Penn Jillette, the boisterous half of the comedy magic duo Penn and Teller, recently performed one of his most impressive tricks, making over 100 pounds disappear.  His new book, Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales, outlines how he lost the weight and the diet he now abides by to keep it off. Jillette called into Boston Public radio to talk about the  bizarre diet he used to lose the weight, what he eats now, and his thoughts on Donald Trump as a former contestant on Trump’s show, Celebrity Apprentice.

Highlights Include:

On the two week diet of just potatoes that kickstarted his weight loss.

I lost .9 pounds a day on average, which is astonishing. It turns out from a lot of studies, the faster you lose weight, the longer you have to keep it off. Which is rather counterintuitive, but you feel the differences so profoundly. And what you have to do - I don’t like to use the word addictive because it is a very powerful word and overused incorrectly- you get habituated to really large amounts of salts, sugar, and fats, and you have to be knocked off that, at least I did. So for two weeks, you want to do a mono diet. Which means just eating one thing so you take away all the social aspects, all the entertainment aspects, all the nervous aspects, and get down to the reason you’re eating. Now you can choose anything for that. You can choose beans, corn, but I chose potatoes because they’re funnier. So for two weeks I ate nothing but potatoes.

On how he felt after losing so much weight.

I am shocked by not only how my health fixed up right away, I guess we sort of all expected that, but also my moods. I am just happier all the time. I am a strict atheist, I am a materialist, and I kind of always knew that mind and brain were the same thing, and yet I was still shocked by how the physical changes manifested in mental and emotional changes.

On what he eats now to maintain his weight loss.

On a day to day basis I eat salad, I eat hummus, I eat beans; to make it very clear, what I eat now can be completely described perfectly in two words, which is whole plants. If you want it to be a little more elaborate, I eat no animal products, which would be vegan, but I’m wearing a leather belt. No refined grains and extremely low salt, sugar and oil. Now having said that, every couple of weeks when it is rare and appropriate, when it’s right, I’ll eat anything. When my daughter says to me, ‘Daddy let’s get some ice cream,’ and I haven’t had any in a couple weeks, I’ll have ice cream, I’ll have pizza, I’ll have whatever. You cannot get fat on one meal, you can not get unhealthy from one meal, and you cannot get healthy from one meal. It is what you eat chronically that really matters.

On why he continues to be creative and passionate about his work.

It’s what I wanted to do. I didn’t get into the arts to get out of them. I am surprised by people that I know that worked on an act, get it together, and then play golf all day and play the show at night. I don’t want to play golf, I want to do shows. When I started working with Teller I was 18-years-old and all I wanted to do was think up ideas with this crazy person I met, and do these things that were in our hearts and do them for people. Now, we have done, since we got to to Vegas, over three and a half hours of new material. I love doing it. I am one of the people that if you absolutely, completely, 100 percent, stopped paying me, my work schedule would not change at all. There is no economic pressure on me to do shows whatsoever. I do it because I think the most important thing human beings do is communicate with one and other.

On his thoughts about Trump’s presidential campaign and working with him on the Apprentice.

As a co-worker on an improvisational show pretending to be in a boardroom, which was actually a set, pretending to do jobs which weren’t really real; for television I thought being volatile, capricious, petty, thin skinned, unpredictable, illogical, are all really good qualities. I say that with no joke at all, those are actually good qualities. For that position you want someone childish. I did two tours of duty on Celebrity Apprentice, I enjoyed being around Donald Trump and I enjoyed being on the show. That does not mean that someone that is on television should be in politics. As soon as he got into politics, I did not want him to get any success whatsoever.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Listen to our interview with Penn Jillette above.