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Health Goals and Concerns

HCG Diet: Is It A Fad or The Real Thing To Help With Weight Loss?

There have been all kinds of weight loss diet fads such as the Cookie Diet, Apple Cider Vinegar Diet, Mediterranean Diet, etc. However, the HCG-diet is one that appears to still be extremely popular.

How Does The HCG-Diet Work?

The HCG diet first came about in the 1970s, which involved human chorionic gonadotropin injections and a 500-calorie a day diet that led to extreme weight loss.  HCG is the hormone pregnant women produce and has been approved by the FDA to treat infertility.

The eight-week diet consists of shots, which has a price range of $250 to $600 per shot and injecting the body with 125 units of HCG six days a week for eight weeks. It allegedly increases the metabolism and reduces body fat. By reducing your calorie intake while taking HCG, it can lead to rapid weight loss.

Bear in mind that the HCG diet comes with some major restrictions. For example, you can only have two 250 calories meals a day. These meals should consider of one 3.5 ounce meat, one vegetable and a slice of bread. You are not allowed to exercise, and you can’t consume any oil. You are allowed one tablespoon of milk every 24 hours.

According to the HCG Diet Manuscript, you can’t use body lotion, and makeup is not allowed without getting permission.

The diet spiked in popularity during the 1970s. However, a 1973 study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, proved how ineffective it was. Another study done in the 1990s and published in the South African Medical Journal stated that the HCG diet was still just as effective as a placebo.

In essence, it’s not effective at all!

Although it’s been proven time and again that the HCG diet is not a healthy way to lose weight, people are still under the false pretenses that they lose weight. Here’s a snap back to reality – if you starve your body, you’re going to lose weight (fat and muscle). This weight loss is why people think it’s so effective.

HCG injections do not help with weight loss efforts, and they don’t negate any of the negative effects that come from losing muscle mass or eating 500 calories a day.

If you consume just 500 calories a day, you lose muscle weight – not fat. This will lead to your body slowing down its metabolic rate and lead to weight gain. The diet only works temporarily, meaning you’ll gain everything back you lost and even more.

On top of that, exercise is an important part of a healthy diet, but the HCG diet eliminates it altogether. When you eat just 500 calories a day, you don’t have the energy you need to exercise, much less, go to work and face the day. When you don’t strength train, you don’t gain muscle.

What Are Some Health Effects Of Using HCG?

According to scientific evidence, the HCG  diet is not effective for weight loss and is unhealthy and unsafe. Many health officials will recommend people against it, as there are other ways to lose weight without suffering negative side effects. The Journal of Dietary Supplements published a study that found HCG injects could cause blood clots, headaches, breast tenderness, depression, constipation and hair thinning.

Many HCG fertility products – Novarel and Pregnyl, for example – have a statement regarding HCG use for weight loss.  Manufacturers note that HCG has not been proven effective in helping with weight loss. There’s been no substantive evidence about it helping with weight loss even with calorie restriction or that it can decrease one’s hunger or discomfort that is the result of calorie-restricted diets.

Should You Use The HCG Diet To Lose Weight?

Unequivocally and emphatically – no! Do not use the HCG diet to lose weight. The results are not worth your life and can be very expensive in the grand scheme of things. You cannot get real weight loss results in an eight-week diet that is too restrictive in terms of food and exercise. It has a plethora of side effects that can do your body more harm than good.

Steer clear of the HCG diet!

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