Weight loss HcG, or an HcG diet, is a strict weight management program that combines the use of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HcG) supplements and a low calorie meal plan. It has gone through a few fad waves over the last handful of years as people discover it in bursts. That said, it quickly fades away due to its extreme nature, before people forget about it and rediscover it a few years later for another fad.
Experts are in agreement that weight loss through the HcG Diet is a dangerous strategy. It can place health in varying levels of risk. In fact, the Endocrine Society’s official Hormone Health Network website warns against using this type of strategy to lose weight, saying that it increases the chances of serious complications.
Though the FDA has approved these supplements for purposes such as a component of certain infertility therapies, for postmenopausal women and for men who have non-functioning testicles, the supplements are not approved for weight-related purposes.
Why Do People Try Weight Loss with an HcG Diet?
HcG is a hormone that is produced by pregnant woman and plays an important role during pregnancy. It gives an expectant mother access to her body’s stored fat to ensure that both she and her baby receive enough nutrients to remain healthy. In this way, it is a natural and healthy part of the body’s processes. It is necessary for both mother and baby but has nothing to do with weight loss or dieting efforts. When supplementation is recommended for fertility reasons, for example, the patient is closely monitored by a doctor as hormone levels such as testosterone can be highly affected.
That said, regardless of the warnings, these hormone supplements, it is sometimes manipulated for purposes other than pre-natal health. The theory behind weight loss with HcG is that the hormone supplements help boost metabolism and burn fat, promoting fat loss in areas of the body where fat is difficult to expel, such as the buttocks, stomach, and arms. HcG is also said to help suppress the appetite, making the user feel less hungry than normal.
How Are People Using HcG to Lose Weight (despite the warnings)?
Those who take part in weight loss HcG diet plans are required to take HcG supplements in the form of liquid drops, injections, or transdermal creams. In addition to the supplements, a strict diet must be followed that is not to exceed 500 – 800 calories daily. This extremely low-carb diet allows only certain vegetables, fruits, fish, and lean meats that are low in carbohydrates to be consumed. Foods that are high in sugar and starch like breads, pasta, rice, or baked goods are excluded from the meal program.
HcG diets can set off a state of ketosis, which can result in rapid weight loss. Ketosis occurs when the body is starved of carbohydrates for several days. Since it cannot use carbohydrates as its primary energy source, the body will take the energy it needs from stored fat, resulting in fast fat burning and loss of weight.
Why This Method is Not for You
While this may sound ideal for those who are looking to lose weight quickly, weight loss HcG programs are not intended for long term use. This is because the severe low-carb restrictions can lead to dangerous side effects, especially since ketosis is not actually healthy for your body when done in extremes and without a doctor’s guidance.
In fact, not only can your body begin to burn muscle mass in addition to fat, but prolonged ketosis can lead to the damage of some of your vital organs, such as your liver and kidneys if done improperly, such as through hormone manipulation that is not guided by a physician.
As far as side effects are concerned, those typically experienced by users of the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin diet supplements include headaches, changes in mood, fatigue, constipation, and stomach upset. Serious health risks such as stroke, blood clotting, and depression have also been associated with HcG weight loss diets.
Finally, while some claim that HcG does help individuals reduce their weight quickly, some say that the scientific evidence of weight loss HcG benefits are lacking and it’s the highly restricted diet causing the reduction in weight, not the hormone.
As HcG has not been approved by the FDA for weight loss and experts all point to potentially harmful or even dangerous side effects of dieting in this way, this fad diet is simply not recommended. There are dozens of other types of strategies out there for fat loss. It is always recommended that your top choice be one that will not involve placing your health at risk. It’s simply not worth it, particularly when you could choose something else that could work as efficiently while focusing on your wellness at the same time.
For the sake of your health, talk with your doctor if you are considering weight loss HcG as your dieting method.