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Shangri-La Diet - setpoint success at last

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  • Here is what I got from the paper (so far):

    1. when nutrient poor foods were available, animals ate more calories to receive nutrients; when nutrient rich foods were available, animals ate fewer calories.

    2. we have learned behaviors around flavors -- over time, our body recognizes certain flavors as food, and other flavors as not-as-good food. When available, we tend to eat the more flavorful foods in abundance (believed because those were seasonal. . . or less available). This is the food-reward feedback system -- the "pavlovian" part.

    3. our bodies have a mechanism of food storage cost/benefit analysis. if nutrients are low, storing them may be less costly than utilizing, and excess calories can benefit in terms of creating more fat to store (cost being carrying that fat, of course); if nutrients are high, storing them is more costly than utilizing -- and fewer calories are consumed, thereby the person is leaner.

    I understand that 1 + 2 + 3=

    A. when we eat foods that we like the flavor of, but that are nutrient poor, we keep consuming calories to make up the deficit. . . which understanding calories in/out, leads to fat gain.

    B. when we eat bland foods or foods that we like that are nutrient rich, we tend to consume fewer calories, which helps with weight loss or maintaining at "set point."

    C. by combining nutrient rich calories (flavorless oil) and divorcing it from food-flavor recognition/enjoyment, it becomes a nutrient rich source of calories, causing the body to desire fewer calories overall, but it's also a non-desired caloric origin, so it doesn't have the whole food-reward mechanism.

    What I still don't understand is set-point lowering. So far, there's a lot about how animals have a set point, but not how it goes up/down.

    But, I have to say that the more nutrient dense food I eat, the less I eat. so that demonstrates that aspect.

    Comment


    • I read it too and I am even more skeptical now. First of all the entire thing is based on an unproven *assumption* that the set-point is influenced by this taste/calories association. It says as much in the first paragraph.

      Also I don't get how anyone can say that an iso-caloric dose of sugar water and oil are going to have the same effect internally as long as you hold your nose. The interior of the body is not that clueless. It knows the difference. (The possibility of using oil is not even mentioned until the very last sentence. The whole paper up until then is all about the sugar water.)

      Also, how does he claim that fructose water is flavorless? Wouldn't it be sweet?

      This whole theory stems from him observing that he had some new (to him) sodas while on vacation in France and lost weight. Could be more than a few confounding variables going on there. Then he replicates this back home in an n=1 and calls it data? I call it confirmation bias.

      I get what he is saying about junk food particularly from chain restaurants having a pavlovian association effect. This is very similar to the whole food reward and hyper-palatablity theories. So I can see how flavorless calories sneaked in this way would not have this effect of artificially inflating appetite signals. But he has not convinced me that it would actually lower the set point other than by just the obvious mechanism of "taking the edge off" of one's hunger leading to lower consumption and lower weight.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by heatseeker View Post
        Oh, and I hope Ripped takes careful note of that last paragraph. Eat less calories, oh really, dude? Thanks, that is SUPER helpful. NEVER would have thought of that on my own.
        Good. Most people are too retarded to get this part. That's why they're disgustingly obese.

        As for the diet theory, I just want to know one thing. Are there any isocaloric studies
        Proving that it works compared to other diets? Yes or no?

        If no, then that only proves my point. If you're eating more because you "think" you're hungry, then you better think again. You don't know what real hunger is.

        I have an idea. Next time you think you're hungry even though you've clearly already eaten plenty, remind yourself that there are children in Africa dying of starvation who would be blessed if they were lucky enough to eat even 10% of what you already ate today.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Ripped View Post
          Good. Most people are too retarded to get this part. That's why they're disgustingly obese.
          'Roid rage much?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by otzi View Post
            'Roid rage much?
            Otzi he has evoked the moral high ground by ending his rant with the famous "theres starving kids in Africa!".....anything you say is futile as you can not argue with such a saint.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by otzi View Post
              'Roid rage much?
              Otzi he has evoked the moral high ground by ending his rant with the famous "theres starving kids in Africa!".....anything you say is futile as you can not argue with such sound reasoning.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                I read it too and I am even more skeptical now. First of all the entire thing is based on an unproven *assumption* that the set-point is influenced by this taste/calories association. It says as much in the first paragraph.
                I don't think anyone here has a dog in this fight--it's just a neat phenomenon that needs dissecting...I went to Google Scholar and searched "Loss of smell obesity" "Loss of taste obesity" and a couple other combos and got quite a few interesting hits like:

                ScienceDirect.com - Physiology & Behavior - Sweet tooth reconsidered: Taste responsiveness in human obesity which says "We hypothesize that sensory preferences for dietary sugars and fats are determined by body-weight status and may affect the patterns of food consumption."

                and: http://philosophy.scurvy.net/docs/cl...psychology.pdf which says "Obese, mildly overweight and normal weight females rated glucose solutions of increasing concentrations for perceived intensity and pleasantness. Obese and mildly overweight subjects found increasingly sweet solutions more pleasant than did normals. Weight loss by dieting did not affect this relationship. Weight loss due to intestinal bypass surgery altered ratings of the pleasantness of glucose solutions, making them appear more similar to ratings given by normal weight individuals. Finally, after weight loss by dieting, all weight groups found the sweet taste of milkshake pleasant even after a preload and consumed large amounts of the milkshake. Prior to weight loss, ingestion of a preload had produced lowered pleasantness ratings and reduced consumption."

                and: http://philosophy.scurvy.net/docs/cl...psychology.pdf a review of the Shangri-La diet which says "So Roberts tried to game this Stone Age system. What if he could keep his thermostat
                low by sending fewer flavor signals? One obvious solution was a bland diet, but that
                didn't interest Roberts. (He is, in fact, a serious foodie.) After a great deal of
                experimenting, he discovered two agents capable of tricking the set-point system. A few
                tablespoons of unflavored oil (he used canola or extra light olive oil), swallowed a few
                times a day between mealtimes, gave his body some calories but didn't trip the signal to
                stock up on more. Several ounces of sugar water (he used granulated fructose, which has
                a lower glycemic index than table sugar) produced the same effect. (Sweetness does not
                seem to act as a "flavor" in the body's caloric-signaling system.)
                The results were astounding. Roberts lost 40 pounds and never gained it back. He could
                eat pretty much whenever and whatever he wanted, but he was far less hungry than he
                had ever been. Friends and colleagues tried his diet, usually with similar results. His
                regimen seems to satisfy a set of requirements that many commercial diets do not: it was
                easy, built on a scientific theory and, most important, it did not leave Roberts hungry.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by otzi View Post
                  'Roid rage much?
                  Thank goodness no!! Just a jerky way of expressing myself on these matters.

                  Being formerly obese myself, I suppose I have somewhat of a chip on my shoulder when it comes to this stuff.

                  Why? Because I used to also believe in a lot of silly myths common in an industrialized nation filled with gluttons who think its normal to have rolls and rolls of fat hanging off them, and it only perpetuated my own problem.

                  But once I learned to think differently about food, I dropped most of the extra weight and kept it off.

                  IF actually helped A LOT!!! You get used to it, then you don't get hungry all the time anymore and food tastes better when you do eat; you appreciate it and enjoy it more. Once the fat is gone, your hormones work better and you fill up quicker. These days I rarely feel hungry after dinner, because my body tells me that I'm full.

                  In other words, eating less often has an appetite suppressing affect. That is of course if you don't just think you need to eat for some stupid reason such as someone told you so.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                    Otzi he has evoked the moral high ground by ending his rant with the famous "theres starving kids in Africa!".....anything you say is futile as you can not argue with such sound reasoning.
                    My "naturally thin" friend used to tell me "eat less", that was his answer to obesity. I always used to think the answer HAD to be more complicated than that, because "insert excuse".

                    Years later through extensive research and trying many diets, I did in fact realize that the answer was to eat less. He said, "so I was right all along all these years?"

                    Yes he was, and I wish I knew that 20 years ago.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post

                      Also, how does he claim that fructose water is flavorless? Wouldn't it be sweet?
                      Somehow, it's not about tongue-based taste sensations, but about the flavour - all those aromas, chemicals etc. that hit the sensors in the back of your nose/pharynx area and are the more complex sensations of flavour. They seem to have a direct line to the pleasure centres of the brain or something. When you can avoid that stimulation, by holding your breath, using noseclips or whatever, you get the calories without triggering the flavour/calorie association. Similar to having a bad cold, when you can still sense salty or sweet, but nothing tastes like anything.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by marthat View Post
                        Somehow, it's not about tongue-based taste sensations, but about the flavour - all those aromas, chemicals etc. that hit the sensors in the back of your nose/pharynx area and are the more complex sensations of flavour. They seem to have a direct line to the pleasure centres of the brain or something.
                        Let's suppose for a minute that this is 100% gospel truth and there is a setpoint based on this reaction, then what would be the result of all of our flavorful, zero-calorie treats like diet sodas, falvored, sugar-free coffee drinks, and sugar-free gum...all the tastes and flavors of real food with zero calories. Seems like that would be a good way to trick the body into eating more!

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Ripped View Post
                          My "naturally thin" friend used to tell me "eat less", that was his answer to obesity. I always used to think the answer HAD to be more complicated than that, because "insert excuse".

                          Years later through extensive research and trying many diets, I did in fact realize that the answer was to eat less. He said, "so I was right all along all these years?"

                          Yes he was, and I wish I knew that 20 years ago.
                          A couple years ago, a company came into town called "Ideal Weight". they gave free seminars and offered counselling to people, sold them supplements and packaged meals. 8 or 10 people where I work went on the plan and all lost huge amounts of weight. I started Primal about the same time and lost a little slower. Now 2 years later, all of them are off the plan and have gained all their weight back. They say things like, 'it's not sustainable' or 'I'd rather be fat than starving all the time'.

                          When people first noticed I was losing so much weight, they assumed I was on Ideal Weight. After all those folks gained it back and I haven't they started asking questions. I point them to paleo/primal, but most aren't really interested. People want quick fixes and gimmicks. I have helped a few people to see that what you eat is way more important than anything.

                          To tell an obese person to 'just eat less' is such a cop out. I think if an obese person's first attempt at dieting was the Shangri-La Diet and they lost a bunch of weight without ever really learning how to eat healthy, it would be a huge failure. But for someone on a Primal Journey, why not give it a try. If nothing else, you'd be incorporating some healthy fats in your diet for a while. If you started gaining--quit. If you started losing--woo hoo!

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by otzi View Post
                            Let's suppose for a minute that this is 100% gospel truth and there is a setpoint based on this reaction, then what would be the result of all of our flavorful, zero-calorie treats like diet sodas, falvored, sugar-free coffee drinks, and sugar-free gum...all the tastes and flavors of real food with zero calories. Seems like that would be a good way to trick the body into eating more!
                            That's exactly right! It's part of Dr. Robert's hypothesis that one of the reasons we have higher setpoints is what he calls "ditto calories", the processed, always-tastes-identical industrial "foods" that provide "food" sensations without nutrients and/or calories.

                            If you're really interested in his theories, read his book. It's short and not too complicated, but he goes into the various applications of his "hypothesis". Might be in your public library.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by marthat View Post
                              That's exactly right! It's part of Dr. Robert's hypothesis that one of the reasons we have higher setpoints is what he calls "ditto calories", the processed, always-tastes-identical industrial "foods" that provide "food" sensations without nutrients and/or calories.....
                              Marthat - What is your 'gut feel' for the SLD? You did it for a very long time it seems...did it do anything lasting for you? Would you recommend it to others? What do you think it's limitations are?
                              Thanks

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by otzi View Post
                                I don't think anyone here has a dog in this fight--it's just a neat phenomenon that needs dissecting...I went to Google Scholar and searched "Loss of smell obesity" "Loss of taste obesity" and a couple other combos and got quite a few interesting hits like:

                                ScienceDirect.com - Physiology & Behavior - Sweet tooth reconsidered: Taste responsiveness in human obesity which says "We hypothesize that sensory preferences for dietary sugars and fats are determined by body-weight status and may affect the patterns of food consumption."

                                and: http://philosophy.scurvy.net/docs/cl...psychology.pdf which says "Obese, mildly overweight and normal weight females rated glucose solutions of increasing concentrations for perceived intensity and pleasantness. Obese and mildly overweight subjects found increasingly sweet solutions more pleasant than did normals. Weight loss by dieting did not affect this relationship. Weight loss due to intestinal bypass surgery altered ratings of the pleasantness of glucose solutions, making them appear more similar to ratings given by normal weight individuals. Finally, after weight loss by dieting, all weight groups found the sweet taste of milkshake pleasant even after a preload and consumed large amounts of the milkshake. Prior to weight loss, ingestion of a preload had produced lowered pleasantness ratings and reduced consumption."

                                and: http://philosophy.scurvy.net/docs/cl...psychology.pdf a review of the Shangri-La diet which says "So Roberts tried to game this Stone Age system. What if he could keep his thermostat
                                low by sending fewer flavor signals? One obvious solution was a bland diet, but that
                                didn't interest Roberts. (He is, in fact, a serious foodie.) After a great deal of
                                experimenting, he discovered two agents capable of tricking the set-point system. A few
                                tablespoons of unflavored oil (he used canola or extra light olive oil), swallowed a few
                                times a day between mealtimes, gave his body some calories but didn't trip the signal to
                                stock up on more. Several ounces of sugar water (he used granulated fructose, which has
                                a lower glycemic index than table sugar) produced the same effect. (Sweetness does not
                                seem to act as a "flavor" in the body's caloric-signaling system.)
                                The results were astounding. Roberts lost 40 pounds and never gained it back. He could
                                eat pretty much whenever and whatever he wanted, but he was far less hungry than he
                                had ever been. Friends and colleagues tried his diet, usually with similar results. His
                                regimen seems to satisfy a set of requirements that many commercial diets do not: it was
                                easy, built on a scientific theory and, most important, it did not leave Roberts hungry.
                                I have a feeling that this possibly works similarly to how the weeklong potato diet works; eating only one thing for a week causes people to only eat as much as they need, not as much as they want (I know this is a super oversimplification).

                                I just kind of realized that this is what's been going on with me lately; for some reason I started really wanting bland foods like boiled potatoes or white rice or steamed salmon (with only a little salt, no other seasonings). Simultaneously, my appetite started dropping, even though I'm eating a pretty high carb diet.

                                I actual kind of have to *force* myself to eat because even if I get hungry, I don't really care about food. Eating is something I do out of necessity, not out of pleasure. And the bizarre thing is that not getting pleasure from food is making me the happiest I've ever been, because I'm finding pleasure in other aspects of my life which are deeper and more long lasting than the pleasure I got from food.

                                I think there really is something to the complex taste sensation/hunger connection. I don't understand it, myself, but it's not that much of a stretch considering how common it is to see fat people drinking diet sodas and other chemically-flavored low calorie foods. Ultimately, it all comes back to eating real food, not too much (Hey, Michael Pollen got the first 2 parts right!), and if taking some flavorless oil or sugar water helps with the 'not too much' part, who cares why it works?

                                Comment

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