May 26, 2006

Shangri-La: The Things I Do for Content

Is this blog dead yet? No, only languishing.

So I'm clicking around last night and I encounter mention of this thing, you may have heard of it, this so-called "Shangri-La Diet." You've got to love a fad diet named that honestly, after a place too good to be true.

As nearly as I can tell, the deal with the Shangri-La is that for one 2-hour window each day, you:

  • Take nothing by mouth (that includes cigarettes, Hubris; dude, I KNOW) except water. You don't even brush your teeth.
  • Oh, and in the middle of that 2-hour window, the very middle, you down 2-4 tablespoonfuls of flavorless vegetable oil, i.e, canola or extra-light olive oil, STRAIGHT; OR, you can have a solution of sugar water instead. Don't ask me what the proportions are on the sugar water because, and I know you will not believe me but it's true, I actually think sugar water sounds more disgusting to drink than straight vegetable oil. No, I don't know what's wrong with me either.
  • But other than that, you just eat whatever. If you can stand to, I mean, after shooting plain vegetable oil down your gullet.
  • So I was reading about this whole thing, and I was all "oh please now I've seen everything and besides how disgusting IS that," and that might/should have been the end of it; except then I read this tantrum over at BlogCritics by some raving lunatic who's opposed to the whole thing because, and I believe this is an accurate summary, sugar is BAD and only DIETS THAT RESTRICT SUGAR can EVER EVER WORK, for ANYONE, it's TRUE, JESUS or Siddhartha or somebody TOLD IT TO HER THUS in a vision, AMEN.

    My goodness but I just can't stand me a zealot.

    So even the tiniest chance that my posting this might set her off all over again--well. It is too irresistible to pass up. And here's how I figure it:

  • I have nothing else to write about anyway.
  • I already do everything else they tell you to lose weight: Exercise? 4-5 days every week since being shamed on the Hike of Death, man. Eat more leafy green vegetables? I go through heads and heads of the stuff. Choose from a wide variety of foods? The only foods I absolutely, positively will not eat are bananas, raw fish/sushi, and seafood. Everything else normally considered edible is pretty much fair game. The world is my buffet. Avoid processed foods? Tough to do in the U.S., but I betcha I do a better job of it than you do, if only because, as a rule, processed food costs more.
  • There are 360 calories in 3 tablespoons of oil. An extra 360 calories a day sounds like a bad idea, until you figure that after drinking three tablespoons of straight vegetable oil, that grilled cheese sandwich you were thinking of fixing yourself probably doesn't sound so good anymore. A carrot stick, now, that would be fabulous.
  • Besides, it is too late to talk me out of it because (a) I only intend to do it for 2 weeks, unless of course it works and then okay, maybe 4, TOPS; and (b) I have already done a couple of days, HA, you're too late, too late I tell you!

    More about Days 1 and 2 later. Now, now I must go to do the typing that pays the bills (which is not this typing).

    Posted by Ilyka at May 26, 2006 08:44 PM in shangri-la experiment

    About diets: I'm terrible at them and it shows. The one that I heard that I like is to restrict yourself to Chinese takeout and eat it strictly with chopsticks (Instead of the spoon or fork I use). You never see fat Chinese people at the restaurants. Chopsticks are good exercise. Instead of 12-15 hand-to-mouth motions, it requires closer to 100. Double bonus if you call it in because there's a chance that the person who takes your order won't understand you and you might get something you don't like and would result in less food intake and more weight loss. I like this one because I think I actually could live on Chinese food. If more carrot stick intake might extend my life a few extra weeks.................not sure it's worth it.

    Posted by: Rob at May 27, 2006 07:39 AM

    Well, I just read the book a couple of weeks ago and I tried it for a few days. It sounds crazy but yet it sort of makes a weird kind of sense, especially when you read about the various scientific studies in the book about the association between flavor and calories.

    Anyway, I tried it for a few days just to see if I could tolerate it and I will say that I didn't crave sweets (my downfall) nearly as much as I normally do. I drank both the sugar water (3 TBSP of sugar, or 9 sugar cubes, dissolved in a glass of water) and the oil (2 TBSP of extra light olive oil). I thought drinking the oil was kind of gross, but no worse than taking NyQuil or something. The sugar water is a little easier, but you're supposed to drink it slowly.

    My sister is reading the book now and we're both going to try it together. We both need to lose a lot of weight. We'll see how it goes. I was planning on posting about this on my blog, but I wanted to try the diet long enough to get some results first.

    Posted by: Susan B. at May 27, 2006 12:07 PM

    "The only foods I absolutely, positively will not eat are bananas, raw fish/sushi, and seafood."

    I took a household poll, and all two of us (I didn't ask the cats) agreed we'd be happy living on nothing but.

    Posted by: JD at May 27, 2006 04:21 PM

    Oh yah, you and I don't have the same tastes at all. I know that.

    The BF gave up nagging me to "at least try" seafood after getting completely poisoned on an Ultimate Feast at the Lob a couple weeks ago. It's funny how once you barf something up for four or five hours straight you kind of never want to eat it again.

    Which reminds me, I should have included "refried beans" on my list of forbidden foods. Got food poisoning from those when I was 20 and here we are, nearly 20 years later, and still I cannot even smell the damned things without feeling a little . . . off.

    Posted by: ilyka at May 27, 2006 04:29 PM

    Take nothing by mouth (that includes cigarettes, Hubris; dude, I KNOW) except water.

    Dear God, are you serious? I can't imagine any reputable doctor would endorse omitting that important foundation of the food/vice pyramid. I call shenanigans.

    Posted by: Hubris at May 29, 2006 10:16 AM