Sunday, September 25, 2005

Useful gleaned tidbits

Here are some useful bits of information related to Roberts' diet from posts in the Freakonomics blogs. Thanks to all those who posted these there! The link to the Freakonomics blog is at the bottom of this post. Again, Calorie Lab has a useful summary of his methods at

On how much sugar to mix, posted by Seth Roberts:

As for kitchen measurments, it was pointed out in the
comments that 15 ml = 1 tablespoon. Molly has exactly the right idea.


-This seems to be 1 Tbs dissolved in about 1/2 to 1 cup water. I've been mixing it to about soft-drink-sweetness strength and then just taking about 1/2 cup and waiting before I drink more water: it seems letting the high-sugar-molarity solution "hit my tummy" first makes a difference for me. Others have been using different dilutions to see what works for them: 1-2 tablespoons in one liter of water is also popular.

-Based on Roberts' theory, only calorie-providing, less-flavorful sugars (refined fructose, table sugar, etc.) would work. Using a diet sweetener or honey/brown sugar etc instead may not work and has been un-recommended.

-There is indeed concern among posters about tooth health and drinking sugar water. Be careful and take extra-good care of your teeth. (However, some of us have wondered how long we need to wait after the sugar to brush our teeth...)

On non-sugar alternatives:

Several posters have said they've found success with oil. In one instance, a successful-weight-loss poster is very happy taking his mixed with rice bran to a peanut-buttery consistency and "chased" by grapefruit juice. Dosages range from 1/2 Tbs to 3 Tbs at a time: posters have been adjusting the dosage to quell their hunger.

Useful tips regarding the oil include: use only low-flavored oils (such as extra light olive oil), refrigerate it can help it go down better if desired, and working up from small sips may help if sucking down oil is tough for you.

On Roberts' meals, posted by Molly:

I found another site online ( that
interviewed Roberts and here's what he eats per day on "maintenance":One normal
meal (about 900 calories) Two pieces of fruit (about 75 calories apiece) Sugar
water (150 calories)He drank more sugar water when he was actively losing
weight. Sounds like he fasts all day, controlling his hunger pangs with sugar
water, and then eats a satisfying dinner.

Of course all of us are wondering: can we do that? Is it safe? Can we get enough nutrients that way? It's true that reduced-calorie diets have shown greater longevity in research, down to a certain point. However, there seem to be no definite interpretations regarding nutrition and calories relative to Roberts' diet. Many people are already on calorie restrictions advocated by their doctors, and are following that advice within the diet.

On supplements:

At least one poster has recommended vitamin and mineral supplementation. I personally still supplement with the nutrients likely low in my diet relative to my needs. Wisdom seems to strongly indicate using high-nutrition foods for the allocated meals in the diet, and posters seem to be doing that.

On success or not:

Several people have posted at Freakonomics saying the diet has worked fairly well so far for them (averaging about 3-7 pounds weight loss over a week or so). A few have posted saying it has not worked for them, reporting no change or actually an increase in weight.

I feel nervous about pasting their personal accounts here without there permission, so if you want to read more, go to the Freakonomics blogs at and the other linked (at the sidebar) Seth Roberts blogs. You can scroll down and read all the reader comments.

Some of the posters here have now been on the diet for 2-3 weeks, and are reporting still significant and steady weight loss, combined with a universal sense of new "detachment" from food: easier to control overeating and eating/drinking no-nos (a loss of cravings).


Blogger postUK said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, September 25, 2005 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Debt Credit Line said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, September 25, 2005 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

The posting here has dramatically slowed down from the first entry.

for some more details.

Monday, November 14, 2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Ahh, the posts to read are all in the new comments area.


BTW, I'm really curious about the various oils people have had success with.

Monday, February 20, 2006 6:22:00 AM  
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