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A diet to end all others

For years I’ve watched loved ones struggle with diets only to cave in to hunger, carbs, and cravings. Dieting feels like a punishment when we all associate eating with celebration, consolation, or distraction. As a result, the average person is heavier than ever before, and obesity puts us at risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, erectile dysfunction, arthritis, and premature death. The CDC’s current estimate of people with diabetes in America is 26 million…insane! An estimated 79 million have prediabetes…more insane!

Finally we have a solution that is working wonders for my husband and willing guinea pig. I’m thrilled to introduce the unbelievably effortless Shangri-La diet.

Weight loss chart

Brendon’s unprecedented weight loss on the Shangri-La diet, tracked with our online tool ChartMySelf

Weight loss really works when there is a dramatic reduction in calories. Numerous studies have shown that calorie restriction also reduces the number of age-related disorders like diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease in mammals. But most diets that restrict calories leave us starved for more food than ever, breaking down our energy and resistance. Not with the Shangri-La diet, where food cravings and hunger are dramatically reduced or eliminated!

Seth Roberts, the psychology professor who discovered the diet, has proved – by rigorous experimentation on himself – that weight loss can be easy if we adjust the way our brain associates taste with calories. According to Roberts, the body has an internal thermostat – a “set point” that controls fat storage. Adjustment of the set point is done through flavors. When high-flavor foods are tasted, the body (theoretically) believes that food is abundant, raises the set point, and readily gathers and stores calories as fat. When flavorless foods are consumed, the body (theoretically) thinks food is scarce and lowers its set point to obtain energy from something tasteless. By reducing the hypothetical set point with flavorless calories, we can reduce the appetite to make weight loss easy.

Part 1: Consume flavorless calories away from meals

For active weight loss: 6 tablespoons of sucrose (sugar) in 1.5 L of water, sipped throughout day between meals OR 1 tablespoon of light olive oil between meals.

DO NOT add any flavoring in the water or oil, and do not eat 1 hour before or after taking the oil or water. Do not eat, drink, or taste other foods (including toothpaste or mouthwash) during this window of time. Light olive oil has less flavor for most effectiveness, but it is highly refined and less nutritious than extra virgin olive oil. Evaporated cane juice or Florida Crystals sugar is not as processed as refined sugar and retains more nutrients.

Part 2: Restrict calories by eating only 1-2 nutritious meals per day

Weight loss might occur without restricting meals, but drops are more significant when limiting meals to 1-2 per day. For even better results, avoid high glycemic-load foods like breads, pastas, potatoes, and cereals and focus on vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, fish, and lean meats. Try to keep the daily sum of glycemic loads under 500 with the help of this chart.

For maintenance after reaching target weight: 2-3 tablespoons of sucrose (table sugar) in 1.5 L of water, sipped throughout day between meals OR 1/2 tablespoon of light olive oil between meals.

The sugar water and oil are relatively tasteless – plain sweetness does not seem to trigger the set point. Some dieters use the sugar water to get to their target weight and then switch to oil for maintenance. Others prefer to avoid sugar altogether, using oil for the flavorless calories. (There are roughly 6 tablespoons of sugar in 2 cans of soda, though high-fructose corn syrup is a much more dangerous sweetener than sucrose!) Brendon has sipped on the sugar water without any noticeable negative side effects, and we are watching closely.

In the first two days of dieting, Brendon experienced mild headaches and drowsiness. He had to nap a few times in the first week and a couple of times in the second week. The weight loss was immediate, even without additional exercise. Brendon had not planned to skip any meals, but his appetite was reduced by the fifth day. He quickly stopped searching the pantry for snacks or planning the next meal. By the second week he was giving up breakfast or lunch, but he soon found that skipping dinner helped shed the pounds fastest.

“The most remarkable side effect of the diet has been a feeling of calmness that replaced my constant awareness of hunger.” – BC
This diet tweaks with our negative perception of sugar. Here are some fast facts to address your concerns:
More details on the diet can be found in the affordable The Shangri-La diet book by Seth Roberts which made the New York Times bestseller list in 2006. Over the last few years, thousands of onine posts describe dieters’ success on the Seth Roberts forum. Most of us have not heard about the Shangri-La diet, primarily because Roberts is a serious scientist and not a marketing mogul. Ironically, the scientific community has not embraced the diet because of Roberts’ background in psychology and research through self-experimentation. Yet the curtains have not closed.

In March 2011 a new study of the taste-calorie phenomena showed similar programming in animals but in a reverse direction. The sweeteners in this study were noncaloric, unlike the sugar water, and they appeared to promote weight gain by interfering with the brain’s equation of sweet taste and calories. This programming interference also reduced the rats’ ability to regulate their intake of sweet, high-fat and high-calorie food.

Let us hope that researchers will continue to explore these mysterious associations between taste, calories, and obesity. If you choose to try the diet, be sure to share your experiences with others. It’s time to understand, control, and reverse the epidemic!

-Shari Cheves

It is always advisable to seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any diet or weight loss program.

2 comments to A diet to end all others

  • Each person will have a different active period of weight loss with the diet, depending on their target weight. Once the target weight is achieved, you can switch to smaller amounts of the sugar water or oil between meals to maintain that weight. You can experiment with increasing the portions or number of meals at that point. Most people enjoy the new body and freedom from hunger/cravings so much that they continue with the maintenance phase indefinitely.

    While Brendon lost the most after skipping dinner, it may not be necessary for you. Just keep it in mind if you want results fast.

  • Linda pirri

    Hi Shari…I wondered if the initial starting period for the Shangri la Diet is a defined period ofntime, or is it considered whatever the length of time the dieter is trying to lose the desired weight? Then once the desired weight is lost, the dieter goes on maintainance. Is drinking the light olive oil or the sugar water something you continue to do once the desired wight loss is achieved? Maybe I missed that..I can reread.

    Soinds good tto me, worth a try…interesting concept. I drink water all day anyway.
    Dinner is a tough meal for me to skip, as it is our end of the day ritual, but we eat very low glycemic healthy food. And I have my portion control in control most of the time.

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