Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Progress Recap

May 14 193.5
May 15 192.5
May 16 192.0
May 18 189.5
May 19 191.0
May 22 190.5
May 24 190.0
May 26 188.5
May 28 189.5
May 31 187.5


Plateau Broken (May 31, 2006)

Weight: 187.5. This is the lowest I've been since the kids came, over 8 years ago.

So. My battle with 190 lasted over a week. I'm glad I read Ethesis' comments on the forums about plateaus or I might have given up. Even though I was prepared for the stopping-point, it was a test of faith to hang in here for almost 8 days, with my weight dipping below 190 (once as low as 188.5) and then bouncing back above it (once as high as 191.5). Which is a big range for me, even though some people say their weight fluctuates up to 4 lbs.

I am 100% fructose at the moment. I've been taking 3 tbs first thing in the am and 2 tbs in the pm (4pm-ish) the last three days. This is what "broke" through the plateau (or, it was just time). I was re-reading SLD and noticed that Seth lost the majority of his weight on sugar, and continues to keep it in his diet. I initially tried to go 100% oil (probably because I'm an ex-low-carber). The sugar has a stronger appetite-suppressing effect than the oil for me. I couldn't do this long-term (worries about diabetes) but I can do it for a few months.

Alcohol. Argh! I have never shown a loss in weight the morning after I've had alcohol the previous evening. Not a single time. I have become convinced that for me it knocks out the diet somehow. And yet opportunities abound! Just tomorrow night I have a french wine tasting to go to with my wife, planned for weeks. Lots of french goodies to eat, too ;) Bottom line: I will be curtailing alcohol consumption until I get down to my goal weight.

Ice Cream. Last night my wife and I took the kids to meet bio-mom at the airport, and then went for ice cream after. There's a cool homemade place here that does an "ice cream social" once a week. I went ahead and got a single scoop of chocolate and ate half of it. This is unprecedented in two ways. First, I have never ever left half a bowl of ice cream that I was otherwise enjoying. (It was very good rich chocolate ice cream.) I just felt "finished" and didn't want any more. Hard to explain but much appreciated.

The second interesting fact was my selection of plain chocolate. Granted theirs is very good. But I usually would choose something with many more flavors than plain chocolate. But of all the choices of flavors, that's the one that was most attractive to me at that moment. Someone on the forums asked about changes in flavor preferences; this would have to count as one. What does it mean? Who knows...

Friday, May 26, 2006


Friday, May 26

Weight: 188.5. Whew! About time :) I have a feeling that the weight is going to come off fast again for a while. We'll see how well intuition predicts this stuff. Nice to have "broken through" the 190 barrier.


ELOO: 1tbs at 6:30am.

Breakfast: n/a

* made a mistake and dipped my toothbrush in mouthwash this morning, put it in my mouth before I realized what I was doing. Hope the brief flavor doesn't ruin the effect…

Lunch: n/a

Workout: 45 min cardio

ELOO: 1tbs fructose in 2 cups hot water, 4pm

Dinner: 6:30 - lasagna, salad, homemade fries: felt stuffed after only a little food; did push down 2 homemade choc chip cookies though (I wasn't hungry, ate em when I saw the teenagers coming and there were only a few left).


From yesterday: When I had the sugar by itself at 4pm, I did not later experience low blood sugar. What was different? Perhaps that I didn't take the oil at the same time? What would that mean?

My most appetite-suppressed day yet. Couple thoughts:

LESS IS MORE. Lower doses of the oil and sugar are producing better results for me than more (i.e. 1tbs twice a day versus 2tbs twice a day).

SUGAR IS GOOD. The sugar has helped. Oil alone works but is not as effective.

SUGAR IS BETTER ALONE THAN WITH OIL. This is just a hypothesis for now but I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Wednesday, May 24

Weight: Still 190! But I am determined to persevere until I break through!
ELOO: 1tbs at 7am (first thing). I brushed my teeth with a damp toothbrush, no paste. Not sure how I like that... but in the name of science.. :)
Workout: 45 min cardio, medx line
Lunch: expresso, black
ELOO: 4pm, 1tbs table sugar in hot water (thanks Starbucks!) - I was on the road.
Dinner: Crock-pot lasagna

CHANGES FOR TODAY: Trying only 1 tbs of oil 1st thing in am, and 1tbs fructose + 1tbs canola in pm.
7am. Yesterday, I tried 1 tbs of fructose and 1 tbs of canola in the morning. It was very effective for appetite suppression. However, I did feel low-blood sugar a few hours after and my mood was somewhat anxious and fretful/argumentative. This might be better for the afternoon dose close to bedtime.
7:54 tummy ache (minor). Definately not hungry.
8:15 Had coffee (with splenda - SO made it for me).
9:13. Not hungry. Fine.
9:55 Feeling a little hungry, will wait and see if it passes.
10:48. Not hungry at all. Getting ready to go to gym. Wondering -- lunch? I'm still more or less sticking to the plan where I eat whatever I want for dinner. Still struggling to avoid alcohol & sweets.
12:33. Feeling pretty good after workout. Had some Arizona tea for lunch, nothing else. Not hungry. So far, it would see that 1tbs canola 1st thing in the morning goes a long way. We'll see about 1tbs fructose in the pm.
5:21- Still not hungry. Had absolutely nothing to eat today till dinnertime except oil at 7am and sugar water at 4pm.
I guess this is what being on a fast feels like once you get past the bad hunger pangs. :)

Monday, May 22, 2006


Day 9 (Monday May 22)

I'm posting in the morning this morning, a little different than I had been (in the evenings). So I don't have today's activity. I guess I'll try editing this post later and adding the info, so if you see it, it worked. :)

Weight: 190.5. Delta -3.
Breakfast: 1/2 banana.

First, I had a rough weekend. I had several Corona's (beer), and some sugary foods. Not a lot, but enough to feel like I was somewhat out of control of the diet. I've also felt a little, well, I want to say hungrier but it's more of an empty stomach feeling. And I didn't lose any weight this weekend, which is OK for me because my first week's total loss is still 3 lbs - not bad at all. What I am wondering though is whether:

(a) Should I try fructose instead of the canola? What if there is just enough flavor that my body can distinguish the oil calories? I'm not looking forward to the oil by any means (I forget about it frequently), so I don't think I've gotten conditioned to it.

(b) Regarding the "empty stomach feeling." Is this what Seth Roberts referred to as "craving a taste", which he successfully managed with chewing gum etc.? I don't recall feeling this the first few days, but I was coming off a full "normal" diet and adjusting my intake downward -- perhaps it's possible my stomach wasn't empty a lot.

(c) Should I be eating more for breakfast and lunch? Over the weekend I tried adding to both on Saturday and Sunday and it seemed that I felt hungrier. But it's hard to tell.

What I WILL do is cut the alcohol back out. I am still doing black coffee, which is getting a little easier to choke down. Still doesn't compare to a 2-splenda misto though :)

Friday, May 19, 2006


Day 6 - Back on Track

Weight: 191 :( (Delta: -2.5) Paid for last night's excess. It is interesting -- maybe totally coincidental -- that this happened around the time I broke 190. I believe that there's some kind of mental barrier there and can't wait till I get safely below it.
Breakfast: small bowl of cut melon and 1/2 glass carrot juice
ELOO: 2 tbs canola
Lunch: 1/2 sandwich
ELOO: 2 tbs canola
Workout: 45 min cardio
Dinner: mexican (out). Avoided alcohol. My wife and I noticed that on the menu of this chain restaurant was a little icon with this note: "denotes healthy meal choice under 800 calories". Wow. The few marked meals were under 800. How many calories were the majority of the meals, I wonder? And if they bothered to measure them, why not disclose?
Caffeine: 1 cup in morning.
Comments: I'm wavering a bit. I think I'm psyching myself out about this 190 lb barrier.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Day 5 - Revenge of Appetite!

Weight: 189.5!! (delta -4) *Whoo-hoo, broke the 190-lb barrier that's been holding me back for some time :)
Breakfast: small bowl of cut melon and sliced pineapple
ELOO: 2 tbs 10:00am (Canola)
Workout: 45 min cardio, med-x line (resistance training)
Lunch: small tomato (sliced with salt), some fruit juice
ELOO: 2tbs (maybe a little less) at 2:30pm.
Dinner: 2 glasses wine, miso soup, large bowl pad thai, brownie with ben & jerry ice cream. Ack.

Caffeine: 1 cup in morning. Forgot in the afternoon (was going to do 1/2 cup)


Ack. Had a BIG dinner last night, more like the pre-diet days. I was feeling pretty low about it but saw a post from Protein Engineer on forums about alcohol's stimulation of appetite. He linked to this article: PubMed. A couple of SLD old-timers confirmed his remarks: alcohol seems to suppress the appetite suppression. Word to the wise! I'll be paying for this at the scale tomorrow.

Comment on traveling with oil. I felt like I wasn't getting the full 2 tbs dosage because so much oil seems to stick to the sides of the little tupperwares. I put 3 tbs in each today. Oh, and they leak somehow! It's the craziest thing. It must be some tiny amount of oil on the outside of the tupperware (no matter how careful I am) and by the end of the day the ziploc I keep them in it completely oily (inside). Good thing I had the double layer.

Comment on workout. Great workout today!! I think I'll do a separate post on this but my energy levels are as good or better than pre-diet when it comes to working out even though I am working out in the middle of the day after having very few tangible calories! This is not what you'd expect.

From morning notes: Clothes felt much looser this morning. This is pretty exciting. Today is the first day of summer term (at law school) and putting on some slacks I haven't worn in a while was a great mood boost. Carrying ELOO with me in 2 tiny tupperware :)

Didn't sleep as well last night (tho not tired this morning). I suspect the afternoon caffeine. I am going to try a lower "dose" today (say, 1/2 cup). Had a tall black coffee from Starbucks on my way in this morning.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Day 4

Weight: * (didn't get a chance to weigh this morning)
Breakfast: small bowl of cut melon
ELOO: 10:30am
Workout: 90 mins cardio (11:30-1:00)
Lunch: 1 small tomato, sliced and salted (it tasted GREAT) and coffee.
ELOO: 2tbs Canola (3:55pm)
Dinner: (some snacks, plus) Spiced Lamb shanks w/ gorganzola cheese grits

Have to jump in here - when I went to the gym I planned only 45 mins

of cardio. I usually watch Lost on my Video iPod. It was the Season 2

premier and ended in a heinous cliff-hanger. I decided to do a second

45-minute session and watch the next episode. The point is, I'm on my 4th day of 1-meal-a-day, and didn't think twice about doubling my workout. What do you make of that?

Wow, I got pretty hungry around 9:45. Was thinking about aborting the

plan for this morning and having a regular meal. But by 10:00 the

hunger was gone. Took ELOO at 10:30, and was feeling a little hungry

again at 11am. But, the hunger I'm reporting is more like an

empty-stomach feeling and not powerful hunger. My stomach is growling!

I'll have a very small lunch after workout today to see how that

affects things. Also - I plan to have coffee at noon! Last night I was

pretty wiped out after 7 (and after babysitting a 2.5 yr-old for 2.5

hours!). I think my tired feeling last night was from lack of caffeine

but we'll see.

Tomorrow school starts back up and I will have to take the diet on the road. I have some mini-tupperwares ready. On the other hand, I don't have to make and bring a lunch, so the effort is really less on SLD than it was when I had to make my own lunch.


iTunes Video

It's off topic, but I just have to say how awesome iTunes video is. I missed 24 for some reason and didn't get it Tivo'd. Turns out iTunes now carries 24, and I bought the missed episode for $1.99. Why not? Had to watch the damn thing on my PC but it's better than missing it altogether! Now all we need is a way to broadcast the videos to our TV or burn them to DVD or something.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Weigh-in: 192.0 (delta -1.5/days 3)
Breakfast: 1/2 banana; coffee (1 cup)
ELOO: 10:30 a.m. 2 tbs
Lunch: n/a
Workout: 45 min cardio.
ELOO: 2 tbs @ 2:50pm
Dinner: Pork tenderloin, roasted squash.

Mood: Overall good to great.

Caffeine: 1 cup in the a.m.

Don't know what this means, but I didn't get up to urinate at all last evening. Usually I go 2-3 times. The last two nights I have had some unusually vivid dreams. For whatever its worth.
2:00pm A litle hungry, but manageable. Also a little tired, which worried me, until I realized that I'd forgotten my afternoon coffee! Again! So I'm going to soldier through since my next ELOO is at 2:30. Was really craving a "taste" late in the afternoon. Made me think of Seth's comments about using gum etc. I had some sugar-free jello which seemed to hold me.

Monday, May 15, 2006


The Plan

Here're my stats and the "overall plan". As far as the plan goes, my purpose was to make it simple and easy to follow.

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 192.5 (a/o 5/15)
Target Weight: 170
Goal loss: 22.5 lbs

Obviously, I'm using the Seth Roberts Shangri-La method. In my case, I am taking 2 tablespoons of canola oil at 10:30am and 2:30pm. This seems to work best for me so far. As far as eating goes, I am:

1. Forgoing breakfast and lunch (except small portions of fruits/veggies on occasion).

2. Cut out: all sweets and alcohol.

3. Normal dinner, as much as I care to eat.

4. Exercise as usual (generally 45 - 90 mins per day).

This is a simple plan that I can follow at home or at school. Time will tell how well it will work, and I intend to make adjustments as necessary. Two lbs per week would be fantastic, done in 10 weeks!?! Obviously, the loss isn't necessarily that consistent but as an average, it would work great for me. :)

Diet History
I lost about 20 lbs last year on Atkins. I thought the low-carb worked well, but eventually had some unpleasant side-effects and trouble keeping the carbs consistently low enough to keep losing. Basically, I went from 210 to 189. Recently I gained a little back, but within range of normal fluctuation (or maybe a little above).


Monday, May 15, 2006

Weigh-in: 192.5 (delta -1)
Breakfast: 1/2 banana; coffee (2 cups)
ELOO: 10:30 a.m. 2 tbs
Lunch: n/a
Workout: 40min stairs, med-x workout line
ELOO: 2:50 p.m.
Dinner: Spaghetti w/meatballs (leftovers, 6pm). 1/2 banana for dessert.

Mood: Overall good to great.

Caffeine: 2 cups in the a.m. (was only planning one- wife brought another home). Missed my afternoon cup (forgot!!).

Felt different after workout. Thought maybe I'd be hungry -- not at all. But, was tired, like sleepy. Maybe time for another cup of coffee..
Got a little hungry around 1:30 but decided to wait 45 mins to see what would happen, and eat if still hungry. By 1:55, wasn't hungry any more. Got some H2O instead. At 3:30, I took a break from work and took my 2.5-yr-old to the YMCA pool for a swim. Obviously, the lack of calories for the day is NOT affecting my energy level; I would even say my mood is good. 5pm: starting to feel a little hungry, but not so much that the thought of starting a short (1 hr) project before eating is any kind of problem.


Calories and Coffee

Up until incorporating Shangri-La diet (SLD) techiques, I had a twice-a-day habit for expensive, name-brand coffee (we'll leave the brand name out). After considering the remarkable advice in Seth's book, I decided to experiment:

Question: was I more "addicted" to the caffeine or the calories in the name-brand coffee?

My usual beverage was a grande half-calf misto with 2 splenda. The misto is about 1/3 to 1/2 steamed milk with regular coffee. Occasionally I would order it "light" (i.e. using skim milk). In order to effectuate my test, I switched to black coffee only. That is, I'm not allowing myself to put anything in the coffee: no milk or other sweeteners.

Result: Since I started (it'll be a week tomorrow), I haven't felt the urge to go get the name-brand coffee at all. Nada. Nothing. More intriguing is that I haven't felt the "coffee urge" either, that I used to identify with low caffeine levels. I'm not trying to de-caffeinate this week, but I haven't felt any coffee pangs at all. My home-brewed coffee, one small cup in the am and once at noonish seems to be holding me just fine. As for the black, it's definitely not as "tasty" as my old beverage (my wife sees the apocalypse somewhere in this experiment). But I get the coffee down fine.

Conclusion: Wow. It would seem that what I've been calling a coffee addiction was really an old friend: a calorie addiction. I can live without fancy name-brand coffee with lots of calories. Best of all, by forgoing the expensive beverages, I've alread paid for the SLD book, and probably saved hundreds of calories in just a few days.


Shangri-La Beginnings (for Sunday May 14)

Hat tip to Insta-Pundit for putting me onto Seth Robert's intriguing book, the Shangri-La diet. I read it over my week-long beach vacation last week and experimented with taking four tablespoon's of unflavored oil per day, 2 tbs in the morning and 2 tbs in the afternoon. The effect on my appetite was remarkable. More on this later.

I started "dieting" yesterday 'for real'. Quickly, here are my stats from yesterday:

Sunday May 14 (Mother's Day)

Weigh-in: 193.5
Breakfast: no (not hungry, note: I'd been taking oil for a week)
ELOO: 2tbs
Brunch: nibbled at various things at the gala brunch, no sweets though.
ELOO: 2tbs
Dinner: large plate of (homemade) spaghetti w/meatballs (yum!)

Coffee: twice during the day (a.m. and p.m., black, see my post re: coffee).

Comments: I wasn't hungry at all during the day. My nibbling at brunch was the result of total lack of appetite and getting full very quickly when eating slowly. So, the first observation (including some of my experience from last week) is that you should always eat a little slowly on this diet, because the only way to defeat it is to gobble. If you eat slowly, or have something small 30-45 minutes before you would otherwise plan to eat, you'll be too full to eat later (or at least, not as much).

At my weigh-in this morning (5/15/06), I was down a lb, to 192.5.

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