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Thursday, December 2, 2010

The HCG Diet... What you may not know!

First off let me say that I am NOT a doctor nor am I a mad scientist. What I am is a realist. I am a person who has tried many approaches to weight loss and ways to become healthier. I am a firm believer that it takes time and hard work to build a better looking, better feeling, better working and better functioning body. There are no short cuts and if that's what you're looking for then you have a rude awakening headed your way. The BEST approach to fat loss and a healthier body is to eat clean foods and exercise consistantly. It takes TIME people.

There are a ton of fad diets out there. A vast majority of them are unhealthy and just don't work. Most will yield results but they are temporary at best. You want to drop weight and fast so you jump on the latest fad diet. You drop a few pounds and think "wow, this works". Then, sadly, the diet no longer works and very quickly the weight you lost comes right back and brings a few friends with it.

There is a rule of thumb i like to tell people. You didn't get fat in 30days so how can you expect to be skinny again in 30days? At my heaviest, I was near 240lbs and I felt horrible all the time. I couldn't breath, I couldn't sleep and I felt sick 24/7. So, being a realist, i knew it was going to take TIME to get this fat off me and get into shape. And i was willing to stay on a healthy diet, with adequate calories and do my weight training and cardio for as long as it would take! 2 years later, I won 2nd place in a transformation contest. I went from a fat 240lbs to a very lean and ripped 180lbs!

Let's talk about one fad diet in particular, the HCG diet. I have a friend on this diet and have met a few others that have either tried it or are planning to try it. I cant help but feel sorry for those people that try this diet. Here's a break down of what the diet is and what HCG really is.

What it is:
HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone produced during pregnancy by the cells that form the placenta. This hormone is detected in the blood around 11 days after conception; it is detected in the urine around 12-14 days after conception. While it is most commonly associated with pregnancy, it is present in both genders.

What it does in the body:
HCG signals the hypothalamus (area of the brain that affects metabolism) to mobilize fat stores. In pregnancy, this helps the body bring nutrients into the placenta, fueling the fetus with the energy to grow.

The weight loss claim:
The HCG diet (using daily hcg injections) will help you lose 1-3 pounds per day. The HCG-diet combines the daily injections with a very low-calorie diet (500 calories per day).

500-calories per day is severely restrictive! In fact, it is not enough calories to support normal brain function. Your body will compensate by using stores of glycogen, protein (muscle) and some fat, which lowers your resting metabolism. Before you can lose true weight, you will be so irritable, lightheaded, and cranky that you’ll reach for whatever food you can get your hands on and have a field day.

Scientific evidence:
There is no scientific evidence supporting HCG injections as a weight loss strategy. In addition, these injections have not been approved by the FDA for use in weight loss. In fact, since 1975 the FDA has required all marketing and advertising of HCG to state the following: “HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or ‘normal’ distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”

“HCG is a hormone extracted from urine of pregnant women. It is approved by FDA for treatment of certain problems of the male reproductive system and in stimulating ovulation in women who have had difficulty becoming pregnant. No evidence has been presented, however, to substantiate claims for HCG as a weight-loss aid.” via the FDA

HCG ban:
The hormone was recently added to the list of “banned substances” in Major League Baseball, as it was becoming increasingly popular among steroid users. Athletes turned to this, among other “performance enhancing drugs” because it “mitigates the side effects of ending a cycle of steroids.”

Negative side effects:
The common side effects include headaches, mood swings, depression, blood clots, confusion, and dizziness. Some women also develop a condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS); symptoms of this include pelvic pain, swelling of the hands and legs, stomach pain, weight gain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, vomiting/nausea, and/or urinating less than normal.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Weight loss is hard work and it won’t come in a potion, pill, or injection. The most “dangerous” thing you should be doing to your body is trying a new exercise that intimidates you like weight training, rock climbing or completing a marathon.

Here's to a new you!
Matthew Eubanks


Anonymous said...

Great info

Anonymous said...

I think people are insane to use the HCG diet!

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