Monday, April 6, 2009

hCG Weight Loss

Remember when Russell and I publicly declared our weight loss goals, and vowed to give you weekly updates? Holy cow, that was clear back in September. We figured posting it would give us accountability and keep us motivated. Well, it did, but I'm sure it's obvious that we got a little discouraged. We were exercising almost daily. We were trying to watch what we ate. In two months time, Russell lost 4 pounds, and I lost 2 and a half. We didn't really give up, but we stopped advertising our weekly weight on the chart.

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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.

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 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.

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.


the lunch lady said...

russell looks great! but more impressive is sticking to the food allowance. Ouch.

good job, though!

and very interesting. I've always wondered what this diet entailed.

Kelley said...

Bonnie, I have never lost much weight while breastfeeding. Even now, I've got about 12 pounds to go before being back to pre-Rachel pregnancy, and about 30 pounds to where I'd like to be. After much experience, though, I've just decided to not mess with it until after I wean which hopefully won't be for a long time.

Russell looks great! I hope he continues to see this kind of success.

Lauren said...

I actually noticed your weight loss chart again yesterday, and was super impressed. I almost left a comment on your last post about it. Way to go Jack Family!!!

Ann-Michelle said...

My body seemed to hold on to a lot of water weight while I was nursing. As soon as I stopped I dropped probably 5-10 pounds, I assume mostly water. I don't think everyone "melts" the weight away with nursing. It seems to be just a few lucky people who have that great ability.

Brooke said...

Congrats to Russell, he looks good.

Kristen and Josh Wilde said...

Way to go, Russell! Nice website too.

Buzz Carter said...

Is some of Russell's weight loss due to his trimmed hair and beard? He looks a bit less lionish now. :-)

M Hop

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