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Sep 29

HCG Diet Review | Does it Work For Weight Loss | Dr Bill …

The ugly truth about the HCG diet

The HCG diet has been around for decades, but does it work and is it safe?

Im not going to mince words: Im calling the HCG diet yet another gimmicky, too-good-to-be-true, quick-fix diet which will leave you lighter in the wallet and less healthy in the long run.

The diet regained popularity between 2010 and 2013 but has since lost momentum as we move into 2019. Nevertheless, it is still being sold on the internet despite the preponderance of scientific evidence showing that it has no effect on fat loss beyond that which can be accomplished by a healthy lifestyle.

Also check out my related review articles onSkinnyMint Teatox,Skinny Teatox, and Fit Tea products

HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin and is the hormone produced by women during pregnancy.

In the 1950s,British physician Dr. Albert T. Simeons used HCG injections for the treatment of obesity.

He suggested that the addition of HCG to a reduced-calorie diet might help dieters stay on track (adherence), reduce hunger cravings during food restriction, and promote fat loss.

The Simeons HCG protocol entailed daily injections of 125 international units (IU) six times per week for a total of 40 injections. The diet component consisted of 500 calories per day broken up into two daily meals.

You can easily buy HCG online in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

The internet is littered with commercial websites promoting HCG as a weight loss panacea.

The sites are egregiously biased to sell product and do a masterful job of overcoming objections and giving visitors that sliver of hope that it might work (even though the boloney detector says no).

Unfortunately, these websites also crowd out reliable unbiased sites that aim to protect consumers.

Even more reputable sites like Amazonlet a lot of woo slip through the cracks. Check out Amazonand you can see for yourself how outlandish and misleading the claims are (i.e., Lose a pound a day. Yep, maybe a pound of muscle, carbohydrate, and body water, but it certainly wont be a pound of fat).

In the image below, you can see the types of deceptive tactics used by HCG sellers. I note that this advert refers to the HCG drops and not the injections which would need to be administered by a medical professional.

In 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) came down on several HCG marketers for making false claims exactly like those in the above image. Even more disturbing is that they sold their products through major retail outlets like GNC, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. This is particularly concerning since consumers might assume the products are safe and effective since they are sold in reputable pharmacies.

The FTC maintains that Kevin Write and his companies,HCG Platinum and Right Way Nutrition, LLC, promise consumers that HCG Platinum liquid drops will cause fast and significant weight loss similar to that of the endorsers in their advertisements.

The HCG diet even made the rounds on the Dr Oz show. This might sound like the stamp of approval youre looking for, but before you get too excited, lets not forget Dr Oz has copped a lot of heat in recent years for peddling bogus weight loss remedies. Many high ranking doctors and academics have evencalled for his resignation from Columbia University for his promotion of quackery.

In one of his segments, he gave airtime to a woman who is pushing her own rebranded version of the HCG diet. She claims to have conducted research but, in fact, this was nothing more than an impromptu study she pulled together that was not reviewed by other scientists (called peer-review). The only evidence she has for her diet is that she was on the Dr Oz show, and thats no evidence at all.

In the early to mid 1970s, HCG diet studies started surfacing in peer-reviewed medical journals. A 1973 study by Asher and Harper showed positive results but was later slammed for poor methodology, with subsequent studies consistently debunking its use as ineffective for weight loss.

A 1983 report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reviewed all evidence up to that point and concluded that:

A 1995 meta-analysis (a combined statistical analysis) published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacologyevaluated 8 uncontrolled and 16 controlled research reports. The authors concluded:

For a more detailed breakdown of the evidence, you can read Joe Cannons HCGresearch reviewhere.

One of the most blatantly obvious holes in the HCG diet marketing armor is the fact that they trump up the outdated claims by Dr. Simeons and conveniently neglect to mention that all early research was based upon HCG injections.

As of this writing, there is absolutely no credible evidence to suggest that sublingual HCG (under the tongue) has any effect onfat loss and preservation of muscle.

In the image below, the advertiser falsely claims that HCG drops are clinically proven (which means nothing) and are effective for inducing ridiculously large amounts of daily weight loss (not fat loss). They also take liberties by making it look like it has been approved by the FDA.

A promotional website for oral HCG has links for additional research and informationbut when I visited the page and examined the references, it was obvious that nearly all the studies were just general obesity papers that had little or no bearing whatsoever on the usefulness of sublingual HCG drops.

Though HCG diet advertisers spout off the benefits of their sublingual drops, they neglect to mention that this is simply a very low 500 calorie diet. There is no question that weight loss will occur on such an irresponsibly low and unsupervised regimen, but I would question the extent to which HCG diet drops play a role in this weight loss.

This tactic is nothing new. Other questionable products such as Calorad have banked on this technique by duping consumers into eating a low-calorie diet and then hoodwinking them into thinking the weight loss was a result of the product.

At 500 calories per day, the HCG diet is anything but easy. At such a low energy intake, you are likely to find it difficult to comply with the diet. You are also unlikely to meet your basic nutrition needs (i.e., carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals) unless youre supplementing.

There are, however, extreme cases where a doctor might put a morbidly obese person on a strictly-supervised very low calorie diet (VLCD). But these are extreme cases where the goal is to shed weight as quickly as possible to reduce disease risk.

The HCG diet isnt cheap. Because its not covered by insurance, youd be personally liable for all doctors visits and injections. In initial consultation could set you back between $100 and $200, plus another $10 to $15 for each HCG injection. Depending on how much weight you lose (or dont lose), you may incur additional costs for ongoing office visits and injections.

A VERY important drawback to low-calorie regimens like the HCG diet is the fact that not only will you lose fat, but your body will break downvaluable muscle necessary to stoke the flames of your metabolism.

Such a low calorie regimen cannot be realistically maintained for an extended period of time and, when you go back to eating normally, your reduced muscle mass (lower metabolism) will leave you more susceptible to weight regain (yo-yo dieting).

A 500 calorie diet is very low energy and ideally should be supervised by a responsible bariatric physician or university-qualified dietitian (not a self-styled nutritionist). Generally speaking, a diet of less than 1200 calories is likely to be nutritionally deficient in terms of the main macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, fat) and vitamins and minerals.

I see that the HCG promoters include a B-complex vitamin, but this is like brining a band-aid to a train crash.This should not lull you into a false sense of safety. If you have underlying health issues such as poorly controlled diabetes or other metabolic conditions, you should first visit your doctor for guidance.

Promotional materials for the HCG diet tout that you can expect to lose 1-2 pounds (1/2 to 1 kg) per day. Responsible health practitioners recommend a safe and healthy weight loss of approximately 1-2 pounds per week, NOT per day.

Any rapid weight loss, particularly that induced by such a drastically low-calorie regimen, will activate the bodys famine response which will reduce your metabolism and make your body more resistant to giving up its fat stores.

One website promotesthe HCG diet is considered one of the fastest and safest ways to lose weight and keep it off.

There is no legitimate, independent scientific evidence to corroborate this claim.There is no such thing as both fast and safe weight loss. As I stated above, healthy weight loss should fall in the range of 1-2 pounds (1/2 to 1 kg) of fat per week. See my article on13 ways to keep fat off for life.

Theclaim that HCG will help you keep it off is completely misguided.After coming off a 500 calorie diet, youre likely to not only gain back the lost weight, but will probably end up fatter than before you started the diet.

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to selling hokey diets and nostrums. The world loves to slam doctors for knowing nothing about nutrition, yet the minute a doctor puts out a diet book or hawks a miracle weight loss product, everyone jumps on the bandwagon to shell out their hard earned cash.

So whats it going to be? You cant have both.

In the case of the HCG diet, as I said, this is a very low calorie regimen and really SHOULD be supervised by a responsible physician. But save your money on the HCG portion, as its use is not supported by the preponderance of peer-reviewed scientific evidence.

It was only a matter of time until the homeopathy camp jumped on the bandwagon to get their share of the pie. As with sublingual HCG drops, there is no objective evidence that a homeopathic version would have any impact on weight loss. In fact, because it is diluted to the point that the original active ingredient no longer exists, it is unlikely to exert any effect in the body.

Have a read of Joe Cannons unbiased homeopathic HCG drops review for more information.

I wish there was such thing as magic weight loss drops, but unfortunately the HCG diet is unlikely to result in any lasting weight loss (losing weight is easy, keeping it off is difficult).

Bear in mind these final take home points:

I recommend avoiding HCG diet, as it is yet another unsubstantiated quick-fix diet which is unlikely to result in long-term weight loss and weight loss maintenance.

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HCG Diet Review | Does it Work For Weight Loss | Dr Bill ...

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