Seth Roberts

New York Times Bestseller Now in Paperback

The Shangri-La Diet

"A weight-loss theory that just might benefit a few million people." Stephen Dubner, co- author of Freakonomics

"In fact, it might benefit a few billion." Dennis Prager, The Dennis Prager Show interview with Seth Roberts.

"You actively feel like not eating ... It's a kind of not hungry that you've never felt before"— Joyce Cohen, NY Times columnist.

"It's been two weeks since I started and oh-my-god ... Within three days I was actually forgetting to eat."— Kathy Sierra, co-author of Head First Java and blogger.

"It has been a very positive experience and weight loss is only one of the benefits"Food Chronicler.

The Woman's World article ("Instant Willpower!")

Watch a CBC mini-documentary (9 minutes) about the diet.

Progress as of 10/18/06
These four graphs show the progress of Shangri-la Dieters who have posted their progress in the tracking section of the forums.
• Persons posting their weight: 125
• Total weeks of data: 804
• Total weight change (ld): -903
• Average weight change/week (ld/week): -1.1

Hot of the Forums

“I am seeing some results -- I am feeling fuller with smaller portions and my sweet tooth seems to have lost its fangs. Example: It is normal for me to eat one of those 2-portion bags of M&M's in one sitting, but on Friday at the movies, I only ate half. And, weirder still, I still have possession of the bag and there are still M&M's in there.” — melissacb

“The loss of appetite is wonderful so I quit when I am full -- so yes I have changed my eating habits. This morning I woke up no appetite. I used to be a big breakfast eater so scrambled a couple of eggs could only eat one so shared them with my dog. 'The dog is loving my loss of appetite too.' I also am drinking a lot more water. I used to choke it down; now it is my drink of choice. I think for me snacking was my demon -- after lunch within 15 minutes I would be hungry again and would eat from that time on until after dinner and I am not tempted anymore.” — patsi

“I'm enormously grateful for this diet, and astonished at how easy it is. I like the side benefits and the fact that I'm enjoying different foods than I used to. It's going to take a long time to lose anywhere near the amount of weight I need to, and I'm okay with that. I'm more than okay, I'm thrilled. ” — frenata

“I've been on SLD since the 1st of June. For the first 3 weeks, nothing, no appetite suppression, just will power. Then through some posts and some help I upped my intake of oil from 2 tbl spoons a day to 4 and that is what did it for me. Since June 22 I now feel like all those posts that you read about and hope to achieve. AMAZING when you find your set point. ... Since then I don't feel hungry in the morning, for lunch have a couple of pieces of fresh fruit, for dinner I steam some vegtables and a piece of good wheat bread and that's it for the day. It's just unbelievable. Not hardly eating anything and don't feel like it either. NO CRAVINGS either. And, I'm a psycholocal and emotional eater too. It just seems to take care of everything. WOW!! ... This is life changing stuff! ” — Jim

“On the chick magnet scale middle aged, bald and happily married isn't noticeably higher than middle aged, bald, fat and happily married. Also, I've come to realize that living too long can be a whole lot worse than dying in good time. So what I'm saying is I'm not very motivated to lose weight, and haven't been for a whole long time. ... Still, when I read about the Shangri-La diet, I just had to try it out. The claims were just too outrageous, and I just could not see any downside. It was a 'just gotta check this out' kind of thing. After three weeks, I didn't know how much weight I'd lost because I never weigh myself. But I'd taken my belt in a notch(and now I'm down a second notch). ... I'll be on this regimen forever, I think, because of one reason. I have lost the constant urge to eat, and that is real freedom. I realize that sooner or later I'll hit the new dynamically balanced set point and this blissful state will fade somewhat. But until then I'm really enjoying it. I'll never be able to report how much weight I've lost, but as far as I'm concerned, I've lost something that was far more terrible than weight - that enthrallment to food.” — webster

“I had a pleasant morning in Court (no I'm not a defendant I'm a lawyer). An old friend of mine who is now a judge hasn't seen me for about three months. When I appeared in front of him today for a hearing, upon seeing me he immediately tagged me with the nickname 'Slim' and referred to me in court several times by that name instead of by my real name. He's being more than generous since I'm still far from slim, but I may spend the money to order a transcript of the hearing just to have as a trophy. The first recorded appearance of 'Slim for the Defense.'” — Weston

“I had read an article by Seth Roberts years ago in Chance magazine (kind of like Reader's Digest for statisticians), but when I saw his book mentioned in the Freakinomics blog, I decided to order it and try the diet. It really has exceeded my expectations. The weight is melting off, and hunger has not been a problem at all. I probably sound like one of those glassy-eyed shills on an infomercial, but it's the truth. The data are coming direct from my scale every morning. ” — pelkabo

“I just got back from town where I got many hugs from people I had told about SLD. In fact the lady at the health food store ran from the back of the store to hug and thank me for telling her about the diet.” — patsi

“McDonald's Fries: I had a completely unique experience yesterday. While out for a lunchtime walk, I stopped at McDonald's and grabbed a side salad and a small fries to go with my lunch. I got back to my office and got distracted. By the time I remembered and went for the fries they were completely cold and I only had a few before tossing the rest. I have never "forgotten" about McDonald's fries before.” — Rich

“It's amazing not to feel my hunger increasing as I lose weight. The whole experience of weight losing is different. Usually it is like holding your breath underwater—the longer you go without air, the more massively you need air. Usually the longer you are on a diet the more hungry you are. This is so strikingly different. Formerly, if I was trying to get down, I would be, say, terribly hungry at about 170 pounds and never able to get below it. It felt like trying to hold your breath for four minutes—the body just won't let you. Now I suspect that this barrier at 170 pounds probably won't be there when I get to 170. ” — orwell46

“I have had a huge drop in both blood pressure and pulse rate. My blood pressure was usually about 140/85 - 90 and my resting pulse was about 100 - which quite worried me and no-one had an explanation for. Since starting the SLD my blood pressure has dropped to 120/80 and my resting pulse is down to 78. How amazing is that!! Given that my dad died last year of a brain heommorage and my mum has had a stroke I am justified in having been worried about this. Not to mention being overweight myself with chronic inflammation and a permanently raised CRP (a marker for heart disease). This benefit of the diet may be the best yet. And I'm pretty sure that it's not weight loss because my blood pressure only went down in the past (on Atkins) when I weighed about 30 lbs less than I do now. Plus, I've tracked my blood pressure and pulse down over the last few weeks and it's been descending slowly, as if in response to the oil. It's very strange, but fan-bloody-tastic if you ask m ” — spacehoppa

“Now, suddenly, I can cook and eat with unadulterated pleasure. I foresee a whole new generation of foodies, foodies who just plain love food, no guilt attached.” — barleyblair

“This diet continues to amaze me. I am now down to 182 pounds, having lost 15 pounds so far in 43 days. I continue to drink 3 Tbsp of canola oil per day and eat whatever I want. The thing is, I don't want that much” — pelkaboo

“I've been doing this and listening to others doing this since last September, and we all say again and again that it frees us from all sorts of intake cravings and addictions. ... People struggling with eating disorders have posted and said they feel much more freed and sane. Smokers have posted saying it helps them quit. ... Seth could be on to something much bigger and better for humanity than he or any of us suspected. ” — Ann H

“I started somewhere around May 3, and got serious the next week. start = 170.5. now [June 3] = 162.5. I have been feeling so great and proud of my new control. Food won't rule me again (or so I thought until a setback tonight). The suppression at times is amazing, and I have been skipping meals no problem - especially dinner. I cook and eat every meal at home, and I have been making much healthier choices ... just because thats what I felt like eating, rather than because I know its what I 'should' eat. ” — julienuce

“I began yesterday afternoon and was absolutely shocked at the IMMEDIATE change in my food cravings. I had the tblspn of oil an bour before eating my lunch/dinner (at 4pm) and DID NOT CRAVE anything the whole day!!! I am still shocked. But in order to not starve my poor body, I had a frozen Minute Maid lemonade at the cinema instead of popcorn around 8pm. This morning, I woke up and ate a usual breakfast (2 scrambled eggs, english muffin, 2 pieces of turkey bacon). I took 1 tblspn of canola oil an hour afterwards. Even after going on a walk on a very sunny day (today), I came home and still have NO appetite when I would usually be ravenous. I AM SHOCKED!!!!” — Leda

“I am in Week 4. ... I remain totally uninterested in food. ... What's wonderful is how little I'm spending on food and how easy it is to go the market now. I don't have to give myself a rehearsed lecture about why I shouldn't buy Cinnamon Toast Crunch because I don't want it anymore. The supermarket seems so wild, like a museum. I mean, who would want all of that? Whose stomach could possible hold all of that? (I find myself wondering as I wander the isles) Truth be told, I used to want all of it and consume all of it. ” — PBJ

“I was talking to someone about the diet and trying to explain how freeing it is not to have to have cravings or being compelled to over eat but it sounds too easy she said all I could say is it is.” — patsi

“The most exciting thing (for me) is I was having MAJOR TROUBLE with compulsive, emotional eating prior to starting sld. It is greatly reduced and I am feeling 'close' to being 'at peace with food.' I had just about given up on feeling 'normal' about food ever again. WOW. ” — Jane Ann

“I'm 5'1" and 100 pounds, which is a normal BMI and where I'd like to stay, but I really did have to starve to keep myself there. I didn't start SL to lose weight, rather to see if I could maintain my weight while eating like a 'normal' person, and it has worked beautifully for me. While I do still think about food (that's par for the course when you've got an ED), I get ridiculously full so quickly that it's difficult to take in more than a normal portion size at any given sitting (no more bingeing!). I've also become more rigorous about eating non-processed, whole, low-glycemic foods, and the combination of those changes and the oil has been very powerful. The upshot is, I'm eating the healthiest diet in the world, and not gaining weight. It's truly amazing: this has achieved in a few weeks what years of shrinks and medication could not—go figure!” — srlygrl

“I started at 242 pounds. ... First week, we (my husband aka Stink Ape, also a veggie and also with 40+ pounds to lose) used ELOO. ... We both experienced sharp reductions in appetite and cravings by day three. At the beginning of the second week, I was at 238. I weigh on Mondays and have now been 234, 230 and 226 on successive Mondays. ... My grocery bill is lower. I love to cook and was already making most everything fresh every night anyway. Few processed foods, no sugar, but we already didn't eat sugar. I'm exercising everyday (DDR and SLD=the geek's weightloss system!) and have a weird feeling that I'm calling 'creeping euphoria.' ” — Rabin the Cat

“All my cravings have disappeared, when I get hungry I eat something healthy and fill up with about half the amount I used to eat. At the office and at home I now have various spices and mixtures and always sprinkle them over my food to keep changing the taste. I haven't been to the gym in a while and I miss it, but my weight keeps going down anyway. The method works, it is becoming part of my daily routine.” — jc

“I started this on Thursday (It's now Sunday). I did 3 Tblsp. and noticed the effect of not being hungry almost right away. Another 3 the next morning and it was like a miracle. I'm usually VERY hungry in the morning but my appetite was just gone. Same thing Saturday and today ” — Cheryl B

“Missed the [Dennis Prager] interview with Seth but heard the tail-end of a discussion Dennis had with a listener who was raving about what the diet had done for her. Dennis was in agreement. So I ran to the internet and got the particulars, took a tablespoon of ELOO and immediately started preaching the Miracle of Shangri-La! It was slightly embarrassing when friends would ask how long I had been on it. I lied and said a day - it had only been eight hours but, hey, without SLD, I normally would have done a great deal of damage in those 8 hours. It's now been a week and I've lost three pounds. I love the luxury of choosing finer foods now that I'm no longer compelled to eat everything in sight when dinnertime comes around. The Monster has been rocked to sleep ” — Ranchopam

“This may be like will power, but I never had will power so I don't know. I have won't power now. If I choose to eat I can eat, for sure. If I choose not to, I just don't and it doesn't bother me at all. ... If I don't start I won't continue, and not starting is now so easy. ” — Denise

“I've lost 12 pounds since April 1 because I haven't been able to taste or smell (started with some severe allergies whcih still haven't cleared up.). ... I have been out to eat several times since then, even buffets, but I only eat normal amounts. ... I came across the Shangri-la info yesterday while reading a blog and knew Seth Roberts was on to something.” — katep

“Something's happening ... It's not that my appetite is going down necessarily, it's that after I eat about 1/3-1/2 what I'm used to, I start feeling bloated and I'm "discouraged" from eating any more. Believe me I WANT to eat more but I already feel full. ... This is frightening(ly effective). It's certainly enough to keep me going since I'm incredibly curious what's going to happen next! ” — Friarjohn

“I had a most unusual experience this afternoon. I had errands to run and on the way I thought a Quiznos sub would sound good. I had no breakfast, 2 TBL of oil this morning and a little fruit and veggies just before lunch. I drove past Quiznos. No. Drove past Chipotles. No. Drove past a new Japanese soba shop. No. Happy Panda. No. Each of these had food that really appeals to me, but I just didn't see a need to stop ... 3 weeks in and 6.5 lbs off and I think there is really something to this "diet". ” — splitbamboo

“This isn't really a diet it is a new beginning in the world of food.” — patsi

“To anyone who would like to quit smoking also, I encourange you to try it. I smoked for more than 20 years, up to two packs a day, and quit cold turkey last Sunday ... with barely a craving since! I did have some dizziness and have been grouchy as a bear (which is actually my normal disposition, so nothing new), but all in all, it has been the most painless attempt ever and I think it must be the Shangri-La Diet.” — Sherrie

“I was in the bulk food store yesterday. Saw the dark chocolate covered almonds, went to buy some and then thought "do I really want them?". The voice in my head said "Nah, not really..." I didn't buy them. Felt good. The voice in my head has never, ever said that before. ” — Seena

“After two weeks on the SL diet, I have managed to drop 5 lbs going from 230 to 225 with my goal being 200 lbs. Surprisingly, my girlfriend has also managed to lose 4 lbs even though she isn't on the diet! I think she has benefited from the fact that I have reduced the portion sizes of the meals that we cook. Also, when we go out to eat, we've cut back on ordering appetizers. ... If this keeps up, I'd like to think of it as a "collateral effect" of the SL diet! ” — J Loo

“I went to the anniversary sale of one of my favorite boutiques, and they had all sorts of French macaroons, red velvet cupcakes, mini-quiche, and champagne. ... I saw it, I thought about it for barely a second and then I said "nah, no thanks" ... This is a big deal for me, and much more than a minor victory, because I love fine food and I have never, ever, ever just said no and to not even taste anything. ... Amazing.” — lwagnero

“I am trying to be nonchalant about my lack of appetite and lack of interest in food, yet I am consumed by my lack of appetite and lack of interest in food and keep running to the computer to post about it.” — Victoria

“People are posting methods of how to take [the oil] without it being so gross. I just chug it down, because after the very first day, I finally for once in my life had real hope.” — Denise

“My appetite has been decreased, but more importantly, I'm not constantly thinking about food. How wonderful to live life just like "normal" people!!!” — tinagr

“I kept the weight off ... until my mom and mother in law both passed away at the end of 2004. That's when the emotional overeating really kicked in and it's gotten progressively worse since then. The oil has made a HUGE DIFFERENCE in my cravings. It's a miracle, as far as I'm concern” — Jane Ann

“I also tried it out on my 15 year old daughter who has a terrible habit of snacking on junk food before she goes to bed. She is not really overweight by any means but I would like to help her from developing weight issues when she gets older. A few days ago she wanted to eat some cookies an hour after we had dinner with dessert and I said OK you can have as many cookies as you like but I want you to take a tablespoon of ELOO first and if you still want the cookies after an hour has passed, you can. She agreed and after an hour I went into her room and said, an hour has passed are you ready for the cookies?? She thought about it for a minute and said no I don't want them any more.” — tekayla

“On Saturday, I went downtown to buy a present. Walking down the street with all the bakeries, shops, ice cream stands and stuff, something inside me told me to eat. Again and again. "Burgers ahead! Get one, quick!" - "What is that smell? French fries? Yummy!" - "There's ice cream around the corner". This was the inner voice I wouldn't have been able to resist a week earlier - but on that day, influenced by fructose, I realized that I was not hungry at all. I just walked home and ate an apple. That never happened to me before, it was kind of creepy - and a real eye opener.” — Kat

“I just ate half a sandwich and I'm stuffed. I never eat just half a sandwich. This is so foreign but wonderful.” — Denise

“As a result of taking the oil every meal is like Thanksgiving. I just ate a slice of pizza and I feel like I had the entire pie.” — Munchie

“I'm feeling a little hungry ... but surprisingly, amazingly, there is NOT a bag of Hershey's kissables in front of me. No! They are all downstairs, tidy and safe in the vending machine. In fact, there are several large bags of candy mere feet away and I don't want ANY! Amazing. Amazing.” — xt92879

“Today I started Seth's Diet. Today I have my first glimmer of hope in ten years. There's no other word for it but MIRACULOUS! My unstoppabble hunger was stopped in its tracks today. ... I have never seen anything like it in my 46 years on this planet. If it continues like this I am personally going to find Seth and give him a huge hug. This is absolutely weird but wonderful! ” — tammy

“I felt like I had hit the jackpot the first day I was on it.” — tekayla

“I am a 49 year old woman who is 60 pounds overweight. After several failed diet attempts, I was starting to think it wasn't possible to lose weight at this age. Yesterday, after reading about the Shangri La diet online, I decided to give it a try. I took a tablespoon of ELOO at 10 am, and 2 more at 3 pm. Ohmigod. I ate one slice of pizza for dinner, followed by a small square of chocolate and didn't think about food for the rest of the night. I have NEVER, repeat, NEVER eaten only one slice of pizza before! LOL. And the best part? I was down two pounds this morning” — Victoria

“Crazy spicing is working beautifully. I am pushing the envelope by spicing foods in unfamiliar, experimental, and sometimes not very yummy ways. I am back to a state of 'food indifference' that spells bliss, or at least easy diet” — Sarah

“Started the spice-thing last week. Unbelievable, the effect has been probably more dramatic than my initial, very positive experience with the sugar water — my appetite has plummeted and the amount of sugar water/oil I use/need has dropped in half.” — SFC

“Once the effects of this method become visible, I look forward to seeing how the people react who always told me "to just be more disciplined". Let them wonder where my newfound "discipline" comes from. Perhaps Yoga???” — jc

“Have I changed my eating habits? Yes, I have. I'm back to truly enjoying what I eat.” — Echo

“I love this b/c the thing is that I've been eating what I want ... I am not always perfect about taking the oil either.” — lisalgreer

“I have only been on it a couple of days already I have a couple of pounds off, and I have some control. I always lost control in the evenings, and this is the third evening and so far I have not been snacking, and do not want anything. ... This is so easy and so cheap and so exciting.” — Mary Kelly

“Went to my local supermarket today, found that the 17oz size of Berio EVOO and ELOO were on sale, two for one. ... The ELOO was completely gone, the EVOO barely touched.” — spiritu

“The first day I used the oil I thought I would gag. Yuck!! From reading these forums I learned how to do it in a way that is not so bad.” — Melissa

previously in Hot Off The Forums
• Radio KSLD •

The forums contain helpful information about the diet. This is about the self-experimentation behind the diet.

Pages missing from the English export edition.

Full cover of the paperback.