“Imagine losing a pound a day but never feeling hungry.”

An article published in the June edition of “For Women First” featuring the popular TV doctor, Dr. Oz, had the headline featured above. It began its article by referring to the diet as “Dr. Oz’s pregnancy hormone diet.” It then stated that while controversy surrounds the pregnancy hormone diet, research into the pregnancy hormone may uncover the weight-loss solution that millions of us  have been waiting  for according to “America’s best-loved doctor.”

Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., launched a controversial episode of The Dr. Oz Show by stating to his  audience, “It sounds too good to be true, but today you’re going to meet some people, including doctors, who’ve tried it [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][the hormone diet} and say it has changed their lives.”

“Dr. Oz warned viewers up front that what he was about to discuss was heated: a fast-acting plan that some in the medical community caution it is unhealthy and even dangerous, while other medical doctors contend it’s the solution for the obesity epidemic in the Untied States, Also divided are the women who have tried the diet: Some in Dr. Oz’s audience said that it caused hair loss and fainting, while many others happily stepped up as proof that the program can help people drop a pound or more every day – even those who have been unable to lose weight on any other regiment.”

Dr. Oz noted that the hormone diet, “actually dates back to the 1950s, when Dr. A.T.W. Simeons claimed that a hormone produced during pregnancy to ensure a fetus gets necessary nutrients, could also promote weight loss.”  According to Dr. Simeons, hormones suppressed the appetite while helping the body burn fat.  The Simeon Protocol, as developed by Dr. Simeon, combined 40 daily doses of the a hormone with a diet consisting of 500 calories per day.  Dr. Simeon concluded that hormones stimulate the body to use trapped fat for energy, and this releases fat that fuels the body so dieters don’t experience the hunger and exhaustion that usually accompany very low calorie diets (VLCD). Dr. Oz did not discuss or note that VLCD’s have been used for years by Bariatric physicians under close medical supervision.

Dr. Oz did note that initial one classic study found that women on the diet lost an average of 20 pounds in 30 days, and 87 percent reported feeling “little or no hunger.”  He also noted that later research disputed the diet’s effectiveness, but a small 2010 study in the Bariatrician (a journal published by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians) offers more evidence that the diet does work:  Dr. Oz did not discuss the recent large study conducted by NBH, and NBH, PhD., also published in the Bariatrician, which  further documented the effectiveness of the diet. This study was conducted in the NBH Lifetime Health Hormone and Weight Loss clinics in Austin, Texas.

The first study showed that patients placed on the diet lost 30 percent more weight than other patients who were put on a conventional meal-replacement plan, dropping an average of 19.86 pounds in six weeks using a modified Simeon protocol.  The larger study by NBH and Clark, showed an average weight loss of more than 21.93 lbs. for women and 31.87 lbs. for men in 43 days all with little or no discomfort.

In spite of these studies and thousands of testimonials, Dr. Oz commented that: “After 50 years of research, there’s still no proven medical reason why hormones would keep you from getting hungry, even though people eon the diet say that it does.” But see “the truth” below.

Dr. Oz, according to the article in First for Women, recognized the FDA’s reasoning: “I started off this show doing my research, and I was very negative on the diet.  And I want to be clear on this: I absolutely agree with what the FDA is saying.”  However, he further stated that his concern for the health of the growing number of people facing obesity drew him back to the diet.  “I recognized that there are some real legitimate folks out there who seem to have success with this.  I got curious,” he explained during a recent appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America.  “Is it possible that there’s a thread of truth to what’s going on with this diet that might open up a vista of opportunities for us and help the millions of Americans who want to lose weight?”

The Truth About the Hormone Diet.

Most people, including the “experts,” do not grasp certain basic truths about the hormone diet – its benefits and its limitations. First, there is no “magic” means by which a person on a diet is not hungry even though they are on a very low calorie diet. The “truth” is that when properly conducted by a physician in a medically supervised weight loss program, the dieter is in a state of Ketosis. This means that the body is feeding off its own fat.

Ketosis has been recognized for years and is a staple of many medical weight loss practitioners in the Bariatric Society (weight loss physicians). The Atkins diet uses the concept of ketosis as part of its program in that a very low carbohydrate diet will result in the production of Ketones and it is recommended that these be monitored. Ketosis merely means that our bodies are using fat for energy. Ketones (also called ketone bodies) are molecules generated during fat metabolism, whether from the fat in the guacamole you just ate or fat you were carrying around your middle. When our bodies are breaking down fat for energy, most of it gets converted more or less directly to ATP. This is the “energy molecule.”) But ketones are also produced as part of the process.

As part of the diet, the body may be eating only 500 calories (and this amount will vary when under the supervision of a qualified weight loss physician) but it is getting up to 2500 and more calories from the fat burning resulting from being in a Ketosis state. The 500 number is not “magic” in that different amounts of calories may be needed to keep a person in a state of healthy ketosis. It is not unusual to increase calories when a person has an active job, or has young children (extra energy needed) or insists on exercising, etc. Dr.  Oz’s recommendation of 1000 calories is also not a magic number of calories as the needs of each dieter are different.

What has been noted with dieters, when they follow a medical protocol, is that their muscle loss is minimal and their Basal Metabolic Rate changes little. What changes that do occur are more due to the dieter becoming a smaller person. Some dieters do lose muscle, particularly if their protein intake is not sufficient.

Does the diet work for everyone? No. It is a strict diet and life can interfere, a lack of commitment can prevent the expected weight loss and health issues and hormone issues can block success.

Dr. Oz makes the logical observation that: “Clearly women who’ve already been helped by the diet – and physicians who’ve seen its impressive results – believe that’s the case [that it works].”  In light of the overwhelming anecdotal evidence (and there are several studies now), Dr. Oz has acknowledged, “Sometimes the experience of real people doesn’t agree with the science.  And sometimes it’s because the science hasn’t caught up.”

 

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