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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Doing the HcG Diet Right

Mar 29, 2012 10:57AM ● By Dr. Michael J. Hollis

Obesity is an epidemic in America today. And there is no shortage of diets that claim to help people lose their excess weight once and for all. One of the hottest diets available today is called the HcG Diet. The premise behind the diet is to use Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HcG) prescribed by a doctor to help comfortably navigate a very low calorie diet. Because the HcG diet relies primarily on whole foods, it is essentially a holistic diet.

The HcG Diet is so popular it has become a major entry point for patients into many holistic health clinics.

So what is it about the HcG Diet program that makes it a viable alternative to, literally, an exhaustive lineage of ineffective predecessors? And who is this program suited for? Does metabolic or body typing determine selection for this diet? And are there any important rules to consider when selecting patients for the program?

First, it’s good to know how the HcG Diet program really works in order to understand who the ideal candidates would be for the diet. Once a physician or holistic health center has a good grasp on the diet, then it’s all about spending time getting to know each patient. The physician must take an active interest in more than just the patient’s weight loss. Answering the question, “is it effective?” is not just about the mechanics of the HcG, but also about understanding relationships with social and emotional eating, as well as sedentary and exercise-driven lifestyles. These other things going on offer clues to help one adjust the program. For example, “...nothing has changed in my eating and exercise habits for the last 10 years. So why am I now gaining weight?” or “ and family stress has been unusually intense this last year. I have noticed I gain weight when I’m under stress. What can I do about this?” It is clear these are two completely different issues and will require different roads to success for each.

Second, it’s important to keep a patient’s expectations fair. Unlike many ads out there, most patients do not generally see a pound of weight loss a day. In my clinic, numerous patients helped us out by tracking numbers and sharing information with us. We were able to do the math and discover that those ads were misleading. So-called “good” patients who had only rare mishaps did better than those who erred more on the program.

Third, the HcG program has to be a practical, preventative medicine approach. It needs to address some fundamentals inherent to healthy habits, healthy lifestyle, and remission of disease. For instance, in my clinic our HcG Diet program excludes foods with cardiovascular risk factors or known issues for many health challenges like diabetes, autoimmune disease, or an under-functioning liver.

The simplicity of foods chosen for the HcG Diet program can be a great starter program for tackling other degenerative diseases. A carefully-managed, whole foods HcG Diet program can help treat overweight and chronic disease alike by:

1 Helping people turn off unhealthy food cravings and temptations

2 Reducing stress on vital organ systems and metabolic pathways that were source points for chronic, degenerative disease.

3 Correcting blood sugar irregularities, liver congestion, and adrenal and blood pressure irregularities.

One more essential component to a successful HcG Diet program is exercise. Exercise is a challenge, but a healthy Michael J. Hollischallenge. And it needs to be a priority in any program that promotes healthy weight loss and longevity.

Michael J. Hollis, BSc, ND, is the owner of The Center for Health & Wellbeing located in the heart of Hillcrest at 3636 5th Ave., San Diego. For more information, call 619-814-5500 or visit

A free seminar on the HcG Diet program is held on the last Wednesday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Center for Health & Wellbeing. Attendees will learn how the HcG diet is able to help encourage healthy metabolism. The seminars are open to the public. The next seminar will be held on April 25.
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