Thursday, October 05, 2006

Shangri-la Diet: Months Five and Six

For other Shangri-la diet posts, see: diet posts.

By now you should have found the level of oil (or other flavorless calories) that works for you to keep lowering your set point. It might be one tablespoon, it might be six or eight. As time passes and you lose weight, that number will probably go down (when I started, four was barely enough, now I take two tablespoons).

Once you have that working for you, the next step is to make sure you are getting enough vitamins, enough calcium and enough protein. You also want to stay fully hydrated. Don't eat when you should be drinking water.

The big thing to try at month three or four is the protein shake or smoothy. In basic form, that is a simple cold water and flavorless protein shake taken in to give you more nutrition (well, more protein) in the form of flavorless calories. In the fancy form it is a true smoothy, but with constantly changing and unusual flavors. At Seth Roberts' forums there are numerous recipes, including instructions that are basically what you need for a random flavor generator.

In addition, you should now have four months of experience with low glycemic index foods, survived the two week "blahs" or what I refer to as the boredom stage (where you just get tired of losing weight), and been through three or four plateaus. You've realized that a plateau is not a failure and you should have some skill at dealing with emotion without using food.

As long as the diet stays on track, then keep on track. You might want to look for and try some walnut oil or a similar oil that is high in Omega 3s. Many people report improved sleep and balance when they increase Omega 3s in their diets. You might want to try taking your oil in the middle of the night (a big "yes" in my personal experience for walnut oil, a big failure with drinking "the midnight oil" -- your experience may vary -- many find drinking the oil in the middle of the night a huge improvement).

But the thing to consider at this point is that you may be ready for very mild exercise. Stretching, for example, is a form of exercise you can do every day, even if you are in terribly bad shape. Water aerobics and swimming are also good gateway exercises is they are available to you, but stretching is something you can do for free. Eventually you will lose enough weight to be able to walk or do something more vigorous (I'm playing Judo these days), and if you get the chance to lift weights, I've a blog post on a method I stumbled into that gets good results with lifting once a week.

Also, keeping a weight journal, basically benchmarking your weight every Sunday morning (and writing it down so you can keep track) can really help. I know that once I got past the initial rush and loss of the first two months, keeping track really helped as I kept forgetting where my weight had been recently. After a while, it becomes a blur -- and those who are losing weight at the slower end (a pound or two a month) report that the blur is more intense.

Also, you need to make sure you are getting enough sleep. Finally, if things are really slow, you need to read a post like Jenn's at where it took her quite a while and some very specific tweaks to start losing weight.

Those are the things to consider and keep track of at months five and six.

Next post, probably I'll discuss maintenance, unless more things develop on the boards that lead me to summarizing them all.


David said...

Excellent post, Stephen. Extremely informative and helpful to us dieters.


Anonymous said...

hi there! :) so you mean you can intake 6 to 8tbspoon of ELOO? I thought 4 tbspoon is the maximum?

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