Tuesday, November 16, 2010

hCG vs Paleo

In the last six to seven weeks, the topic of certain hormone diet "drops" has become front row center in my visual field. My friends and new clients have asked for my viewpoint about this popular method of weight loss. After reading the same articles for the third time, and closely analyzing online data from several reliable non-biased, science-based resources; the part about urine from pregnant women being the source of the stuff grosses me out.

PaleoDiet.com says, "Paleo is a simple dietary lifestyle that is based on foods being either in or out. In are the Paleolithic Era foods that we ate prior to agriculture and animal husbandry (meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruit, berries, mushrooms, etc.). Out are Neolithic Era foods that result from agriculture or animal husbandry (grains, dairy, beans/legumes, potatoes, sugar and fake foods).

Optimal Foraging Theory says our ancestors mostly ate foods that were easiest to hunt or gather at that specific locale. As nomads we would have adapted to various mixes of foods. Under the paleo concept the quantities consumed of each 'in' food is up to the individual. You can make it meat heavy if you want, or more fruit and veggies if you prefer, as long as the foods you eat are paleo. Fruits in the Paleolithic would have been tart and smaller, and you may want to limit modern fruit because of this."

You decide if you think it's a sustainable, "healthy" choice. Do the same thing I did and use keywords "hCG diet" and let me know what you gather from a quick search. Pubmed.org is a resource for clinical double blind studies, when a manufacturer will actually invest resources to test their products' effectiveness.

PubMed is an excellent starting point for locating peer reviewed medical sources. It offers a free search engine for accessing the MEDLINEdatabase of biomedical research articles offered by the National Library of Medicine at the U.S. National Institutes of HealthHere's the link specifically related to the aforementioned hormone, human chorionic gonadotrophin as it relates to treatment for obesity: Click here (PubMed).

I wanted to compare the claims that are being thrown around about how much and how fast weight loss is going on, to this guy's story about a more simple, sustainable "diet" that I adopted almost two years ago. The blog post below is one of many testimonies you'll find online demonstrating gradual, natural approaches to healthy eating and lifestyle choices for the long-term.

15 Pounds in 24 Days...and Falling!

Click here for link to blog. (Photo courtesy of blog.)
Not only is my blood sugar coming down, but, so is my weight. As of this morning (11-17-07), I have lost 15 pounds in the 24 days since beginning the Paleo Diet, and the first three days were my transition period, when I was still eating some of the "bad" stuff.
So, from merely cutting grains and dairy and processed foods from my diet, plus walking a little, I am down from 233 pounds (as weighed by my nutritionist - now former nutritionist) on October 25th to 218 pounds, as of today. Proof positive that the Paleo Diet is great for weight reduction.

What is happening is that my body has accumulated a lot of fat over the last ten years or so and now, in order to maintain itself, it requires the same amount of calories per day that I was taking in. But, the difference is that now it's not finding those extra calories, because I'm no longer supplying them. If there aren't sufficient calories to maintain all that fat, then it gets burned off as my body goes into "starvation" mode (actually, a state of ketosis) and begins burning fat for energy. Since I have way more fat on me than there are calories to maintain it, it's being burned at a fairly high rate: about .6 pounds of it per day, by my calculations.

Ketosis is a stage in metabolism which occurs when the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies which can be used by the body for energy. Aside from rapid loss of body fat, you can tell you're in a state of ketosis by the smell of your urine. It has a kind of "funky" odor to it that is quite unusual.

Any successful weight (fat) loss program should produce ketosis, otherwise, you're just losing water and, worse yet, perhaps muscle tissue. The big difference in the Paleo Diet is that you're gaining muscle mass, just by the way you're eating. In your former typical American diet, you had very little protein to supply the body with the building blocks for lean muscle tissue. But, on the Paleo Diet, which is rich in high quality protein, you're supplying your body with all the protein it needs to build new muscle. This means that, when there are fewer calories in your diet than there used to be (because you're not pumping yourself full of sugar and starch anymore), your body has to find fuel elsewhere and it starts using your fat reserves as fuel. In other words, your body goes into a ketonic state, in which your liver is processing fat into fatty acids and ketones. It's the ketone waste you smell in your urine. Since the Paleo Diet ensures you'll be gaining muscle mass - not losing it, you're protected from the ill effects of other diets, which only cause you to shed water and muscle tissue.

If my calculations are correct and I'm losing weight at the rate of about .6 pounds per day, assuming that remains constant, I'll be down to about 190 pounds in another 46 days or so. Now, you may ask, what's to prevent this from becoming a "runaway" weight loss? Well, your body's natural tendency is toward equilibrium. In other words, you could never continue losing body weight as long as you're eating food, once you get to a certain weight. We each have an ideal weight at which our body will naturally reset itself to, given the right conditions; i.e., the right diet and exercise level. It's been many years since I've been at that ideal weight and I have gained muscle mass, via strength training in the 1990s, so I don't really know what my ideal weight is, yet. My body will tell me when it gets there. I would guesstimate, though, that it's somewhere between 190 and 200 or so. I say this because, when I began putting on muscle in my early forties, I started out at a weight of around 190 or so. But, I may not have been as lean then as I thought I was, and part of that weight may have consisted of some excess fat. I guess I'll know for sure when my weight loss stabilizes and I'm at equilibrium again. Man, that's gonna feel good! (Link to this blog.)

Wikipedia | PaleoDiet.com


  1. Good news for the hCG (hormone: human chorionic gonadotrophin) diet peeps! A plant-based adiponectin hormone stimulator sounds so much better than oral drops that come from preggo women's urine. Be sure you're logged-into your Facebook account, then click link: http://on.fb.me/eGfDRt

  2. Good stuff. Thank you so so much for sharing your knowledge with the world through the Internet. Wonderful blog and post you got here
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  3. Thanks for posting a comment, "J". I'm paying more attention to the new blog but have left this site up because of readers like you who stumble upon the content and benefit from what I've shared. Please feel free to stay connected through the new blog and also Facebook.