Simeons Protocol Review - HCG Diet
- 05-06-2008, 05:11 PM
Simeons Protocol Review - HCG Diet
Simeons Protocol Review - HCG Diet
Here is my review of Simeons Protocol/HCG Diet. There is a lot of controversy around this diet, mostly because Kevin Trudeau attached his name to this diet by writing a book called "The Weight Loss Cure." Actually, he discovered the protocol and then added a bunch of his own ideas on how to improve it and wrote a book about it. The original protocol created by Dr. Simeons is much older and has nothing to do with him.
Background: I've been weight training consistently since junior high and seriously off and on for the last 4 years or so. Last January I moved to New York from California for a new job. Between trying to get my affairs in order, 6 months of going away parties, being in a much more stressful job, working long hours, not having typical grocery stores - I had gained around 40 pounds. I'm a classic endomorph, so gaining muscle is easy, but so is fat, especially when I really enjoy eating and drinking. Over the last few months, I have finally fallen back into a consistent weight training/cardio routine with much healthier eating habits through sheer will. Living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan without typical grocery stores (only corner markets) makes it difficult to eat healthy as my options aren't what I was used to living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the last few months, I have steadily been dropping weight, but it has been slow going at 2-4 pounds per month. At my heaviest, I weighed around 258 and had dropped down to 246.5 when I started the diet.
Reason for Choosing Simeons Protocol: I'm an open minded individual, who despite that remains empirically skeptical. When it comes to supplements, training routines, diets, etc, I look for two things: Scientific Data and Real World Feedback. A lot of times, these things are based on bro-science, self-proclaimed guru babble, or other irrelevant data. Other times they're based on legit science, but never seem to pan out in the real world. I found Simeons Protocol extremely interesting for two reasons. People who have actually gone through it and provide feedback overwhelmingly speak very highly of it. I have seen enough logs and reviews (with pictures) that it's obvious there is something to it. Also, the people who speak poorly of it, almost never have gone through the diet. My overall impression is that it has extremely positive feedback after you sift through all of it. The second thing that caught my eye was that a doctor was actual using this in a clinical setting and attained consistent results. It was at that point I started going through any all of the studies I could find on it. After reading abstracts, you'll find that the results are extremely inconclusive, but if you go through the actual studies you'll realize the ones that have discredited the protocol did not follow the strict guidelines of it. So, after pricing it out, I figured what the hell, and might as well try it because I'm just straight up fat.
About Dr. Simeons: A.T.W. Simeons, MD, was born in London and graduated in medicine (summa cum laude) from the University of Heidelberg. After post-graduate studies in Germany and Switzerland he was appointed to a large hospital near Dresden. Later he became engrossed in the study of tropical diseases and joined The School of Tropical Medicine in Hamburg.
In 1931 Dr. Simeons went to India and stayed for eighteen years. He discovered the use of injectable atebrin for malaria (for which he was awarded a Red Cross Order of Merit) and also a new method of staining malaria parasites, which is now known as "simeons Stain".
During the War he held several important posts under the Government of India and conducted extensive research on bubonic plague and leprosy control, and a model leper colony which he built has now become an all-India center. It was during these years that his interest in psychosomatic diseases began to grow.
In 1949 Dr. Simeons left India and went to Rome, where he now works on psychosomatic disorders at the Salvator Mundi International Hospital. He is the author of several medical books and has contributed to many scientific publications.
Dr Simeons Protocol Forward (Pounds & Inches): I recommend anyone interested read the entire manuscript. I'll summarize as best as possible using selections from it.
This book discusses a new interpretation of the nature of obesity, and while it does not advocate yet another fancy slimming diet it does describe a method of treatment which has grown out of theoretical considerations based on clinical observation.
What I have to say is an essence of views distilled out of forty years of grappling with the fundamental problems of obesity, its causes, its symptoms, and its very nature. In these many years of specialized work thousands of cases have passed through my hands and were carefully studied. Every new theory, every new method, every promising lead was considered, experimentally screened and critically evaluated as soon as it became known. But invariably the results were disappointing and lacking in uniformity.
I felt that we were merely nibbling at the fringe of a great problem, as, indeed, do most serious students of overweight. We have grown pretty sure that the tendency to accumulate abnormal fat is a very definite metabolic disorder, much as is, for instance, diabetes. Yet the localization and the nature of this disorder remained a mystery. Every new approach seemed to lead into a blind alley, and though patients were told that they are fat because they eat too much, we believed that this is neither the whole truth nor the last word in the matter.?
To make the text more readable I shall be unashamedly authoritative and avoid all the hedging and tentativeness with which it is customary to express new scientific concepts grown out of clinical experience and not as yet confirmed by clear-cut laboratory experiments. Thus, when I make what reads like a factual statement, the professional reader may have to translate into: clinical experience seems to suggest that such and such an observation might be tentatively explained by such and such a working hypothesis, requiring a vast amount of further research before the hypothesis can be considered a valid theory. If we can from the outset establish this as a mutually accepted convention, I hope to avoid being accused of speculative exuberance.
It is, for instance, well known that during pregnancy an obese woman can very easily lose weight. She can drastically reduce her diet without feeling hunger or discomfort and lose weight without in any way harming the child in her womb. It is also surprising to what extent a woman can suffer from pregnancy-vomiting without coming to any real harm.
Pregnancy is an obese woman's one great chance to reduce her excess weight. That she so rarely makes use of this opportunity is due to the erroneous notion, usually fostered by her elder relations, that she now has ?two mouths to feed? and must ?keep up her strength for the coming event. All modern obstetricians know that this is nonsense and that the more superfluous fat is lost the less difficult will be the confinement, though some still hesitate to prescribe a diet sufficiently low in Calories to bring about a drastic reduction.
Only when the fat which is in transit under the effect of HCG is actually consumed can more fat be withdrawn from the fixed deposits. In pregnancy it would be most undesirable if the fetus were offered ample food only when there is a high influx from the intestinal tract. Ideal nutritional conditions for the fetus can only be achieved when the mother's blood is continually saturated with food, regardless of whether she eats or not, as otherwise a period of starvation might hamper the steady growth of the embryo. It seems that HCG brings about this continual saturation of the blood, which is the reason why obese patients under treatment with HCG never feel hungry in spite of their drastically reduced food intake.
Meal 1 - Apple
Meal 2 - 100 grams of chicken in salad
Meal 3 - Apple
Meal 4 - 100 grams of chicken in broth with celery
My Review: I'm actually quite impressed. In 30 days, I have lost 31.5 pounds. My room-mate in 30 days, lost 40 pounds. Unfortunately, I did not take body-fat measurements before and after, so I can't speak to actual composition changes. However, a few things did strike me a significant. The first being that I did not lose and strength and actually got stronger on some lifts. I purposely took creatine to maintain strength, but despite the severe calorie restriction, my muscles did not suffer that much. The second significant thing that I noticed is lack of hunger. I get extremely irritated when hungry, which would usually only take a few hours of an empty stomach. While taking the HCG I did not suffer from severe hunger pangs. I did experience occasional and mild hunger pangs, but nothing compared to what would be expected. I did however really miss eating, which was great for me because it helped me separate the psychological and physical cravings much more clearly.
Overall, I would recommend it. I think the real dispute comes it whether or not the HCG has any effect as you should expect people to lose weight on a Very Low Calorie Diet.
Controversy: I don't think that most people would question whether or not it's effective. Based on the actual research done, the many logs accessible on the internet, and my personal experience with myself and my room-mate, I don't question it's effectiveness. The real question is whether or not the HCG has anything to do with it. I'm not going to be so naive to make statements of fact based on my assessment, but I will note observations that I find interesting. What I find more interesting though are the natural conclusions that can be drawn based on the rationale, no matter what side of the debate you're on.
Hunger: Common knowledge within this community would tell you that someone of my size eating only 500 calories a day should be starving. Even from personal experience, just missing a meal was enough to make me very irritated and hungry. Yet, I found it relatively easy to maintain this diet. More than anything I actually missed eating good food. I had no idea the extent of my enjoyment of eating. Both my room-mate and I were able to distinguish much more clearly between psychological cravings and actual hunger pangs. At one point we both increased on dosage and noticed a decreased appetite. I wouldn't rule out placebo effect by any means, but I think this was significant. Perhaps I've under-estimated my own will power, but I find the lack of hunger to a very compelling observation for HCG.
Metabolism Drop: Common knowledge in this community also states that my metabolism should have come to a complete stop eating 500 calories a day and weight loss should slow making it harder to lose weight. Whether you believe HCG had any effect or not, controversial conclusions can be drawn. Because either the HCG helped release fat stores, or despite the extreme calorie deficient my metabolism couldn't have come to a stop because I continued to lose weight.
Fatigue: On diet like this, most people would assume fatigue would severely set in. Both my room-mate and I suffered very little fatigue. I would say that by the end of my workouts I felt slightly more tired than usual, but nothing significant to note. My strength stayed high on this diet (with creatine) and my workouts did not suffer. I would say that my stamina was not the best, but it was equal to a keto diet which makes me think it had more to do with low glycogen levels.
Muscle vs Fat Loss: I can't provide any substantial evidence for this either way since I did not take body-fat measurements. I continued to weight train heavily while on this diet. With the addition of creatine, I lost no strength and actually improved on all of my lifts. I'm not sure conclusively how much muscle loss can occur with strength increases at the same-time, but I would assume it should be small. Even if I did lose substantial muscle, I'm not sure how upset I am because my strength increased the entire time. This can either be chalked up to HCG or perhaps we need to re-consider recommendations for people in the 20%+ body-fat range when it comes to losing weight. Perhaps an extreme calorie restricted diet is the quickest way to shed body-fat and combined with creatine, muscle mass (or at least strength) can be preserved.
Like I said, I'm not going to make any conclusions. I wanted to post this review because I think some interesting discussions could probably result from it. As I mentioned before, I'm not going to make broad generalizations about human physiology based on my limited experience on this diet, but I do believe a 31.5 pound loss in 30 days, while improving strength speaks for itself.
The real question is what will happen in the next 30-60 days regarding my overall changes.
- 05-11-2008, 08:50 PM
HCG diet review
Your review is spot on.
I am a progressive physician in Utah who has used the HCG diet, following the Simeon protocol (I don't get into the fluff from the Trudeau book) very successfully in about 40 of my patients. About 60% were women. Highest weight loss for the 40 day cycle was 38lbs., the lowest was 8 lbs in a patient who was somewhat non-compliant. Average weight loss was about 26 lbs. We supported the dieters with a lipo/B-12 injection and weigh -in weekly. The accountability with the weekly weigh-in was an important factor in determining success. Most patients had an improved energy level, better sense of well being and significantly less hunger than other patients that I have put on similar VLCD diets without HCG.
I'd love to publish my data but there isn't a conventional medical journal in the country that would touch it. Because of the controversy associated with it, I only offer it to my established patients who are willing to follow the instructions to the letter, and see us in our office once a week. But I can add to the attestations that it works, for whatever reason.
05-12-2008, 02:37 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I think it's interesting that there seems to be so much resistance to the protocol. I'm not sure if it's because of the inconclusive results with a few of the studies, but it's too bad see it appears to be relatively effective.
05-25-2008, 05:06 PM
12-27-2008, 02:42 PM
As an update to my earlier post, I've now run about 250 patients through this diet. Avg. starting weight is 185 lbs., (70% are women) 80% can go the full 40 days. Of the 80%, the avg. weight loss is about 25 pounds. Most patients keep the weight off, too.
(I'm sorry that I cannot respond to PMs at this time as I have only posted a few times on this forum)
12-28-2008, 02:46 PM
my friend did this and did NO exercise, just followed everything else. she lost like 86 pounds in about 2 months, i didnt even recognize her
01-03-2009, 09:41 PM
Great feedback and cool thread. I'm hesitant to undertake this sort of protocol because most of the subjects that studied are obese. Ton of fat, very little muscle. Catabolism isn't an issue or really a concern for women.
bump for more feedback
01-03-2009, 09:46 PM
decided to hit up Youtube for feedback, mainly obese women... but this dude looks fairly solid and dropped 20lbs in 17days thus far
YouTube - roaringlion29's Channel
Kevin Trudeau has been in jail 2 times for credit card fraud and bank fraud... sooo much controversy around this stuff.. ugh can't decide
edit: This looks promising... a lot of positive feedback from the well informed on Amazon... regardless if that sh1tbag Trudeau is exploiting it
740 posts in a thread 'HCG Success Stories'
[ame=http://www.amazon.com/hCG-Success-Stories/forum/Fx21UTZ9E9YYDLN/Tx36QM0CTLLPQKY/1/ref=cm_cd_sylt_tft_tp?%5Fencod ing=UTF8&asin=097878510X]Amazon.com: Customer Discussions: hCG Success Stories![/ame]
Last edited by CEDeoudes59; 01-03-2009 at 10:41 PM.
01-04-2009, 02:29 PM
my friend who did this last year lost about 86 pounds in about3 months following the protocol without exercise. here it is a year later and i saw her last night, she still looks good and trim, no loose skin i almost didnt recognize her
01-05-2009, 01:28 PM
What do you recommend to those of us who are interested in the diet but don't have good guidance like you provide for your patients? I am hoping to lose 15 lbs. I live in Manhattan, NY. Thanks for your time.
Also, can you expand on the lipo/B-12 injection?
(meant for pnavar)
01-05-2009, 03:02 PM
I have lots of patients who only needed to lose 15 to 25 lbs. They were able to do it very quickly, usually by doing the diet for 23 days, which is the shortest i would recommend.
We don't follow Trudeau's book, I think he added a lot of fluff that is really unnecessary, mostly to sell his book. We use Simeons' original protocol and his published writings and studies as a roadmap/guide, plus we have refined it based on our experience.
A lot of athletes have used the diet to help get their body fat percentage down into a more competitive range. While it is harder to lose weight when your body fat percentage is already fairly normal, than if one is obese, the diet supplemented with protein when necessary allows a higher percentage of fat loss relative to water loss and muscle mass loss. For example, one of my patients is a professional cyclist who wanted to be a better climber and used the diet to lose about 10lbs while maintaining his lean muscle mass.
01-05-2009, 03:32 PM
pnavar: Does your client follow daily or weekly injections? And how has the weight loss been for your male clients? Thanks
01-05-2009, 08:52 PM
Daily injections, easily self-administered. The total weight loss seems to be directly proportional to the starting weight, (see my earlier post on my stats) so heavier guys naturally lose more weight on the diet, gals who already wear a size 8 and want to go to a size 4 not as much weight as you can imagine and it will often take the full 40 days for these women to drop 10 lbs. But the nice thing is it is mostly fat loss. (We target a specific body fat %, waist and hip circumference and keep track of body fat % with a bioimpedence scale and calipers)
01-05-2009, 09:00 PM
With regard to the weekly weigh-in and lipo/B-12 injections: that comes from standard bariatric clinic practice. Some studies (not all) have shown that the lipo/B-12 helps support energy levels and well-being while on a significant calorie restriction diet. In truth, it helps get the patients into the clinic to weigh and get measured and thus helps with accountability and our ability to keep patients on track.
01-08-2009, 05:48 AM
interesting stuff.... does the hcg do anything for appetite supression and how much because the calorie range seems damn low
01-08-2009, 10:22 AM
In my experience, the HCG does seem to attenuate hunger a bit. HCG is known to raise adiponectin levels, that might be how it works in this regard. I offer conventional prescription appetite suppressants to my dieting patients. Not all need them or use them, though.
01-09-2009, 11:07 AM
01-09-2009, 11:10 AM
01-20-2009, 03:49 PM
Hi Joe: I found a great doctor in AZ to help us. She and her assistant, both former hCG dieters with success, is guiding me and sent prepared syringes and lots of info. I have read Pounds and Inches by Simones.
I am in day 12 - I have lost 7 lbs. Like you I miss eating but I work hard at making my small portions tasty; I am pretty amazed at how my hunger is managable.
Can you give me an update re your maintenance? Did you do the 3 weeks of no starch/sugar? I'm intimidated. Don't know if I can do the no sugar.
Look forward to hearing from you.
01-23-2009, 12:20 PM
The most important part I think is actually the 3rd phase of the simmeons protocol. I think most people are successful dieting down, but you're long term success (with any type of dieting) is going to be maintaining that new body weight for a period of at least a few months. And that's whether you're losing bodyfat or building muscle.
01-26-2009, 10:26 AM
This is day 18 for me and the weight is creeping away now - 8 lbs lost. I am keeping up a good attitude but I am starting to feel really hungry. Did you stall during your first round? or start to feel too hungry?
I have lifted weights consistently now for 1 1/2 yrs; my trainer expresses that he sees no negative effect on my strength, but I am wiped out towards the end of work out.
I have heard only great things about South Beach; I will look into it. Thanks
01-26-2009, 11:21 AM
I also actually stronger using the creatine during the cut, but was wiped out too. I felt the wiped out feelings were very similar to being on a keto diet. The south beach is solid dieting advice.
Good luck, keep us updated.
01-26-2009, 11:45 AM
With my patients, we use prescription appetite suppressants and fiber supplementation with water, such as psyllium seeds/powder, 1/2 hour before meals to help combat hunger and have found these 2 things to really help.
01-28-2009, 12:18 PM
01-28-2009, 02:44 PM
01-29-2009, 10:18 AM
01-30-2009, 03:43 PM
What kind of metabolic effects are you referring too?
02-02-2009, 10:22 PM
02-02-2009, 10:29 PM
Research shows that in adults, hCG has no effect on the blood levels of free fatty acids or glucose. If you want something to stimulate lipolysis, take ephedrine and caffeine, not hCG.
02-04-2009, 01:12 PM
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