Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, or hCG, is a hormone produced by pregnant women that regulates metabolic function. Currently, this diet is getting a lot of hype. Is it another magic bullet to help people lose weight? Does it really work? And most importantly, is it safe?
What is the hCG Diet?
There are hCG diet drops and hCG diet injections. While a prescription is required for injections and monitoring by a doctor is recommended, drops are available over the counter. Side effects like headache and leg cramps are the most common, but more severe ones may occur. In conjunction with hormone injections, dieters must adhere to a 500-calorie diet every day. Usually, a radically low calorie intake will cause the body to burn valuable muscle. But hCG supporters claim the hypothalamus will regulate the burning of fat stores for the additional calories needed to function. The hormone helps to suppress the appetite a little, but dieters are also very likely to binge when they’re hungry, causing weight gain.
hCG Diet Dangers
The FDA DOES NOT approve of hCG for weight loss. The hormone causes the body to burn unhealthy fat rather than any muscle, but not before releasing any valuable nutrients from the fat into the blood stream. This results in the release of toxins from the cells as well, which can cause headaches and feeling sick for the first couple of days. hCG is approved for fertility treatments and is therefore not illegal, but in conjunction with a 500 calorie diet the FDA refuses to stand behind it as a method for weight loss.
hCG Diet Foods
Though there is a 500-calorie limit, the hCG diet recommends that those 500 calories come from high fiber content. Very lean meats and vegetables are essentially the only thing foods allowed. Sugar is a definite no-no.
While the official hCG diet is popular right now, there is a reason many doctors, the FDA and health specialists are saying it is not the answer to lose weight. Over the last 50 years, there is one consistent method for losing weight: sticking to a healthy meal plan of fresh produce, lean protein and healthy fats, and getting plenty of exercise. This is certainly the most natural and healthiest way to lose weight and keep it off.
Get more tools for planning healthy meals here.