I found spudfit 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 Spudfit 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.
Spudfit 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. The only thing lacking is B12 which he supplemented.
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Spudfit was safe and I could do it
I really liked his book the DYI Spudfit 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 spudfit 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 spudfit.
Make your food dull and your life exciting
The philosophy of Spudfit 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 and it works for some people while others treat it just like another 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 over think 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 spudfit challenge an easy way to reset their habits. But once you join the spudfit 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 spudfit 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 Spudfit Challenge.
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Transitioning from a mono diet
When I stopped the Spudfit 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 Spudfit, 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.
Spudfit is just a tool not the answer to food addiction
Andrew admits that spudfit 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-Spudfit.
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.
Spudfit 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. Spudfit is a good diet and a safe diet but it isn’t really optimal and that may be why people still struggle with cravings at times on Spudfit.
When you consider how malnourished most of us are from eating a diet of refined foods that strip your body of nutrients, and damage your immune system, you want 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, adding legumes and small amounts of fruits and seeds my cravings vanished.
Life after Spudfit
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.
Spudfit 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.
Should you do a spudfit mono diet?
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 Spudfit Challenge.
Knowing what I know now I might skip the spudfit 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 amount 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 Spudfit
Potatoes are high in nutrients and fiber contrary to popular belief. Spudfit is based on eating white potatoes. These are considered to be high on the glucose 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 hand full 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 safe weight loss while cutting your cravings.
Depending on where you fall on the food addiction susceptibility chart you might need 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. You feel so much better and happier that you 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.
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 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.
Mono diet of all kinds of white and sweet potatoes with limited condiments.
Pros: mono meal mindset cures you of needing complex 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 online program to chose from.
Cons” Like fasting, it may be too extreme and throw you into binging later. It all depends on your personality.
Chef AJ’s vegan food addiction program
Pros: delicious recipes without oil, flour salt, nuts seeds, animal products. You have a book and online program to chose from.
Cons: zero overt fats may be too restrictive without additions causing cravings or balances.
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 an weekly online recipe program.
Cons: may be too loose for highly addicted people so adjust or avoid blended and high glycemic recipes.
Allows oil, meat, 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 online program to chose 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. This could cause rebound binging and cravings. I did 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.
Dr. Fuhrman’s food addiction program
Mostly plant-based with no oil no flour or sugar or processed and only about 10% of animal products. You have a lot of books and online programs or residential stays to chose 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 and some people have trouble sticking with his stringent recommendationss.
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 so if you find oil is triggering cravings adjust her recipes to leave it out. Doesn’t allow bananas and seems to fear starches, which seems a little extreme. 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 Spudfit Challenge might be just right for you to complete 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.
Questions? Ideas? Resources to share? Comment below or use my contact form. I always love to hear from you!
Learn how to get free from food cravings for good
and up your energy
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