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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

The Skinny on the HCG Diet

posted by Linda Mintle

Today I received an email about a Fox news reporter that claimed to have tried the HCG diet and lost 25 pounds. I am familiar with the diet. Several of my friends have tried the HCG diet and lost weight.  Interestingly, most of them gained it all back within the year. And since I have worked in the area of weight loss for the past 20 years, people ask me about all kinds of fad diets that come and go.

HCG is human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced during pregnancy. It is used to treat fertility problems. The diet involves taking the hormone through liquid drops and eating 500-800 calories a day. Mayo Clinic’s registered dietitian, Jennifer Nelson, reported on the safety of the HCG diet. She notes that this diet has not been proven effective for weight loss and is illegal to sell over the counter. In addition, low calorie diets like this one can cause medical complications–e.,g., gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat, electrolyte imbalance, deterioration of muscle mass, to name a few. The hormone should be avoided by pregnant women because of possible birth defects.

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So there are risks involved that you must consider.

Most people who restrict their daily calories to 500-800 calories a day will lose weight. That is a ridiculously low calorie count, very similar to the liquid diet fads of the 1990s. The problem is that even though you lose weight on very low calorie diets, you can’t sustain that type of eating and weight gain usually results.

And what about the science behind this popular fad? Here is a quote from a meta review of  24 studies published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (1995):

“We conclude that there is no scientific evidence that HCG causes weight loss, a redistribution of fat, staves off hunger or induces a feeling of well being. Therefore, the use of HCG should be regarded as an inappropriate therapy for weight reduction, particularly because HCG is obtained from the urine of pregnant women who donate their urine idealistically in the belief that it will be used to treat an entirely different condition, namely infertility.”

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Other double-blind clinically controlled studies (e.g., University of Stellenbosch in South Africa) have shown the diet to be ineffective as well. But there is controversy as to the effectiveness of this approach.

So bottom line, you will drop weight on any diet with very low calories, there are medical risks involved, and most likely, you will gain the weight back because you can’t sustain the low calorie diet. Because of possible side effects, you should always check in with your physician when going on any type of weight loss program.

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What Does it Take for Kids To Thrive With Single Parents?

posted by Linda Mintle

Dr. Linda Mintle and Joyce Meyer take two minutes to answer the question, ‘What is the key to children doing well when it comes to single parenting?”

Watch the video to learn how to help your child thrive.

 

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Struggling With Addiction? Get to the Root

posted by Linda Mintle

When a family member has an addiction but refuses to address the underlying problems of that addiction, the addiction does not go away. It may remit temporarily, but the same issues that led the person to escape and avoid through substances eventually return.

Yet, so many people who struggle with addiction do not want to address the underlying issues. Why? Because doing so often creates emotional pain and distress. When those negative feelings are felt, the urge to self-medicate is intense. And unless the person develops new coping methods, embraces distress and learns to tolerate it, he or she will return to the addiction.

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Here is an example. And addict grows up in a family that is conflict avoidant. Every time he comes up against a conflict, he has no skills to resolve it, becomes angry and blames others. Since he lacks coping skills (problem-solving, negotiation, emotional regulation, etc.), he retreats to self-medication through the addiction. He wants to avoid the pain felt with the conflict.

Then he feels bad and tries to stop using, but doesn’t address his problems with conflict and anger. So he is clean for a few weeks, but life happens. Another conflict presents. He gets angry and avoids the conflict, blaming others and feeling like a victim. He uses. And the cycle repeats.

Thus, treating the addiction means facing those painful and difficult areas of your life. It is a choice to surrender to God, become an open book and deal with underlying hurt and pain.

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With Christ, you have the promise that God is with you through it all. When you lean on Him to face pain and tackle problems head on, you can get to the root issues. God will help you build tolerance for distress and regulate powerful emotions. Most of all, He can heal those parts that you try to medicate. In your weakness, He is strong. His love and power enable you to face difficulty rather than escape and avoid through addiction.

 

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Does My Anger Towards My Ex Hurt My Child?

posted by Linda Mintle

Reader Question:

 

My husband and I are divorced. We have a four-year-old daughter together and I worry about how well my daughter is adjusting. My ex-husband is very involved as a dad and this is helping, but I still have so much anger towards him that I am not being very cooperative. I suspect this is a problem.

You are absolutely right! Hanging on to unresolved anger towards an ex-spouse hurts you, your child and child adjustment. Biblically, we are told to be angry but don’t sin. This means anger isn’t a wrong emotion, but one we need to release and not let grow into bitterness. So your first task is to pray about that anger and choose to forgive. And don’t wait until you feel like forgiving. Just do it! We forgive, not because people deserve it, but because God forgives us when we don’t deserve it. And God commands us to do likewise. Whatever the hurts and wounds, give them to God, forgive so you can help your child adjust and be a great co-parent.

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The importance of developing a cooperative and co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse cannot be overstated when it comes to helping children of divorce. Ask God to give you the grace you need to deal with your ex-spouse, to agree on parenting plans and to reduce conflict. You may have to live out Luke 6–love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you. God will honor your response and give you sufficient grace.

I also recommend family therapy to those who can’t seem to work out co-parenting on their own. A family therapist can help navigate difficult waters and focus the two of you on the task at hand—raising a healthy and happy little girl. Divorce is difficult for children so do your part to pave a smoother path.

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