Saturday, September 23, 2006

Shangri-la Diet: moving on to months three and four

I've been reviewing the experiences others have had with the Shangri-la Diet.

At about the third month, if it is working well, you will get bored with losing weight or just feel tired of losing weight. This stage lasts about two weeks, but when it hits a number of people quit the diet and then come back after several months. So, if it works for you, just be aware that at around the third month boredom sets in and just hold on and the boredom will end.

Also be aware that for many, at the end of the second month, plateaus start to happen. Unlike a normal diet, where a plateau means the diet has failed, plateaus merely are a sign that your set point moves downward in a sine wave pattern rather than in a straight line. In losing over seventy pounds, I spent about half the time on plateaus mixed with about half the time losing weight. Lose weight, pause, lose weight, pause, all the way down. ~ is kind of a symbol for the way it goes.

On the other hand, for some, the weight loss is very slow and the plateaus are enhanced. For those, here is the next step.

First, make sure you are getting enough protein. That is one of the reasons I started eating so much fat free yogurt (amazingly, on a diet where most people add oil to what they are eating, my total fat intake went down -- fat free foods often have more protein for the calories than any other).

Second, make sure you are getting enough calcium. I'm not sure why, but many people who do not get enough calcium have trouble with weight loss, though they may get excellent appetite suppression. Yogurt again works well here (though I have a large container of calcium pills from Costco in the cupboard).

Third, consider protein powder smoothies. There are two ways to drink them, both in the place of one meal a day. The first is to have them as flavorless as possible. DesignerWhey and Nutro Soy protein are both available in a flavor free "flavor." Mix some of each together, blend with some cold water and maybe an icecube (use a blender) and drink them down while holding your nose (to reduce any remaining flavor) once a day. The second way is to open up your spice rack and use half a teaspoon of two spices, randomly chosen, blended with the protein powder and a couple tablespoons of yogurt and a little sugar or sweetener, for a "variable flavor" smoothie. As long as the flavor is different each day, that seems to work well too.

Protein powder smoothies also help with any protein issues.

Work through those additions and alternatives for the next two months. That gets you to four months on the diet. I'll go over the next two months in the future.


Anonymous said...

Hi Stephen,

I have been following your progress on SLD and as i told you earlier I am amazad with your progress. I started a week ago on your guide of a mixture of canola and ELOO with sugared water. A week has gone by but i didn't observe much of appetite suppression and I am increasing my oil cosumption to two tablespoon.
I was reading your entry on "I am half the man ..." how long does it take you to be there. sari

Stephen said...

It took me ten months, the better part of a year, to lose that weight.

Anonymous said...

Interesting point about getting bored. I've been on SLD since early July. I've lost over 30 lbs, so its worked very well. I've noticed over the past two weeks that I'm eating more. This is due to the fact that I've become less vigilant about taking the oil. I might take it during the week, but then skip it on the weekends. As a result, appetite suppresion has decreased. I still have quite a bit to lose (at least another 30,) so I'm hopeful that I can get myself back in line. Thanks for the post.

Stephen M (Ethesis) said...


I felt a need to discuss the boredom factor. Two things seem to stop a lot of people.

First, some mistake plateaus for failure.

Second, others give into boredom.

In both cases, if you just keep consistency, everything works out.

Right now I'm working on maintenance. Once I get that figured out, I'll do another post, as well as a "next two monts" post -- mostly on exercise and full hydration.

Tanzi said...

Stephen, thanks for all your postings on the SLD. Your accounts are very inspirational and have helped me get back on track. And congratulations on losing 70 lbs, that's a real inspiration for anyone!

Anonymous said...

Hi everybody - I don't understand how one can get "bored" with losing weight. Does this mean that taking the oil gets tedious (which would be surprising as it is the easiest thing to do compared to other weight-loss methods), or that people start to simply eat out of boredom rather than hunger?

I have found in my own experience that I "fall back" too much on SLD, thinking that I can indulge cravings and still lose weight, and that the oil/SW will somehow "magically" save me. I still have to follow the same disciplines I did before; SLD just makes them more feasible. But I can't say that I've experienced "boredom" with the weight loss I have experienced - maybe because I've never lost that much.

-terryv (from the forum)

Glen said...

It happened to me - I used the diet for a few months, lost a fair bit of weight, but then got bored/annoyed with the diet. Some factors were: (1) I always found the oil a little nauseating. (2) the effort to keep mixing the sugar water was a pain. (3) the "no flavor" window was annoying - it kept interfering with social meals or with my Diet Coke habit. (4) I had come up with some fun exercises to use instead of focusing so much on diet.

Later when I had to stop exercising so much due to an injury I gained all the weight back. So right now I weigh more than before I last started the diet, and am thinking of starting back up.