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Shangri-La Diet by Seth Roberts. Anyone tried it?

Home Forums Intermittent Fasting Forum Diet and Nutrition Shangri-La Diet by Seth Roberts. Anyone tried it?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Rose 2 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #1201
    Isabelle
    Isabelle
    Participant

    This “diet” has been out for a while, published in 2006 by Seth Roberts.

    The Shangri-La Diet: The No Hunger Eat Anything Weight-Loss Plan

    I 1st became aware of this diet back in 2012 or 2013. I was in residency 1st year at the time & overwhelmed by how hard that was & how sleep deprived call was making me & gaining weight with all the junk food ordered & available in the long shifts in the hospital. So I tried to do it, but since my schedule was so hectic, I found it difficult to remember to take the flavourless calories in a 2hr flavourless window. So I stopped it & largely forgot about, until I stumbled across it more recently.

    I was reviewing my weight trend over the last couple of month compared to 2014…sadly I saw what I suspected, that my ‘set point’ seems to have creaped up & I have been noticing a harder time with fasting due to being hungry much more these days.

    So, despite the saddness of not being able to enjoy the 200 precious kcals each day off to these flavourless calories (as virgin coconut oil and walnut oil), I’m going to give it another go.
    It’s certainly not harmful & it can be combined nicely with eat stop eat.

    My question is: Has anyone here ever heard of this or tried it?

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by  Brad Pilon.
    • This topic was modified 2 years ago by  Brad Pilon.
  • #1203

    sandra
    Participant

    I have the book, read it, and never did try it. The no flavor window around the flavorless cals would be a huge struggle for me. I think Seth is on to something. My only worry is, having done the flavorless cals and reached slower set point, what happens when you stop the flavorless cals? Does set point return to its previous higher point? If that’s the case I’m not sure about it.

    Me personally, I need fats. Where I struggle is starchy carbs, and particularly grains. I feel best without grains. My GI is miserable with constipation, etc, for days after I eat them, especially wheat. Everyday I eat sugar my yogurt, honey in my coffee, and will have potato chips on the weekend. So I wouldn’t say I am carb restrictive. But now I’m wondering if I should eat sweet potato a few times a week. I have seen the effects first hand of severe carb restriction coupled with and eating disorder and it’s horrific.

  • #1204

    fredda
    Participant

    I am willing to try this but would rather choke back oil that has Omega 3’s, does anyone know the content of the Omegas (3-6-9) in EVCO? I can’t seem to find that info on the net. Although I do have EVCO sitting in my pantry so I could try it. I think I tried this in the past but not at this weight and not for too long.

  • #1210
    Isabelle
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Fredda, Camelina oil (lighter than flaxseed in flavour) is a great (more shelf stable) source of Omega 3’s. EVCO has little to none in terms of Omega 3’s (more MCTs / saturated fatty acids); of course you could do flaxseed oil (slightly more omega 3’s than camelina (but not as shelf stable so keep in fridge in dark container) but you’ll have to nose clip & rinse mouth out very well if deciding to use flaxseed.

  • #1211

    Cheryl
    Participant

    Ok, I have a question…If you had your oil in the morning, normally I time I am fasting, it would break your fast. Would you then move it to 1 hour before you planned to eat your lunch?

    Does taking the oil actually reduce your hunger so you are less inclined to over eat when you do eat?

    Do you take it into account as part of your daily calories. If your food intake is on the lower side to be in deficit do you then need to reduce food further or does this somehow happen subconsciously?

    Sorry, so many questions, really interesting though. I am another one that rarely has processed food, make my food with what is available but regularly have the same basic ingredients.

  • #1212
    Isabelle
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Cheryl, I do consider Shangri-La Diet calories to be fasting breakers (in the strictest sense – bc they are substantial kcals).

    – but i was finding i was doing a stict fast for 24hrs & breaking it with 500-900kcals anyways bc my appetite was so high!

    You could take it 1 hr before you planned to break fast to have a better fasted window.

    – but i my timing is working for me right now so i’m not inclined to mess with it yet; but others on the Shangri-La Diet forum report that timing is usually unimportant.

    I do count the SLD calories in my total kcals for the day & week; last week i consumed 7500 & a good 1500 was just oil calories, so suppose i have eaten less food kcals, but it wasn’t a hard effort (but i wouldn’t say it was subconscious either) & I still enjoyed my food when consumed (when naturally hungry for it; never force it) i just didn’t seem so intent/slightly-obsessive on food all-the-time!

    No worries, all are fair questions.

    At least Shangri-La Diet is combine-able with eat stop eat. And it’s very safe (& provides health benefit – esp if you choose an oil with high omega 3 content – ie flax or camelina [just nose-clip]).
    __________________________________________________

    I wouldn’t say my typical diet was junk – i eat a rather “healthy” diet typically consisting of …
    small regular amounts of kombucha, salads (1-2Tbsp of nuts/seeds), occasional fruit, veggies, eggs/fish/meats (grilled/broiled/baked) & desserts typically consist of 1-2 small squares of 70+% dark chocolate &/or frozen blueberries mixed into light yogurt with cocoa powder and lots of tea (+/- almond breeze; i’m not a big milk drinker).
    1-2x/wk 1-2 glasses of red wine; 1-2x/wk eating a processed food (usually when offered too); 1x/2wks eating out (rare-to-never fast food, maybe 1x/yr?)

    Perhaps, if i’m completely honest with myself, i had let in more ditto foods over the past 6 months – ie quest protein bars, dried fruits, low-calorie/carb pita bread, peanut butter, light cream cheese, frozen yogurt…

    Why had i “let them in” though? I was craving them increasingly, I was/am somewhat more stressed in life than last year (new business owner) and I was increasingly “sick” of fasting (& it wasn’t because i was super lean) – I think I was just tired of the mental effort it required (& now with SLD most of that mental burden has been substantially reduced!)

    Sorry if this was more info than you wanted. To a large extent I wrote this up for my own benefit!
    Take care & good luck with things!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by Isabelle Isabelle.
  • #1214

    Cheryl
    Participant

    Thanks, that is really helpful.

    Regularly having say chicken or a particular veg is ok then. That wouldn’t affect your set point. It is the processed foods that we tend to crave due to their combination of fat, salt and sugar that seems to raise your set point then? Having the oil calories gives you saitity without the cravings and that eventually weans you off those foods resulting in a healthier diet then?

    I know if I haven’t eaten any of my crave causing foods I am fine, but, as soon as I taste them I do get those cravings and it is a battle lost for that day. Sugar is my enemy. It is best fior me not to even have a small taste, it always leads to more. But I can, on the whole say no, then I am fine.

    In other words, on a healthy diet where you are not having those prossessed foods regularly, maybe once a week, do you think it is worth having the oil? Or do you think it is for times when you have maybe lost a little control and feel like you need to get it back?

    • #1215
      Isabelle
      Isabelle
      Participant

      In other words, on a healthy diet where you are not having those prossessed foods regularly, maybe once a week, do you think it is worth having the oil? Or do you think it is for times when you have maybe lost a little control and feel like you need to get it back?

      Perhaps it wouldn’t be necessary in such a clean diet. I was feeling like i had lost control & i really feel that this has helped me gain it back!

      It is the processed foods that we tend to crave due to their combination of fat, salt and sugar that seems to raise your set point then? Having the oil calories gives you saitity without the cravings and that eventually weans you off those foods resulting in a healthier diet then?

      Combo salt/fat/sugar foods are often trigger foods for people. According to Seth Roberts they raise set-point because of the high-calorie + high-flavour association your brain learns over time – the very rare, one-off consumption of even a high salt/fat/sugar food will not raise set point, according to him, because you’ve not learned the association yet. [But I think that although “very rare” is different for each person, for me 1-2x/wk is too often; but I’m not sure I’m willing to refuse the offerings of such foods socially]

      The flavourless kcals of the oil break the associative learning (that drives cravings & false-hunger).

      Perhaps, if you have many more question regarding the theories behind his work, reading his blog or book might provide you with clearer (more direct from the source) answers…

      See:
      http://sethroberts.net/science/

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 12 months ago by Isabelle Isabelle.
  • #1223

    Lori
    Participant

    OK, I’m 7 days into the Shangri-La Diet (in conjunction with intermittent fasting) &…

    Woo hoo! Lost 2 lbs. over the past week! (Usually I can’t lose more than 1 lb/wk).

    Last week 126.5 & this am 124.3! (Non-fasted weight on a 5’5″ frame).

    And I seriously haven’t upped my activity levels at all.

    Info on the Flavourless Calories I’ve been using:

    I started with 1.5Tbsp of VCO (virgin coconut oil) daily, increased to 2Tbsp daily (divided into 1Tbsp at a time – or else nausea can happen at first before gut enzymes are up to the task), switched to ELOO (extra light olive oil) for a couple days, then switched to RWO (refined walnut oil; because Shangri-la diet forums reported better appetite suppression), then bought Camelina oil & now take 1Tbsp of RWO & one of Camelina oil (because of the great Omega 3 profile).

    I believe I’ll stick with the last regime for as long as it works for me…

    I tend to nose clip & swish mouth with water thoroughly to remove any residual flavour.

    Timing:

    I take my 1st dose mid morning (~8-11 in whatever 2hr flavourless window works for me) & the 2nd dose in the evening after dinner (usually 1hr after or before brushing my teeth). I take my doses regardless of my hunger level at that time.

    For the long haul maintanence phase once goal is reached, people on the Shangri-la diet forum report reducing the oil am’t, alternating days, nose clipping some meals or simply doing the Shangri-La Diet a few times per year.

  • #1224

    Cheryl
    Participant

    For the long haul maintanence phase once goal is reached, people on the Shangri-la diet forum report reducing the oil am’t, alternating days, nose clipping some meals or simply doing the Shangri-La Diet a few times per year

    So I am assuming that this is something that needs to be done forever or your set point will revert back to what it was?

    I am going to try it though. I usually only have a cup of coffee and something light for brkft and then can make it to lunch, whenever that may be…not lately.

  • #1225

    Lori
    Participant

    Cheryl – From what i understand after reading the book, if his postulates are actually correct, then another way maintenance could be acheived would be changing your whole diet to include only natural, little to no processed, home prepared foods with either bland flavours or frequent changes in preparation and spices so that, on the whole, your psychology/physiology doesn’t strongly associate calorie dense foods with particular flavours perpetuating cravings & bumping up your setpoint.

  • #1230
    Isabelle
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Btw, everyone who’s doing the Shangri-La Diet and wants a convenient way to take their oil dose with them for the day try this…

    -buy a couple of the small 5hr energy drink bottles (or the cheaper knock offs from the dollarstore)
    -empty or reuse the bottles for pre-measured 1/2-1Tbsp amounts of your oil (a small funnel makes this much easier)
    -add a little water & then screw top on tight (i’ve been doing it for a while & no noticeable leaks yet!)

    When time for your dose (i’ve been using my iphone to give me silent reminder notices to do so),
    shake the bottle to emulsify the oil a bit (+/- pinch nose), take the shot & chase with extra water if you can!

  • #1231

    Anonymous

    It sounds like shangri-La diet is a good option for those who regularly skip meals, I’m not sure how this would work for me though on 800cal a day i’d be skipping my regular 150cal breakfast and replacing it with 260cal of oil.

    But maybe it’s not the oil that is the key, I can see how 1-2tbsp of oil would fill you up and relieve hunger and how the psycology would make you *think* you hadn’t eaten. But surely eating a 260cal breakfast would do the same thing?

    Has anyone tried this who prior to shangri-La diet wasn’t skipping meals?

  • #1232
    Isabelle
    Isabelle
    Participant

    Alexa, lots of people do SLD without skipping meals!
    See sethroberts.net forums (they’re open to the public): http://boards.sethroberts.net/index.php

    That being said, if you want to include 2Tbsp of oil (ie 240kcals) into a 800kcal day, ya it doesn’t leave room for a lot of good/enjoyable eating!

    You could try just 1Tbsp of oil between meals (no calories or flavours 1hr before & after taking the oil of course) & see if it works….or just leave it as a future option to consider when you grant yourself more calories per day to play with.

    Good luck!

  • #1233

    Rose
    Participant

    Been experimenting with this for about a week now. I haven’t bothered to pinch my nose with the coconut oil, and take it about once or twice a day. I noticed when I take it at night it seems to help with pushing back breakfast the next morning and it’s helped to keep the hunger pangs at bay. I’m also liking that I can just include it in my weekly calorie allowance.

    With nothing else different, my skin is looking awesome and the dry skin I usually have on my legs and heels is gone. A potential client told me she thought I was 28 -30. With my 40th birthday in a few weeks, I took that as a huge compliment 🙂

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