What are the Benefits of Potatoes for Weight Loss?
Potatoes help with weight loss as they:
- Promote satiety
Boiled potatoes are considered more satiating than pasta, white bread, oatmeal, and fruits like apples, grapes, and oranges. This is because potatoes are rich in fibre and resistant starch, which make you feel full for a longer time. Potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre absorbs water in your gut and swells up, thus making you feel full. Insoluble fibre digests slowly or not at all, and thus releases little to no calories while promoting satiety.
Potatoes also contain high amounts of resistant starch, which behaves similar to soluble fibre. Resistant starch has fewer calories than normal starch and also keeps you feeling full, thus curbing overeating. Resistant starch in potatoes also promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
- Curb hunger
Potatoes are rich in a compound called protease inhibitor II (PI2), which stimulates the release of cholecystokinin in your intestine. Cholecystokinin is a peptide that promotes the feeling of satiety and curbs hunger pangs. This causes you to eat less, thus reducing the number of calories you consume.
- Are low in calories
Potato is good for weight loss as it is a low-calorie vegetable. Potatoes are often mistakenly thought of as “fattening” because of the methods used to cook them. Fried potatoes, though delicious, are extremely high in calories due to the extra oil and fat added. Instead of frying, try boiling, baking, or roasting potatoes to reduce your calorie intake.
What is the Best Time to Eat Potatoes for Weight Loss?
You can eat potatoes as a part of any of your major meals like breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Eating boiled or mashed potatoes for breakfast can help you stay full till lunchtime, thus cutting out the need for a mid-morning snack.
Similarly, eating potatoes for lunch can prevent overeating. Eating potatoes at dinner can help you stay satiated throughout the night, which can promote better sleep.
How to Eat Potatoes for Weight Loss?
- The health benefits of potatoes for weight loss are mainly contained in the skins or peels, which are edible. Keep the skin on your potatoes and clean them thoroughly, with a scrubber if necessary, to get rid of the dirt.
- You can boil some potatoes till they are cooked completely, mash them, and mix in some greek yoghurt (instead of butter or sour cream) with herbs and spices like oregano, garlic, rosemary, or thyme.
- You can bake a whole medium or large-sized potato in an oven or a microwave till it is completely cooked through. Cut into the potato and scrape the flesh using a fork, and add in some low-calorie cheese and seasoning of your choosing.
- Instead of frying potatoes (which requires a lot of oil), roast them in an oven by adding a drizzle of olive oil or mustard oil. Roasting requires considerably less amount of oil than frying.
- You can also add potatoes to sandwiches, salads, or soups, to make them more delicious and more satiating.
Avoid consuming fried potatoes, french fries, potato chips, and other processed potato snacks that require high amounts of fat for cooking or preparation and may also contain additives.
Is Boiled Potato Good for Weight Loss?
Yes, boiled potatoes are one of the best foods to add to your weight loss diet. They rank high on the satiety index as one of the most filling foods you can add to your diet. You can eat a boiled potato by itself, with some rice or roti, or add it to protein-rich foods like chicken, fish, paneer, soy chunks, etc. for a more nutritious and rounded meal.
How Many Potatoes Can You Eat in a Day to Lose Weight?
Though potatoes are a great option for weight loss, it is recommended to limit your consumption to one medium-sized potato (roughly 215 g) a day for the best weight loss results.
However, make sure to limit your consumption of potatoes to thrice a week, as some studies suggest that frequent consumption of potatoes can increase your chances of developing hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes.
What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Potatoes for Weight Loss?
Overconsumption of potatoes, just like any other food, can lead to weight gain. Eating too many potatoes can also increase your cravings for carbohydrates. Frequent overconsumption of potatoes may also increase your risk of developing high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes. Upon overeating, the fibre in potatoes can also cause stomach issues like bloating, flatulence, pain, etc.
What Is the Potato Diet?
The popular potato diet claims to help you lose up to one pound (0.45 kg) per day by eating nothing but plain spuds for three to five days.
The concept dates back to 1849 but was made popular again by Tim Steele, who published “Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified” in 2016.
In his book, Steele suggests that potatoes are the “best diet pill ever invented.” He alleges they strengthen your immune system, improve gut health, and provide plenty of nutrients to keep you energized while losing weight.
Others have taken the diet to new extremes — further boosting its popularity.
One example is Penn Jillette, a magician who published “Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear.” Jillette’s diet consisted of nothing but plain potatoes for the first 2 weeks, during which he dropped 18 pounds (8 kgs).
Though many allege that the diet has helped them lose significant weight, no scientific studies support these claims.
The potato diet is a fad diet that promises rapid weight loss by eating nothing but potatoes for three to five days. These claims have not been scientifically proven.
Potato Diet Rules
The potato diet comes with fairly little instruction. Though several variations exist, Tim Steele outlines seven fundamental rules in his book:
- Rule 1. Eat only plain, cooked potatoes for three to five days.
- Rule 2. As a general rule, eat 2–5 pounds (0.9–2.3 kg) of potatoes each day.
- Rule 3. Don’t eat any other foods, including condiments and toppings, such as ketchup, butter, sour cream, and cheese.
- Rule 4. Salt is okay if you absolutely must, but try to avoid it.
- Rule 5. When you’re thirsty, only drink water, plain tea, or black coffee.
- Rule 6. Heavy exercise is not recommended. Instead, stick to light exercise and walking.
- Rule 7. Take your usual medications as directed by your physician, but refrain from using any unprescribed dietary supplements.
In Steele’s version of the diet, only white potatoes are allowed. Some options include White Russet, Yukon Gold, and red potatoes.
Other variations of the diet are more lenient.
For example, sweet potatoes are permitted on the Spud Fit Challenge — a popular variation of the diet created by Andrew Taylor. In this version, minimal herbs, spices, and fat-free condiments are also allowed.
Keep in mind that the cooking method matters. Fried or overly processed potato products, such as French fries or potato chips are not on the menu.
There are seven fundamental rules to the potato diet according to Tim Steele, but the main rule is to eat nothing but plain potatoes for three to five days.
Foods to Eat
Though potatoes are the only food allowed on the potato diet, they can be prepared in several different ways, including:
- baked potatoes
- boiled potatoes
- steamed potatoes
- raw potatoes
- oven-baked, oil-free hash browns
- oven-baked, oil-free home fries
- oven-baked, oil-free French fries
Salt is the only seasoning permitted on the most basic version of the diet. However, other variations allow spices and fat-free condiments.
Additionally, some dieters use chicken or vegetable broth to make mashed potatoes or mash the potatoes plain.
For beverages, you’re advised to stick to water, plain tea, and black coffee
Plain, white potatoes are permitted on the potato diet and can be prepared in many different ways. Stick to water, plain tea, and black coffee when you’re thirsty.
Foods to Avoid
The list of foods to avoid on the potato diet is endless, as it restricts anything besides potatoes.
Certain types of potatoes should be avoided as well — especially anything fried in oil or overly processed. Here are examples of potato foods and products to avoid:
- sweet potatoes
- French fries
- tater tots
- hash browns
- potato chips
Unless you’re taking part in the Spud Fit Challenge or another more lenient variation of the diet, only plain, white potatoes are permitted.
This means no sweet potatoes, yams, cooking oils, toppings, condiments, or spices. Salt is an exception but should be used sparingly.
All foods except potatoes should be avoided on the potato diet, with the exception of salt, which should be used in moderation.
Can It Help You Lose Weight?
Studies on the potato diet specifically are unavailable, but it may help you lose weight simply because it’s very low in calories.
Research shows that diets that restrict calories likely lead to weight loss — as long as you can adhere to them
Though 2–5 pounds (0.9–2.3 kgs) of potatoes each day seems like a lot, it amounts to only 530–1,300 calories — far less than the average adult’s daily intake
Interestingly, potatoes contain the compound proteinase inhibitor 2 that may help decrease hunger by slowing digestion.
One study found that mice treated with this potato compound ate significantly less food and lost more weight compared to untreated mice. However, these effects have not yet been studied in humans
Though the potato diet may be effective for short-term weight loss, it’s not a long-term solution. Potatoes are nutritious, but they don’t contain all the nutrients you need for optimal health.
Furthermore, very-low-calorie diets have been shown to slow metabolism and decrease muscle mass. Also, you’re likely to gain the weight back when you return to your usual diet
The potato diet will likely cause short-term weight loss, as it’s very low in calories. Potatoes also contain a compound that may decrease hunger, though research is limited.
Do Potatoes Hinder Weight Loss?
If you generally follow a healthy diet and stay away from excessive consumption of junk foods, consuming potatoes may not lead to weight gain. In fact, potatoes- both white and sweet potatoes- may help you in weight loss because they have a rich nutritional profile. They are both rich in Vitamin C, which is essential for boosting immunity. Moreover, they are great sources of healthy carbohydrates, protein and fibre. A 100 gm portion of white potatoes contains 77 calories, 2 gm of protein and 2 gm of fibre, according to data by United States Department of Agriculture. They also contain good amounts of potassium, which is essential for building muscle and regulating blood pressure. They are very low in fats and are incredibly filling as well.
So the final verdict is- potatoes may not lead to weight gain or impede weight loss if consumed along with a low-calorie and healthy diet. Moreover, it is essential to cook potatoes in a proper and healthy way, in order to avoid adding calories and unhealthy fats to them. Boiling or baking potatoes, along with healthy fats like olive oil, may be the way to go, if you’re trying to lose weight.