Thursday, February 24, 2011

FAD diets

There are many bogus diets out there. One diet that has me completely floored, not in a good way, is the HCG diet. This diet requires taking HCG (human chronic gonadotropin), which is a hormone, shots and limiting your calorie intake to 500 calories a day. This hormone injection apparantly aids in the fat burning process. Why should we rely on this hormone, rather than burn the fat by exercising?

Honestly, I am so disturbed that doctors are actually recommending this diet to their patients. As a nutritionist I feel this diet is not healthy for ANY patient. The big problem I have with this diet is the calorie restriction. We are supposed to be taking in about 1200 calories a day, that is the norm. Calorie intake can be different for men and women. Also calorie intake can depend on the person's height and built. Some people can handle more than 1200 calories and still be able to work out and lose weight. But the magic number is 1200. Restricting your calorie intake to less than 1200 calories can affect brain function and other processes in the body depend on food intake for them to take place. If our calorie is restricted these processes can still be achieved, but will rely on our fat stores that are already there.

Why is this detrimental? Is this not how we lose weight? These are some questions you are probably asking. When we eat a proper diet with proper calorie intake we are "refueling our body." We can still lose weight if we burn those calories the proper way through exercise. Processes can occur if our body is in starvation mode, but it will occur at the expense of other important processes that are lacking that energy coming from food. Make sense?

Another important factor to consider is vitamin deficiencies. If our calories are restricted this drastically, we will lose all the essential vitamins our body gets from food. We need these vitamins for our body to be healthy. So I 100% do not agree with this diet and do not recommend it to anyone.

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