This week I discuss the medically-supervised diet that I am adhering to, called HCG protocol. To learn more about where I am doing this, visit the Real Food, Real Weightloss Clinic to learn more about their program.
This post is to give you some background on why I am doing this protocol, and the process I went through to get onto it.
HCG is a hormone secreted by pregnant women which Dr Simeon (the founder of the HCG Protocol and author of the book Pounds and Inches) found was effective in treating his obesity patients. He discovered that daily injections of a small amount of HCG coupled with a very low calorie diet (VLCD) would allow the body to use its abnormal fat for energy, thereby allowing his patients to drop this excess fat quickly and safely.
This fat is NOT the fat that is just underneath our skin that helps our skin look taut and young, nor the fat that is designed to protect our organs, but the unsightly and difficult to budge fat from around our stomachs, hips, thighs, buttocks, upper arms and other regions, which is usually locked away in "long term fat storage" systems.
I will stress again, this is a MEDICALLY-SUPERVISED program. This is because you just don't mess around with hormones! In particular, when you are someone like me, who has gone through years and years and years of testing to see what was "wrong" with you, and finally come across doctors who look at something like weight loss in a holistic way, rather than simply writing me a script for an appetite suppressant and send me on my way with "eat less, move more!"
Folks, it simply doesn't work like that!
The following were main issues my holistic doctor discovered after my first consult with her in 2013, and she sent me away to get a raft of new tests after examining my history of previous blood tests:
I have a condition which is quite common, but not well known even amongst the medical community, called Pyrroluria. To test for this you have to pee in the dark (a fact that I giggled at a lot with my partner - we're so mature you guys!) It means I have too many of these little critters in my urine called cryptopyrroles, which attach to all available zinc and B6 in my body, with the effect that I flush them out of my body every time I go to the toilet. So I have to supplement these for the rest of my life.
For a more medical explanation and full list of signs and symptoms, you can read more about it here.
Oh, and another thing you might find useful if you have this - fish oil doesn't work! If you have pyrroluria you have to take flaxseed oil! So much for the many many years of fish oil I threw down my gullet! To no avail obviously!!!
It goes to show - GET A GOOD DOCTOR!
My doctors were forever testing my thryoid, and it kept coming back with the same results - it was fine! But I still found it almost impossible to lose weight. What the EFF was going on? My new doctor soon sorted it out by ordering a new test called "Reverse T3" and discovered that while it LOOKED like my thyroid was working, it was effectively pumping out junk which did zip for my metabolism. Kinda like a factory that is working 24x7 but producing defective products that just get junked.
So I got some new meds, and a few months later my thryoid indicators were back in the normal range.
But then I learned something - restoring normal thyroid function doesn't mean you automatically start losing weight, just that it is impossible to lose any significant amounts of weight if your thyroid isn't working properly.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies (or excesses!)
I had many of these - B12, D, too much copper, too little magnesium, not enough of this and that. In the end I was given a list of supplements that I continue to take to this day. Seriously, this supplementation is something I take ultra seriously!
|Some of the supplements and medications I take daily!|
Too much testosterone, No estrogen and little to none of progesterone! All of this has incredible effect on weight gain and mood disorders. To solve this I had to go OFF my prescription contraceptive pill (and be VERY careful with sex).
Before going to my holistic doctor and getting all of this sorted out, I went to HUNDREDS of specialists. Even a specialist in hormones, called an endocrinologist. She charged me $400 for 15 minutes and gave me a prescription for thryoid medication (at this point I still didn't have a thyroid issue that anyone had found) and.... you guessed it.... tried putting me on a VLCD with a shake program.
You can imagine how well I stuck to that program.
For more information on how womens' hormones can make you fat read this article.
So there you have it - the background to my HCG journey. All I can say is that I love it, it works for me, and despite all the online haters and controversy, I will continue to do it until I am at my optimum best!
Thank you to the Real Food Real Weightloss team for the support - you guys rock!