The Shangri La Diet is absurd, ridiculous, and remarkable.
It is quite simply one of the most unusual weight loss books ever written. Author Seth Roberts presents his radical ideas without melodrama or hype, and comes up with a weight loss diet that is both controversial and intriguing.
The technique is simple:
- Consume 100-400 calories of sugar water and/or flavorless edible oil daily.
- Consume the sugar water and/or oil before or well after meals – at least an hour away.
The sugar water (a mix of white sugar and water) should be consumed slowly (over half an hour). Sugar water is flavorless despite being sweet (unlike soft drinks that have flavors added).
For the oil – Extra-Light Olive oil is recommended due to its lack of flavor.
No calorie counting, no recipes, no forbidden or restricted foods, no meal plans, and no deprivation.
Roberts believes that weight is regulated by a system with a ‘set point’. If your weight is below your set point, then you will feel hungrier – and it will take more food for you to feel full.
It is possible to change your set point, and the basis of the Shangri La Diet is that set point can be lowered by eating a food that has little or no flavor – but still has calories.
Right about now your jaw will be hanging open like a fish gasping for water. The Shangri-La seems so farcical that any straight-thinking nutritionist might even dismiss it as a hoax.
The book explains – in some detail – the science and reasoning behind the diet, the authors own experiments, and various testimonies. The whole diet does in fact have the feel of an unfinished experiment.
Weight loss occurs because appetites are lowered, and the dieter is eating less. This book isn’t about building muscle and attaining 8% body fat – but simply about eating less and losing weight. What’s different to other diets is that the eating less is incidental.
A Bizarre Fad?
It’s bizarre, and it’s strange… but… I have an inkling that Seth Roberts just might be onto something.
The Shangri-La Diet is most certainly a paradigm-shifter of epic proportions. When our paradigms are challenged, we all too often respond with our own familiar dogma.
Roberts ideas deserve closer attention – but they must not be allowed to turn into a quick-fix mass-market fad diet. When this occurs uninformed people can embark on foolish dietary regimes without batting an eyelid. Roberts is an experimenter – and the diet must be viewed as such – one person’s experiments and ideas.
This is not a recommendation. The diet leaves some questions unanswered – it focuses solely on weight loss. What about the effect on metabolism or other health issues such as triglycerides or LDL cholesterol? How about diabetes?
The Shangri-La Diet, by Seth Roberts PhD (available at Amazon – 194 pages Hardback)