Shangri-La Diet Experiment, Week One

On April 30 I read Seth Roberts’ book, The Shangri-La Diet. I had first heard about the diet a few months ago, online, and tried drinking fructose water to curb my appetite as described in the book. I didn’t feel any difference in my appetite and gave up after a few days.

After reading the book, I realized that I had been doing a lot of things wrong, and decided to try again. This time, I decided to try taking two tablespoons of extra light olive oil every day, an hour after, and an hour before, eating. (You’ll have to read elsewhere for the details.)

I was already on the Jenny Craig diet, which is basically just portion control, eating about 1200 calories a day. I had lost about 11 pounds since the end of February this way. Since two tablespoons of olive oil have 240 calories, I decided to cut out the Jenny Craig-mandated snacks to compensate for the calories, even though Seth Roberts says you should just eat normally.

I started drinking one tablespoon of olive oil in the morning right before I go to work and one right before I go to bed. This began May 1st, 2006. That day I was 143.4 pounds (I’m 5’3”). My initial weight loss goal is 130 pounds. My lowest adult weight was 120 pounds.

When I started this experiment I decided that my criteria for success would be whether I felt less hungry and how fast I lost weight. So far I don’t feel less hungry. Many of the accounts of this diet that I’ve read online describe feeling very full as a result of the oil/sugar. People go all day without eating because they’re just not hungry. I do not feel that way. Rather, I feel pretty much normal.

As for the weight, here are my readings for this week:

5/1/2006 - 143.4
5/2/2006 - 142.6
5/3/2006 - 141.8
5/4/2006 - 142.8
5/5/2006 - 141.4
5/6/2006 - 139.8
5/7/2006 - 139.6
5/8/2006 - 142.8

As you can see, I appear to have lost steadily, then jumped up three pounds this morning. I don’t know if there’s something wrong with my scale, or if I’m retaining water, or if this is just a normal fluctuation. We’ll have to see how it goes next week. Before this experiment I was losing about a pound a week. If I was really at 139.8, then I lost about 3-4 pounds last week. That would be very promising. I’ll report back next Monday.


j.e. said...


I think a 2-3 pound fluctuation like that is pretty normal.

Are you sure you want to weigh yourself every day? Healthy weight loss is slow enough that encouraging progress might best be detected weekly or monthly.

BTW, you look great anyway!

Stephen said...

Wish you luck.

BTW, there is a forum where people are posting results (or no-results), getting feedback and discussing the diet at:

Roberts posts in a near-by part of the board, btw.

I found I had to play with the amount of oil in order to get results, and some people take up to two weeks to start feeling it.

Wish you luck.