Success on the Shangri-La Diet

Over at Mark’s Daily Apple forum, someone named heatseeker posted this:

I hesitated to post a thread about this because I feel like these forums have been overrun with “fad” diets and hacks lately–and because it’s honestly so bizarre-sounding that I feel a little silly admitting it–but my success on the Shangri-La Diet has been such that I felt I should share. I’ve had serious body fat setpoint issues since, oh, college, I guess–six years–and after watching my setpoint slowly creep up throughout my 20s with absolutely NOTHING making any difference, I’m finally losing weight steadily. I’ve lost 13lb and it’s still coming off like clockwork. Nothing else in my diet or exercise regimes changed, and I’ve experienced no strength losses (I’ve continued to make gains, actually).

I use refined coconut oil, 2tbsp/day. I was using unrefined at first but the flavor was too strong.

Has anyone else done the SLD, and had success? I just felt like I should spread the word, because I know there are some other setpoint-challenged people on these forums, and this has been a big breakthrough for me.

“I haven’t heard about it,” responded zoebird. Then someone posted several links.

7 Responses to “Success on the Shangri-La Diet”

  1. Nancy Lebovitz Says:

    “Nothing else in my diet or exercise regimes changed,”

    I thought SLD worked by lowering appetite. Do you think he’s eating less without noticing it?

  2. dearieme Says:

    Nancy, maybe rather than meaning that he ate the same amounts of everything, he meant that he ate things in the same proportions.

    Seth: That is how I interpreted it.

  3. Nancy Lebovitz Says:

    It’s also possible that whatever effort he made to regulate his eating didn’t change.

  4. heatseeker Says:

    Hi all, it’s heatseeker here. Amazing that my post over there somehow wound up here! Anyway, just to clarify, when I said “nothing else in my diet or exercise regimes changed”, I meant that I wasn’t purposely doing any other diet/weightloss method, and I didn’t suddenly increase my exercise. I was trying to make it clear that it was the SLD that was the affecting factor.

    Obviously my food intake changed as a result of SLD–that’s why it’s working, natch–but it wasn’t like I started SLD while also doing other things that might have affected my weight. Love the MDA boards to death, but some of the commenters over there have a tendency to pick apart any claims, and I was worried I’d get a lot of “well you went low carb/did more crossfit/stopped eating dairy/started eating vitamin D/etc., and THAT’S why you’re losing weight” naysayers. I was just trying to make it really clear that SLD was the only variable in suddenly having success losing weight.

    Also I’m a chick. Carry on. :)

    Seth: Thanks for the explanation.

  5. Meegs Says:

    It works for me as well, but people think I’m crazy. They can’t make sense of the idea. But I lost 10 pounds, and even through the holidays I maintained the loss.

    I stopped it for a while and tried eating low-reward foods, but the cravings came back. I found myself eating bagels and chips again.

    So I’m back on Shangri-La, and it feels great to be in control of what I eat.

  6. Nathen Says:

    A friend of mine has been trying to gain weight for many years with no success. Based on your theory, what should she try?

    Seth: eating foods with (a) lots of calories, (b) that are quickly digested (= high glycemic index) and (c) taste exactly the same each time you eat them (= factory food, chain restaurant food). An example is Coke with sugar.

  7. LeConz Says:

    Did it ever occur to you (Seth) that a normal carb-diet might for some people be a Anti-Shangri-La diet?

    I changed my eating pattern recently to a low-carb-diet as I needed to loose some weight. First thing I realized was that I needed about 3 hours less sleep, my digestion worked perfectly AND I lost a non-stop craving for food. The last point is the most important. I learned that I’m coeliac with overweight.

    This appears to be rather illogical as coeliac disease reduces calorie intake due to malabsorption in the bowels. As I read about the Shangri-La diet I realized that this diet is the exact opposite of my former diet. During the Shangri-La diet the brain realizes there is more nutrients than should be there; The conclusion is that the food eaten has a higher caloric value and less needs to be eaten. The set-point gets lowered, hunger is reduced.
    During a diet with gluten the bowel doesn’t work properly and the brain realizes there is less nutrients there than should be; The conclusion is that the food eaten has a lower caloric value and more needs to be eaten.

    Because I don’t eat gluten anymore my hunger vanished. As I feel really good now I can understand why some people get so fanatic about the paleolithic diet. Quitting gluten when you are coeliac is a true revelation. Nonetheless it might work in the same way as the Shangri-La diet. The Shangri-La diet is more important as it is a general concept that can be user universally for all kinds of diet plans.

    P.S.: I learned today that pigs are fattened with artificial sweetener. This makes sense as the animal tastes more nutrients than there actually is and can be recognized by the brain. Therefore the animals hunger is increased and it fattens faster.

    Seth: The Shangri-La Diet is based on two assumptions: 1. Set-point control of weight (old idea). 2. Control of set-point by smell-calorie associations (new idea). What you are describing as the Shangri-La Diet is the old idea. What you describe does not say the new idea is wrong but it cannot be explained by the new idea. The experience you describe suggests that the new idea is incomplete. It suggests, at least to me, that you were hungry because you weren’t getting all the nutrients you needed from your food. Your brain was making you hungry so that maybe you would eventually eat the nutrients you needed. That’s different from the new idea (assumption #2). It’s not so clear your experience is consistent with the old idea either but that’s a more complicated discussion.