HCG Diet: Should Starvation Be An Acceptable Weight-Loss Plan?
Have you heard of the hCG diet plan? It’s been around since the 70’s and is making a comeback in today’s quick-fix society. With promises of quick weight loss and little hunger, it sounds like the weight loss miracle we’ve all been hoping for. But SURPRISE! There is no miracle, just deception. And much worse, this diet plan will most likely do you more harm than good.
With so many women trying to lose weight in this country, it scares me to think of how many of them may be taking this “diet plan” seriously. It’s not a diet at all, it’s a dangerous consumer deception. With a 500 calorie a day limit, this plan is nothing more than a starvation diet combined with a medical gimmick, and no good can ever come from it.
The New York Times — Diet Plan With HCG, a Fertility Hormone, Has Fans and Critics…
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.”
Before I even touch on all the problems with hCG injections, let’s look at the daily calorie intake for this “so called” diet. Are they kidding? Limiting the amount of calories you consume in one day to 500 is nothing more than starvation. There is absolutely NO WAY to limit your daily calories to 500 and be healthy, it’s pure insanity.
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.
Again, are you kidding me? If you used that $1,000 a month to buy all healthy foods to stock your kitchen with for a month, you would still have more than enough money left for a gym membership. Not only would you lose weight this way, but you would also lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer — and that’s not a gimmick, that’s a fact.
And what about the risks of HCG injections? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?
This is from a review of the HCG diet by Dr. Micheal Snyder, who begins his review like this…
You won’t see me promoting quick fixes or fad diets anytime soon. But every once in awhile something comes along that seems so dangerous I have to call it out. That’s why I’m going to help reveal the truth behind the HCG diet.
Dr. Snyder talks in detail about what HCG is, how it works in our body, and the lack of scientific evidence for weight-loss claims. More importantly, he points out some of the side effects and risks of taking HCG…
The common side effects include headaches, mood swings, depression, blood clots, confusion, and dizziness. Some women also develop a condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS); symptoms of this include pelvic pain, swelling of the hands and legs, stomach pain, weight gain, shortness of breath, diarrhea, vomiting/nausea, and/or urinating less than normal.
Did you see that weight gain is one of the side effects?
So far I think ABC News says it best — HCG Diet: Starving on Pregnancy Hormones?
“We’re so desperate to have good solutions for weight control that a lot of people with good common sense literally suspend it when it they confront weight-loss claims,” Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, said. “This diet is appalling. It takes irresponsible diets to new heights.”
From WebMD – The Truth about HCG for Weight Loss…
Not only will you waste your money on hCG, but there are also potential consequences — from side effects of the product and self-injections to nutritional deficiencies.
It is virtually impossible to meet your nutritional needs for carbohydrates, protein, fats, and fiber with less than 500 calories per day and the diet will most likely result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
You would think with all of the medical evidence against the HCG diet that a search of it would bring up mostly negative results – nope. Instead you get page after page of how great HCG is. I imagine this has something to do with so many people making money off of these false claims.
Even Dr. Oz has caved to the pressure. This is from Weighty Matters – Dr. Oz – so corrupted by fame he even sells himself out…
The show was predictable. Dr. Oz spent the bulk of the show obtaining testimonials from HCG providers and dieters, mentioned how his wife has done the HCG diet, spent a scant amount of time with HCG detractors, mentioned that the complete and utter lack of medical evidence to support its use was counter-balanced by the 4 people he had in his audience who had succeeded in losing weight, called for further study, suggested it was worth a try, and wondered if future research into it may in fact lead to a cure for obesity.
Here’s what Dr. Oz said about the HCG Diet just 3 months ago…
“Initially, this diet may help you rapidly drop pounds. Ultimately, it destroys your metabolism, as you are essentially starving yourself. Another negative side effect is the loss of muscle mass, so much that you will no longer be able to effectively burn calories.”
“If you find someone like Dr. Emma (the HCG provider he had on his show), I think it’s worth trying”
And how much will it cost his viewers who take his advice to try the diet scientifically proven to be useless and the one he himself rightly reports is likely to dramatically impact on muscle mass, so much so that weight regain will be far more likely? Dr. Emma charges her patients $800 for 6 weeks of this sham treatment.
As someone who is always fighting to take off (or keep off) those last ten pounds, I find this whole HCG diet thing appalling. Of course if you only eat 500 calories a day you are going to lose weight fast, the HCG aspect of it is totally irrelevant. Let’s put it this way…
I could make up a jelly-bean diet right now, and tell everyone to eat one red jelly-bean each morning along with limiting their calories to 500 a day. Guess what? They would lose weight. And if selling red jelly-beans could be profitable? I would probably get a book deal and have the endless love of the jelly-bean industry.
Now, just replace the red jelly-bean with HCG and you are where we are today. The bottom line is…500 calories a day is starvation NOT a diet. Even when you are on a weight-loss program, you should still get at least 1,200 calories a day.
Anyway, I could go on and on about all the reasons this HCG diet is a bad idea, but I’ve got to end this post somewhere. I would love to hear your thoughts. What do you think of the HCG diet? Is it a miracle or a scam? Have you tried it? Would you try it? What do you think about all the controversy? Please let us know your thoughts in comments.
If you are interested in personalized wellness coaching, I would be happy to help you. Feel free to contact me at Anywhere Wellness.
*photo credit Hive Health Media