Weight Management

Kill Your Appetite with Shangri La Diet

Shangri-la is no utopia for foodies. All you can eat is bland, tasteless food in order to disassociate yourself from flavorful foods. Seth Roberts, the psychology professor who developed this diet, says that the body has got used to associating tasty food with calories, which is why we eat more of it and become fat. It is time we break that link and reduce our appetite to the level that is really required for the body. Roberts proposes drinking of sugar water or light olive oil between meals to reduce appetite.

Theory behind the Shangri-la diet:

Roberts believes that there is a 'set point' to which the body seeks to maintain its own weight. And this set point can be lowered by certain foods like sugar water and light olive oil by taking them between meals. This principle has no scientific backing, however.

Roberts further states that meals should be as tasteless or unfamiliar as possible to break the connection between tasty food and calories. He says that if we eat food that tastes unfamiliar or bland, the brain decodes it as if the body is starving (why else should anyone eat bland food?), and lowers the set point. Weight reduces automatically to this set point. Conversely, if we eat tasty food, the brain raises the set point, causing weight gain.

The essence of the theory is: "The better the food tastes, the more fattening it is".

The diet:
About 300 calories have to come from sugar water or olive oil, to be taken two times a day between meals. One to three tablespoons of sugar water or one to two tablespoons of light olive oil should be enough each time. They provide calories but no taste. In fact they reduce appetite so you need not worry what to have for meals. You will almost always choose healthy foods at mealtimes that are not high in calories.

When you eat unfamiliar food for meals, you further lower the set point, says Roberts. When the body breaks the association between taste and calories, you'll want to eat less of whatever you are eating. Taste can be altered by using different spices or changing the method of cooking. Skipping meals is also encouraged for the process of lowering the set point [not advisable].

No foods are specifically recommended, although mashed vegetables should be tasteless enough.

* The diet will cause weight loss due to lesser intake of calories.
* Appetite is lost, and there are fewer cravings.

* Could be a gimmick.
* Not practical, and dieters will give it up soon.
* Exercise is not part of the plan.
* Not recommended by experts.
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