Well, I have updated the chart, and moved it back up to a semi-visible spot there on the right...down a bit...see it? You will notice that over the last 6 weeks, Russell has lost 40 pounds. Wow, right? As he was designing and programming a website for one of his clients, Trielle Hormone Balance Centers (cool website design, huh?), he learned about a weight loss program that utilizes the hormone hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) to facilitate weight loss. Though it seems counterintuitive that the pregnancy hormone would cause fat loss, somehow it does. I asked Russell to write an explanation of how the diet works, and what his experience was like:
There are 2 parts to the hCG diet protocol:I would like to add that the hCG protocol should be administered by prescription and under the close supervision of a licensed medical doctor. It's not for everyone, but we are grateful for it. Russell has been happier the last several weeks than I have seen him in a long time, and I can tell he feels really good.
Now before you freak out and get all concerned about starvation, let me explain how and why this works. There are 3 kinds of fat in your body: structural, normal reserves, and abnormal accumulations. When a person tries to lose weight by eating a lot less calories than they are used to, the body first gets energy from muscle (which isn't good), and then from normal fat reserves (they're easy to access). Only after you've lost about 20 pounds does the body start going after the abnormal fat. Which is why most people can lose 20 pounds easily, and then they hit a wall. It is also why when they stop dieting, they gain all the weight back--their body is replacing the fat that it NEEDS in order to function normally.
- Administration of the hCG hormone. The most effective way to administer this is by injection. I gave myself a shot for 40 days (6 days a week) in my leg (rotating injection sites). The shot didn't hurt, but it was weird to inject myself.
- A very low-calorie diet. 500 calories a day. 100g of meat, 100g of veggies, a fruit, and a melba toast--that's a meal. I'd eat 2 meals a day. Oh--and drink a gallon of water.
hCG teaches your body to burn ABNORMAL fat. While on the hCG protocol, the body actually burns about 4000 calories a day from abnormal fat reserves. You consume 500 calories for a net loss of 3500 calories a day--1 pound. The body is getting all the nutrition and energy it needs from the fat in the body (and the small amount of carbs, protein, and vitamins you are consuming--I actually ate a lot more fruits and veggies than I had ever been used to eating before). As a result, your body never goes into "starvation mode"--I never got shaky, I never felt weak, I never got a headache. Rather, I felt energized, healthy, and happy. I did get hungry (my stomach was mostly empty most of the time), but I actually grew to like this hunger, because I knew it meant I would be 1 pound lighter the next morning.
My weight loss wasn't consistently 1 pound a day--I had plateaus (especially at the end), but overall, I lost 40 pounds in 40 days! And it feels great!
I have been thinking a lot about how much we beat ourselves up about our bodies and our weight. I believe that maintaining our health is important, and sometimes that means we need to lose some weight. But there are times when a little extra weight is okay, and it is not necessary to feel guilty about a bowl of ice cream here and there. My mom always told me that if I breastfed my babies, the pregnancy weight would just melt away, but actually, my body seems to be hanging on to the extra weight, as if it is worried I won't have enough calories to feed the baby. I have lost 5 pounds since November, and I feel good about that, even though I'd still like to lose about 15 more. I can do it in a few months when I'm no longer supporting another life with my body. (Although I would like to look a little better in my swimsuit for Hawaii, darn it!)
Obviously, Russell and I are making some pretty big lifestyle changes in order to maintain the new level of health that he has achieved, and hopefully help him lose even more weight, as well as improve my health. I will be posting more about what changes we are making, and how we are learning to make healthy eating a regular part of our lives.