I have been on the diet for a week and have not read the book; therefore, I feel I'm more than qualified to give an alternative explanation for why the diet works. People give evolution too much credit. Evolution isn’t smart enough to figure out that a lot of food means you better stored up for the lean times. I believe that mind-body organism works on simpler principles and these simple dynamics lead to all kinds of complexity.
One of the dynamics is that pain= pleasure. Pain leads to pleasure, and pleasure leads to pain. Early humans ate a lot of food when it was available because it was pleasurable. After pigging out they had more hunger pain than they started with so they ate more. When they didn't have a lot of food they obviously didn't get a lot of pleasure from food, so they had less hunger pain. The best thing to do when you don't have any food is fast.
This diet appears to make fat people, like me, eat like a thin person. Food becomes a positive reinforcer--- I'm eating less and enjoying it more.
For fat people eating tends to be a negative reinforcer. Negative reinforcers are much more pleasurable than positive reinforcers. To be pain-free is nothing, to become free of pain (hunger or emotional) is everything. A non-eating way to reduce pain is to reduce the pleasure.
Take the flavor out of eating and you take the pleasure out of it. With low-carbohydrate diets this is what happens. Without the pleasure of carbohydrates what's the point of eating. With this diet oil is like methadone. The body gets pain relief without the pleasurable high. You can eat whatever you want as long as you don't enjoy it too much.
Some people have suggested a way to quit smoking would be to smoke cigarettes without nicotine in them to take away the pleasure. This diet could help to stop smoking through the loss of associated oral pleasure.
The diet can be explained through Solomon's opponent-process theory, which says all addiction is the result of an emotional pairing of pleasure and the emotional symptoms associated with withdrawal. Solomon's advice was to eat your dessert first. It also explains why the French eat their salad at the end of the meal.
If there is a set point, I believe it's not a weight set point but rather a pleasure set point. When you don't reach the set point cravings start and when you go over the set point (staying too long at the fair) you get feelings of aversion.
I doubt if the pleasure set point changes very much. People simply switch sources of pleasure. Stop smoking, and you start eating more. Much of the pleasure of being on this diet comes from the pleasure of feeling in control. Once the novelty of control wears off people will have to look for other sources of pleasure or they will go back to getting pleasure from food.
As Buddha said life is pain, and because of this there will always be a compensate drive for pleasure. Fat people tend to get their daily requirement of pleasure from food, while thin people get their pleasure from sex, exercise, and making fun of fat people. I'm looking forward to this shift in pleasure.
I believe, one of the reasons people are so reactive to this diet is that people get pissed off when you take their pleasure away from them. It's like when Hickey in The Iceman Cometh took the pleasure out of the other alcoholics drinking by confronting their stories. No one thanked him.
One of the things this diet has going against it, is that there's not enough pain in it. I appreciate that people on this forum try to make it more painful by going on about what kind of oil to use and the danger of brushing your teeth with flavored toothpaste. But that's not going to make you any money in the long run. You need to do something like start up a chain of methadone dieting centers that charge $2500 with a free yearly oil change.
I was not sure where to post this,so I picked this spot at random.