HCG Diet

Can the hCG hormone help you lose weight?

Full Name: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Diet (HCG Diet)

Origin: Most HCG diets stem from research conducted by Dr. A.T.W. Simeons in 1954 on the effects of HCG hormone on weight loss in obese patients. Dr. Simeons found that patients did not suffer the usual symptoms of hunger, such as dizziness, irritability and headaches, when they were receiving the hormone. He later created a weight-loss plan based on his findings, called Pounds & Inches.

Description: The HCG hormone is most commonly found in pregnant women, where it is triggered by cells found in the placenta. It sends signals to the hypothalamus, which is responsible for metabolism and supposedly helps speed up the body's metabolism of fat stores.

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HCG diets are touted as a way to lose one to two pounds a day. They are based on an unbelievably strict caloric intake: no more than 500 calories daily. While this would ordinarily leave people very hungry, the HCG injections or oral HCG (HCG diet pills or drops) are said to take the edge off the hunger.

The HCG diet plan has a strict plan for eating that begins with a high-calorie diet for two days, and then a series of regimented eating plans and HCG dosages.

Likes: A low cholesterol diet that includes lean protein, vegetables and fruits, as well as lots of tea and water.

Dislikes: Heavy exercise—it's not advised that you engage in strenuous exercise while on the 500-calorie HCG diet plan.

Looking for: People who believe healthy eating and exercise are not enough to help them overcome their weight issues.

Works well with: People who suffer from obesity.

Full Detailed Review

The HCG weight-loss diet has largely been discredited, and all marketing of the diet was banned by the FDA in 1975. There has been no scientific evidence that the hormone HCG aids in weight loss, and it's believed that the 500-calorie diet can actually be extremely dangerous.

With HCG weight-loss clinic and product prices, this diet is certainly not one for the budget-minded weight-loss enthusiast. Given its unproven track record, it's likely that this is just another fad diet that should be avoided.