He ate nothing but potatoes and turned his life around
THIS year, Andrew Taylor ate nothing but potatoes.
It was an extreme diet that at first was criticised. Some said it was an unhealthy approach to weight loss, others believed there was no way he'd last 12 months, but almost one year on, he has proved you can survive on nothing but potatoes.
He vowed on January 1 he would touch nothing but the starchy vegetable and Mr Taylor has lost more than 50kg and says he is a completely changed man.
"I was clinically depressed last year and eating potatoes has really helped me with that," he told news.com.au.
"I am not taking any antidepressants and I feel like I'm completely over that and I'm sleeping better too.
"Over the past 10 years I've had joint pain from football injuries, but that's gone away. Eating only potatoes has improved my life in more ways than I could ever imagine."
Mr Taylor confessed at the beginning of the year he had an addiction to food.
He would spend his days drinking soft drink and eating deep-fried food, ice cream, cake, chocolate and a lot of pizza.
"I had a realisation I was a food addict and it got me thinking about how if you're an alcoholic you quit alcohol, or a drug addict you quit drugs," he said.
"You can't quit food, but I wanted to get as close as possible and wondered if there was one particular food I could eat and potatoes came up best.
"You literally get everything you need from potatoes. Everybody knows they've got lots of carbs but they have enough protein and fat and potatoes are really good for fibre, vitamin C and iron."
Mr Taylor, who has posted his year-long journey on social media, said the first two weeks of his potato diet were torture, but after the fortnight his food cravings stopped.
He eats about three to four kilograms of potatoes each day, and does not allow himself to become hungry and turn to other foods.
He's also managed to keep his social life, and takes his own potatoes to friends' dinner parties.
He will also call up restaurants he's going to in advance to make sure they can cook up some potatoes for him.
He even managed to stick to his potato diet during a trip to Los Angeles.
"Across the road from the hotel I stayed in was a restaurant that baked potatoes so every morning I went across the road and picked up heaps of them," he said.
"I only realised it was there after a day or two so before that I was going to the supermarket and asked my hotel to put a microwave in my room," he said.
Mr Taylor eats potatoes in every way, from boiled to mashed to baked. He even created potato pancakes.
On January 1, Mr Taylor is hosting a catered party for his first real meal since starting the spud diet, but there's nothing he's particularly keen to eat.
He said he'd be happy to even just eat potatoes again.
"I do think the majority of what I eat will still be potatoes. I will have some more interesting toppings, I might make a bean chilli or some coleslaw to put on top of the potatoes," he said.
"Potatoes have been really good to me this year and I plan to continue eating them."
Mr Taylor started the year weighing 151.7kg and now weighs about 99kg.
"At first lots of people made fun of me but we're Australian, that's what happens," he said.
"But as the year went on people started realising what sort of relationship I had with food and how much pain and suffering it was causing and they supported me and helped me do it."
He's even had regular visits to his doctor, who didn't recommend the diet, but was supportive of Mr Taylor's decision when he promised to have check-ups throughout the year.
"My health just continues to improve. I had high cholesterol but now it's low, my blood pressure has dropped and my sugar level has dropped," he said.
"Every time I get a new blood test, it just gets better."
While Mr Taylor struggled with his potato diet at first, he said he was determined to never give up.
"My outlook on life was really bleak before I started so it was just really important to get through this challenge and change my outlook on life," he said.
"I was going down a steep slope before the year started and this was about a lot more than losing weight for me.
"It was about me not being at all happy with the direction I was going in and where my life was headed. I'm really glad I stuck to my guns and did it. I've never stuck to anything in my life."
"I'm a much happier, more positive person. I have a lot more energy and am more creative."
Dietitians have previously criticised Mr Taylor's potato diet, saying he would miss out on a range of vitamins and minerals.
But Mr Taylor slams any disparagement about his year on potatoes.
"One thing that always comes up is people think what I've done is really extreme. I'd like to point out weighing 151.7kg is pretty extreme. Being overweight, sick and depressed, that's an extreme situation to be in and I think desperate times call for desperate measures," he said.
"If you want extreme results, you have to do extreme things. Yes it's extreme but what's wrong with that?"