Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Common Posting Area & Introduction: mid-April - July 2006

Common posting area

The comments below this post are a "common area" where people can post on all things related to the diet. Comments from Jan-mid-April 2006 and from 2005 are in separate archive postings further down on this page.


This blog blogged into existence as a temporary home for discussion of how I and others are faring on Seth Roberts' Shangri-La Diet. A summary of his methods can be found at Calorie Lab at

Roberts' book, The Shangri-La Diet: The No Hunger, Eat Anything Weight Loss Plan is available at (and other book-buying venues). A review by one blogger who has followed Seth's methods since September, and lost (at last count) 44 pounds, is at .

All who are interested can just post their progress and notes or follow mine as we try out our interpretations of Seth Roberts' unusual weight loss techniques. This blog is not affiliated with Seth Roberts: it was simply created by an interested dieter, who had previously followed the Freakonomics blogs and posted there as Masa'il and American Mom in Malaysia. (I'll go by Annie now.)



Blogger seth roberts said...

Annie, to answer your question ("Regarding the obesity epidemic's causes, Seth, have you seen the strong (in my view) evidence that there is an underlying viral cause as well?") the answer is yes. In a seminar I taught a few years ago we read a paper about it.

I doubt that a virus has much to do with the obesity epidemic. I have yet to learn of an epidemic that has two separate causes -- and to my biassed view of things there is considerable evidence that the obesity epidemic is due to eating foods that taste exactly the same each time (e.g., fast food, packaged foods). Another reason is that the virus idea has never gotten traction -- it has been around for several years and yet the case hasn't improved. Here is a description of one study: "The makers of Fat Plague, a documentary film for Channel 4 to be shown on Monday night, organised the first UK screening of people for the virus, called AD36.This found that one in six of obese people tested positive, compared to none in the non-obese group, according to publicity material released yesterday, although it later became clear that only 15 obese and five non-obese people were tested." One in six is evidence against the importance of that virus.

Why do people who do all the supposedly right things get "fat-ola"? Well, I was right there with you. I ate low-fat, cooked everything, etc., etc., and weighed 185 lbs--25 lbs more than I do now. I think the reason that I was 185 and not 160 was that I ate familiar flavors. I think it is very hard to avoid familiar flavors unless you try to. The whole food industry depends on repeat business; familiar flavors taste better; and familiar flavors are a hundred times more convenient. Each of these three forces is very powerful all by itself. I suspect that when you cook you try to make your food taste good. That involves familiar spices and familiar spice combinations. Not always, but most of the time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Masa'il said...

Yep, your ideas make sense, Seth. Though I still tend to believe the virus research, after reading quite a lot of it. Not that it matters so much: whether viruses are to blame for my weight problems or not, it is indisputable that using your methods helped me drop a huge chunk of fat lickety-split. So my questions might be called "academic": right up a professor's alley, yes? So...

Regarding your last thoughts about how even home-cookers can get fat, by using familiar flavors, cooking food to taste good, etc... Why wouldn't this have been a problem in our grandparents' and great-grandparents' time? They surely would have cooked their foods in a far more uniformly-flavored way, due to being much more dietarily conservative, and using more traditional (and the only readily-available) stuff. They too would have used spices and flavorings, but in a much more limited selection than we. For the caucasians among us, our ancestors would have used thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, cloves, basil, oregano (if that), garlic, pepper, and no more than about 5 others. Chinese, I can absolutely vouch (man, they are REALLY conservative taste-wise, going back even 1 generation), would have used soy sauce, white pepper, ginger, garlic, five spice, and again no more than about 5 other flavors (if that) in their daily cooking.

Yet it is clearly manifest simply from looking at historical garments that these folks, who it seems would have eaten far more uniformly-flavored foods, were teeny (in BMI, not just height) compared to us. Is this solely due, you think, to the complete absence of "standardized" products in their generations? Eg, everything was locally or small-scale produced and hence somewhat variable in its flavor (including butter, oils, eggs, etc), and they had ZERO McDonald's, Nutella, etc?


Thursday, April 13, 2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger seth roberts said...

"Why wouldn't this [familiar flavors] have been a problem in our grandparents' and great-grandparents'time?" Well, I think it was. In the sense that some people were fat. Yesterday I watched a History Channel program about the assassination of President McKinley. The surgeons had trouble operating because he was so fat.

My point is just what you say: our ancestors were much thinner than us because there was much more localized (mostly home) food preparation. Which was much more variable. Bigness and sameness need not go together, but somehow they do.

I looked all over Beijing for a kitchen timer. Nowhere to be found. I asked a Chinese friend why. He said the Chinese don't use timers while cooking; they sample to determine cooking time.

Thursday, April 13, 2006 7:14:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Interesting thoughts. I've increased my exercise load as my weight has dropped because I can now exercise.

I'll have to do a longer post shortly.

Saturday, April 15, 2006 9:53:00 AM  
Blogger Jograma said...

Hi, I've been following these posts for a while. Had a few stops and starts on the diet, the stops mainly because my profession involves a lot of eating and drinking.

However, the last ten days or so, I've been able to back off that and really go at the diet, and I can say that I haven't had the profound effects at the beginning that many people, including Seth Roberts, have noted. I do feel that I'm following the method, though.

One day, I experienced a significant loss, but the rest of the time, my body seems to be holding steady. This despite some fairly drastic attmepts: I've been excercising vigorously for at least an hour a day every day for the last week. On many days, I've taken about 80% of my calories from unflavored sources: sugar water and oil. The substances work to supress my appetite, but when I check the scale in the morning, my body seems to be resisting dropping the weight (though, thanks to the exercise, it is starting to look more toned).

I can tell you that I haven't been messing up any of the protocols--eating within an hour of sugar water and oil, etc. Seth, on one of these boards, once commented that he could only imagine what the weight drop would be if one only took calories from sugar water. I've come close to that on several days and haven't seen results.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, April 16, 2006 8:33:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I've taken about 80% of my calories from unflavored sources: sugar water and oil.

That is probably too high. As I lost weight, I plateaued until I dropped the amount of oil I was using as a percentage of calories.

Stick with the limits Seth suggests, both on the maximum and the minimum side.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger 39-3 said...

Hello, I've been thinking about how the Shangri-La method postulates that eating food that taste exactly the same each time can make people overweight. Similarly, doing the exact same workout every day is not as effective in terms of weight loss than doing different workouts to keep your body "guessing." It's kind of neat that variety seems to be an underlying principle in weight loss.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Jograma said...

Well, this morning was the second large jump I had: 2.5 pounds from yesterday.

Stephen thanks for the advice. Yesterday, like the other day that I noticed a sizable jump, I ate more. Not a lot, but had one good-sized meal. In addition, both days I ate a little bit at night--around 7 or 8 PM. And then finished with a little sugar water around 9:30. Based on a slight sample of self-analysis, it does seem to be important to eat.

Furthermore, yesterday I drank about half as much sugar water as I had been. Previously I was downing about 2/3 a cup a day, dissolved in two liters of water. Yesterday I had only 1/3 cup, for about 200 calories. The rest of what I ate probably totaled between 700 and 900.

I wonder if there is some sort of golden mean of flavorless calories vs. flavored. Also, is the body indifferent as to what kind of calories--from protein, starch, fat, etc.--it's being fed or does it make a difference? I've wondered what the Shangr-La would do when combined with somethling like the Atkins. I suppose they're not really compatible in the sense that the Atikins wouldn't warrant the consumption of the sugar calories. However, since it doesn't really matter what you eat in the Shangri-La, from its standpoint it could be combined with anything.


Monday, April 17, 2006 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

The only rule I have is to make sure I get enough protien and enough fluids. The rest of the calories come from wherever they come from, but I make sure to have enough protien that I'm continuing to improve in strength instead of burning off muscle mass.

Monday, April 17, 2006 9:00:00 AM  
Blogger molly said...

A random thought on new taste combinations -- I've been getting some appetite suppression from eating around five or six jelly beans left over from Easter. Jelly beans now come in dozens of different (and sometimes weird) flavors. If you mixed a handful together, that would offer hundreds of different flavor combination possibilities. (Watermelon, licorice, coconut, apple, lemon meringue pie, chocolate, etc, etc.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 4:09:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said... Sales Rank: #6,512 in Books (See Top Sellers in Books)
Yesterday: #7,632 in Books

It just keeps selling.

I'm wondering what the first week of release will be like.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 8:27:00 AM  
Blogger anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Friday, April 21, 2006 2:34:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Book rank up to 184 today, book releases tomorrow.

I'm impressed.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 8:54:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Here is my update:

I've encountered a book that has 365 no-repeat meals. I'm going to look at it more, but I think that there is a future for such books (including some that are Shangri-la specific).

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 2:05:00 AM  
Blogger Leftblanc said...

Just got Seth's book from Amazon. Was surprised to see myself quoted, but that's ok. I guess I am a quotable fellow. I was happy to see the dots connected on the set point idea, haven't gotten all of my other questions answered. I have remained in a plateau of 196-198 lbs for a while now and am curious to see his advice on the subject of plateau-ing.

Good luck to everyone. Probably my last post here or anywhere on this subject. I simply don't worry about my weight as much as I used to.

Friday, April 28, 2006 7:40:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Good luck to everyone. Probably my last post here or anywhere on this subject. I simply don't worry about my weight as much as I used to.

I think that pretty much captures the effect the diet has, and why there are not a lot more posts.

Amazon didn't ship larger orders until this Saturday (which was a surprise), but other than buying books to give out, I'm not sure I've got much more to say.

Hit a bit of a plateau this week, but those come and go.

I'm probably not going to post more either. What is there to say? The method is simple, it works, I lose weight. I got tired of losing weight at about twenty pounds, but just kept it up and just kept losing weight.

Without the struggles and drama of a false method, there isn't much to talk about. No need for moral support, no efforts to collect will power, no strain or struggle, not much to talk about.

I'm looking forward to getting an e-mail from the Chronicle (they promised to send me a link to the review of Seth's book when it was finished), but after that, I suspect there isn't much more to be said.

Thanks (what was that line "so long, and thanks for all the fish" -- you know what I mean).

Sunday, April 30, 2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger Kristy said...

Hi all, love this blog.

Just heard about the Shangri-La thing earlier this week and my hubby & I are anxious to make it work for us. We do need to lose weight overall (both about 70 lbs) and have the motivation right now since we just found out that we are going to Maui just after Christmas!

Anyway, some questions: Seth was recently on TV (not sure which show) and seemed to indicate that you have to take BOTH sucrose water & oil. Now that I have the book, there is one reference to taking both but many to choosing one or the other. What's up with that? after reading your comments on here, it seems that most of the successful folk choose one and stick with it (b/c it works for them I guess).

I believe that I have a problem with sugar. The last 3 days I have tried, ableit consistently, to use the sucrose water but I am not acheiving the desired results, in fact I am finding that my mood is tanking and I am overeating! I plan to switch to just oil from now on...if you tell me that I don't need to do both.

Anyway, that is my story so far. i look forward to your responses, getting to know you better and dropping many many pounds easily!

Friday, May 05, 2006 3:06:00 AM  
Blogger Masa'il said...

Hi, all,

and hi, Kristy! No, you definitely don't need to take both at once. Seth uses both methods but at different times: oil regularly, sugar water when "out". I use sugar water when attempting to intensively lose, and oil only for maintenance or as a "second dose" during the day when needed. Try the oil and see if it's better for you than the sugar! Good luck to you; unless you're really unusual, I suspect you'll be shedding fat soon!

I've restarted doing the diet intensively after just maintaining my loss for several months. I finally dealt with my aversion to being slim (uncomfortable with the attention I get when I look nice, afraid of harassment, etc, which has happened in the past). I realized that it's dumb to keep myself fat to ward off that stuff. My body is like my spirit's horse in some ways, and it's dumb (and not taking very good care of your horse) to keep the horse fat because you're afraid someone will mess with it otherwise. Better to keep the horse healthy and just protect it well and trust in God, and cope with crap if it happens. I'll learn aikido as my treat once I'm slim! :) My hubbie also pointed out that I likely won't get all that negative attention anymore anyway now that I'm in my thirties and have small children and a hubbie with me at most times.

What a horrible shame, eh, that I and other women have to deal with these issues! Crappy world. (Let's raise our sons well so they never harrass women, and instead respect and protect everyone!! If we all do that, poof, way less harrassment!)

Anyway, I'm racing my husband to see who can be the first to lose 6 kg--just over 13 pounds (that's all he needs to lose since he's a mostly skinny Chinese guy, the bum, and it'll be a good start for me). Dinner and movie is the "prize". He's using his questionable random methods, while I've gone back on my friend the sugar water, heh heh. Already trimmer one day in. I think that weight will be gone in a month!! Maybe a little longer; we'll see! Heh heh, here's to him treating me out in a month or two!

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see if this works, if I can lose weight a second time on the diet after stopping and just maintaining for a while. If so, that's a significant and happy finding for the diet's utility!

Cheers and will post my results,

Friday, May 05, 2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I finally dealt with my aversion to being slim

I had to join to deal with my issues (oa is free, so it was merely the time spent in meetings) which I was using food to hide from.

Being willing to lose weight is definitely an issue for a lot of us.



Friday, May 05, 2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger janeann said...

Hi, I started two days ago with 2 tbsp of extra light oil per day. The sugar water makes me ravenous, but the oil is working amazingly well.

I am 50, and lost 55 lbs about 4 years ago, just counting calories and exercising. Since then I have gone through menopause (not fun!) and have gained about 20 lbs back.

This was mostly because of emotional eating after my mom and mother-in-law both passed away about one month apart.

Today is my 2nd day with the 2 tbsps of oil. I am trying to lose 10-12 lbs. I feel so much better, I'm not thinking about food as much. It's amazing.

I will update in a few days. I have gotten alot of helpful info from this site. Thank you!

Jane Ann

Saturday, May 06, 2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Alli said...

With the release of the book, we're about to see a new wave of folks trying this stuff out (raising hand)... I was intrigued when I read Freakonomics, but didn't see enough information for me to give it a try.

Today is my day #2, and the scale read higher today than yesterday. Scale, schmale...I'm weighing daily, because I like to see little data points on a graph.

One theory on diet (not dieting) that's made sense to me over the years is the "Body-Type" concept, ie, that much of people's reactions to food has to do with how they're stimulating their glands, and which gland is dominant for them. Taking a broad sweep at applying this toward Shangri-La and why oil works for some, sugar for other, both for still others, I can see a little sense to it.

For me, as a "gonadal" type, fats are more problematic to my weight, so sugar would work well. For a thyroidal type, the sugar might cause too much of a high/crash cycle. No science here...just thinking out loud.

Anyway, I have both on hand (canola for the oil, because I'm too cheap to buy ELOO, which I don't use for cooking - I use EV - until I know this works). Ah, off to drink my coffee so I can have an hour before my first sugar water of the day!

Saturday, May 06, 2006 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger molly said...

Annie --

You and I go way back, don't we? To the very first days of the blog! What an amazing ride it's been -- and now Seth's book selling like hotcakes and quotes throughout from your blog. Congrats to all.

Annie, I think you and I had similar experiences on the diet. I, like you, lost initial weight (15 lb. for me) and then maintained that over the winter. Now, with summer approaching, I'm back to actively losing weight. I lost 3 pounds this week! The oil/water program always worked well for me, but I was curious about why it worked perfectly some days and other days I got a little hungry or ate "emotionally." I just finished reading Seth's book and I've added the "new tastes" regimen to my program and the change has been remarkable. I never quite "got" the idea behind this from the blog, but the book explains it well. When I ate familiar foods, (I ate a lot of turkey or ham "wraps" before)the next day I got hungry -- I didn't realize it before, but I see the pattern in hindsight. Now, I've been eating unfamiliar tastes and it's like magic -- the next day, my appetite is so weak, I often skip the second dose of oil. And the weight has dropped off. I scoured the shelves of Whole Foods and found all kinds of interesting new ethnic foods, plus I got a lot of new sauces, jams, and jellies. The best thing, though, has been experimenting with spices. I found a website -- that has a mind-boggling assortment of spices and spice mixes. They're located in Chicago (may be a problem for where you are). I've been sprinkling pretty much everything I put in my mouth with new spice mixes and it's worked like a charm. You may already be doing this -- I'm a latecomer to the idea, but now I'm a believer. I encourage everyone to give it a try, especially those of you who are having trouble getting the oil or sugar water to work. If you're eating really familiar foods, try eating new flavors. I suspect it will really help.

Sunday, May 07, 2006 4:08:00 AM  
Blogger Masa'il said...

Wah, great news, Molly, that you're losing again! And great to hear from you again!

I've been spice-sprinkling on my most common foods, but I'll intensify it and use the sprinklings on everything and see how that goes. I haven't yet received the care package from my folks that has Seth's book in it, so it's good to hear your "notes"!

So far I'm down I think almost 2 pounds since the 4th. It's hard to tell, since I stupidly took my initial weight using the KG dashes on my scale, which are really hard to read as they're closer together (inside rim of numbers) AND each "KG" dash represents 2.2 pounds. Duh. Oh, well: will certainly keep me focused on "big picture" weight loss instead of little increments!

I'm toying with the idea of switching over to using ELOO mixed in with water using the faucet technique, but I think I'll wait until I'm sure what the status is with using the sugar water.

Welcome Janeann and Alli: always good to see new posters! (Especially ones who also rush to drink their morning post-breakfast coffee so they can have their sugar water or oil later. :) ) Let us know your results and any thoughts, as you have time!


Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:34:00 PM  
Blogger Masa'il said...

Oh, and regarding spices to sprinkle...

If you have a "decent" (well, I'm biased on this as you'll see later) Natural Foods store or Co-op near you, they should sell bulk herbs and spices.

"Bulk?! Who needs bulk?!" No, no... You take out as much or little as you want from the container, put it in a little baggie, weigh it, and pay by weight. If it's a well-managed department, your spices will be WAY cheaper, fresher, and better (likely organic, even) than anything you buy in a bottle. At the one I shop at, I can get as much ORGANIC basil as would fill about 2 big McCormick jars for less than half the price: and it's way higher quality than McCormick.

For several years I managed one of these departments, at Good Foods Co-op in Lexington, KY. Believe it or not, I STILL buy all my spices there, on my once-a-year trip back to the States. Then I keep them sealed in the freezer. Even the spices that are actually grown and locally produced and sold in Malaysia where I am: I find I absolutely cannot get the high quality and low price I can get from the bulk herb and spice department. WAY better, and cheaper, even with a nearly 4-to-1 currency exchange!

What might be more relevant to this discussion is the huge variety in a good bulk spice department and the fact that you can buy teeny (or large) quantities as you'd like. I had over 500 items in the department when I managed it. It's been downsized a bit out of necessity, but I'm sure there's still over 300 items, at least 170 of which are spices, herbs, and spice blends. (They also carry dried veggies, soup mixes and broth powders, teas, and medicinal herbs--which you DON'T want to sprinkle!)

So if you've got one of those departments in your town, and it's well-managed with delicious-smelling spices, herbs, and blends, buy there! (Especially if they get their stuff from Frontier: that's the best herb and spice co I know.) If I only wasn't at the bottom of my freezer cache, I'd be in sprinkle heaven.

Ann H

Sunday, May 07, 2006 1:48:00 PM  
Blogger janeann said...

Hi, it's day 4 for me. 2 tbsp light oil per day.

I am counting calories and averaging 1200-1500 per day (that is counting the oil.)

I still get hungry, but it takes less food to satisfy me (just like Seth says.)

I have lost 2 more lbs since Fri. (I'm sure it is mostly water weight but my tummy looks smaller.) Yay!

Incredible. I am a big time stress eater, so even though I still have those urges, they are not near as strong.

I do wonder about maintenance -- for those of you who maintained for several months -- did your appetite return? Were you able to cut back on oil or water, eat a bit more than when you were losing, but no rebound of a large appetite??

Have a good day, everybody!

Jane Ann :-)

Monday, May 08, 2006 5:31:00 AM  
Blogger Kristy said...

ok folks, I did 2 tbsp/oil 2x a day over the weekend (I have a lot to lose remember) and Sunday night tried sucrose water before bed. This morning did sucrose water to start the day. I am NOT noticing any kind of apetite reduction. Prior to starting, I was self-enforcing a low cal diet and had lost about 10 lbs, now I am starting to panic that it is coming back. How long should I give this to work? I so desperately want this to work but I am starting to wonder if *gasp* most positive experiences are psychosomatic. Sorry, I don't mean to offend but WHY wouldn't this be working for me by now???

HELP me please!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 1:58:00 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hi, I just posted a mini review of the Shangri-La book and a report on my most recent experiment on my blog. Jus t wanted to share...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 4:35:00 AM  
Blogger molly said...


I understand your skepticism -- even as I was losing weight on this diet, I was thinking it could be the power of suggestion or something. But I've been doing it for six months now and my results are pretty unambiguous.

As to your problem. Perhaps since you were already dieting and down ten pounds from your set point, you may have to stay with the program until your set point catches up (or down in this case) with your weight. If you're down ten pounds, then you're going to be constantly hungry because your body wants to get back up to your higher weight. I would stick with the program for a couple of weeks. I suspect you'll feel a change. The other thing I would try is giving up all ditto food for now. Basically, don't eat anything that comes in a package. And don't eat at any fast food restaurants. Try eating homemade food, fruits, vegetables, etc perhaps with a sprinkle of unusual spices. If you're hungry, eat as much as you need to feel full -- but make sure the food doesn't taste familiar. The next day, you should find that your appetite is much reduced. When I eat all my meals this way, I don't even need the oil or sugar water to reduce my appetite. The unfamiliar food program works well on its own.

And don't despair!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 7:41:00 AM  
Blogger 39-3 said...

Question to all: how long does a taste become familiar? Seth's book describes a trip to Paris where he drank an unfamiliar French soda and lost weight for several weeks. This seems to suggest that in some circumstances, it can take a few weeks to develop familiarity. I wonder what your experiences are regarding how long it takes before the unfamiliar taste wears off? Also, how long does our memory of a familiar taste last? If I stop eating a familiar food for three years, and then eat it again for the first time in three years --does my body recognize the taste and treat it as a familiar food, or not?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Don said...

I plan on buying the book when I return home (currently out of country on a business trip).
If you are still looking for self-defense and live in KL, try contacting the local AMOK tribe - his email is
Thanks for the information from the blog.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006 7:58:00 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hi, I'd just like to say that I didn't feel any reduction in appetite for the first two weeks of the diet. Starting yesterday, I finally understand what you're all talking about. I feel like there's a rock in my stomach. :)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 3:56:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I've been collecting blog links at my blog ( ) and would appreciate people adding to those in the comments (and yes, every so often I mention this blog again, in case anyone wonders why Annie's blog keeps showing up in the lists -- I figure an extra mention or two won't hurt).

Also, to make sure your blog gets a little more notice and

for Seth's forums.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 7:59:00 PM  
Blogger Carla B. said...

just a note about the sugar water: i am hypoglycemic and therefore KNOW the sugar would be a bad idea. for some of us, sugar makes us 1) sleepy and 2) ravenous. It's just the way our bodies process sugar. I would suggest oil to you folks.

I've just started the diet and have noticed a decrease in appetite, but no weight loss yet :(

Thursday, May 18, 2006 3:48:00 AM  
Blogger Masa'il said...

Ya, regarding sugar and oil...

I really don't believe that using sugar medicinally is a bad idea. Other medicines (and foods and drinks: consider alcohol!) are far more dangerous. Sugar only seems a problem for those of us who have inherited or caused sugar disorders--and this really isn't everybody: lots of people eat quite well and can handle several spoons of sugar daily for a few weeks medicinally while they lose weight. (Of course, sugar's not a good idea for folks who've found that sugar just doesn't work for them.) Seth's method involves about the same amount of sugar as sucking on 2-3 candies, or one Coke or less. I really don't think this is so dangerous short-term, for a few weeks or two months during an "active-weight-loss" period.

However, even believing this, yes, I'd rather switch to oil as I know it's better for my teeth, great for my skin, etc. (Our bodies definitely need sugar in some form or another too, though.) I'm still finding that sugar seems to work best for me, but I might try the oil again--for a few days in a row his time to give it a decent shot--and see if I can get that to work too. I've got a bottle of very-low-flavor (nearly none) expeller-pressed virgin coconut oil that I'd love to get to work for this diet. I'll post back if I try that with the results.

Also, regarding blogs, you know, I really never intended this blog to become "significant". It was just going to be a simple place for me to put my results, and a temporary home for others since at the time there was no other place on the net for this kind of discussion. But now that Seth has his forums up and there are so many other blogs, I hope everyone feels free to continue blogging here or go elsewhere, however they please. I don't have any "ambitions" regarding this humble little blog. :) Just ambitions to ditch the fat!!


Thursday, May 18, 2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

But this blog, in many ways, was the first Shangri-La Diet Blog!

Saturday, May 20, 2006 6:20:00 AM  
Blogger Kelley Ann Rocha Esquivel Eiler Riebel said...

Hello! I devored the book this week, and started the diet last night. Doing 1 tbsp oil in the early a.m. and again in the late p.m., sprinkling in 1 tbsp of sugar water once or twice a day. It's only been one day, and I've noticed a reduction in appetite.

I have three serious questions, and one not so serious:

1.) Can I sprinkle in Benefiber into the sugar water? I need to get more fiber in my diet. As Benefiber is flavorless, I wondered if that was okay.

2.) I do not possess a firm understanding of "overshoot." Looking at the data plots of in the book there seems to be a consistent upswing, albeit no more than 10 lbs. What can be done to prevent overshoot?

3.) In regards to timing, there is an hour wait between water/oil. I'm assuming that means nothing an hour before and after. The book consistently mentions "after" but nothing about "before" Am I understanding this properly?

4.) I had 45 minutes after my second sugar water before I had a surprise dinner invitation (I barely ate.) Does that doom me? :)

Thanks, this is seriously interesting information.

Kelley Riebel

Saturday, May 20, 2006 7:39:00 AM  
Blogger Masa'il said...

Hi, folks,

Just an update on the lose-6-kg race I'm in with my hubbie...

I started it on the 4th, but have had method problems. Sugar water, which helped me lose the original 20 pounds, wasn't working anymore. Then I tried fructose: it worked, but I don't like that stuff, so I tried oil for a day. Nada effect, so back to sugar, fructose, etc, until finally I decided to try to GET the oil to work, since I'd rather use the oil anyway. Meanwhile, my weight was yo-yoing around.

I started taking the oil conscientously 1x to 2x a day, 1-2 Tbs each time of extra virgin coconut oil. My brand has a faint icky taste. I wash it down with water.

It started working on the second day, and I'm finally solidly down over a kg (about 3 pounds), the third day or so into taking the oil consistently. My appetite is reduced as well. However, I'm still forcing myself to eat very well (still nursing) so I suspect that'll slow the weight loss.

If this rate keeps up, I'm gonna beat my hubbie, who's still sitting at his original weight, heh heh. :) If he sits there all the way to when I lose the 6 kg, I'll finally weigh less than him again (like before the babies), which will be sillily delightful. He's a slim Asian guy and I'm a pretty solid and strong caucasian, so it's not so weird that I weigh a few kg more than him when I'm overweight. But he's definitely a few inches taller and a good bit stronger than me, so it'll be great when we're correctly proportioned relative to each other again. Then maybe he can carry me if necessary! :) Or for the heck of it!

Anyway, I'll post again in a few days: now that I'm on a solid method, I should have some sort of more results soon.


Sunday, May 21, 2006 7:54:00 PM  
Blogger Masa'il said...

Hi, Kelly,

Good luck on the diet!! :) Regarding your questions,

I've still not received the book in the care package from my folks, so I can't answer about overshoot. Anyone else?

It seems that a truly tasteless fiber would be fine, and yes, it's one hour before and one hour after. I don't know if the 45 min will doom you: suspect not.

Check over at Seth's forums ( ) on these: he has an "Ask Seth" area.


Sunday, May 21, 2006 7:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cicilia said...

I've never posted on a blog before, so I hope I doing this right. I bought Seth's book and started the diet about a little over a week ago. I haven't loss any weight yet though. I noticed a reduction in appetite immediately. My first thought was this must be what if feel like to have gastric bypass surergy!

I was eating salads for the first several days and could only eat a couple of bites. I had to go out of town for work. I was really tired on the drive back so I stopped and picked up a cup of coffee, diet coke, and candy to keep me awake. I had a salad for dinner that night and finished the whole thing. Since then, my appetite has returned to normal. I don't get that full feeling anymore. How can I get back to it? I really want to see if i can lose weight on this diet.

I've been reading the comments for the past couple of days and have had anymore candy or sodas. (I don't usually eat them, except on road trips to stay awake). I've been sticking to bland foods. No change in appetite though.

I take a tbsp of Canola Oil at night, in the morning before working out, and around 5:00 in the evening. This was working great at first. I've tried the suger water a couple of times and haven't noticed any difference. I would prefer to stick with the oil.

I'm 5'0 at 135, which is a lot of weight on my small frame. My goal weight is 115. I've gotten down to 123 before by eating 4-5 small meals a day of lean protein and a vegetable/fruit. I was having a hard time sticking to the program this time, because I would still be really hungry, so I thought Seth's diet would help to suppres those feelings of hunger. It did at first, but now it's been 3 days since my appetite returned and, unfortuntely, it's still here.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 9:57:00 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

try upping the amount of oil, maybe 2 tblsp twice a day.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 4:45:00 PM  
Blogger springsage said...

Just got the book- never heard about this before last night, but I'm definitely intrigued... started a Blog w/ my notes, has more about me, etc. I look forward to seeing results in the next few months.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger springsage said...

so- has anyone else felt ravenously hungy after using the oil? I don't know if it's just the timing or what, but I've been feeling HUNGRY within an hour of both the oil dose & the sugar water...

Thursday, May 25, 2006 9:30:00 PM  
Blogger Carla B. said...

Yes. I get hungry too. I don't crazy irrational, specific things anymore, but the hunger is still there. However, the "not craving irrationally" is a very big deal for me since I have always let food lead my life.

Thursday, June 01, 2006 9:51:00 PM  
Blogger Carla B. said...

Yes. I get hungry too. I don't crazy irrational, specific things anymore, but the hunger is still there. However, the "not craving irrationally" is a very big deal for me since I have always let food lead my life.

Thursday, June 01, 2006 9:51:00 PM  
Blogger Carla B. said...

sorry. my previous post should have read "crave" instead of "crazy" in the first line. Freudian slip, maybe? :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006 9:53:00 PM  
Blogger Kelley Ann Rocha Esquivel Eiler Riebel said...

Cicilia: I know your pain!

I posted a few weeks ago. I only felt full the first day. Since then, I'm actually gaining weight! My committment is dwindling quickly.

Here's a conundrum for me:

I had my gallbladder removed last summer, and judging what was said by the book, there is a good chance that oil won't work for me. I do find myself nauseous after oil. However, I have such a busy schedule, its the most convienent. Originally, I started with sugar water. However, within 3 days I had a yeast infection. I feel like I'm kinda screwed.

Is this diet just not for me?

Saturday, June 03, 2006 8:51:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I've used sugar cubes, on and off, and they seem to work much like sugar water.

With about as many calories as a candy bar, they don't seem to cause the same problems as some other things, and they are convenient. I can eat them while driving and not have to look for a place to get rid of the "water" from sugar water or worry about spilling oil.

Sunday, June 11, 2006 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I'm concluding that sugar cubes do not work as well as sugar water.

Anyway, that is my current belief, based on experience, for me. Your mileage may vary.

Strange how interest in the diet has gone up, traffic on this blog has gone down.

Monday, June 12, 2006 9:33:00 AM  
Blogger Jillypilly said...

I ordered the book from Amazon and read it two nights ago and immediately started the diet. The first two days I didn't think it was working. I still felt a little hungry and thought about eating chocolate, but didn't.
This morning I woke up with absolutely no appetite at all and no desire to eat anything. I made myself eat part of an apple. It is almost 12:30 p.m. and I am still not hungry. I will eat when I get hungry or at dinner, whichever comes first.
I am totally amazed! I have been on a very bad streak of eating anything chocolate, ice cream, bread, etc. Even though I tried dieting and willpower, I was getting nowhere.
I hope this lack of appetite continues! I can't believe it!

Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger Masa'il said...

After a bit of a hiatus, hello, all!

With Seth's forums up and running and a Yahoo! group in the works (either I or someone else will be running it: hopefully someone else! :) ), it seems this blog can now be turned to better uses.

What seems needed now is someone "watching" the Shangri-La experience as reflected on Seth's forums (and the Yahoo! group, once it stars) and summarizing overall trends and interesting findings. I'll try using this blog for that for a while.

I'm going to keep these community sections open just in case anyone would rather post here than in Seth's forums or the Yahoo! group. The current community section will be kept under my running blog entries summarizing the diet experience. If it becomes apparent that this is no longer needed, then I'll move the community space into an archive section.

I'll definitely not be deleting any of the wonderful content everyone has contributed, or stopping this blog (unless Blogger makes me do that for some reason :) ). We are a small but important part of history. Hooray!

See you in this same space, somewhat different content.


Thursday, June 15, 2006 1:18:00 AM  
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