Sunday, July 25, 2010

An interesting trend line analysis of a diet

I am quoting the core of the post below.  Well worth a visit to the original (above) if you are interested in dieting or losing weight.

Shangri La diet graph
The graph covers the 321-day period ending on July 6, 2010.
Two-month pre-diet baseline:Aug. 22 to Oct. 21, 2009
Shangri La diet:Oct. 22, 2009 to July 6, 2010
Weight immediately prior to start of diet (ten-day avg.): 222.4 lbs. (100.9 kg.)
Weight as of July 6, 2010 (ten-day avg.): 193.6 lbs. (87.8 kg.)
Total weight lost during this period:28.8 lbs. (13.1 kg.)
Average weight loss per week:0.78 lbs. (0.35 kg.) / week
I lost about 29 pounds / 13 kg. (as of July 6, 2010) by following a diet that was developed by psychologist Seth Roberts.  Briefly, the Shangri La diet involves appetite suppression via the ingestion of flavorless calories in the form of oil and/or sugar water.  The diet is described here and here, among other places.
I first heard of the Shangri La diet when I read this article in the New York Times back in September, 2005.  The diet seemed so bizarre that the idea of it stuck with me—until, about four years later, I finally decided to try it.
Being 5' 10" tall and weighing 222 lbs. (1.8 m / 100.7 kg.), I wanted to lose weight, and I was looking for a diet that would satisfy the following five criteria:
  1. It wouldn't require me to change the types of foods that I eat.  I'm a vegan for ethical reasons, and I did not want to stray from that philosophy.  (Note, for example, that it's very difficult, if not impossible, to eat a low-carbohydrate diet without consuming animal products.)
  2. The diet wouldn't depend on willpower, at least not heavily.  Knowing myself, I would not be able to adhere to a diet that could be sustained only by exerting an iron will (which is, essentially, almost all diets).
  3. The diet did not have any obvious characteristics that might cause one to believe that it would be harmful to your health.
  4. The diet wouldn't require regular exercise.  I've hated exercise my whole life, and I don't have time for it, anyway.
  5. The diet could be continued indefinitely.
The Shangri La diet met all five criteria, so I tried it—to some success.