Thursday, November 24, 2005

We are not recommending this diet. On the face if it, if you had to cook up the ultimate stereotype of a wacky fad diet for use in a comedic novel or film, the Shangri-La Diet would fill the bill.

Basically, you don't eat anything (other than flavorless water) from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. and then you have either a quarter cup of sugar in a liter of water or a half tablespoon or so of extra light olive oil (without the water). Then nothing with any flavor until 12:00 noon when you eat lunch. Repeat at 2:00 to 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon and listen to what your body tells you.

Often done in connection with a twelve step program.

The batscience is interesting, but batscience at present. On the other hand, for some people it really works.


Kim Siever said...

Maybe it works because they don't eat.

Anonymous said...

This link is worth reading:

It’s true that 400 or 500 calories of oil/sugar consists of empty calories, but it has replaced, easily, about 1000 calories of junk — soda, cookies, candy, chips. Probably 1500 on some days. And my meals are currently half the size of meals I used to eat. It really does allow you to cut the calories easily — my wife can’t believe it now when I pass on dessert. And I don’t get hungry between meals. Before, I could not resist the junk. It’s everywhere, in vending machines, passed around the office, etc. Last week a neighbor dropped off a piece of chocolate cake and it actually went stale. I forgot it was there. Unheard of. And I was always a plate cleaner. Why eat one cookie when you can eat the whole bag? I was a three slices guy; now one slice of pizza is enough. Tasty food made me hungrier. Not anymore. There is no will power involved here. I still don’t have any will power. I’m just not hungry for those things.

And no matter what I ate, no matter how much or how little I exercised,
I stuck at 226 or so lbs for about seven years. I didn’t like being quite
that heavy, but it wasn’t enough to inspire me to take any action.
I embarked on this sugar water method as a lark. I couldn’t believe
something this simple could possibly work. It appealed to my essential laziness. And I think that is one reason some people really don’t like the idea and react negatively. They think there should be pain involved, some moral effort. And if you read the original link, there are some desperate people who still haven’t gotten it to work. Everybody’s different.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this method works for me for the reasons you state — calorie restriction and appetite suppression. But it’s so much easier than counting calories. It’s not like I didn’t know a jelly doughnut had a lot of calories back then; I ate it anyway. And you mention trying plain water to fill up — it’s funny, but that’s another side benefit of the diet. I could never get myself to drink the supposed daily requirement. It gets quite boring. I was often dehydrated. But even 15 cals of sugar makes water much more palatable. I am quite hydrated these days. And I’m drinking a lot less coffee, which was turning into a serious addiction.

Do I buy the set-point theory that Roberts is peddling? Not really, but I don’t reject it, either. I just don’t know. I do think there is something to the idea that my body uses taste and texture to recognize certain calorie dense foods and tells me to eat more of them, even if I don’t need more calories. And it’s my experience that the sugar water really does turn that switch off.

I’m less open to his suggestion that our bodies might store those dense calories differently. But I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand.

The theories are quite beside the point. I don’t want to work hard at it. Life’s too short. I could become a vegan like my wife and never touch sweets and never eat out and stuff myself with salad and whole grains etc. Or I could be like the Atkins fan I know who licks peanut butter from a spoon all day and actually scrapes the cheese off pizza to eat and skips the crust. Not for me, thanks. If thinking about calories all the time is the choice, I’d rather be fat.

If it fails and I boomerang back, I promise to come back and confess.

Moi said...

The hummingbird diet? Sounds like it'd make you sick.

Stephen said...

BTW, that is a different Stephen than I, his blog is

Nice blog, btw.

Stephen said...

Gee, I had the oil dose off, didn't I (it should have been two tablespoons, twice a day, at that sugar water level).

Who wold have guessed where that would take me.