The Spud Fit approach works, in scientific terms, because of two magical concepts known as 'calorie density' and 'the abstinence model'.
Calorie density is simply how many calories per pound (or mouthful!) your food contains (how calorically dense it is). Understanding calorie density is key for people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food; IT IS A GAME CHANGER in two separate but equally mind-blowing ways:
- PHYSICALLY: If you eat foods at or below a certain calorie density threshold - which happens to be 500 -600 calories per pound - you can eat as much as you want, as often as you want, and your body will naturally settle at its ideal (lean) weight. There are literally HUNDREDS of these foods (I bet you can guess at least one of them!).
- PSYCHOLOGICALLY: If you stick to foods at or below that calorie density threshold, you will not trigger a dopamine response in your brain. The dopamine response is the rush you get whenever you do anything addictive - it's the addiction response. It is responsible for making you want more...and more....and more - alcohol, drugs, computer games - whatever! And including, of course, our most easily found and most unavoidable drug, FOOD. In some of us (ME and maybe many of you!) the dopamine rush turns you into an eating monster, devouring everything in your path!
So about the abstinence model. It's simple. I was sitting with a beer in my hand at the end of 2015 in a state of total despair over my physical and mental state, when I suddenly realised that I my relationship with food paralleled that of an alcoholic with alcohol (see above). I was just simply and totally at the mercy of the rush I got when I put exciting (high calorie density) food in my mouth, and I had been since I was a child. OBVIOUSLY then, I simply had to apply the abstinence model - the same one that is globally accepted standard treatment for all kinds of other dopamine addicts, to what I ate.
ENTER: THE POTATO! The king of ALL foods.
Just look at that beauty! PHWOAR!
Potatoes, damn it, are THE PERFECT FOOD (this is the actual video that set me off on my year of potatoes!). Potatoes are not only well below that magical threshold, sitting at around 350 calories per pound, they are also a nutrition POWERHOUSE. Check out this nutrition profile!
This represents the average male caloric intake per day and includes 9 large white potatoes. With the exception of vitamin B12 (take a supplement) this easily meets or exceeds dietary requirements and by including some sweet potato it becomes even more well-rounded. Most people understand that spuds are a great source of carbohydrates but there's also plenty of protein and enough fats to keep you thriving too. Man I love spuds.
The final piece of the puzzle.
Now none of this is news. There are internationally renowned doctors, nutrition scientists, addiction psychologists and any other number of allied health experts who can tell you all of this while waving their medical degrees and board certifications. They are my heroes. What I personally bring to the table is my expertise as a teacher. I am a qualified teacher of 18 years, and I've mostly worked with people - at-risk youth - who for one reason or another are really struggling and have lost their way. All I did when I came up with the idea for Spud Fit, was to be a teacher to myself - to guide myself - without judgement and with objectivity and clarity of mind.
My approach is one that fully understands where PEOPLE come from, how PEOPLE judge, shame and punish themselves and how to stop that horrible cycle which always, always leads you back to where you started. Most of what I teach people - apart from the mechanics and logistics of the scientific concepts above - is how to see themselves and their reality for what it truly is, and how to take MASSIVE POSITIVE ACTION towards becoming who they really long to be.
If you're struggling with your relationship with food, with your weight, with lifestyle-induced poor health, I think I can help. Click below to join us for the January 2020 Spud Fit Challenge: