It is just plain silly that the HCG diet can be remotely considered as controversial. This hormone-directed diet protocol was established more than 50 years ago. It continues to increase in popularity because of its effectiveness. The HCG hormone targets the reduction of abnormal fat, which is not possible by diet alone or by any combination of diet and exercise. Here are some new perspectives.
HCG Diet Plan
The original plan was created by a British medical doctor, Dr. A.T.W. Simeons, in his clinic at the Salvator Mutidi International Hospital in Rome in the 1950s. His book, Pounds and Inches, describes his discovery and experience with the protocol. He also outlines the protocol in sufficient detail for any reader to follow it without difficulty. This book is freely available on many websites.
The purpose of this article is to provide some updated information on the HCG diet and to puncture at least a few fallacies that have arisen regarding it.
Public Perception vs Scientific Research
As you can expect, media coverage of Dr. Simeons’ protocol has been mixed. This is to be expected because of yellow journalism, not necessarily because of the merits of the protocol itself. For this reason, using HCG for weight loss has been called controversial. This controversy has been made up out of thin air.
Most of the scientific research evaluating HCG for weight loss was published in the 1960s and 1970s. Some medical researchers confirmed Dr. Simeons’ original results in controlled clinical experiments. Other medical researchers failed to confirm these results, even when following the same experimental design. If anything, this would be a legitimate source of controversy. However, media coverage has never mentioned this body of research.
500 Calories Per Day Does Not Lead To Starvation
People from all walks of life, health professionals and the public alike, rightly observe that a 500 calorie per day diet alone would be too little food for normal metabolism. What they fail to note is that the HCG hormone changes metabolism to make up for the calorie restrictions of the Simeons protocol. This means that abnormal fat becomes a source of calories for daily living.
The statement above means that you can live off of your own fat when you are using the prescribed dosages of HCG and eating the prescribed foods in the right amounts. Explaining how the protocol works in this statement comes across to some people as pure gibberish, so all they can dwell on is the fear of living on only 500 calories per day. It doesn’t seem to matter that another 2000 calories can come from their own fat.
New Perspective On How HCG Works
Dr. Simeons astutely pointed out that HCG influences fat metabolism by signaling the hypothalamus of the brain. He was guessing that this protein hormone fit into hormone receptors of some kind that were already in the brain. The exciting aspect of his guesswork is that, in 1994, a new protein hormone was discovered to influence fat metabolism by signaling the hypothalamus, too. This hormone, called leptin, is now widely known as the master fat hormone.
Current research on laboratory animals is starting to show how HCG and leptin might interact by signaling the same receptor sites in the hypothalamus. Research on this interaction is too new to show how this works. However, HCG and leptin clearly influence one another. Furthermore, the influence of leptin on insulin also leads to an indirect response between insulin and HCG. One property that all of these protein hormones share is that overexposure to each one leads to resistance. Leptin resistance leads to storage of too much fat. Insulin resistance leads to abnormal blood sugar metabolism (and fat storage) and eventually to diabetes. HCG resistance simply stops this hormone from working completely.
Unusual Side Benefits
As weight loss proceeds on the HCG diet, skin seems to shrink up, too. The benefit is that, unlike all other weight loss diets and even weight loss surgeries, skin does not get loose and saggy while you lose weight.
Some people believe that a great benefit of HCG is that it works regardless of whether they exercise. The entire protocol is effective whether you sit on the couch the whole time or run 10 miles per day, and at the same level of effectiveness either way.
Perspective of the FDA
The FDA is not a government agency that is concerned with helping us be healthy. It is the enforcement arm of the pharmaceutical industry. The position of the FDA on HCG for weight loss is irrelevant to anything useful for the public. In fact, I predict that the FDA will ban the use of this hormone for losing weight as soon as it gets enough attention to threaten the drug industry.
Fake Scary Stuff About HCG
HCG was first called the pregnancy hormone because pregnant women produce high levels of it during the first trimester. One subunit of this complex protein is also produced by women during menstruation. Comments that imply some kind of feminization of men upon taking HCG are plain silly. Quite the contrary, since bodybuilders often use HCG to restore low testosterone levels after taking an anabolic steroid series.
HCG is not just a hormone that is produced only by women. Men have the genetic machinery to produce it, too. One of the subunits shows up in measurable quantities as a product of certain kinds of cancer. It is used clinically as a marker for testicular cancer. Keep this cause and effect straight. Testicular cancer causes a positive test for HCG, not the other way around. Comments on the Internet that invoke the fear of HCG causing cancer get this cause and effect backwards.
Maintaining Long Term Weight Loss – Really?
No. Weight loss on this protocol does not grant carte blanche to eat poorly without consequences. Ice cream and cookies will make you fat, regardless of whether you lose weight on this protocol or any other kind of diet. Claims about keeping off fat forever are true only when dieters adopt appropriate lifestyle changes that support healthy weight management. It is only logical. If you do things that made you fat in the first place, then those same things will make you fat again.