Do Your Research Before Starting a Diet!

(I’m still working on my Post Race Recap for the Rugged Maniac – It’s going to be awesome!!! But to have something to post here’s this: I debated for awhile about making this post because I don’t usually like going on rants, but this is a subject important to me. Please keep in mind I am NOT a personnel trainer, nor do I have an degree in nutrition or physical fitness. I’m just a person interested in my own physical fitness and health and I am really good at doing research. I fully encourage people to let me know if I have any info wrong.)

I was on the good ol’ Facebook the other day (ok, I’m on it everyday) but it was the other day that I noticed a status update from one of my “friends.” It was a from a girl I went to high school with but not really that close to anymore. She’s always been a chronic/yo-yo dieter and I’ve noticed from over the years from being Facebook friends with her that she will randomly start diets and then next status update makes it sound as if the diet is long forgotten and before you know it, it’s months later and she is starting a new one. The most recent post I saw from her was something to the effect of “Ready to lose major weight starting friday…” Being me, I don’t hold back too much on my opinions and replied, “Why not start today?”

Well, sure enough, I saw a post soon after about how she’s only allowed to eat three types of fruits and is only allotted a small amount of protein per meal for the day. No carbs and no oils. AND get this…only allowed 500 calories PER DAY!!!! I couldn’t believe it! Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you need like 1000 to 1500 calories a day just to, ya know, breath and well, LIVE!? Yes, I do know that to lose weight you need to have a calorie deficit, but there’s a different between a calorie deficit (with exercising) and only letting yourself have 500 calories a day.

I couldn’t hold back, I replied to her again….I wasn’t trying to be mean, I swear, but 500 calories is starving yourself. Sure you’ll lose fast weight, but as soon as you stop this radical diet you’ll gain it all back and could potentially do permanent damage to your bodily systems. Nevermind the whole fact that if you do keep it off, you’ll have all that extra skin which is way more unattractive than the actual weight in my opinion. But the main point I was trying to get to her was that she really had no idea what she was getting into! She did no fact finding, no research, no cruising the internet for information….she just heard the word “diet” or “lose weight fast!” and decided to try it. PLUS how are you ever going to learn how to eat well AFTER your diet/body cleanse if you just start by depriving your body of essential nutrients. Becoming fit and healthy is a learning process.

Products like this are NOT approved by the FDA, just FYI!

Since you’re probably wondering, she started the hCG diet. I had never heard of it, but then again, I don’t usually pay attention to different types of diets…I’m on the “I just eat healthy everyday and exercise regularly” diet. So, I did my own research. And in only 10 min of research I found an immense amount of information. This diet does in fact limit you to 500 calories a day stating that you could lose 1-2 pounds a day! That’s up to 12 pounds a week! That’s a lot! And does not sound healthy to me at all. Or you can get injection of the hCG hormone. hCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin which is a hormone seen during pregnancy. Doctors prescribe hCG injections to treat infertility! The hormone also suppresses hunger and triggers the body to use fat for fuel hence why it’s the underlining hormone triggered for this diet.

It didn’t take me long to find few websites supporting the diet and MANY not-supporting the diet. Get this, “If dieters slip up, they’re encouraged to compensate by drinking only water and eating nothing but six apples for 24 hours. (Haupt – link below)”  Like any medication or drug, there are some risks associated with this hormone. It can lead to blood clots, hair thinning, leg cramps, head aches, low blood sugar (duh!), constipation, and breast tenderness. I personally feel that starting a new diet should NOT come with the risk of blood clot. Shouldn’t dieting help lower your chance of getting blood clots through you arteries!!? Hence the whole point of losing weight and being healthy. There’s plenty of diets out there but not many of them help teach you overall health. I’m not the biggest fan of SlimGenics or Weight Watchers (mostly because I believe you don’t have to necessarily pay for the information they give you) but that’s just it! They are giving you information and TEACHING you how to eat right, exercise daily, read labels and put the right stuff into your body!

I also asked my friend if she was coupling this diet with a exercise routine, and stated that if so, 500 calories REALLY isn’t enough. She chose to ignore me on that one.  I talked to a lot of people about this diet and subject in general and one set of info was from a personal trainer. I told him what my friend was doing and how ridiculous it sounded to me. He actually wasn’t as shocked as I thought he would be and said that a few of the other personal trainers at his gym have done similar diets in the past to slim down! That info shocked me because I thought personal trainers would not really be into this type of weight loss. Maybe I don’t have all my info, and maybe these other personal trainers only did a few days on the diet as a body cleanse, but to me I feel like there are better ways.

I guess what I’m trying to get through from my rant is that it doesn’t matter what diet you choose or what exercise program you deiced to start, just do your research first please! If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. And if you want it on record, I personally believe this specific diet is dangerous!

If anyone has more information on this specific diet or the overall topic in general, please do tell! OR if I have MY of my info wrong, please don’t be afraid to correct me!

A few of the articles I read:

The Truth About hCG for Weight Loss

HCG Diet Dangers: Is Fas Weight Loss Worth The Risk?

Official HCG Diet Info

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10 thoughts on “Do Your Research Before Starting a Diet!

  1. I too don’t pay much attention to the fad diets out there. But this one sounds absolutely crazy! What is worse to me is that people that are supposedly in the know about health (the trainers) also took part! Gosh. Common sense, People.

    Jill, with sky-high blood pressure, I’m sure

  2. Limiting calorie intake that severely wreaks havoc on normal hormone levels in your body. There has been a bunch of studies out too that suggest your body will adapt to that kind of restrictive diet, and when you inevitably resume a some-what normal level you will pile the weight back on. A couple of interesting NPR articles that you may find interesting:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/11/03/141769832/hormones-and-metabolism-conspire-against-dieters?ps=sh_sthdl

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/10/31/141794801/losing-weight-a-battle-against-fat-and-biology

    • Thank you for those! The second one especially. I was chatting with my friend who’s about to graduate nursing school and we were discussing that it’s exercise that is key! which is what the second article states. That really, you can diet all you want, but without exercise, it’s pretty pointless in the end.

  3. I think it’s important to note what a “diet” actually is. A diet is a way of life; a way you choose to eat on a consistent basis to make your body feel the best that it can, to provide your cells with the nutrients they need to heal your body. There are so many “fad diets” out there now days that people assume they can eat a certain way delineated in a fad diet for a certain amount of time and then go back to their “usual” way of eating. Not the case. I wish our society was more informed on nutrition. I love your blog lady! I cannot wait for the rugged re-cap!

    • I agree! Society is becoming…dumb. Have you seen Idiocracy??? love that movie! And thanks, I’ve been working hard on recap…I’m having trouble remembering the exact order all the obstacles were in! lol Do YOU remember???

  4. I am on facebook way too often and I saw this “diet” as well! I think that it is absolutly insane and very unhealthy. You get to a certain point where you are doing more harm than good to your body. I am a huge fan of “everything in moderation”. I agree with you about Idiocracy…that movie is great!!

  5. Love this! Fad diets don’t work because they don’t incorporate a healthy lifestyle. A lady got on one of my running pages on FB and asked about the Lemonade Diet. Ummm….never heard of it but I can’t support anything that isn’t based on the “calories in vs calories out” concept, healthy & fresh foods and a focus on healthy living. I never use the word “diet” but instead try to focus on a healthy lifestyle. Plus, I’m an eater. I LIKE to eat so no, I’m not doing a non-eating, drinking only diet, liquid cleanse diet.

  6. Confession…I totally did the lemonade diet for 3 days before my wedding! (water, lemon juice, syrup, and pepper). It seemed to work at the time, until I gained it all back and then some. DUMB. And another problem with limiting calories that much….after your body stops rapidly dropping pounds, there is a huge temptation to reduce intake even more.

    And good for you for intervening on behalf of your friend. Maybe that will help prompt her to actually stick to a diet that involves eating!

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