The HCG Diet, otherwise known as the How-Can-I-Get…Skinny-Without-Working diet, is a popular fad diet that is based on the biochemical hormone, Human Chorionic Gonadatropin, found in the blood of pregnant women. Mmmm…yummy!
These injections,or serum drops, of human chorionic gonadatropin (hCG) are promoted by some diet companies as a way to stimulate rapid weight loss. They claim that hCG suppresses hunger and triggers the metabolization of fat in the body.
The Problem: There is no medical or scientific evidence that hCG can actually help to lower weight.
In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued warning letters to seven companies marketing over-the-counter hCG products as weight loss cures. Can you blame the companies, though? It’s hard to market the ingredients of very expensive urine.
The popular reasoning seems to be that because hCG occurs naturally in pregnant women, without harming mother or fetus, it would be safe to consume as a treatment. In fact, as a treatment it is given in much smaller doses than those naturally occurring during pregnancy. However, the FDA has not given approval to use hCG as a dieting formula. It is approved as a fertility treatment, so women who do not want to get pregnant should be particularly cautious about using hCG for weight loss. And men…good luck with those sympathy contractions.
Despite its lack of FDA approval for dieting, since the drug already exists, there are doctors that are prepared to prescribe it for this purpose. Some Internet sites sell something purporting to be hCG without the need for a prescription, but you should be wary of such drugs, as there is no control over their effectiveness or safety.
Even with the prescription drug, occasional unwanted side effects can occur when taking hCG. Headaches, depression, and restlessness may occur, as well as an increased risk of blood clots developing in the body. Not entirely surprising, hCG users may also feel some of the symptoms of pregnancy during treatment, such as water retention, swelling and sensitive breasts. In rare cases, hCG can cause ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which may be fatal.
Treatment with hCG can be expensive and it is not covered by health insurance. Some studies have shown that patients who consumed the same low-calorie diet (500 calories a day), but who were given a placebo instead of hCG, did just as well in terms of weight loss. Damn those dream-shattering placebos! And, of course, there’s the perennial question: Will the weight stay off once the treatment has finished?
To find out more about the hCG diet and how it can be harmful and potentially fatal, ask a Genetix Coach today.
Genetix Program’s team of doctors, certified coaches/trainers and nutritionists can help you make healthier lifestyle choices through daily phone coaching to achieve lasting weight loss. You can do it and we can help!