Actor Robert Pattinson has tried many diets for his roles – most recently he embodied Batman. One of them, the so-called “potato diet”, is currently making headlines. A nutrition expert explains why you can actually lose weight with it, but the disadvantages still outweigh the disadvantages.

He would have tried everything possible to lose weight, said the new “Batman”, Robert Pattinson, in a recent interview. Even a potato diet. “As a detox. Two weeks only boiled potatoes and pink Himalayan salt. It’s supposed to be a detox,” he said. And: “You definitely lose weight.” But does that really make sense?

So much in advance: There are no scientific studies on this type of diet (yet). The fact is, however, that potatoes are a “valuable, local food”, as Astrid Donalies from the German Society for Nutrition explains. “When cooked, they provide about 72 kcal per 100 grams, plenty of potassium and carbohydrates in the form of starch or dietary fiber and also contain vitamin C.”

A diet with only potatoes and pink Himalayan salt is “a reduction diet with very little energy (calories), no fat, but carbohydrates,” sums up the ecotrophologist. In fact, you can lose weight due to the few calories – but only with a short-term effect.

“No food contains all nutrients. There is no harm in the short term, but if you do it for a longer period of time, important nutrients for the body are missing, such as protein, fat, minerals and vitamins, fiber.”

By the way: “Whether you season the potatoes with (expensive) Himalayan salt or with normal (iodized) salt is irrelevant for weight loss. And it should be a maximum of five to six grams per day.”

A yo-yo effect is also likely. “Our bodies are specialized in storing and maintaining supplies and reserves for times of need. Excess energy is therefore stored as depot fat,” says the expert.

In addition, metabolic activity decreases and energy consumption decreases. The energy supplied is therefore quickly above the requirement after the end of the diet and weight gain follows.

“The so-called ‘cleansing’, often also called ‘detoxification’, is scientifically incomprehensible,” says Donalies.

In the diet jungle, however, it is easy to lose track. What is really promising now? “Sensible weight loss programs focus on long-term dietary changes, combined with physical exercise to boost energy metabolism, and overall lifestyle changes, including relaxation,” says Donalies. “This is the only way to permanently lose weight.”

Specifically, the expert recommends slow, long-term weight loss of about one kilo per week. The diet should be balanced and predominantly plant-based (3/4). “Whole grain products, five servings of vegetables and fruit, nuts and legumes and energy-free or low-energy drinks such as water and healthy vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil belong on the table every day.”

Animal products (1/4) should make up the smaller part. “Everyday milk and dairy products like yogurt, kefir, and cheese. Those who want to save calories here rely on low-fat variants. Fish once or twice a week. If meat, then no more than 300 to 600 grams per week,” says Donalies.

You should rarely eat sweets and it is best to avoid sweetened drinks completely.

The 10 rules of the DGE also provide orientation.

An excessive weight loss craze can become unhealthy, as Pattinson also says in the interview. “Yeah, it’s crazy. And it’s very, very easy to fall into a pattern, even just by watching your calorie intake. It’s extraordinarily addictive – and you don’t realize how insidious it is until it’s too late.”

He, too, would have struggled with his body image and tried every hype – “everything but consistency”. But this is exactly where the key to long-term (weight loss) success lies.

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