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28 May 2006

Shangri-la la

The reason you haven't been updated on my spectacular weight loss recently is that there hasn't been any. To be fair I haven't exactly been following the Paul McKenna rules over the last couple of weeks either, so it's hardly surprising.

In my ongoing quest for the ultimate weight-loss quick fix, I have, however, become intrigued by the online discussions of the Shangri- la diet.

I first came across the diet (which isn't really a diet at all) via a post on Creating Passionate Users which is a very sensible blog with much of interest to say to marketers and geeks alike. It seemed so wacky that at first I thought it was just an elaborate hoax, but further reading seems to indicate that it is genuine.

The diet has been devised by Seth Roberts, a Professor of Psychology. He seems to be saying (I haven't read the book, just paraphrasing stuff I've read online) that our natural instinct is to eat a lot when food is tasty and plentiful in readiness for times when it is not so easily available. Our weight problems are caused by the fact that nowadays food is always tasty and plentiful so our body sets a high natural weight 'set point'. What the diet does is to trick the unconscious mind into believing that food is scarce by suggesting that we eat tasteless but calorie-rich foods - after all we would only choose such foods if there were nothing more tasty available. This apparently sets the body's 'set point' lower.

The two foods he suggests are light, flavourless oils or sugared water. So apparently we should all be taking a tablespoon of neat oil or drinking some heavily sugared water a couple of times a day without eating anything else during a two hour window. And that's it. Apparently this is quite enough to suppress your appetite, reduce the amount you eat and lead to permanent weight loss(Check out the CPU blog entry for more details or Seth Roberts' own forums). .

Yes, I know it all sounds completely ridiculous. But too intriguing not to try for a couple of weeks or so. So over the last couple of days I've been chugging 1 tablespoon of oil mid-morning and 1 tablespoon of oil in mid-afternoon (I'm not doing the sugared water as I suspect it will play havoc with my blood sugar levels). I have decided to use Cool Oil, so that at the very least the oil I'm swigging is healthy, though rather than being tasteless it is completely disgusting. I don't think I've lost any weight yet, but I do seem to be eating less and craving more healthy options such as fruit and vegetables rather than cheese.

Is this thing f*cking with my brain?


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Euwwww! the very thought of imbibing neat oil, however cool it professes to be, makes me want to retch...tis not for me, however persuasive the post on the Creating Passionate Users blog.

Can't you just eat less food and exercise more as the big G often suggests somewhat smugly to me, as he returns from another 10 mile run, wearing, no doubt shorts of the same waist size as in his 20s?

Will however follow your progres with interest.....

I'd like to post something supportive and encouraging about this latest ahem "diet" but I can't I really can't. There is NO quick fix diet out there. Why anyone would want to suppress their appetite I don't know. Again it's all about eating better and exercising more. Do I win Commenter of the week ?????

He he! I'm giving it two weeks and will then report back in full. But let's say that so far it has been interesting.

I will however respond to Cally's enquiry (delicately emailed rather than posted as a comment) as to the effect that all this oil is having on my pooing habits (I'm sure you've all been fretting about this as well).

So far everything has been normal. After all I am only imbibing an extra two tablespoons of oil a day and being half-Italian I am very used to putting olive oil on everything in. (Could this be why you have a weight problem? - Ed) However, if you take a look at the forums some people have been reporting problems and have been experimenting with different types of oil. Hope this has put everyone's mind at rest.

Ha, yes I think my own 'issues' when I was drinking oil were more related to quantity. I was drinking it like juice, it was SO tasty though, all infused with red peppers and tomatoes and chilli etc. It was like a fine wine. But not so fine at the other -ahem- end.

I still swear by the old small bowl theory. Eat what you like but just in tiny bowls so even when you have 3rd helpings you weren't actually bing bad. Plus you are digesting better between helpings.

Course, this may not apply to multiple helpings of Tiramisu, as I am well aware but in denial about.

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