Every morning, Kay Brown engages in a ritual similar to a heroin addict’s, or a diabetic’s: she sticks herself with a syringe. Only hers contains hCG, a pregnancy hormone.
Ms. Brown, 35, is not taking hCG to help her bear a child. She believes that by combining the hormone injections with a 500-calorie-a-day diet, she will achieve a kind of weight-loss nirvana: losing fat in all the right places without feeling tired or hungry. “I had a friend who did it before her wedding,” Ms. Brown said. “She looks great.”
Women like Ms. Brown are streaming into doctors’ offices and weight-loss clinics all over the country, paying upward of $1,000 a month for a consultation, a supply…
Still, I didn’t think a fad diet was the way to go. Certainly not one I learned about on the Internet, like the hCG diet. Here’s how it is supposed to work: You take human chorionic gonadotropin—which occurs naturally in the placenta of pregnant women—once a day for three to six weeks, depending on how much weight you want to lose. The hCG burns your “abnormal” (read: extra) fat stores, allowing you to eat 500 calories a day without feeling hungry, all while losing about a pound a day. Five hundred calories? On the crazy scale, this seemed only mildly more sane than the tapeworm diet.
Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows there are sensible ways to lose weight, including eating a balanced diet and exercising.
There are also reckless ways to shed pounds, such as fads and diet aids that promise rapid weight loss but often recommend potentially dangerous practices. Those include HCG weight-loss products that are marketed along with advice for users to follow a severely restrictive diet.
If weight loss is your goal, there are safer ways to lose weight.
As a result of the hCG diet, Kay experienced weight gain, cycle issues, and heart problems that required monitoring.
The hCG diet only adds to the weight-loss confusion out there... Quick fixes can be tempting for anyone trying to lose weight, but you should definitely skip this extreme diet and opt for good nutrition and regular exercise instead.
There’s no good evidence that the diet works. Controlled studies have shown that people lose the same amount of weight when they restrict calories to 500 a day, whether they get injections of HCG or a placebo. That is, the weight loss is due to the calorie deprivation (who wouldn’t lose weight eating so few calories?), not the injected hormone. Bottom Line: The HCG diet is “complete quackery,” says John Swartzberg, M.D., chair of the editorial board of Berkeley Wellness. Save your money.
There’s no persuasive evidence that HCG injections has any meaningful effects on weight loss. And “homeopathic” HCG is quite literally, nothing. If the HCG diet shows one thing at all, it’s the tenacity of an idea once it’s been planted. Despite warnings by researchers, health professionals, and regulators since at least 1976 about the lack of evidence for HCG as a weight loss adjunct, it continues to attract attention and new users, now promoted by naturopaths and television personalities that are indifferent to the evidence.
The use of HCG as part of a specific weight loss protocol is a controversial approach, and some physicians refuse to prescribe it. It's also important to note that while HCG is prescribed for and has FDA approval as a fertility treatment, its use as a weight loss treatment is considered an "off-label" use and the FDA requires physicians to advise patients that HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective treatment for weight loss.
If the shoot-up-to-shed concept doesn’t raise enough red flags, the HCG weight-loss diet comes with plenty of other oddities...
Many people turn to the HCG diet for rapid weight loss, and many suffer through the side effects. Here’s why this diet sucks, and what to do instead.
I wish there was such thing as magic weight loss drops, but unfortunately the HCG diet is unlikely to result in any lasting weight loss (losing weight is easy, keeping it off is difficult).
The only reason why anyone loses weight off this diet is because they're eating 500 calories a day, Zeratsky said. While calorie intakes are different from person to person, most nutrition information at the grocery store is based off a 2,000-calorie diet. For healthy weight loss , a daily intake of 1,200 to 1,800 calories is generally acceptable, she said.
Go on a simple diet for 30 days and lose one or two pounds each day. Sounds like a dream for anyone who has struggled with a lifestyle change like weight loss ... right?
t did not take me long to realize this diet was a terrible mistake.
Since hitting puberty like a brick wall at the age of thirteen, I have struggled with body image. I have never been terribly overweight; my insecurity came from developing so quickly.
Supporters say you can drop one pound a day on the HCG diet, and that's just the first red flag. What you should really know about the HCG plan before you consider trying it out yourself.
Petronella is following the HcG Diet, a controversial diet in which you eat 500 calories a day while injecting HcG, a sex hormone that triggers testosterone production. She’s married with 2 children, and has spent years struggling to lose weight. Weight Watchers has worked for her in the past, but she’s always experienced rebound weight gain.
Petronella does a few things right, and a few things wrong, but overall she’s clearly making progress. There are several good lessons to learn from her story- I’ll explain them at the end.
It’s called the hCG diet, and it’s been around for half a century. Only it’s been buried under controversy since the 1960s. Now, it’s experiencing a resurgence of popularity.
So, let’s dig in a little and find out what’s actually going on in the hCG diet.
More recently, HCG has been in the news as a weight loss “aid.” Ads claim it “targets the fat” and “reduces cravings.” However, HCG providers prescribe a 500-calorie diet, too. A very-low-calorie-diet (defined as 800 cal/day or lower) alone would result in significant weight loss. However, there are risks associated with a VLCD, and medical monitoring is suggested as a standard of medical care.
The HCG diet has been around for decades but as we roll into 2020, it’s still a popular diet across the internet and social media.
The HCG diet is an extreme low-calorie diet that proponents claim will make you lose weight fast (1-2 lbs or 0.5 to 1kg per day) but without feeling hungry or losing muscle.
While this might sound appealing, the HCG diet is not risk-free and there are some red flags of which you should be aware.
HCG is promoted as a weight loss supplement with older claims it could mobilise fat and suppress appetite. The original 1954 HCG trial had some positive results and triggered development of the current HCG diet.
The diet involves taking a HCG supplement, typically as liquid drops, while following a very low-energy diet of 2,000 kilojoules (500kcal) a day.
Since 1954, no studies have replicated the original findings. The conclusion? Weight loss is due to the large energy deficit. We don’t recommend this diet.
Verdict? Fad diet.
Women like Ms. Brown are streaming into doctors’ offices and weight-loss clinics all over the country, paying upward of $1,000 a month for a consultation, a supply of the hormone and the syringes needed to deliver it. More than 50 years after a doctor at a Roman clinic began promoting hCG as a dieting aid, it is as popular as ever, even though there is scant evidence that it makes any difference.