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  1. #21
    codered5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklopp View Post
    If this works as it is purported to work, then this is not a weightloss diet anymore than the average bodybuilder's results can be attributed to their "muscle gaining diet." Rather, in both cases it is the manipulation of one's endocrine system via the administration of exogenous hormones intended to achieve some end.

    Essentially, this "diet" has you eat well below maintenance calories and inject hormones with the intent of maintaining metabolic rate and mobilizing fat. You could achieve the exact same effect by injecting growth hormone, taking thyroid supplements, anabolic steroids, beta two agonists, ephedrine, recombinant human leptin injections, IGF-I and the list goes on. Gain the confidence of any semi-professional bodybuilder and they will regale you with a whole panoply of chemical tactics for cutting fat. These tactics, of course, will do nothing for your health, but you will be shredded. If this is your notion of how one "diets" then I suppose lap bands and liposuction surgery are fair game as well.

    As for me ... I think I'll pass.

    -PK
    Thank you, and I think you may be giving it too much credit, bc the vast majority of these people are not injecting the hcg they are administering it orally. It's molecular weight is too large for it to be absorbed properly in that manner. It boggles my mind, it seems like none of the people on the diet even know what hcg does...they are taking a hormone which if it was absorbed would be suppressing their own natural endogenous production of LH. Doesn't matter if it's "homeopathic" or not.

    Eating 500 cals a day and taking hcg orally, losing the weight and then attributing that to the hcg is equivalent to me beginning a weight lifting program and introducing soda into my diet at the same time and then 3 months later after I have built some muscle saying "wow, this coca-cola is great for muscle growth!" I am glad that some people have apparently had some good experiences with it, but maybe that just means that you are stronger mentally than you thought you were and you were at a place where you weren't gonna let yourself fail. Congratulations for the results, but the science says it's bc of the caloric deficit, not the hcg. And the reduced hunger sensation is from the emphasis on protein and your body reaching ketosis. From an article on the molecular weight:

    HCG is sold as drops to be absorbed “under the tongue” or sublingually. There is a “ceiling” with regard to the size of a molecule that can be absorbed orally, and that is approximately 1500 daltons, a measure for molecular weight. HCG’s molecular weight is approximately 30,000 daltons—about six times larger than insulin, which, by the way, has to be injected. Neither insulin nor HCG can be absorbed orally.

    I think most of us came to this site bc the science was telling us that CW was wrong and we didn't feel right about it. Don't ignore the science of the hcg diet just bc you felt like something magical was going on.

  2. #22
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    Smile personal experience

    Quote Originally Posted by codered5 View Post
    Thank you, and I think you may be giving it too much credit, bc the vast majority of these people are not injecting the hcg they are administering it orally. It's molecular weight is too large for it to be absorbed properly in that manner. It boggles my mind, it seems like none of the people on the diet even know what hcg does...they are taking a hormone which if it was absorbed would be suppressing their own natural endogenous production of LH. Doesn't matter if it's "homeopathic" or not.

    Eating 500 cals a day and taking hcg orally, losing the weight and then attributing that to the hcg is equivalent to me beginning a weight lifting program and introducing soda into my diet at the same time and then 3 months later after I have built some muscle saying "wow, this coca-cola is great for muscle growth!" I am glad that some people have apparently had some good experiences with it, but maybe that just means that you are stronger mentally than you thought you were and you were at a place where you weren't gonna let yourself fail. Congratulations for the results, but the science says it's bc of the caloric deficit, not the hcg. And the reduced hunger sensation is from the emphasis on protein and your body reaching ketosis. From an article on the molecular weight:

    HCG is sold as drops to be absorbed “under the tongue” or sublingually. There is a “ceiling” with regard to the size of a molecule that can be absorbed orally, and that is approximately 1500 daltons, a measure for molecular weight. HCG’s molecular weight is approximately 30,000 daltons—about six times larger than insulin, which, by the way, has to be injected. Neither insulin nor HCG can be absorbed orally.

    I think most of us came to this site bc the science was telling us that CW was wrong and we didn't feel right about it. Don't ignore the science of the hcg diet just bc you felt like something magical was going on.
    Hi,

    i've just finished a 21 day hcg course and am transitioning straight onto a paleo / primal diet. For me, personally, hcg has kicked off a lifestyle change. It's virtually eliminated the (at times) overwhelming carb cravings and also helped show where i had problems with certain foods. They are very quick to show up when you ease back into eating. i.e first time eating eggs and brussel sprouts each caused a 4lb weight gain.

    I've tried primal before unsuccessfully - the lure of bread and bagels was too strong. This time it just feels different.

    I'm 50 and have tried diets all my adult life. I've been on other 500 calorie a day diets and they definitely did not work like the hcg one worked. I didn't expect it to work, but am so grateful it did.

    Not advocating it for anyone else, just saying what my own experience is.

    I'm looking forward to moving on with a primal lifestyle, and am away to look at some of the delicious recipes that are on another thread.

    we all have different ways of finding the right path. Just a bit pissed it's taken so long.:-D

    ps - i lost 31 lb in my 21 day hcg diet.

  3. #23
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    Hcg Diets 500 cals basically a paleo style..you reach keto more quickly, suppresses hunger. Science on the inability of hcg to be absorbed orally well established. Glad it 'helped' you though.

  4. #24
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    I'm sorry and i dont mean to cause any conflict but 500 calories a day is just ridiculous and losing 20-30 pounds in a month is also WAY too fast. Your DEFINATELY going to loss considerable muscle mass. I understand it may help people get a sense of how to cure cravings for bad foods ECT but i really wouldnt advise anyone to do that...

  5. #25
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    I'm glad it "helped" me as well. I think that people who have not been seriously overweight can't understand what it means to find something that works for them. Don't talk about "science" as though everything is cut and dried. Everyone knew low fat was best, then everyone knew high complex carb was best, then the vege brigade. Science even proved the earth was flat many years ago (until it was proved otherwise). Don't be so dismissive. It did do something' regardless of what you smugly think and i also didn't say i was taking it orally.

    stumprrp - i agree it was a huge weightloss and was definitely not to be done for long periods. That's why i stopped at 21 days. I've been on the paleo lifestyle for a couple of weeks now and am still losing weight which is great (6lb in two weeks). I've been ignoring calories deliberately to break that mindset, but counted yesterdays for fun. 3900 cals. I was gaining on 1200 previously.

  6. #26
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    lm42, great reply! People who have no clue on the hcg diet and how it works should really keep their ignorant opinion to themselves. Well done on your weight loss and I hope Primal keeps working for you.
    "You can either spend your time & money on being sick, or you can spend your time & money on being healthy"

  7. #27
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    I'm glad it helped you, i too have been severly overweight as well, i was 290 pounds at 15 years old. I'm just glad i caught myself sooner then later, lol.

  8. #28
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    It seems pretty clear that homeopathic HCG is a placebo (homeopathic "drugs" are supposed to contain the "energy" of the drug, but do not have any measurable content - in fact, they can't have any measurable content, since you can't get HCG in the United States without a prescription).

    The injected form of HCG is a lower dose of a hormone that is usually used in fertility treatments. Scientific studies (see below) have failed to find any difference in weight loss between HCG and placebo injections during controlled trials. The primary difference between injected HCG and the homeopathic drops, is that the injections involve needles, cost more, and expose your body to an externally supplied hormone for no scientifically justified reason whatsoever.

    Success on the diet is likely due to a combination of the placebo effect, the almost pure protein nature of the diet (since protein is satiating vs. fat or carbs), and the very low calories - it's essentially a very low calorie ketogenic diet. Probably as a short term thing, it's not terribly harmful. As a ketogenic diet that pretty much limits people to the same kinds of foods found in a paleo diet, it's probably even accurate that it has a "resetting" effect on someone's body, since they'll have been away from processed foods, vegetable oils, trans fats, grains, etc for the duration of their diet. But I think it's a stretch to believe that the HHCG protocol is any more effective than a carb and calorie restricted round of the Whole 30 would be. And in the long run, it runs into the same problems as other very low calorie diet plans - muscle wasting, including organs, nutritional deficiencies, etc. although the HCG protocol tends to dodge this bullet fairly well by simply telling people not to do it long term. In which case it has a lot in common with other crash diets - effective at cutting weight in the short term, but not likely to result in long term results unless more liveable restrictions are adopted permanently into peoples lifestyles.

    Some people have more success with dropping their excess weight quickly, using drastic techniques, and then going on a maintenance program. It's arguable more healthy to drop weight slowly, changing your habits incrementally over time until you've established a permanent lifestyle that maintains you at a healthy weight, and avoiding the yoyo that results from repeatedly regaining weight after crash diets. But whatever, it's your body and your life. Do what you want.


    STUDIES

    1. S Afr Med J. 1990 Feb 17;77(4):185-9.

    Human chorionic gonadotrophin and weight loss. A double-blind, placebo-controlled
    trial. Bosch B, Venter I, Stewart RI, Bertram SR.

    Department of Medical Physiology and Biochemistry, University of Stellenbosch,
    Parowvallei, CP.

    Low-dose human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) combined with a severe diet remains
    a popular treatment for obesity, despite equivocal evidence of its effectiveness.
    In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the effects of HCG on weight loss
    were compared with placebo injections. Forty obese women (body mass index greater
    than 30 kg/m2) were placed on the same diet supplying 5,000 kJ per day and
    received daily intramuscular injections of saline or HCG, 6 days a week for 6
    weeks. A psychological profile, hunger level, body circumferences, a fasting
    blood sample and food records were obtained at the start and end of the study,
    while body weight was measured weekly. Subjects receiving HCG injections showed
    no advantages over those on placebo in respect to any of the variables recorded.
    Furthermore, weight loss on our diet was similar to that on severely restricted
    intake. We conclude that there is no rationale for the use of HCG injections in
    the treatment of obesity.

    PMID: 2405506 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    2. Am J Clin Nutr. 1976 Sep;29(9):940-8.

    Ineffectiveness of human chorionic gonadotropin in weight reduction: a
    double-blind study. Stein MR, Julis RE, Peck CC, Hinshaw W, Sawicki JE, Deller JJ Jr.

    Our investigation was designed to retest the hypothesis of the efficacy of human
    chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) on weight reduction in obese women in a clinic
    setting. We sought to duplicate the Asher-Harper study (1973) which had found
    that the combination of 500 cal diet and HCG had a statistically significant
    benefit over the diet and placebo combination as evidenced by greater weight loss
    and decrease in hunger. Fifty-one women between the ages of 18 and 60
    participated in our 32-day prospective, randomized, double-blind comparison of
    HCG versus placebo. Each patient was given the same diet (the one prescribed in
    the Asher-Harper study), was weighed daily Monday through Saturday and was
    counseled by one of the investigators who administered the injections.
    Laboratory studies were performed at the time of initial physical examinations
    and at the end of the study. Twenty of 25 in the HCG and 21 of 26 patients in the
    placebo groups completed 28 injections. There was no statistically significant
    difference in the means of the two groups in number of injections received,
    weight loss, percent of weight loss, hip and waist circumference, weight loss per
    injections, or in hunger ratings. HCG does not appear to enhance the
    effectiveness of a rigidly imposed regimen for weight reduction.

    PMID: 786001 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    3. West J Med. 1977 Dec;127(6):461-3.

    Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity: a critical
    assessment of the Simeons method. Greenway FL, Bray GA.

    Injections of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) have been claimed to aid in
    weight reduction by reducing hunger, and affecting mood as well as aiding in
    localized (spot) reduction. We have tested these claims in a double-blind
    randomized trial using injections of HCG or placebo. Weight loss was identical
    between the two groups, and there was no evidence for differential effects on
    hunger, mood or localized body measurements. Placebo injections, therefore,
    appear to be as effective as HCG in the treatment of obesity.

    PMCID: PMC1237915
    PMID: 595585 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


    4. Arch Intern Med. 1977 Feb;137(2):151-5.

    Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) treatment of obesity. Shetty KR, Kalkhoff RK.

    After a nine-day control period, six hospitalized obese women were placed on 500
    calorie diets and were given 125 IU of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)
    intramuscularly daily for 30 days. Another five obese women received injections
    of diluent only and consumed identical diets for the same period. Mean weight
    loss in the HCG-treated group was nearly identical to that achieved by women
    given the placebo. Reduction of triceps skinfold thickness or circumferential
    body measurements of the chest, waist, hips, and thighs were not different.
    Patters of change of a variety of plasma and urine substrates, electrolytes, and
    hormones were similar in the two groups and consistent with semistarvation and
    weight loss. These results indicate that HCG has no effects on chemical and
    hormonal parameters measured and offers no advantage over calorie restriction in
    promoting weight loss.

    PMID: 836112 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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