Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Shangri-La Diet - Lose Weight Without Hunger While Eating Whatever You Want

The rules are:
  1. Consume 100-400 calories of sugar water and/or flavorless edible oil daily.
  2. Consume the sugar water and/or oil before or well after meals - at least an hour away.
Strangely enough, this dramatically reduces hunger, making it easy to lose weight. Under the influence of this regime, you are less hungry, you think about food less often, and when do eat you feel full faster. So it's easy to eat less and even skip meals now and then.

Seth Roberts is the inventor of this diet, which he describes in a just-released book called The Shangri-La Diet (amazon link). I received an advance copy of the book.

Does the diet work? Yes. As far as I can tell, it works just as advertised. And the book has all the specific instructions, tips, caveats, explanations, and related ideas you might need to try it out for yourself.

I'm still not sure I believe Seth's explanation for why it works, but that it does work is clear.

What's the rationale? Seth thinks of hunger as an addiction mechanism - a Pavlovian response to the connection between taste and calories. According to Seth, the most fattening foods have these characteristics:
  1. a strong taste
  2. quickly accessible calories
  3. consistent taste - the same every time
  4. familiarity - you've had it many times
Foods that satisfy all those criteria are fattening, not merely because they have calories but because they reinforce the addiction - you eat, are satisfied, and are prone to repeat the experience.

According to the theory, foods with weak or no taste fail to reinforce your tendency to get hungry and thereby lower your set-point so you can get thin.

So lately I've been taking about 300 calories of sugar water (20 sugar cubes dissolved in a liter of water) daily and an occasional tablespoon of extra-light olive oil at bedtime. This makes it easy to reduce snacking and eat smaller and/or fewer meals. Augmenting "less food" with my usual videogame exercise regime (In The Groove is my main exercise this week), I have been steadily losing weight and reducing my bodyfat percentage.

If you're having trouble losing weight, I highly recommend getting the book and trying it out. I am a satisfied customer.

Links:
Shangri-La Diet (amazon)

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7 Comments:

Blogger iportion said...

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4/24/2006 7:06 PM  
Blogger iportion said...

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4/24/2006 7:08 PM  
Blogger iportion said...

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4/24/2006 7:10 PM  
Blogger iportion said...

Thanks for posting on this.

I'm still not sure I believe Seth's explanation for why it works either. I have not read the book yet but interviews of his explanation. I plan on reading it once it comes out. I do have a program that works for me WW. This the longest I have maintained my loss, knock on wood.

My take on Seth’s Diet is that it’s a cheap version of slim fast and the flavorless stuff fills you up. The familiar foods make you fat theory is easy to explain when people get comfortable with a food they decide they know the portions well enough and overeat.


The author's claim that he is maintaining at little over 1,300 calories a day scares me a little. A normal person needs a lot more calories to maintain. Either Seth’s sick or just not journaling right. Is journaling part of the diet? Is breakfast allowed? I heard it wasn’t but a lot of information I am hearing is second hand.

PS
Sorry there was some probs posting

4/24/2006 7:17 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I'm still not sure I believe Seth's explanation for why it works, but that it does work is clear.

My experience exactly.

5/02/2006 4:56 PM  
Blogger Rey said...

There are no unallowed foods. Basically, you consume 150 calories of sugar water or a tastless oil at least an hour before and after tasting anything, 1 or more times a day. I have been on it for 5 days. I take in about 1200 calories net (1800 minus 600+ that I burn on the threadmill every morning) I am not hungry. I eat mostly veggies and lean stuff (by choice) and feel an apetite at meal times but no actual hunger. This is for a 40 year old 225 pound man, not one of the Olsen twins.

5/12/2006 4:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it truly possible for a life-long dieter to experience reasonable eating habits, with no cravings, hunger pangs or binges? I started indulging in 1 tbsp of oil twice a day on May 8th. I didn't see much happening, even though my appetite went through a drastic, positive change, and I increased to 2 tbsp twice a day a month later. Now I leave the bottle on the counter as a reminder and chug, knowing what a tablespoon feels like in my mouth. I have to laugh at the nay-sayers--I'm living proof it works.

8/23/2006 5:36 PM  

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