Summer 2017 Potato Hack…Day 3

What a week!  Getting tons of #potatohack love on the internet. Did you guys see some of my favorite blogger’s posts about us?

Michael Allen Smith of Critical MAS has written two awesome blog posts this week:

Calories are for Closers

Most people laugh when I tell them about The Potato Hack. It is a defensive laugh. We laugh at ideas that threaten our identity and those that might expose our own weaknesses. The weakness here is how our brains have been wired by modern society to seek out highly flavorful food at every damn meal. It is time to kill the weakness. The potato is our weapon! 

and, The Five Stages of (Potato Hack) Grief

Depression is what I see in the eyes of people just after the Bargaining stage. A look of sadness. How could they give up the flavors they crave for even a single day, let alone 3 or 5 days?

MAS has a definite way with words, give him a look!

And then, today, old buddy Rusty Moore wrote a brilliant piece that looks to be going viral.

Do Carbs Make You Fat?

I tested the high-carb low-fat idea to the extreme a while back. Tim Steele has a 4-5 day diet “hack” that is a quick way to lose weight the week before an event. This diet is about eating nothing but potatoes for a few days alternated with a more moderate diet. It’s pretty simple and works well. I lost body fat each 3-4 day period of potato eating.

What a great endorsement! And check out Rusty’s other posts on the Potato Hack from last year, and share them all where you can.


Here’s my dinner last night.  Potato soup like we wrote about in the recipes post last week.  All I can say is WOW. So good, so hot, so filling.

I followed Mindy Burke’s recipe loosely: Basically I heated some pre-cooked baked potatoes in a big pan with chicken stock. I added salt, pepper, and onion powder.


After it had simmered a while, I removed about 1/4 of the mixture and pureed it in my NutriBullet (worth every penny!).


Then simply pour the pureed blend back into the chunkier, brothier stuff in the pan, effectively turning a rough potato stew into a fine potato soup that you could serve to a king or queen…it’s that good!


After the hack, I can see making this soup with a variety of additions, but I won’t tempt you…I’m sure you can figure it out on your own, haha. Did I mention this is dang good soup?  Perfect texture and can be seasoned to any taste.

That whole big pot of soup, of which I ate ALL of it, was less than 700 calories.


Manger des pommes de terre

Tim Steele

17 Comments on “Summer 2017 Potato Hack…Day 3”

  1. Karl Seddon August 16, 2017 at 4:26 am #

    I’m keeping my hack ‘pure’ at the moment (lol) – just baked and chilled potatoes! Eaten like apples.
    The benefit of the hack for me (currently) is TIME.
    I spend only 20 minutes per day (in aggregate) eating. Zero prep time. 2 minutes cutlery/plate washing time.
    Easily all eating-related activity done within 30 minutes (total daily time). That leaves 23.5 hours for all the other stuff! 🙂

    Prep time is just one hour of (unattended) baking at the start of the 4-5 day period.

    Time management is not critical for everyone at all times, but for me right now this is a big bonus of the hack.

    I also enjoy the strictness and lack of obsession with tasting and making a performance out of eating. It means that when you go out for meals at restaurants, you will (A) enjoy it all the more, and (B) have built up enough ‘health capital reserves’ to absorb the impact of a thoroughly gluttonous feast!!

    -Karl (ELIXA)


    On gym days I’ll add a small amount of foreman-grilled meat to the after-gym meal.

    These 2 simple food substances are plenty to feel energised throughout the day, not feel cravings, and to gain muscle in proportion to the work you put in at the gym.


    • Tim Steele August 16, 2017 at 6:18 am #

      Yep, I hear the same sentiment all the time. And with choosing potatoes as your only food source, you can be darn sure that you are getting a full supply of all of the nutrients and vitamins you (and your gut!) need to thrive. With the typical calorie-restricted diet, you are still left trying to decide what to eat, obsessively weighing, and constantly thinking about food.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cathy August 16, 2017 at 4:51 am #

    I appreciate all of this Tim. I had read Rusty when he had Fitness Black Book and now with his new site Visual Impact Fitness. He has posted lots of good articles in this vein. Also MAS is back with some good articles as well. You three always make me think about things in a different way. Tim, Rusty stated in his article that his Icelandic friend states we need good sources of fat, just not that much of them. Agree? Isn’t this similar to the idea that Denise Minger started to flesh out on her site about low fat diets? Also, Richard at Free the Animal. See I am a woman of a certain age, who ate what was put in front of her as a child because that was just the way and there was no low fat/let alone no fat anything. If I remember correctly, the first products I saw as reduced fat of ANY kind were dairy products. Skim milk and Ice Milk instead of ice cream? Anyone remember that? Not so much attention was paid to sugar, either the white stuff in the bowl or in fruit. Also we didn’t have the egg hysteria — yet. Rusty mentioned that for him, low carb eating didn’t work as well since he liked to eat bigger meals, just not all day. When one gets to a certain age, especially if one has overcome the fat phobia, one doesn’t need to eat as often. I don’t indulge in fat bombs but I do eat what would be considered quality animal fat or monounsaturated fats. I believe this, coupled with my aging metabolism, allows me to eat breakfast and then dinner with hardly anything in between. Maybe I am also one of those folks who don’t do well on low carb, especially since I have never lost an ounce on any low carb diet I’ve been on !! This is all coming together. I have always loved potatoes. Sorry to so wordy!


    • Tim Steele August 16, 2017 at 6:21 am #

      I do not do well with low carb, either. I feel cold and weak after a couple days. If your fat comes from things like nuts, avocados, and clinging to the meat you eat I do not think you will go wrong. I don’t think it’s wise to intentionally eat oils and fats just for the sake of getting X amount of “good” fat daily.


  3. Mainer August 16, 2017 at 7:41 am #

    After numerous hacks I’m still very impressed with what an appetite suppressant this hack is. I have to make myself eat at least 1 potato for dinner. Maybe that will change when I go from boring to more creative? On another note down 5.8 LBS today which is darned close but slightly better than my predicted average so far.


    • Tim Steele August 16, 2017 at 8:25 am #

      I hear ya. I started getting regular visits from the “snack monster” that lives within me this summer. Doing this hack has been wonderful, not obsessing about eating something sweet/salty after dinner. Ad libitum potatoes for the win!


  4. Kit August 16, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

    Okay, I’m trying to get my head around the resistant starch. So, the resistant starch increases through cooking, cooling, and then reheating? Does the RS continue to increase if this pattern continues multiple times, not that you would want to cook, cool, reheat multiple times, but just wondering?

    Do you know why the resistant starch increases with reheating, instead of reverting back to “uncoiled” starch?


    • Tim Steele August 16, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

      The most RS you will ever see is in a raw potato, pure starch is about 70% RS (type 2). When cooked, there will be none. But when allowed to cool, it will do the coil-thing (retrogradation) and form RS3, but only about 5%, as opposed to 70% in the raw state. If you repeatedly heat and cool the retrograded starch, it will increase slightly each time, but it’s not really worth bothering with it’s so little. Food manufacturers have invented ways to perform this process hundreds of times to create really high percentage RS3 powders that they add to food to increase the fiber content. The advantage of RS3 over RS2 is that it will withstand heat. RS2 products must be consumed raw.
      Hope that explains it for you!


    • Tim Steele August 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

      “Do you know why the resistant starch increases with reheating, instead of reverting back to “uncoiled” starch?”
      Once the RS2 is heated, it becomes a slurry of digestible starch. Cooling and reheating simply turns it into a different kind of RS…RS3. Once destroyed by heat, the RS2 can never reform, it only reforms when it’s cooled, a process called “staling.” Stale bread is a perfect example of RS2 that turns to mush as it is cooked, then forms RS3 when cooled.


  5. Kit August 16, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

    Ok, so outside of raw starch, the next best form of RS, that we can develop in our kitchen, is the heating, cooling, reheating scenario? I’m trying to simplify my knowledge to the cooking I do in my kitchen. Any starchy vegetables/grains/legumes would ideally be cooked, cooled, and then reheated? For example, pasta, I would cook it in hot water, cool with cold water, and then re-submerge it in the hot water to heat it back up before serving?


    • Tim Steele August 16, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

      You got it! Leftovers are better for you than freshly cooked…who’d a thought? This actually makes cooking easier. I prepare big batches of rice, beans, and potatoes and keep in the freezer until I’m ready to cook with them. Potatoes do not freeze well, so I keep them in the fridge for up to a week or so after they’ve been cooked. I guess you could do the same with pasta, not sure how it freezes. For best fiber and RS, my money is on beans, rice, and potatoes. But quinoa, oats, teff, and other whole grains also benefit from being served as leftovers.


  6. Kit August 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm #

    Thank you! This is exactly the nugget of practical knowledge I was searching for. Now that more people are talking about RS, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there. Some people say that you cook and then cool the food, but that you can’t reheat the food, but that doesn’t sound good! Who wants to eat all of their carbs cold? Not me.

    Thank you for your help.


    • Tim Steele August 17, 2017 at 6:49 am #

      For simplicity’s sake, you can’t go wrong pre-cooking starches and storing in fridge/freezer until ready to use. Thanks for the questions!


  7. MAS August 17, 2017 at 5:05 am #

    Glad you liked the posts. The more meals I replace with potatoes, the more I want to share my experiences. And they are SO CHEAP.


    • Tim Steele August 17, 2017 at 6:47 am #

      lol, I usually spend $6-7/day eating at our hospital cafeteria plus whatever meat and stuff we have for dinner. I figure that 5 days of potato hacking save me at least $50. Did you ever see the Simple Dollar blog post?


      • MAS August 17, 2017 at 6:55 am #

        I hadn’t seen that post, but I love how the Potato Hack lines up with my Peasant Diet. I either save money or calories…usually both!


        • Tim Steele August 17, 2017 at 7:04 am #

          Peasants would have known the economy in keeping and serving uneaten foods. I think this is why leftovers are frowned upon, but on examination, leftovers are undoubtedly healthier than freshly prepared foods. RS3 formation of starches in leftover food is reason enough for me to purposely prepare starches ahead of time. Plus it makes cooking easier as they do not need a long cook-time. I tend to eat lots more beans and rice when I have pre-cooked, serving-size bags in the freezer.


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