HCG Diet

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Registered Dietitian, Carol Lapin gives her opinion on this popular new diet trend.

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HCG Diet

  1. 1. Empty Weight Loss Promises Watch out for the 2012 Snake Oil SalesmanThe  Snake  Oil  salesman/quack  has  gotten  much  slicker  than  the  original  con  artist  of  the  old  west  but  the  message  is  the  same,  “For  a  price,  I’ll  give  you  a  magic  elixir  that  will  melt  the  unwanted  fat  away  and  there  is  no  special  effort  needed  on  your  part.”    Before  you  put  down  your  hard  earned  money,  remember  the  old  adage,  “If  it  sounds  too  good  to  be  true…..”    Aside  from  being  a  waste  of  money,  the  bigger  concern  is,  does  the  diet  plan/potion  have  the  potential  to  do  harm?     The  Latest  Dubious  Diet-­‐HCG  Diet  The  latest  regime  that  promises  you  a  miracle  cure  for  obesity  is  the  HCG  diet.  HCG  is  human  chorionic  gonadotropin,  a  hormone  produced  during  pregnancy.  As  a  prescription  medication,  HCG  is  used  mainly  to  treat  fertility  issues.    Using  HCG  for  weight  loss  raises  a  serious  red  flag  for  health  professionals.      Because  the  HCG  diet  combines  injections  or  supplements  of  the  HCG  hormone  along  with  severe  calorie  restriction,  you  may  lose  weight  in  the  short  term,  but  it  is  the  calorie  restriction  that  causes  the  weight  loss,  not  the  HCG.  In  addition,  the  safety  of  HCG  for  weight  loss  is  uncertain,  and  the  hormone  hasnt  been  approved  by  the  Food  and  Drug  Administration  as  a  treatment  for  obesity  or  weight  control.  Once  you  stop  the  HCG  diet,  which  severely  limits  important  nutrients  your  body  needs,  youre  likely  to  regain  any  weight  you  lost.  Additionally,  you  will  come  out  of  the  ordeal  with  a  loss  of  lean  muscle  tissue  resulting  in  a  lower  metabolism.  The  key  to  permanent  weight  loss  is  developing  healthy  eating  and  exercise  habits  —  not  following  fad  diets.   Calotren-­‐Mass  Marketing  The  media  has  been  inundated  with  advertisements  for  the  “miracle”  weight  loss  product,  Calotren?    The  much  touted  product  is  made  by  Top  of  the  World  Distributors  (TOTWD).  They  make  a  wide  variety  of  products,  everything  from  EFAs,  to  skin  care  to  sexual  enhancers.  The  web  site  claims:  “it  is  an  all-­‐natural  Protein  Formula  working  as  a  nutritional  supplement  that  assists  the  body  in  shedding  excess  body  fat  and  toxins  naturally.  CALOTREN  does  not  stimulate,  starve  or  trick  your  body  into  weight  loss.  It  simply  supports  the  body’s  lean  muscle  tissue  and  fuels  the  body’s  natural  mechanism  in  burning  off  excess  fats  and  sugars  more  efficiently.  For  those  who  are  underweight  or  in  good  physical  condition,  CALOTREN  encourages  stamina  and  energy.”  
  2. 2. What  is  Calotren?  The  ingredients  for  Calotren  include:  capsules  with  Collagen  Hydrolysate,  (derived  from  either  Bovine  or  Marine  sources),  Aloe  Vera,  and  Vegetable  Glycerin.  Additional  components  in  the  capsules  are  Gelatin,  Magnesium  Stearate,  Stearic  Acid  and  Microcrystalline  Cellulose.  The  Liquid  version  also  includes:  Oxygenated  Water,  Collagen  Hydrolysate  (Bovine  Source),  Aloe  Vera,  Vegetable  Glycerin,  Potassium  Sorbate,  Natural  Raspberry  Flavoring,  and  Methyl  Paraben.  Top  of  the  World  Distributors  claim  the  product  contains  a  protein  formula  that  will  “Simply  support  the  body’s  lean  muscle  tissue  and  fuels  the  body’s  natural  mechanism  in  burning  off  excess  fats  and  sugars  more  efficiently.  “There  is  absolutely  no  scientific  research  available  to  back  this  claim.  The  rule  with  Calotren  is  that  you  take  it  before  going  to  bed  and  don’t  eat  three  hours  prior  to  sleep  time.    Avoiding  late  night  eating  can  be  an  effective  way  to  lose  weight.    Of  course,  the  fluid  loss  from  a  natural  laxative  ingredient  in  Caletren  really  makes  the  morning  weigh  in  look  impressive.  Calotren  contains  aloe  vera,  which  when  ingested,  acts  as  a  laxative.    Calorie  restriction  along  with  a  laxative  within  the  product  results  in  weight  loss  with  Calotren.    You  don’t,  however,  need  to  buy  this  product  to  go  on  very  low  calories  or  to  take  a  laxative  (a  very  unhealthy,  ineffective  way  to  lose  weight).  There  are  no  scientific  studies  available  to  support  claims  for  this  product.  If  TOTWD  had  proof  that  their  concoction  worked  as  touted,  you  would  have  heard  about  it,  loud  and  often.     The  Bottom  Line  The  Bottom  Line  on  diets,  as  well  as  dietary  supplements  –  Pry  Before  You  Try!  The  responsibility  is  yours  and  yours  alone.  The  old  adage,  if  it  sounds  too  good  to  be  true….  Still  rings  true.  Ultimately,  it  is  up  to  the  consumer  to  choose  the  best  eating  plan  for  a  healthy  lifestyle.  If  a  diet  which  may  include  dietary  supplements  or  injections  is  being  considered,  it  is  recommended  that  the  consumer  gets  answers  to  the  following  questions  and  share  those  answers  with  a  Registered  Dietitian  who  works  closely  with  him/her  before  trying  any  dietary  supplements  on  the  market:    1).    If  it  is  a  “diet,”  does  it  contain  all  of  the  food  groups  or  are  important  nutrients  missing.    2).    If  there  are  supplements,  am  I  confidant  that  the  ingredients  listed  on  the  outside  lab  are   exactly  what  are  on  the  inside  of  the  container?    3).    Are  there  reports  of  risk  and/or  adverse  side  effects  associated  with  the  proposed  “diet”?     Very  low  calorie  diets  (below  1200  calories)  or  diets  missing  food  groups  may  result  in   nutrient  deficiencies  and  a  loss  of  lean  tissue.  
  3. 3.  4).    Have  the  short-­‐term  and  long-­‐term  effects  of  the  diet  and/or  proposed  supplements  or   injections  been  studied  and  in  what  journal  has  the  study  been  published?    5).    Are  the  proposed  effects  of  this  diet  and/or  any  of  its  key  ingredients  supported  by  science?    6).    Do  the  amounts  of  the  ingredients  on  the  label  of  proposed  supplements  match  the   amounts  that  have  been  studied?    7).    Do  the  proposed  effects  of  this  diet  and  key  ingredients  that  go  with  it  apply  to  my  needs?    8).    Do  I  really  need  this  supplement  and/or  any  of  its  key  ingredients  to  obtain  a  healthy  body   weight?    9).    How  have  my  eating  habits  and  food  decisions  changed  for  the  better  by  following  this   program  to  promote  a  permanent  healthy  weight  loss?      10).    Am  I  better  off  spending  money  on  supplements  and  prepared  foods  or  healthy  fresh   foods  from  the  grocery  store  or  Farmer’s  Market?    To  help  you  avoid  the  “Snake  Oil  Salesman”:  check  these  web  sites  for  sound  nutrition  information:    Consumer  reports  (www.consumerreports.org  ),  Center  for  Science  in  the  Public  interest  (www.cspinet.org),  The  Institute  of  Medicine  (http://www.iom.edu/Activities/Nutrition/FoodForum.aspx  )  and  the  gold  standard  site  for  supplement  use:  Natural  Medicines  Comprehensive  Data  Base  http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/home.aspx?cs=&s=ND    (.    Good  basic  nutrition  information  and  resources  from  the  American  Dietetic  Asso.  (changing  name  to  the  Academy  of  Nutrition  and  Dietetics):  www.eatright.org.  Wellness,  Cardiovascular,  and  Sports  Nutrition:  www.scandpg.org.         Get  a  Jump  on  Healthy  Eating  for  2012    The  New  Year  brings  the  same  news  as  the  years  preceding  when  it  comes  to  acquiring  and  maintaining  a  healthy  body  weight.    Eat  well  balanced  meals  with  plenty  of  variety  and  minimize  the  intake  of  “empty  calorie”  foods.  Pay  attention  to  portion  sizes  and  get  moving  with  physical  activity.  CSL  Nutritional  Services  will  help  you  put  it  together.    Give  us  a  call  at  713-­‐932-­‐8888.                  
  4. 4.          

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