Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Decoding the Plans: Part two

This is the second post in my series of blogs about workout/diet plans. Today, I will be reviewing the following three plans: Sensa, HGC, and  Paleo.

Sensa sells these shakers of a powdery substance that you are supposed to sprinkle on your food before consuming. It is supposed to work by triggering your "Sensory Specific Satiety" and making you feel full faster. That means Sensa is supposed to enhance smell and flip your "I feel full" switch sooner, so theoretically you will stop eating sooner, thus eating less and losing weight. Wow, that sounds too good to be true! Do you remember what your Mama used to tell you "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is..." This is definitely accurate for this product.

In doing my research for this product, I discovered that the developer of this product, Dr. Hirsch, claimed there was a peer reviewed study supporting the claim that subjects lost over thirty pounds using Sensa (versus the control group that lost only 2 pounds). The claim is that this study was peer reviewed by the Endocrine Society. Well, guess what?! The Endocrine Society says they did not review the study. On ABC’s 20/20 news they stated that, “they were surprised and troubled by the promotional nature of his presentation”. In fact, none of the internal “studies” are confirmed by any respectable body.

In addition to being liars about their study, they admit on their website that the following side effects are possible:

• Upset stomach
• Dizziness
• Hives
• Gas
• Loose bowels
• Difficulty breathing
• Dizziness
• Swelling

Sorry y'all, but this is one of which I am going to have to give a big fat "NO"! Don't think about it. And certainly don't waste your money to try it.

Next up is the HCG Miracle diet. HCG stands for Human Choriogonadotropin, the hormone produced by pregnant women in the early stages of pregnancy. This diet is based on research that suggests a small, daily hCG injection (approx. 125 IU to 200 IU) results in a weight loss of 1 to 2 lbs per day, and often more, when accompanied by a very low calorie diet of approximately 500 calories.

I'm pretty sure you are seeing a HUGE red flag already but just in case...

<<<when accompanied by a very low calorie diet of approximately 500 calories.>>>

You've got to be kidding me. Anyone who eats 500 calories a day is going to lose weight and more than likely, their metabolism, and pretty much guaranteed, their mind. And to top it off, the HGC diet recommends that you do not exercise while on this plan. <Insert insane amounts of laughter here> Like you'd have enough energy to work out anyway... You'll be lucky if you can get out of bed and get dressed on just 500 calories a day.

Waste of time!

From the Paleo site: "The Paleo Diet, the world’s healthiest diet, is based on the simple understanding that the best human diet is the one to which we are best genetically adapted. It is supported by documented scientific evidence and by real-life improvements, even triumphs, of people winning their personal health battles." You may have heard it referred to as "the caveman's diet" and from everything I have read, that seems to be accurate.

First of all, Paleo is not so much a diet as it is a lifestyle.  Like becoming a vegetarian, this "diet" takes a huge amount of commitment to a new way of looking at food. Basically, if the cavemen didn't eat it, neither should you. That is going to cut out all sorts of processed foods, especially sugars. Your fat intake may increase as well as your fiber but that will give you the "I'm full" feeling that keeps you from snacking during the day and evening. 

This paleolithic way of eating is 100% correct in the fact that we should be eating more unprocessed foods, similar to the way our ancestors ate. Truthfully, I don't think we have to dive into tons of research to draw the conclusion that hunter-gatherer diets are healthier than takeout pizza and cans of Coke. This is not rocket science, right? My only issue with this plan is their disdain for grains and dairy. In my opinion, both have nutritional values of which I am not willing to give up at this time.

 There doesn't appear to be much evidence that you will lose weight on this plan, but with anything, if you build a “calorie deficit”by eating fewer calories than your daily recommended max, or burning off extra by exercising, you should shed some pounds. How quickly you lose and whether you keep them off is up to you.

I've been listening to tons of speakers through a Real Food Summit that has been going on this week at this site and I have to admit that I am intrigued.  I will take 2 weeks at some point to try this out and will report back to let you know what I find.

So, for this one, stay tuned. I'm not as turned off as I thought I would be initially....


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