The Shangri-La Diet

A friend called me a few days ago telling me how she had been in the bookstore and picked up a book about a diet called the Shangri-La diet. She started talking about cavemen and drinking oil or sugar water. I couldn’t understand what she was talking about, and she didn’t have too much time to explain.

So I looked into it myself, and I must say the idea is intriguing, but at the same time, I wonder if there any way the Shangri-La diet could be any different than the hundreds of other fad diets that have come and gone.

The Shangri-La diet began a long time ago as an experiment by one man named Seth Roberts. Mr. Roberts works as a professor of Psychology at Berkeley, and makes it known that he loves to dabble in all sorts of self-experimentation. The Shangri-La diet is apparently one experiment that gained him monumental success.

Mr. Roberts has a theory that our bodies have a set weight point that our bodies try to maintain at all times. If this point is higher than your present weight, your body does everything it can to reach that point. The end result is that you gain weight if your body deems it necessary.

In our modern world, food is plentiful and readily available (at least here in the US), and Mr. Roberts believes our bodies have not evolved enough to counter this. His theory is that if we consume tasteless calories, our bodies will somehow reset its set weight to a lower number. When this happens, your body is no longer struggling to get to a higher point, so the hunger signals lessen significantly.


In its very basic form, the Shangri-La diet tries to trick your body into thinking it just doesn’t need any more calories. This is accomplished by drinking sugary water, doses of canola or olive oil, or by swallowing a raw egg. This is done with an hour buffer on each side of the item of your choice. This is supposed to help eliminate some of your hunger, thus making the Shangri-La diet a form of appetite suppression rather than a more traditional calorie-cutting diet.

For example, after breakfast you would wait one hour without putting anything into your mouth other than water. This includes anything with taste like coffee, toothpaste, or even chewing gum. You then take your dose of oil (usually one or two teaspoons), and then go another hour before eating or tasting anything other than water.

The Shangri-La diet really doesn’t promise your metabolism will shoot into overdrive, or that it’s a magic button for weight loss without exercise or eating well. It simply claims to help change the way your body deals with calories and hunger in general.

Many forums on the Internet have steadfast supporters of the Shangri-La diet, and they swear it has changed their lives. They say they feel full more quickly, and many spicy or processed foods have become overwhelming to them, so they opt for healthier choices.

The Shangri-La diet, as you can well imagine, has many opponents as well. I don’t personally know if it works, but the friend I mentioned at the beginning of this article is a convert. She says she’s finding she can’t finish her meals, something that has never happened to her before.

All in all, if you want to try this diet, go buy the book and talk to your doctor first. I’m not sure if consuming that much oil is a good thing or not. If you have any type of insulin issues, like diabetes or insulin resistance, the sugar water might prove disastrous for you. It is always recommended that you talk to your doctor before starting any type of weight less regimen, but it is especially important if you have any medical conditions that might be affected by the diet.

If you don’t want to talk to your doctor, please buy the book, or borrow it from someone, and read it before you make your decision. Don’t rush blindly into any type of diet before you know all the facts.

The idea is that the Shangri-La diet can change your weight set point to a lower weight is highly debated, but very intriguing. Remember to talk to a doctor, eat better foods, and exercise. Mr. Roberts swears by his diet, and I hope he’s right. Let me know if it works, ok?

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