Sunday, October 15, 2006

Shangri-la Diet, Ditto Foods, Hydration and Calcium

I think I've hit the last on what I have to say about the Shangri-la Diet. I was looking at things from March and realized that I was hoping to reach my goal of 172 by September 13. My weight on September 14 was 167. Now I'm on the maintenance end of the diet my weight is between 167 and 169 and has been there for a month.

Three things that seem important, and that are easy to miss or forget are the concept of "ditto foods," keeping hydrated, and getting enough calcium in my diet.

The calcium is easy when I'm at home, because I eat a lot of yogurt. On vacations I end up not eating as much yogurt and that makes a difference. I seem to gain weight when I'm either not eating yogurt (or taking calcium supplements) and to drop back down to my stable weight when I do.

The next is hydration. Even now, when I've finished my meal, I'll feel like eating something until I drink enough fluid. I get the water I should be drinking and the hunger goes away. Staying hydrated is very important. Too many diets, focused on short term, temporary weight loss, use dehydration as one of their stock tricks. But for long-term, permanent weight loss, dehydration is an enemy. For short term weight loss, it is a trick, a fraud, a temporary waste of time.

Finally, "ditto foods." A "ditto food" is a food that is the same, time after time, usually flavor dense and calorie dense. The classic "ditto food" has to be alcohol or ding dongs. Since I don't drink and am allergic to chocolate, neither affects me, but I've realized that calorie and flavor dense foods that are exactly the same, time after time, those foods will move my set point up. It is interesting to watch what people do in order to be able to eat chocolates or fudge. I think of the times I gained large amounts of weight and they were always times I was eating a diet heavily balanced (or not) by ditto foods.

The Beneke variations on the Shangri-la Diet are really methods for avoiding any ditto food elements in your diet as are the protein smoothies.

If I had a final trouble shooting comment, a final bit of advice for someone who was seeking to tweak things on maintenance, a last bit of advice, it would be to eliminate ditto foods, stay hydrated, and make sure that not only do you get enough protein and vitamins, but that you get enough calcium as well.


Stephen said...

I've expanded on this at:

rockyrook said...

I'll second everything you've said. I've noticed the same thing. My biggest weakness is either Dreyer's ice cream or peanut m&m's. There's not much I can do about the peanut m&m's, but I have noticed that Dreyer's often offers a variety of flavors of ice cream ... and when I try a new flavor, it's like I don't even eat it!

Stephen said...

Good point, I noticed the same thing with ice cream.

Anonymous said...

Cherry Pretzel - Pretzels aren't popular in Belgium so it's one of those treats that I treasure in almost any form. You know those peanut butter filled pretzel logs? Well just imagine them filled with peanut butter and wrapped with whole fresh cherries.

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