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The basic concepts of the HCG Diet were first made popular by A. T. W. Simeons MD in 1971 through his book entitled Pounds Inches A New Approach to Obesity, but was only available at expensive spas and weight loss clinics.
However, since 2009 there’s been a massive surge in the popularity of the HCG Diet as it is now readily available for people to try at home.
HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone.
This hormone is excreted in the urine of pregnant women and is the marker of pregnancy as the fetus is producing and releasing the hormone as well as the placenta.
The HCG diet would be classified as a Fad Diet as there isn’t much evidence that HCG works in promoting weight loss in healthy adults, but only has been proven effective in boys with Fröhlich’s syndrome.
In fact, researching the history of HCG, shows that in the 60’s and 70’s some doctors were paid up to $100,000 a year to sit in a room and write prescriptions for HCG once a week for the weight loss clinics without ever seeing any of the patients.
In a recent double blind study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was determined that using HCG was ineffective in promoting weight loss.
HCG Diet Basics
The core of the HCG diet consists of following the following steps.
- Extreme Calorie restriction of around 500 Calories a day.
- Foods that are rich in lean protein.
- A daily injection of 125mg of the HCG hormone.
The diet proponents claim that the body will begin to burn fat reserves as the HCG prevents the body from breaking down muscle for energy.
The diet claims that weight loss of “26 pounds in 26 days” with up to 3100 fat calories being used for energy per day is possible.
Lean protein (fish, turkey, chicken, beef), celery, asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, onions, strawberries, grapefruit, oranges, apples, and tea.
Exercise isn’t recommended on the HCG diet, in fact, it is discouraged.
There are many HCG diets springing up everywhere as this fad continues to gain popularity.
Expect to pay around $140 per month for the HCG drops and additional costs for recipe guides, books, and meal plans.
Costs could be significantly higher for those that go to clinics for their injections and consultations.
Pounds Inches A New Approach to Obesity is available online for $8.95.
Many of the HCG drops for sale online are “homeopathic” and do contain real HCG.
Click here to try an online version of the HCG Diet.
See Also: HCG Recipes: Over 200 gourmet recipes that support those following the HCG Diet Plan.
- Dramatic, fast weight loss is possible.
- Some of been successful on this plan.
- Weight loss is most likely due to calorie restriction, not HCG.
- Side effects include headaches, risk of blood clots, restlessness, and depression.
- Exercise is not promoted as part of overall health.
- Calorie restriction is way below what is deemed safe by the majority of the medical profession.
- Side effects of the long term use of HCG are not understood.
- Some cancers could not be caught early as HCG injections will hide tumor markers.
- Lifestyle changes aren’t stressed, but falls under the quick fix mentality.
- HCG is not approved by the FDA
Weight Loss Due to Extreme Calorie Deficit
While many dieters are lured in by the HCG Diet’s claims of fast weight loss without exercise, dieters are warned to steer clear from the HCG diet as it is not a healthy way to lose weight and the use of HCG drops could potentially lead to other health problems down the road.
The hundreds of testimonials being promoted across the internet are no doubt from people who experienced weight loss, but did so because of the extreme Calorie restriction and the high protein diet which promotes ketosis.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- Sanches, M., Pigott, T., Swann, A. C., Soares, J. C. (2014). First manic episode associated with use of human chorionic gonadotropin for obesity: a case report. Bipolar disorders, 16(2), 204-207. link
- Asher, W. L., Harper, H. (1973). Effect of human chorionic gonadotrophin on weight loss, hunger, and feeling of well-being. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 26(2), 211-218. link
- Greenway, F. L., Bray, G. A. (1977). Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the treatment of obesity: a critical assessment of the Simeons method. Western Journal of Medicine, 127(6), 461. link
Last Reviewed: January 16, 2018