Fat Loss Biology

Worst Mistake After the HCG Diet

HCG Diet Mistakes

The hCG diet does not offer a long-term guarantee to stay slim. Indeed, you will completely undermine any successful weight loss by making one common mistake. It is the worst thing you can do.

And the mistake is: Eating Wheat

Yup. When you eat wheat or wheat products you give your body a double whammy of a dietary jolt that you don’t want. The first jolt, and the easiest to understand, comes from the complex carbohydrates that are the darlings of dietitians. The term “complex” just refers to a repeating chain of glucose molecules that comprise the starch in wheat.

The Problem with Wheat Starch

Conventional dietary wisdom advises us to increase our intake of complex carbohydrates such as wheat starch and to reduce our intake of table sugar (sucrose) or other such simple carbohydrates. (A molecule of sucrose contains only two simple sugars – one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose).

Here is the problem with wheat starch: It consists of a complex of glucose molecules, together called amylopectin A, that is far easier to digest than any other form of amylopectin. This just means that glucose hits your bloodstream faster when you consume wheat than when you consume other starchy foods such as bananas, beans, or potatoes.

In fact, whole wheat bread causes a greater spike in blood sugar (glucose) than sucrose itself. Eating a sandwich with two slices of whole wheat bread is no different, and often worse, than drinking a can of sugary soda or eating a sugary candy bar.

You probably (hopefully) already know that drinking sodas and eating sugary foods will add unwanted pounds of fat to your body after the hCG diet. Now you know that wheat-based foods will do the same. Indeed, these are the foods that, more than likely, got you into the position of having to do the hCG diet in the first place: breads, pastas, breakfast cereals, bagels, pastries, crackers, tortillas…and all manner of wheat-containing foods regardless of whether they are refined or whole-grain.

Oh, and here is one more kicker about wheat starch that makes it the worst food you can eat for weight-management: the surge in blood glucose (and insulin) from eating wheat causes a 2-hour roller coaster ride of satiety and hunger that continues throughout the day. Hunger hits a couple of hours after a breakfast of cereal and toast, which drives the consumption of lousy snack foods (more wheat!), which results in more hunger a couple of hours later, followed by more snacking, etc., etc. Bad news all around!

The bottom line is that daily consumption of wheat, in any form, repeatedly triggers high blood sugar, leading to the accumulation of storage fat. This is the worst mistake that you can make after the hCG diet.

Bad News About Wheat Gluten

Carbohydrates such as the amylopectin A in wheat are bad enough by themselves on weight management. However, the second jolt of the double whammy that you get from wheat comes from its gluten. Gluten is a normal storage protein, from the point of view of the wheat kernel, which has the added property of being sticky or elastic. Breads, bagels, pastas, pastries, and other processed wheat products are basically held together by the gluten they contain. If fact, bagels are famously chewy and dense because they have extra gluten added to them.

Without gluten, a modern jelly donut would be a crumbly mess that could not hold its filling. And pizza dough could never be tossed into the air and come back down intact.

The question of whether gluten causes weight gain, or whether eliminating dietary gluten helps weight loss, is almost moot because it is not a variable that is easily isolated from wheat starch. What we do know is that modern wheat gluten makes bad health worse. Its most debilitating effects probably stem from its ability to make your intestines permeable. Intestines are not supposed to be freely permeable.

The most commonly recognized disorders that can be triggered or made worse by permeable intestines (or ‘leaky gut syndrome’) are: Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Leaky gut syndrome is also at the root of systemic yeast infections, or candidiasis, in men and women.

Candidiasis has now become recognized to be so prevalent that millions of people suffer from a dizzying array of symptoms that are associated with it. Some of the symptoms that are linked to candidiasis include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Mental fog
  • Allergies
  • Migraines
  • Acne
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease

Although this seems to be a long list of health problems, it is still incomplete. Indeed, many doctors are finally recognizing that a large number of chronic health problems that defy diagnosis and treatment are associated with candidiasis.

Why isn’t obesity on this list? In my opinion, it is only a matter of time before scientists provide firm links from gluten to all of the above inflammatory disorders and, ultimately, to obesity.

20 Comments so far »

  1. by Virginia


    I wish that the very stuff that you love wasn’t the stuff that makes you fat. Why can’t we develop a sugar that actually helps you lose weight? This information about wheat is so discouraging because you think that whole grain is supposed to be good for you because it is digested slowly. I am so tired of eating the wrong stuff and thinking I’m doing good.

  2. by David


    I was just wondering if this is new to the market? I have some friends that started this “No Wheat diet a few months ago and they seem to really like it. I think he has lost twenty pounds but he does a lot of walking at his job at the hospital. Thank you for posting this information about it I will dig into this deeper.

  3. by Margaret


    I guess that I was mislead when I was on the South Beach Diet and it told me to whole grains, things that you could actually see the grains in or on would be best for you because they were the least processed. I guess if you aren’t supposed to eat wheat period then that is not true is it. Is there a bread out there at all that is good for you?

  4. by Joyce


    I can’t believe that they are telling us now that wheat is bad for you, and so is whole grain items. After everyone telling you to eat whole grain bread and pasta to lose weight on the low carb diets, what will be next, are they just trying to get everyone to be vegetarian and that is all? My husband will not go for that so I have to find the most healthy.

  5. by Ethel


    Not eating wheat is very hard for me because it includes anything that has flour in it. Is there any kind of flour that you can use like regular flour to make cakes and things that is low in carbs? I heard someone mention rice flower but I wasn’t sure what it was and if it worked the same. Not to mention rice has a lot of carbs in it.

  6. by Anthony


    I think these are mistakes that are made after every diet aren’t they? You have done a great job on this article and you have given us a lot of information that will be helpful when I get off my diet so that I don’t gain it right back. I understand it is a life change not a diet but you have to believe that you are going to start eating things you didn’t again.

  7. by Robert


    I understand the concept here but isn’t it the same as low carb dieting? I mean wheat is what makes things high in carbs right? I am so tired of this confusing information, I have been trying to lose weight this way for years and I keep hitting a plateau and then can’t figure out how to get off of that plateau and continue to lose weight.

  8. by Corine


    It is amazing how times have changed. In ancient societies, at the beginning of agriculture, wheat was coveted because it prevented many from starving. Now that we have mastered agriculture and developed an infrastructure of trade and distribution, we are shunning wheat and anything that gives you carbohydrates. Don’t get me wrong, I am into eating to stay lean; I’m just making an observation.

  9. by Kristina


    There are a number of low-carb breads on the market (including bagels and tortillas), but they usually must be ordered online or found only in specialty health stores. I have found the ones without any wheat/gluten to be pretty bad…does the “no-wheat” post-HCG rule include some of these products too? Even if they are low carb? For example, I have some Julian Bakery sourdough and it’s only 3 carbs per slice, but does contain wheat gluten. Is it the gluten/starch, or the total carbs that matter?

  10. by Jay


    So if I understand correctly, the HCG diet is a rapid weight loss diet that should not be implemented all year long, right? Or is it more of a way of eating that you can implement throughout the year. This diet philosophy sounds a lot like a low carb, high protein diet. That kind of eating should work, especially for any person that combines exercise with the diet.

  11. by Candice


    There is a huge amount of “new” info on the problems caused by gluten. Have you heard of the book “Wheat Belly”? Take a look at Mark’s Daily Apple and info from the Weston A. Price foundation about “good fats”for great information. Nowhere in this article does Dr. Clark suggest vegetarianism: well, maybe if you want B12 deficiencies….vegan or vegetarian is the way to go. My husband and I went to gluten free, sugar free, unprocessed foods over 2 years ago (after both of us were very successful on hcg: I went from a size 12 to a size 2 in two rounds!)It is quite confusing when we hear whole grains are good; nope, whole grains aren’t good! But there is a wealth of good information out there now…

  12. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Thanks for your input, Candice. I also get a lot of good information from Mark’s Daily Apple and the Price Foundation.

    All the best,

  13. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Hi, Kristina:

    First and foremost, pay attention to carb content. You may or may not be sensitive to wheat gluten, although it is always good to limit its intake. Carbs, though, will undermine what you want to accomplish.

    All the best,

  14. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    You are right, Robert. hCG diet plan puts you into a low-carb metabolism that directs the loss off abnormal fat. Once you complete the protocol, the best lifestyle for long term health and weight management is still going to be based on low-carb eating.

    All the best,

  15. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    You are on the right track, Robert. The core difference is the hormone-driven metabolism of fat.

    All the best,

  16. by Dr. Dennis Clark


    Yes, that is an interesting observation, Corine. You are spot on.

    All the best,

  17. by Agaryvette


    I’ll admit to being surprised at this information only because I thought, as did some you who’ve already posted here, that “whole grains” were fine to consume. However, having said that, I can also say quite honestly that after even just a breakfast of top-of-the-line toast, I experience that roller-coaster effect of being hungry a couple of hours later. I’ve done the hCG Protocol five times. You’d think I’d be skinny as a rail by now. The truth? I’ve done it five times because the first four times I gained back a significant amount of the weight I’d lost! A thorough bummer, to be sure. And it’s always been because I stop paying attention to the portions and the types of food I’m consuming. This last round, however, I’m determined to “do the right thing” and keep it off. Each day I weigh myself and jot down in a notebook what I’ve eaten so if the next day, the scale shows an increase, I’ll have an explanation for that increase. For the first time, due to my really focusing on what and how much I’m eating, I’m keeping it all off and have even dropped a couple more pounds! Hurray! My husband is also staying on track well. Keeping each other focused really helps. We’re still enjoying eating out and social gatherings, just in moderation in all aspects. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this “trend” continues! Thanks, Dr. C for all your continued articles about all things hCG! You’re the best!

  18. by Agaryvette


    Try using almond or hazelnut flour. A bit more coarse than regular white flour but we love it. I have a recipe for a completely CLEAN zucchini bread that is out of this world and I now make it with almond flour only. I also miss breakfast pancakes. I now mix almond flour with eggs and drop them on a hot griddle. Use some real butter, no margarine, and agave nectar with fresh strawberries. Yum! Bob’s Red Mill brand is great for the out of the ordinary flours like almond or hazelnut. You can also buy a bunch of raw, unsalted almonds and grind them into a flour. And use Truvia or Stevia instead of Splenda, Aspartame, or sugar. Good stuff!

  19. by Tree


    What are your thoughts on starting my second round of HCG injections (not until mid July)and doing the Fast-5 Diet (I searched elsewhere after the StopEatStop site). It looks simple enough (ha!) with the 19 hour window of fasting and the 5 hour window of eating. Would that work since one shouldn’t be too hungry on HCG anyway? Thanks!

  20. by Cheryl


    ihave been on HCG diet 20 days and lost 13 pounds not easy hit 2 hard plateaus in the process i have no idea what phase 2 is about what it entails and how do i transition into it

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