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Shangri-La Diet

Shangri-La Diet

The answer could be a diet of bland foods.

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The Shangri-La Diet, and its corresponding how-to book written by Dr. Seth Roberts, is a unique approach to weight loss. By taking into account the notion of "set points", which will be explained here in more detail, one can presumably use the techniques that Dr. Roberts instructs the reader to do, and lose weight.

Explained in The Shangri-La Diet (SLD), a "set point" is, according to medical research, a kind of plateau, or saturation point within the human body. We evidently have many of these "set point", and a popular catch word in weight loss is "weight set point" as in "I haven't lost any weight for three weeks, I must be at a weight set point." Most dieters accept the word set point when used in this format, but doctors of medicine, and in Dr. Roberts' case, specifically psychology, use the term to describe a sort of stasis, or balance in a reaction. It's all terribly confusing to the layperson, but suffice to say that Dr. Roberts' plan is an easy one to follow.

By adding 1-2 tablespoons of bland oil and a sugar water solution to one's daily food intake, and by limiting all solid foods to those that are bland and/or flavorless, a person can reduce their appetite "set point." Subsequently, you'll reduce the need for food, thereby reducing caloric intake, resulting in weight loss.

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  • Does not have a physical activity component, making it ideal for sedentary individuals or those with limited mobility
  • Shangri-La Diet users (or SLDers, as they call themselves) seem to be very web-savvy, and as a result, the forums and on-line support is stronger than a number of other methods for weight loss
  • Dr. Roberts has put forth a very compelling argument, including extensive "self-experimentation" for how SLD suppresses appetite, including those who binge eat
  • The user needs to get used to ingesting oil, which for some, can be difficult to do
  • SLD would be difficult to do at home with a partner who feels excluded by the restrictiveness of the program
  • Maintenance can be tricky, with many users finding it difficult to go back to eating foods with flavor
  • Many find that their weight reaches levels that are too low, generating alarm from their doctors and loved ones
  • No exercise component

Following The Shangri-La Diet, users ingest anywhere from 1 to 4 tablespoons of light flavored vegetable oil, throughout the day, as well as take in a sugar-water solution as needed. The individual approach is stressed here, as "set points" are unique to the individual. In addition, SLD users limit food intake to bland, flavorless foods, such as protein bars, or vegetable mush, or engage in "nose-clipping" in order to not taste the foods they consume.

Based on forum posts, it seems to take time to reach the appetite "set point" or point of "appetite suppression" or "AS" as the users call it; but once you are there, the user finds they are not hungry anymore, ever, and have reached a state of "Shangri-La."


None required, or dictated. In fact, it might be dangerous to engage in sustained physical activity as a Shangri-La user if one has limited their caloric intake to a point lower than they need for system and organ function.


The Shangri-La Diet has worked for a number of people, and for those individuals, they are passionate about sharing how the program has changed their lives. Stories of compulsive overeaters, now free from the chains of a never-ending appetite, make it tempting to consider Dr. Roberts' ability to crack the code of appetite and weight loss. One should consider however, if the SLD is or isn't a form of anorexia assistance, as its users revel in the freedom from needing to eat. It's also hard to swallow SLD's demonization of foods containing flavor, and the subsequent pleasure to the consumer. While it's easy to agree with the slippery slope that artificial flavors provide, and its potential contribution to the obesity epidemic in this country, it is also somewhat scary to picture a nation of over-thin people, sitting in sugar-water houses, eating bowls of vegetable mush and swallowing pellets of flavorless protein.

Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

Shangrla diet, SLD, sugar-water diet, shanegrila diet

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(Page 1 of 1, 19 total comments)


The diet is very poorly thought out, eat chicken for lunch, eat the left overs for supper with a salad. The whole menu is like that...so boring and not at all well thought out. I asked for my money back from the time I received the diet plan on September 4 and in December I had to include PayPal to get refunded and they waited till the PayPal request expired and never refunded me. It says full money back guarantee but they are full of bullshit. I requested my money back 10 times minimum...bad bad bad customer service!

posted Jan 3rd, 2018 12:37 pm

Alan Lawson

It was great.

posted Dec 19th, 2017 2:21 pm

Julie Miller


After only 3 days, my complexion seemed healthier...no make-up, just blush. Today, the fourth day, a small miracle: I got a cheesecake square, took one bite, and didn't want anymore. I'm so happy...simple carbs are so bad for my body. Using oil...and now will not be afraid to get a scale. I need to go from 160 to 140.

posted Apr 1st, 2015 10:57 pm



Is the Shangri-La diet safe? How often do you take the oil and sugar water in a given day?Is it safe for type-1 diabetics?

posted May 21st, 2013 11:30 pm

John Wilbur


This is a very uneducated review. The Shangri-la diet is NOT about eating bland, flavourless foods the whole time. The diet advocates consuming between 200 and 400 calories per day in the middle of a 2 hour window where no other calories are consumed. That 2 hour window can be at anytime during the 24 hours in a day. The rest of the time you eat what you want when you want including different flavours.

The way the "diet" works is it gives you an almost in-human ability to moderate your food intake. The appetite supressant effect this diet gives is akin to the feeling you get after having eaten a large 3 course meal - you just lose interest in eating.

The book title would be more accurate if it was called "The Shangri-la appetite suppression technique"

posted Sep 26th, 2010 4:21 pm


The description of this diet is utterly and completely wrong. It's as if the writer didn't even glance at the cover of the book.

posted Sep 19th, 2010 9:22 pm



This diet is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am no longer messed up in my head about my weight.
I don't have to STICK TO A DIET.
It just quite simply reduced my appetite and helped me be emotionally detached from food.

Don't knock it until you try it. Do your research. The above article is not quite accurate.

Just try it. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. I've never been happier.

posted Sep 17th, 2010 6:19 pm



This diet worked well for me. I lost about 29 pounds. I created a web page about my experience (including a weight-loss graph):

Thanks go out to Seth Roberts.

posted Aug 25th, 2010 8:32 pm



Sure downing some oil can make me want to blow lunch, but its over in 10 seconds and come mealtime, Im hungry but not famished. the oil allows to to stick to whatever diet you want. YOu dont have to be a rocket scientist to know that a hunk of haddock is better for you than a big mac, and with the oil 3X a day, you can stick to healthy eating in healthy amounts. are people looking for somehting so complicated that this is confusing for them? How about being able to wear all the clothes youve got packed away because it looks like youre tying up a pork roast when you put them on? it works and I agree: Do people need to be told that they need a little exercise? Jeeezuz, go for a walk!!

posted Mar 3rd, 2010 9:19 am



Worked for me

posted Dec 22nd, 2009 4:26 pm



The diet works, obviously the guy who wrote the original review totally is wrong on what foods you can eat. Even on the cover of the book it states:

The No Hunger
Eat Anything
Weight-Loss Plan

Do I really have to explain what Eat Anything means?

posted Aug 24th, 2009 9:51 pm



The diet is not about bland foods. Taking some oil or sugar water (that is, calories without taste--yes, pure sweet is not a taste in this context) is what makes the diet work. This somehow acts as an appetite suppressant. When you do want to eat, you can eat anything, and you certainly would not limited to bland foods.

posted Aug 12th, 2009 12:17 am


Michelle -

The reason it doesn't dictate exercise is because it's a diet, aka it tells you how to structure your food intake. Yes, it's unfamiliar, but it's VERY simple. Follow the instructions and you WILL lose weight. Also, you want exercise instruction? Here it is: exercise.

If you need a book to tell you to exercise, of course this isn't going to work for you - nothing will. If you want to exercise, do it. choxie said it perfectly - "if you are truly motivated, then why can't you just lace up the old reeboks and walk for 30-60 minutes a day."

I mean, come on. Use your head.

posted Jun 29th, 2009 5:06 pm



this really works, believe me... thanks seth...

posted Mar 7th, 2009 6:40 pm



I just started this diet, but so far, it has been fine.

I don't get what people are talking about this diet not being for those of us seeking overall health and wellbeing.

Um, you need a book to tell you to exercise?

If you are truly motivated, then why can't you just lace up the old reeboks and walk for 30-60 minutes a day.

I have an exercise component. One that includes weight training and cardio. One that I can do the rest of my life.

Now, with this program, I feel that I have a WOE that I can do for the rest of my life.

This review is incorrect in so many ways. This is not what I read in the book. Flavorless foods, mush, um, what book were you reading?

For those who want to try something different, and make steady gains, try this diet. The oil won't hurt you it can really help.

posted Jan 4th, 2009 12:55 pm

Angelina Aurora


The Shangri-la Diet is not a diet but a safe means of reducing appetite. Your description is incorrect: there are no food restrictions, and no requirement to â??eat bland foodsâ?ť. And you can take oil and/OR sugarâ??itâ??s the flavourless calories in these that lower your set point, thus reducing appetite. Itâ??s then up to you to be sensible about what you want to do with this wonderfully reduced appetite. There is nothing like this out there. Wake up, people!

posted Dec 1st, 2008 12:01 pm



It's unlike any diet I have ever tried but I found success in following the book that unlike most diet books was quite affordable and lost roughly 7 pounds in my first weeks, good news for someone who has tried everything

posted Oct 4th, 2008 10:49 pm



The Shangri-la diet provides extensive support online, which is a huge component for me since I need the support and also accountability of others. Plus not having to force activity in my day-to-day allowed for additional flexibility.

posted Oct 4th, 2008 10:46 pm



I found the direction of this diet unfamiliar and not something I could relate to easily. Plus the lack of exercise instruction made this a diet that didn't seem like the best solution for all of us seeking overall health and wellbeing.

posted Oct 4th, 2008 10:44 pm


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