Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Serendipity and the Shangri-La Diet: how I laughed

with one comment

Some people hit on the right method without even understanding why or having the right theory. Seth Roberts’ Shangri-La Diet is one such case.

Set point: Roberts believes in a “set point” theory of weight control: at any given time, your body wants to be a certain weight, and it will increase or decrease feelings of hunger and its metabolic rate in order to achieve that weight. Any attempt to modify your weight away from your current set point will meet with failure, or at least will be very difficult to achieve and maintain. Roberts compares the set point to the temperature setting for a thermostat.

Taste-calorie association: The set point idea is not new, but Roberts extends it by claiming that the set point can be modified by diet. This is the second part of his theory: the “taste-calorie association.” Roberts believes that the “tastiness” of the food you consume controls your set point. Specifically, tastier food raises your set point (i.e., makes your body want to get fatter), while bland food lowers your set point (i.e., makes your body want to adapt to being leaner). Shangri-La Diet

Seth: right method, wrong theory. This is a classic example of a food intolerance diet that doesn’t even know it. Phenols, amines, additives and MSG ARE the taste and flavour in food. Everyone has a different level of tolerance for these substances. There is a point where if you feed a population enough of these substances, everyone begins to exhibit symptoms. That’s why this diet will work for a significant proportion of the population.

Food intolerance deregulates appetite control and can lead to whacky weight gains and losses for no apparent reason. Roberts thinks this is all about “tricking the legacy brain left over from our hunter-gatherer days” into believing it is undergoing a period of fasting. Heh heh heh. No it’s NOT! It’s about removing the excess appetite-and-metabolism-deregulating neurotransmitters and plant poisons that have built up in your body.

Strategic consumption of bland calories: The first technique is the one that showed the greatest, longest lasting success. At first Roberts tried eating non-processed foods, on the theory that processing of foods results in more taste, or more intense tastes, through the addition of salt, spices, concentrated fats, and sugars. By eating unprocessed, blander foods, Roberts was able to lose weight. A second experiment involved drinking large amounts of the ultimate tasteless substance, water (from 3 to 5 liters per day), which also resulted in some weight loss.

Continues the article:

The Shangri-La Diet has so changed (screwed up? made go haywire?) his metabolic rate that his maintenance diet consists of 1,200 calories per day, which he gets as follows:

  • One normal meal (about 900 calories)
  • Two pieces of fruit (about 75 calories apiece)
  • Sugar water (150 calories)

Here’s a tip Seth: give up the fruit and the sugar! Then see how many calories you can handle! This guy rates alongside Mr “I just crave those raw veggies” for the “IF ONLY YOU REALLY KNEW WHY” award.


Written by alienrobotgirl

21 June, 2006 at 2:52 pm

One Response

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  1. another site you should check, (if you’ve already not come across it).although not at all ‘right method’, the theory on ‘taste, opiopeptides’ might be in line with your research.


    17 October, 2006 at 3:59 pm

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