Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
One of the most common questions I am asked in the office is “Doc, how can I lose this extra weight I have around my tummy?” It seems that weight is a concern for all of us. How many people are really happy with how they look?
Of course it is easy for me to go off on a tangent about the images of anorexic women that marketers are putting forth as “the perfect” image of a woman’s body, but who really wants to look that way? The unhealthy habits that go along with being a model, including outright starvation, are not a good investment for the body’s health as a whole, or a good way to live a long, happy and healthy life.
I can certainly understand, however, wanting to shed those extra inches that creep up especially after menopause or andropause and are seemingly hard to shed. The bottom line is that the body’s metabolism slows down when hormone levels drop.
The other issue causing weight gain for many of us is our level of toxicity. I have written previously in newsletters about toxins, including pesticides, insecticides, plastics, and heavy metals, that contribute to weight gain and slow down the metabolism. Diet of course plays a role in weight, but for most of my patients diet is not the biggest issue.
It is logical to assume, then, that speeding up metabolism and detoxing the body are the things we need to do to drop extra pounds, and this is the comprehensive approach I take with most of my patients. Working with a metabolic provider to support the adrenals with electrolytes, DHEA, and adrenal adaptogens can lay the foundation for an improved metabolism.
Supporting the gut and the liver with B vitamins, antioxidants, digestive enzymes and probiotics lays the foundation for clearing toxins from the body. Of course there are supplements that help to speed up metabolism such as alpha lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10. Interestingly enough, these nutrients also help with detox.
On top of this foundation I truly think the best way to speed up metabolism (and help with detox) is exercise. Regular exercise, where you are building muscle, and yes, sweating, is the best way to boost metabolism because with exercise we are actually building mitochondria. Remember them? The mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells. They make energy, burn sugar, and clear toxins! Having healthy mitochondria, and a lot off them, is a major step in overall health and longevity.
Clearly what I have outlined above is the best way to go – not only for boosting metabolism and clearing toxins – but also the best investment in ourselves for a happy, healthy life now and for always. But I can hear some of you groaning with all of the time and commitment that involves. What if we just need a jump-start? A way to lose some weight quickly so that going to the gym and exercising doesn’t seem so daunting? A way to quickly clean up our diet and detox a little?
This is why I love the HCG weight loss program. HCG (which stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is the hormone that pregnant women produce to release fat-stores for the baby, and when combined with a feast/famine approach to diet, it does the same for us – it releases fat stores.
Dr. Simeon, who developed this program in the 1950s, understood way back then that extra weight was not a result of having a sluggish thyroid, but more of an issue with stress, toxins, and dysregulation of the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the gland deep in our brains that regulates metabolism.
You see, when the body is stressed, toxic, and we are eating three meals a day (which we were not meant to do evolutionarily) the hypothalamus does not recognize that we have belly fat. When we try to lose weight under these circumstances, we lose everything except belly fat. Namely, the body will lose visceral fat and structural fat before it goes after belly fat.
Dr. Simeon experimented with giving adolescent boys HCG and putting them on a feast/famine diet, and they lost weight. That is the essence of the HCG program. You start on the HCG and gorge for two days. This sets up the “feast” trigger in the body and allows time for the HCG to take effect. The third day of the program is when you start on a low-calorie diet. This triggers an adrenal response, because now the body thinks there is a famine.
However, with the HCG on board, the hypothalamus is triggered to release fat stores from the belly. People will burn up to 2000 calories a day from belly fat, which means that those stubborn inches melt away. How cool is that? Another benefit of HCG is detoxification. Because people lose fat, where many of the common toxins are stored, and they are on a super-clean diet, the body is able to release toxins.
HCG works not only on the hypothalamus, but many of the hormone-producing organs in the body, so it also “resets” the metabolism. Patients will often say that it is so much easier to lose extra pounds if they start creeping on again from overeating. I have seen HCG transform lives – people who were never able to lose weight lose a ton and keep it off.
Another aspect of HCG is that with appropriate supervision, it is extremely safe. I have had patients with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, and even people who have had cancer not only tolerate but be successful on this program. So, while it is not the be-all, end-all program for longevity and health, HCG is certainly a way to get a jump-start on a healthy new you.