I am sure many have heard of the new latest diet craze: the HCG Weight Loss Program. For those of you who do not know what HCG is, it is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, a hormone found in woman who are pregnant. This hormone is associated with pregnancy as it is produced by the cells that form the placenta, but it is found in both male and female. This hormone affects your metabolism to activate fat stores and help bring all the nutrients to the placenta to help the baby grow. Scientist are trying to find an association between this hormone and weight loss.
In the 1950’s Dr. Albert T. Simeons created a weight loss plan that involved injecting people with HCG and proceeded to open weight loss clinics. Recently Kevin Trudeau wrote a book called The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. This outlined a 3 phase program that involved HCG injections and a very restrictive diet. Later we find Trudeau has been fined $37 million dollars for making deceptive claims in his book. Remember just because someone claims it will help you lose weight does not mean it is in fact what will happen. HCG injections are approved by the FDA, but not for weight loss. Physicians are only able to prescribe this drug through an off label prescription. An “off-label” prescription is when a physician prescribes a drug for an unapproved indication. Remember just because something is FDA approved does not mean it is FDA approved for that purpose. The HCG Weight Loss Program includes injections of HCG that they claim will help you lose 1-3 pounds per day. These injections are applied with a very restrictive 500 calorie per day diet! This is such a small amount of calories for your body that it will force your body to compensate with glycogen, protein and some fat lowering your resting metabolism. This low calorie intake does not support normal brain function so side effects consist of headaches, confusion, dizziness, depression and blood clots. Anything that seems too good to be true usually is, as with HCG there is no scientific evidence that HCG injections are a weight loss strategy. If there is no evidence for weight loss other than caloric restriction this is probably not the healthiest weight loss strategy.
This hormone was just recently banned in major league baseball as it is very common for those who use steroids. Upon reviewing the website for HCG weight loss I found no scientific evidence, list of prices or many testimonials to back up their claims. You should always be cautious when looking for a weight loss program and not finding many claims of their products or program. For those of you who think this is the weight loss breakthrough you have been waiting for should research the other side of the story and the many risks that come with the HCG Weight Loss Program. Think about it this way if there was a new pill that guaranteed you weight loss in a healthy way that doctors and the FDA approved of then most likely you will have heard about it as well as the rest of the world. For now the only proven way for a healthy weight loss is through regular exercise and a well balance diet. Try working on a healthy diet and an exercise plan or talk to your physician about what they think is the best option for you. It is better to develop a long term plan to make better habits for yourself then to put yourself at high risk of hurting your body when all you wanted to do was to help it. Remember if something seems to good to be true most likely it is.