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HCG Weight Loss Myths

Irene | June 30th, 2012

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The HCG weight loss craze has dieters believing that they can reduce their caloric intake to only 500 calories a day, and inject themselves with a miraculous ‘weight loss hormone’ and this will allow them to lose weight and keep it off… all without exercising.

While this recipe for weight loss may be tempting, medical experts say the HCG diet is not all that it’s cracked up to be, and worse- many experts believe it’s a dangerous fraud that makes empty promises and endangers consumers.

Exercises to lose weight

The HCG diet plan requires users to take HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) supplements or injections in conjunction with a diet of 500 to 800 calories a day. Many doctors suggest, however, that a 500 calorie daily diet is unhealthy for normal adults and can, after a period of time, lead to malnutrition, constipation, blood clots and gallstones.

Medical experts say the HCG diet is not only potentially dangerous—the FDA has officially labeled it “hazardous.” In addition, the HCG Diet does not involve any exercises to lose weight, which is the cornerstone to long term, successful weight loss.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that people exercise for at least 150 minutes a week for moderate exercise and 75 minutes if the exercise is vigorous. That equals 2.5 hours a week for moderate exercise, and 1.25 hours a week for vigorous exercise. Moderate exercises to lose weight can include household chores such as mowing the yard or gardening. Vigorous exercise  includes jogging and other high impact activities.

Dr. Michael Kaplan, founder of The Center for Medical Weight Loss, a national network of weight loss doctors, explains, “Engaging in exercises to lose weight will boost your metabolism, which will in turn, help you burn more calories. As a result, those who incorporate intense exercise as part of their weight loss plan may be able to afford a diet that is slightly higher in calories than other dieters.” Dr. Kaplan also believes it is important NOT to do vigorous exercise if it makes it too hard to maintain your regimen; “I’d rather see a patient do exercises he or she finds somewhat easy, but still get the heart going. It’s better to do 45 minutes of moderate exercise than to do 20 minutes of high intensity exercise that makes you feel like you don’t want to do it the next day.”

The best diet to lose weight

The best diet to lose weight is a sustainable diet that balances specific calorie restrictions with moderate exercises—elements that are absent in the HCG weight loss program.

Unlike the HCG diet, the physician-led diets prescribed by The Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL) are effective and long lasting. Why? Because each program provides a healthy diet plan and includes exercises to lose weight, customized to what the individual needs. Clinical research shows that 95.3% of those who lost weight on the Center’s programs maintained weight loss a year later.

By contrast, long-lasting weight loss on unsustainable diets such as the HCG weight loss plan is unlikely, as dieters tend to gain weight as soon as they stop the diet.

The Center for Medical Weight Loss operates over 450 locations across the country, and is the largest network of weight loss physicians in the US. Use the zip code search box above to find out if there is a center in your area.  To learn more, or find special special diet tips and recipes, you can visit their website at