Health column: HCG boost for New Year’s weight loss | PostIndependent.com

Health column: HCG boost for New Year’s weight loss

Scott Rollins
INTEGRATE YOUR HEALTH
Free Press Health Columnist
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Monday, Jan. 13

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If weight loss is on your New Year’s resolution list, then consider getting a boost with the HCG diet. Although it has been around for about 50 years, the diet is getting more attention than ever and for good reason. Losing up to a pound per day while on the diet is bound to get attention!

HCG is “human chorionic gonadotropin,” a hormone that women produce in pregnancy, which amongst other things helps to mobilize fat stores to ensure sufficient energy for mom and baby. The HCG diet involves taking a daily dose of the HCG hormone while eating a limited calorie diet. The diet itself is a good starting point for long-term healthy nutrition as it eliminates all sugar and junk food, allows for lean proteins, veggies and fruits, while helping us to see that our current portion sizes are way out of control.

One of the first questions people ask is “will I get hungry?” on the diet. No, since the HCG increases the body’s ability to access energy stored in stubborn fat reserves, patients on the HCG diet will break down enough fat for needed energy. As a result they don’t feel hungry.

A second question is how overweight does one need to be in order to consider the HCG diet? There is no certain weight to qualify. We have had several patients lose more than 100 pounds, while most lose 20-40 pounds, and some have needed help losing the last stubborn 10 pounds.

Another big concern is whether the weight will stay off. After a 20 day cycle of the HCG diet, there follows a critical three-week stabilization period of eating higher calories combined with low sugar and low fat. This teaches the body to burn fat readily, and after that, so long as reasonably healthy patterns are maintained, there is usually no rapid rebound weight gain.

What about safety of HCG? Women make as much as 1 million units of HCG daily while pregnant. HCG is used in conventional medicine to induce ovulation in girls and promote puberty in boys with delayed puberty, in doses of about 10,000 units daily. The HCG diet uses doses of 125 units per day, and I’ve neither witnessed nor heard of any complications with HCG.

But wouldn’t any restricted calorie diet cause weight gain? Yes and no …

Without HCG, people on restricted calorie diets get very hungry, feel poorly and lose muscle along with fat. We don’t observe that with HCG, so it clearly makes a difference.

HOLISTIC APPROACH WITH A BOOST

The HCG may be the “catalyst” that people need to get the weight off, but it is critical to address all the underlying reasons that people have excess weight to begin with. In order to maintain healthy weight, we need to take a holistic approach that addresses both the body and the mind. A medical weight-loss program should consider social, psychological, hormone, digestive and immune systems.

Hormonal imbalances or deficiencies, such as low thyroid, high cortisol, estrogen dominance or low sex hormones after menopause, all contribute to impaired metabolism and abnormal fat storage. Low testosterone leads directly to less muscle building and more fat storage. Undiagnosed or under-treated hormone imbalances are present to some degree in about half of the patients we treat.

Many people who struggle with weight have impaired gut function due to a lack of the beneficial gut bacteria that do so much to promote health, including production of important metabolic B vitamins, activation of thyroid hormone, metabolism of excess estrogens, and more.

“Leaky gut” may be allowing toxins and undigested food particles through the gut wall, which causes the immune system to be constantly agitated leading to chronic elevations of inflammatory chemicals, the stress hormone cortisol, blood sugar and insulin — all of which leads to weight gain, especially around the middle.

Delayed food allergies are another major cause of impaired digestive health and weight gain. As with “leaky gut,” a delayed food allergy can stoke the immune system for years leading to the same cortisol-insulin resistance issues. Many people are unaware that certain foods they are eating every day are causing weight gain.

MAKING HCG WORK

Under the right conditions, the HCG diet will lead to weight loss and give people a better chance of maintaining ideal weight. A great weight-loss program should take a team approach, with in depth medical evaluation, nutrition and exercise education, and psychological support all combining to ensure success.

I first came across the HCG diet more than 10 years ago, but was reluctant to implement it into clinical practice. Over the years I met other doctors, both allopathic and naturopathic, that prescribe the HCG diet in their practices with great success, which encouraged me to give it a try. After five years of prescribing HCG with hundreds of patients, I continue to be impressed by the success of HCG for weight loss.

The HCG diet isn’t a magic cure, but it is a dynamite catalyst toward long-term healthy nutrition and weight management.

Our 90 day program starts with a free consultation. Call 970-245-6911 to see if the HCG diet is right for you.

GJ Free Press health columnist Scott Rollins, M.D., is board certified with the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement, thyroid and adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia and other complex medical conditions. He is founder and medical director of the Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado (www.imcwc.com) and Bellezza Laser Aesthetics (www.bellezzalaser.com). Call 970-245-6911 for appointments or more information.


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