Thursday, January 12, 2012

Say What?: HCG Diet

This topic, is something very important to me. I wanted to focus on extreme dieting at some point and it seemed perfect because its that time of year when everyone and their dog tries to lose weight by radically extreme measures. And it is SOOO unhealthy for you. One diet in particular caught up one of my girlfriends in its promises of lost weight, and unfortunately has resulted in very real consequences for her.

"Thousands of people are latching onto a diet that promises rapid weight loss—up to 30 pounds a month—and, judging by its recent surge in popularity, actually delivers. But the so-called hCG diet is either a weight-loss miracle or a dangerous fraud, depending on who's talking." (U.S. news: health)

So lets delve deeper into the facts. The HCG diet revolves around a combination of two efforts, limiting your daily intake to 500 calories, and either taking drops or shots daily of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropic) which is actually a hormone produced in pregnant women. All this to help you, "drop into the new you" (source). So what does this get you besides being terribly hungry, and "lose a lot extreme"? (source)

Well some of the side effects include gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat, hair loss, oh and of course our dear friend constant constipation. Additionally the FDA has even come out saying that hCG supplements are illegal and fraudulent (Dr. Oz). So why between all these warnings and side effects do people still use it?

Because they're dropping weight. However if any person were to limit their daily caloric intake to 500 they would also lose weight. But that is considered starving yourself, and ultimately the weight you lose during this diet is all regained once you return to your previous lifestyle. When your body is coming out of starvation mode after being starved of its needed calories for extended period of time it is going to take every single calorie it can get and then store them away like a bear preparing for another long winter.

On some occasions in addition to regaining the weight in women specifically injecting all of that hormone found in pregnancy can actually disrupt your natural reproductive cycle, which is what happened to my friend who is now trouble with infertility.

Overall, the hCG diet has been, "thoroughly discredited and thus rejected by the majority of the medical community" and there are much safer ways to lose weight. (source)


Heather Rae said...


Emily said...

We were victims of the hcg diet, I had no clue how bad it was for you till after we did it, good of you to get the word out there cause so many people still do it!!!

Alex said...

I totally did the HCG Diet. I learned a lot from it. I wouldn't do it again but it was a good learning experience. Luckily, I didn't suffer any nasty side effects. At least not any that I'm aware of yet.