It’s seem like every couple of months, you hear about a new magic diet or product that swears by it’s success in weight loss. It is hard not to be sucked in by the brainwashing-like advertisements. I have even felt the pull and wondered if I should give in to the hype. But most of these “ideas” have a plethora of hidden health concerns.
The new and increasingly popular phase is the HCG diet. I had actually never heard of this until my friend mentioned it. She told me that a few people in our area had died from it! I hadn’t heard that, so I honestly don’t know the truth behind what she said. But regardless, she convinced me that she would never try this diet. My friend (who shall remain nameless) is always on the look-out for an easy route to weight loss. She wants a quick fix. This conversation took place a few months ago. She has since told me she now wants to try it. That was what inspired me to look further into the HCG diet.
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone that is produce during pregnancy. When produced naturally in the body or taken for weight loss, it allows the body to use stored fat for utilization. However, while using HCG for weight loss, one is supposed to only intake 500 calories. A normal diet consists of 1800-2400 calories for weight loss, and no less the 1200. Supposedly, taking the HCG will keep you from feeling starved while consuming 500 calories a day. There is a detailed HCG diet menu, complete with recipes, that must be adhered to in order to get the full results. Also, you need to follow a maintenance plan after the diet in order to prevent weight gain.
You can either take HCG as an injection or a oral drop, the drop being the more popular choice. This hormone is actually extracted from pregnant women’s urine. It claims that you will lose 1-2 pounds a day, yet a healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week. It states that you are not allowed to use chap-stick, lotion, or conditioner (unless it’s 100% all-natural). Also, you are actually discouraged to exercise.
I will be the first to admit, you will lose weight on this diet! But you are consuming a hormone! This is serious stuff. There are less-publicized side effects: It can cause Over-active Ovary Syndrome, which in turn can cause fertility issues, increased facial hair, and increased stomach fat; create blood clots; or cause mood swings or confusion. While some HCG is approved by the FDA, it is not approved for weight loss. Also, there are no studies done to prove that HCG for weight loss is effective and completely harmless.
I did eventually find out that someone else I knew had tried this. She was only on for 2 weeks, and even lost weight, but still regrets using it. She ended up becoming very sick when she went off the drops.
This diet is not to be taken lightly! Consult a doctor before starting this. It’s hard to get unbiased opinions on the HCG diet. Those who are against it, are against it 100%. Those who are for it, are for it 100%. So it is up to you to do all the research you can in order to make an educated decision. Don’t just jump on the train because someone told you they lost weight.
Dr. Michael Snyder “HCG Diet: Look Elsewhere for Weight Loss” Dietsinreview.com