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A Better Diet for Weight Loss Than HCG

Irene | June 25th, 2012

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Proponents of the HCG diet for weight loss claim the HCG diet is a healthy way to lose weight but there are better ways to lose weight that do not require extreme calorie restriction and ingestion of hormones.

Weight loss supplements claim much, prove little

The HCG diet requires dieters to take HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) weight loss supplements. However, the hormone has not been approved by the FDA for weight loss. In addition to the risk of taking a weight loss product that has not been approved by the FDA, HCG dieters are required to reduce their caloric intake to just 500 to 800 calories a day; a count significantly lower than recommended for healthy weight loss.

Not only does this diet for weight loss essentially starve its followers, there is little evidence that the HCG hormone, which is said to reduce the discomfort associate with a low-calorie diet, aids weight loss at all. The debate is further fueled by claims that HCG causes vomiting, swelling of the hands and legs and Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).  Finally, opponents argue that HCG dieters are more prone to developing gallstones, dizziness and malnutrition.

A better diet for weight loss would include a less drastic reduction in calories and a workout program.

Tips from the Mayo Clinic

Though cutting calories is an important component for losing pounds, reduction need not be as drastic as that required by the HCG diet for weight loss. The Mayo Clinic is a great resource to learn about cutting calories while still feeling full.

Cutting calories as part of a diet for weight loss plan should include increasing your consumption of high energy density foods and decreasing your intake of low energy density foods. Low energy density foods are low in calories but will make you feel full longer. The opposite is true for high-energy foods. The Mayo Clinic gives an example of one cup of raisins, which is a high energy density food (434 calories) compared to one cup of grapes, which are a low energy density food (104 calories).

Many fruits and vegetables are low energy density foods. They’re low in calories but make you feel full because they’re also full of water. Fiber-based foods such as whole grains are low energy density foods that make you feel full longer because they take longer to digest than other foods. Incorporating low energy density foods into your diet for weight loss will help you lose weight while feeling less hungry.

Foods that are naturally high in fat such as meats and dairy are high energy density foods. These foods can be incorporated into your diet for weight loss if you make smart choices. Choose low-calorie meats like fish or chicken over high calorie meats such as beef. Egg whites and fat free dairy products can also help with your weight loss goals.

Physician-assisted weight loss

To help serious dieters gain deeper insight into an effective weight loss plan, doctors are beginning to take a more active role in helping their patients realize their goals. For example, the Center for Medical Weight Loss, founded by Dr. Michael Kaplan, is among the largest of networks of medical weight loss specialists.  The Center operates on a premise that patients on a diet and exercise program prescribed by their doctors yields the surest and safest weight loss results.

Dr. Kaplan cautions against the use of HCG and other fad-driven diet trends. “Unlike HCG diet programs, the medical weight loss approach has been scientifically proven to help people lose excess weight and keep it off.”

If you are serious about breaking the cycle of “yo-yo” dieting and finding a permanent solution to your weight problem, there may be a Center for Medical Weight Loss in your area.  To find out, simply enter your zip code in the box above. Many Centers are currently offering special incentives to first-time visitors.