After the first month of oil-based antics, I'd forgotten what it was like to be hungry, and had to tighten my belt by more than a full notch.
After the second, I've still had noticeable appetite loss, but also had periods of hunger. My belt measurement has wobbled around a bit, sometimes up and sometimes down, and ended up exactly where it was at the start of the month.
I'm trying to be a truth-seeking robot, and I don't believe that a truth-seeking robot should go making exceptions for its favourite theories, so I'll update as planned according to that data.
What actually happened was that at the start of the month, I noticed that I was hungry again, and that my weight had stopped falling, and that I was starting to look forward to my daily dose of olive oil.
Seth Robert's theory makes the fairly straightforward prediction that once you've learned to associate a taste with calories, these things will happen.
I figured that the 'Sainsbury's Mild Olive Oil' that I'd been using, and had originally thought completely tasteless, had in fact enough substance to it that after four weeks I'd learned to like it.
So I went and bought a load of bottles of different types of oils and tried them all, and switched to the one that seemed the most tasteless (Sainsbury's Vegetable Oil, which is just rapeseed oil).
Initially that worked a treat. The experience of eating the sort of stuff you fry chips in was fairly grim, and killed my appetite stone dead, and my weight again began to fall.
But around two weeks later, the same thing happened, and I found myself looking forward to drinking chip fat.
So I'm intrigued. It seems that everything Seth says is true apart from 'you can't get used to tasteless oil'.
But in hindsight, I wasn't following the letter of his instructions, since I'd been using 'the most tasteless oil I could find', and he said 'use extra light olive oil', which I hadn't been able to find originally.
But there is a brand in England that calls itself ELOO (Borges Extra Light Olive Oil), and they sell it in Tesco. I've switched to this now just because of the name. It tastes almost exactly the same as the stuff I tried at first. And since I (now) think they both taste quite nice, I'm not expecting it to do anything particular.
But I'm wondering now. It seems that I can 'get the taste' for vegetable oils, in a way that isn't supposed to happen.
Maybe what they sell in America as Extra Light Olive Oil isn't what they sell here?
Maybe I've got a really good palate and could get a job as an oil-taster?
Maybe the sugar-water version of this craziness will work?
As someone suggested in a comment earlier, maybe wearing swimmer's nose-plugs so I can't taste anything would help? (Although at that point I may lose the ability to swallow because I'd be laughing at myself so hard.)
Who knows? But there are enough interesting things going on here that I'm not going to give up on this idea yet. I'll get in touch with Seth Roberts and see if he can suggest anything.
One thing that strikes me is that if his theory is true, people who lose their sense of smell for some reason should lose weight very dramatically. I wonder if that's true? If it isn't, that's enough to disconfirm this theory once and for all, isn't it? On the other hand, if it is...