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Shangri-La Diet - setpoint success at last

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  • #16
    Originally posted by heatseeker View Post
    [B]A rundown of my food intake would be: I eat very strictly 80/20 primal, with the 20% coming from white rice (sushi), corn tortillas on tacos (I live in Texas), and the occasional red wine or ice cream. My diet is very typical primal fare: pastured meats, sweet potatoes, tons of greens and vegetables (I eat kale, collards and broccoli pretty much every day), lots of fish and avocado, animal fats, coconut milk, occasional fruit like berries. I do eat dairy, in the form of greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and fancy aged cheese. I found that my athletic pursuits and general state of mind are better when I consume a slightly higher carb level than the typical MDAer, so I eat 100-150g carbs a day in the form of sweet potatoes, white rice, and vegetables.
    You are almost practicing the Perfect Health Diet verbatim...

    In the PHD, the macro breakdown is roughly 30% carbs, 20% protein, and 50% fat. Their recommendation for losing weight is to keep the carb and protein calories the same, but reduce fat. They also recommend a couple tablespoons of coconut oil a day.

    I can see from your post on the SLD and from reading the PHD, that I have been sabotaging myself in weightloss efforts. I didn't start looking at starch and fat hard enough until I stumbled onto the Potato Diet of which I write about a lot...

    In the past, I was maintaining well on about 10-20% carbs, 30-40% Protein and 50% fat. Whenever I would try to bust through the plateau, I would cut carbs even lower and up fat.

    I'm glad you found your Shangri-La, but I have to say, I'll bet it works so well for you mainly because of what you are considering 'cheats' ie. potatoes and corn. You have stumbled on the perfect macro ratios for you! Good job. Keep it up and keep telling us about it.

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    • #17
      How do you choke down the coconut oil?
      Good question . Usually I just man up and pop a tablespoon in my mouth, chew, and swallow. Lately, though, it's been squicking me out a little, so sometimes I melt it in a little hot water and knock it back like a shot.

      I wonder if you could get the same effects just by adding more fat to your regular meals, like with a fatty sauce, or tweaking your macros to be higher fat? Or does it have to be straight bland oil to work?
      Kata, the point is that there's no food-reward in the brain along with the extra calories. The oil has to be flavorless and you have to ingest it an hour after and an hour before any other flavors, so that your body doesn't associate it with flavor. I've sometimes tripped up and brushed my teeth or popped some gum in my mouth without thinking. You have to be careful. Wait at least an hour after any food/flavor, take the oil, then wait another hour before any other flavor. Just water.

      Even refined coconut oil has a little flavor, so I take it while holding my nose. I know, I know--it's so bizarre, and I feel silly doing it each and every time, but dangit, it works.

      I'm glad you found your Shangri-La, but I have to say, I'll bet it works so well for you mainly because of what you are considering 'cheats' ie. potatoes and corn. You have stumbled on the perfect macro ratios for you! Good job. Keep it up and keep telling us about it.
      I'm fairly confident that it's the flavorless oil combined with appetite suppression, rather than macro balance, that's caused the setpoint change. I'd been eating the same macros for years (I've been primal/paleo for quite a while) with no change in my weight setpoint, and had tried all the different macro tweaks, like LC, VLC, carb cycling, high protein/low fat, high fat/low protein, etc, with no results. I'd even done caloric restriction with no results. Don't ask me to explain it (read the book, because I'm pretty sure he explains the science well, based on others' reviews), but it's something about tricking your body into thinking it has more calories than it needs by circumventing the food-reward cycle that makes it suddenly start to let go of its happy homeostasis. Which, for me, my body's happy homeostasis was about 25-30 pounds more than I was happy with, so being able to alter the setpoint was really the key.

      TL;DR: Calorie restriction alone did not work for me. Calorie restriction + extra calories from flavorless oil = success.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by heatseeker View Post
        TL;DR: Calorie restriction alone did not work for me. Calorie restriction + extra calories from flavorless oil = success.
        I will put reading SLD on my to-do list! I know whatyou mean about trying everything to get your set-point to move. So, maybe the success of the PHD is in the fact they advocate eating some coconut oil as a snack...

        Anyway, glad it's working for you and thanks for sharing. You should starta new thread 'Eat MOAR coconut oil'

        edit: just checked out 'Girly Pushups'...you look fantastic!
        Last edited by otzi; 12-31-2012, 12:10 PM.

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        • #19
          I did it for years and it really works. Brought me down from a stubborn setpoint of 148-150 (where, coincidentally, I happen to be stuck right now) to my goal of 133-135 lbs in 3 months when I first tried it. Not a perfect fit for everyone, but holy cow, it was like a magic pill for me.

          My journal on the SLD forums is called Shovelqueen's SLD Adventure. Shovelqueen's SLD Adventure in case anyone is interested (it goes on for 139 pages, but the first 10 or so will give you an idea of my experience). I was using canola oil to start (I know, I know, but it was 2007 for cryin' out loud!), then switched to Extra Light Olive Oil. Others have used flax oil, I'd like to try it again with coconut oil (refined). I've always taken it holding my breath and then rinsing my mouth out. It's easy and discreet, especially with a liquid oil.

          Glad of a reminder that it really does work....

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          • #20
            I'll read those links; thanks drumroll.

            To make sure I'm understanding what you are doing, heatseeker, I'm going to spell this out as I'm thinking I understand it (before reading blogs).

            First, you assert that your calorie restriction is 12-1500 calories per day. Does this include the extra fat that you take twice a day (ostensibly at two "snack times")? Or, is it that amount of calories plus then another 2 tbs (one tbs per go) of fat -- which is 270 calories according to our jar -- for a total of 1500-1700 calories per day?

            I ask this because sometimes calories are restricted too low for the individual's actual overall use, which can then hormonally slow them down, such that when they add a couple of hundred calories -- particularly from fat -- it tends to do them quite well overall.

            And second, the movement you currently do is 2-3x week heated vinyasa practice (1.5 hrs) plus also daily home practice (45-90 mins?) plus also crossfit -- are you doing this daily or only 3-4x week (you probably answered this in another thread). Are you doing HIIT cardio (sprints) with it as well? I'm mostly just curious.

            Are you still doing an IF protocol, or did you just let that go and go back to a wider (normal) eating window?

            I'm interested to read how this works in the in-between eating. I have found since doing IF that I don't eat all that often anymore. Usually, two meals and sometimes a snack. Sometimes I go for one big meal per day. It is starting to look a bit like "alternate day fasting" or really, having 2 days a week where I have one meal, and several days where I have two. Between ovulation and menses, I"m likely to have the snack, whereas the other couple of weeks, I"m likely to not snack. Also, fruit consumption is way down (just naturally), but veggie craving is way up.

            I do consume plenty of oils in my foods (butter, olive oil, coconut oil). I'm unlikely to toss the stuff back in between meals. Yuck. LOL

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            • #21
              First, you assert that your calorie restriction is 12-1500 calories per day. Does this include the extra fat that you take twice a day (ostensibly at two "snack times")? Or, is it that amount of calories plus then another 2 tbs (one tbs per go) of fat -- which is 270 calories according to our jar -- for a total of 1500-1700 calories per day?
              I counted calories the first week I was doing SLD, just to see where I ended up. When I plugged each day into myfitnesspal, the result was almost always 1000-1100 calories, even eating at a wide variety; this seemed to be my new satiety point. I ONLY counted food, not the extra calories from coconut oil. My tablespoons are pretty rounded (I just grab a hunk out of the jar), so I was estimating an extra 300 calories per day of coconut oil, which brings my actual daily totals up to 1300-1400 cals per day.

              I ask this because sometimes calories are restricted too low for the individual's actual overall use, which can then hormonally slow them down, such that when they add a couple of hundred calories -- particularly from fat -- it tends to do them quite well overall.
              I'm sure that's true for some people, but I absolutely don't think it's the case for me. I've spent years playing around with macros and caloric amounts. I could restrict to 1100 cal/day (miserably, I might add), or I could eat 2500 cal/day; nothing changed my setpoint.

              I also don't think it's specifically the fat that's doing it. Dr. Roberts did it with sugar water and got the same results. Other people have experimented with just eating a meal a day with their nose clipped to block out flavor, and also had success. It's something to do with extra energy that is not associated with flavor (and therefore reward) in the brain. Like I've said, I don't exactly understand the mechanism behind it, and I'd recommend that you read the book if you're curious.

              And second, the movement you currently do is 2-3x week heated vinyasa practice (1.5 hrs) plus also daily home practice (45-90 mins?) plus also crossfit -- are you doing this daily or only 3-4x week (you probably answered this in another thread). Are you doing HIIT cardio (sprints) with it as well? I'm mostly just curious.
              My exact movement practice is:
              MWF: Crossfit
              T/Th: Lifting class (Crossfit-affiliated, and we do some metcons, but it's mostly heavy lifting)
              2-3 times a week, whenever I have the time to go: Hot vinyasa
              Daily, in my home: 45-60min yoga practice
              Daily, outside: Walking my dogs 30 min twice a day
              A few times a month when I get the hankering: 10x10sec sprints in the park

              Looking at that, it seems like a lot, but I'm a yoga teacher and live my life in gyms and studios, so it's just my lifestyle.

              Are you still doing an IF protocol, or did you just let that go and go back to a wider (normal) eating window?
              I did IF on and off for years, always with a "Well, maybe it'll work THIS time" mentality, and it just never did anything for me. I suppose you could say I IF because most days a week I don't eat breakfast. But I don't make a point to do it or plan it or anything.

              Taking the oil in between meals is really astonishingly easy and not complicated. You just have to remember not to consume flavor an hour before and an hour after. I've heard of people taking their oil right before bed and it works just as well. I find that when I do this, I'm really hungry upon waking, so I like to do mine throughout the day.

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              • #22
                marthat, thanks for the link to your journal! Reading now.

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                • #23
                  I tried this a few years ago and it didn't work for me - mind you, neither does anything else, so I can't blame the method necessarily. Lots of people on his forum did have success though. Worth a try if you are ticking all the boxes and the weight is not coming off, and it's not that difficult to do.
                  My website: http://www.shoppinganywhere.net/

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                  • #24
                    I thought I read that you have to do this forever? Is that true? This is a great method if it resets your weight point but not as great if it's just a daily trick for the brain.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by heatseeker View Post
                      My exact movement practice is:
                      MWF: Crossfit
                      T/Th: Lifting class (Crossfit-affiliated, and we do some metcons, but it's mostly heavy lifting)
                      2-3 times a week, whenever I have the time to go: Hot vinyasa
                      Daily, in my home: 45-60min yoga practice
                      Daily, outside: Walking my dogs 30 min twice a day
                      A few times a month when I get the hankering: 10x10sec sprints in the park
                      Good lord that's a lot of exercise on barely any calories. I tried just lifting weights 3x a week and nearly killed myself from it. Took me more than a week of sleeping 12 hours a night and sitting in the sun during the day to even start to feel normal again. And I eat way more than 1100 calories a day. I guess I will always be fat.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                      • #26
                        I thought I read that you have to do this forever? Is that true? This is a great method if it resets your weight point but not as great if it's just a daily trick for the brain.
                        Actually, that's one thing I do wonder about. If I stop, will my setpoint climb back up? Time will tell. When I get where I want to be, I'll stop doing the oil and just see what happens, I guess.

                        Gotta say, it's pretty effortless and actually saves me a lot of money on food, so I don't think I'd altogether mind doing it forever.

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                        • #27
                          The concept of consuming extra healthy fats for overall nutritional benefit is good enough reason alone for many to consider staying on SLD for a long time. Folks on SAD diet comment on improved skin, hair, sleep, mood - lots of the benefits that we already are aware of as Primal eaters.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Tribal Rob View Post
                            Intersting idea, most truly primal fats arn't flavourless but yummy, like coconut oil and butter, and I personally wouldn't go down the insulin spiking route of fructose in water, to much evidence to suggest that increased insulin is bad in so many ways.
                            time to brush up on insulin and fructose...

                            to the OP - fwiw, i think food reward is a very real concept, and a good thing to understand. i'm not convinced (nor even close), that eating tablespoons of oil is going to somehow blunt your appetite by affecting food reward mechanisms. that barely makes sense as i write it, and i suppose i should look at the author's site before really critiquing.

                            anyway, the best diet is the one you can stick with, so if it works for you, do it.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by otzi View Post
                              Can you give us a brief rundown on what kind of foods and how much you eat?
                              Here is a lecture he gave on self-experimentation. Interesting ideas; the flavorless calories come in
                              about 2/3 the way through--nestled between standing on one foot for exercise and eating pork fat
                              to help you sleep:
                              YouTube
                              Retirement has afforded me the ultimate affluence, that of free time (Sahlins/Wells)

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                              • #30
                                Even the most flavorful oils and butters may be yummy, but largely flavorless on its own. For the caloric intake, I'd rather have the equivalent of chocolate instead. I will eat my tablespoon of coconut oil a day for health, and although it's quite good, it doesn't give me the satisfaction that something delicious does. I like to enjoy my food and I have no problem with satiety.
                                F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                                "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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