A Different Approach to Weight Loss -The HCG Diet
by Beth Davis
Losing weight can be difficult—whether it’s 5 pounds or 50 pounds. At MJA Healthcare P.C., in East Stroudsburg, Dr. Mikhail Artamonov and his staff offer medically supervised weightloss programs designed to get results.
The HCG Diet, based on Dr. A.T.W. Simeons’ manuscript “Pounds and Inches,” consists of a very low calorie diet (500) in combination injections of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). HCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is the “natural” hormone the body makes during pregnancy. HCG can reset one’s metabolism, allowing individuals to lose as much as a pound a day without feeling hungry or weak.
How? HCG helps to burn the fat that is stored around the hips, thighs, belly and upper arms. During the treatment, individuals take a small amount of the hormone daily. The HCG used in the diet protocols is a variation of the HCG used in infertility treatments, but in much smaller, minute doses. All HCG used for medical purposes is synthetic, created in laboratories from sterile cells. It is not extracted from women or animal urine. Artamonov says HCG itself does not cause weight loss, but rather modifies eating behavior. “We will provide details of a low calorie, low fat and practically starch-free diet to obtain optimum results,” he says.
“It’s crucial for patients to understand that this doesn’t solve the physiology of why they are gaining weight and why they are eating,” notes Artamonov. “That’s much more complicated than HCG. We have a deeper, functional medicine program that can help support people from that standpoint.”
The doctor says one of the things he likes best about the HCG diet is that it is designed with one’s personal goals in mind—whether they want to drop a few pounds or have a significant amount to lose.
The HCG diet begins with something called “loading days.” These generally make up the first two days of the diet. Some people call them “binge” days. During these two days, individuals begin taking daily doses of HCG diet drops while eating fattening foods to capacity.
According to Artamonov, some informal studies have shown that those who follow the HCG loading days correctly lose more weight overall. Dr. Simeons never mentioned this benefit, but there are several reasons why this might be so.
One is that those who follow the HCG loading days correctly have a much easier time during the first week, which establishes the pattern of things to come. The less hunger and irritability one might feel, the easier it will be for them to stick to the diet. Second, the HCG loading days have the added benefit of breaking some of the mental addictions one may have developed over time. Finally, by gorging on one’s favorite foods for several days, cravings are satisfied while simultaneously making the food less desirable.
What can people expect to happen to their weight during the HCG loading phase? The doctor says most people gain weight fairly quickly, sometimes as much as 4 to 6 pounds in the first day. The next day a person will likely gain less. Regardless, the whole amount is usually lost within the first two days of the 500-calorie diet.
Some people are surprised to find that they don’t gain any weight at all during the HCG loading phase, and some even lose weight. Often, this is caused by a loss of water weight, especially for those who haven’t been getting enough protein.
While 500 calories a day may not seem like much, it is common that HCG dieters often find it hard to consume the total 500. It’s common to have mild hunger during the first few days, but over time it will pass and by the second week, patients typically find even tiny servings to be completely satisfying. “This is partly due to your hypothalamus adjusting your metabolic rate, but largely due to the amount of calories circulating in your body from the released fat,” explains Artamonov.
Most dieters report an average loss of 1 to 2 pounds per day. However, everyone is different and results may vary. He says both men and women can use HCG injections for weight loss, and there are rarely side effects reported while using HCG diet shots.
Once the weight is off, a common concern is keeping it off. Artamonov says former HCG dieters often report a change for the better in appetite and a natural course of modified eating behavior. They also report the program as an ideal situation for easily transitioning into a healthy relationship with food.
To maintain, a minimum amount of activity is recommended, including yoga, 20 minutes of cardio or any other activity that gets the heart moving.
“This is one of the most diversified programs on the market,” says Artamonov. “We investigate every individual case and provide a plan that fits their needs for optimal results. Ultimately, our goal is to help people not only look good, but also feel good.”
MJA Healthcare, R.C. has one location in East Stroudsburg and two locations in the Lehigh Valley. For more information, visit MJAhealthcare.com.