Accu Weight-Loss

I spent a good chunk of last weekend promoting acupuncture at Emerson Hospital’s health fair. It mainly involved checking a lot of pulses, looking at a bunch of tongues and putting teeny stainless-steel balls on pressure points in the ears of complete strangers. Such is the life of an acupuncturist. Anyway, one such stranger told me he already had these so-called “press balls” placed in his ear as part of his weight-loss program. Curious, I thought, and I had him show me where they were. Now, I have been around the auricular-microsystem (see above) block a couple of times and I’ve never seen points behind the ear used for weight-loss. But there are always new things to learn in this particular field, so I asked if he was getting acupuncture. “My chiropractor did it,” he said. “He’s trained in the AccuWeightloss program. You should check it out.” He then went on to explain that he is only allowed to eat between the hours of noon and 6pm and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday he eats as much fruits and vegetables as he wants, while Tuesday and Thursday are “milk days,” where he can have only milk and yogurt.

Deutsch: Ein Glas Milch English: A glass of mi...

“Well that’s just fucked up,” I thought, while smiling and actually saying “that’s interesting, I will definitely check that out.” I mean, I wasn’t lying. I did check it out. AccuWeight.com is one of your run-of-the-mill, poorly made web pages that touts their diet as the latest and best in combining the latest and best in Western and Eastern weight-loss protocol. To loosely paraphrase the website, the regimen incorporates the highly innovative American weight-loss concept of severe dietary restriction with the Asian weight-loss concept of acupressure to create a balanced diet.

Note that acupressure is spelled with one letter “C.” I cannot tell you how many patients I have who are thoroughly surprised that acupuncture is spelled with only one “C.” This must have also come to a surprise to the creators of the AccuWeight diet, who are one trademark too late to fix that glaring error. But I digress…

“C” is for cookie, and cookies go with milk

The specific pressure points used supposedly trigger the hypothalamus (the brain’s control center for stuff like hunger and body temperature) into thinking it’s full when it isn’t. That way, supposedly, your metabolism doesn’t switch into starvation mode and you keep burning, rather than storing, fat. Also, you do Qi Gong, which makes it sound very Asian-y and keeps you calmly distracted, presumably to prevent you from starting to frustratedly eat your hair on a “milk day.”

hair is not vegetarian

I really can’t get over the claim that the diet is balanced. Or the way they spell AccuWeight. Actually that thing about the misspelling is quite indicative of why I cannot take this diet seriously. That and FAQ’s on the website like:

What can I do about hunger after 6 p.m.?
The body cannot tell the difference between thirst and hunger.  If you experience hunger after 6 p.m. try drinking more water.

 I cheated and it’s a milk day.  Should I have a 3rd milk day tomorrow
No.  It is not healthy to have 3 days of either protocol in a row, as it is breaking up the nutritional balance of the program.  Get right back on track by continuing with your normal cycle of food as if nothing happened.  When you are feeling stronger about the situation, look back and learn a lesson about why you cheated – this way, the cheat wasn’t wasted time.

What can I do if I feel cold all the time?
Cayenne capsules or Capsaicin capsules (which contain cayenne) will help warm you up from the inside out.  Maximum is 100,000 H.U. (heat units) per day.

That last one is highly bothersome, because if feeling cold is a common symptom of adhering to this diet, it would indicate a severe slowing of one’s metabolism. In other words, your hypothalamus is smarter than a couple of metal beads.

Oh yeah, back to the health fair. So after this guy told me about how he’d “tricked” his hypothalamus and lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks, I looked at his tongue. More on the specifics of tongue diagnosis some other time, but let’s just say that I could tell he’d eaten nothing but dairy and fruits and vegetables for some time now. It was not the tongue of health, nor the tongue you would expect from someone who had fooled his body.

So, if you were under the impression that AccuWeightloss had ANYTHING to do with acupuncture, you were horribly mistaken. Focus on the double “C.” Any similarities between this diet and an actually balanced acupuncture-assisted weight-loss program are purely coincidental and, definitely, not intended.

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