Quick, name three fad diets!
Chances are you have named at least six as they are abundant. From Atkins to the Zone, Americans have tried them all for rapid weight loss. Nearly two-thirds of the country’s population are considered overweight and have resorted to a quick fix diet. One of which is the hCG diet.
What is hCG and how does it help with weight loss?
hCG is an acronym for human chorionic gonadotropin. It is a hormone that is found in the urine of pregnant women. The use of hCG to use up old fat deposits in the body because popular in the 1950s. Currently, it is been used for the same thing.
A patient being treated with hCG is safely given significantly smaller doses than those occurring in pregnancy. People inject hCG for hunger suppression, fat to fuel usage, and ultimately, weight loss. Many hCG marketers claim that weight loss can occur as quickly a few pounds shed every day.
The hCG Diet
First, patients receive hCG injections or serums for 45 consecutive days. Then, they commit to a 500 calorie per day diet of organic, unprocessed foods, and hCG (injections or serum drops under the tongue). The plan lasts for days straight and is said to speed up metabolism and cause the shedding of several pounds per day – or so the advertisers claim.
The Myth Exposed
Many medical experts and the FDA agree that weight loss from hCG is due to the low-calorie diet, not just the hCG doses. Also, the health care community is concerned about the lack of scientific evidence regarding hCG usage. This diet regime is considered extreme and almost impossible to maintain.
The Potential Health Risks of hCG
Not only are hCG treatments expensive, but the restrictive 45-day diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies of vital vitamins and minerals: carbohydrates, protein, fats, and fiber.
It has been discovered that the human body needs at least 1200-1500 calories each day to satisfy hunger, fuel activity, and supply all the much-needed nutrients for good health. If a person consistently consumes less than the recommended dosage, the body will begin burning fat and muscle. This leads to the loss of muscle mass and efficient metabolism. In an ironic turn of events, the body will actually begin to put back on the pounds and it will all return as fat.
hCG is naturally present in women who are pregnant, and it allows the body to store fat, in turn providing nourishment for the unborn baby.
Cons of hCG
- Treatments are pricey.
- hCG is not covered by health insurance plans.
- Once a patient has stopped taking treatments, weight gain is inevitable.
Side Effects of taking hCG Treatments
As with any medication, there are side effects that some patients may experience.
- Increased risk of blood clots.
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
- Pregnancy symptoms (water retention, swelling, and sensitive breasts).
Last December, the FDA and Federal Trade Commission banned homeopathic companies from selling over-the-counter hCG products for weight loss. There were several concerns that brought about this public action:
- These weight-loss drugs that were not approved, and therefore, violated federal law.
- Because true hCG can only be available with a prescription, the question then becomes what is in the hCG that is sold by homeopathic companies.
- Of the patients taking the dosage for weight loss, many were given limited instructions as to what food to consume and how often they needed to take their hCG.
- Physician supervision was typically absent, increasing the chance for low-calorie diet complications such as low electrolytes, heart and muscle weakness, and gall stones.