Weight LossDec 30, 2021 09:45AM ● By Les Cole, MD & Kathie Gonzales, ARNP
What do we mean when we say “I want to lose weight?” Of course we mean we want to lose fat. No one says, “I want to lose muscle!” Weight loss is not really the goal; fat loss is. So, how do you lose fat? You have to first release it from your fat cells to be burned and to avoid more fat being stored. This article will tell you how to do both and give you two ways to do it.
It is your insulin hormone that pushes fat into your fat cells and keeps it locked up in them. The higher your insulin, the more fat you store. Conversely, the lower your insulin, the more fat you release to be burned. Your insulin is stimulated most by sugars and processed carbs (i.e. anything made from ground grain). Next, it is moderately stimulated by protein. And eating fat does not stimulate your insulin at all! Yes, that’s right, eating fat does not cause you to store fat as long as you don’t eat sugars or processed carbs and eat protein in moderation with fat. There is a well-known lifestyle that does just that.
A Ketogenic Lifestyle
Eating a ketogenic lifestyle causes fat to be released from your fat cells and prevents fat from being stored. With this lifestyle, you eat higher amounts of healthy fats, very low to no sugars and processed carbs and moderate protein. Higher, healthy fats significantly improve your health, taste better, provide you with better and more consistent energy and clarity, decrease food cravings and help you feel better than sugar and grain-based (processed carbs) diets.
If you are looking for faster fat loss or have become stuck at a plateau on a ketogenic lifestyle, the HCG Diet may be for you.
The HCG Diet
HCG is human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone found in both men and women. During pregnancy, HCG is elevated in women. The HCG diet has been around since 1954 when Dr. Albert Simeons published Pounds and Inches: A New Approach to Obesity. This diet has had a controversial reputation and is often thought of as a fad or lose-weight quick diet. However, HCG has many benefits, some of which include increased energy, improved endurance, burning excess fat, and lowering cholesterol levels. Even Dr. Oz has investigated the pros and cons and agrees that in certain people this diet affords good, healthy weight loss without hunger.
The HCG protocol consists of extreme caloric restriction and daily injections. It allows the body to access fat stores while consuming limited calories, providing weight loss of up to a pound a day. The critics of this protocol believe it does not allow for good nutrition and can have some side effects, but so do obesity, fast food intake and a sedentary lifestyle. HCG is available as oral drops, tablets and tinctures, but one is only able to achieve an adequate blood level of HCG with prescription-strength injections.
The HCG protocol has three phases: loading, calorie restriction weight loss and maintenance. The daily injection of HCG controls hunger and keeps one’s body from breaking down muscle during calorie restriction by promoting an anabolic state. Since hormone imbalance, including thyroid dysfunction and menopause, can cause weight gain and often makes weight loss very difficult, HCG provides a benefit by promoting balance in sex and human growth hormones. A safe and successful HCG protocol takes into account one’s age and level of health by adjusting both dose and appropriate calorie restriction and should be managed or overseen by an experienced healthcare provider.
Once you have lost the weight (fat) you want to lose, you can revert to and maintain a healthy eating lifestyle—ketogenic, plant-based, or other healthy diet that does not include sugars or processed carbs. Remember, weight loss is not really the goal—fat is—while maintaining or increasing muscle. Also, measuring your weight is not an effective way of determining fat loss because muscle is so much denser than fat. The best measure of fat loss is waist measurement or, alternatively, how your clothes fit.
Providing optimal health, naturally, Dr. Les Cole is available for consultation at St. Petersburg Health & Wellness, located at 2100 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N, St. Pete. To learn more and for appointments, call 727-202-6807 and/or visit StPeteHW.com.