Monday, October 18, 2010

Weight Loss Tips: The HCG Diet

The HCG Diet is next in my weight loss tips articles. I am amazed at how gullible people are and how they will talk about 'diets' without really understanding what they are. The Atkins Diet is one: although it works in the short term, if you continue with a high carbohydrate diet over the longer term you will suffer bad breath (halitosis) due to ketosis, constipation due to a lack of fiber and potentially serious damage to your cardiovascular system due to a lack of phytochemicals and antioxidants. In order to avoid these you must take the supplements recommended by Dr. Atkins: up to 63 of them if my mind is correct, and many that he marketed himself. That kind of throws the 'impartiality' aspect of his recommendations out the window. However, the point I am making is that diets such as Atkins and HCG are rarely properly researched by their adherents before they use them. That would be one of my major weight loss tips: check out the diet before you blindly take it. Take HCG: it isn't even a diet!

The HCG Diet: What is it?

The so-called 'HCG diet' is a series of injections introduced hypodermically directly into your muscles. HCG is correctly known as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a substance produced by the placenta of pregnant women. Its function is to convert fat stored in the mother's fat cells into energy for the growing fetus.

Fat is a carbohydrate, and can be used by your metabolism to generate energy once the carbohydrate in your diet has been used up. By injecting it directly into your muscle tissue, HCG can break down your fatty tissue into energy. Or so it was believed until recently.

It is now believed that HCG tells your brain that you are full, and need eat no more. In doing that, your metabolism will rapidly use up your carbohydrate stores, and when no more are available because you are not eating as much as normal, your metabolism turns to your fat stores for energy. In other words, the HCG diet is not a diet at all but a series of injections that work as an appetite suppressant.

Now you might think it doesn't matter how it works so long as you lose weight, and frequently this assertion is correct. In fact, as far as I know there have been no reported side effects of the HCG diet, as we refer to it for the meantime, and so there appear to be no reason why you should not use it. So should I include it among my weight loss tips? If not, what would be the reasons?

One I can think of is that by having your appetite suppressed, you may also be eating too few nutrients, not only reducing your carbohydrate content but you may also suffer problems associated with your cardiovascular system - a common result with poor nutrition and a low antioxidant content in your diet. Nevertheless, nothing appears to have been reported although it is early days yet.

Quite frankly, I would not take these injections myself because using a hypodermic needle to lose weight seems extreme to me. I could not realistically include hypodermic treatment as one of my weight loss tips.

It is said to enable you to lose up to 5 lb a day - this is an unhealthy rate of weight loss, and your weight is one example of fastest isn't best. 3 -4 pounds a week is OK, or even up to one pound a day, but 5 lb - that is equivalent to 20 sticks of margarine. Is it really healthy to lose that much every day - 140 a week?

Absolutely not, as far as I am concerned. However, while it appears to work it cannot be denied that the HCG diet should possibly be included in my range of slimming tips. It may be, but I do not recommend using HCG injections (or the so-called HCG diet) as a regular weight loss treatment. Decide for yourself.

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