NOW THAT’S FUNNY
There’s always a hot new diet out there. Now there is a hot, old diet out there, developed 50 years ago by a doctor in Rome. The plan involves taking injections of HCG, the hormone normally present in your body when you’re pregnant, while you simultaneously limit your calories to 500 per day.
Being pregnant makes you thinner? Please. I have two kids, and during neither pregnancy did I experience weight loss.
There is anecdotal evidence that this diet works, as happy patients and the doctors who charge them will avow. The injections must be administered in a doctor’s office, and the entire program, supervised by a doctor, can cost over $1,000 a month. Paying all that money clearly motivates the women to stick to the diet, and many have seen results. But let’s be real -- the women are starving themselves on 500 calories a day. That’s why they’re losing weight.
HCG is approved by the FDA for fertility use, not for weight loss use. You don’t have to go to a doctor to get HCG, you can simply purchase HCG drops over the internet. Doesn’t that sound safe and reliable? A 45-day supply costs about $99. You can also go natural with an HCG homeopathic version, which costs about the same as the regular HCG.
I guess I can understand starving yourself if you’re desperate to lose weight. But starving yourself while pretending you’re pregnant? The only thing worse than eating just 500 calories a day, would be eating 500 calories a day while feeling pregnant. When I was pregnant, I was hungry. Not just regular hungry – bear waking up after hibernation hungry. And it’s not just that my appetite increased, it’s that food tasted more succulent than ever. My senses were heightened, especially my taste buds. Going into the grocery store literally gave me a buzz. I would swoon at oranges that were juicier than I’d ever known, apples crisper, Twinkies spongier. I savored every bite, all nine months long.
The most hilarious promise this diet makes is an attractive “redistribution” of the fat on your body. Well, it’s true, pregnancy does cause a redistribution of weight, but … attractive? My husband thought so … until month eight, when I became freakishly large. Let’s just say that when we went to the mall, we had to park at the end of a row, because if we were between two cars I could not get the car door open wide enough to get out.
The claim for fat redistribution is based in the idea that the presence of the hormone can create a more toned body, because it stimulates the production of male hormones and increases muscle mass. That’s why Manny Ramirez, the baseball star, took HCG. He was suspended for 50 games, and people generally assume that this was because he was caught taking an artificial hormone. However, that is not the truth. He was suspended because he was getting all teary and choked up every time he saw a cute baby in the stands, and it was throwing off his game.
Gals, seriously? Did you not go to college? This is a scam. Even if you do lose weight in this way, you’re going to put it back on. Starvation diets are famous for taking off the weight but then, because you’re so hungry, prompting over eating afterward which makes you gain even more weight back then you lost. Plus, tricking your body into thinking it’s pregnant by taking HCG carries a risk of possible side effects like blood clots, depression, and headaches.
Not to mention the uncontrollable urge to watch reruns of “Eight is Enough” on DVD. Some things just aren’t worth the weight loss.
Pam Lobley writes the “Now That’s Funny” column. Sign up for her mailing list at www.pamlobley.com.