What is HCG?
HCG is human chorionic gonadotropin. It is a hormone that is naturally present during all phases of pregnancy. It is produced by the developing embryo soon after conception and has a multitude of roles to play, including helping the body to mobilize maternal stored fat for the healthy development of the fetus.
It is HCG’s ability to efficiently mobilize the energy of stored fat, that makes it of great use in rapid weight loss. Many have wondered how men can equally benefit from the HCG diet; men and women both produce a substance called luteinizing hormone, that is almost identical to HCG, and in men, facilitates the testes’ production of testosterone, as well as facilitating the same improved fat utilization.
How did the HCG weight loss plan originate?
In the mid 1900s a physician named Dr. Simeone realized that when he applied HCG to young men with poor development of male secondary sexual characteristics, that these adolescents lost their excess and more female-distributed fat that they had accumulated in the abdomen, buttocks and legs. He then went on to research its effects in overweight populations of both men and women. His medical clinic was in Rome Italy and was called the Salvador Mundi clinic; it is here that he refined his usage of the HCG weight loss plan. He did this type of work for 20 years, and so developed a very good sense of how to make the injections, paired with the right diet, the most successful it could be. He had great success with helping people to safely slim down, very rapidly, with lasting effect. His approach resulted in minimal hunger, and minimal loss of strength and stamina. A person utilizing this approach will burn between 1500 calories and 3500 calories of fat daily and it is this ready access to body fat-stored calories that results in little hunger with this approach.
Periodically, since Dr. Simeone published his 1950s manuscript, called “Pounds and Inches,” there have been resurges in interest in the HCG approach. In the 70s, in fact, a number of clinics arose in the United States to treat people along these lines. The website, Pounds and Inches Away, has very useful information and includes a link to the “original HCG diet manuscript.” Dr. Sierra strongly recommends reading about HCG dieting on this website and printing, reading, and highlighting this original HCG manuscript, otherwise called “Pounds and Inches.” Those who are the most informed simply are more successful with this approach because it does require a good deal of commitment. As one of Dr. Sierra’s clients said, “This dieting approach is like being on a train where you must stay on until you reach your destination.” So you should know where the train is going before you start!
What weight losses with this approach can be expected?
HCG frees up the body’s fat stores efficiently and allows one to burn the equivalent of an extra 1200-2000 calories daily. During the 24-48 days that one is implementing the approach, most will not experience a great deal of hunger, some none at all. The number of days is chosen after Dr. Sierra speaks with her client about his/her schedule and weight loss goals, but the actual number of days will be decided once fully underway and may be dependent on the patient’s rate of loss and compliance with the plan. Most people will lose 1/2 lb daily, and all will experience the metabolism resetting effect. The weight stays off as long as one correctly does the maintenance phase for a period of 6 weeks after the shot phase. (The specifics of the HCG diet foods and maintenance phase are described by clicking on these above links.) There is no need for a dramatic amount of exercise. One need only briskly walk or swim 30-45 minutes’ daily to aid the weight loss.
What is the food plan?
As an overview, there are 4 categories of foods allowed, and very specific foods from each category. (See the HCG Diet Food Plan.) All toll, the day’s intake amounts to approximately 500 calories and includes:
- 2 daily 4 ounce portions of animal or vegetarian (in specific instances) derived protein.
- 2 daily portions about 2 cups of of low glycemic vegetables.
- 2 servings of fruit.
- Several crackers, allowed daily.
- Beverages – all non-caloric, but natural drinks, including coffee and tea, broth, and lemon and lime sweetened with stevia.
This food can be distributed to suit the individual in a single day. The plan is followed for a minimum of 21 days and a maximum of 45 days. Many individuals may require some adjustment to the above, such as optional 750 calorie allowed days. No person should be discouraged in doing this plan, as many ways to individually tailor exist.
How is the HCG taken?
Dr. Sierra teaches the patient to give herself/himself a subcutaneous injection of HCG using a tiny insulin needle/syringe; it is a very simple thing to learn. The shots are the only method condoned by Dr. Simeone in his 20 plus years of clinical experience. No other method of delivery was used.
What foods are included in maintenance, i.e. after the phase of HCG injection and 500 calorie/day dieting?
The maintenance phase of eating comes right after the HCG shot phase, lasts 6 weeks, and includes all foods high carbohydrate-containing foods. It is a normo-caloric diet intended to result in a stabilization of all weight lost. A separate document can be accessed with details by clicking on “maintenance” above.
What are additional factors in persons who have difficulty with their weight and metabolism? Some things to consider:
- Does the patient have carbohydrate metabolism problems, for instance metabolic syndrome with its picture of high blood fats, low good HDL cholesterol, high fasting insulin, a high average blood sugar, a first or second degree relative with diabetes, gestational diabetes history, or a tendency to have an “apple” shape?
- Does the individual have sleep problems, because poor sleep gives little support to your “lean-making” hormones growth hormone, testosterone, progesterone, melatonin, and thyroid and makes the effects of cortisol (the stress and weight increasing hormone) greater?
- Are there undiagnosed or untreated food allergies in the patient? Certain foods will cause the body ongoing stress and a lowered metabolic rate.
- Could low body temperature and/or inadequately treated low thyroid, be issues?
- Is the individual a male or female with low testosterone, DHEA, or growth hormone?
- Is the patient a female whose problem with weight arose with menopause. Ovarian cessation to produce estrogen and progesterone, are many women’s problems?
- Are emotions a factor in overeating, and therefore should strategies to address feelings, and to change behavior be implemented?
- Is the individual a good candidate for anti-aging support? Hormones to consider are the lean making DHEA sulfate, testosterone, progesterone, pregnenolone, and thyroid.
Why does Dr. Sierra use this approach?
Dr. Sierra has utilized many approaches in helping patients with their overall health, and since many person’s health problems are connected with their diets and their weight, such as problems with arthritis, cholesterol, sugar, depression, and apnea, she has had ample opportunity to try many approaches for weight loss also. Even with the ideal of a person eating whole healthy foods most of the time, keeping ones weight, or losing weight, is complex, and is so tied in with that person receiving significant support in following a plan.
The reason Dr. SIerra uses this approach is because it works so very well at resetting the metabolism, reducing hunger during the slimming process, and the weight loss is relatively fast. This diet is simple and whole-foods based. One must develop a different palate, a different cooking style, and learn how to lower the fat and excess carbohydrate content of ones meals. This diet is the centerpiece for keeping healthy and trim for anyone predisposed to weight gain, and in the majority of individuals who simply produce less slim-making growth hormone, testosterone, DHEA, and thyroid hormones as they age.
Her clients learn how foods effect their energy, stamina, and weight. They learn to cook, sometimes for the first time, using healthy simple ingredients and recipes. Additionally many clients with discomforts such as indigestion, fatigue, sinus problems, acne, constipation, in avoiding the most common food allergens, will for the first time be free of these symptoms of recurring food allergies.
Are any persons excluded from this approach?
Yes, type 1 diabetics are excluded, as well as those who have recently had a heart attack, and those with active gall bladder disease.
Are there any side effects of the HCG treatment and diet approach?
Dr. Sierra has observed no side effects in over 500 persons treated. The shot itself may be painful or cause a bruise at the site on occasion. One may feel cranky or light-headed at times where additional factors coincide, such as extreme exertion, heat, lack of fluids, stress, etc. If I person has active gall bladder disease, the extremely low fat may provoke an aggravation of ones symptoms.
How does a person get started with the HCG weight loss approach?
Email or call the Methow Valley Wellness Center and express interest in making an appointment and we will get back with you to gather information and set the appointment.
The Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
1. First, do no harm.
2. Act in co-operation with the healing power of nature.
3. Address the fundamental causes of disease.
4. Heal the whole person through individualized treatment.
5. Teach the principles of healthy living and preventive medicine.