The potato diet — or potato hack — is a temporary fad diet that guarantees rapid weight loss.

You are watching: Calories in 1 pound of potatoes

Though many variations exist, the most an easy version insurance claims to assist you shed up to one lb (0.45 kg) a job by eat nothing however plain potatoes.

It’s well known that potatoes room a good source of nutrients, however you may wonder whether eat them can help you shed weight.

This post reviews the pros and cons that the potato diet and whether it can aid you lose weight.

diet evaluation scorecard

Overall score: 1.08Weight loss: 1.0Healthy eating: 0.0Sustainability: 2.0Whole body health: 0.0Nutrition quality: 2.5Evidence based: 1.0 BOTTOM LINE: The potato diet lasts 3 to 5 days and also only allows you come eat plain potatoes. The may assist you shed weight yet is very restrictive, lacks specific nutrients, and also may lead to unhealthy eating behaviors.

Share on Pinterest
What Is the Potato Diet?
The renowned potato diet cases to aid you lose up come one lb (0.45 kg) per day by eat nothing yet plain spuds for three to 5 days.

The concept dates ago to 1849 however was made renowned again by Tim Steele, who published “Potato Hack: weight Loss Simplified” in 2016.

In his book, Steele suggests that potatoes space the “best diet pill ever before invented.” the alleges they strengthen her immune system, improve gut health, and administer plenty of nutrients to keep you energized while shedding weight.

Others have actually taken the diet to brand-new extremes — further an enhancing its popularity.

One instance is pen Jillette, a magician who released “Presto!: just how I Made over 100 Pounds Disappear.Jillette’s diet included nothing however plain potatoes because that the very first 2 weeks, during which he dropped 18 pounds (8 kgs).

Though countless allege the the diet has actually helped them lose significant weight, no clinical studies assistance these claims.


The potato diet is a fad diet that promises rapid weight loss by eating nothing yet potatoes for 3 to 5 days. These insurance claims have no been scientifically proven.

Potato Diet Rules

The potato diet comes with relatively little instruction. Though numerous variations exist, Tim Steele outlines seven fundamental rules in his book:

Rule 1. Eat just plain, cooked potatoes for three to five days.Rule 2. as a basic rule, eat 2–5 pounds (0.9–2.3 kg) of potatoes each day. Rule 3. Don’t eat any other foods, consisting of condiments and toppings, such together ketchup, butter, tart cream, and also cheese. Rule 5. When she thirsty, only drink water, plain tea, or black coffee.Rule 7. Take her usual drugs as command by your physician, yet refrain indigenous using any kind of unprescribed dietary supplements.

In Steele’s version of the diet, only white potatoes space allowed. Some alternatives include White Russet, Yukon Gold, and also red potatoes.

Other sport of the diet are more lenient.

For example, sweet potato are permitted on the Spud Fit challenge — a popular variation of the diet produced by Andrew Taylor. In this version, minimal herbs, spices, and fat-free condiments are additionally allowed.

Keep in mind the the cooking an approach matters. Fried or overly processed potato products, such as French fries or potato chips space not on the menu.


There room seven basic rules come the potato diet follow to Tim Steele, however the main preeminence is come eat nothing however plain potatoes for 3 to five days.

Studies ~ above the potato diet specifically space unavailable, however it may aid you shed weight simply since it’s an extremely low in calories.

Research shows that diets that restrict calories likely cause weight lose — as long as you have the right to adhere to them (1, 2).

Though 2–5 pounds (0.9–2.3 kgs) that potatoes every day seems prefer a lot, it quantities to just 530–1,300 calorie — much less than the median adult’s day-to-day intake (3).

Interestingly, potato contain the compound proteinase inhibitor 2 that may aid decrease hunger by slowly digestion.

One study uncovered that mice treated through this potato link ate significantly less food and also lost an ext weight compared to untreated mice. However, these impacts have no yet been studied in humans (4, 5).

Though the potato diet might be reliable for momentary weight loss, it’s not a long-term solution. Potatoes are nutritious, but they don’t contain every the nutrient you require for optimal health.

Furthermore, very-low-calorie diets have actually been shown to slow metabolism and also decrease muscle mass. Also, you’re most likely to acquire the weight earlier when you return to your normal diet (6, 7, 8).


The potato diet will certainly likely cause short-term weight loss, together it’s an extremely low in calories. Potatoes also contain a link that might decrease hunger, though research study is limited.

Though there are numerous reasons to slam the potato diet, that does have actually some potential benefits:

It’s no complicated. Though restrictive, the potato diet is reasonably easy to comprehend. Merely eat plain potatoes for three to five days. It’s affordable. Potatoes are among the cheapest foods available, do this diet fairly inexpensive.

Despite these benefits, potato don’t provide all the nutrient you need — no solitary food can. Because that example, potatoes lack vitamin B12, calcium, and zinc — which are all important to wellness (3).

Following a well-balanced diet that contains a variety of fruits and also vegetables, totality grains, healthy fats, and also lean protein is better for your health and promotes sustainable load loss.


The potato diet has potential benefits together it’s high in plenty of nutrients, consisting of fiber. It’s likewise easy to understand and reasonably affordable.

There are significant downsides to relying ~ above potatoes together your sole food source.

Extremely border

The potato diet may be among the many restrictive diets the end there.

This makes it very complicated to follow. Even much more concerning, this form of strictly dieting may lead friend to construct an unhealthy relationship with food.

In fact, border dieting is a kind of disordered eating the leads to other unhealthy behaviors, such as binge eating (14, 15, 16).

What’s more, various other restrictive habits are urged on this diet — consisting of skipping meals and also fasting. This is highly unnecessary, as the diet is already an extremely low in calories.

Shockingly, the author of “Potato Hack: weight Loss Simplified” even suggests that dieters must “learn to embrace the hunger and also only give in if you must.”

Lacks Protein, Fat, and Other important Nutrients

Potatoes deserve to undoubtedly it is in a nutritious ingredient of an all at once balanced diet. However, they just cannot satisfy all her nutrient needs.

They absence two significant nutrients — protein and fat. One medium-sized potato gives only 4 grams that protein and also virtually no fat (3).

Though potatoes space high in certain vitamins and also minerals — such as potassium, vitamin C, and also iron — they’re short in numerous others, consisting of calcium, vitamin A, and certain B vitamins (3).

Since the potato diet is only intended to be complied with for 3 to five days, it’s unlikely you will construct a nutrient deficiency.

Still, you could put yourself at danger for several nutrient deficiencies if you choose to monitor the diet long term or in regular bouts (17).

You May shed Muscle

Fad diets choose the potato diet room popular because they promise rapid weight loss. However, muscle loss generally accompanies fat loss while dieting — particularly when calories are significantly reduced.

For example, one study found that 18% that the weight shed by participants on a very-low-calorie diet with only 500 calories every day was from skinny body massive (18).

In comparison, those ~ above a low-calorie diet with 1,250 calories per day only lost 8% of the weight from lean body fixed (18).

Studies display that eating extra protein may assist reduce muscle loss throughout calorie restriction, however the potato diet lacks a high-quality protein resource (19, 20).

You’re likely to Gain ago the Weight

When adhering to a very-low-calorie diet — such as the potato diet — her body might adapt by slowing down its metabolism and also burning fewer calories (21).

Studies indicate that this slowdown might persist for plenty of years — even long after finishing a calorie-restricted diet (22).

This is called “adaptive thermogenesis” and can make maintaining weight ns extremely daunting long term. In fact, it’s a significant reason why researchers calculation that end 80% of dieters go back to their previous weight with time (23).


since it’s very restrictive, the potato diet may cause unhealthy relationships through food, muscle loss, nutrient deficiencies, and weight regain over time.

Though potatoes are the only food permitted on the potato diet, they deserve to be all set in several various ways, including:

baked potatoesboiled potatoes steamed potatoesoven-baked, oil-free hash brownsoven-baked, oil-free house fries oven-baked, oil-free French fries

Salt is the only seasoning allowed on the most basic version of the diet. However, various other variations allow spices and fat-free condiments.

Additionally, part dieters usage chicken or vegetable broth to make mashed potatoes or mash the potato plain.

For beverages, you’re advised to stick come water, plain tea, and black coffee


Plain, white potatoes are permitted on the potato diet and can be ready in numerous different ways. Stick to water, plain tea, and also black coffee when you’re thirsty.

The list of foodstuffs to avoid on the potato diet is endless, together it restricts anything as well as potatoes.

Certain types of potatoes have to be avoided too — specifically anything fried in oil or overly processed. Here are instances of potato foods and products come avoid:

sweet potatoesyamstater tots hash browns potato chips

Unless you taking part in the Spud Fit an obstacle or another much more lenient variation of the diet, only plain, white potatoes room permitted.

See more: How Many Lines Of Symmetry Does A Regular Quadrilateral Have Lines Of Symmetry?

This way no sweet potatoes, yams, food preparation oils, toppings, condiments, or spices. Salt is one exception but should be supplied sparingly.


all foods other than potatoes need to be avoided ~ above the potato diet, v the exception of salt, which need to be supplied in moderation.

Here is a three-day sample meal setup that adheres to the rule of the potato diet.

Day 1

This sample meal arrangement for work 1 is composed of 9 medium-sized potato (3 pounds or 1.4 kg) and also provides roughly 780 calorie (3).

Snack: 1 boiled potato, served coldLunch: 2 boiled potatoes, served mashedSnack: 1 raw potato, slicedDinner: Oven-baked, oil-free French fries with a dash the salt

Day 2

This sample meal plan for job 2 provides 12 medium-sized potato (4 pounds or 1.8 kgs) and provides around 1,050 calorie (3).

Breakfast: baked hash browns v a cup of black color coffeeSnack: 2 boiled potatoes, served coldLunch: 2 steam potatoes seasoned v a pinch that salt Snack: 2 boiled potatoes, served coldDinner: 2 plain, baked potatoes

Day 3

This sample meal arrangement for work 3 supplies 15 medium-sized potato (5 pounds or 2.3 kgs) and provides roughly 1,300 calories (3).

Breakfast: baked residence fries through a cup of plain tea Lunch: 3 plain baked potato Snack: 3 boiled potatoes, served cold Dinner: 3 steamed potatoes with a dash that salt Summary

This sample meal plan uses 9–15 medium-sized potatoes per day. These may be boiled, steamed, small or consumed raw and carry out 780–1,300 calorie daily.