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Tactic: Eat Just One Thing

Tue 21 August 2018

A couple of years ago, Penn Jillette, the magician, dropped over a hundred pounds. For the first two weeks of his regimen, he ate only potatoes and lost about fourteen pounds. It's called a mono diet and it's something I sometimes do for a day or two. (I don't have as much weight to lose as he did and it's not healthy for long periods.)

Penn didn't have to choose potatoes. He could have picked almost any other food. As he explains it, he did this in order to break a lot of his bad eating habits. Like most of us, he was dependent on salty, sweet, and fatty foods. After two weeks of only potatoes, he lost the craving for all the bad stuff and was able to manage his appetite a lot better.

For me, this method is mostly about hunger management. I keep a stash of bread at home (I use a specific kind of bread that they make at Sprouts.) When I get hungry, I eat a little bit of the bread and then drink some water. This fills me up, and then I'm able to not eat for a little while longer. I never do this for more than a day or two.

As I write this, I'm on a mostly bread diet for the day (I ate some leftover corn a little while ago. I also had a banana.) I butter my bread, for flavor. I'll probably do this tomorrow as well. Then I'll have to figure something else out.

Penn Jillette and the One Rule

One detail that needs more examination is that Jillette did not exercise. Specifically, he avoided exercise. More specifically, he suggests to first lose the weight, and only after the weight is lost to begin an exercise routine:

“this is important – I also didn’t exercise while I was losing the weight. Exercising is body building. It’s a different thing. Wait until you hit the target weight, then you exercise.”

Penn Jillette

This is exactly what I am saying with my one rule. And it's not just him and me, science backs up the theory as well.

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