Thursday, June 15, 2006

Overall introduction, and Wikipedia

I've been following the diet (both in terms of practicing it and watching discussion about it) since it first appeared in the New York Times back in September 2005.

Since then, dozens of people have blogged about their experiences, and hundreds more posted online at my site, at other blogs, at CalorieLab, and more recently, at Seth's Shangri-La Diet forums. (Seth's main page is here, and in my links to the right.)

There are masses of posts at Seth's forums (nearly 6000 right now) and lots of other discussions of the diet. Here I'll just provide some running commentary of some of the more interesting stuff I find as I follow it. My faith and natural leanings strongly align me to the independent investigation of truth, so I've always had the mindset that I'll try to unbiasedly observe how much this diet succeeds. I'll thus be posting anything substantial, whether it seems to support or disprove the diet.

Several people have posted that the diet did not seem to be working for them, or that it was working very slowly (there is a "Why am I not losing weight?" thread).

However, the vast majority have indeed reported successful weight loss, at varying rates. (I'll not pull any instances of this for you, as a quick glance at Seth's forums shows this very clearly.) The current "champion" loser, Stephen M or Ethesis, started last year and is currently at -62 pounds. He posts updates here. I'm currently still at -20 pounds, but sure I can lose more, and will post more on my experience at this blog and here on Seth's forum. Folks posting at Seth's forums are in all stages of weight loss, from nada to having lost more weight than I have.

Very interestingly, posters regularly report identical "symptoms" as I and others experienced and documented in this blog back into 2005:
  • dramatic, sudden, and new (for us) "control" over what and when to eat
  • dramatic reduction or "taming" of appetite
  • greatly diminished cravings
  • a change in "taste" away from junk, salty, overly-spiced, or other typical "bad" foods
The diet seems to regularly increase people's sense of "detachment"; especially from food, but also from other intakes it seems.

A few people have enthusiastically reported that their attemps to give up smoking ("Quitting smoking with SLD" thread) and alcohol ("Drinking less, too" thread) have been greatly assisted by the diet.

A few people struggling against eating disorders have also reported that they feel the diet has helped them greatly. I've quoted one post that particularly struck me: it's at the bottom of this post.

I haven't included in that reference to eating disorders all of the folks like me who obviously have been eating too much, and folks who know they have overeating eating disorders. Testimony on these matters is abundant and immediately obvious at the forums.

So regardless of how the diet works and doesn't work, it clearly does something. Something very significant, I think. Simply the assistance in dealing with stopping smoking, reducing drinking, and fighting eating disorders is phenomenal. Many of us are very interested to find out what exactly is going on and why and how it works the way it does, but we'll have to wait until the diet has been thoroughly studied in medical settings for those answers. I'll post when I hear about any such studies happening.

Last in this post: the diet is now on Wikipedia! This link will take you there, though the article has been flagged for "cleanup".

srlygrl's post about an eating disorder and the diet (from here):
I can attest to the fact that this works even at a very low weight. I have been battling an eating disorder for quite some time, and was stuck in a starvation/binge/exercise cycle that I just couldn't get out of. Seth's theory really rang true with me, because I always felt as though I had a set point that was well above my body weight, and that my body was always trying to add another 5-7 pounds (or even more). I was constantly thinking about food, and even though I have pretty great willpower, the food thoughts always won out in the end to some degree. I'm 5'1" and 100 pounds, which is a normal BMI and where I'd like to stay, but I really did have to starve to keep myself there. I didn't start SL to lose weight, rather to see if I could maintain my weight while eating like a "normal" person, and it has worked beautifully for me. While I do still think about food (that's par for the course when you've got an ED), I get ridiculously full so quickly that it's difficult to take in more than a normal portion size at any given sitting (no more bingeing!). I've also become more rigorous about eating non-processed, whole, low-glycemic foods, and the combination of those changes and the oil has been very powerful. The upshot is, I'm eating the healthiest diet in the world, and not gaining weight. It's truly amazing: this has achieved in a few weeks what years of shrinks and medication could not--go figure!


Blogger Stephen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 7:45:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

This is a great post. I'm also excited about the Wiki. Wonder where it will go.

BTW, any chance I can get a link back?

Thursday, June 15, 2006 7:47:00 AM  
Blogger oscah said...

I have an eating disorder myself and Shangri La has worked very well for me.

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