The HCG diet has started to rise in popularity. Outlined at hcgdietinfo.com, this diet combines a low calorie diet with treatments of hCG, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. The goal is to lose 1-2 pounds a day, and the website touts this as “average.” Fat is lost immediately, but the triumph is in the fact that hCG, according to the website, “modif[ies] the dieter’s relationship with food and eating.” By injecting or orally submitting to hCG, which is produced by the placenta during pregnancy naturally but is synthetic in this diet, the dieter should change his or her metabolism.
Like many women, I had quite a different experience with hCG. During my pregnancy, hormones forced my previously slender build completely out of whack. The combination of the growing fetus and the general weight gain of pregnancy caused me to gain over 30 pounds during my pregnancy. After my child was born, I lost a great deal of it, but my metabolism was changed. Whether from hormones or from changed habits, I’ll never know, but these last few pounds just won’t come off. I could blame it on my newborn, if she wasn’t already 18 months old. I could just give it up as a wash and figure that she sees me as beautiful no matter what.
But the old me wants to cast off those last few pounds. And I’m trying. Even succeeding, at odd turns. The success comes not from fad diets, or even from non-fad diets. My particularly success, slight as it may be at this point, stems from a website and roots itself deep inside my mind. The website, Sparkpeople.com, is a free dieting website. During the course of my pregnancy, I made sure to keep what weight I could off with the help of its sister site, babyfit.com. After my pregnancy, switching over to Sparkpeople seemed natural.
For me, Sparkpeople provided the kick in the rear I needed to get moving and get active. With loads of support-filled message boards and helpful articles about losing weight and staying fit, Sparkpeople could have been any of a million other websites. But Sparkpeople had something that others didn’t (or at least none that I could find).
Points were what pushed me over from being 10 pounds over what I wanted to only 2 pounds over what I’d like. In any case, less than I weighed when I first became pregnant. For I am a competitive person. It’s hard to be competitive with a scale. So I found my trick. Ultimately, I think that’s what weight loss is about. Finding your trick. Face it. Most of us would like to lose weight, but lack adequate motivation. We wonder how come Halle Berry can weigh what she does so soon after having a baby, but the answer is easy. Motivation. If you got paid millions of dollars, but those millions were contingent upon losing all of your baby weight and regaining your shapely figure, you’d do it. I guarantee it. Especially if you already had a few million hanging around to hire a personal trainer.
There was no line of people waiting to pay me loads of cash when I wanted to lose weight. There’s not a line waiting for most people. So we do what we can. For some, competitions with friends works, but I didn’t have any friends who were really stuck on losing weight. The point system on Sparkpeople was simple, yet eloquent. Do these things, these life-altering things, and you get points. Don’t do them, you don’t get points. The goal is to get “trophies.” Granted, trophies are just icons on your desktop.
But I’m really that competitive. Not everybody is. For others, support groups help, making new friends help. Sparkpeople is good for that. For other things, Sparkpeople isn’t so good for. You don’t get to eat cool new things, though they certainly offer new recipes. You’re not physically in a group of people who can judge how much you weigh, adding peer pressure to your own pressure. I could see where it wouldn’t work for everyone. But someone like me? Much better than injecting myself with some scary compound created by scientists!