An excerpt from HCG 2.0 – Don’t Starve, Eat Smart and Lose
Ketosis is a state that exists when your body is deprived of carbohydrates and must resort to its fat stores for energy. Of the foods we eat, carbs are most easily converted into energy. Complex carbohydrates, mostly starches, are broken down to simpler carbohydrates, ultimately glucose, and then converted to ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) in the citric acid cycle. ATP is the energy exchange used in every cellular process in the human body. It’s kind of like the gasoline we put in our cars. Gasoline is refined from more complex hydrocarbons as glucose is from more complex carbohydrates. If we eat excessive calories from carbs, our body stores them away in our fat cells. If we deprive ourselves of carbs, we tap into our fat stores for energy. Think of our fat stores as a bank account. If we’re depositing more money than we’re spending, or eating more calories than we’re burning off, our bank account gets bigger… like our bellies. If we spend more than we deposit, as in the state of low carb dieting and Ketosis, our bank account gets smaller… resulting in weight loss.
A Ketone is an energy source derived from fat and Ketosis is the physiological state in which this takes place. So why is Ketosis such a trendy word in dieting? The first and probably most popular Ketosis Diet was the Atkins diet. In summary, Atkins only stipulation was that you were to consume a minimal amount of carbs. There were relatively few restrictions on fat and protein consumption and it was generally effective in promoting weight loss. It gained popularity in the mid 90s, but has since lost steam because of its in-sustainability, due the fact that it allowed way too much dairy, which is highly inflammatory and it didn’t distinguish between healthy Omega 3 fats and Omega 6 fats. Other Ketosis Diets you may have heard of, or even tried, are the South Beach Diet, Dukan Diet, Paleo Diet, 5/1 protein shake diet and many others. All of these diets are variations of a low carb diet. When you eliminate carbs, your body must tap into fat stores for energy, thus resulting in Ketosis and weight loss.
Carbohydrates are a questionable part of the omnivorous diet of humans, especially highly processed carbs, which have no place whatsoever. There is an abundant amount of research on Inuit cultures and other indigenous tribes throughout the world that eat little to no carbs. These cultures, specifically Inuit, have a high-protein, high-fat diet and during long stretches of time throughout the year go completely without carbs. They experience no teeth decay or heart disease, diabetes is nearly non-existent and there is ZERO obesity. According to Dr. Eric Dewailly, MD, Ph.D, researcher, and Professor of Social and Preventative Medicine at Laval University, “The traditional Inuit diet is fats and proteins, no sugar at all. It is probably one of the healthiest diets you can have. The human body is built for that. “(2007).
If this high-protein, high-fat diet is so healthy, why don’t we hear more about its positive effects? Probably for a lot of reasons, some relating to our “for-profit” health care system, others relating to the simple fact that the word “fat” carries such a negative connotation that doctors are reluctant to recommend it. But don’t be fooled, a high-protein, high-fat diet, balanced with a 1:1 ratio of Omega 3s to Omega 6s is what we’re built for, as Dr. Dewailly says.
The traditional HCG diet, as practiced by Dr. Simeons, is a “mildly” Ketogenic Diet with the addition of the HCG hormone. The traditional diet consists of adequate protein, low fats and adequate carbs combined with the HCG hormone supplement. There is a slight discrepancy in the research regarding the amount of carbs one can consume and still maintain Ketosis. Keep in mind that Ketosis isn’t all-or-nothing. There are depths and stages; less carbs equal greater Ketosis which in turn results in more rapid weight loss. Some research suggests that Ketosis can be achieved at .5 grams of carbs per pound. So for example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you can consume 90 grams of carbs and achieve Ketosis. Others research says you must consume less than 50 grams per day to achieve Ketosis. The Atkins diet, as we discussed earlier, allows for only 20 grams of carbs. The traditional HCG diet allowed between 60 and 80, which, by any standard, is at the high end of Ketosis. Limiting carbs is the absolute most important thing you can do to accelerate/maintain your weight loss. And, if you’re like most, this will be the most difficult part. Not simply because we crave carbs, but because starches are such a staple in our diet that we almost cannot imagine a meal without them.
Starches, which are complex carbohydrates, make for cheap filler. I grew up in a family of five and while we were very middle class, we lived on a pretty strict budget. This probably won’t be much of a surprise to many readers as you will relate, but my mother could make a single pound of hamburger last two meals. She did so with starches; potatoes, noodles, bread, etc. This is how many of us were raised and this habitual component of our diet, or how we ate as children, is a powerful motivator as to how we eat as adults. The starch habit is a perfect example of this. The problem with starches, and more so with simple carbohydrates like those in fruit, is that they are so rapidly digested that the rush of incoming fuel cannot be fully metabolized and these calories ultimately end up stored as fat. This is fine as children because we’re more active, but if we continue to consume the same percentage of carbs as adults we’ll gain weight because our activity level and metabolic rate decrease significantly.
Additionally, Ketosis has a significant effect on the amount of hunger you’ll experience on the diet. When your body is comfortably in a state of Ketosis, as it is when limiting carbs to 30 grams per day, you’ll be supplied with ample amounts of ketone calories from stored fat; this will not only provide you with sufficient energy, but will mediate hunger. When you’re fluctuating in and out of Ketosis, as you often will on the traditional diet, you won’t be consistently supplied with ketone calories and you’ll experience both lethargy and intermittent hunger.
By eliminating the high-sugar fruits and bread sticks that were allowed on the traditional diet, and replacing those calories with lean protein, you’ve already brought your carb intake to below 30 grams per day, which will comfortably maintain Ketosis by any research standard. This is the key to HCG 2.0. The HCG then expedites and targets Ketosis by “unlocking” our abnormal fat stores. It’s important to note that the HCG is NOT what causes your weight loss. The weight loss is derived from your low calorie, Ketosis diet. Then why add HCG? Look at it this way, if Ketosis is the door that houses our abnormal fat, HCG is the “key.” Before I elaborate, we need to discuss fat, its role in the human body, both good and bad, and why it accumulates in some of us more than others.
Dr. Zach LaBoube
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