Tag Archives: diet for weight loss

HCG Diet-Happy Woman on Scale

What is the HCG Diet, and Is It Right for You?

As there are so many weight-loss programs available, its important to educate yourself and determine which program is right for you. One diet you may have heard of is the HCG diet. Let’s explore what the HCG diet is and what it can do for you as you commit to losing weight.

What is HCG?

During early pregnancy, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is released in large amounts. Home pregnancy tests use this hormone as a marker. It has also been used to treat fertility issues in both men and women. It stimulates the ovaries, helps a woman’s eggs mature, and stimulates testosterone production in men’s testicles. Additionally, it helps maintain the production of important hormones such as progesterone to support the healthy growth of the uterus and fetus. Levels of HCG decline after the third month of pregnancy. HCG can be a powerful source to boost metabolism, and a boosted metabolism leads to fat burning. ACAM’s (American College for Advancement in Medicine) Andrea Purcell, ND explains how this hormone works:

“One of the roles of HCG in pregnancy is to increase metabolism by allowing the fat that the pregnant woman has stored to be accessible to her during famine. In other words, the fat stores can be broken down by the HCG and used as food for her and the baby should the food supply run out while she is pregnant. This ensures a healthy, full-term pregnancy. In a non-pregnant person, we can recreate this metabolic situation by administering HCG and putting the patient on a low-calorie diet. When we do this, the fat that the patient wants to lose becomes the primary food source as it is broken down and used as energy. In essence, we are forcing the body to burn its own fat stores. Thousands of calories in stored fat are released and are used by the body or expelled.” (Purcell, HCG for Weight Loss, ACAM, April 2014)

The origins of the HCG diet

In the 1950s, British physician Dr. Albert T. Simeons claimed that the HCG regimen could cause the body to preferentially burn stored fat, particularly from the stomach, hips, and thighs.*

“While treating adolescent boys’ low testosterone levels with HCG, Dr. Simeons observed they began to slim down and began losing abnormal belly fat. Knowing that HCG positively affects the hypothalamus, he hypothesized that this area of the brain was responsible, in part, for the regulation of normal and abnormal fat. Over the next ten years, Simeons experimented with specific amounts of HCG and specific foods. He observed and documented that when both the correct amount of HCG and his food plan were followed as he had designed, both males and females had the ability to lose extraordinary amounts of abnormal fat in relatively short periods of time as compared to diet and exercise alone.” (HCG Diet Council, The History of HCG and Weight Loss, 2022)

Therefore, the HCG diet is a weight-loss protocol that combines daily injections of HCG with calorie restriction, typically around 500 calories per day.

How is the HCG different from other diets?

The HCG diet is short-term, participants eat real food, muscle mass is maintained, and cellulite (toxic fat) is burne.  What people lose with HCG isn’t simply weight but unwanted fat. The HCG diet allows you to rapidly lose a specific amount of weight in a relatively short amount of time.

One concern with many weight-loss programs is that individuals understandably do not want to lose muscle. Dr. Simeons assured dieters that they would lose more fat than muscle and would not be as hungry or irritable as they might expect on such a calorie restriction. In 1954, Simeons reported that he had treated 500 patients and found that those who followed the HCG weight-loss plan for 40 days lost 20 to 30 pounds without feeling weak or excessively hungry. As a result, the HCG diet became popular throughout the 1950s, and many people still follow the program today. The HCG diet may reduce feelings of hunger and support weight loss by redistributing body fat from the thighs, stomach, and hips.

Dr. Woeller’s Contribution

Valley Medical Weight Loss is excited to hear from Dr. Woeller as our HCG expert. She is starting the HCG diet herself and is offering tips, recipes, and support on our Facebook page. Dr. Woeller confesses that since becoming a newlywed, she has indulged a bit too much, and was looking for a way to get her diet back on track. She began the HCG protocol a couple of weeks ago and looks forward to sharing her progress and hearing from others doing the protocol along with her. Dr. Woeller will log what she’s eating, weight loss, recipes, and encouragement and answer any questions on the social media platform. Post headings will say, “Losing it with Valley Medical; Dr. Woeller HCG weight loss.”

As it goes for the beginning of any new diet supplement, preparation is everything! To prepare for the HCG diet, Dr. Woeller recommends eating clean for about two weeks before starting; otherwise, it can be a shock to your system from eating a high-calorie, high-fat diet of primarily processed foods to moving the HCG diet. She recommends the 10 day lean and clean program. She says, “If you are releasing fewer toxins while you are dieting, you’ll have a more comfortable and positive experience.” You will set yourself up for success if you plan, clean out your refrigerator and pantry, purchase groceries, and get your mindset ready. It’s also important to focus on what you CAN have on this diet instead of what you CAN NOT have.

HCG Friendly Foods to Keep on Hand (including but not limited to):

Radishes
Cucumbers
Celery
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Onions
Cabbage
Apples
Oranges
Red grapefruit
Strawberries
Lean sirloin steak
Shrimp
Tilapia
Chicken breast
“HCG-legal salad dressing” (for recipe click HERE)

For a more comprehensive list, check out the HCG diet food list on HCGplan.net.

Are there side effects?

The high levels of HCG produced during pregnancy have no negative effects on the pregnant woman’s body. This is why doctors have used HCG for many years to help women experiencing hormonal issues or fertility problems. Minor side effects, such as low blood pressure or low blood sugar, can be easily managed with proper medical supervision for non-pregnant individuals. As with any diet, patients may experience side effects that include fatigue, irritability, and restlessness, but should resolve when the body adjusts to the new protocol.

Is the HCG diet right for you?

HCG is one of many options to address weight loss. The best way to determine if HCG is right for you is to consult with our doctors, and our doctors will educate you on the protocol to help you determine if it’s the right program for you.

An ideal candidate for the HCG diet is any man or woman who has at least 15 pounds to lose and is otherwise generally in good health. These individuals are looking for a jumpstart to their weight loss to stay motivated. It can be frustrating to feel like you are eating clean and exercising without losing weight, and the HCG diet might be the initial boost you need to see results quickly.

During a consultation with our doctors, they will cover your health history and current weight loss goals. Additionally, they can go over the HCG diet and ultimately decide if it is the path for you to take.

If you have an interest in a free consultation with one of our HCG doctors, booking an appointment is unnecessary. We are a walk-in only clinic. Simply come on in at your convenience. We are open Mon, Tue, Thu, or Fri between the hours of 9 am-4:30 pm. Or Saturdays from 8 am to 1:30 pm.

Mention this article to receive $50 off your HCG package.

 

*CAVEAT FROM FDA: Since 1975, the FDA has required labeling and advertising of HCG as follows. HCG has not been demonstrated to be an 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.

intuitive eating

What Is Intuitive Eating and Can It Help You Lose Weight?

What to try when all of the diets have failed. Maybe for your goals, a diet isn’t the answer and intuitive eating can help.

One of the hardest parts of adopting a healthy lifestyle is finding a diet that works.

There are so many diets out there, with new fad diets popping up all the time. For each one, you’ll hear stories of success and many more of failure. What ultimately works for one individual might not work for someone else. And the reasons for that are varied—because of genetics, psychology, or lifestyle. 

What can become a barrier to sticking to a healthy diet though is the feeling that none of them work. When it feels like you’ve tried everything, it can feel like a healthier lifestyle is forever out of rhea. Like it just isn’t possible at all for you.

But, for many people who feel like they yo-yo between diets, there is an alternative that can help improve your relationship with food and overall health.

It’s called intuitive eating.

What is intuitive eating?

Unlike traditional diets, intuitive eating does not have restrictions. Intuitive eating is all about learning how to listen to your body and hunger cues.

Although knowing to eat when you’re hungry and to stop when you’re full is an idea that sounds obvious, in reality, it’s harder to make that happen.

The truth is that we often don’t just eat because we are physically hungry. This is when your body is telling you to replenish your energy stores and nutrients. When you feel properly hungry, you might experience irritability or something often called being “hangry”—feeling angry because you’re hungry.

But there’s also emotional hunger. Many people eat in emotional circumstances, whether it’s sadness, stress, or loneliness. And others eat when they’re bored. This habit of eating in times even when your body isn’t actually hungry can lead to weight gain and detrimental health effects.

The goal of intuitive eating is to learn how to listen to when your body is truly hungry and develop the lifestyle habits of listening to your body.

Listening to your hunger cues means eating when you’re hungry without guilt, but also stopping when you’re full. For many, this is the hardest part. Many have ingrained that it’s wrong to not finish a full meal when it’s put in front of you. So we learn to ignore our body’s cues that we’re full and ultimately overeat more often than we want. Intuitive eating means being okay with saving the rest of your food for later, or even the next day, when you recognize that you feel full.

Many doctors and dieticians who teach patients to eat intuitively will often enourage them to reflect on a few important ideas around food:

  • Think about your cravings—is there a pattern between what you crave and when you crave it? 
  • What is going on internally or externally for you when you have certain cravings?
  • What does it feel like when you reach a state of being full?
  • Reflect on how you feel after each meal. Do certain foods make you feel tired, give you a headache, or make you feel unwell?

The point of these reflections is to start to recognize when you have a genuine craving for a particular food versus using it on an emotional level.

Is it effective for weight loss?

Intuitive eating is associated with lower BMI and healthy weight maintenance.

But it’s not usually the option for those who want to lose weight on a set timeline or who have ambitious weight loss goals.

Part of the reason for that is that when starting on a weight loss journey, it is difficult to regain control over your relationship with food. It’s a challenge to listen to your hunger cues after years of ignoring them. As a result, the lack of structure and ability to keep any food in your diet can make intuitive eating harder for those who are already struggling with food and their weight.

The association with lower BMI and healthy weight maintenance is in part because those who listen to hunger cues are less likely to consistently eat beyond what their body needs to replenish their energy and 

In time, learning a healthy relationship with food is the goal of any diet and weight loss program. The goal isn’t to have to stick to a rigid diet plan for the rest of your life. But for some, at the start, a stricter diet can be helpful for weight loss progress while still learning the principles of intuitive eating.

Are there other benefits?

One of the major benefits of intuitive eating is how it improves your relationship with food.

Many people, whether they are overweight or even at an ideal weight, have an unhealthy relationship with food. 

What does an unhealthy relationship with food look like? There are a few indicators actually, including:

  • Binge eating
  • Feeling guilt or shame for eating certain foods, or for simply wanting to eat certain foods
  • Having a rigid of “good” food vs “bad” food and practice extreme restrictions with food
  • Food is rarely enjoyable and you worry about the scale every time you eat

Anyone can have an unhealthy relationship with food, and oftentimes diet culture promotes and prolongs an unhelpful outlook towards food and lead to increased psychological stress.

It can create a vicious cycle of feeling guilty for eating “bad” foods or looking at dieting through an all-or-nothing lens (that feeling of being a failure or like the day is ruined if you break your diet for one snack).

It turns out there is a connection between intuitive eating and improved psychological health. This is because there is more flexibility in a diet with intuitive eating. You also learn how to understand your real hunger cues, improving your perceived body image and self-worth.

Find a weight loss program that works for you

When you come to Valley Medical Weight Loss with your weight loss goals, we help you get a personalized approach to diet, exercise, and supplements so you can achieve your goals. We’ve seen our patients reach and exceed their goals with the dedicated support of our doctors and staff. 

If you’re ready to reclaim your health and find a weight loss plan that works for you, visit your closest Valley Medical Weight Loss today for your first consult.