Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shangri-La Diet: Scheme and Predictions for Third Month

OK, despite last month's fail, I've still got more faith in the Shangri-La idea than I had a the start of this experiment. And my results certainly lead me to believe that the usual advice that if you eat more you'll gain weight is wrong.

I'm representing my results as:

H 77: W 10: S 13

This month I'm going to try as many tricks as possible to make the Shangri-La scheme work. I can tell whether my appetite is low or not, so if I start feeling hungry or looking forward to the supposedly tasteless calories, then I'll change plan. If I can't find a consistently appetite surpressing form of oil, then I'll try deadening my sense of smell with noseclips. And if that doesn't work, then I'll try sugar water. If none of that keeps my appetite down, then I'm going to abandon this as a dead loss.

Apart from that, I'll try to consume 300 extra tasteless calories per day, do only as much exercise as I'll enjoy doing (and since I've just screwed my knee up playing cricket that's probably not going to be much).

That leads to the following predictions for Willpower and Shangri-La:

Willpower (no appetite loss, weight gain)

    1  2  3 4 5 6
yes 5  5  5 5 1 1
no  5 75 25 5 1 1
(total 134)

Shangri-La (appetite loss, further weight loss)

    1 2  3  4  5 6
yes 1 5 25 75 25 5
no  1 5  5  5  5 5
(total 134)

But if I end up drinking large amounts of sugar water, it complicates the picture for my own "Helplessness" theory.

I've believed for a long time that fast carbohydrates screw up your metabolism and cause hunger and thereby obesity. This is pretty much the opposite prediction to Seth's theory.

So I'm going to make two different predictions for H, depending on whether I end up drinking sugar water every morning.

If there's no (or little) sugar water involved, then H says weight stays the same, some loss of appetite to compensate for the oil:

    1  2  3  4 5 6
yes 1 25 50 25 1 1
no  1 25 50 25 1 1
(total 203)

If I end up drinking sugar water for more than 15 days of the month, then H now says I should develop a robust appetite, and gain weight, the same as the Willpower theory. So in that case I'll judge it by the same criteria:

    1  2  3 4 5 6
yes 5  5  5 5 1 1
no  5 75 25 5 1 1
(total 134)

This honest curiosity stuff is turning out to be hard. So many judgement calls to make and possibilities for bias and expectation effects. I'm fairly sure that if I hadn't been making predictions in advance and updating accordingly then by now I'd be either convinced of Shangri-La or utterly dismissive of it.

As it is, the jury is out.

No comments:

Post a Comment