Pros and Cons of the HCG Diet

Pros and Cons of the HCG Diet

The HCG Diet was first popularized in 1971 by A. T. W. Simeons MD, in his book" Pounds & Inches: A New Approach to Obesity." The HCG uses doses of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone to bring about weight loss. This hormone is present in the urine of pregnant women, since it's essential for fetal development, and it helps keep the mother's immune system from rejecting the fetus. The HCG Diet was once limited to customers of spas and health resorts, but it's now available for use in the home; here are some of the pros and cons of this diet.

1) Pro: Rapid Weight Loss

The HCG Diet has been known to effect rapid, drastic weight loss. However, researchers believe that the HCG hormone itself is ineffective for helping healthy adults lose weight. Doctors and scientists don't understand how this hormone works in the healthy adult body, and they don't know what unpleasant side effects could result from using it for weight loss. Experts believe that the rapid weight loss that can occur on the HCG Diet is the result of the diet's extreme calorie restriction, not the use of HCG hormones.

Furthermore, rapid weight loss can be dangerous. Losing weight rapidly increases your chances of rebound weight gain after you go off the diet. Losing weight quickly and then putting it back on again quickly puts you at risk of heart failure, since large fluctuations in body weight can put your heart under stress.

2) Con: Lifestyle Changes

The HCG Diet doesn't encourage dieters to begin a program of regular, moderate exercise. It actually discourages dieters from exercising. Nor does it help dieters learn to make appropriate food choices and eat a healthy diet.

3) Con: Extreme Calorie Restriction

The HCG Diet restricts calorie intake to about 500 calories a day. The minimum safe calorie intake for a healthy adult is about 1300 calories per day. Eating so few calories can lead to feelings of weakness, dizziness, fatigue and hunger. You'll experience food cravings and feelings of deprivation. You may even experience nutritional deficiencies on this diet.

4) Con: Not FDA Approved

HCG has not been approved for use as a dietary supplement by the FDA. It's often used in conjunction with steroid drugs, and is on the list of illegal sports drugs that can disqualify athletes from performing. HCG's side effects include blood clots, restlessness, headaches and depression. Doctors don't fully understand what side effects might occur with HCG use, especially long-term HCG use, and they don't understand what role it plays in the adult human body or what effects it might have on adult human health.

5) Con: Hide Developing Cancers

Some cancers tumors secrete HCG, and doctors tests for blood levels of HCG when checking for some kinds of cancers, such as testicular cancer. If you're using HCG and you develop a cancerous tumor, your doctor may not be able to diagnose the tumor early enough to make treatment effective, since your HCG injections will be masking the presence of cancer-secreted HCG in your blood.

  • shirley muse

    can I take this stuff while I take coumadin?? is it safe??

  • Matthew

    Diet Doc HCG Weight Loss is the only modern day hcg diet that does not utilize 500 calories per day. A few years ago, our doctors found that 500 calories per day was in essence a starvation diet. We were seeing many people who were extremely hungry, with hair falling out and who were extremely fatigued. The Diet Doc physicians reinvented the old 1950’s Simeons protocol to one that utilizes approximately 800 to 1200 calories per day without feeling hungry.
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  • teresa

    I’m doing the HCG diet and here are a few of my responses here:
    2) I am told to exercise for 40-60 minutes daily. And the diet is really longer than 40 days. The most important part is the 3 weeks -6 weeks after the injections when you MUST add back more food and this is where you cement the good, nutritious food choices. You just have a head start of a lightened load and cleaned out system. You won’t be craving sugar or carbs like an addict and will be able to make better choices.
    3)Also, my doctor uses a higher calorie diet. 700-800 calories. Still not alot, but seems more sane to me.
    4) True, but I don’t know why. It seems to stem from the early usage of HCG when it wasn’t moderated. And it would be much better if they would approve and enforce some guidelines for online sales. I’m also not always in alignment with the FDA’s choices. For example, they deem it acceptable not to inform us when our food has been genetically modified. Or to inform us if we end up eating cloned meat. That doesn’t seem right. Just tell us and let us decide, right?
    5)As far as disguising cancer or other concerns along those lines… it’s only for 23-40 days so that is a very minimal risk, I think.

    That’s just my 2 cents.

  • Yurok

    So you cAnt take this if you are an athlete?