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Dangers of the HCG Diet

Sarah | September 8th, 2012

In late 2011, the Food and Drug Administration cracked down on the HCG diet, one of the new fad diets that had taken the weight-loss world by storm. The FDA called the diet “fraudulent,” “dangerous,” and even “illegal.” Of most concern to dieters, HCG for weight loss is often  incorrectly labeled or sold illegally – and is not regulated by the FDA. Even more, the HCG diet is severely restrictive and, like many other quick weight loss diets, unhealthy in most cases.

According to Dr. Kaplan of the Center for Medical Weight Loss, “Individuals wishing to improve their health and quality of life by losing weight and keeping it off, are much better off working with physician led weight loss programs than pursuing an unproven, dangerous weight loss plan such as the HCG diet. The risks certainly do not outweigh the benefits.”

HCG Diet Dangers

Anyone considering the HCG diet needs to read up on the dangers associated with this fad weight-loss plan. Your body could go into starvation mode. You may inject yourself with unknown substances that are not FDA-approved. You will consume fewer calories than most anorexics. The list goes on:

  • The HCG diet is not FDA-approved: In fact, the FDA has labeled the diet as dangerous and fraudulent.
  • It’s probably not hCG: hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a pregnancy hormone that is only available via prescription. It is illegal to sell hCG over-the-counter, so most hCG diets sell “homeopathic” supplements that contain no hCG.
  • It’s definitely not homeopathic: By law, only substances included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia are considered homeopathic. hCG supplements are not, making them completely unregulated, unapproved drugs.
  • You’re starving yourself: The HCG diet requires dieters to consume just 500-600 calories each day – fewer than most anorexics. You’ll lose weight, but your body will also go into starvation mode.
  • Unpleasant side effects: Severe calorie restrictions will probably make you cranky, and hCG supplements cause headaches, irritability, male breast enlargement, and fatigue.
  • You’ll probably gain back all that weight: The hCG diet is only a temporary solution (recommended for no more than 43 days), so it’s not a permanent lifestyle change. As soon as you increase your caloric intake, you’ll likely gain back most, if not all, of the weight.

The High Cost of HCG for Weight Loss

You may have heard that the HCG diet is pricey, but did you know that HCG injections, drops and pills can be extremely, even prohibitively expensive? The HCG for weight loss diet requires daily injections or drops, which can quickly amount to hundreds of dollars a month. And then there’s the cost of food, which some HCG clinics tote as being as low as $6 per day. This number is an example of one of the hidden hCG diet dangers – the danger to your health. Six-hundred calories and $6 per day doesn’t buy health, and certainly cannot fuel your body with the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and good fats required to restore energy and keep you feeling healthy.

Lose Weight Safely

Quick weight loss diets are difficult to stick to and the results are often temporary. Physician-assisted weight loss is safe, effective and tailored to meet the lifestyle, goals and challenges of each individual patient, helping you lose weight and keep it off. The Center for Medical Weight Loss is a nationwide network with over 450 locations.  According to the American Journal of Medicine, patients lose weight quickly, safely, and 95% maintain weight loss after one year.

If you would like to learn more about how to lose weight safely and how to keep it off for life, visit their website at Special introductory offers vary by location.