Shangri-La Diet

Shangri-La Diet
The answer could be a diet of bland foods.

The Shangri-La Diet, and its corresponding how-to book written by Dr. Seth Roberts, is a unique approach to weight loss. By taking into account the notion of "set points", which will be explained here in more detail, one can presumably use the techniques that Dr. Roberts instructs the reader to do, and lose weight.

Explained in The Shangri-La Diet (SLD), a "set point" is, according to medical research, a kind of plateau, or saturation point within the human body. We evidently have many of these "set point", and a popular catch word in weight loss is "weight set point" as in "I haven't lost any weight for three weeks, I must be at a weight set point." Most dieters accept the word set point when used in this format, but doctors of medicine, and in Dr. Roberts' case, specifically psychology, use the term to describe a sort of stasis, or balance in a reaction. It's all terribly confusing to the layperson, but suffice to say that Dr. Roberts' plan is an easy one to follow.

By adding 1-2 tablespoons of bland oil and a sugar water solution to one's daily food intake, and by limiting all solid foods to those that are bland and/or flavorless, a person can reduce their appetite "set point." Subsequently, you'll reduce the need for food, thereby reducing caloric intake, resulting in weight loss.


    * Does not have a physical activity component, making it ideal for sedentary individuals or those with limited mobility
    * Shangri-La Diet users (or SLDers, as they call themselves) seem to be very web-savvy, and as a result, the forums and on-line support is stronger than a number of other methods for weight loss
    * Dr. Roberts has put forth a very compelling argument, including extensive "self-experimentation" for how SLD suppresses appetite, including those who binge eat

    * The user needs to get used to ingesting oil, which for some, can be difficult to do
    * SLD would be difficult to do at home with a partner who feels excluded by the restrictiveness of the program
    * Maintenance can be tricky, with many users finding it difficult to go back to eating foods with flavor
    * Many find that their weight reaches levels that are too low, generating alarm from their doctors and loved ones
    * Say goodbye to foods with flavor, maybe forever
    * No exercise component


Following The Shangri-La Diet, users ingest anywhere from 1 to 4 tablespoons of light flavored vegetable oil, throughout the day, as well as take in a sugar-water solution as needed. The individual approach is stressed here, as "set points" are unique to the individual. In addition, SLD users limit food intake to bland, flavorless foods, such as protein bars, or vegetable mush, or engage in "nose-clipping" in order to not taste the foods they consume.

Based on forum posts, it seems to take time to reach the appetite "set point" or point of "appetite suppression" or "AS" as the users call it; but once you are there, the user finds they are not hungry anymore, ever, and have reached a state of "Shangri-La."

None required, or dictated. In fact, it might be dangerous to engage in sustained physical activity as a Shangri-La user if one has limited their caloric intake to a point lower than they need for system and organ function.

The book retails for $11.95, plus the cost of oil, sugar, and bland foods as recommended by the program.

The Shangri-La Diet has worked for a number of people, and for those individuals, they are passionate about sharing how the program has changed their lives. Stories of compulsive overeaters, now free from the chains of a never-ending appetite, make it tempting to consider Dr. Roberts' ability to crack the code of appetite and weight loss. One should consider however, if the SLD is or isn't a form of anorexia assistance, as its users revel in the freedom from needing to eat. It's also hard to swallow SLD's demonization of foods containing flavor, and the subsequent pleasure to the consumer. While it's easy to agree with the slippery slope that artificial flavors provide, and its potential contribution to the obesity epidemic in this country, it is also somewhat scary to picture a nation of over-thin people, sitting in sugar-water houses, eating bowls of vegetable mush and swallowing pellets of flavorless protein.

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