Sunday, July 13, 2008

Responses to criticisms of the Shangri-la Diet

That much oil can't be healthy!
  • The oil people take on the Shangri-la Diet is less than the oil in a large order of french fries.
  • My triglycerides went from over 300 to 50, and stayed there. Obviously the net result has been quite healthy.
You were just lucky.
  • Except, the Shangri-la Diet (SLD) calories still make a difference. At three tablespoons a day I stayed at 189 lbs for almost two years. If I cut back, I start to gain weight. When I moved back up to four tablespoons of ELOO (extra light olive oil) a day, I started to lose weight.
  • Fifty years or so old is a bit old for a metabolic timing change.
Only calorie restriction/starving diet and exercise work!
  • For 2/3 of 2.8% (that is less than 2%) of the people who are able to do a diet with strict confirmation, there is success: defined at keeping 5% or so of body weight off for a year or so.
  • Compared to SLD where if you have forty or more pounds to lose, it seems to be successful for at least 75% of those who stick with it. Success = losing and keeping off thirty or more pounds.
  • Compare the numbers: less than 2% vs. more than 70%.
But you should enjoy food!
  • I do. I just feel like eating less of it, and if I eat more, my metabolism adjusts.
  • I'll note that most people who are really fixiated on that point seem disordered.
  • Lots of people on SLD actively seek new taste experiences.
  • I'd rather not be a slave to food.
I could never ...
  • Why not?
  • It is cheap and uses things that you have around the house.
  • You can even use the "midnight oil" approach and it isn't even inconvenient.
The reason almost everyone started with sugar water (two liters of water diluting a half cup of sugar) is that they had sugar around the house. Once that started working for them, they switched to oil, eventually extra light olive oil, walnut oil or flaxseed oil (for the health benefits).

It doesn't make sense!

Well, it is starting to. Seth has his theory (it was his paper on the subject that started the whole movement that resulted in the book). I personally think it has to do with the insulin cycle (which is why oil and sugar water seem to work well for the long run while protein doesn't). Taste/smell trigger the insulin cycle, without those it doesn't trigger and the body adjusts to incoming oils and sugars differently.

It is easy to try, simple, easy and cheap.

There are lots of threads about how to make the diet work better, additional things you can do, various ways to apply the principles. But just try it, remember that plateaus on SLD do not signal that failure is on the way (instead they are a natural resting point, I spent about half of my time on plateaus while I was losing weight).

Just ind a way to avoid flavor or intense food smells for two hours. In the middle, take a tablespoon of extra light olive oil, mixed with a couple tablespoons of water (oil and water don't mix, but if you drink it this way the oil slides down over the water and you don't feel it the same way). Do that for a week.

If your appetite goes down, good. If not, on week two move to two tablespoons and do that for a week. If your appetite goes down, good, if not, on week three move to three tablespoons. Repeat to up to four tablespoons of oil a day.

Adjust as needed, but make the adjustments slowly, once a week, using the same oil (your body needs time to adjust the enzymes that digest the oil, if you decide to change oils, make the change slowly). When you've lost a lot of weight, adjust the amount until you don't gain or lose weight. Then you just keep taking the right amount of oil to keep your improvements.

Yes, after about sixty or seventy pounds lost, you may need to tweak things. If you only have five or ten pounds to lose, I'm not sure it will work easily for you.

While losing weight, make sure to focus your foods on protein and vegetables so you get enough protein and enough nutrients. My secret ingredient is spring mix and carrots.

That is what I'd say if I ahd time to talk and to respond at length to the critics and the questioners. The truth is that the diet (or method, since it is more a set point adjustment method than a comprehensive diet program) works, and it works well.

Unlike a normal diet it isn't just holding your breath until nature takes over and restores equilibrium, it is freedom instead.

BTW, it is on sale at almost 70% off at Amazon right now.

The Shangri-La Diet: The No Hunger Eat Anything Weight-Loss Plan
The Shangri-La Diet: The No Hunger Eat Anything Weight-Loss Plan by Seth Roberts (Paperback - April 24, 2007) - Bargain Price
Buy new: List price $11.95 -- discounted to $3.99


falconcy said...

Even not doing it so seriously, the weight has pretty much stayed off. Taking it more seriously, the weight loss starts again.

On food and it's enjoyment, I guess I can honestly say that I enjoy food. My latest weird one was a fresh fruit salad with mozzarella cheese, almonds and prawns topped with a dressing of sweet chilli sauce and pineapple. All chilled straight from the fridge, great for a hot summer evening. Just a lick of the sauce was enough to contrast the flavors, add a sprinkle of ginger powder to make it more interesting.

As strange as it sounds, it is actually quite good, a friend who came around and was served this was really apprehensive at first, he enjoyed it so much that he had seconds. This guy has pretty conservative food tastes, so this was definitely outside his comfort zone.

Stephen said...

Sounds like that salad was nutritious as well.

I'm glad it is working for you.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I prefer the South Beach diet because it educates you on making a life style change. But as a matter of fact, I made a change by default and lost 20 lbs when I met my husband. We simply stopped eating junk (e.g. I stopped snacking on chips and such), and started eating smaller portions.

Every *body* is different and each person reacts different to different foods.

You do have to watch your calorie intake and your fat intake but if you want a cheeseburger, eat the damn cheeseburger. you have to be aware of how many calories you can feasible do in one day.