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Is the HCG Diet Another Fad? A Doctor’s Unbiased Review

Sarah | September 29th, 2012

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The obesity rate in America has reached staggering proportions, leading many overweight individuals to attempt drastic weight loss measures, from harsh starvation diets to detox programs that promise quick weight loss. One of the most notable to hit the market is the HCG diet, an extreme program that touts itself as “one of the fastest and safest ways to lose weight and keep it off.” A number of doctor reviews question the safety and efficacy of the HCG diet, which blends a low calorie intake with daily doses of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG).

Bill Sukala, Phd. – an exercise physiologist— calls the HCG diet another gimmick, pointing to a lack of scientific evidence to support the diet’s claims of rapid and safe weight loss.

Quick Weight Loss Through Physician-Assisted Program

One of the most effective approaches to healthy and sustainable weight loss is a physician-assisted plan that includes both nutrition education and exercise. With the guidance of trained doctors at The Center For Medical Weight Loss, who take into account specific goals and lifestyles unique to each patient, the weight loss results are long lasting. The American Journal of Medicine reports that patients on the program lose an average of 11.1% of total body fat in 12 weeks. Even more encouragingly, over 95% of patients maintained weight loss after one year.

HGC Diet Review

Dr. Sukala references a number of medical journals in his HCG diet review, including the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, which stated, “We conclude that there is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity; it does not bring about weight-loss of fat-redistribution, nor does it reduce hunger or induce a feeling of well-being.”

The review further points out that while the program promotes the benefits of their sublingual HCG drops, they fail to mention that the plan is basically an extreme 500 calorie diet.  With no proven studies to support claims of HCG for weight loss, dieters may be duped into thinking their shed pounds are due to the hormone activity, when in reality it’s nothing more than restricted calorie intake.

Dr. Sukala also questions the diet’s safety profile in relation to sufficient daily nutrition, as any diet less than 1200 calories a day could be deficient in necessary vitamins, proteins, fats and minerals.

HCG for weight loss?

The evaluation also states that HCG weight loss is accompanied by muscle loss as well, as the body breaks down muscle tissue to provide necessary energy when faced with low calorie intakes. Another hole in the HCG diet plan is their unrealistic weight loss of a purported one to two pounds per day, as Dr. Sukala reminds patients that both fast and safe weight loss programs do not really exist.

Most physicians consider healthy weight loss to be up to two pounds per week. Even more distressing for those coming off a diet program is keeping the weight off for good.  The review also mentions that after finishing a 500 calorie diet such as the HCG, individuals are likely to put on more fat than before, as the body reverts to famine mode, which slows down the metabolism to save energy stores.

Fast Weight Loss Can Be Healthy

Physician-assisted weight-loss programs, such as those offered at The Center for Medical Weight Loss, have produced thousands of weight loss success stories.

For information on a Center near you, enter your information in the box at top right. Special introductory offers are available for first-time visitors at select locations.