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The Shangri-La Diet Review

by George Pierce
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The Shangri-La Diet
claims that you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight.  No more counting calories or fat grams or carbs, no more special recipes, and no food restrictions.   I see how the author came up with the name.  

How Does It Work?

This diet, created by Seth Roberts, PHD, only asks that you make one change.  That simple change is to drink from 100 to 500 calories of an edible oil each day.   The oil needs to be an oil without a strong flavor, such as canola oil, extra light olive oil, walnut oil, or flaxseed oil.  100 to 500 calories relates to about 1 to 4 table spoons.  You can substitute sugar water for the oil.  

The theory behind why flavorless oil helps you to lose weight is that the oil will diminish your desire for more flavorful foods as well as diminish your appetite.  You will therefore eat less and feel full faster.  

The oil will help you lower your 'set point'.  

According to Robert's set point theory, whenever a your body fat drops below a specific set point, your body will eventually regain the fat through increasing appetite, lowering metabolism, or both. Roberts says that the key to lowering your set point is to break the association that your mind makes between the taste of food and taking in calories.  

Based on Stone Age man, according to Roberts, our body is designed to crave more when food is plentiful so that we can store fat for leaner times.  Roberts says that when food was scare, Stone Age Man's metabolism slowed.  This lowered their set point.

Since the brain relates an abundance of food flavors to caloric consumption, a variety of foods and flavors raises our set point, therefore, bland foods and flavors will help our brain to lower our set point


What you can and cannot eat:

On this diet you can eat what you want.  The idea is that drinking the oil will diminish your hunger and appetite and help you to lose weight.

The four rules of this diet are:
  1. Drink 100 to 500 calories of a bland flavorless oil daily.
  2. Drink the oil at least an hour before eating or tasting food.
  3. If the oil bothers your stomach, start slow.
  4. If you do not lose weight within four weeks, add another tablespoon to your daily intake of oil.


Your cost will not change.  Technically, if the diet works, you will be eating less, so your food costs will be lower.

Groceries and shopping:

No change is needed.

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Level of Difficulty:

This diet should be an easy diet for just about everyone.


Not required.


There do not seem to be health risks involved with this diet.  It is always sound advice to see your doctor be making any health changes.  


There are no meetings.



Seth Roberts has a blog and a forum. but there seems to be no activity regarding posting or updates.  You will find a list of 22 free weight loss forums and communities if you click here.

Does This Diet Work?

Perhaps, perhaps not.  Although there are testimonies that claim the diet works, testimonies can be unreliable.  There are no studies or trials or clinical evidence that this diet works.  Since its publication, the diet has received considerable controversy.  


Seems to be safe
Easy Diet


May not work
Drinking oil or sugar water is bland
Does not include exercise

HealthMeans Conclusion:

Although Seth Roberts has posted how his self experiments with the Shangri-La diet have worked, there is no scientific proof behind this diet.  The ease and simplicity, the low level of difficulty make this diet appealing.  The psychological reasoning behind the diet sounds plausible.  Although Seth Roberts has posted how his self experiments with the Shangri-La diet have worked, there is no scientific proof behind this diet.  Most experts are not in favor of this diet.  My skepticism of this diet, is its ability to work for you.  Since there seems to be no solid proof that it works, I am giving it a thumbs down and I an not recommending that you add it to your lost of weight loss options..

Thank you for reading, my friends, I wish you success on your weight loss journey.

Kind regards,
George Pierce
WALW Founder

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The Shangri-La Diet

Seth Roberts, PHD, is the creator of the diet.  He is a professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkley.  

The theory of the diet is that you will lose your interest in eating by drinking bland oil or sugar water daily.  

Roberts says he worked on finding a diet for about 10 years with no long term results.  On this diet, he claims to have lost 40 pounds.  It is so easy that you do not have to make any changes, other than drinking the oil.  One dieter remarked, "No one knows you're doing it."

Dieting hassles such as counting, purchasing special foods, meal planning, cooking special meals and not being able to eat out do not apply to this diet.


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According to Roberts, the flavor of the cooking oil matters.  Strong flavored oils need to be avoided.  Bland or flavorless is what you want.  

Based on reviews and testimonies, some people respond to this diet in a matter of hours, some take several days, and others take several weeks.  
Unfortunately, Shangri-La in dieting may be a myth, since there is no science backed evidence that this diet works.  

In addition, the experts seem to oppose this diet.  Dr. Mark Friedman, a physiologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, said in an interview, “The idea that the taste of food can set food intake and the calories you eat over the long term is an idea that has no scientific evidence.”

I believe we can all agree that taste can have some influence on how much we eat.  If we love the taste of certain foods, we may tend to over eat, if we do not like the taste, we are likely to eat less.  

If you try the diet, or have tried the diet, let us know about your experience.  You can use the contact form below, thank you.



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