Beyond the Shangri-La Diet

On the Shangri-La Diet forums is a very interesting discussion:

It’s a way of life when SLD is working, that is… And, to be honest, over the past few months it’s not been working as much as it once did. Or, rather, it’s has been working, but I only lose weight when SLD is strong. It was strong to start with and it’s strong right now, but it’s been 50% or less in between.

My breakthrough came a week or two ago when I started to control my IBS with Colpermin tablets. That helped enormously because it stopped my stomach churning and grumbling so much. But the hot sugar water I was drinking didn’t work 100%. I could manage a few days of decent SLD, but then the hunger fell on me like a heavy weight and I would binge. They were small binges, because SLD was still working and I just couldn’t eat a lot. But the total calorie intake was enough to stop me losing weight.

So, a few days ago I went back to basics. For me, that means back to those nose-clipped cans of Coke Smile And strong SLD is back. To be brutally frank, I feel humiliated that Coke is the only thing that seems to produce conclusive results for me. Even Pepsi doesn’t seem to work as well, or the various clones of Coke that (frankly) cost less Rolling Eyes I wish oil worked, or sugar water, I really do.

But there’s something weird about Coke… We’ve speculated about it’s stomach calming effects in other threads.

However, the fact is that I’m back in what I might call the SLD zone. It’s a lovely place to be, but it’s so terribly hard to describe. Today I ate one meal. And I’m fine. Tomorrow I go out for lunch, and I’m looking forward to it—a chance of have some nice food. But… that’s the difference between strong SLD, and normality. I can wait for that nice food. It’s just less important. I absolutely LOVE feeling this way. My life is my own.

Nose-clipped Coke worked much better than sugar water. Fascinating. When I did SLD — when I lost about 3 pounds/week drinking fructose water — I also started craving flavor. I started drinking tea and haven’t stopped. I started chewing gum and haven’t stopped. I became far more interested in supermarket samples, which are always flavorful. A later comment in that thread:

I once read a newspaper report about a woman who was going slowly blind through an eye disease. She heard about the raw food diet and tried for a few weeks, thinking it might help her. Her eyesight did marginally improve, but she decided she’d rather go blind than face any more raw foods.

Raw food has flavor, but it doesn’t have complex flavors — that’s why people ferment it, even when they don’t need to preserve it. Compare cabbage with kimchi, for example. Cooking food usually increases complexity of flavor. Coke has a very complex flavor. Sugar water has no flavor.

Why do we like unami-tasting foods? Why do we like sour-tasting foods? Why do we like complexity of flavor, including unfamiliar complexity? I think the answer is these likes were built into us to because they caused us to eat more bacteria-laden food, which kept our immune system functioning well. Just as a taste for salt causes us to eat more salt, which we need.

This story suggests that the desire for certain tastes (supplied by nose-clipped Coke but not sugar water) can be strong enough to interfere with weight loss. Future versions of SLD should take account of this

2 Replies to “Beyond the Shangri-La Diet”

  1. Very strange that nose clipped coke works for them and sugar water doesn’t. I’ve started trying nose clipped breakfasts (yogurt or cereal) to maintain lost weight. It seems like yogurt works better than cereal (shredded wheat). My theory is that the shredded wheat has texture and that provides a hook for a small amount of learned association between calories and food. By that token, I would expect sugar water to work better than coke because the carbonation of coke would provide a hook.

  2. That whole area is interesting. I’ve tried nose clipped protein shakes and I got a rush of weight loss the first time, but generally I get less SLD effect than just taking olive oil in the middle of the night.

    I’m fascinated by the differences people report.

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