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Thread: hCG diet?

  1. #1
    oceanforkids
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    Lightbulb hCG diet?

    Is anyone else following the thread at VV about the hCG diet?
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...-body-fat.aspx
    I just can't wrap my head around the whole idea, to be honest. Everything I've read about it, from Dr. Oz to AJCN say it's a very bad idea. Then I go to VV and almost all of the testimonials are from older people (like me!) who are having good success. What puzzles me, though, is what about the younger women who want to try this diet. Wouldn't it interfere with their monthly cycle?

    I could never get DH to go without his raw milk and real butter, not even for a few days. He doesn't need to diet, but I could stand to lose some pounds, although not desperate about it. But we both eat the same foods because I don't have time to cook separate meals -- nor would I, anyhow. I'm not that energetic nor do I have the time to devote to two menus. I barely have time for one menu.

    What do you all think of this WOE? I ask because I might recommend it to friends, but I'd hate to give them bum information. It sounds an awful lot like the Fat Flush Diet (the food part anyhow) to me, and I did that for several years a while ago. There was an induction phase, phase 1, meat the size of a deck of cards, etc. More veggies though. It worked but I just couldn't stay on it. Very boring, very restrictive of spices, and too many supplements for my taste. Of course, the lady who developed FF was also selling the supplements - imagine that. I think nutrition should come from food, not pills, except those we just can't get enough of from foods (like D3).

    Just curious.
    Last edited by Reesacat; 05-03-11 at 11:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member bmc65's Avatar
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    Well, I think I peed quite a bit on that article, but since you asked and for anyone who didn't look in on VV, I would not recommend this diet. Why? At the end of the day it's a diet and diets don't typically work over the long hall. There have been a bunch of testimonials on VV, but no one is reporting on how long they have kept the weight off. While this diet does seem to be working for folks who have had difficulty losing weight, if they don't change the habits that gave them a weight problem to begin with the success isn't going to last. IMO, why suffer the deprivation you tend to feel during a diet when adjusting your habits (which is what you need to do for the long hall anyway) will get you there?

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    It is making me cringe-I read a bit and just had to walk away.

    I would direct someone who is considering gastric bypass to Dr. Mercola's site-think the HCG diet would be the lesser of 2 evils.
    My husband was an ICU RN and routinely had patients from gastric bypass die on the unit from complications of the surgery.
    One of the ward clerks in a different unit wanted to do gastric bypassand the ICU nurses took her up to see the latest patient who was dying-she cancelled the surgery.

  4. #4
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmc65 View Post
    ...no one is reporting on how long they have kept the weight off.
    I got to it late in the day when there were over 150 posts and I read them all, because I was fascinated, and yes, quite a few people said they had kept the weight off, one for a couple of years...and those who failed admitted that they had resumed bad habits.

    Since JM gave it a guarded thumbs-up (didn't outright recommend it but did not write it off, either) I'm inclined to try it. The magical drops are not terribly expensive and I dare to do it without medical supervision. If it worked, it would change my life.

    You have seen me via Facebook. You know I'm overweight, bordering on obese. My weight affects my knees and probably has a lot to do with the lower back pain. I started gaining when I closed the garden center in '01, and picked up an extra 30 pounds when I quit smoking in '06. I managed to take off that 30, but there's probably another 25-30 that crept up over the last 10 years that I can't drop...and you all know my lifestyle. I'm the kind of person who "does everything right."

    Ocean thinks it's "shallow" to let body image dominate one's life. Color me shallow. I've never been this heavy. I hate what I see in the mirror. There are places I won't go and things I won't do because of my shape. I was considering going back to school for a nutrition certificate, but I would have been laughed out of the program. I look like a gluttonous pig when in fact I eat small portions, organic, no sugar, no white carbs, etc. etc., you all know the drill. Back pain makes it impossible for me to walk for more than 5 minutes, so even if I could afford to travel again, I can't now. It's a vicious circle: I used to walk 2 miles a day without fail, which helped keep me in shape; can't walk, can't lose.

    So if this diet works...like I said, it would change my life.

  5. #5
    oceanforkids
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    Oh I agree, Reesacat, much better than surgery. I have a neighbor who did that a few years ago and it sickens me to see her portioning out a cup of this or that and if she overdoes by one ounce she pukes and, well, it's just not pretty. Besides, she said she feels so awful most of the time she wishes she was just still fat - it was easier. I have to agree, she was better off before, albeit heavy. She wasn't as big as a Buick or anything, so I can't even understand what prompted her to have it done other than pride.

    But I'm concerned about the hCG stuff because almost all the people who responded, who were having decent to great results, were older people. We have no idea how this will effect young people in the long-term, because we're not there yet, ya know? I mean gawwwly, should people be messing with a hormone (whether or not it's a sex hormone, as stated by one lady at VV) it's hard enough to keep control over all the other hormonal things going on in our bodies when younger, but to start a program like this and stay on it for a long time --- we don't have evidence yet as to what that's going to do. If there is, I haven't seen long-term studies because they aren't available to the public.

    The Fat Flush Program was actually quite healthy, but very boring, and didn't have gall bladder complications which seem to arise regularly on the hCG diet. Probably because we started the morning with a warm cup of lemon water, which gets things moving in the liver/gall bladder arena. DH and I still do that every morning because we like it. Whether it ACTUALLY helps us, is another unknown. ;o) We took CLA while on FF, but it became quite expensive and we decided we'd rather get our CLA from grass-fed meats, etc. Then, when we had a chance to once again purchase local raw milk from someone we trusted, we abandoned FF and went straight for the WAPF WOE. We are both much more content and happy on this program, by far.

    So quick weight loss might be inspiring and even beneficial for some, but we're happier where we are. We're both approaching 60 in the next few years and are relatively healthy. I have a couple of minor health issues and one major issue, DH had no issues except heartburn, which I feel is all about the stress in his life. All in all we do quite well and are very active for our ages. Neither of us has been in a hospital (as a patient) in decades. DH has knee surgery way back in 1974 and I with my last baby in 1987. That's it. If not restricting good fats in our diet is keeping us that way, we'll keep doing what we're doing, but I don't think I'll be recommending this hCG to anyone until much more is known about it.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    Islander, I would feel comfortable about you trying it-I worry about people who eat junk food going on a severely restricted diet-I think they are malnourished to start with.
    You have more sense in your little fingernail than most people get in their entire lifetime.
    I do think you meet Dr. M's criteria-you eat correctly, you have tried other things, and for you it is a health issue as much as body image.

    Go for it! Whatever we can do to help-let us know!
    I'd be interested in following your progress.

  7. #7
    oceanforkids
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    I got to it late in the day when there were over 150 posts and I read them all, because I was fascinated, and yes, quite a few people said they had kept the weight off, one for a couple of years...and those who failed admitted that they had resumed bad habits.

    Since JM gave it a guarded thumbs-up (didn't outright recommend it but did not write it off, either) I'm inclined to try it. The magical drops are not terribly expensive and I dare to do it without medical supervision. If it worked, it would change my life.

    You have seen me via Facebook. You know I'm overweight, bordering on obese. My weight affects my knees and probably has a lot to do with the lower back pain. I started gaining when I closed the garden center in '01, and picked up an extra 30 pounds when I quit smoking in '06. I managed to take off that 30, but there's probably another 25-30 that crept up over the last 10 years that I can't drop...and you all know my lifestyle. I'm the kind of person who "does everything right."

    Ocean thinks it's "shallow" to let body image dominate one's life. Color me shallow. I've never been this heavy. I hate what I see in the mirror. There are places I won't go and things I won't do because of my shape. I was considering going back to school for a nutrition certificate, but I would have been laughed out of the program. I look like a gluttonous pig when in fact I eat small portions, organic, no sugar, no white carbs, etc. etc., you all know the drill. Back pain makes it impossible for me to walk for more than 5 minutes, so even if I could afford to travel again, I can't now. It's a vicious circle: I used to walk 2 miles a day without fail, which helped keep me in shape; can't walk, can't lose.

    So if this diet works...like I said, it would change my life.
    I don't belong at FB so I'll never see you I guess! And just because I think it's shallow for people to believe that how they look determines whether or not they are a valuable person (I've seen this attitude a LOT in my life) don't let that deter you from doing it if you think it will make you feel better. I didn't mean to imply that feeling better, physically, wasn't a good goal. But that person I responded to at VV was talking mostly about his appearance and he linked that to his self-worth. IMPHO, that's wrong. Go for it, baby!

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    This is getting personal! I think that one should consider the intended audience for this HCG treatment. With no offense intended to Oceanforkids, if you would like to view some really fat people, just come to Philadelphia. Those of us who are fifteen pounds over our ideal weight perhaps should be advised to endeavor a different method of straightening out our dietary intake, and of optimizing our type and variety of exercising.

    As emphasized by Reesacat, the gastric bypass phenomenon has grown in recent years, to have become a completely acceptable choice, and not even as a “last resort” life saving procedure. One must be quite obese to be considered for any surgical procedure, whether lap band, bypass, or similar invasive high risk surgeries. Medicaid or other insurance will pay for this surgery in certain cases, but never will contribute a cent toward paying for grass fed meats, organic vegetables, etc. I could go on and on about the necessities of living in an area where supermarkets fear to tread, one has no personally owned means of transportation, and the only retail outlets consist of convenience stores, Tasty Kakes, and liquor stores, but I shall refrain. This is a rant for another day.

    For many years, I have respected the writing of Dr. Jonathan Wright. Several years ago, he reported on his and his wife’s experience with HCG treatment. Although this is from memory, I think that they had lost about twelve pounds in a three week period. No idea as to whether they succeeded in keeping their weight down to this level, or whether they tried another cycle at a later time. As they did this together, their report also points up the necessity either to isolate oneself for a few weeks, or to carry it out along with a close friend or family member. By the way, for a pre-menopausal woman, the protocol emphasizes that it should be carried out during the middle three weeks of the woman’s cycle.

    Any diet involving extreme caloric restriction, applied assiduously for three weeks, could be expected to cause weight loss. The salient factor in this treatment seems to be the HCG itself, which supposedly causes not only fat loss, but a “permanent” resetting of the metabolism, as well. Of course, any dietary intervention will be expected to fail, if one immediately goes back to unbalanced, excessive ways of eating, following the completion of the “diet”.

    Having said all of this, my main concern would be that I have not seen the issue of muscle mass being addressed. As one gets older, Mother Nature seems to desire that one increases fat and has a much harder time maintaining or increasing muscle mass. No reduction in fat stores, even with a corresponding increase in metabolic rate, can lead to optimal health without addressing the dreaded sarcopenia. From my understanding of this HCG treatment, not only would it be impossible to do any more than the mildest form of exercise while on the “diet”, but nothing has been said of how to begin increasing one’s minimal muscle mass following the completion of the HCG period. Without addressing this issue, I fail to see how any success can be sustained over the long haul. Perhaps now a “smart person” might come along to explain all of this…

  9. #9
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    Sorry, I'm waiting for the smart person too...but supposedly radical caloric reduction affects muscle to some degree, as well as overall body fat, and slows metabolism...whereas the hcg diet is said to demolish the unwanted, unhealthy abdominal fat while leaving the rest untouched, and burning that fat keeps the metabolism up. I'm still working my way through the pdf I downloaded.

  10. #10
    oceanforkids
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    One of the best ways to judge how this program actually works would be to see photos of people like Wright and his wife, and Kevin Trudeau. I haven't seen or heard anything about KT for several years. I also don't have time to search it right now, but it would be a good general indicator of the success (or not) of the program.

  11. #11
    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    You can always stop the hCG diet. Gastric by-pass surgery stays with you forever.

  12. #12
    Veteran Member bmc65's Avatar
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    Excellent point Reesacat. Islander if you want to try it you are definitely in a better position that most folks. You already understand about healthy eating. My main concerns about this diet are being able to keep the weight off, (it's really discouraging to go through a diet and then gain the weight back), and also that the 500 cal restriction will slow your metabolism making coming off the diet really difficult.

  13. #13
    oceanforkids
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    Quote Originally Posted by bmc65 View Post
    My main concerns about this diet are being able to keep the weight off, (it's really discouraging to go through a diet and then gain the weight back), and also that the 500 cal restriction will slow your metabolism making coming off the diet really difficult.
    Bingo!

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    Veteran Member Aaltrude's Avatar
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    Islander, I know you are health savvy therefore I presume you have had your thyroid levels checked and can be certain that low thyroid function is not the reason you have had problems losing weight.

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    Veteran Member Katee's Avatar
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    Default Re: hCG diet?

    I saw a new doc today, Dr. S in Newport Beach.

    Someone i really trust has been recommending her for a couple of years. However, i have had so many difficult times with different docs and so many recommendations from folks' with their "wonderful doctors" that i tend to freeze up and make no decision. It seems that about every 9 months in the past 3 years or so i try someone new, try their recommendations, it doesn't work, and i just keep on plugging.

    So far, however, i am very favorably impressed with this doc. She is a MD, but she believes in listening to the patient. The past few docs i have seen seem to listen, too, but then they try to determine "which box" to place me in. From what i've seen, she is not looking to put me in a box at all.

    First off, i told her i can not do a severely restricted diet. I told her i saw no justifications for the severe restrictions the last doc put me on, nor did i see any improvement. I told her i stuck with it for 5 weeks (when i was suppose to be on it for 5 months to 2 years), but it was so limited that i was averaging only 700 to 900 calories a day. I was always hungry. I did not lose ONE pound of weight.

    Dr. S won my heart by saying, "You stayed on this for 5 weeks? I wouldn't have lasted 5 days!" She also agreed that there were no justifications (most of the "allergy markers" were at a +1 level, on a scale of 0 - 4, 4 the worst). She also agreed that a smoothie of raw milk, raw organic eggs, stevia, and flavoring (i like almond and nutmeg) sounded like a good thing.

    She asked if i knew of the hCG diet, and i could only say "Yes" based on the little i've gleaned from this conversation. She told me about it, but encouraged me to research it on line, as well.

    Dr. S said that she tried it herself for a few days to see if a person could actually function and not be hungry on 500 cal a day. She said that the hCG dose (given either IM or sublingually) is very small - not enough to even register a false positive on a pregnancy test. It needs to be Rx, not homeopathic or otherwise. She said that the hCG tells your brain to release and utilize the fat stored in the abdomen. While she is WNLs on weight and does not need to lose weight (although i would not consider her "skinny") she said she lost 5 pounds in 5 days and was not hungry.

    The protocol she listed for this is that after we do a bunch of lab testing and she feels it is safe for me, i will see a nutritionist. The nutritionist will do elaborate testing including muscle mass, fat percentage, etc. I will be on the hCG for 2 weeks (i think i'm getting mixed up some here, possibly). The diet will be very simple and easy, mostly protein, non-starchy veggies, and a limited amount of fruit. At the end of the 2 weeks (if i have this right) i see Dr. S again. The hCG stops. I can have larger amounts of the same foods. At the end of the 4 weeks i see the nutritionist again to re-test all of the original things she measured. I can begin to add other foods back into my diet.

    Dr. S feels that this "resets" metabolism - that it should help with weight loss, thyroid and adrenal issues, and help me to have more energy.

    At this point, with the info i have, i see no reason not to give it a try, tho it will be a month or so before i can begin. I've got blood tests and things to do first.

    So, there is the view point of an alternative MD, who has read the research and attended seminars on this, and tried it herself.

    The hCG is a very small amount (pregnancy tests pick up 20-70 mIU/ml, in the pregnancy, these levels can climb up to 288,000 mIU/ml at about 12 weeks gestation, then slowly drop back down). If the hCG given, for only 2-3 weeks, will not even trigger a false positive, the amount given is very small indeed.

    Last edited by Katee; 04-14-11 at 08:54 PM.

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