|I am thinking about going on The HCG Diet|
The HCG Diet is a popular, very low-calorie, non-fat diet that also happens to be low in carbs. The claim by the diet's author is that the diet will reset the hypothalamus, so you won't regain the weight after you move to a higher calorie diet. The program also includes taking HCG drops or shots to make your body think that you're pregnant. Here's my experience with the diet.
My blood sugar went completely out of control recently. It soared to over 200 mg/dl after meals.
At first, I thought I had been glutened. Then, when it continued to plague me longer than it should have, I realized that maybe all of the flea bomb chemicals I was exposed to a couple of months ago might have killed off some additional beta cells.
My body was acting like I wasn't making enough insulin.
As a result, I was left with no choice but to return to the Atkins Diet. I needed to get my glucose levels back under control. Once that happens, I can begin to slowly add the carbs back in.
Lately, I've realized that sugar seems to be harder on my glucose levels than starches are. I have been getting sugar from places I didn't realize like:
- Lawry's garlic salt
- Lawry's seasoning salt
- McCormick taco seasoning
With the radical change in my lifestyle lately, however, I've just been trying to get by.
I never thought about what did or didn't have sugar, especially since I was able to eat it while remaining gluten free before I was exposed to those darned flea bomb chemicals. Once my glucose levels stabilize, I'm also going to take a closer look at the HCG Diet.
Looking Into the HCG Diet Protocol
I confess that I have fallen into the HCG diet craze. The holistic chiropractor I see for the vertigo first brought the idea up several months ago. A friend of his went on the HCG diet protocol and had great success with it.
Since it was similar to Lyle McDonald's Rapid Fat Loss Diet, a Protein-Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF Diet) you can do for free, I didn't take any of what he said to heart. At the time, I thought it was a bunch of bunk.
Now, I'm not so sure.
When the chiro brought it up again the last time I was there, I thought I should at least look into the merits and drawbacks of the plan before judging, so I took a trip over to Low Carb Friends where they have an HCG diet section.
The point of the program, besides getting the fat off quickly, is about resetting the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus regulates the body's set point. Between studying the hypothalamus this past week and the research I did on the set-point theory earlier, I started looking closer at what I originally thought was a low-carb gimmick.
What I discovered was that most people who condemn the program and laugh at all the folks being duped out of their money (including myself) haven't looked into the program's claims. They just assume that the HCG hormone is a gimmick since this diet program is being proclaimed as a fat-loss miracle.
They believe that any 500-calorie diet would produce the same kind of results. However, that wasn't what Dr. Simeon found.
Role of HCG in the Body
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone that pregnant women produce. It's what a pregnancy test measures.
According to Dr. Simeon, one of HCG's roles in the body is to release stubborn fat into the bloodstream for the extra energy a pregnant woman needs to feed and care for a fetus.
Since those who enter into Dr. Simeon's HCG Protocol are not pregnant and there's no baby to support, a very low-calorie no-fat diet is used to burn off the fat that the body releases from its fat stores.
At the same time, HCG is supposed to reset the hypothalamus, speed up the metabolism, and suppress the appetite.
Dr. Simeon found that more than 500 calories, plus certain foods that were lower in calories than what he was currently allowing on the program, would slow or halt fat loss.
This proved to him that it wasn't just about the calories and that a particular deficit in combination with certain foods were both necessary to achieve the best results.
There are a lot of individuals who testify to how well the program works, including my chiropractor's friend who has had no trouble maintaining her losses since she went off the diet.
Thinking About Giving the hHCG Diet a Try
I'm seriously thinking about giving Dr. Simeon's HCG protocol a try. I have ordered a bottle of homeopathic hHCG drops (which will be here tomorrow or Thursday).
At this point in my weight loss journey, it doesn't seem like I'm getting anywhere, especially since all of my efforts to return carbs to my diet has only resulted in my weight climbing upward again. Plus, the blood sugar is still going wacky.
I was hoping that a modified South Beach Diet would work for me, but so far it hasn't worked any better than the Atkins Diet did. Dairy really inflames me, and the hHCG Protocol doesn't include dairy.
How Well Did I Do?Since I was already on a low-carb diet, I didn't get the whopping dump of glycogen and water that others see. I did lose a couple of pounds the first week, but no where near the 1/2 to 1 pound of body fat per day that has commonly been reported.
I saw a lot of water fluctuations, bouncing scale weight, but the overall trend was down. Body seemed to react to the diet in a similar way that it reacted to zero carbs. At the time, I didn't see the connection, but today, I have a better understanding of what was going on.
Low-carb diets are stressful on the body, so your stress hormones go up due to the very low insulin levels. Water is lost, along with tons of sodium, so you are also pretty dehydrated. On a severely restricted calorie diet, when coupled with unhealed celiac disease and Graves' disease, the body reacted badly to the caloric deprivation.
Eating at 500 calories a day and getting only 200 weight grams of meat was extremely difficult, at first, and by the end of the first week, I was worried about the skimpy protein intake. I didn't want to burn through the muscle I had, just to reach 125 pounds, and I wasn't losing weight as quickly as others were.
|Since apples made me hungry on HCG, I decided|
to trade them for a little more protein.
Since the apples and strawberries made the hunger worse, I decided to skip the fruit and raise my protein to 300 weight grams per day. 100 grams of meat is a little less than 3 ounces of fish or chicken breast, so increasing my protein intake made it easier to stick with the diet's protocol.
Despite the increase in protein, I meticulously stuck to the 500 calories a day limit. I never went over in calories, even if I was hungry. Raising the protein allotment seemed to help with the bouncing scale weight and I started losing weight more steadily, just slower than others.
Honestly, the experience was quite unpleasant to get through. I had to implement a ton of distractions to keep my mind on something other than the hunger. I was freezing all of the time, and I suffered a lot more vertigo attacks than usual. While the drops helped a lot to keep the hunger tolerable, as the weeks went by, I started to show signs of starvation.
By the end of 8 weeks, 56 days, I was down about 30 pounds and started talking crazy, like giving up the whole idea of dieting completely. I broke the diet on Thanksgiving, and I ate anything I wanted. After that first weekend, I limited my food intake to about 800 calories, and followed the protocol that said to eat lots of fat and no sugar, but those 800 calories caused my weight loss to stall.
I have no idea if it was the calories or the fat, because I never went back onto the diet.
Like many others, I was not able to sustain the weight loss. While the HCG protocol does take the weight off, as Dr. Simeons claimed, you have to stay at very low calories to keep the weight from coming back. Apparently, there is no such thing as resetting the hypothalamus. After eight weeks of only eating 500 calories a day, the body was primed for fat gain.
*HCG drops and injections are available through some medical clinics, homeopathic drops, the type I took, are no longer legal. It's thought that since homeopathic medications contain very little of the original substance, that many of us DID go into starvation mode.