There are seven fundamental types of catastrophes. Beauty is not one of them.
I also happen to have a health condition that affects my moods, appetite, cravings & energy level (among other things), but the thing about my health condition is that it can be dramatically improved by diet modifications and exercise. Dramatically. I know because I’ve made changes before & the results & benefits were pretty terrific, but I didn’t stick with it, fell off the wagon and regained the 12 pounds I lost. I know….
Funny thing is, everyone thought I’d lost all this weight but it was only 12 pounds. That’s one of the perks & punishers of being really short, you can lose 10 pounds & people think you lost closer to 20 or you can gain 10 pounds & it feels like 30.
But I digress, back to the real reason for this post…
Last year, a friend started the latest trend known as the hcg diet. She was really excited and repeatedly tried to convince me to join her. HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone found in the urine of pregnant women. Her argument of persuasion was that she would lose 30 pounds in 30 days while on the diet. Quite frankly, to hear that, sparked a little buzz in me since that is my weight loss goal. Not to mention, it was almost summer and you know how we get as the warm weather nears. The thought of being at my ideal weight in only 30 days gave me a heady feeling indeed, but not enough to lose sight of what I believed would be temporary results.
She opted to receive the HCG shots administered by a physician, even though participants could choose drops to be placed under the tongue as an alternative option. And the theory behind this diet: the HCG hormone was going to suppress her hunger and trigger her body’s fat-burning process as fuel.
The first red-flag (for me) was that she’d be limited to only 500 calories per day. Her diet had to consist of clean, unprocessed foods for 30 days or as long as she remained on the diet. And if she strictly followed the plan, she’d lose one pound a day. I immediately thought any weight loss would be the result of extreme calorie-restriction rather than the hormone delivered into the bloodstream to turn the body into a fat metabolizing machine.
I wondered if this was mostly a mental thing. I mean, if I ate 500 calories a day for one week, I’d definitely see the number on the scale go down, that’s for sure. So, I could definitely see how doing so for 30 days would result in a significant weight loss.
Now, the real kicker for me was when she said she needed to gorge for two days before starting the diet. This meant literally stuffing her face with processed foods, snacks, etc, as advised by her doctor.
And once she started the diet, she had to avoid oils of any kind, including oils used on the body, as it could result in weight gain. Yep, you read that right.
To add to the pile of red flags accumulating here, after doing my research by joining an online forum to see first-hand what participants were experiencing, I found a very startling side-effect that was a major turn off. Many of the HCG dieters reported hair loss! And yet, they still continued on for the weight loss benefit. I asked my friend if she had experienced any hair loss while on the diet & she confirmed that she had but said it would grow back once she reached her goal weight and finished the diet.
That was enough for me, hair-loss diets are a deal breaker in my book. I’ll keep my extra pounds before I lose my hair in the name of weight loss, or better yet, I’ll continue working on my willpower & self-discipline until I’m ready to do it the old-fashioned way. 🙂
Update: My friend lost 30 pounds in 45 days and kept it off for several months but has since regained the weight and isn’t sure if she’s going to try for a second round of HCG.
Have you tried any calorie-restrictive diets as extreme as HCG?