The Shangri-La Diet was created by psychologist, Seth Roberts. It is both a book and a diet intended to suppress your appetite and help you to lose weight. Roberts argues that this is not a fad diet; it is based on a scientific argument around how your body manages weight.
Your body has a “set point.” This is an equilibrium which your body naturally maintains. Specific foods work to either raise or lower your set point. Roberts argues that flavorful foods and those that are easily recognizable by your body raise the set point. Examples of this include fast food and junk food. Flavorless foods or unfamiliar foods, on the other hand, trick your brain into thinking that you are starving. It is unnatural to eat bland food, so your body’s natural response is to lower the set point.
In the Shangri-La Diet, foods that lower your set point are flavorless sugar water and light oils such as olive or canola oil. In this diet, you drink 100 to 400 calories per day of either sugar water or extra-light oil. You may do this all in one sitting or spread it out throughout the day. The timing is important, however, in that you must allow at least one hour between consuming flavorful foods and drinking the oil or sugar water.
Doing this will lower the set point of your body and help to decrease your appetite. In addition, you are to take foods that you normally eat and change their flavor by adding a new spice or removing an ingredient. When a food is less recognizable, it helps to decrease your appetite.
While you are given freedom about food choices, you are encouraged to avoid unhealthy foods such as refined grains, overly processed foods and high fructose corn syrup. You are encouraged to include whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, high-fiber foods and whole grains.
What to Get Excited Over
The name of this diet was inspired by a peaceful and serene community in a James Hilton book. Roberts chose “Shangri-La” because the diet makes you feel calm and tranquil. Shortly after going on this diet, within days, you should expect to experience a peaceful break from your usual weight loss challenges. Persistent cravings are known to disappear on this diet. Constant obsession with food diminishes as does your urge to eat late at night.
The simplicity of the Shangri-La Diet is also worth getting excited over. You do not have to memorize food lists or weigh meal portions.
Things to Consider
Much of the support for this diet is anecdotal. Not much exists in the way of solid scientific research to support the premise that eating flavorless or unfamiliar foods will suppress your appetite.
Despite the absence of extensive scientific research about its premise, this is the kind of diet that you can consider harmless and inexpensive. It just may help to suppress your appetite. Many people have lost large amounts of weight on the Shangri-La Diet.