hCG Diet - Beware this "Fast Way to Lose Weight"

Should I do the hcg diet?

Overweight people are often looking for the fast easy weight loss solution to shed those extra pounds. So there have been diet plans, diet pills and unusual equipment which all promise amazing results.

This surge in public interest in the hCG diet is owed almost entirely to a large marketing push of this dusted-off 60-year-old quick weight loss diet craze.

It claims to aid in burning accumulated fat from the body and touts long term weight loss. However clinical trials have failed to prove the effectiveness of this plan.

And there are certain side effects of this diet that need to be considered. Despite the need for a prescription to obtain the drug, there have been reports of people obtaining hCG (or something being passed off as hCG) on the Internet, bringing up the issues of safety and effectiveness of the provided doses.

hCG ((human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone secreted by pregnant women at the early stages of conception. hCG signals the hypothalamus (the area of the brain that affects metabolism) to mobilize fat stores. In pregnancy, this helps the body bring nutrients into the placenta, fueling the fetus with the energy to grow.

The proponents will tell you then that this hormone aids in collecting accumulated fat from the body and converts it into calories, while suppressing appetite.

For weight loss purposes, hCG is extracted from the urine of pregnant women and sold in the form of oral supplements and injections.

While following the hCG diet protocol, a dieter is required to consume about 500 calories a day, accompanied with oral hCG drops or intravenous hCG shots.

In addition, dieters are asked not to exercise (no surprise, since you wouldn’t have the energy to do so).

500-calories per day is simply too restrictive!

In fact, it is not enough calories to support normal brain function or the normal functioning of the metabolic processes, which in turn causes cravings for foods, lightheadedness, weakness and irritation.

Your body will compensate by using stores of glycogen, protein (muscle) and some fat, which lowers your resting metabolism.

This hormone is not approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for weight loss purposes. In fact, since 1975 the FDA has required all marketing and advertising of hCG to state the following: “hCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity. There is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or ‘normal’ distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”

It IS recommended for treatment of fertility problems in women and promoting secretion of testosterone hormone in men. But, using hCG as a weight loss aid is not scientifically proven; in fact, there are no clinical trials that support the benefits of hCG hormone in suppressing appetite, burning adipose tissues or decreasing discomfort associated with a low calorie diet.

While the initial study performed and published by Dr. Simeons backed his claims of the hCG diet's effectiveness, subsequent studies have not borne this out. Most independent, peer-reviewed studies of the hCG diet have shown no difference in weight loss between subjects on a low-calorie diet who received hCG injections and subjects who received a placebo.

One study even showed that both the placebo group and the hCG diet group reported major hunger pangs throughout the treatment.

The common side effects include headaches, restlessness, mood swings, depression, blood clots, confusion, and dizziness.

Also, one may experience the signs of pregnancy, such as swelling of hands and feet, water retention and breast tenderness. And since it’s a fertility treatment, be careful if you don’t want to get pregnant!

Some women also develop a condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS); symptoms of this include pelvic pain, swelling of the hands and legs, stomach pain, weight gain, breathing difficulty, diarrhea, vomiting/nausea, and/or urinating more or less than normal.

Of course, eating well-proportioned meals is much easier when you're injecting stimulants and hunger-suppressing hormones.

If you gain weight again, the doctor or clinic on the follow-up visit may recommend you start the treatment over again.

Therefore, you may just scrap real attempts to change eating habits and sign on to long-term use of chemicals without fixing the real problem: your diet and exercise habits.

Even if you lose weight and you’re done with hCG, you’ll then have to adopt a healthy lifestyle or the weight’s just coming back.

A month-long course of hCG injections and crash dieting will likely help you lose weight, but a key question is: Is this the best way to permanently modify poor eating habits?

Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Healthy eating, exercise and a positive mental attitude is the way to go when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.

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