HCG diet? The latest craze or genuine weight loss strategy? Being a nutritionist I am always on the look out for new trends, especially anything to do with weight loss as it is such a difficult thing to achieve and maintain. Many practitioners shrink away at the thought of doing weight loss, as generally the long term success rate is dismal indeed.
I first came across Dr Simeon’s protocol when a friend whom I hadn’t seen for a while turned up with a new body, very shapely especially around the midriff. “What have you been doing?” I inquired. “Oh I’ve been on this 500 calorie hCG diet thingy for a few weeks” she laughed. Well that is like a red rag to a bull, nutritionally speaking… “you shouldn’t be doing that…that’s too dangerous…you’ll end up sick..blah blah blah” I retorted.
However, I couldn’t help noticing that her face was glowing, her skin looked taut and well nourished..not like being on a starvation diet at all, and the weight she lost was from the waist area. I couldn’t deny it..she looked great! I have been wrong so many times before, so time to eat humble pie and do the research…just in case.
So I started by reading Dr_Simeon’s – pounds and inches. Who was Dr Simeons? A British physician working at a hospital in Rome, in the 1950s. He worked in the field of obesity for 40 years before his death in 1970. Someone who specializes in one field for an extended period of time is bound to learn a thing or two, and is worthy of our attention. How many other Doctors can boast such a lengthy study? Of note too, this was at a time when obesity was a rare phenomenon.
Through trial and error he started to use the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) on his patients and found that it seemed to open the door to abnormal fat stores, assisting the body to remove the accumulation when accompanied by a low calorie diet. Previous attempts without the hormone resulted in severe hunger and loss of weight of other tissue instead of the stored fat. Over the course of many years and hundreds of patients, he perfected his protocol and found it had a very high success rate. He devised a maintenance program that follows the low calorie phase, and this too proved to be a manageable way to maintain the weight loss.
Fast forward several decades and an obesity epidemic, modern scientific methods have not been so successful. Most weight loss methods ultimately fail and many resort to drastic procedures like gastric bypass surgery in desperation. Is it time to take another look at Dr Simeon’s research?
As a nutritionist I am keenly aware of the high prevalence of insulin resistance in our community, a condition that is enveloping the global populations. Even those of us on a “pristine diet” can reach the tipping point, when the body can no longer process glucose efficiently and fat deposits start to accumulate. Age can be a factor as well as the build up of “crud” in the insulin receptors after a lifetime exposure to pollutants, heavy metals and toxic foods laced with pesticide residues. I believe we are all on the way to insulin resistance..it is just a matter of time before we hit the tipping point. You will know when it strikes..suddenly out of the blue you notice you are accumulating weight fast..a kilo a month, or week, even though no real lifestyle or dietary change has occurred.
My tipping point occurred about 18 months ago, causing a weight gain of 10 kg in 10 months. Exercise caused the loss of muscle tissue rather than fat deposits (typical of insulin resistance) and reducing the amount of food taken daily didn’t stop the gradual rise.
This presented me with the opportunity to try Dr Simeons’ Protocol myself. I chose to use the homeopathic version of the hCG rather than injections of the hormones for 3 reasons. 1. I hate injections and 2. it was going to be easier and cheaper to implement and 3. I was curious to see what would happen as there is some skepticism over the value of the homeopathic version.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I implemented the program, waiting for the “hunger pangs” that will surely come but never did. I initially planned to do just 3 weeks of the low calories stage, but was doing so well I decided to keep going, completing 42 days and losing 9.5 kg of “abnormal fat stores” while maintaining my muscle tissue. My before and after pictures show clearly where the weight loss occurred. That weight loss has continued to be maintained, much to my delight. before and afters hcg julies clinic
My conclusion? I think Dr Simeons made an amazing breakthrough that has sadly been neglected. He may not have got everything right but he certainly had more success than modern science. I think Dr Simeons’ program works so well as it seems to address the issue of insulin resistance. How? The program is a real rest for the body, allowing it to clean up the insulin receptors, removing the build up of “crud” and gives the body time to do a major cleanse. Latest research indicates the insulin receptors become clogged with “fatty deposits”.
Dr Simeon warned about “tweaking” the diet, but as a nutritionist I “tweaked” a couple of things to avoid any possible mineral deficiencies developing. I read of a case on line where hair loss occurred (a typical iodine deficiency) so insist that my clients use iodized sea salt daily. I also permit the use “bone broths” for soups instead of just water, making sure that no fat remains in the broth. This will provide extra nutrients without the calories. I like to use a chlorella tablet when consuming coriander to assist in heavy metals being removed from the body. I also like to use plant minerals daily, again to prevent mineral deficiencies. Using these strategies does not seem to prevent weight loss from occurring, but can help with keeping the body sustained on such a low calorie diet.
I also like the way the diet “re-educates” the dieter. Learning new ways of preparing foods, a knowledge of which foods will quickly reverse weight gain are invaluable to long term success. I came away with a new sense of control, able to deal with any further issues if they arise later (insulin resistance can return when the receptors get clogged up again).
So with a new sense of confidence I decided it was time to implement weight loss programs into my clinic. I have been thrilled with the results of my beautiful clients, who like myself have begun to regain control over their health destiny.
How have I implemented the programs? We start by a 2 week preparation period on the Weston A Price diet. All clients are required to read and study Simeon’s – pound’s and inches so as to understand the principles behind the protocol. Most clients choose to do our 12 week program with regular visits to the clinic for close monitoring, to prevent any unforeseen difficulties and for coaching purposes. I feel it is important to have some supervision during the program. A kit is provided which contains the basic manual and recipes, and the few supplements required. On completion of the diet, clients are encouraged to return to the Weston Price diet for long term health.
We have also other modified weight loss programs for those that feel they can’t manage Dr Simeon’s protocol, such as doing the protocol two days a week. This will not be as fast as the hCG diet, but will be easier for some patients to manage.
We have also introduced an online service by means of skype or phone consultations for those wanting to do a program out of our local area. For more information email, call our clinic or to see our 3 programs click here