Kevin Smith's doctors told him to lose 50 pounds after he suffered a massive "widow-maker" heart attack on Feb. 25, and they didn't have to tell him twice.
The 47-year-old director jump-started his new vegan lifestyle with an unusual eating plan and has lost a whopping amount of weight in the first two weeks.
“I’m officially down 20 pounds as of this morning! 20 pounds in 13 days & my blood pressure is amazing. How did this happen?” he tweeted on Wednesday. “My Doc said lose 50 pounds. 20 down, 30 more to go!”
Smith lost the weight by eating only potatoes for two weeks.
He was inspired by the diet Penn Jillette wrote about last year in his book, "Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales," in which the Illusionist described how he ate only potatoes for the first two weeks of his weight-loss plan, according to People.
“It’s a pretty intense program, but it’s been interesting," Smith said on his "Hollywood Babble-On" podcast over the weekend. "And of course necessary for my health and stuff. But once I get to a decent place, then I can think about eating again.
“I’ll never eat the way I used to. The way I used to eat wasn’t (freaking) horrible. It was in my childhood, that’s what my doctor said."
Smith had a near-fatal heart attack after a show in Los Angeles last month. He posted a selfie of his terrified face from his hospital bed.
“After the first show this evening, I had a massive heart attack,” he wrote. “The Doctor who saved my life told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (aka 'the Widow-Maker').
“If I hadn’t canceled show 2 to go to the hospital, I would’ve died tonight. But for now, I’m still above ground!”
Smith has battled publicly with his weight; he dropped 85 pounds seven years ago. The so-called "mono diet" idea he borrowed from Jillette involves eating only one food, any food, for a set period of time, a dramatic measure to change a person's relationship with food.
Jillette, who decided to lose weight because he weighed 330 pounds as he turned 60 in 2015, chose to eat only potatoes, about five a day for two weeks.
“In just a few months in early 2015, I lost 100 pounds. The way I did it was very extreme," Jillette wrote for Grub Street when his book came out. "I did a mono diet for two weeks, which could have been anything. I did potatoes because they’re funny. Could have been corn, could have been beans, but I didn’t want a lot of fart jokes.
"A mono diet is not very entertaining, or social. No one ever calls up and says, ‘Hey, Penn, I just landed in Vegas, let’s have a potato.’”
Though it was a successful jump-start for his weight-loss plan — and for Smith's — dieticians warn against mono diets.
“The desperation of wanting to lose weight — and see results quickly — will lead people to choose a plan that makes no biological sense,” NBC News Health and Nutrition Editor Madelyn Fernstrom told The Today Show when Jillette's book came out. “This is not an advisable plan.”
She said even a two-week period would be rough on the body and a person's mood.
And a potato-only diet "would not be adequate in protein, and contains no fat," Dena Champion, a registered dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Men's Health about Smith's diet.
"Not only that, but this diet is extremely low in most micronutrients including calcium, zinc, selenium, and vitamin A, to name only a few."
Champion told Men's Health she wouldn't recommend a spud-only diet to any heart attack victim, or anyone trying to lose weight.
“No more animal-related products. My kid is thrilled because she’s a vegan. She’s like, ‘Welcome home, brother,'" Smith said on his podcast of daughter Harley Quinn, 18.
“This doesn’t come from a personal philosophy, this comes from an ‘I have to.’ I don’t know if I call myself a vegan, maybe a non-animal eater. The program is so far manageable."
Smith doesn't sound very enthused, though, about the vegetables part of his new diet.
“They introduce vegetables. I’ll give it a shot it’s that or the (freaking) grave," he said. "I can’t guarantee I’m going to be a vegetable eater. I ate the way I wanted for 47 years and look where it got me. You had your fun, move on."