Monday, November 12, 2012
I declare victory for the Shangri-La diet. My belt now prefers to be on its fourth notch more often than on its third, and I think that counts as a win. My appetite still seems suppressed.
Updating for (down a notch/appetite loss)
Priors H87 : W2 : S11
Likelihoods: H 25/203: W 5/134: S 75/134
Posterior: H63: W 1: S36
My original prior was H60:W39:S1, so what's happened over these four months is that the fad diet looks more likely by a couple of orders of magnitude while the conventional wisdom has proved to be utterly wrong.
According to my analysis, I'm now licensed to believe that the theory "Shangri-La Diet causes belt size to contract by one notch a month" has a half chance of being true.
But actually, of course, what's happened is that after an initial quite dramatic loss of body fat, I've been slowly losing weight for four months, and my belt measurement is now about 3 inches less than it was.
At this point, I think I can claim that this crazy diet works for me exactly as it's supposed to. Slow weight loss without any use of willpower.
And I'm also claiming that the prediction almost everyone made that if I deliberately ate an extra 300 calories every day I'd get fatter is just wrong. Badly, hopelessly wrong.
That's the end of my experiment, because my belt won't come in any more. Its diameter is now fixed by the size of my hipbones. All the clothes that I found I couldn't wear four months ago fit again, and I feel lighter on my feet.
I've still got a fair bit of abdominal fat that I'd like rid of, so I'm going to keep on with it, but I don't think my belt measurement will go down any more. I predict that it won't go back up as long as I keep up with the olive oil. Even over Christmas, where my Mum usually manages to leave so much lovely food lying around that I become visibly fatter over the fortnight.
The formula that seems to have worked for me is:
Drink 300 calories worth of extra-light olive oil first thing every morning and immediately wash the taste away with water. Let nothing except plain water pass your lips for one hour after that. Apart from that, eat whatever you like, whenever, for whatever reason. It doesn't matter in the slightest if you miss the odd day.
According to Seth Roberts himself, this diet works for lots of people but by no means all.
I am convinced that it works for me.
I recommend you try it if you're overweight and would like not to be. If it works for you, you'll know within a month. I'd also recommend you read Seth Robert's book 'The Shangri-La Diet', for his explanation of why he thinks it should work, which is helpful if it stops working and you need to work out why and what you can do to fix it.
If you're of a technical bent then http://sethroberts.net/science/ is interesting as it reviews his theory of why his diet works, and lists lots of published papers that demonstrate various components of his theory. To be honest, I don't quite buy the mechanism proposed, but it's really not my field so I'm not competent to judge. On the other hand, it's definitely much closer to real science than most psychobabble and self-help. I'm pretty sure the guy's sincere.
My only worry here is that it does have to be Extra Light Olive Oil, not the tasty Extra Virgin sort. ELOO is produced by a nasty manufacturing process that pulls out the last drops of oil from olives that have already been squeezed, and it's not much fun to eat as it's nearly tasteless. However the consensus opinion seems to be that it's fairly healthy stuff.
Someone needs to do a proper randomized controlled trial on this.
Posted by John Lawrence Aspden at 1:14 PM