HCG and low calories: Eating less than a lazy 8 year-old
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of calories you burn to maintain the functioning of your vital organs like the heart and lungs. The BMR is the amount of calories you would still be burning if you were in a coma, so you should eat above the BMR because you are moving around everyday.
The message boards seem like they're full of people singing the praises of HCG and the 500 calorie diet you have to be on when you are on an HCG diet as well as those who want to know all about this miracle cure for obesity. HCG does nothing for weight loss. Peer-reviewed research says so. The Food and Drug Administration says so. If you are losing weight on the HCG diet, it's because you are eating fewer calories than it takes to maintain the functioning of your vital organs. This is absolutely true regardless of what anecdotal evidence you have to say it worked for you. It's nonsense, and very low calorie diets can place you at risk for other health problems. Again, peer-reviewed research says so. The Food and Drug Administration says so. Please note, peer-reviewed research is far more rigorous than "I've done my own research." :-)
Some folks who are all about HCG say, "But wait! I ate way more than 500 calories. I ate 1000 calories, and it still worked for me!!!" Again, you are still eating below your BMR when you eat 1000 calories per day. The common recommendation is for women to eat at least 1200 calories per day and men to eat at least 1500 calories per day. Those numbers are derived from the BMR. The more active you are, the more calories you need. Let's look at some basic BMRs.
For this scenario, we are using a 30 year old women who is 5 feet, 4 inches tall.
At a weight of 300 pounds, her BMR would be 2113 calories
At a weight of 250 pounds, her BMR would be 1895 calories
At a weight of 200 pounds, her BMR would be 1678 calories
At a weight of 150 pounds, her BMR would be 1460 calories
At a weight of 100 pounds, her BMR would be 1242 calories
(THIS PERSON IS UNDERWEIGHT!!!)
At a weight of 50 pounds, her BMR would be 1024 calories (THIS PERSON WOULD BE DEAD BEFORE REACHING A WEIGHT OF 50 POUNDS!!!!)
An 8 year-old girl who is 4 ft. and weighs 50 lbs. has a BMR of 1055 calories.
That girl 's daily calorie requirements at various activity levels would be:
Never active: 1270 calories
Active less than 1 hour per day: 1,490 calories
Active 1 hour per day: 1,700 calories
Active more than 1 hour per day: 2,040 calories
I am a SparkPeople member because of the wealth of information, support, and resources available here. It bothers me to see the proliferation and advocacy of unhealthy weight loss programs, especially when those programs have been shown to be nonsense. Companies and, unfortunately, doctors, are preying on the hopes and trust of people who have reached a place in their lives where they will try anything that seems like it offers a chance at losing weight. I'm judgy and skeptical. I read the negative reviews first before I buy anything on Amazon. Not necessarily qualities that others would value, but they've served me well. Ha! Others are trusting and vulnerable and more susceptible to investing their hopes and money in programs and products that are useless. Those are the people who have come to SparkPeople to learn how to change their lives that are more likely to get sucked in by the woo of HCG. There are sites out there that welcome celebration of the woo. I strongly hope this doesn't become one of them, and I sorely wish there was a ban hammer at SparkPeople sometimes.
I just needed to vent about all that in something more than a message board post. If you've searched for "HCG" on this site and are reading this blog because you thought it would help you learn more about the miracle woo, you probably haven't read this far. :-) If you have, please know that any opinions counter to what I've said are of no concern to me in much the same way that the opinion of my relative who says dinosaurs did not exist and the Apollo landing was filmed in the Arizona desert is of no concern to me on those matters.