Practical Biohacking: A Reset Switch for Your Food Cravings

It's not enough to be happy and joyful, if you're too out of shape to get off the couch!

As a consequence of being really sick and bedridden for several years, I had ballooned up to over 330# and had some pretty ridiculous food cravings.

One the ways I reduced my food cravings is by using a technique developed by Seth Roberts, which he calls the Shangri-La Diet. His very simple, yet powerful principle is that if you consume enough flavorless calories in the right circumstance then you can trick your body into resetting your internal set point for food.

According to Roberts, the body's set point operates much like a thermostat does for an air conditioner: your body does its best to keep your body weight within the range of the set point. Roberts says that you can reduce your set point by consuming flavorless calories, and that your body will self-regulate your weight accordingly.

In other words, Roberts states that you can lose weight easily by eating calories without any flavor -- and that your body will take care of all the hard work!

I saw Seth Roberts speak at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Atlanta this summer, and I was reminded about how helpful his theory was in starting me on the path to reclaiming my health.

His Shangri-La diet helped me to lose a lot weight. I've lost 100#, and I'm working on the last 30# to reach my ideal weight. That's a big difference from 2 years ago! The Shangri La diet technique isn't magic, but it did allow me to get control of my food cravings and begin down the path towards having a normal relationship with food.

Robert's biohack won't perform magic on your body composition, and it won't give you Schwarzenegger biceps overnight. But what it can maybe/possibly do is reset your food cravings and empower you to make rational, emotionally sound food choices.

Here's a simple and powerful way to test out the Shangri-La biohack:

1. Buy a bottle of extra light olive oil. This is olive oil that's had most of the flavor filtered out of it.

2. Establish a time of day when you won't be eating anything for a few hours (I usually don't eat breakfast, so mornings are a perfect time for me).

3. Pinch your nose shut, and drink a tablespoon of extra light olive oil once per day. (You will have to experiment here -- you will probably need to consume between 2-4 tablespoons of oil per day, to create the intended effect. However, you may find that drinking oiive oil is challenging for your stomach. The best way around this is to start with one tablespoon, and then increase the dosage slowly until your food cravings start decreasing. Even if you're pushing 300#, you should never drink more than 4 tablespoons at a time. Diminishing returns kick in pretty quickly!)

4. Wash your mouth out with warm water, while pinching your nose shut (I usually do this in the morning, right before taking a shower, and allow the showerhead to rinse out my mouth). Wash as much of the taste of the oil out of your mouth as you can!

5. The hardest part of this is to make sure that you don't add any flavor to your mouth for an hour before you drink the oil, and an hour afterwords. This is essential! This means that you can't use any toothpaste, drink flavored sparkling water, down a cup of coffee, or eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's.

6. You don't need to keep doing this forever, this technique is most effective as a short-term biohack (doing it for a few weeks, or months). This technique works by resetting your food cravings.

That's it!

The great thing is, this technique costs around $10 and you should know if it's effective for you within about a week. So it's a low-risk, potentially high reward biohack if you're struggling with poor food choices.

This biohack isn't magic, and it won't rewire your brain to prevent you from eating an entire gallon of ice cream. However, it can help to reset your food cravings. This is very useful if you're caught up with powerful sugar cravings, if you're eating emotionally and can't seem to find the off switch, or if you're just eating terrible food and can't understand why you keep doing it.

This technique may reduce your food cravings enough that you'll be able to start making smarter food choices. This is a very empowering feeling! Knowing that you can make profound changes to your own biology and neurology, and that you can do it all on your own, is an awesome feeling.

(image: from Koriente in Austin, Texas)