Science Behind the Diet

Why isn’t this a fad diet? Because it is based on a better understanding of how our weight-control system works than previous popular diets. My scientific work on this had two parts: I came up with a new theory of weight control; and I used self-experimentation to test my theory (a fancy way of saying self-experimentation led me to believe my theory) and apply it. My theory was heavily based on the experiments and concepts of others, some of which are listed below. The Shangri-La Diet has a chapter about the theory (“A New Theory of Weight Control”), a chapter about the self-experimentation (“The Case of the Missing Appetite”), and an appendix about other scientists’ work (“The Science Behind the Theory Behind the Diet”).

The Theory that Led to the Diet

unpublished Roberts. S. What makes food fattening? A Pavlovian theory of weight control.

The Self-Experimentation that Led to the Diet

2004 Roberts, S. Self-experimentation as a source of new ideas: Examples about sleep, mood, health, and weight. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 27, pp. 227-262. replications.

Underlying Research: Michel Cabanac

At a symposium on temperature regulation, Hammel
cast a house thermostat on the front desk and said:
“Show me a thermostat that is not adjustable!”
M. Cabanac, “Adjustable set point: To honor Harold T. Hammel”

For reprints, please contact Dr. Cabanac at

Underlying Research: Israel Ramirez

For reprints, please contact Dr. Ramirez at

Underlying Research: Anthony Sclafani

For reprints, please contact Dr. Sclafani at