Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summertime Blues and Dangerous Dieting

Well, it has been quite a while since I have posted, so I should give a brief summary of all that has happened to me in the past couple of months. Well, school came to a screeching close way too soon for me (I never seem to have enough time in a school year to accomplish everything I want to accomplish), I went to Washington DC with a group of teachers for a week, and I got very involved in a new relationship which created far too much stress in my life. It has been unbearably hot outside, and I haven't been hiking for the first two-thirds of the summer.

I am starting to get the relationship stuff figured out, and think it needs to come to an end, which of course will cause more stress. I got out hiking this past weekend (it felt good to put a few miles under my feet again), and I am slowly getting myself together with a little counseling and support of good friends.

So my weigh-in first: 276.8. I am up from my low of 271 point whatever, and down from my start weight on the blog of 277 and definitely down from my start weight when I first started trying to lose weight of 294. So, hopefully I will get back on track now.

I have some friends though, that have lost huge amounts of weight, 18 pounds in the past month, give or take. It is kind of depressing, until I learned exactly what they were doing. They were following a fad diet from the 70's which has become repopularized of late called the HCG diet. The diet involves a strict calorie limit of 500 (in their case 700) calories per day. Everything they eat is low-fat and they cut sugar and starches almost completely out of their diets. They take a multivitamin, and they take HCG drops to aid in the weight loss (FWIW, even without the drops, a 700 calorie a day diet would cause dramatic weight loss).

Katie and I did some talking about this diet and researching it, and learned some pretty interesting facts:
  • HCG is a hormone created by a woman's body to nourish the womb and make it a good place for a fetus to develop.
  • More than a dozen clinical trials tried to verify the value of HCG in weight loss and found no direct benefit.
  • HCG influences other hormone levels including estrogen and progesterone.
  • The FDA considers HCG illegal as a diet aid and prevents direct-to-consumer sales.
  • The National Institutes of Health say that the minimum daily caloric intake should be 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men.
  • A 1981 study found 17 people who died after following severe calorie restriction diets for 5 months.
There is no magic cure for obesity. There is no superdiet out there waiting to be found. Common sense at the table and moderate physical activity are what are needed to lose weight. Time for me to get back on track!


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