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Andrew Taylor – I Ate Nothing But Potatoes For 1 Year. This Is What Happened…

Content by: Andrew Taylor

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week we welcome Andrew Taylor to the show. At the beginning of 2016, in the depths of mental and physical despair, Andrew had a simple idea to treat food addiction by quitting food, in much the same way an alcoholic should quit alcohol. He ended up quitting all foods except potatoes, in a simple experiment to see what would happen. Pretty soon Andrew’s story went viral around the globe as people were captivated by his incredible weight loss and physical and mental health improvements.

So many thousands of people asked Andrew for help over the course of the year that the best way to help as many people as possible was to collate all the advice he had given in the form of a book. Thus he found that completely unintentionally he’d become a published author.

Audio Version

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions asked in this episode:

  • Tell us about your potato challenge: 09:57
  • How can we ensure that we stick to our new eating plan? 30:53
  • What 3 tips could you offer those wanting to make change? 39:14

Get More of Andrew Taylor

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Full Transcript

Stu

00:03 Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness and human performance, in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve long lasting health. Now I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do.

Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range of super foods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, or to find out more, just jump over to our website. That is 180nutrition.com.au, and take a look. Okay. Back to the show.

This week I’m excited to welcome Andrew Tyler to the show, who is the founder of Spud Fit. Andrew was a former junior Australian champion marathon kayaker, struggling with a lifetime of food addiction and dieting that left him weighing in at over 150 kilos. His story went viral when the world caught wind of the then 36 year old Aussie dad, who had embarked upon a quest to eat only potatoes for an entire year. The results of this experiment were nothing short of remarkable, and today Andrew coaches thousands of people through their food addiction issues and focuses on addressing the root causes of overeating. Over to Andrew.

Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Andrew Tyler to the podcast. Andrew, how are you?

Andrew

01:33 Very well, and I’m honoured to be a guest, so thank you for having me.

Stu

01:37 Thank you for agreeing to come on. So really, really keen to get into your story and also the discoveries that you learned along your journey. But before we jump into any of that stuff, if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself for our listeners that may not be familiar with you.

Andrew

01:54 Well, my name is Andrew. I’m Spud Fit, basically. That’s my online alter-ego, Spud Fit, that’s my website, it came about because, I guess most people listening would know me from, well, maybe they don’t know me at all, that’s probably more likely. But the people that do know me, would know me from a couple of years ago. I got my little 15 minutes of zed grade fame for eating only potatoes for an entire year. Yeah, that was something that I thought at the time was the most boring thing a person could possibly ever do, and in hindsight, it made sense that people were interested in it, but it was a surprise. So yeah, I got a little bit of a viral fame, in inverted commas, from that.

Stu

02:47 No doubt. Well, I do have lots of questions about that, your potato journey, but I thought before we delved into that, I know that that was all centered a food addiction, and I know that food addictions and issues with food plague so many of us these days. So I wanted to hear your take on food addiction, perhaps your story on food addiction, and then if you could guide us into perhaps some telltale signs that might prompt us to think, well, hey, maybe I do have an issue with food in that addictive space.

Andrew

03:27 Well, to cut a long story short, I’d basically been like pretty much every other morbidly obese person out there, in that I had tried every diet known to man. I had lost weight a number of times and always been very good at trying whatever the new latest diet was for a month or so. Then I’d lose weight and then I’d start to think, yeah, I’ve got this under control. Things are going well, I deserve a reward or something, little treat for celebrating a month of doing clean eating or whatever it was. That little treat would sure enough lead back to some sort of binge and back into the full blown weight gain way of eating that I was eating before. Just eating all sorts of junk and putting all the weight back on and then spiraling down into more depression, binge eating and all that sort of stuff.

That was the way it worked for me, and I had a realization after one particular episode where I did very well for a month. I rewarded myself with one slice of pizza for dinner, which of course, you can’t buy one slice of pizza to be home delivered anyway. So I ended up, of course, eating the whole pizza and followed it up with ice cream and Coca-Cola, and I didn’t go back to my healthy diet the next day like I promised myself I would. That little episode made me realize that my behavior with food was really mirroring that of an alcoholic. We’ve probably all known an alcoholic who’s done really well at quitting alcohol for a month, six months, a year, whatever.

Then whatever, some sort of event comes up, maybe their best friend’s getting married and they go, okay, I’m just going to have one beer tonight, just to celebrate my friend’s wedding, because it’s a special occasion, and I’ll go right back to being sober tomorrow. Of course, it doesn’t happen like that. One beer leads to becoming an alcoholic again.

Stu

05:31 Yeah.

Andrew

05:32 So yeah, I figured that that my behavior was the same as an alcoholic. It was just the substance was different. So if an alcoholic should quit alcohol, then perhaps a food addict should quit food. Obviously you can’t quit food, you’ve got to eat, so I thought, well, if I could find one particular food that I could eat and quit everything else, and that food would keep me healthy and do everything I needed it to do, then that would be a good way to go. So I gave that a try.

I think food addiction is a prevalent thing in society. I think it’s under acknowledged. At the time, I hadn’t really thought much about food addiction until I had that realization in myself. But you walk down any main street where there’s cafes and whatever, restaurants and stuff, and you’ll say obese people eating ice cream and doughnuts and whatever, and that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with that. If people are happy with their weight, and they’re happy being obese, and they’re happy eating donuts, then more power to them, that’s no problem. But a lot of these people are unhappy and they’re eating a doughnut knowing that it’s taking them in the opposite direction of what their goals are, they’re getting further away. Just like every cigarette smoker knows that they shouldn’t be smoking. They know that the cigarettes are making them unhealthy, but they do it anyway. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s duck, as far as I’m concerned.

Stu

06:59 Is it the type of food then, that perhaps we gravitate to gorging on that is the problem, or is the problem just about maybe appetite control? For instance, like if I had a food addiction but I was just eating mountains of salad and grass fed beef and sauerkraut and all of the good stuff, but I couldn’t stop. Is that the same thing as just domino foods that just set us up for failure, like the pizza and the chips and the dips and the Coca Cola or things like that? Are they different?

Andrew

07:37 Yeah, that’s a really good question. So there is a mechanism involved and that is, when you take cocaine, for example, it creates a dopamine hit in your brain. That’s a big part of why that’s so addictive. The dopamine is like the feel good, happiness hormone. When you take certain drugs, it spikes the dopamine production in your brain, and that’s part of what hooks you in, and food works in a similar way. Once you get above a certain calorie concentration in food, and I’ll talk in American values here because that’s where the research is, but that it’s around 400 calories per pound, give or take. There’s some variation in what people think it is. But I like to stick with the 400 calories per pound. Once you get above that, then you start getting towards foods that produce this dopamine response in the brain.

Stu

08:28 Got it.

Andrew

08:28 So yeah, that’d be like, oils are a big one. Sugar is, obviously. Dairy products, cheese, especially. Cheese is a very high calorie concentration. You could get into nuts, It’s hard to eat one handful of nuts and that’s a big part of the the reason why. So yeah, there’s a bunch of foods, and if you want to stay below 400 calories per pound, then you’re going to be only eating foods that don’t trigger that dopamine response. So that would be potatoes obviously, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, whole beans. Basically, unprocessed foods are really what you want to be focusing on, and that’s where it is.

As far as my own experience goes, obviously with myself, but also I’m now coaching, I’m doing food addiction coaching. I’ve worked with quite a lot of people helping them deal with their own food addictions and I haven’t come across anyone to this day who is … People eat a lot of food, but I haven’t come across anyone who’s eating salad, like bunches of salad, like you said, and sauerkraut and potatoes and fruits and things like that, and they’re overweight because of it, and it’s causing them issues with mental health and things like that. I haven’t seen that, so I can’t comment on that side of things.

Stu

09:57 No, no. Well, that’s fair enough. So let’s get back into your journey. So you mentioned that you were after that food item that you could use as the tool to get you through your addictive issues and you settled on the potato. I’m really intrigued by that because typically people would think, oh, potatoes, carbs, you can’t eat potatoes. You’re going to put on so much weight. It’s the evil food. Get rid of it and replace it with kale or whatever. Why did you choose the potato?

Andrew

10:37 Yeah. Well, first of all, this idea that potatoes are carbs is wrong. There’s a lot in potatoes. Sugar is carbs.

Stu

10:47 Yeah.

Andrew

10:47 That’s all it is. Sugar, plain table sugar, that is just carbs. But potatoes have a lot in them. So I don’t like this idea that we think of certain foods in terms of whatever their dominant macronutrient is. People call, meat is protein. You hear that all the time. [inaudible 00:11:05] show and they don’t say beef or chicken or whatever, they say protein. That’s not right. There’s more to it than that. There’s not just protein, there’s other things, and potatoes is the same. Potatoes, obviously carbohydrate is their dominant macronutrient, but have fat and they have protein and they have fiber and they have a high water content. They have a lot of vitamin C, a lot of iron, all the different vitamins and minerals that we need.

They’ve got everything, so as long as you’re eating enough calories, you’re not starving yourself. If you’re not going hungry, you’re eating potatoes to satiety, then you’re getting enough of everything you need. We can look at the population of Ireland, for example. They existed for a couple of centuries on a diet of almost, not completely potatoes like mine, but almost only potatoes, and they did really, really well. They thrived and their population boomed until the potato famine hit. Then, there’s examples like that from around the world, from various tribes that have eaten that way, and different islands that have eaten that way. We can look at scientific examples too. There was a study done in the ’20’s, I think it was, it’s a couple of years since I’ve read this now, but it was a marathon running couple in Poland and they were observed eating only potatoes for six months, and they did really well with their health, and at the end of six months of only potatoes, they both ran personal best marathons. So that’s just one example.

There are lots of examples I could talk for a long time about it, but, basically, potatoes provide everything you need and there was a lot of evidence to back that up. It just made more sense to do it that way than with any other food I could find.

Stu

12:50 That must have radically transformed your grocery bill as well.

Andrew

12:56 Transformed my idea of food as well. I wasn’t a huge fan of potatoes before then, because I was like everyone else, I thought that just make you fat. But yeah, my grocery bill was like, well, for the first month it was less than $5 a day that I was spending, and that was eating as much as I wanted. It was less than $5 a day. Then, in the beginning of month two, that was when my story went viral, and then I got approached after that by a potato supplier and I got my potatoes for free for the rest of the year. So that was an extra bonus there, so yeah.

Stu

13:31 [inaudible 00:13:31] So guide us through then, a typical day of what that looks like. I’m guessing that you weren’t blending potato smoothies and stuff like that. So what did you meals look like?

Andrew

13:42 Yeah, well I was trying to make it as boring as I could on purpose. So it was not an experiment where I was trying to come up with as many weird and wonderful ways to eat potatoes as I possibly could. It was really the idea of this was that I was spending my life up until that point, relying on food for comfort, enjoyment, emotional support, entertainment, those sorts of things. Looking for a gourmet experience in every meal and I wanted to do the opposite of that. So I was really intent on making sure that I couldn’t get that comfort, enjoyment, emotional support from food. If you’re just eating a plain potato, there’s not much exciting about it, so you’re going to have to find other ways to deal with that stress of the day. I can’t bury my emotions under food anymore. That was really a big part of it.

I did occasionally experiment with what I was doing and when things were, maybe every fortnight or something I would come up with an interesting thing to do. Maybe not even that much, but the majority of what I ate was, at night I would make a big batch of mashed potatoes, for example. Then I would eat that all of the next day, and then next time I might make a big pot of boiled potatoes, eat that, and then baked potatoes. I would just make a big batch of something

15:00 And then eat it til it was gone, and it was mostly baked, boiled, or mashed potatoes and I would rotate through those three and then… yeah, on an odd occasion I would make something a little bit different like maybe a potato pancake or potato waffles or something like that, but really didn’t happen very often, it was… and the further into the year I got, contrary to what you would think, I made it more and more boring. I did the experimenting less often as I went through the year.

Stu

15:26 Wow. Okay. And did you supplement at all during that time? Did you have all of your nutritional bases covered, you felt?

Andrew

15:35 Yeah. I supplemented B12, and that did, because B12 is a bacteria. Most people think it comes from animal products, which you can get it from animal products, but B12 originates in the dirt, and it grows in dirt, and that’s… well, most farmed animals are supplemented B12 anyway, but they should… a wild animal, for example, would get their B12 from eating food that still has some dirt on it, and that’s where they get their B12 from, and so theoretically, if I was growing my own organic potatoes in the yard and I didn’t do the best job of cleaning the dirt off then I could get B12 that way, but that wasn’t something I really wanted to experiment with, so I just supplemented B12 just to be sure on that one, and then everything else was… that was it, that was all I did.

Stu

16:23 Got it, got it. And so what did your weight loss journey look like then, over the course of that year? When was it that you started to really see results, after any particular time period or was it just consistent?

Andrew

16:35 It was straight away. It was interesting actually, because I did expect to lose some weight doing this, but like I said, it wasn’t a weight loss thing. I thought, I just want to… what I want to do is deal with my addiction, and then I figured that yeah, I’ll probably lose some weight, but once I’m finished with this then I’ll be better able to make choices based on what’s right instead of what’s fun, and then I’ll get about losing weight then, but… yeah, I lost weight straight away. I lost 10 kilos in the first month, and then another 10 kilos in the second month, and then it slowed down a little bit after that, but… yeah, it was pretty consistent, it was just the first two months were… yeah, 20 kilos gone in two months. And then it was… it slowed down but stayed consistent for the rest of the year, and by the end of the year I lost 55 kilos, so-

Stu

17:22 Wow

Andrew

17:23 Yeah.

Stu

17:24 That is… yeah, it’s a huge achievement, and were you… did you change your exercise and movement plan in any way during that time?

Andrew

17:34 I did, but in my original plan was that I didn’t want to focus on that at all. I just want to keep it as simple as possible, keep my focus very, very narrow, and it was all about the addiction, and that was it. And I just wanted to… my only goal that I had, there was no weight loss goal, there was no exercise goal, there was no any kind of goal other than I want to eat only potatoes and see what happens. So that was really it.

So for the first month I didn’t do any exercise at all. And then for the… probably in the first week in February I just started feeling like I had a lot more energy, and then was really it, I just was… I was sitting on the couch at home and bouncing my knee, and I would find myself pacing around the house. And like, what’s going here? Why am I doing this? And then it took me a couple days of doing that, and I was like “Oh, I’ve just got too much energy, I need to do something with it.”

So I started exercising from then on, and yeah… I ended up running a marathon. But that was not part of the plan. It was just a byproduct that happened. It was good.

Stu

18:38 Anything but a couch potato then, by the sound of it.

Andrew

18:41 Yeah!

Stu

18:44 Oh, my word. So, tell me about… so the year was up, so you’ve eaten potatoes for best part of a year, you’ve lost a truckload of weight, what did that do to your food addiction? How did you look at that side of things differently then?

Andrew

19:02 Yeah, it was totally different. It still is, too. That’s two and a half years ago now that I finished the year, so three and a half since I started, two and a half years since the end of that year, and yeah, I still look at food totally differently. I’m not… I haven’t eaten a single bit of chocolate or cake or hot, deep-fried anything since 2015. And people think “Wow, that’s amazing, that’s such great willpower!” And all that, and it’s not willpower at all. It’s just I’ve reached a point where I don’t want that stuff. It’s easy to say no to that stuff when you’d rather not have it. So it’s totally changed my way of thinking.

I do still… I don’t, not ever meal is totally boring, like I described earlier, but most of my food I eat pretty consistently food that’s not overly exciting. I enjoy it, but it’s not like “Woo hoo! I get to eat lunch now!” It’s just… I’m just putting fuel in the tank, it’s good food that I like eating, but I don’t live for food anymore. I eat to fuel the best life that I’m trying to live. Yeah, so my view on food is very, very different to what it was, and… yeah, I hesitate to say that I’m not a food addict, mostly because I based it on the alcoholic sort-of abstinence model, and the alcoholics, they say they’re always an alcoholic, so I feel like I should say I’m always a food addict, even though I don’t feel like one, but…yeah. Life is very different now.

Stu

20:32 Yeah, that’s interesting. So are you mindful of trigger foods? Are there foods out there that you think “I know that if I had a piece of this, one of these, a sip of that, it would just start the ball rolling again”? And I’m thinking about things like… the Pringles, where it says “Once you pop, you just can’t stop!” And you absolutely can’t because they… it’s the flavoring or whatever goes into that type of food group that makes it voraciously, you just have to have it.

Andrew

21:04 Well yeah, I just don’t eat that stuff. But it’s… yeah, that stuff’s not food to me anymore. I don’t know, maybe I couldn’t stop, maybe I could, I haven’t tried and I don’t really have a desire to try. I could… the one thing that I have done was my little boy turned one in March, and so that’s more than three years after I started the journey, and… so he was turning one, and I thought ahead of time, “I’d just like to try his birthday cake. It’s his first birthday cake, I’d like to taste it.”

But I planned ahead for that, and I was prepared in my mind for “Okay, if I have this bite of birthday cake, and it triggers something in me that makes me want to dive face-first into the rest of the cake, I’m going to have to take myself away from that situation, and sit myself down and think things through and make sure that I don’t go past that taste.”

So yeah, I prepared myself for it, and then the birthday came, I had one mouthful, literally just one mouthful of cake, I tasted it, and I thought… honestly, my first reaction was “That’s just too strong for me, I don’t really want anymore.” And I put it back, and it was no trouble. But honestly, that’s the only bit of food that anyone could say is junk that I’ve eaten since the end of 2015, and it’s not a struggle, I just don’t have the desire to do that, so… yeah.

Stu

22:33 No, yeah, I completely agree, because I think after you do change your diet over a certain period of time, your taste buds change, you become more attuned to the flavors in food, and I always liken processed food, all the party foods now, almost to cat food. I have no inclination or want to even try it, because I know it’s sickly sweet, most of it, and it just doesn’t have that allure at all for me as it used to.

Andrew

23:03 And I can tell you a little story about how that process sort of evolved for me. So I was a teacher at the time when I was doing the potato only thing, and I still do teach a little bit, but in the beginning when I was in the staff room at work, it seems like there’s always some sort of reason for there to be cake and donuts and biscuits and stuff around. It’s someone’s birthday, or some sort of charity event, or whatever. There’s always some reason for there to be junk food on the table.

So in the first couple of weeks I was just angry about that situation. I’m sitting there eating my potatoes while everyone else is eating their junk, and that was really… I didn’t like that at all, but I pushed on through it anyway. And then after I got through that initial phase it sort of… it just transitioned into me just sort of being indifferent about it. I could sit there with my potatoes while everyone else was having their junk, and it was like “Whatever. No big deal. I can eat my potatoes, they can have their junk, and it’s just not really an issue.” And I think it was about three or four months in, maybe four months in, I specifically remember the day that I was sitting there in the staff room looking around the room, and everyone’s eating their cake and their donuts and their biscuits and whatever else, and I imagined that they would be looking at me, thinking “Poor Andrew. He’s missing out on all this great food. Poor guy. He doesn’t know what he’s missing out on.” No, I was thinking, “Actually, it’s the reverse.” I’m looking at all these people thinking “Poor people. They don’t know what they’re missing out on. They don’t know how amazing their life could be if they just changed the way they thought about food.”

Because a lot of those staff…colleagues of mine were overweight, and every day talking about the different diets they’re trying, and they’re trying to lose weight and all this. So my thoughts did a complete 180 from being envious of them to feeling sorry for them that they’re putting this food in them that’s literally causing them to suffer. That’s still the way I think about this food. I don’t walk down the street and go past a cake shop and think “Oh, come on Andrew, keep walking, don’t go in the cake shop!” I just look at the cake and think it’s not food to me, I don’t want it.

Stu

25:11 That’s right. That does make perfect sense; I can relate to that completely. So tell us a little bit more then about Spud Fit. Because I know now that you’re helping so many hundreds of thousands of people with their food addictions and their eating issues. Where do you typically start, then, if somebody comes to you and they want to make change? Are you going to throw them on a potato diet for a year?

Andrew

25:40 Well, sometimes. It depends. First thing we’ll do is have a good heart-to-heart conversation, and it’s really interesting actually. Because I’m sort of a step removed from people’s lives who I’m coaching, I’m not their family and friends, people tell me stuff that they’ve never told anyone. And I think it’s because they don’t have to worry about seeing me every day and all that sort of… they don’t have to worry about me. If it turns out that they shouldn’t have told me, then they just stop working with me and it’s no big deal. But yeah, the start of it is just… it’s a conversation, we just have a big conversation and get to know each other and learn about how food has affected the client’s life and really come up with a plan from there.

And yeah, some people do do only potatoes, but it’s not a situation where I dictate and say “This is the way you’re going to eat from now on.” We’ll talk about it, we’ll…. everyone does a different thing, and we’ll just talk about it together and work out what’s going to work for them as an individual. So a few people do do only potatoes, but that’s because they’ve decided that that’s the right thing for them, obviously with some guidance from me. But yeah, most of the time we come up with a plan. It pretty much always involves potatoes, but usually not as the only food. We’ll come up with a plan that involves eating a variety of foods that are below that 400 calorie threshold that I’ve mentioned before, and it will be a very simple plan.

It’s always very, very simple. We’re not trying to start a new below 400 calories cooking show where you come up with a gourmet meal for all the time. It’s just we’ll keep it pretty simple, pretty basic, and the focus is really on… we’ve got two parts of the plan, really. We’ve got a food plan. We deal with that reasonably quickly, and then the focus of what we do is what I call a thought plan, and that’s really… you can look at your life and you can look at what you’ve done in the past and you can come up with arguments, basically, that are going to happen in your life.

You’re going to have that in a voice in your heard that is going to say “Okay, you’ve had a stressful day. It’s been a hard day. The best thing for stress is going to be stopping at the donut shop on the way home and having half a dozen donuts.” And it’s really, it’s about understanding that these thoughts happen, and how can we reply to these thoughts. It’s sort of like an internal conversation, an internal debate happening, and coming up with strategies being… have the planning done, so that when that internal debate pops up you’re ready with answers and you’re ready to work your way through that, instead of just hearing the big, strong, loud voice going “Donuts are great! Eat them! They’ll help you feel better!” And you’re not ready with a reply so you just go and eat the donuts.

That’s where the crux of it is. It’s about learning to see reality for what it is, basically. To understand that not every thought that you have is the right one, and how to work your way through those thoughts, and get to a point where you can calmly and confidently work your way through those situations, yeah.

Stu

29:02 Great. No, it’s what sounds… it sounds fascinating. I’m just wondering, if there are people out there and they’re sitting on the fence and they’re concerned about their addictive habits and nature around food, they want to make change, but still are unsure of where to start, are there any tips that you could offer to just start that thought process and push them in the right direction?

Andrew

29:30 Yeah, well you can email me, if you want, and I can [inaudible 00:29:34] for a start, but yeah. My main thing would just be to… with every problem I think, not just a food addiction problem, with every problem in life, there’s this… I think they call it first order thinking, it’s like we need to break our problems down into the most basic level that they can possibly be. And so I think that’s a… with food addiction especially, we just need to really simplify things. The first thing I would say is get rid of all the processed

30:00 … processed food, and especially dairy products and processed foods like oils, sugars, all that sort of stuff.

Just get rid of it. Let’s simplify your diet. You don’t need … We tell ourselves all sorts of stories about the kinds of foods we need, and why we need it, and all of this, and really, yeah. I would just say step one is to just simplify as much as you can, and just try to find foods that you can do without, remove from your diet. And that’s step one.

Then obviously step two, like we talked about, is coming to terms with your internal dialogue, and learning … To be able to make it sustainable, you need to change the way you think and relate to food. Otherwise it’s just another weight loss plan, and when it’s finished, you just gonna go back to your old ways and put all the weight back on.

So that’s the first thing. Yep.

Stu

30:53 Okay. And ensuring that we stick to a healthy eating plan. After all, we’ve put in all of the hard work. Do people suffer roadblocks after going through this transitional period? Are there any strategies that you try and put in place just to ensure that this is a lifelong change?

Andrew

31:20 Yeah. Yeah. Well, yeah, people do sometimes hit those roadblocks, yeah. And it’s what we’re doing when we’re going on any diet, basically, when you’re trying to lose weight.

For me, like I said, it’s not about weight loss. It’s about changing the way you think about food, and the weight loss is a byproduct of that.

And really, the way I work is that most of the focus, at least, is on the way you think. And then, so when you finish, if it’s potatoes only, for example, if you finish a potatoes-only time, maybe you do it for a month and then you finish, to not actually look at it as a finish. Potatoes only, is a very narrow set of rules. You’ve got a very narrow set of rules that you’re sticking in between, and then, when you get to the end of that time, it’s not just, “Okay, the rules are gone,” it’s, “Okay, we’re just going to broaden the rules.”

And we still have rules, and we still have boundaries, and those boundaries are just as strong as they were. It’s just that the boundaries are a little bit wider now, and you can include a few more things.

And that’s really the way I continue to think about it, and I think the way other people should as well. It’s not like … Yeah, you learn a lesson, and you need to continue to apply the lesson, rather than just get to end of the month and then ditch all the lessons, and ditch the boundaries. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Stu

32:43 Yeah. Got it. I think it’s habitual, isn’t it? When you can make healthy change that then becomes an automatic process, a habit, when things become habitual, then you them on autopilot. You just navigate through the day, and you do make these healthy choices, as opposed to perhaps the old programming, that that guides us into perhaps the unhealthy choices that we were used to make. Yeah, it’s very key to try and get those habits ingrained, I think.

Andrew

33:16 Yeah, it really is. It really is a habit thing, and there are … I can think of plenty of habits, that I developed during that potato year, that I continue to this day, like, when I go out for dinner with friends, I always eat before I go. And that’s because you might go to a restaurant, and there might be a menu that’s full of crap, and the only decent healthy food you can get is a garden salad. And, okay, I’ll eat the garden salad and it’s no big deal, cause I’m already full. So, if I turned up hungry, then I’d be angry about having to sit there and eat a garden salad while my friends are having these big meals, but I turn up full, so it’s no big deal.

That’s a simple thing. And when I leave home … I’ve always got healthy food with me, when I leave home. I’ve got a bag in my backpack over there. I’ve got a box of rice there, and it’s ready to go. So, yeah.

Stu

34:07 That’s great. Yeah, no. Very intrigued. You mentioned your diet, now, well, we won’t call it the diet, the way that you eat now. You said it’s nothing fancy. Run us through, perhaps, a day. What would you have for breakfast and lunch and dinner? Just so people can get an idea of, okay, so when I’m gravitating to, from whichever strategy, or diet, or protocol, that is currently working, but still unsure as to, perhaps, how to eat when all of that is done and dusted, what does a day’s worth of nutrition look like to you, now?

Andrew

34:48 Yeah, well, I still eat a lot of potatoes, so I think at least half of my total calories would come from potatoes. And yeah, and I like it that way. It’s not like … I’m happy with that. But I’ll run through some things that I do, that are not potatoes, just to broaden it a little bit.

I just mentioned I’ve got rice in my bag today, so when when we get off this call, I’ll go just … There’s a shopping center 100 meters away, so I’ll go up there and I’ll get some beans to cook up and have with the rice, and it’ll just be rice. Maybe it’ll be baked beans. Maybe I’ll just get a can of organic baked beans and I’ll mix that with the rice, and there’ll be lunch. So it’s really, really simple. I might have a green smoothie. I have those. Not every day, but every now and then, I’ll have a smoothie of spinach and mixed berries, or something like that.

Pretty often, for breakfast, probably most of my breakfasts are, if it’s not potatoes, I would get a mashed one and a half or two bananas in the bottom of a big bowl, and then oats in that. Mix all up and then microwave it for a few minutes. And I’ve got some banana porridge. And then dinner might be … I, pretty often, have baked potatoes with whatever kinds of toppings. Maybe a bean chili, or something like that, or baked beans on a baked potato, and then broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, things like that.

Or I might have a wholemeal pasta with tomatoes, and whatever you normally, plant foods on that. Or I might have a vegetable stir fry. Things like that.

But it’s pretty simple. I don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I don’t have hours on a Sunday afternoon to do meal prep, and line up all your containers and take a photo for Instagram. Those sorts of things.

Stu

36:44 yeah, sure. I get it.

Andrew

36:45 I just do things that are really quick and simple. Usually there’s always a box, in the fridge, of rice that’s ready to eat, so I don’t have to wait. If I feel like rice, I don’t have to wait half an hour or whatever for it to cook. There’s always a box in the fridge that’s ready. And there’s always a box of potatoes in the fridge that’s ready. And as soon as those are empty, I fill them up again, and yeah, that’s the basis of what I do. Yeah.

Stu

37:08 Excellent, excellent. And cold potatoes have been touted as being an excellent source of resistant starch as well. So I’m keen to hear about your gut health. I mean, you must be okay in that department.

Andrew

37:21 Yeah. Yeah. Well, warm potatoes, too. Just freshly-cooked baked potatoes, straight out of the oven, are a good source of resistant starch, as well. Yeah. My gut health is fantastic. There’s no … yeah, everything’s fine, and I don’t know how much detail you want there, but everything’s good.

Stu

37:37 Yeah. Got it. Okay. And in terms of, then, your exercise protocols, now, you mentioned that when you were doing the challenge, the spud-fit challenge, you ran a marathon. Are you still as veracious, in that department, as you were before?

Andrew

37:57 Well, I’ve got a baby who’s about a year old, and we had a lot of trouble. He was in intensive care for a little while, or not intensive care. Maybe, I don’t know what they call it, but he was in care, anyway, for a little while. He was born premature, and then we had a lot of trouble with his sleeping for the first few months, and basically, exercise went out the window.

And just now, I’m just starting to get back into it. There was probably eight months, there, where I had a decent excuse to not exercise. And then, maybe the last three or four months, it’s been like, “Okay, I’m really …” Some days I can’t do it. Some days, it’s just, there’s no way I could fit it in. But other days I’m like, “Yeah, it’s about time I start doing this again. I’ve got to stop making excuses.”

So, yeah, I’m just starting to get back into doing a little bit of kettlebell training, and a little bit of running, and things like that, but it’s not happening as much as I want it to just yet. But yeah, we’ll get there.

Stu

38:51 Life gets in the way, unfortunately.

Andrew

38:53 It does. Yeah, yeah. But yeah, I do, I really do, want to be an athlete, again. I have been an elite athlete in the past, and I would like to get back to being, probably, it’s unrealistic to think that I’d be an elite athlete again, but I would like to be seriously fit again. And that’s starting. I’m working on that as we speak. Yeah.

Stu

39:14 Good on you. Fantastic. So we’re coming up on time, a little bit. I have a question, then, that I like to ask every guest, towards the end of the show, and that’s about non-negotiables. As in, what are your non-negotiables that you do perform, each and every day, to ensure that you crush that day? And it could be get up, drink a glass of water, go to yoga, do whatever those things might be. What are yours?

Andrew

39:43 Well, my first one is, I have a favorite poem. And it’s called If, and it’s by a guy called Rudyard Kipling, and it’s a very old poem. It’s a poem that he wrote for his son, I think, and it’s rooted in stoic philosophy. It’s a really beautiful poem. My favorite line from it, I won’t recite the whole thing, but my favorite line from it is, “If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same.”

And it ends with, the last line is, it’s about … basically it’s a list of things that are … it’s a moral sort of philosophy poem, and the last line is, “If you can do all this, then the world is yours,” basically.

And it’s just a really … it gets me going. It gets me going for the day, and it focuses my mind and keeps me sharp, and, yeah, it’s a really, really good way for me to start the day.

So that’s the first thing I do in the morning. And then, other than that, it’s just like I was talking about before, is just being prepared with food. Just having healthy food available all the time.

Not because I think, if I don’t have that, then I’m going to go and eat junk. It just makes my day easy. If they’re there and ready, then I can just grab my potatoes, and get out the door, and go and tackle the day.

So those are really the only two non-negotiables I have, and, being a parent with young kids, it’s pretty hard to have too many other non-negotiables, because you’re going to be forced to negotiate, pretty soon, on most things.

Stu

41:16 Absolutely right. Yes, you will.

Andrew

41:19 But, yeah, those are the two big ones, for me. That I really work hard to make sure that I’ve always got healthy food available, and always read that poem, just to start the day off.

Stu

41:28 Brilliant. Yeah, I’m intrigued, as well, with the poem because there’s so much that we can learn from stoicism, in as much as looking at worst-case scenario, because many of us these days are living in fear of something that may never happen. And then we realize all these things that we’re so worried about are, actually, perhaps not that much of a big problem, when you actually start to think about, well, what if? What if this never happened? Or, what if this did happen? Is it a big deal?

Andrew

41:56 That’s exactly it. And that’s what this poem does for me. It just reminds me that, whatever happens, I can get through it. We build problems up and really, they’re not that big. Problems are not the … you’re going to be … As long as I’m breathing, and I’m happy and healthy, and I’ve got my family there, with me, then the biggest problems in life, we can get through them.

And it’s not to say it’s going to be fun, but if you can, that’s the poem, If, if you can continue on, and keep on making right choices despite whatever goes on around you, you can keep being a good person, treating people well, and making good decisions, then there’s nothing more you can do with life, And, yeah. That just keeps me going.

Stu

42:42 That’s good, yeah. No, I love it. I love it. So what’s next for Andrew Taylor, Spud Fit? What’s coming up in the future?

Andrew

42:52 Oh, really, for me, at the moment, it’s all … this coaching thing that we’ve talked about is a relatively new thing. I’ve only been … I’ve had my online thing that I’ve been doing for a while, and I’ve helped a lot of people that way, but this working with people one-on-one, instead of just producing content and allowing people online to follow it, this, I’m really enjoying this one-on-one coaching. It’s able to get that sort of deeper connection with people, and really feel like I’m making a big difference in people’s lives.

That’s really where my focus is at the moment. And, outside the business side of things are, like I mentioned, I want to get back to being fit, and get back to being something resembling an athlete, at some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future.

So yeah, that’s the way things are going, for me.

Stu

43:38 Fantastic. And for anybody listening to this right now, they want to learn more, they want to connect with you personally, where would be the best place for me to send them?

Andrew

43:49 Just the website, spudit.com, is the best. And you can email me, andrew@spudfit.com. But yeah, I’m on as Spud Fit on all the social medias. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter. Just look up Spud Fit, and you’ll find me, so whatever’s best for everyone.

I reply to everything I get, from all of those avenues, but I tend to reply quicker to email. But yeah, I’ll get back to everyone, however they find me. Yeah.

Stu

44:13 Fantastic. Well look, Andrew, thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it, and very intrigued to follow your journey from this point forward, because I think it’s fantastic. So thanks again.

Andrew

44:23 No worries. Thank you very much. It’s an honor, and yeah, I appreciate it. And you keep doing your thing as well. Spreading the good message of good health. Good on you, mate.

Stu

44:30 Thank you, mate. Take care. Bye. Bye.

Andrew

44:32 Cheers.

 

 

 

Andrew Taylor

This podcast features Andrew Taylor who had a simple idea to treat food addiction by quitting food, in much the same way an alcoholic should quit alcohol. He ended up quitting all foods except potatoes, in a simple experiment to see what would happen. Pretty soon Andrew's story went viral... Read More
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