Question of the Week: Finish this sentence: When the going gets tough, …
Nugget of the Day: The truth about hCG for weight loss.
A client recently asked me what I thought about hCG as a weight loss tool. For those of you not familiar with hCG, it stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. It is a hormone released by the placenta of pregnant women. (Huh? Yeah, that’s most people’s response) Believed to stimulate the consumption of excessive fat tissue in the pregnant mother in support of the growing fetus, it has been hypothesized to assist in metabolism of fat as an energy source in non-pregnant individuals, as well as suppress appetite. When accompanied by what can only be classified as a “starvation” diet of 500 calories, it is believed to promote significant weight loss.
There are a few issues here to address. The first is the effectiveness of hCG as a weight loss tool. As of right now, both the Journal of the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have concluded that hCG is neither safe nor effective as a weight loss aid. The second is the starvation diet of 500 calories. Obviously, any diet that absent of calories is going to promote weight loss, at least for a time. However, not only does it wreak havoc on your metabolism, but it is nearly impossible to adhere to for any length of time. Since it is not a plan that promotes healthy, long-term eating habits, most people will regain much of the weight, if not all of it when returning to their regular eating plan. And, third, the FDA has prohibited the sale of over the counter hCG products and homeopathic versions, declaring them illegal and fraudulent. So if you are going to try to skirt the physician-prescribed route, don’t waste your time or your money. There isn’t enough real hCG in there to have any metabolic effect at all.
In conclusion, the hCG diet is no more than another “quick fix” scheme that is unproven at best and downright dangerous at worst. It is simply another “starvation” diet routine that leaves you undernourished and destroys your metabolism, increasing the likelihood of you not only returning to your pre-diet weight, but even getting heavier in the long term. Don’t be fooled. There are no quick fixes that beat good, solid hard work and lifestyle change. Stay the course, keep up the hard work, and don’t give up!