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Newsletter 29, October 2011

The hCG Diet

The hottest diet of the year (and possibly the decade) must surely be the hCG Diet. Claiming to produce an average weight loss of three to five pounds a week, reset your set point so that you do not suffer the accelerated fat storage that dogs the return to 'normal' eating of most other diets, keep you fed 'internally' so that you do not feel hungry on the 500 calorie a day fat-loss phase of the diet, and leave you looking remarkably unscraggy by taking off unwanted or 'abnormal' fat rather than the much-needed structural fat that comes off on other diets, what's not to like?

Well, and I say this from recent personal experience, the hCG Diet is very stringent, exacting and demanding of your time in learning how to do it and organising your shopping, meals and social life around it. However, the potential benefits of the hCG Diet are great. Many people are reporting fantastic success with it, particularly those who have had trouble achieving weight loss with other diets, and those who are hypothyroid (have an underactive or sluggish thyroid). Both of these problems are of course very close to my heart, so once I became aware that both my thyroid doctor and my nutritional therapist were in favour of the hCG Diet, I felt confident that it was safe for me to try. I am extremely pleased with the results, as you can read in my latest update to My Story.

So do I think the hCG Diet will supplant the low carb diet that I have been faithfully following since 2000? No. Dr Simeons, the author of the original hCG Diet, which he published in his book "Pounds and Inches - A New Approach to Obesity" in 1967, clearly recognised that carbohydrates are the villains for many people. In his book he is very emphatic about the need to refrain from all sugars and starches in the fat-loss and stabilisation phases of the hCG Diet, only reintroducing them gradually in the long term maintenance phase, and then only if they do not cause an increase in weight. Like me, I suspect that most dieters will find that their tolerance to carbs is such that they will effectively end up on a low or at least a controlled carb way of eating.

This is not cause for dismay, though. The number of clinical studies demonstrating the health benefits of a low carb way of eating for the large sector of the population that is carbohydrate intolerant has ballooned in recent years. So too has the availability of low carb substitute ingredients and knowledge of how to use them. The many good low carb cookbooks that are now available are testament to this, and low carbers no longer need to go without their favourite foods. On the subject of low carb cookbooks, we have just released another couple of recipes into our own Low Carb is Easy Cookbook.

New Recipes in the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook

For those of our readers who are subscribers to the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook, two new recipes have just been released: Red Grape Fool (4-22) and Banana Cheesecake (4-23). You will find these recipes already in your Cookbook next time you log in.

Your Successes, Requests and Questions

This is your spot. Whether it's your dietary success story, a request to cover a particular topic in a future newsletter or a question you would like answered, we would love to hear from you. Please do contact us.

Here is a question we answered recently:

Q: I am female, 39 and have pcos. I have been on the atkins for about nearly a month now and I haven't lost a single pound despite the fact that I have been in continuous ketosis for about 3 weeks. The stix is always in ketosis. I am a vegetarian and have been eating quorn and a bit more cheese to replace the meat but everything else is by the book and I am always under 20g per day. Any ideas what could be preventing this from working?

A: It is possible to be "in ketosis" (as in showing ketones on the stix) without burning your own fat stores if you've got enough energy coming in in your diet to fuel your body's needs. In other words, the stix could be reflecting the burning of your incoming fuel, not the burning of your fat stores.

You may have to reduce your total calories.

You might find it helpful to read 'Why Can't I Lose Weight - the Real Reasons Diets Fail and What to Do About It' as it explains the many more reasons why you might not be losing weight.

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With best wishes for your continued good health
Jackie Bushell
Founder Director, GoodDietGoodHealth.com

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